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Rewards

Credit cards that do the hard work for you

Check out these low-maintenance cards that rack up rewards

Summary

With low-maintenance, high-reward credit cards, you’ll be able to earn the highest possible rewards on every purchase – without any extra work on your part.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Are you looking for a low-maintenance, high rewards credit card? Some credit cards offer complicated rewards structures, making it difficult to determine whether you are earning and redeeming the most rewards for every purchase.

Which credit cards are best for people who want to earn credit card rewards without the hassle of learning how to maximize them? We’ve got five top credit cards that do the hard work for you – making it easy to earn credit card rewards and just as easy to redeem them. These “set it and forget it” credit cards are excellent options for low-maintenance cardholders who want to earn top-level rewards with very little effort.

Credit card rewards for low-maintenance cardholders

Want a credit card that gives you the opportunity to earn top credit card rewards without a lot of extra work? Some of the best cash back credit cards require cardholders to complete extra steps, such as choosing bonus categories or activating quarterly rewards, before they can take advantage of high cash back percentages. Other top rewards credit cards make it easy to earn rewards, but the redemption process is so complicated that you never know whether you are redeeming your points and miles for their highest value.

Fortunately, plenty of top credit cards are designed to suit low-maintenance cardholders. If you’re not the kind of person who wants to research how to maximize your credit card rewards, these “set it and forget it” cards might be perfect for you. With low-maintenance, high-reward credit cards, you’ll be able to earn great rewards on every purchase without any extra effort.

What’s the best no-hassle credit card out there? Here are five of our top picks for easy credit card rewards. All of these credit cards are no-annual-fee cards, by the way – because if you’re looking for low-maintenance credit card options, you’re not going to want to have to deal with deciding whether an annual fee is worth it.

Card nameRewards rateSign-up bonusBest for
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle (for up to the first $500 spent, then 1%)

 

1% cash back on all other purchases

$200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first three monthsPeople who want to earn automatic bonus rewards
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card1.5% cash back on every purchase$200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three monthsPeople who want a flat-rate cash back card
Citi® Double Cash Card1% cash back on general purchases (excludes gift cards) and 1% additional cash back as you pay off those purchasesNonePeople who want an incentive to pay off their balances on time
Chase Freedom Unlimited5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)

 

3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases

 

1.5% cash back on all other purchases

$200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three monthsPeople who spend a lot of money on travel, dining and drugstores
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card3% cash back on dining, entertainment, grocery stores and popular streaming services

 

8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023

 

1% cash back on other purchases

$200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three monthsPeople who spend a lot of money on groceries, restaurants, entertainment and streaming services

Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for automated bonus rewards

Want to earn high-level bonus rewards without having to do any work? Try the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. With the Citi Custom Cash, you’ll automatically earn 5% cash back on your top eligible spending category, every billing cycle, for up to $500 in purchases per cycle, then 1%. All other purchases earn 1% cash back as well.

The eligible 5% cash back categories are restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. The great part of how this card is set up is that since it automatically rewards your top spending category, you have the flexibility to buy a lot of groceries during one billing cycle and then visit a lot of restaurants during the next billing cycle – and you will automatically earn 5% cash back on each top spending category during its respective billing cycle. The card self-adjusts your bonus category to optimize your cash back.

Compare the Citi Custom Cash Rewards card to the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, which offers 3% cash back on a spending category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvements and furnishings), 2% cash back on groceries and gas purchases, with a $2,500 combined spend limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

While the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards gives you the opportunity to change your bonus rewards category every month and take advantage of the natural variations in your spending habits, you have to keep track of which category currently earns 3% cash back and whether you want to change it – which can be a lot of work. The Citi Custom Cash Card does that work for you, automatically rewarding whichever bonus category gets your highest spend rate each billing cycle.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat-rate cash back

Want a flat-rate cash back credit card? You can’t do much better than the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. With no bonus categories, no spending limits and no additional cash back requirements to keep track of, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is a true “set it and forget it” card – and it’s one of the best options for people who want to earn steady cash back without having to think about it.

Compare the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which offers unlimited 2X miles on all purchases but limits the potential value of those miles depending on how you redeem them. Keeping track of how to maximize your Capital One Venture Rewards miles is extra work, especially for a credit card that charges a $95 annual fee. If you want a no-annual-fee card that offers unlimited flat-rate rewards, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is the better option.

Citi Double Cash Card: Best for paying off credit card balances

Want to double your cash back rewards every time you pay off your credit card balance? Check out the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back on purchases and another 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases. Not only can you earn cash back every time you use your Citi Double Cash Card, but you can also double your cash back every time you make an on-time payment toward your Citi Double Cash Card balance.

If you want to get the most out of your Citi Double Cash rewards, try to pay off your credit card balance in full whenever possible. You won’t earn double cash on late payments, so make sure you make at least the minimum payment on time every month. This way, you can earn extra cash back and keep your Citi Double Cash account in good standing. Remember, the more purchases you pay off, the more cash back rewards you can earn.

The Citi Double Cash Card is another excellent flat-rate cash back card – and although you have to do a little bit of work to snag the full 2% potential cash back, you should be paying your bills on time anyway.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for travel purchases

Want a no-hassle credit card that rewards travel purchases? You’ll want to take a look at the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which offers 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Any credit card that offers 1.5% cash back as its baseline and gives you the opportunity to earn 3% and 5% cash back on popular spending categories is worth considering, especially if you make a lot of travel purchases and are willing to use Chase as your primary booking site. Yes, booking your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards instead of through an airline or a travel discount site could be considered extra work – but booking your flights and hotels through Chase Ultimate Rewards will save you the trouble of checking several different travel sites for the best deals, so it still makes our list of easy-to-use rewards cards.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for food and entertainment purchases

Want to earn cash back rewards on dining and entertainment purchases? Time to consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers 3% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on entertainment, 3% cash back at grocery stores, 3% cash back on popular streaming services, 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats (through January 2023) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Compare the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, another no-annual-fee card that offers 3% cash back on groceries, as well as 2% cash back on gas stations and select department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. However, the Blue Cash Everyday Card limits your 3% cash back rewards to $6,000 per year in purchases. If you want unlimited grocery rewards – not to mention unlimited dining, entertainment and streaming rewards – the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card is the better choice.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for easy credit card rewards, you have many good options. From flat-rate cash back credit cards to credit cards that automate your bonus rewards based on your top spending categories, plenty of credit cards are willing to do the work so you don’t have to.

The best no-hassle credit cards charge no annual fee, don’t require you to select or activate bonus rewards categories, and make it easy to earn and redeem your points or cash back. Whether you choose an automated bonus rewards card like the Citi Custom Cash Card or a flat-rate cash back card like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll be able to take advantage of everything these rewards cards have to offer without putting in much or any effort.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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