How to Pick the Best Rewards Card for You

How to work out which card best fits your needs.

Couple with credit card and laptop paying bills online in living room
(Image credit: (c)2013 Hero Images Inc. All rights reserved.)

Using one of the best rewards credit cards can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, so you'll have to decide how deep you want to dive into the game. At one end of the rewards spectrum are cash back cards that yield straightforward rewards with steady and predictable values. At the other end are travel rewards credit cards. These cards "can be a little more complex, but you can get more bang for your buck if you're willing to do the research to get a great redemption," says Thomas Donaldson, senior credit specialist for credit card research site CompareCards.

If you like to travel:

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.