Different Types of Reward Credit Cards

It wasn’t all that long ago that credit cards were just no-frills cards that let you buy now and pay later, but as the number of credit card companies and the cards they offered grew, companies realized that they had to offer more to their consumers. This is where we see the birth of benefits like no interest, low interest, and rewards credit cards (often combined in the same now). There are several different types of reward credit cards now, so let’s take a look at them!

Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are some of the most versatile rewards cards around. You get cash back for spending money on purchases in certain categories. The cash back can range from 0.5% all the way up to 20% (such as certain purchases with the Discover it Card), depending on the card, and where and what you buy. The cash back can come to you through a check from the credit card company or, if you’re carrying a balance, as a payment against that balance. Obviously you want to pay your monthly balance off as much as possible so you can actually enjoy your cash back.

Examples of cash back credit cards include: Discover itBarclaycard Rewards MasterCard, and Chase Freedom. But you can also find a good cash back credit card from almost any bank or financial institution.

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Travel rewards credit cards offer great rewards for people who like to roam the world. They are usually miles/air miles or points cards and give you the most points/miles for buying gasoline, booking hotel rooms, and going to restaurants. You can then redeem these miles, air miles or points for things like airfare, gasoline, hotel rooms and other travel perks. Some travel rewards cards gives you things like no blackout dates on airfare, upgrades, late checkout times and access to VIP airport lounges. If you like to travel, then you’ll definitely want a travel rewards card.

One example is the Virgin America Visa Signature Card. Most credit card issuers has a travel rewards credit card.

Customer Loyalty Credit Cards

Customer loyalty credit cards are cards which are tied to a specific store or chain of stores. You can uses your card to get discounts on purchases, gather in-store points and rewards, get exclusive coupons and get freebies. They are easier to get than other credit cards so they’re a great way for people with no credit history to build it up while still getting a bit of rewards.

Examples include the Kroger Visa card and the Best Buy credit card. But a wide variety of  large stores now has their own credit card as do places like car dealerships and hotels.

Gasoline Credit Card

Like travel credit cards but more specific, these cards give you things like discounts or rebates for gassing up at the sponsors of those credit cards. In a time when gas prices just seem to be going up and up, these cards are becoming more popular as a way to save money.

Like the Customer loyalty credit cards though, pretty much every major gas station now offers a credit card.

Rewards credit cards are getting very easy to get nowadays and they’ve even become something of a standard. Now,  non-reward credit cards are becoming less common. Rewards cards are a great way to give yourself an extra perk for doing what you need to do with your credit card. So find a good rewards card that you can make the most use out of and enjoy the perks!


Darryl Van Dyke has over 20 years experience in the finance industry. He is currently the senior editor & contributor at CardSight.com.