Cashback vs Points vs Miles: Credit Card Rewards Compared

Cashback vs Points

Credit card rewards might be fairly rewarding, for lack of a greater time period. They can be completely complicated! With so many alternative playing cards, every providing totally different reward constructions and redemption choices, it may be a maze to navigate for newcomers. There are usually three forms of rewards applications: cashback, factors, and airline miles/resort factors. This information will examine cashback vs factors vs miles that can assist you decide which is the correct kind of rewards for you.

Cashback vs Points vs Miles Compared

To grasp if cashback or miles are the superior choice, let’s first find out about every of those reward constructions.


Greatest for: Simplicity. Those that want money over journey rewards and don’t desire a difficult rewards construction.
Typical rewards price: 1% to 2% cashback on each buy
Greatest playing cards: The most effective no-annual fee playing cards for on a regular basis spend

Cashback is the only type of credit card rewards, and the most typical. Utilizing a cashback rewards credit card can prevent cash on each buy you make.

  • The best and best to redeem – who doesn’t like money?
  • Typical playing cards earn 1-2% cashback on all purchases
  • Cashback might be redeemed as a press release credit, which lowers the quantity it’s essential pay
  • You too can switch cashback to your checking account
  • In some circumstances, cashback can be redeemed for reward playing cards and comparable rewards


Greatest for: Flexibility. Those that wish to have a number of stable makes use of for his or her rewards factors.
Typical rewards price: 1 to 3 factors per $1 spent.
Greatest playing cards: Greatest AMEX credit playing cards, finest Chase credit playing cards, finest Citi credit playing cards

Points are normally provided by particular banks for his or her credit card clients. Examples embrace American Categorical Membership Rewards, Chase Final Rewards and Citi ThankYou factors. These factors can usually be redeemed for journey, reward playing cards, cashback and extra, providing important flexibility.

  • Provides probably the most redemption choices of any kind of rewards
  • Playing cards normally earn 1 to 3 factors per greenback spent, though it varies on this system
  • Points might be redeemed for journey, reward playing cards, presents, cashback, or transferred to airline companions
  • Redemption choices fluctuate considerably based mostly on this system
  • Redemptions for cashback are normally doable, however usually don’t supply one of the best worth
Cashback vs Points vs Miles

Airline Miles & Lodge Points

Greatest for: Vacationers with particular plans. Those that prefer to fly on particular airways, or keep in particular resort chains
Sometimes rewards price: 1 mile per $1 spent is commonplace. Lodge factors fluctuate extra in worth, so 1 to 10+ factors per $1 spent
Greatest playing cards: Greatest 10 Private Credit Playing cards, finest AMEX credit playing cards, finest Chase credit playing cards, finest Citi credit playing cards

Most airways and resort chains have partnerships with banks to supply their clients co-branded credit playing cards. So, you would possibly get a United Airways credit card that’s issued by Chase. These playing cards earn miles/factors which can be particular to a sure program. This implies they’re not almost as versatile as commonplace factors or cashback playing cards, however they nonetheless supply important worth. They’re additionally nice for people who find themselves loyal to a sure airline or resort chain.

  • Provides redemptions solely with sure airways or resort chains
  • Generally transfers to different journey applications are doable, however normally at poor charges
  • Every program is totally different, though most airline program playing cards earn 1 mile per $1 spent on commonplace purchases.
  • Redemption choices fluctuate considerably relying on this system
  • It may be extra difficult and complicated to redeem miles & resort factors, however worthwhile in lots of circumstances

Money Again vs Miles vs Points: Which is the Greatest Possibility?

The easy reply is that there is no such thing as a “best” choice. It actually is determined by your targets.

Typically talking, versatile factors currencies like Final Rewards and AMEX Membership Rewards are probably the most versatile, which to many makes them extra versatile.

Nonetheless, cashback playing cards supply a no-frills, super-simple method, and those that don’t journey a lot would possibly get higher worth out of straight cashback.

Lastly, we’ve got airline and resort applications. These can be very helpful, nevertheless it is determined by your journey targets and preferences. If you happen to reside close to a Delta hub and fly Delta usually, then likelihood is the Delta card from American Categorical is a superb selection for you. However for those who get a card from a program you don’t use a lot, it won’t be as helpful.

Additionally, airline applications are usually tougher to navigate than most different rewards applications. Whereas in lots of circumstances they will supply probably the most worth in your factors, it may be complicated to redeem your factors – and chances are you’ll wrestle to seek out award tickets in your particular journey dates.

Briefly – take into account your targets, THEN take into account which type of rewards program makes probably the most sense. Additionally take into account how a lot time you wish to put into understanding the rewards program and redemption choices. If you happen to’re on the lookout for simplicity, cashback is the way in which to go.

Sources & Additional Studying

  • Journey Hacking 101: A Inexperienced persons Information to Free Journey through Credit Card Rewards
  • Find out how to Money Out Airline Miles and Rewards Points
  • Credit Card Software Denied? Right here’s What to Do

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