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Best for the restaurant lover: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Whether you’re dining at McDonald’s or Le Cirque, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend at any eating establishment. You can use those points on regular things (travel, cash back, etc.) as well as foodie events like the annual Top Chef Masters Tasting Event. We’ll take six more profiteroles, s’il vous plaît. (No fee the first year; $125 a year thereafter)
Best for the large family: American Express Blue Cash Preferred
You buy groceries constantly and gas up about as often as a trucker with a lead foot. (Would it kill your kid to pick a closer tuba lesson?) Get something in return with the AmEx blue, which earns you 6 percent cash back at supermarkets and 3 percent at gas stations. ($75 a year)
Best for the jet-setter: Capital One Venture
You’ll not only earn two miles (redeemable on any airline) for every dollar you charge but also land complimentary upgrades at resorts, hotels and spas. Oh, and those pesky blackout dates and foreign exchange fees? Yeah, those won’t apply to you either. (No fee the first year; $59 a year thereafter)
Best for the nest-egg builder: Fidelity Retirement Rewards American Express
We kind of love this card, which deposits 2 percent cash back (on all purchases) directly into an IRA. Consider it a painless way to save for your golden years. (No fee)
Best for the home renovator: Ace Rewards Visa
If it seems like every time you go to the hardware store, you walk out with a large charge on your credit card, you might want to consider the Ace Rewards Visa, which earns up to five points per dollar spent on purchases at Ace Hardware and up to ten points per dollar in various rotating categories. After racking up 12,500 points, you'll be rewarded with a $25 Ace gift card. There's nothing like free money to make that never-ending bathroom renovation a little more palatable. (No fee)
Best for the family with college-bound kids: Upromise World MasterCard
Cash-back earnings from this credit card can go directly into a 529 college savings plan--or toward expenses like books, meal plans or already-accumulated education-related debt. Alternately, the kid could just get that tuba scholarship and save you the headache altogether. (No fee)
Best for the credit-history rebuilder: Capital One Secured MasterCard
If your credit score is in the toilet, you really should think about getting the Capital One Secured card, which regularly reports your spending and payment behavior to all three major credit bureaus, giving you the chance to boost your score. Unlike other secured cards (i.e., cards that require a security deposit), it has a really low annual fee ($29 a year) and gives you free membership to CreditInform--meaning you can check your credit score free of charge.
Best for the gridiron fan: Barclaycard NFL Extra Points
Calling all Sunday-loving, lucky-underpants-wearing, crazy-as-the-day-is-long football fans. Did you know there’s a credit card designed precisely for you? The NFL Extra Points card earns you two points for every dollar you charge at stadiums, team pro shops and the NFL shop, and one point per dollar for purchases from all other retailers. Redeem your points for sideline passes, team jerseys and even Super Bowl tickets. Just try to keep it together next time Eli fumbles, OK? (No fee)
When you go to the trouble of squeezing into a sports bra, you expect to burn some calories. When you work overtime and miss your best friend’s birthday, you assume that dedication will be reflected in your paycheck. And if you’ve schlepped to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, there had better be some really friggin’ beautiful views.
Just admit it: When you’ve worked hard, you like to see a reward.
That’s why you deserve a credit card that earns you some kickbacks for the things you buy most.
Click here for our slideshow of the best rewards cards for every person--from the constant traveler to the home-improvement maven.
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