Credit card rewards may not be free money — after all, you have to spend to earn points. But when you can get something back on the purchases you make anyway, why would you turn down that opportunity — especially if it means getting $1,000 (or more!) back in your first year. So in a way, it sort of is like free money. 

Of course, you typically need good to excellent credit to qualify for a rewards card that offers this level of perks. And many of them come with steep annual fees. However, depending on your spending habits, the benefits may just outweigh the costs.

So if you’re looking for a credit card that does more for you or you just like the idea of getting rewarded for everyday purchases, then check out these recommendations from The Points Guy.

The Platinum Card From American Express

AmEx’s Platinum Card comes with a cool $550 annual fee, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider the rewards you can earn. 

For example, you can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points on the first $5,000 you spend within six months, plus 10x the points for every dollar you spend at qualifying grocery stores and gas stations (up to $15,000) in the first six months after opening a new account. 

Depending on your eligibility, AmEx may offer a 100,000-point welcome bonus when you meet the minimum spending requirement and use the CardMatch tool.

That’s just the beginning, though. You can also earn up to $200 in airline fee credits every year, $200 in Uber credits, $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits, statement credit for Global Entry every four years, or TSA PreCheck every four-and-a-half years. 

AmEx offers additional travel perks through its Global Lounge Collection, including Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs for same-day Delta flights, Priority Pass lounges. With this card, AmEx will e automatically upgrade you to Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy’s Gold elite status. 

And because travel is still up in the air right now, you can get peace of mind knowing you’re insured against trip delays, cancellations, interruptions, and lost or damaged car rentals. 

Ink Business Preferred Card

The Ink Business Preferred credit card has a much more affordable annual fee — just $95 — but you still get access to plenty of valuable rewards. It’s also one of the best credit cards for small business owners since it offers several benefits with a relatively low annual fee.

When you spend $15,000 within three months after opening an account, you can receive 100,000 bonus points (a $2,000 value). You can also earn triple points on up to $150,000 you spend annually on popular categories, including travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone, and advertising purchases through social media and search engines. 

If you use the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to redeem your rewards, you’ll get 25% more value out of your points. As a bonus perk for business owners, you’ll also receive cellphone protection for you and any employee registered on your monthly bill. 

Plus, you can enjoy peace of mind during work-related travel thanks to auto rental collision damage waivers, insurance for trip cancellations or interruptions, consumer protections, and extended warranties.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

With the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, you pay a $95 annual fee to enjoy a host of benefits. For instance, when you spend $20,000 within one year after opening an account, you can earn 100,000 bonus miles, or $1,400 value. This introductory offer ends December 14, 2020, so you better act quick!

Additionally, you can also receive 5x the miles when you use your card to book your next hotel or car rental through Capital One Travel. That’s on top of 5x the miles when you use Uber Eats (offer ends January 31, 2021), and double the miles on everything else.

Capital One also offers up to $100 statement credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. And of course, what kind of travel rewards card would the Venture Rewards be without collision protection for car rentals or extended warranty protections? If you’re a frequent flier, then the Capital One Venture Rewards Card is one credit card you don’t want to pass up.


  • Steinberg, Ethan. “10 Credit Cards That Can Get You $1,000 or More in First-Year Value.” The Points Guy, The Points Guy, 1 Dec. 2020,