What Kind of Rewards Card Is Right for You?

Different credit cards offer different perks—from miles to cash back to points. Explore options and find a card that works for you


The idea behind a rewards card is simple: As you make purchases, you earn rewards. But if you’re looking for a rewards credit card, you’ll find all kinds of options.

Some cards offer miles that can be redeemed for travel expenses. Some offer cash back. And others offer points that can be redeemed for services or merchandise.

So which one is right for you? The answer depends on how you plan to use the card—and where you’ll find the most value when you redeem rewards. 

Here are a few types of rewards credit cards to consider:

Miles and Travel Rewards Cards

A miles-earning card could be a great choice for anyone who travels regularly for work or play.

You earn miles for purchases you make with your card. And, depending on the card, those miles can typically be used to cover travel-related expenses. Keep in mind, some miles-earning cards may offer more flexibility on where and how you can redeem your rewards.

With the Capital One® Venture® card, you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. And your miles can be redeemed for any recent travel purchase made with the card. That includes things like airfare, hotel stays and rental cars. Or you can transfer miles to more than a dozen airline loyalty programs.

With Venture, there are no blackout dates—so you can travel when and how you want. 

Cash-Back Rewards Cards

Cash-back rewards cards also let you earn rewards as you spend. But instead of miles, you earn cash back, equivalent to a percentage of each purchase. Some cards offer larger percentages for certain categories like dining and entertainment.

With the Capital One Quicksilver® card, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. Whether you’re using your card to fill up on gas, buy pet food or snag a snazzy pair of shoes, you’re earning as you buy. That’s especially useful as daily purchases and shopping trips add up over time. 

Want to earn more cash back on dining and entertainment? With the Savor® card from Capital One, you earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.1 If you’re a major foodie or a person-about-town, this could be the card for you. 

Capital One’s cash-back rewards cards offer the flexibility to redeem the way you want. That could mean applying cash back toward a recent purchase or crediting your account to lower your balance.2 Want a check or gift card delivered to your home? You can do that, too.

Points Rewards Cards

Some rewards credit cards offer points rather than miles or cash back. How you earn or redeem points varies based on the card. Some may be similar to a miles-earning card, while others may be more like a cash-back card.

If you think a points card is right for you, make sure you understand any limits on how you can redeem your rewards. And double-check that your points won’t expire before you have a chance to use them. Rotating rewards categories are also something to keep in mind.

Things to Consider

Each type of rewards card comes with its own benefits. Here are two important questions to ask before you apply:

Do the rewards fit your spending habits? 

The best rewards cards help you earn rewards for things you already buy. Some cards offer higher rewards in certain categories, like dining and entertainment. And others offer a flat rate for every purchase. 

How do you want to redeem rewards?

If you want to redeem rewards for travel purchases, a travel rewards card might be the best choice. If you’d rather have the flexibility of cash-back rewards, consider a cash-back card. 

Whether you’re a globe-trotting adventurer, an avid foodie or someone who wants to be rewarded for everyday purchases, there’s a rewards card out there for you.


1With Savor, the 2% earn rate excludes superstores like Walmart® and Target®.

2Account credits lower your balance but cannot be used to meet any minimum payment obligation.

We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate the Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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