Inflation may be falling but the price of groceries and gasoline remains high. In response, consumers’ interest in credit cards that offer rewards on purchases continues to climb.
“Earning credit card rewards effectively gives you a discount on everything you buy, which can be a godsend when prices are inflated, especially since credit card rewards are doled out based on the dollar amount you spend,” Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at personal finance company WalletHub, told TravelAwaits.
“Inflation at the grocery store has been a focal point in recent months, so it’s little surprise that 47 percent of consumers most want bonus rewards on grocery purchases, according to a new WalletHub survey,” Gonzalez continued. “Next on the rewards wish list are gas purchases, which 17 percent of people want bonus rewards on.”
One popular way to redeem those rewards is to apply them toward travel. Indeed, 43 percent of the participants in WalletHub’s survey noted that they are “jealous” of people who pay for trips with credit card rewards, according to WalletHub.
While it isn’t difficult to find credit cards that offer a rewards program, it may prove challenging to find the credit card — or cards — that best meet your needs. To help make your credit card rewards program research easier, WalletHub has released its annual Best Credit Card Rewards Programs of 2023 report.
“Finding any old rewards card is easy; hundreds of offers are available, and even people with bad credit can qualify for some of them,” the report explains. “But with numerous rewards currencies to choose from and various restrictions to watch out for, the best rewards card isn’t always so obvious.”
What WalletHub’s Research Determined
First, a note about WalletHub’s methodology for compiling its Best Credit Card Rewards Programs of 2023.
WalletHub researchers compared every non-co-branded consumer rewards credit card from the 19 largest issuers. They then evaluated each card’s eligibility requirements, rewards earning and redemption policies, and expected rewards value.
After that, the researchers calculated how much the average person would earn with each card after fees over the first 2 years of use.
According to WalletHub’s research, the credit card with the best overall rewards program is Capital One’s Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Interestingly, this is the 7th year in a row the card has earned that distinction.
The Capital One card is followed by the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Credit Card, the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card, the Evergreen by First National Bank of Omaha Credit Card, and the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.
You can learn more about those credit cards and others, as well as the study itself, at Best Credit Card Rewards Programs of 2023.
Tips On Selecting A Rewards Card
“Credit cards with rewards aren’t one-size-fits-all — and neither are credit card rewards programs,” WalletHub explains in its report. Consequently, selecting a credit card rewards program can be challenging.
Fortunately, the report also includes several important suggestions to make it easier to determine which credit card rewards program is best suited for you:
- Read reviews, including customer reviews.
- Check your credit score so you know which cards you qualify for.
- Know how you’ll use the credit card so you know which types of cards to analyze.
- Evaluate both earning and redemption value so you know what the card’s rewards are worth.
- Keep in mind that some cards require you to sign up for bonus rewards categories each month. That step may not be worth the hassle.
- When in doubt, simply think of cashback because that makes it easy to tell what the reward is worth.
- Don’t rule out cards that have annual fees, as long as their extra rewards cover the fixed costs.
While you’re thinking about credit cards and rewards programs, be sure to also read our Travel Credit Cards content, including: