Discover Top Reward Programs for Shopping and Travel in 2021

A comprehensive guide to the best rewards programs currently available for shopping and travel. This guide focuses on providing valuable information on how these programs can add value to your shopping and travel experiences, and how to make the most of these programs. From travel points to cash-back, we've covered all bases.

Understanding Reward Programs

When consumers use services or purchase goods, businesses often reward them with points, discounts, or cash-back. The aim is to foster customer loyalty, ensuring repeat purchases. There are numerous rewards programs available, from those run by grocery stores, airlines, credit card companies, hotels, to online shopping platforms. Taking advantage of these programs can allow you to save money and get VIP treatment.

Best Reward Programs for Shopping

Various retailers offer rewarding loyalty programs. Some of the best include Amazon Prime, offering a range of benefits from free two-day shipping to discounts at Whole Foods, access to Prime Video, and more. For frequent shoppers, Rakuten provides a simple and effective cash-back program with numerous associated retailers. Walmart+ offers similar benefits to Amazon Prime, with added grocery perks. Target's RedCard provides a straight-up 5% discount on all purchases, both online and in-store.

Best Reward Programs for Travel

Travelers can find great value in airline, hotel, and credit card reward programs. Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus and Southwest Rapid Rewards offer robust frequent flyer programs, each with their unique perks. In terms of hotel rewards programs, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and World of Hyatt lead the pack with generous point systems, free nights, and status benefits. For flexible travel benefits, credit card programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Capital One Venture Rewards are worth considering.

Maximizing Benefits from Reward Programs

To get the most from these reward programs, be strategic and loyal. Stick to one airline or hotel chain where possible to accumulate points. Use branded credit cards for high-reward categories. Regularly check your account for deals and use your points before they expire. Finally, ensure that the benefits align with your purchasing habits and travel routines.

Multiplying Benefits with Credit Card Rewards Programs

Credit card reward programs can be powerful tools, especially when they collaborate with shopping and travel partners. Some cards offer bonus points for specific categories, travel insurance, free or discounted access to airport lounges and other perks. It's essential to research and select a credit card that aligns with your spending patterns and reward program affiliations.


Reward programs can significantly enhance your shopping and travel experiences by saving money and offering exclusive benefits. To maximize these, it's important to understand the full range of available options, select the programs that best suit your needs and usage patterns, and use them strategically.