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How to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

If you have a good credit score, it's smart to think about how to get more value from your credit cards. Credit card rewards are a popular option, as they're one of the most valuable features card issuers offer. In this guide, you'll learn everything you need to know to maximize your credit card rewards.

How do I make the most of my rewards credit card?

Maximizing your credit card rewards is achieved through using your rewards card on your spending and paying the bill in full every month

Here are a few guidelines to make the most of your rewards credit card:

  • Use your rewards card for every purchase: You'll earn rewards whenever you make an eligible purchase with your card. As such, you should use it for your spending. If you pay with cash or a debit card, you're leaving potential rewards on the table.
  • Don’t overspend to earn more rewards: Some consumers use rewards as a justification to spend more. This isn't a good idea. Imagine you spend an extra $100 at restaurants this month because your credit card offers 5% back on dining. After that $5 back, you're still down $95. It's better to follow your budget and not adjust your spending habits to gain credit card rewards.
  • Pay your credit card bill in full: Interest charges can reduce or wipe out the value you get from credit card rewards. Rewards cards also tend to have higher interest rates than other types of credit cards, making this even more of a problem. If you pay your card off every month, you won't be charged credit card interest.
  • Redeem your credit card rewards regularly: Rewards won't usually increase in value, but they can get less valuable over time. For that reason, it makes sense to use credit card rewards promptly.
  • Watch for new credit card options: The best rewards credit cards change often as credit card companies add benefits and launch new cards. Check out the rewards cards that are available every six months to a year. You may find there's a card available that will work better for you.

To qualify for the rewards cards with the most benefits, you'll generally need good or excellent credit. If you need help raising your credit score, you can learn how in our credit score guide.

If you want to take advantage of the perks of a rewards credit card, take a look at a few of our favorites below. Our full list of the Best Rewards Credit Cards has a lot more options to consider too.

As of May. 17, 2022
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Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Apply Now for Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

On Wells Fargo's Secure Website.

Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

New/Rebuilding Under(579) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

$200 cash rewards offer

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

75,000 miles

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Rewards Program:

2% cash rewards

Rewards Program:

2x miles

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 2% Cashback

Intro APR: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Purchases: 0% intro APR, 15 months from account opening

Balance Transfers: 0% intro APR, 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: 10.99% Intro APR, 6 months

Regular APR:

15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% Variable APR

Regular APR:

16.24% - 24.24% Variable

Regular APR:

23.24% Variable APR

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$95

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

Highlights:

  • No credit score required to apply.*
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • Using your secured credit card helps build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, prepaid and debit cards can’t do that.
  • Establish your credit line with your tax return by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.*
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Apply Now for Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

On Wells Fargo's Secure Website.

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What issuer has the best credit card rewards program?

Chase has the best credit card rewards program because it has several quality travel partners and it offers the best rates when you use points for cash travel bookings.

Chase rewards program

Here's how you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to save big on travel:

  • Transfer points to travel partners: Chase has a great roster of airline and hotel partners, including United Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, and Southwest Airlines. You can transfer Chase points to partners to book award airfare or an award hotel stay. Let's say you want to book a ticket with United for 30,000 miles. You could transfer 30,000 Chase points to United. Those points would become United miles you could use to book the ticket.
  • Redeem points with the Ultimate Rewards travel portal: Chase also lets you use points to make cash travel bookings through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Your points are worth $0.0125 each if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. They're worth $0.015 each if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. For example, if you have 10,000 Chase points, you could use that to buy either $125 or $150 in travel, depending on which Chase rewards credit cards you have.

Here are some of our top-rated Chase cards that could be a good fit for you if you're looking for travel rewards.

As of May. 17, 2022
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Chase Sapphire Reserve® Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Apply Now for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

80,000 points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

50,000 points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

100,000 points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 5x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 10x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 3x points

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

16.24% - 23.24% Variable

Regular APR:

17.24% - 24.24% Variable

Regular APR:

16.24% - 21.24% Variable

Annual Fee:

$95

Annual Fee:

$550

Annual Fee:

$95

Highlights:

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

Highlights:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Highlights:

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Apply Now for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website.

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The Chase Ultimate Rewards program ranks at the top, but there are a couple of other great rewards programs you may want to check out.

American Express Membership Rewards

American Express also offers quite a few travel partners in its popular rewards program. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to over 20 different partners. That includes domestic airlines, international airlines, and hotels. The Membership Rewards program provides so many options that American Express rewards credit cards work well if you like to shop around for the best travel rewards deals.

American Express has several credit cards with travel rewards that we love. Take a look at a few here.

As of May. 17, 2022
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The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express® Green Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Apply Now for The Platinum Card® from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Apply Now for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rates & Fees Rates & Fees Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

100,000 Membership Rewards® Points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

45,000 Membership Rewards® points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

40,000 bonus miles

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 5x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 3x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1X - 2X miles

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

See Pay Over Time APR

Regular APR:

15.99% - 22.99%, variable

Regular APR:

16.49%-25.49% Variable

Annual Fee:

$695

Annual Fee:

$150

Annual Fee: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Highlights:

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn up to $100 in annual statement credits to help you get through security faster with CLEAR®.
  • Earn up to $100 in annual statement credits to access 750+ airport lounges globally through LoungeBuddy.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • $100 Delta Flight Credit: After you spend $10,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, receive a Credit to use toward future travel.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply Now for The Platinum Card® from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Apply Now for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

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The information for the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by The Ascent and not provided by the issuer. Therefore, some terms may be out of date. Visit the issuer's website for more information.

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Citi is another card issuer to consider as you shop for rewards credit cards. It has over a dozen travel partners where you can send your Citi ThankYou points. Most of these travel partners are international airlines. If there are any international frequent flyer programs you like, Citi rewards credit cards could be just what you need.

If you're interested in Citi, take a look at a few of our favorite cards that offer rewards below.

As of May. 17, 2022
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Citi Premier® Card

Citi Prestige® Card

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

Apply Now for Citi Premier® Card

On Citi's Secure Website.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Excellent (740-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

60,000 ThankYou® Points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

50,000 ThankYou Points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

50,000 miles

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 3x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 5x points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1x - 2x miles

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

16.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

Regular APR:

16.99% - 23.99%, variable

Regular APR:

15.99% - 24.99%, variable

Annual Fee:

$95

Annual Fee:

$495

Annual Fee: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

$0 intro fee

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Highlights:

  • 5X ThankYou Points on air travel and restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou Points on hotels and cruise lines
  • 1X ThankYou points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Complimentary 4th night on hotel stays booked through ThankYou.com., up to twice per year
  • Unlimited access to 400+ airport lounges
  • $100 global entry fee credit
  • Chip technology
  • 24/7 concierge
  • Lost baggage coverage

Highlights:

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Apply Now for Citi Premier® Card

On Citi's Secure Website.

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Citi Prestige® Card is unavailable on The Ascent. All information was collected independently from the issuer. Some items may be out of date.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Bank of America rewards credit cards are ideal if you already use its banking or investment services. Through the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can get bonuses of 25% to 75% on all your credit card rewards. To qualify, you need to meet minimum balance requirements that start at $20,000.

Unlike the card issuers above, Bank of America doesn't offer transfers to travel partners. Instead, it offers cash back rewards and fixed-rate travel redemptions depending on which of its cards you have.

Here are a few rewards cards from Bank of America that are worth a look.

As of May. 17, 2022
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Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

New/Rebuilding Under(579) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

50,000 points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

25,000 points

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

25,000 points

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1.5 - 2 points per dollar

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1.5 points per dollar

Rewards Program:

1.5 points per dollar

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Purchases: 0%, 15 billing cycles

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Purchases: 0%, 12 billing cycles

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

16.24% - 23.24% Variable

Regular APR:

14.24% - 24.24% Variable

Regular APR:

14.24% - 24.24%, variable

Annual Fee:

$95

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • Receive 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases.
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire.
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center.
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA PreCheck®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Low $95 annual fee.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Highlights:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR offer ends, 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR will apply.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 spent.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Highlights:

  • Flat 1.5-point earning rate: The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students earns an unlimited 1.5 points for every dollar spent with the card. Points never expire and can be applied toward any airline or hotel with no blackout dates.
  • Sign-up bonus: You can earn 25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. These points can be redeemed for a statement credit toward travel expenses such as flights, hotels, rental cars and other travel costs.
  • No additional fees: There is a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: The card offers a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases. After that, the variable APR is 14.24% - 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Free credit score: The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students offers monthly FICO credit score access for free to help students build good credit.
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Which is a better option: Cash back or credit card rewards programs?

Credit card rewards programs are generally the better option if you travel multiple times per year. The top rewards programs give you ways to redeem points for a high value when you use them to book travel. Transferring points to travel partners, in particular, is one of the smartest ways to maximize credit card rewards.

Cash back is the better choice if you aren't a frequent traveler. It's also the way to go if you want the simpler credit card rewards option. There can be a learning curve to credit card rewards programs as you figure out how to best use your points. With cash back, you don't need to deal with that. Cash back credit cards are easy to use and can work for anyone.

FAQs

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers the best rewards. It earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to airline and hotel partners or use to book travel in cash. This Chase credit card also has a big sign-up bonus and a reasonable $95 annual fee.

  • Points are typically the best type of credit card rewards, because they have the most potential value. This is especially true with Chase, American Express, and Citi points. All three credit card companies allow you to transfer points to travel partners, which can get you more value than any other type of redemption.

  • To make the most of your rewards credit card, use it for every purchase so you earn as many credit card rewards as you can. Make sure you follow a budget so that you don't overspend, and pay off your credit card bill in full every month to avoid interest charges.

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