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Comparing rewards credit cards is quick and easy with us. We show you the key information and you can click through to the provider and apply within minutes
A rewards credit card offers incentives, such as cashback, air miles or loyalty points, for your everyday spending. The more you spend, the more you can earn – and some cards might even give you access to exclusive deals.
Because it can be tricky to work out which card is best for you, MoneySuperMarket compares cards in a quick and easy way to show you the deals that suit your needs – and how likely you are to be accepted if you apply.
You can earn free rewards for your everyday spending
Introductory rewards can be quite lucrative
There’s usually a choice of rewards, from cashback to air miles depending on the card
Some rewards credit cards come with a high monthly or annual fee
You may be forced to shop at certain retailers to take advantage of the rewards
You could lose the rewards if you miss a credit card repayment
Rewards cards can pay cashback or give you points. For example, cashback is typically from 1% to 5% or more. A points card might give you one point for every £10 you spend. But check to see what a point is worth
Keep in mind that some rewards cards charge an annual fee. Be confident your spending will earn enough cashback and rewards to justify the cost. If you’re unsure, go for a low or no-fee rewards card
Points cards only give vouchers for specific stores – so make sure it fits your shopping habits. Likewise, airline rewards cards only offer deals on selected air carriers and hotels, so make sure it’s one you’re happy to use
Is there an introductory rewards period that will end after a few months? When will you get your reward? Some cards pay out monthly, while others make you wait until the end of the year. Check the terms before applying
Rewards credit cards can pay you cashback for your normal spending or you may be able to earn points or vouchers instead. There’s lots to choose from so it’s important to find a card that pays out a reward you will actually use. There’s no point choosing one which pays in air miles if you don’t intend to use them, for example. You also need to watch out for annual fees and extra charges such as the interest rate applied if you don’t clear the card in full."
MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.
There’s no single best rewards card – it all depends on what kind of bonuses you’re after, and what credit limit or APR works best for you. Providers are always making new offers, and new rewards cards with different perks regularly hit the market. Your best bet is to compare rewards cards to see what options are available to you, and then see which one you like the best.
Hotel points are a less common credit card reward, and tend to be tied to premium cards. There are several options on the market, most of which will only work on one particular hotel chain.
If you’re a frequent traveller, hotel point credit cards might be useful to you, but premium credit cards usually come with annual fees and entry requirements.
Every time you use your credit card, your credit card provider charges a small fee to the merchant – and when you use a rewards card, they share some of that money with you. By offering rewards, your credit card company encourages you to spend more widely. This means more sales for the vendor, more profit for the credit card issuer, and a little extra money in your pocket too.
There is nothing to stop you from applying for as many reward credit cards as you like, but each may come with a fee. You should be confident you will spend enough and earn enough rewards to justify this fee. Multiple applications for credit cards can also have a negative impact on your credit rating.
Before taking out a rewards card you should consider whether
You need a credit card and will be able to afford the repayments
The specific rewards the card provides will be useful for you
You can justify the annual fee (if there is one) and you’re happy with the terms and conditions, including meeting any minimum monthly spend required to earn the rewards
You have chosen the best rewards credit card available for your circumstances
A rewards credit card could be right for you if you are able to use the card responsibly and pay off the balance on time and in full every month. If that is the case, then you don’t need to change your spending habits and the rewards will just become a handy bonus to your regular credit card use.
In addition, a rewards credit card linked to a particular retailer could prove even more valuable if you already shop there regularly.
There are several alternatives to a rewards credit card, but it will depend on your aims.
For example, if you travel a lot, a travel credit card that won’t charge you fees while abroad could work out more cost-effective than a rewards credit card.
Similarly, if you need to make a large purchase a 0% interest purchase card could save you money on interest payments and effectively help you spread the cost.
If you are specifically looking for rewards, but don’t want to take out a credit card, some current accounts also provide bonuses when you open the account and pay cashback on spending on certain items, such as bills.
You can also find rewards debit cards that work in a similar way to rewards credit cards, but you don’t have to borrow to earn the rewards.
The type of rewards credit card that will be most suited to you depends on how you use the card. If you use it frequently for a high level of everyday spending, a rewards card that pays bigger perks, such as points or cashback, is worth considering – even if there is an annual fee.
If you won’t be using the card as much, then it may be better to opt for a rewards card with no annual fee, as you might not earn enough rewards to justify paying the fee.
Only ever pick a rewards card where the rewards are useful for you. For example, an air miles card won’t be helpful if you don’t fly with the specific airline it is linked to.
Finally, if you struggle to clear your credit card balance every month, a rewards card may not be for you because they often come with higher interest rates for outstanding balances. Instead look for a low or 0% interest credit card.
Credit card points can typically be spent on a variety of rewards such as travel, flights, hotel bookings, merchandise, gift cards, cashback, or even charity donations.
The specific options available to redeem credit card points will vary depending on the credit card provider and their rewards programme.
Having a low credit score can make it difficult to be accepted for some credit cards and loans. It could still be possible to get a rewards credit card – but your options are likely to be more limited and you might not have access to the best deals.
Your APR is also likely to be higher and your credit limit lower. An alterntative could be a credit card for bad credit, which is designed for people who have poor scores. If used responsibly, then over time you will start to see your score increase and then you will be more likely to be eligible for cards with rewards
When using a credit card, it’s best to pay off your entire credit card balance every month if you can afford to – this way you won’t pay interest and you can avoid building up debt. If you can’t afford to pay off the full balance, pay off at least the minimum monthly payment – ideally more.
Also avoid missing payments – credit card providers will often charge a penalty when you do, but more importantly, you risk harming your credit score.
Setting up a direct debit could be a good way to ensure you pay off at least the minimum amount of your credit balance each month.
Each time you make an application for a credit card, it leaves a record on your credit report. Too many applications will make it look like you are in desperate need for credit and as a result, your application may be rejected.
Some credit cards have extra benefits that reward you when you use them a certain way. While some of them can be tempting, it’s better to get a credit card that will give you rewards for the way you spend already. For example, an airmiles credit card is only going to be useful if you’re a regular flyer, no matter how tempting lounge access might be – but if you’re a regular shopper at a particular high street store, there might be a credit card that gives you cashback for shopping there.
If you’re planning to use your credit card overseas, check whether or not you’ll be charged for doing so. Many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, so it can be a good idea to look for a card that won’t charge you for using it abroad.
Some cards will charge a fee if you use it to take cash out of a machine, and on top of that you’ll be charged interest from the moment you receive your money. So avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals unless it’s an emergency.
Credit card fraud, like any fraud, can be very serious – you should always take care when using your credit card, and be careful where you keep it. Never tell anyone your PIN and regularly check your statements to make sure there are no surprises.
If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.
All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.
Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.
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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.
But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?
We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.
£25 cashback offer, exclusive to the MoneySuperMarket group
0% interest on balance transfers for 30 months from the date you open your account
Transfers incur a 2.98% fee. Offer ends 31/01/2023
Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at an annual rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 22.9% APR (variable).
£25 cashback into your account when you transfer a balance of £2,500 or more within 60 days of opening your account. Must not have held a Barclaycard in last 6 months. T&Cs apply. Only available through MoneySuperMarket Group.