WalletHub Names Best Credit Card Rewards Program For 2022
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Are rewards credit cards worth it? It likely depends on which issuer and card option you choose. Now, to assist in that search, the personal finance site WalletHub has released its annual ranking of the best credit card reward programs.
For the seventh year in a row, Capital One was named the best overall credit card rewards program. Furthermore, the bank’s Venture card was declared their best, offering cardholders an average of $2,020 in value over their first two years. Other issuers to place highly in the “overall” category include Fifth Third Bank, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Discover. Meanwhile, Truist and Credit One made up the bottom two issuers ranked by WalletHub.
Looking at other specific cards, Navy Federal’s Flagship Rewards card had the second-highest two-year value (behind the Venture card) with a total of $1,695. That option edged out PNC’s Premium Traveler card, with an estimated average value of $1,675. FNBO’s Evergreen card and the Wells Fargo Active Cash card tied at $1,660 followed closely by the Bank of America Premium Rewards card’s $1,656 in value. Of all the best cards, the average two-year value came in at $1,204.
In addition to the Best Credit Card Rewards report, WalletHub also recently unveiled its latest credit card rewards survey results. Among the findings, it was discovered that 80% of respondents are now more interested in credit card rewards as a result of inflation reaching a 40-year high. Speaking of current events, respondents were 61% more likely to want gas rewards credit cards than those surveyed last year. As a result, gasoline was the second most popular bonus reward category behind groceries. Dining, entertainment, and travel rounded out the top five.
Elsewhere in the survey, 20% of respondents said that they found credit card rewards hard to use. However, more than three-quarters stated that they were worth the hassle. Annual fee cards also proved controversial, with 54% declaring they’d never apply for a card that charged an annual fee, while 38% said they’d consider it if the rewards were worth it.
While travel demand has increased significantly since 2020 and 2021, cashback remains king among credit card rewards. As WalletHub analyst Delaney Simchuk notes, “Cashback is the most popular type of credit card rewards by a wide margin. Roughly 79% of people say they want cashback rewards the most, according to a new WalletHub survey, while airline miles and gas rewards each only got 8% of the vote and hotel points got 5%.” Speaking to why that is, Simchuk went on to explain, “People know exactly how much they’re earning with cashback rewards, and cashback can’t be devalued by credit card companies like points and miles.”
Overall, there are many benefits to rewards credit cards — especially if you choose from one of the best. That said, with economic uncertainty back on the rise, consumers should be careful about their spending and ensure that they can still pay off their credit card balance each month. With this plan of attack, you’ll not only be able to get the most value from your cards but also prevent yourself from accruing expensive debt.
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