An award is a special prize such as the Oscar. It is usually connected to a contest or social event. A reward can be anything you get for making an effort, or as an incentive, say like cash back in credit cards, or miles, even a small cookie for "being good."

Comparison chart

Awards versus Rewards comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAwardsRewards
Meaning An award is an honor (such as a medal or trophy) that is conferred for merit, usually after a decision made by a committee of judges A reward is something (usually money) given in return for a person's service, merit, hardship, etc.

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"Awards vs Rewards." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 3 Dec 2016. < >