Difference Between Award vs. Reward

Main Difference

The main difference between Award and Reward is that an Award is a special honor. It generally connected to a conflict or social event. A Reward can be something you get for making an exertion, or as an incentive.

Award vs. Reward

Awards are tokens of appreciation, which given to individuals for their achievements. It called a symbol of recognition to an individual for their achievements. Rewards, on the other hand, are also recognized, but it is a kind of acknowledgment to individual contributions. Rewards can also be said to be a support an individual. By getting an award, people endorse that you have done something great whereas you rewarded for finding and returning some one’s valuable things. While the award is always associated with some positive things, and the reward is associated with good and bad things. Awards publicly presented. Rewards, on the other hand, are only intimate or personal affairs. While awards get announced, rewards are not. When awards are official or public affairs, rewards are just the opposite. Awards are ‘awarded,’ and rewards are ‘given.’ An award is an appreciation that one gets after a decision in that regard taken by definite persons or judges or a committee of judges. But rewards are not taken as such, and most of the time it is an individual who takes the decision. An award is a token given for merit, but a reward is something that given for a person’s merit, service or hardship. Awards can come in the form of commemorative plaques, medals, trophies, certificates, titles, badges, pins and cash. Rewards most of time are associated with money or a promotion or like that.

Comparison Chart

An award is an honor or respect (such as a medal or trophy) that bestowed for merit, generally after a decision made by a committee of judges.A reward is anything (generally money) given in return for a person’s service, merit, hardship, etc.
Medals, Cups, Scholarship, Ribbons, Certificate, Prize, Cash, etc.Financial or non-financial etc.
Decided by
Expert PanelIndividual
Accorded for
An excellent work, Achievement, Contribution in a specific field, Winning a contest or game.Difficulty, Honesty, and Loyalty. Helping someone in need, Merit, etc.

What is the Award?

The award is an appreciation which conferred to individuals or an organization for attainment something great. They are generally in the shape of gifts, prizes, trophies, accolade, cash, certificates, etc. Awards are a label of someone’s excellence or immense contribution in a specific field. They are also taking into account when someone breaks a record. The importance of an award based upon the reputation or status of the award giver, i.e., awarded. Normally, an award function organized for giving an award. Selections are made for each award to disclose the name of equally desirable and competent personalities. The individuals or organizations who meet the specified criteria are thus nominated, and finally, the best man between all awarded. The determination to choose the best man is a difficult task, so the judgment to pick the correct person is done by either a panel of experts or by voting where people selects the winner or by award organizers. Following are the names of some popular awards:

  • People’s Choice Award (Entertainment)
  • E-Commerce Award (Business)
  • Miss Universe Award (Beauty)
  • Oscar Award (Film)

What is the Reward?

The reward is the gain (financial or otherwise) given to an individual for his hard work to achieve anything. It is equitable return for the services rendered, by an individual. A reward is gratefulness, given for good work, faithfulness, helping some when he is in need. It is a kind of stimulation or incentive to acknowledge a person’s effort in completing something. The rewards not publicized, they are taking into account in private but can be given in front of the public too. In big organizations, employees are paid off or rewarded when they gather out the target in the given time or for their high performance, so they are given accretion in their salaries, or they promoted to a higher position. This is accomplished to encourage their hard work in the future.

  • Tangible Rewards: Tangible rewards are money, vacations, and material objects.
  • Intangible Rewards: Intangible rewards can be things such as prizes, plaques, and awards given at annual celebrations for exceptional performance.

Key Differences

  1. “Award” that refers to a prize or certificate given to someone for his achievements or milestone or compensation as a result of an official or legal proceeding whereas “reward” that means a “prize or a token given to someone for his effort or service or the result of someone’s good or bad deeds.
  2. An award accorded for good work or enormous contribution in particular areas, attainment, etc. On the other hand, a reward is granted for actions done, services rendered, selfless act, helping someone, meeting targets in time, etc.
  3. An award announced while a reward normally given in private.
  4. Nominations are done for every award. As opposed to rewarding, where no such nominations are done.
  5. An award is in the shape of money, medals, scholarship, trophy, etc. Conversely, a reward can be in the shape of financial or non-financial benefit.
  6. The board of experts determines an award, but a reward is determined by the person who acquired some benefit from the act done by another person.


Retention aside the earlier differences, there are some things in usual, in the two terms like they both are a mark of something positive is done, which is of considerable importance and recognition in the eyes of people. Furthermore, it is also a sign of dignity as well as respect.