Compare The Best Rewards Credit Cards 2020

Tens of millions of Americans miss out on extraordinary opportunities to get valuable benefits by putting their spend on credit cards that work for them.

Those who enjoy travel should consider opening a travel rewards card that can earn hotel points, such as the World of Hyatt card or airline miles, such as the United Club Infiniti card. Some of favorite cards, however, earn transferable points that can be transferred to an airline or hotel program or redeemed for cash credits later. These cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the American Express Platinum card.

You can compare all of the best travel rewards cards here.

Many Americans who don’t aspire to travel or who want immediate cash back will prefer to use cash back cards. You can learn more about cash back cards here where we compare the best cash back cards including the Chase Freedom Unlimited card and the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card.

Small business owners and some non-small business owners should consider small business cards here. Some small business cards offer - such as the Chase Ink Business Cash card and the Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express offer such compelling value that they should be considered by those who may not have a business but are trying to segregate business expenses (although the may not offer the same purchase protection as personal cards).

BestCashCow examines the value of each loyalty program here.

As you try to decide which card is best for your practices and interest, we have developed this handy tool below that enables you to explore which cards may be most valuable to you based on your estimated annual spend and your objectives. Please have a look.

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Stop Opening Accounts with Worthless Loyalty Programs

I was walking by a major big box retailer in New York City the other day, and I saw a sign in the window that said “Open a Credit Card and Get 5x Points Today”.  I briefly got very excited before I realized that the store has nothing that I would want to buy and therefore the points are completely worthless to me.

Some loyalty points provide extraordinary value and can be worth keeping your loyalty with an establishment to continue to earn.  In particular, your “loyalty” to airlines (see how the programs compare here) and hotel chains {see how these programs compare here) has real value.  When you recognize that just for opening a new credit card, you can easily earn well over $500 in value with an airline or hotel chain (or points that transfer into either), you also recognize that you can throw out your Starbucks and Subway loyalty cards.

Find the best travel rewards credit card sign up bonuses.

And, to boot, it simply isn’t necessary to be a member of too many programs, especially if you are just getting going with travel rewards.  By joining Singapore’s Krisflyer program, you can earn the full value of all miles flown on all United or Jetblue flights, as well as any Star Alliance program members, and transfer points from all four major transferable point currencies (Chase, Citi, Amex, and Starwood).  We also like the American Airlines program as there are several credit cards from Citibank and Barclays that can feed into it.  British Airways also provides good value on short haul redemptions.  Delta’s program is worth joining if you can still bear to fly it.

Within the hotel area, most people will find tremendous value in the Starwood – Marriott program, especially post-merger now that all sorts of great redemption opportunities have opened up through the 3:1 fixed transfer ratio.  Hyatt is also a tremendously valuable program.  You can also get a couple free nights at a Conrad by flipping a Hilton card, but the program is – like the other major hotel programs – substantially less valuable than Starwood and Hyatt for regular spend.

Once you are a member of the 3 or 4 airline programs and the 2 or 3 the hotel programs you need, it is time to stop.  Every one of these places is selling your name, phone number, address and all sorts of other information about your purchasing habits.  In this day and age, you just don’t need everyone to have your information in return for less than nickel in value.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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Chase to Unveil New Sapphire Reserve Card

Chase has unveiled the best card for earning its valuable Ultimate Rewards Points.

Chase has already become the most prolific credit card issuer, and BestCashCow ranks the Ultimate Rewards points as being more valuable than Citibank and Amex flexible travel points.  While all points are transferrable to Singapore Airlines and Citibank points are also transferrable to British Airways, Chase offers the additional options on transferring to United and Hyatt.

The new Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers the most effective way to rack up these valuable points.  Even though it has a $450 annual fee, it comes with 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in three months.  The 100,000 points when redeemed, for example, through Hyatt for three nights at the Park Hyatt in New York or Paris (at 30,000/night) more than covers the $450 annual fee.  The annual fee is also covered through a $300 travel credit that is applied per calendar year directly to cover airline and hotel charges (if you hold the card from the middle of 2016 into 2017, you could get the credit twice, or $600 in credits over your first year of card membership).

Additionally, the card produces 3 points per dollar spent on travel and at restaurants (compared with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that only generates 2).   Since we value these points as high as 3 cents per point, it effectively means that you can receive 9% back in value for your spend in these categories.  This article explains how the card can be paired with other Chase cards to receive large blocks of valuable points for telecom spend and spend in rotating categories.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also comes with primary rental car insurance coverage, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

This card is designed to compete with the Citibank ThankYou Prestige card and the Amex Platinum card.  We think that it compares very favorably as it produces high volumes of Chase points, which are the most valuable transferrable points.  However, those cards - especially the Prestige card - still offer significant benefits and should be considered as well, especially for those who do not value United and Hyatt as transfer partners.

See the most valuable travel rewards credit card sign-up bonuses here.

 

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Advertising Disclosure: This site may be compensated for hosting offers.

Chase Offers Tons of Way to Boost Your Ultimate Rewards Balance

The Chase Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited cards can both be used very effectively to boost your ultimate reward balance and accumulate tons of points for travel with one of Chase's great travel partners.

BestCashCow routinely ranks the Sapphire Preferred Card and the Sapphire Reserve Card, personal credit cards offered by Chase, and the Ink Preferred Card, its sister for business use, among the top cards for both the value of the sign-up bonuses and the value of the points you can accumulate through spend.  The personal cards come with a 50,000 sign-up bonus after hitting certain spend limits, while the Ink Preferred Card has an 80,000 point bonus after after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months.   Since the Sapphire Preferred gives you 2x points on restaurants and travel (the Reserve gives 3x), and the Ink gives you 5x points at office supply stores and on telecommunications spend, the most savvy point gurus routinely advise their readers to get both (by providing their social security number as a business EIN in the Ink Plus application).

We rank the Chase points much higher than other points because Chase offers 1-to-1 transfer with more valuable travel partners than Citibank or Amex do through their comparable programs.  Whereas all offer transfer to Singapore Krisflyer (which today is among the most valuable programs in the travel universe for those seeking the rewards outlined in this article), Chase also offers transfers to British Airways, United and Hyatt.  You can also redeem your points directly for travel through Chase's own travel portal.

Those seasoned at accumulating Chase points often hold the Chase Freedom card and/or the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card in addition to their Sapphire and Ink cards.  The Freedom card is designed as a cash back card to compete with the Citi Double Cash and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards cards, and offers 5x points per dollar spent on a rotating quarterly category.  Ordinarily, the categories are gas and local transportation from January to March, groceries stores from April to June, and restaurants from July to September.  Back in 2014 and 2015, in the fall quarter, Chase offered 10x points for spend on Amazon, and in 2016, Chase offered 10x points for spend at Costco.  Since it is a cash back card, your Chase Freedom points cannot be transferred directly to Singapore, United, British or Hyatt, but if you have a Sapphire or an Ink card, you can transfer the full balance to that card and then on to your travel partner of choice.

Chase, in a further effort to compete in the cash back market, has now unveiled its Chase Freedom Unlimited card.  This card gives 1.5x points on all spend.  This card is also designed as a cash back card, and at 1.5% falls short of the 2% cash back you can get in the Citi Double Cash card or the 2.625% you can get if you are a Merrill Lynch account holder with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card.   Yet, if you use it for your ordinary spend in conjunction with a Sapphire or Ink card, and transfer your point balance through those cards on to one of Chase's partners, you can achieve substantially more value from your ordinary spend than through any other credit cards rewards program.

Hint: Some readers are reporting that the Sapphire, Freedom and Freedom Unlimited Cards are tougher to get, and that Chase is rejecting all applicants that Equifax reports have applied for more than 5 credit cards in your last 24 months.  If you are new to the credit card travel rewards game, you may want to consider applying for these three before any other cards. 

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Advertising Disclosure: This site may be compensated for hosting offers.