Why you should get a fixed-rate rewards credit card

Oct 18, 2021

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Bonus categories, rotating rewards, wallets filled with credit cards strategically dedicated to each of life’s little expenses. Earning the maximum number of points and miles with your credit cards requires a lot of brain power.

But you don’t have to expend a lot of energy to accrue credit card points efficiently. Fixed-rate rewards cards earn a flat rate on all purchases, and many offer a respectable return. Moreover, if you’d rather not memorize which cards go with which purchases, a straightforward fixed-rate rewards earning card is your best bet.

These four cards exhibit the simplicity of a fixed-rate product — while simultaneously affording you the option to redeem your rewards for bucket-list travel items. I’ll show you what I mean.

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Best fixed-rate rewards cards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus Capital One miles after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening. TPG valuations estimate this bonus to be worth $1,110 (not provided by the issuer).

Earning rate: Earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar on every purchase.

Redemption possibilities: There are plenty of ways to redeem Capital One miles, though not all are a good idea.

For starters, you can redeem Capital One miles at fixed values at the following rates for:

  • Travel – 1 cent per mile
  • Gift cards – between 0.8 cents and 1 cent per mile
  • Shopping online with Amazon or PayPal – 0.8 cents
  • Cashback – 0.5 cents

These are the options for those who most value simplicity. The top choice here is redeeming your miles for travel, as you’re guaranteed to get a value of at least 1 cent per mile.

However, if you’re willing to complicate things a bit, you can get vastly more return for your miles by transferring them to airline and hotel partners. We estimate Capital One miles to be worth 1.85 cents each when you redeem your rewards in this way.

Read our post on how to transfer Capital One miles to partners to see how powerful this currency can be. And read our Capital One Venture review for more card details.

Annual fee: $95

Application link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: $200 bonus (20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Also, 5% cash back (5x Ultimate Rewards) on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Earning rate: Earn 1.5% back (1.5 points per dollar) on all purchases.

Redemption possibilities: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is ostensibly a simple cash-back card. If you spend $1,000 with the card, you’ll receive $15 cash back.

However, the card technically earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, not cash. You actually have the ability to transfer the rewards you earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited to various airline and hotel partners if you also have one of the following cards:

When you use your points in this way, TPG estimates your rewards to be worth 2 cents each. In other words, earning 1.5 points per dollar with the Freedom Unlimited translates to 3% back in travel. Read our post on how to turn cash back into Chase points for more details. And check out our Chase Freedom Unlimited review to learn more about this card.

Annual fee: $0

Application link: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Citi® Double Cash Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: No bonus offered at this time.

Earning rate: Earn 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back when you pay off that purchase. You’ll effectively get 2% back for all expenses.

Redemption possibilities: Earning 2% on everything is a solid return — and fewer cards are less complicated than this earning structure.

However: Similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited, the rewards you earn with the Citi Double Cash aren’t what they appear. The card actually earns Citi ThankYou points, which are worth significantly more than cash when you transfer them to valuable airline partners. TPG valuations peg Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, meaning this card earns 3.4% back toward travel on all purchases.

To unlock the ability to transfer your points, you’ll need one of the following cards:

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Annual fee: $0

Application link: Citi® Double Cash Card

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership. TPG valuations estimate this bonus to be worth $300 in travel.

Earning rate: Earn 2 Amex points per dollar on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year (then 1 point per dollar for other eligible purchases).

Redemption possibilities: Like the above cards, the easiest ways to redeem points are usually not the best. Here are some examples:

  • Use Amex Pay with Points to book airfare through Amex Travel at 1 cent per point
  • Purchase gift cards for between 0.5 cents and 1 cent each (depending on the merchant)
  • Reimburse credit card charges as a statement credit for 0.6 cents each

Again, there is value in simplicity. But you can get an astronomically greater return for your Amex points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners (around 2 cents in value per point, on average). Read our post on the best ways to use Amex Membership Rewards points to see how great these rewards can be. And read our Blue Business Plus Amex review for more card details.

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Application link: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Bottom line

If the mental gymnastics of rotating bonus categories and promotional earning rates aren’t your thing, a fixed-rate rewards card might be for you. Every time you swipe, you’ll know precisely how many rewards you’ll earn — no matter the nature of your purchase.

For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus card, click here.

Photo by Altin Osmanaj/Shutterstock.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.