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Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

The 5 Highest-Rewarding Credit Cards on the Market

Now that the Great Recession has subsided, cautious consumers are creeping back into the credit game. And obtaining the "right" credit card is a higher priority than ever before. 

It's not only reasonable, it's resourceful. You want a credit card that offers the most incentives and best rewards you can possibly get for your credit rating.

And the better your score, the more rewards you can reap.

The good news? If your credit rating is above 750 (excellent credit), you are eligible for much more than the standard credit card "perks" you may be used to in the past.

Editor's (Encouraging) Note: You don't have to be a millionaire to have good credit -- there's no income-level prerequisite for a 750-plus rating. It's simply a matter of paying your bills on time, being in good standing with your existing debt and not maxing out the lines of credit you do have.

[Not to a 750 credit score yet? Check out 7 Steps to Perfect Credit]

Do you have good to excellent credit? Here are five credit cards with the highest paying rewards on the market.

Fidelity® Rewards American Express® Card

 - Turn 2% of purchases into a deposit in your eligible Fidelity account

 - No limits on cash rewards

 - No annual fee

Want a card that lets you spend and contribute towards your retirement at the same time? The Fidelity Rewards Card from American Express (NYSE: AXP) will give you the ability to put your 2% cash back from every dollar you spend into a Fidelity investment account, IRA, or even a 529 plan for your children's college. 

For instance, if you were to spend $12,000 a year on the card, Fidelity would deposit $240 (2%) into your IRA, 529 plan or other investment account.

If you did this every year and your IRA holds stocks and bonds that will yield a 7% annual return, your money could grow to $10,146 in 20 years or $50,317 in 40 years! And that's without even having to save any extra money!

Similar Card: Total Merrill Cash Back Card offers 1.25% cash back with ability to deposit into a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: The Pros and Cons of IRAs and 401(k)s]

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Citi® mtvU™ Platinum Select® Visa® Card -- Exclusive for college students

 - No annual fee or co-signer required

 - $0 Liability on fraudulent charges

 - Earn up to 4,000 ThankYou® Points every year for maintaining a good GPA

If you're taking some tough college courses but still enjoy spending nights out on the town with your friends, you'd like the mtvU Platinum Select Card from Citi (NYSE: C) and Visa (NYSE: V).

#-ad_banner_2-#Citi will give you five ThankYou Points for every dollar you spend at restaurants, bookstores and movie theaters, and one ThankYou point if you use your card on everything else. 

ThankYou Points can't be redeemed for cash, but they do have purchasing power. Don't worry, we did the math: five ThankYou Points is roughly 3.5 cents, or a 3.5% return for every dollar spent on the card.

So if you spend $12,000 on the card towards the categories mentioned above, you can use the points to buy $420 worth of CDs, books, movies and gift cards at Citi's ThankYou Reward store.

The card is also great for building credit as it doesn't require a co-signer. Top it off with a 4,000 ThankYou Point ($28) bonus for maintaining a good GPA over the year and you've got a seriously rewarding card.

Similar Card: Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card can get you five ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on gas stations, supermarkets and drugstores for 12 months.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: 7 Simple Ways to Pay Off Any SIze Student Loan]

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card 
 
  - No annual fee
 
  - $0 liability guarantee
 
  - 3% cash back on gas, 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else
 
For the average person just trying to pay for the necessities of life, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card is just the ticket. Not only does it pay 3% cash back on gas purchases, it also pays 2% on groceries and 1% back on everything else with no annual fee.
 
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) sweetens the deal by paying a 10% bonus on top of your reward amount if you choose to redeem your rewards into a Bank of America checking or savings account. So, if you redeem $50 worth of rewards to go into your checking account, they'll kick in $5 extra -- a 10% bonus.
 
Similar Card: The TrueEarnings Card from Costco (Nasdaq: COST) and American Express pays 3% cash back on gas, 2% on restaurants, and 1% on everything else.
 
 
Chase Freedom® Visa
 

 - No annual fee

 - 5% cash back on selected categories

 - 1% cash back on every purchase

Another great card for anyone, the Chase (AMEX: CCF) Freedom Visa offers the standard 1% cash back on every purchase, but has the one of the highest cash back potential of any credit card you can apply for.

The card offers 5% cash back on select categories, which change every three months. The categories rotate from everyday places like grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, gas and even pharmacies.

There's no annual fee, but you do have to remember to sign up -- an easy process with just your zip code and name -- each quarter to nab the coveted 5% cash back benefits.

Similar Card: BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card

Capital One® Venture Rewards Credit Card

 - Two air miles for every dollar spent

 - 25,000 free miles if you spend $1,000 in first three months

 - No foreign transaction ai $59 annual fee waived the first year

If you're a traveler and like to rack up airline miles, the Venture Rewards Card from Capital One should help you go on a lot more vacations. Card users will get two air miles for every dollar they spend on any item. Spend $5,000 on your card to get 10,000 miles.

The miles can be redeemed toward the purchase of airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, taxis and even gift cards. Best of all-- the miles don't expire.

Capital One's math for miles isn't hard to understand: 10,000 miles will buy $100 worth of the categories mentioned above, and you can redeem them before, during or up to 90 days after your trip.

Spend your first $1,000 on the card in three months, and Capital One will throw in 25,000 bonus miles to help get you started.

Add in the "no foreign transaction fee" perk, and you have the perfect card for travel. Have a good vacation!

Similar Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

[InvestingAnswers Feature: The 5 Best Places in the World to Retire]

The InvestingAnswer: Some of these cards can offer tax-free "returns" (in the form of rewards) that are twice that of most CDs and savings accounts, but there is a catch. 

If you want to really take advantage of these cards, be sure to keep your credit score high and pay your balances off every month. Carrying a balance with credit card interest rates over 10% will easily eat any cash back rewards you accumulate.

So pick a card that fits your lifestyle and get ready to earn some serious rewards! 

[InvestingAnswers Feature: How to Choose the Best Credit Card Offers]

Photo courtesy of Flickr.