Cash Back Vs. Flexible Rewards Points

How To Decide What’s Right For You

Points and cashback and miles, oh my!

With so many credit card rewards programs to choose from it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.

Let’s start with cashback.

Cashback is a very popular credit card rewards program and is offered by most major credit card companies. With most programs, cashback is given at a rate of 1-2% on all purchases, and then a higher rate is given on select purchases or at select locations like grocery stores, restaurants, and fuel stations.

Here are a few cards that offer high cashback percentages:

  • Citi Custom Cash Card offers 1% cashback on all purchases, and then users can earn 5% cashback on their top eligible spend category.
  • Chase Freedom Flex Card offers 1% cashback on all purchases, 3% on drugstore purchases and dining, and 5% on travel and in eligible “bonus categories.”

If you are interested in a rewards program that puts money directly back into your pocket, cashback is probably the option for you. However, there are also flexible programs that can give you the best of both worlds.

Let’s get to the points.

Rewards points are a common alternative to cashback, and they can offer a little more flexibility. Points are earned on purchases just like cashback, but points are sometimes earned at a higher rate. Points can be earned at rates as high as 5x per dollar spent on things like travel, dining, and even streaming services.

The flexibility with points comes in the ways that they can be redeemed. Most programs allow points to be redeemed for some or all of the following:

Travel purchases such as airline tickets, car rentals, and luggage expenses

Gift cards from participating retailers

Online shopping from participating retailers

Charitable donations to select charities and organizations

Statement credits toward your credit card balance

Some users may prefer this variety over cashback. However, it should be noted that not all point systems are created equal. Some cards may offer a higher rate for earning points (4x or 5x per dollar spent), but those points may not carry as much value when it comes time to redeem. Make sure you are looking at the redemption value as well as the rates for earning points. Also keep in mind that with some cards, points may have an expiration date. Just make sure you’re reading the terms and conditions carefully when considering any rewards program.

If you think points are the way to go, here are a few cards that offer flexible points rewards:

  • American Express Gold Card offers 1x points on all purchases, 3x points for flights, 4x points at U.S. supermarkets, and 4x points at restaurants.
  • Ink Business Preferred Card from Chase offers 1x points on all purchases and “3x points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year”


  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers 1x points on all purchases, 3x points on travel and dining, 5x points on airline tickets purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and 10x points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Get the most out of your rewards with Kiwii.

Whether you prefer cashback or points, there is a credit card rewards program out there for you. Whatever rewards program you choose, make sure you’re getting the most out of it with Kiwii.

Kiwii is a free Chrome extension that is easy and secure to use. It doesn’t require any personal information or credit card information. The only thing you have to input is the type of credit cards that you use, and that’s it. Then, as you shop online, Kiwii will let you know which credit card to use to earn maximum rewards. You never have to worry about missing out on cashback, points, or miles ever again. Make the most out of your credit card rewards program with Kiwii.

This article was written by Chloe Allen in association with Nouvel Age Media.