Kiplinger

The Best Rewards Credit Cards for You, 2020

In these uncertain times, picking a rewards credit card may not be the financial task at the top of your to-do list. But especially now that most households have new spending priorities, you may be able to get more value out of the plastic in your wallet. Depending on how much you spend, you may accumulate cash-back rewards totaling hundreds of dollars each year to put toward everyday expenses, your rainy-day fund or any other place you'd like to direct some extra bucks.

When choosing a card, you'll want to consider what you've typically spent the most on in the past, as well as what purchases you expect to make in the coming three to six months or more, says Brooklyn Lowery, senior manager for CardRatings.com. If groceries and gas are a big part of your budget, for example, look for a card that heaps on more rewards in those categories. Many cards offer an initial bonus of extra points or cash back if you spend a certain amount (typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars) in the first few months of card membership, so you may want to open a card when you're ready to make a big purchase. Also think about how much effort you're willing to put into monitoring spending categories or hunting for the best point redemptions; if simplicity is more your style, you may want a card that provides a flat cash-back rate on all purchases.

We've selected outstanding rewards cards in each of 16 categories -- bestowing them with gold, silver or bronze medals. To help determine our winners, we calculated a typical annual rebate for each card, assuming $23,000 charged to the card per year (unless otherwise noted) and using spending patterns listed in the . We subtracted any annual fee from the cash value of the rebate if the fee is not waived the first year. We also weighed factors such as ease of earning and redeeming rewards, how widely useful or available a card is (for example, whether the cardholder has to be a member of a club or financial institution to use the card), and any other features that are important to a specific category. For example, in the "Flexible Travel Redemptions" category, the value and

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