Best Credit Card Points To Redeem For Gift Cards 2022

While it’s easy to assume that credit card rewards are only lucrative if you love to travel, that’s not true. In fact, a number of rewards credit cards work best when redeeming points for cash back or gift cards. And some even offer more value when you redeem your points for high value gift cards instead of cash back.

If you love earning free stuff but don’t want to go on a getaway, earning points for gift cards or statement credit might be your best bet. With a gift card in your wallet, you could actually treat yourself instead of paying household bills or groceries. And if you don’t want to go the gift card route, having a credit statement on your card might make it easier for you to do something special for yourself.

But which card to choose? The following rewards credit cards offer some of the best options when it comes to redeeming your points for gift cards and/or statement credits:

Introductory bonusIntroductory offer: Unlimited Cashback Match – only at Discover. Discover will automatically match any Cash Back you have earned at the end of your first year. There are no minimum spend or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 in cash back into $300.

APR11.99% – 22.99% variable

Recommended credit Excellent/Good

Reward rate
  • Earn 5% cash back on your everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay with PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Annual fees$0

Intro Purchase APR0% for 15 months

The Discover it Cash Back card offers the perfect opportunity for people who primarily want to earn money for statement credits and gift cards. With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter, like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares, and online purchases, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate it. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

Even better, Discover promises to match the cashback you earn for your entire first year. If you plan to use your card often, this can be a huge boon – and of course, it can definitely help you earn more gift cards.

Not only can you redeem your cashback for statement credit, the Discover it Cash Back Card also allows you to easily turn your cashback into gift cards.

Introductory bonusEarn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

APR14.99% – 23.74% variable

Recommended credit Excellent, good

Reward rate
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories every quarter you activate. Enjoy new categories at 5% each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and restaurant meals, including eligible takeout and delivery services
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual fees$0

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months

The Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% cashback on your first $1,500 spent on categories that rotate quarterly (then 1%), 3% cashback for restaurant and drugstore purchases, and 1% cashback for everything else.

It even offers a $200 welcome bonus after spending just $500 on the card in the first 3 months. There’s also an introductory offer of 5% cash back on gas for the first $6,000 spent in the cardholder’s first year with the card.

The fact that it comes with no annual fee, plus an introductory APR of 0% for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable), makes it a card that could meet a wide range of consumer needs. And if you’re looking for gift cards or statement credits, this card makes both options easy. Simply redeem your points for either at the rate of one cent per point. Gift cards can be redeemed in $25 increments.

Introductory bonusGet a $300 credit after spending $3,000 on purchases with your new card in the first 6 months.

APR14.24%-24.24% variable

Recommended credit Excellent/Good

Reward rate
  • 6% Cash Back at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% thereafter)
  • 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back on public transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at US Gas Stations
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Annual fees$0 annual introductory fee for the first year, then $95.

Intro Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months

While you can redeem your cashback for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise with this card, American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred® Card simply can’t be ignored in this space.

With this card, you’ll earn an incredible 6% back on your first $6,000 in US grocery store grocery spend each year (and then 1%), which will lead to $360 in rewards if you max out this category. Earn 6% cashback on select US streaming subscriptions, plus 3% cashback at US gas stations and on public transportation, including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, bus and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Although this card charges a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), the welcome bonus alone more than covers that, and if you spend a lot of money in US supermarkets, you’ll recoup that investment many times over.

And, if you buy a gift card for another retailer in a US supermarket, you’ll earn 6% cash back for the purchase. That means cardholders can earn that hefty 6% outside of grocery stores.

Conditions apply to American Express benefits and offers. Registration may be required for certain American Express benefits and offers. To visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

How to Maximize Your Statement Credits and Cash Back

Whether you’re looking for credits or gift cards, the strategy for earning as many points or cash back as possible is the same. The first thing you’ll want to do is make the most of your card’s bonus categories – which will obviously depend on the card you’re signing up for. For example, if you have the Chase Freedom Flex card, you’ll want to fervently search for your rotating 5% cash back categories when they match your usual spend. Having the Blue Cash Preferred® card from American Express, on the other hand, means you’ll want to use this card exclusively whenever you visit US supermarkets.

Here are some additional tips that may help:

Use your card for everyday expenses and bills

Since the number of rewards you earn is directly related to the amount you spend, putting as much on your card each month as you can afford is the smartest way to boost your points balance quickly. In addition to groceries at US supermarkets and US gas stations, see if you can pay other bills like your cell phone or internet, utilities, kids’ activities, and even insurance payments with a credit.

Always pay your bill in full right away

Credit cards are best used as a complement to your budget. In other words, you should only spend the money if you have the money in the bank to back it up and pay your card immediately. That second part – paying your bill right away – is especially crucial when you’re developing good credit habits. It may even be a good idea to pay your bill several times a month if that helps keep you on track.

Don’t use credit as an excuse to overspend

Using a credit card makes it easier to spend, forget how much you’ve already spent, or completely derail your budget. To avoid this trap, get into the habit of tracking your purchases on credit throughout the month. If you keep a running total, you’ll be in good shape to stay out of trouble while you hunt for rewards.

[This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in March 2022.]

Michael N. Clark