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The Best Rewards Credit Cards

Here's some good news from the credit card industry. Reward cards are getting more generous. So if you're the type who likes to pay off your balance in full each month, you may want to consider a cash back or travel card if you don't already have one. Which ones are the most generous?, a website that tracks credit card offers, has the answer.

On Monday, published a list of the Best Rewards Credit Card Deals currently on the market. The website evaluated hundreds of offers and selected six with the most generous initial bonuses -- one is actually giving back up to $800 -- that also carry an annual fee of no more than $100.

Before you get seduced by rewards, keep in mind that these cards are geared for a certain type of consumer. They are best matched with folks who have excellent credit (you'll need a FICO score above 700) and who tend to pay off their balances at the end of each month. Just make the minimum payment and these cards can get pretty expensive since they have relatively high interest rates.

So what's on the list? Read on for's picks:

1. Southwest Airlines Credit Card
What you'll get: 50,000 bonus points (worth over $800 in "Wanna Get Away Fares") after your first purchase and 6,000 bonus points (worth $100 in "Wanna Get Away Fares") on the anniversary of your membership. You'll also receive 1 bonus point for every dollar you spend.

The cost: There's a $99 annual fee.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
What you'll get: This card gives you a choice. You can either get $625 worth of airfare or hotel accommodations or $500 in cash back rewards when you spend $3,000 during the first three months. You'll earn $1 a point after that.

The cost: There's no first-year annual fee but you'll pay $95 starting in the second year.

3. Capital One Venture Rewards
What you'll get: If you spend $1,000 in the first three months you'll score $250 in travel expenses. After that you'll earn 2 points for every dollar you spend. You'll also save money by not paying a foreign transaction fee on your purchases.

The cost: The first year is free. Beginning in the second, you'll pay a $59 annual fee.

4. New Ink Cash Business Card
What you'll get: This Chase card is for small business owners. Spend $5,000 in the first three months and you'll get $250 cash back. You can also earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend on office supplies, cable and telecom services. There's another 2% cash back reward for gas and dining expenditures up to $25,000. After that, expect the standard 1% reward.

The cost: There's no annual fee.

5. Chase Freedom Visa
What you'll get: You don't have to spend much to qualify for this initial bonus. Charge just $500 over three months and you'll earn $200 cash back. Get up to 10% cash back when you shop at select merchants. And every three months there's a surprise 5% cash back reward for a specified and changing category, such as dining and gas.

The cost: The card carries no annual fee.

6. British Airways Credit Card
What you'll get: Want to go to Europe? You can earn 50,000 miles, enough for a free transatlantic flight, when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days. Every year you spend $30,000, you'll earn a "Travel Together Ticket". There are also no foreign transaction fees when you use this card abroad.

The cost: The British Airways card comes with a $95 annual fee.

Do you have a rewards credit card? If not, will you now consider one?

Stacey Bradford is the author of The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents.
Credit Cards image courtesy of Flickr, CC 2.0.
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