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Just as in the fashion world, there are trends in credit cards that come and go. A few years ago, there were several credit cards that offered outrageously large sign-up bonuses, and these days there are plenty of cards that offer bonus categories that change throughout the year.
But some credit card users might not be interested in keeping track of which purchases qualify for additional rewards at certain times of the year or want to rely solely on a big sign-up bonus to bolster rewards coffers. For these consumers, it can be best to stick with a reliable rewards credit card that doesn’t change dramatically throughout the year.
Here are five credit cards that feature solid rewards that you can count on all year long.
While the standard Chase Freedom card (reviewed here) features 5% cash back on featured purchase categories that change each quarter, the new Freedom Unlimited card offers a solid value on all purchases all year. With this card, you earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, and as the name implies, there are no limits to the amount of cash back rewards you can receive.
New applicants can earn a $150 sign-up bonus when they use their card to spend $500 on new purchases within 3 months of account opening, as well as an additional $25 bonus when they add an authorized cardholder who makes a purchase in the same time period. This card also offers new account holders 15 months of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 5% balance transfer fee. After that, the purchase APR will be 16.24% - 24.99% Variable, depending on creditworthiness. There is no annual fee for this card.
The standard Discover it card (reviewed here) features 5% cash back on purchases in bonus categories that change throughout the year, but the Discover it Miles card simply offers 1.5 miles per dollar for every purchase, all the time. Miles can be redeemed for one cent each as statement credits towards travel reservations, or as cash back. Other features include 0% APR promotional financing on new purchases for the first 12 months for new cardholders. After that, the purchase APR will be between 13.49% - 24.49% Variable on purchases & balance transfers, depending on creditworthiness.
You also receive up to $30 cash back each year when you pay for in-flight WiFi. There is no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
Some travel reward cards offer larger bonuses for airline tickets or other purchases, but the Capital One Venture Rewards card always features double miles on all purchases. New cardholders also earn 40,000 bonus miles after making $3,000 in new purchases within 3 months of account opening. Miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel reservations. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year and no foreign transaction fees. The purchase APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable), depending on creditworthiness.
4. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
This card also features double miles on all purchases throughout the year, and offers new cardholders 40,000 bonus miles after making $3,000 in new purchases within 90 days of account opening. Miles can be redeemed for one cent each as statement credits, and you get a 5% rebate on your miles redeemed. The purchase APR will be 16.24% or 20.24% based on your credit worthiness. There is an $89 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year and no foreign transaction fees.
Keep in mind that most credit cards have credit score standards that applicants must meet to gain approval. And good credit scores are generally needed to qualify for the better rewards products. You can see where you stand by getting two free credit scores on Credit.com, and if you find that they’re not quite what you’d like them to be, you can make an action plan to guide you through improving your credit. It’s important to know that credit report errors are a common occurrence and could be hurting your credit score, so make a habit of checking your credit reports for accuracy.
At publishing time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom, Discover it Miles, Discover it, Capital One Venture Rewards and Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
Image: Leonardo Patrizi