One way to ease the sting of back-to-school shopping is to use a credit card that rewards you for your spending spree. The value of reward bonuses has fallen slightly since last year, but they’re still more than twice as valuable as they were in 2010, according to CardHub.
The site has issued a new report evaluating more than 1,000 credit cards to find those offering the best deals to back-to-school shoppers. Here are a few of their top picks:
* Best initial bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards Card gives users 50,000 bonus points (worth $625 in travel rewards or $500 cash) if they spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening an account. There is no annual fee for the first year.
* Best cash back card: The Citi Double Cash card offers 1 percent cash back on purchases, and 1 percent cash back when you make your bill payments. There is no annual fee.
* Best for small business owners: Small business cards have great rewards for office supply purchases. Among the best: The Chase Ink Cash card gives users a $200 initial bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months. Ongoing rewards include 5 percent cash back at office supply stores, up to $25,000 a year. There is no annual fee.
Remember, if you can’t pay off the balance in full right away, it’s not worth opening the card just to get the rewards. If you’re planning on applying for a loan in the next few months, the rewards probably won’t outweigh the ding to your credit score for opening the account.