I researched Cash-Back credit cards so you don't have to [Effort Post]
By - jakfrist
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Thanks in advance!
A lot of smaller banks and credit unions don't wind up on lists from Nerd Wallet, Magnify Money, Bank Rate, etc. that I used to create this list. If you have a card that you think should be on my list, please let me know. I would love to add it!
It's important to mention that the Amazon Prime Card is actually tiered. Its 5% back on only amazon/Whole Foods purchases, 2% on gas and 1% all other purchases.
That is listed in the table. Are you saying the summary section is confusing?
It's also good to note it's only "free" - *you must have Amazon Prime membership to have the cc, which kinda-sorta means it's $119 a year.
You might need prime to get it but you don't need it to keep it, I know because I have it and cancelled my prime months ago.
You can have the card without prime. Without prime Amazon purchases give 3% back. With prime they give 5.
Yep, so you need to spend $6000 a year at Amazon to break even with that extra 2% with Prime. (not accounting for other Prime bonuses)
Right, so it wouldn't make sense for you.
I, on the other hand - already leveraging a Prime account for purchases, might benefit from their card
>(not accounting for other Prime bonuses
Prime is actually a very decent streaming service, IMHO every bit as good as Netflix, so it kind of pays for itself.
I disagree. At least on my tv everything is a mess, they have paid for products mixed with free things and it’s hard to discern which is which. Their UI is kind of bad and their original programming is a bit below imo.
I assume you are using a SmartTV ? They have notoriously crappy apps.
We use Prime on Roku and Xbox, it’s usable on both.
As to their original programming - I guess it’s a matter of personal taste. I really liked The Man in High Castle and Sneaky Pete.
The wording in the section labeled "Dedicated" makes it sound like you are saying they give 5% for everything.
Sorry for the confusion. It is meant to say that it can be a good card if you specifically dedicate it for use at certain retailers.
Hopefully my edit clears things up.
I don't know what it was before but it's perfectly clear to me now
Also, if anyone wants to use it for Whole Foods, the cash app card currently gives a 10% discount at WF.
I thought it was an additional 10% discount on items that are on sale.
Your Amazon prime gives you an extra discount on sales, the cash app card is separate and just takes 90% of your receipt amount from you cash app funds.
What is the cash app card?
Also if you carry a balance forward their interest rate is on the high side. I LIVE on Amazon but pay my card off before next billing cycle so it really doesn't affect me.
I messaged Chase to request a lower interest rate to reflect my good credit standing. They said nope. My rate is 21.something% and my credit score is 826.
Jesus Christ. I always wondered what kind of score would get you into those fabled mid-teens APRS. Not even an 826...ridiculous
I got my 9-12% rate cards by... \*big reveal\* opening them 15 years ago. I never use them because I don't carry a balance anymore but I'll never cancel them.
I have an old card that I dont use anymore that has a 5.99% apr. Score in high 800s. No new cards have even come close to that.
2% from restaurants and bars too
I love lists like this and will continue to upvote every time I see one. Thanks for the effort.
Maybe look at Uber's credit card? It's good for eating out and travel. It's fairly similar to the Costco card but lacks the gas rewards but beats the dining out rewards.
Might be worth noting, Uber credit card gives 4% cashback at *bars* in addition to restaurants. ~~Most~~ **Some** dining cashback cards exclude bars. The Uber card has become my go-to going out card, though ironically I never use it for Uber rides.
Huh. My Barclaycard Arrival and Chase Freedom has never excluded bars. But, it's not a cashback card, per se.
Perhaps saying "most" is inaccurate (since I haven't used all cards), but the Costco Anywhere Visa does not give 3% cashback to establishments coded as bars, only restaurants. I assumed it was common since the dining reward descriptions never seem to mention bars.
*Edit: Per /u/5and3quartersinches, the Costco card [now indicates the 3% cashback on dining includes bars](https://www.costco.com/credit-card.html#legal).
That explains a lot.
(have been using card at bars under a bad assumption)
You good dawg. According to Costco's website the card gives 3% back on bars as well https://www.costco.com/credit-card.html#legal
This isn't true. According to Costco's website the card gives 3% back on bars as well https://www.costco.com/credit-card.html#legal
I have the Chase Freedom and they are incredibly “generous” with the definition of a “restaurant”. From my experience almost anything that serves food (taco stand, fast food place, ice cream shop) as well as almost any bar like you’re saying. Glad to hear the Uber card is the same way, definitely in consideration for my next application.
PenFed Power cash rewards. 2% back but you need a checking account.
are there restrictions on who can join PenFed?
The $20/30 to open is also great for car loans, I've found that they have great interest rates, easy approval process, and good customer service.
If your not in the military or have family in you may be able to join by making a donation to an organization. Like 20 bucks - that’s how I got in. You’ll have to check the myFICO forums for more up to date information.
There’s a Savor - Capital One - card that doesn’t include an annual fee. You get 4% back on dining & entertainment, 2% back on groceries, 1% on everything else.
for no annual fee I think you mean the SavorOne - only 3% on dining + entertainment
Edit; also “only” a $150 bonus (for $500 in spend)
Unfortunately they added this about last December. It used to be Savor was no annual fee from when they launched it in August until December. If you applied for the card during this period you were grandfathered in with no AF.
Do you have a link? The only one I see is $0 for a year then $95
FYI, you're missing a big 'loophole' of sorts with credit cards with annual fees. A lot of cards with $95 annual fees will waive the annual fee the first year, and you are able to product change the card to one of the cards listed in your table above for no fee. So you can get the large ~$500 sign up bonus, and downgrade/product change after 1 year.
SavorOne I believe
Thanks, I will add it
Huntington Voice is a choose a 3% category card but the most important thing is that Grocery stores is a option. So it's a 3% back (on up to $2000 in purchases per quarter) grocery card with no annual fee and usually has a sign up bonus.
Can confirm- The Citi Double Cash card is awesome. Been using it for years.
doublecash, PLUS they are the one of the few that still do price match / purchase protection through their program called citi price rewind
it's the killer feature that keeps us using it, saved hundreds last year using it
I have this card and looked briefly at the program but wasn’t really sure how it works. Can you elaborate on how you use it?
Wow. That’s way easier than it was seeming. I got a few notifications about thing that might qualify but couldn’t figure it out from there. Now I’ll start paying more attention. Thanks!
it's great and i have yet to be denied a price rewind. i don't try to abuse it and they OK everything - just bookmark it and give it a try, takes two minutes - but you need your receipt (or online receipt) so i keep those or try to snap a pic of receipts for my purchases
DO you know if they are really strict on matching SKU (aka product/model numbers?)
I know manufacturers will essentially make the same item but place two different product numbers on them, and have two different prices for two different stores (online or B+M) so that it limits price matching in store, even if you can find the same thing online for cheaper.
Say you find an online site that sells the same item, do they check to make sure its the exact item down to the SKU number?
And of course I assume you cannot do things like ebay (new listing only) or amazon sellers since those can be manipulated/gamed?
in my experience they're not SUPER strict about this but your mileage may vary. i think it's up to their checker people and i haven't been denied one request yet so you'd probably be fine
This is the most common use case. Although I also use the citi price rewind to give my money to small businesses. For example, buy a Lego set at my local mom-and-pop toy store, then submit a price-rewind for the Walmart price, citi pays the difference. Using this method I can support local business without paying a premium.
Hey man, I just want to thank you for the work youre putting in to make society a better place. In case no one else ever does.
A long time ago when I was in high school I worked in a small, family owned toy store and I watched as the big box stores stomped out our small-business friends. Eventually, Toys-R-Us went under and no one was sure what was going to happen to the small toy stores. I'm happy to report that the toy store I worked at 15 years ago is still around, and still feeling the pressure from Walmart, Target, and Amazon unfortunately.
This feels like the closest we've ever been to actual, functioning trickle-down economics.
I so badly want to do this.
Curious: have you verified with the mom-n-pop that they don't get shorted by this?
It sounds too good to be true...
Citi contracts with an insurance company to underwrite the price protection feature. Can’t tell you the details of that contract, but Citi is ultimately absorbing the costs in premiums or otherwise.
If you are wondering how Citi can afford it, most consumers don’t have the patience to mess with it. Actually, probably most cardholders forget they have it, even if they read about it when first applying and thought it sounded cool.
So a tiny percentage of consumers get a few bucks back now and then, and they get to advertise about it.
Now, normally that might actually end up being a money loser in the era of third party apps that people set up to automate the process, and a more savvy subset of consumers that will use it heavily. That’s why most card issuers abolished their price protection programs last year, and why citi rolled back how generous its policy is (they cut the max limits on reimbursement to around 50% of what they were).
But my guess is citi keeps it around now that they are one of the few remaining card issuers who offer it, because that gives it even greater marketing value in attracting customers. They very well might lower the limits again though. And they might hamper third party automation when they think they can get away with it, and continue to pull from way less retailers than they could in their internal automated search. Basically they might try to reduce the value to the heavy users.
So that’s how it works. The mom and pop store doesn’t lose anything except for having paid higher interchange fees on the purchase initially. Cards with higher rewards charge the merchant a higher interchange fee, so a basic no rewards visa charges a smaller percentage of the purchase than say a high rewards visa signature. Citibank couldn’t charge the merchant for the price difference even if it wanted to, it has no contractual right to that.
EDIT: Sidepoint, but if you think about the interchange fee difference mentioned above, it’s pretty horrible actually, because merchants raise prices to cover the higher interchange fees on the high rewards cards, but are forbidden by contract with the cc companies from charging different prices to the consumer with the basic credit card with the low interchange fee, meaning all the fancy awards we are chasing in this post are ultimately paid for by the people carrying low rewards cards or those paying with cash. You can probably guess at the net effect of this, here some numbers from a 2010 study:
> After accounting for rewards paid by banks, households who earn more than $150,000 annually receive a subsidy of $756 on average every year, while the households earning $20,000 or less pay $23.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSTRE66P50S20100726 (I do have one question on the study’s methodology though, as I can’t confirm if they adequately accounted for the benefits to a store of having to transport and process less cash, as well as the volume benefits of consumers purchasing more with cards than if they had cash, so they might be overestimating the relative burden of cash payers compared to low rewards/low interchange fee cards)
This makes me really want the card now.
Wow, this is something I've never looked into and I use this card as my primary. Thanks for sharing!
Here’s a niche question: say I buy a shirt online for $50 in size S and then a month later that same shirt is on sale for $10 but in an XXL (they’re trying to get rid of their inventory). Does the price rewind apply even if it’s in a different size?
No, it has to be the same product. You may get away with it (I've gotten away with a lot on price rewind) but it's not strictly OK.
yup. i mean they have a person review each item so in that case it might be up to them but we've had cases like these approved
I occasionally use the Citi price rewind to give my money to small businesses. For example, buy a Lego set at my local mom-and-pop toy store, then submit a price-rewind for the Walmart price, Citi pays the difference. Using this method I can support local business without paying a premium.
Another example is buying a product from a website that doesn't charge sales tax, then submit the price rewind to whatever website has the product for cheaper (like Amazon). Using this method you wouldn't pay Sales tax, and would get the cheaper price. (note: some users are claiming this is tax evasion, check your local laws)
edit: Added bit about tax evasion, cleaned up formatting.
I love your method of using price rewind to support local businesses and pretty much solidified me signing up for the card.
Who foots the bill here? is it Citi or the small business?
Can you give more details on the price match / purchase protection?
here's the link to a detailed explanation i dropped above
When you buy something with the card you can then go to their price protection website and put in the purchase info (e.g., purchase date, price, store, upload receipt). Citi will automatically check at known retailers for 60 days for a lower price. If they find it, you will automatically get a credit. If you happen to see it lower then you can also let Citi know. They will review it and if legitimate they will credit you the difference.
For example, lets say you buy a TV for $500 with the Citi card from Best Buy. You can then go to the Citi website and let them know the purchase information. Let's say a month later the same TV is selling for $400 somewhere (if Citi didn't already catch it) you can send screenshots/ad scans to Citi and after review, they will credit you $100.
Do you know if there's any Foreign Transaction Fees? I've been looking around on their site and I can't seem to find it.
EDIT: Nvm, I found it. It's 3%.
Is 3% good, bad, average?
Bad. Costco citi doesn't charge, neither does the Chase Sapphire.
For every dollar you spend, you're getting charged an extra 3 cents. To some, that may not seem like much. But the entire point of this post is to maximize cash back, so why waste it on fees like that.
As someone who frequently travels abroad, I only use a card with no FTF.
Thanks. True. A column on international fees would make this post killer.
I am looking for 1 all-around card with low international fees.
My CapitalOne QuickSilver is my go-to international card. IT has no foreign transaction fees, and the mobile app lets you know immediately how much your purchases are in USD if you turn on the notifications (so no more worrying about currency conversion in your head). Plus with 1.5% back, it's only off by 0.5% rewards from my primary Double Cash card.
If you spend a decent amount on travel and dining, I really like the Sapphire Reserve. Not direct cash back, but the points are pretty valuable and the effective earning rates are really good.
Same, put everything on it...pay in full each month and make $$$$$$
thanks citi! I always check these lists waiting for the day "something better" comes out.... and its always double cash at the top
This is exactly me. I’ve been trying to find something better since switching from quicksilver but nothing ever comes close.
Yeah, I ditched my Amex BCP (downgrade to free BCE, but it sits in a drawer) and go with the Double Cash for basically everything. I also carry the Chase Freedom with rotating 5% categories, but it's a backup card mostly. I often forget to use it at a 5% place because I use the DC for everything.
Why not use the BCE for groceries?
I want to get Double Cash card, but I keep waiting for a bonus offer...
Ironically, if you are using a lower % back card now, all the money you could have made with the higher rewards in the meantime would negate the bonus offer you are waiting for....
You are correct. Probably going to get the Freedom Unlimited today.
Heads up, I read somewhere that they were doing a promo for the Freedom Unlimited where you get 3% for the first year instead of 1.5%. I believe it's only available in-branch, so that might be worth checking out.
I went with the Quicksilver (1.5% back on everything) instead since it had a $150 sign up bonus. I figured I'd have to spend $30k with the Double Cash before meeting the sign up bonus for the Quicksilver card, and I have enough other dedicated cards that it would take me a while to reach that spend level. No foreign transaction fee sealed the deal for me.
I would recommend the Chase Freedom Unlimited over the Quicksilver unless no FTFs are important to you. It also offers $150 as a sign up bonus and 1.5% back on everything, but offers the potential of going up to 2.25% value or more if you get a Chase Sapphire card in the future
Interesting. I earn 3-5% back on most of my spending across my other cards as is, but I’ll definitely keep that one in mind.
I've had this one for years as well, finally got my wife to switch more of her spending on to it. Just now I went and checked and applied $83 in rewards towards my statement. Free money!
next time, have your rewards direct deposited into checking and then use it to pay your card. you get cashback on purchases and payments, but you won’t get cashback on a statement credit. you’ll get the most value doing it that way. free money with your free money.
shuddup, seriously? where's that mind blown gif when you need it.
No barclays uber card? It's a cash back card as well
Edit: also fidelity 2%, PayPal 2%, and the new apple 2%
I think the uber card is one of the best no annual fee cards out there right now. Especially if you ever eat out.
It’s more than just eating out, it also counts bars and just going for drinks which is insane. I was debating getting this or the sapphire reserve and the restaurants and 3% back on travel AND 2 %. It makes it one of, if not the best card out there right now. The biggest draw back (and it’s huge for me) is that it’s pretty standard to have a limit at $2500 which blows hard. I’m constantly having to pay it off (especially with travel usage) and they do a hard pull just to ask for a credit increase. I typically stick to my blue cash everyday since that’s up to something like $20,000.
Is the problem maybe that they stuck you with the visa platinum version of the card at account opening? Technically the Uber visa is two different cards, for the higher credit limits I think they usually give the visa signature (our limit was set at $15,000 automatically). Maybe trying to get the card type upgraded to signature would indirectly help to raise the limit?
That sounds crazy low to me. I started at 14 and requested an increase to 20 after ~9mos. What FICO range are you in if you don't mind my asking?
I believe I was sitting around 730-760. So good but not extremely great. I wouldn’t mind asking for an increase but I don’t want to keep racking on credit hits. And I agree, especially when I’m constantly bumping up to my credit limit which causes my credit score to fluctuate. It’s pretty frustrating.
This thread literally just convinced me to apply for it and I was approved for $11k with a 787, just an fyi for other interested applicants.
> The biggest draw back (and it’s huge for me) is that it’s pretty standard to have a limit at $2500 which blows hard.
The Sapphire Reserve is a premium card. Are you sure that it's pretty standard to have a $2500 limit? I'm not sure why my limit is, something like $22,000, but I _think_ I also have no pre-set spending limit for one-time purchases. That might help you out, if it's true that they only have a low limit for you.
Oh I mean that the Uber card has a low limit
The Uber card's 4% cashback on dining is unreal. By far my most used card.
3% on travel too. This card has saved me so much money
Sounds like you should cook more often!
Sounds like you should hit the liquor store more often
Fiscally responsible alcoholism
I once made an alcohol content per dollar spreadsheet. Hard to beat natty ice or four loko except in flavor lol.
Platinum vodka, water, and a few squirts of mio ended up being my best bang for the buck while still not tasting like shit or making you feel like shit.
edit: Found a screencap of the old [list](https://i.imgur.com/cO7NVDW.png)! Outdated by at least 6 years now.
I've saved tens so far by brewing my own hard cider at home!
people have different priorities. i’d rather spend money on the convenience of going out to eat and ordering in than spend the time to cook.
Barclay Uber is like my top card. I have run it against just about everything out there, and I cant find anything that provides more value. It would be good if it was a fee card, its AMAZING at fee free. It doesnt really offer any benefits for gas, IIRC, but if you rarely buy gas (dont drive much, use public transpo, or have an electric car) it could easily be the only card in your wallet without leaving anything significant on the table.
Fidelity is #2 on the list. Apple is also on the list (it is the card name under Goldman Sachs as issuer).
I will look into Barclays Uber & PayPal
Love my Uber card for dining out/bars!
Just a warning, they want you to have a credit card prior, or at least in my experience. I was rejected cause I've never had a credit card, just loans, but my credit score was 760. I applied for the discover it card since I always get their stuff, I got accepted right away with a $9500 credit limit. I called Barclays and they said it was specifically cause I haven't had a credit card before.
I'm 24 and didn't want a card in college. I just think it's funny that Barclays and uber came together, and it seems uber is more often used by younger people with little to no credit history. Just a weird combo IMO
Not only that but if you pay your phone bill with it, the Uber card gives you free insurance on your phone.
Double Cash + Uber Visa is my current combo. About to apply for Ducks Unlimited Card for 5% cb for gas no af
The USAA cashback rewards plus Amex also has 5% back on gas and 2%back on groceries, with no annual fee. It's all I use for gas unless I'm at Costco.
Wow I never heard of the ducks unlimited card. Do you have to be a member or something? Only certain gas stations? What's the catch?
Also is it through a certain bank?
I was lucky to sign up for the Savor card when it was 3% cash back, before they started the annual fee. The upped me to the 4%, and then when they started the annual fee they told me I was grandfathered in and wouldn't have to pay it! Now they have the no-fee SavorOne version which still has 3% (which is what the Savor card originally was). Had I not gotten the Savor, I'd probably get the Uber card.
* CapOne Savor for dining/entertainment
* Amex Blue Cash Preferred for groceries/gas (spending enough to get past annual fee breakeven point)
* Discover It for bonus categories
* Amazon Prime Visa for Amazon purchases
* Delta SkyMiles Gold for airfare (I live in a Delta hub so that's usually how I travel; bonus miles and waived baggage fees make up for the annual fee)
* QuickSilver for international catch-all
* Citi Double cash for U.S. catch-all
* Annoyed wife who has to call me when she can't remember which card to use when
Your last bullet is exactly why I only have 2 cards. Citi Double Cash for everything, and BoA Travel Rewards for international travel (no foreign transaction fee).
Worth mentioning that if you have the Freedom Unlimited and the Sapphire Reserve, the cash back is effectively 2.25% when you redeem it for travel.
Tell me more.
The Sapphire Reserve has a portal where you can use your points to book flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. Each point is worth 1.5¢ when used for travel vs 1¢ if you just take cash.
Ultimate Rewards Points are transferrable between your Chase cards. You can earn on one and move points to another card to redeem.
So when you use the Freedom Unlimited to earn 1.5% or the Freedom to earn 5% in rotating categories, move the points to your Sapphire Reserve to make them effectively worth 2.25% and 7.5%, respectively.
Meaning, you want to redeem 40,000 points? That's either $400 cash or a $600 flight.
I'm sure there's a comprehensive write-up of this somewhere in the sub.
Huge fan of the Chase Trifecta. Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can get a lot of value out of Unlimited Rewards points. It gets even better if you transfer points to hotels or airlines but that’s next level.
I've found that to be hit or miss. Feels like you need to catch lightning in a bottle to get the best flights with miles.
Edit: I should have been more clear. I've found that, when booking direct with the airline, getting a fare at the lowest mileage rate can be a challenge. This usually makes it more advantageous for me to book through the Chase portal than transfer points to a mileage program.
From what I can see in the past, rule of thumb is:
1. Buying economy flights? Use the 1.5 cent per point through CSR portal as it makes more sense usually, especially if you see a cash flight deal. For example, roundtrip economy from New York to Bagnkok can be had for $500 or less. That's 33.3k chase points. There's no airline in existence that you can redeem 33.3k miles at to fly roundtrip from NYC to Bangkok. Now that is a good redemption.
2. Want Business or First Class Flights? Go find award availability and transfer to an airline.
Case in point, it only takes 120k chase points to transfer to Virgin Atlantic to fly first class round trip from New York to Tokyo. That's an equivalent of $1800 in award portal money. It's highly unlikely that one can buy a first class roundtrip ticket to Japan for $1800. This is where transferring to miles makes more sense.
5% cash back on rotating categories? Omigod. I have this card for over an year. You got a link for this?
I know a guy who signed up for Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Reserve specifically to pay a wedding caterer, in a month that restaurants were the 5% category, and got 7.5% back towards travel for their honeymoon.
I wish I had thought it if when I got married, when I only got back a measly 4.5% towards travel.
Bare in mind that Freedom (5% back on rotating categories) and Freedom Unlimited (1.5% back on everything) are different cards.
If you travel a decent bit, and want the rewards to be dead simple, the CFU / CSR combo is the way to go.
Use the CSR for travel and dining, CFU for everything else.
CSR has a $450 annual fee but it’s worth it if you travel at least a small bit.
Also worth mentioning with BofA's you get bonuses if you qualify for the various tiers of Preferred Rewards. Which means at the top rewards tier you can get 5.25% on your category, 3.5% on groceries, drug stores, and wholesale retailers, 1.75% on everything else. Few people will qualify for that but I don't know if that's a program any other cards follow.
> Which means at the top rewards tier you can get 5.25% on your category, 3.5% on groceries
Worth noting they cap that combination at $2500 of spending a quarter (combined), and then both revert back to the 1.75% rewards level.
It arguably turns the card into a 5.25% cashback on choice of catagory card, as you wouldn’t want the grocery lower level canabalizing the limit. Online shopping is a category choice, which is pretty awesome in how broad it is. But kind of a hassle to worry about hitting that limit and reverting.
Assuming non-obsessive but pure catagory use, sometimes going a couple hundred over the limit in category sometimes falling a couple hundred below, it might get you $250 a year additional cashback vs using Alliant’s 2.5% card for those purchases (not including the Alliant $59 annual fee, because I’d keep Alliant around anyway, the 0.5% spread between Alliant's 2.5% and the 2% cards like citi dc on annual utility bills for a house where I live alone covers around half the annual fee)
The 100k level of assets under management to qualify can be reached through retirement accounts, and apparently you can just transfer over your passive indexes and you don’t have to pay management fees or anything. But while the $250 a year is probably worth the complexity of adding an additional credit card, I’m not so sure it is really worth adding another bank and splitting up your retirement assets from vanguard or wherever. And the other banking benefits they give are completely useless (ie, BoA savings account interest rate increases from 0.03% to 0.06%, when you can get 40x that rate at other banks), or are terms you can get elsewhere automatically (no monthly account fees, atm reimbursement, etc). For example, Schwab investor checking gives better terms and great customer service without the need to qualify.
Travel rewards card also effectively gives 2.625% cash back without a fee or cap on all purchases if you can use up the statement credit.
Good call, noted.
So there’s an app called [Sift](https://www.siftwallet.com/) that will let you know which card is best for what kind of purchases. It also tracks Price Protection claims, Price Drops, Extended Warranty’s, and Return policies. You can link your Amazon and other accounts and it will auto populate and know which card you used after you’ve added the last 4 digits of your card. Great app. Has saved me over $40 in price drops from Amazon.
I have the costco card, I'm pretty sure it's 2% on costco purchases... 4% on gas. Not sure where you get 4% from.
I believe OP is getting confused about combining Executive Rewards with the Citi Visa. If you have the upgraded membership you earn 2% from Costco and 2% from Citi.
Also, the card awards 3% for travel, not just dining.
I counter this point. This only applies to people who travel.
The best combination I have found is a Chase Sapphire Reserve + Freedom Unlimited + Freedom.
The effective annual fees for these cards is $150 ($300 travel credit from reserve countering the $450 fee). With these cards, I essentially get 4.5% on dining out and travel expenses, 2.25% on normal purchases, and 7.5% on monthly categories like grocery stores (where I load up on gift cards) and online purchases. This is all assuming I redeem points for travel, which I do.
I also get free global entry and lounges for as long as I have the cards. For anyone that travels (I make 3-5 international trips a year) the lounges alone pay for the card, as airport meals and drinks are hella expensive. Couple this with incredible travel protection against everything from lost luggage to delayed flights and you have the best card on the market.
What’s your view on chase sapphire for eating out and earning travel rewards? Or are there better cash back ones for eating out?
Edit: I have sapphire preferred instead of reserve
Chase Sapphire Preferred also has some other great travel perks which make the annual fee worth it for me. No foreign transaction fees, rental car insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, price protection, etc.
Sapphire reserve is pretty much always better if you do any amount of travel.
The reserve has a $450 fee, preferred $99, but reserve has a $300 travel credit, TSA precheck credit, 1.5x travel point redemption vs 1.25x, and 3% on dining/travel instead of 2%.
So it is better in pretty much every way, assuming you use the card as intended.
I use the Sapphire reserve as my dining and travel card. When redeeming points for travel there's a 50% bonus so my freedom unlimited points are effectively 2.25% and those 5% categories on the regular freedom become 7.5%.
Worth mentioning also is that those points from Sapphire Reserve can be exported to ALL SORTS of other points programs 1 for 1! If I remember correctly, I have done so for both Mariott and United Airlines. That gives you a crazy amount of flexibility and effectively gives you a card that is a 1.5% back United Airlines card (similar to their Club card I believe) or a 1.5% back Mariott card, etc. Or just use it to straight up purchase 2.25% back travel when redeeming through Chase travel. This was my go-to before the Alliant 3% for the first year came around. Really, the Alliant and Sapphire are the only 2 I ever foresee using at this point.
Uber Visa is great for dining out. 4% cash back with no annual fee.
I use my AMEX blue cash preferred for everything. It’s 6% cash back at the grocery store so sometimes I’ll go to Kroger and buy a couple $500 visa gift cards to get the cash back and then use the gift cards everywhere.
Edit: here is a great link with more info on my favorite card
Yep this is my primary card, it's fantastic all around. The grocery cash back is nuts, easily paid for the annual fee and much more. And no keeping track of rotating categories and stuff.
Almost everywhere takes it nowadays unlike years ago where it was common for places not to accept it. Costco is about the only major store that doesn't. Plus, AMEX customer service is absolutely world class.
> AMEX customer service is absolutely world class.
Seriously. I was reading through this (very well done) list and was like 'yeah, I understand what you're saying... but AMEX ate a $3000 chargeback for furniture we bought from a company that went out of business before delivery...'.
I can't leave AMEX, they've been too good to me.
Does anyone know how this compares to USAA’s cards?
I have a USAA Visa that gives 2.5% on everything with no limit and no fee. But I think they have stopped selling that one.
I kept waiting for that card to come to MA and I thought they gave up on it. Love the 5% gas card.
I don’t see the Discover It Miles on here. 3% cashback on all purchases in the first year of having the card.
Also, the Discover It Cash Back is 10% on rotating categories in the first year. 5% after that.
I'm using the Discover It Cash Back.
- 5% cash back, rotating pre set categories, quarterly. $1,500 max. Reverts to 1% thereafter
- 1% back in everything else
- no annual fee
- after a year, Discover matches cash back. So essentially **10% categories and 2% everything else for the First year**
Discover also gives you cash back on your one year anniversary of how ever much you've earned up to that point. Was a nice little surprise
This is lovely... as someone who has the Amazon rewards card its pretty good you rack up so fast if you buy from Amazon every month. SO 100% worth
Yep, I agree. The $70 gift card for signing up was a nice bonus too (idk if they're still running that promo).
Especially great if you're a hobbyist who buys pricey stuff. I used the card to buy all my computer parts and made back a ton on cash back.
I don't even carry the physical card on my person. I use my discover it chrome for 99% of my day to day. May change that though.
Capital One's Quicksilver doesn't have an annual fee, unless I got lucky and was grandfathered in before they added one.
Edit: Nvm, OP is gucci
Correct, Quicksilver doesn't have a fee, but QuicksilverOne does. Both are on the list.
Uber is the best cash back card out there right now. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and a bunch of other perks like a $50 statement credit on online subscription services (so that cuts my Amazon Prime in half right there).
Is the statement credit automatically applied? I think Netflix is my only reoccurring sub on this card - so after 4 or 5 months would they kick me back $50 or something?
>**Stream all day with a $50 statement credit** – Up to a $50 statement credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 or more on your card per year.
[Uber CC Website](https://www.uber.com/c/uber-credit-card/)
Once you hit the $5000 mark after your account anniversary you'll receive the $50 credit within 5 business days if you have $50 in eligible online subscription services. So if you hit it in month 6 it will immediately credit you the $50 if you already have 5 months of Netflix charges on the card. If you hit it in month 3 you'll get credit for 2 and then credit each time another monthly charge comes in.
You can see all of this under the Rewards Activity page on the Barclays site after you log in. For example I'm about to hit my $5000 this month but I only have 4 Netflix charges since my anniversary was in November. So once I hit it I'll get a $47.04 credit ($11.76 Netflix charge x4) and then once the next Netflix charge comes I'll get the other $2.96 credit.
What?? Can you say more about the $50 credit?
The nice thing about the Uber card is it's 4% on restaurants/bars and 3% on hotels/airfare. It's not too hard for most people to hit $5k between eating/drinking out, using it for online purchases (2% CB, same as a flat 2% card), and putting a yearly vacation on it.
If you're only spending $5000/year, then the $50 statement credit is 1% back on top of whatever else you're getting, so it will effectively make your card be 2%. It sounds like if you're not spending that much on dining/travel, the Uber card isn't for you.
After you spend 5k on your card in a year, you’ll get $50 credit applied towards streaming/subscription services you pay with your card. Subscriptions include: Netflix, amazon music, audible, Hulu, Apple Music, Spotify, pandora, membership fee for amazon prime.
There is a not for profit service called "money saving expert" in the UK that does this regularly. They also do TONS of other things, its a good website and regularly updated. If you're in the UK and haven't heard of this, they have AMAZING resources, from good car insurance deals to guides and tools to help you organise your debt, to a debt and mental health guide to try and support you.
Does the US have anything like this?
thanks for the post!
I’ve done a good bit of reading on cash-back cards as well (though I’m slowly gravitating towards adopting combo of Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards for travel) and have mostly reached the same conclusions.
Depending on how many cards you want to deal with, I would also include the Discover It (rotating 5% categories, and an odd bonus of doubling all the cash back you earn in the first year, and it’s relatively easy to get approved for) and the Uber Visa (4% dining, 3% travel) to pair with the DoubleCash and the US Bank. I have a Cash + as well and imo what’s special about it is how unique the 5% categories are - I do internet/streaming services (Comcast/Spotify) and home utilities through Arcadia Power (which allows you to use a card with no credit card fee to pay for the clean energy equivalent of your bill).
What’s nice about the Discover It is that its quarterly categories never overlap with the Chase Freedom (e.g. Q1 is groceries for the Discover, Q2 is groceries for the Freedom) and you can usually “max out” your category each quarter with gift cards, which can also remove the need for other more specific cards; for example, the Freedom usually has a warehouse quarter, so if you’re liquid enough you can buy up Costco Cash at a 5% discount during that quarter to use until it’s a bonus again.
The cash back applies to purchases of gift cards?
So basically I could buy a gift card for my grocery store at my grocery store for a 5% discount right? I had no idea.
generally yes. I’ve never had an issue with gift cards at grocery stores or uber/lyft bonuses through refilling the app’s wallet but e.g. discover has language about how certain gift card purchases may not qualify for quarterly bonuses so I guess YMMV.
I personally avoid exploiting this to the point of manufactured spending (i.e. buying gift cards solely to liquidate them to reap the credit card rewards) but imo there’s nothing wrong with maxing out the final $200 of your $1500 bonus grocery quarter limit on a gift card to use later that year for organic spend. i believe some stores also have certain policies with regards to visa/MC gift cards specifically but I’ve never had an issue taking advantage of the occasional Safeway VGC coupon with my SavorOne
Another note also on the Alliant Credit Card:
Unlimited cash back
Receive cash back as a statement credit or deposit into Alliant checking or savings account
Redeem cash back in any amount of $25 or greater
No option to redeem rewards for a check or as a deposit in an outside account
No other redemption options like gift cards, merchandise, etc.
No automatic redemption
Minimum $25 required for a redemption
Rewards expire after 4 years if you don’t redeem them
Thanks for putting this together. I don't travel enough to take advantage of some of the better cards out there .... but there are a lot of good pure cash rewards cards. Always nice to see this organized together. Some things I noticed:
- Bank of America's Cash Rewards Credit Card can be both Visa Signature (base card) & Mastercard World (MLB, WWF etc...). Also, I think you shifted the columns on this one when entering the 75% bonus; the spending limit is in the promo, and the promo is in the spending column. And last, the 3% category can be changed from month to month basis if needed.
- Discover IT: Discover matches your cash back for the first year (effectively 10% first year), which is capped ($75 cap per quarter, so $300 total); so they'd match up to $300. Also, I believe you can apply for up to 2 Discover It cards (either at same time or back to back for cashback match).
- Chase's Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is only 5% if you have Amazon Prime active; it reverts back to the 3% card if you don't have Amazon Prime.
P.S - BoA doesn't get much good rep here, but holy shit their cash rewards card + preferred rewards program (platinum honors is $100k+ in assets at BoA + Merrill) has some seriously good bonuses. The two main perks are 100 free etf/stock trades a month, and the 75% bonus to credit cards rewards.
- I have two cash rewards cards with the 3% boosted to 5.25%; one for dining, and another for online purchases. Online purchases includes everything you buy online ..... including Amazon, Paypal, Buying Tickets online (some Flights, Sports, etc...). Capped at $2500 quarterly of course, but it's very useful. I might even get a 3rd card because another category is Drug Stores ..... i.e. just buy a bunch of gift cards and use whenever. Shit is bonkers. Oh and, I also get 3.5% on groceries and 1.75% on everything else.
+1 Citi Double cash. Heard good things about their extended warranties and just recently got a $300 hotel room reimbursed after we cut trip short due to impending blizzard.
ELI5: How can credit cards give you cash back? Do they take this money from the people who end up paying interests or from the credit card fee they charge businesses for making a credit card transaction?
Both. They rake in *billions*, and hand out a few million, maybe. It's drastically in their favor. Plus they have restrictions, expirations, and other stuff that trips people up, so hundreds of thousands of people never actually use their points.
Alliant Platinum Rewards Credit Card has 2% cash back with no yearly fees. This is what I am using right now.
[Sam's Club Credit](https://www.samsclub.com/content/credit):
* 5% on gas (up to $6000 purchases)
* 3% on travel + dining
* 1% on everything else
* No fee, but you need Sam's club membership
The only hassle is that they only send the year's rewards late the next February and you have to cash them out in person at the store.
Would one of these be good for a first time credit card? I wouldn't be spending to much probably just use it for gas at first so I can get used to how it works.
I'm a 19 year old college student in the US, and if you've got no credit history like me, Discover it is probably the way to go if you don't have any experience in knowing where to start. A friend and I applied 6 months ago and got accepted instantly. I use it like you had in mind, for gas and other small purchases and I have no issue keeping track of my purchases and it has an app and stuff for the phone that's really handy.
One thing to mention about the Costco Visa is that the 4% cash back from the retailer is only if you have an executive membership (2% from the card, 2% from membership tier), not any of the lower tiers. But overall, 4% on gas (anywhere), 3% on travel/dining, 2% at Costco, 1% on all other purchases is pretty good. I don’t go to Costco often but I make way more than the membership fee in cash back to justify.
The Chase Amazon Visa now also offers a choice when you purchase from Amazon of either:
A) 5% back in rewards (redeemable at Amazon)
B) 6-months Equal Payments 0% APR, but no cash back
Honestly you don't really need anything more than Chase Sapphire reserve, Chase freedom, discover it. Those 3 cards basically cover everything.
When freedom or discover has 5% gas category, I just go to my most used gas and buy $1500 in gift cards which will last most of the year. When the categories are like groceries, I'll go to Safeway and buy 3 of those $500 visa gift cards (which you can use on anything to effectively be getting 4% cash back). When the category is Amazon,I just load my Amazon account with $1500 so I'm basically getting 5% cash back at Amazon.
Now when you move your Chase points to a partner (like United) you can get flights with points for like half as much as cash. So effectively, double the cash back numbers from above.
Thanks. Now can you do this for the travel cards? 😆
Check out Citi Rewards+:
-Spend $1000 for $150 back
-2% back at Gas Station/Supermarkets for the first $6,000 spent
-Get 10% of your cashback returned every year up to $1,000 (so if you made $1k in cashback, you'll get another $100 at the end of the year)
Bank of America is additional 10% cash back (so 3.3/2.2/1.1) if redeemed into a BoA account
Venture Capital One is one of my favorites, anyone know how it ranks against these?
Your table doesn't fully fit in the post.
Any reason you think so highly of Citi, but not as much Fidelity? (I have both.) Fidelity gave me a higher credit limit, other than that there's no difference.
I just looked up HSBC Cash Rewards, and it's 1.5%, not 1.7%.
Am I out of luck when it comes to cashback cards currently. Everything I have applied for has been denied? Idk if its because of my credit score which is average it seems or my income/housing payments/lack of savings?
Correction to the Costco card.
Executive members get 2% back and the credit card gives a separate 2% for a total of 4%.
I get 4.5% back using my USAA credit card which is 2.5% anywhere with my 2% executive membership.
Thanks for putting all of this together - interesting.
I currently use:
Alliant Signature for every day (2.5%)
Amex Blue for groceries (6%)
Penfed Visa for gas (5%)
Uber Visa for dining travel (4-3%)
Yes, Citi DoubleCash rules, at least for now.
Amazon is great if you spend lots of cash on Amazon, 5% is nothing to sneer at.
Discover can go and jump off the bridge for all I care. It was my very first card and after several good years all of a sudden three of my payments in a row were "late" (before internet banking, mailed checks) even though they were sent well in advance and the payments for another card that I had all posted a week early. They refused to cancel the late fees for the last two payments and I never even considered Discover again. Found out later that this was one of the common tricks they used to milk some extra cash from customers.
Here you go everybody!
Most purchases. Citi Double Cash.
Groceries and gas. Amex Blue Cash. 3% gas. 6% groceries. Additional $100 or so a year in offers I use. Once you hit the max on groceries and gas go to Double Cash. See below for exception. Free Shop Runner membership has come in handy a few times.
Chase Freedom for quarter of 5% groceries and 5% gas. Also about $50 of offers I use per year. When they used to do Q4 5%
My grocery store gives $0.10 off per gallon for every $100 so that’s gravy on top of the cash back.
These three cards used in the right pattern and you can land in the 3-4% range on all spend. The first year I opened them I was up a over $1,000 in cash back not including sign up bonus.
On occasion you’ll hit another 5% category with Chase.
You missed a big one. The bank of america premium rewards card ($95 annual fee i think) but if you have at least $100k in your BAC accounts/investment/etc you get 2.625% back on every single purchase with the platinum honors thing they got.