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The Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2017

Cash back credit cards can help consumers practice responsible spending while earning a little extra for their efforts when used properly. The days of earning 5 percent cash back on all credit card purchases may be just a memory, but the smart use of credit cards can still be profitable for diligent consumers. You may be able to find some credit cards offering a high level of cash back in certain spending categories, but these are often subject to maximums.

Most of today’s better cash back credit cards offer 1 percent to 2 percent cash back on purchases. However, if you look hard enough, you’ll find a number of credit cards with higher cash rebates. Keep in mind that in order to make credit card with rewards programs worthwhile, you must pay your bill on time and in full every single month to avoid interest charges and late fees.

This ever-changing list reflects the best cash back credit cards currently available.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards

1. Discover it® Cashback Match™

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The Discover it® Cashback Match™has a tempting offer for anyone considering a new cash-back card— they’ll double all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year automatically on this card. This offer is only intended for new cardmembers and is only available for a limited time. That applies to the 5 percent cash back in quarterly categories as well as the 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

With the new New Freeze It® on/off switch, you can prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app and online. You can also get your free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online and by mobile app, and will pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

  • Cash Back: 5% on categories that change each quarter, up to $1,500 in purchases. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Sign up bonus: Discover will double your cash back rewards at the end of your first year.
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
  • Other Benefits: Discover gives you free access to your FICO score.

Find out how to apply for the card here.

2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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I recommend the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express as the one whose bonus categories are most likely to overlap the spending habits of parents. Cash back is earned only on eligible purchases as follows:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% cash back at select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

There are no rotating reward categories. No enrollment is required. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can also earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of statement credits. There is a $95 annual fee.

Find out how to apply for this card here.

3. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash EverydayLearn More

If you prefer a no annual fee version of the card, consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. While you save on the fee, the rewards are a step down. You’ll earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. The cash back percentages are a bit lower, but still very good:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 2% cash back at select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Find out how to apply for this card here.

4. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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With the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you earn 1.5% on all purchases. There are no categories to remember or quarterly signups to worry about. In addition, you can earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. It also offers a unique perk–Every 10th Uber ride is free up to $15 when you pay with your Quicksilver® card through March 31, 2017. There is no annual fee.

  • Cash Back: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Sign up bonus: Get a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months.
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months.
  • Other Benefits: Every 10th Uber ride is free up to $15 when you pay with your Quicksilver card through March 31, 2017

Find out how to apply for this card here.

5. Discover it® Chrome

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With Discover it® Chrome, you can earn 1% cash back on every purchase, but Discover® offers an opportunity to earn double cash back on certain categories. The double cash back is limited to $1,000 in combined purchases, though, which adds up to only $100 extra. Still, that’s $100 you wouldn’t have otherwise.

The categories for double cash back with Discover it® Chrome are gas stations and restaurants. In order to make using the cash back points even easier, Discover® allows you to pay for items on using points instead of dollars. That could come in handy during the holiday seasons.

  • Cash Back: 2% cash back on all purchases at gas stations and restaurants, up to$1,000 in combined purchases every quarter—no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Sign up bonus: Discover matches all your cash back earned the first year.
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
  • Other Benefits: Free access to your FICO score.

Find out how to apply for this card here.

6. Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

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One of my favorite cash back cards, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® jumps right at you with a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.  This credit card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases plus a 5% cash bonus on every redemption.  For example, if you redeem $100 worth of cash back, they’ll tack on another 5%!  This means the card really is a 1.575% cash back credit card.  Rewards never expire and redemptions start at $50.

If you need some time to pay interest free, Barclaycard will allow it.  The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® has a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.  This card carries no annual fee.

  • Cash Back: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.  Plus a 5% bonus on every cash redemption
  • Sign up bonus: $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Other Benefits: Barclaycard gives you free access to your FICO score.

Find out how to apply for the card here.

7. Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card

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The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card is regularly cited as a shizennougyou readers’ favorite. You’ll earn a solid 2% cash back on every purchase.  There is no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn and the rewards never expire. On top of that, there is no annual fee.

This card requires a linked account at Fidelity, but these accounts are free and can be good choices for savers and investors. A few years ago, I chose to rollover a former company’s 401(k) into a Fidelity IRA, and I use Fidelity as the servicing company for my charitable gift fund. Their index mutual funds are some of the lowest cost in the business, but for most of my own investing, I prefer Vanguard. Vanguard, however, does not offer a similar credit card offer.

If you’re holding on to a cash back credit card that you feel deserves to make this list, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below. If the offer is good, I’ll add it to this best cash back credit cards list.

  • Cash Back: 2% cash back on all purchases. Cash back rewards are deposited into your Fidelity account.
  • Sign up bonus: Get $100 after you spend $1000 in the first 90 days.
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: None.
  • Other Benefits: None.

8. The Santander® Ultimate Cash Back credit card

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One of the newest issuers to enter the cash back credit card space is Santander.  They’ve launched the The Santander® Ultimate Cash Back credit card which includes a $100 cash bonus after making $500 in purchases the first 90 days.  This credit card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no tier levels or spend thresholds to meet.  The cash back never expires, so feel free taking your time to use it.

A 3% intro APR balance transfers is also included for the first 12 months (no intro APR on purchases).  There are no balance transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, no cash advance fees, no returned payment fees and most importantly, NO annual fee.

  • Cash Back: 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Sign up bonus: $100 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: None
  • Other Benefits: Mobile check deposit, Apple pay availability

Find out how to apply for the card here.

9. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is an excellent choice for an everyday credit card. There is no need to keep track of rotating categories. Instead, you earn a solid 1.5% cash back on every purchase. And for the first year you can increase that reward to 1.8% when you use Apple Pay and Android Pay.

There is no annual fee. And you even have the chance to earn a $200 bonus. Here are the details:

  • Cash Back: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Cash Back Bonus: Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • Sign Up Bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases for 12 months.
  • Other Benefits: Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Learn how to apply here.

Updated October 23, 2017 and originally published September 1, 2017.

About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of shizennougyou. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 175 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

It’ll probably take some good management skills, but the best rewards would come from:

1. Using the Chase Freedom Visa first, when specific categories are in rotation. Getting 5% on those.
2. If the categories are not active, using Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard. Getting 2% on those.
3. Then falling back on 1% from either card.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

1. Use Chase Freedom and Discover for their 5% categories (Discover has one month grocery ones too)
2. Amex Costco card for restaurant (3%) & travel (2%)
3. Discover card for online shopping (LLBean – 5%, Sears 5%)
4. Chase rewards for the rest – 3% back on Groceries, Gas & pharmacy – 1% everywhere else

Discover also gives the best rewards use options: $20 rewards gets you a $25 LLBean card.

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avatar 3 Anonymous

I was thinking you were missing the Schwab Visa too … but that card is no longer accepting new applicants.

Program was closed a few months ago. Dang

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avatar 4 Anonymous

Yea the Schwab was a good deal for a card. Fidelity has one with 2% but it’s AMEX only.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

I still have mine, but they took away the Schwab name, and it’s operated by FIA SIGNATURE VISA. They don’t offer this anymore!

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avatar 6 Anonymous

Investor junkie missed that Fidelity Rewards also has a card from American Express that pays 2% cash back into your fidelity account on all purchases with no caps or annual fee. I just signed up yesterday in fact!

Visit my blog for mostly non-credit-card related rants, except one about Discover Card in 2008 about their lame process of lowering your credit card rates when you ask.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

Hey there is a new up and comer the, Citi Forward Visa card that I just signed up for. Looks like it pays 5% cash back on all restaurants and movie purchases (when you redeem 10,000 points at a time for gift cards), you get a about $85 of points up front for using it and signing up for paperless. There are also a few other perks. And if you have good credit, the APR is 12.99%, but 0% for a year!
Click my name to visit my blog and go to the summer of 2008 to read a complaint against Discover Card.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

I have this card, and I like it so far. Technically a points-based rewards card isn’t really cash back though (although you can redeem for cash). Basically you get 5 points for books, movies, music, and restaurants and 1 point for other purchases. 14,000 gets you $100 statement credit (there are lower denominations as well, for worse value), which is .7% if all your purchases were 1 point and 3.5% if all your purchases were 5 points. In reality you’re probably somewhere in between. If you get gift cards, on the other hand, a $50 gift card is 6,000 points, so .83% for 1 point purchases and 4.2% for your 5 point purchases. You get a full 5% if all your spending is on 5 point purchases and you get a $100 gift card – however, not all the gift cards are available for the $100, best value option.

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avatar 9 Anonymous

The Fidelity deal is total bait and switch. If you want cash back, you only get 1% and that is after the hassle of setting up accounts with them. This is their fine print:
Customers earn 2 points for each $1 in net retail purchases. Once you reach 5,000 points, they can be redeemed automatically or on demand for cash at a 1% exchange rate into an eligible Fidelity account (i.e. 5,000 points = $50 deposit). The ability to contribute to an IRA or 529 college savings plan account is subject to IRS rules and specific program policies, including those on eligibility and annual and maximum contribution limits. Additional restrictions apply. Full details appear in the Program Guidelines new card customers receive with their card.

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avatar 10 Luke Landes

I’m always one for pointing out bait and switch tactics when I see them, but with the Fidelity card, it’s fully disclosed you need to open an account to receive the cash back. At the very top of Fidelity’s offer page it says, “Turn 2% of purchases into a deposit in your eligible Fidelity account.” There should be no confusion.

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avatar 11 Anonymous

That is not the issue I have problems with. Their deal is that you get 2% in “points” NOT cash. If you want cash, they use an “exchange rate” and you actually get 1%. THAT is the bait and switch. They advertise 2 and you get 1.

I called them to confirm this and that is their deal.

The Schwabb card was king. Hopefully an offer like that will come up again.

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avatar 12 Luke Landes

Let me illustrate:

Spend $10,000, earn 20,000 points (2 points for every dollar). Trade in 20,000 points for $200 cash back (the 1% exchange rate).

Your *result* is 2% cash back. $200 is 2% of $10,000. This is pretty straightforward in terms of points-based cash back programs.

avatar 13 Anonymous

Are you calling me stupid? I think you are right! OK, just couldn’t get it to make sense, and when I called them, they didn’t help me make sense of it either. Thanks!

avatar 14 Luke Landes

Not at all, Gil. These things can be tricky sometimes, and the CSRs who answer the phone often can’t make it clear for their customers.

avatar 15 Anonymous

Yes, you do have to open a Fidelity account to take advantage of this offer, but it certainly is not bait and switch. I have used it exclusively to get consistent 2% back every month for the last year. I spend $2500, I get 5000 points which equates to $50 (2% of my purchases) deposited into my Fidelity account. Once it’s in my Fidelity account, I am free to do whatever I want to do with it, spend it, invest it, or save it.

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avatar 16 Anonymous

I recall reading somewhere about that PenFed card that to join, all you need to do is make a one-time payment of $20-30 to some military organization to become a member. Then you can join PenFed and get the card.

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avatar 17 Anonymous

You’re absolutely right Dan, it’s about $25 to join the union, and they have some of the best cards out there. We profile them all the time on our blog because they’re one of our favorites

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avatar 18 Anonymous

It’s a $15 one-time fee to join Voices for American Troops.

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avatar 19 Anonymous

You are correct.

I joined PenFed last year by the one-time membership payment to NMFA and have been VERY PLEASED with PenFed’s offerings.

Since joining, I have been using the PenFed VISA Platinum Cashback Rewards Card for nearly 100% of my credit purchases. This month, they reduced their grocery cashback rewards to 1% from 2% (with little-to-no warning) and that was a rather big disappointment (chalk it up to inflation and the Fed’s monetary policies I suppose [is anyone else noticing the crazy prices at the supermarket these days?]). But, I still find their card to be well worthy of this list and highly recommended.

Also of note, PenFed offers incredible loan deals that you often won’t find anywhere else. Since joining, I have refinanced my home and car loans through PenFed and am saving a bundle on interest. I highly recommend PenFed!

Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude to Flexo for maintaining this very informative blog.

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avatar 20 Anonymous

Are you able to view the ‘closing date’ on your credit card bill on the website? I just joined a few weeks ago and cannot for the life of me figure out where they show the closing date. I like to keep track of when my credit cards close and the new billing period begins.

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avatar 21 Anonymous

Hi Rob,

My PenFed VISA Platinum Cashback Rewards Card has its cycles tied to the month (e.g. April 1 through April 30 would be a billing peroid). I’m not certain, but it may be that way for all of their credit accounts.

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avatar 22 Anonymous


No, Penfed’s online banking site only gives you the due date, not the cycle date. You can contact thier member service department though and they can tell you that.

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avatar 23 Anonymous

Yes, Penfed Visa is a great card. YOu can become member by donating $10, that is what i did, and got their visa card. it has 5% back on gasoline, 3% on grocery and 1% all.

SO, overall
For gasoline and grocery, i use this card – 5 and 3% cash back respectively.
For all other purchases, i use fidelity card (2%)

Can anyone suggest a better reward program to beat this 5, 3 and 2% cash back. I am dying to find one.

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avatar 24 Anonymous

I think you are right on the PenFed Visa for 5% off gas/3% off groceries.
I would add a US Bank Cash+ Visa for 5% off two chosen categories. (restaurants/electronics stores or restaurants/cell phone let’s say)
Then Fidelity AMEX for 2% off everything else.

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avatar 25 Anonymous

Oh, and the 3% off Amazon card, which doesn’t need to be carried around.

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avatar 26 Anonymous

Chase Freedom:
I’ll have to investigate if your description of the Chase online mall is accurate. I’m still on the older 3% on top 5 catagories plan until June 2nd, and at least on the older plan when you shopped online with Chase Rewards Plus it was a straight percentage cash back. So, for example when I bought some sneakers at JCPenny with 4% cash back, I literally received a bonus of 4% on top of the standard 1%. *BUT*, this newer “Ultimate Rewards” program could be different and may be exactly as you described… I’m supposed to receive a welcome package sometime this month, so perhaps I’ll know more then.

Pen Fed Visa Platinum Gas / Cash Rewards Card:
Like Dan said, anyone can join the PenFed credit union by a one-time $20 donation to the National Military Family Association. It’s harder, though, to be approved for the credit card itself because PenFed is a very conservative lender. You might want to search around the ficoforums for advice before trying to obtain the Pen Fed Visa.

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avatar 27 Anonymous

I actually got taken by Chase on the Freedom card when they changed the rewards scheme. I’m not at all impressed with the way they handle it now, since the categories are kind of random, they rotate quarterly, and you have to “opt in” to get the 5%. Here’s my rant: link

Plus, realistically speaking since they rotate, you’re really only averaging 1.25% on an annual basis, which is not impressive at all. You’re better off with a straight 2% cashback card like the Fidelity Amex.

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avatar 28 Luke Landes

Just to clarify, as a representative from Chase pointed out privately, the bonus is an additional (up to) 20% back on the purchase price, not on the points *for* the purchase. In other words, you can earn up to 21% cash back by shopping in the mall… not a bad benefit, indeed, if you prefer shopping with your money rather than tucking away your rewards into a savings account. So as you described, you earned 4% cash back for shopping in addition to the 1% built-in cash back.

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avatar 29 Anonymous

Honestly, i think people have to price around or shop around to get the most cash back bonuses ontop of whatever your card gives you for regular purchases (ie. 1%). Shopping online at the credit cards’ shopping malls: DiscoverCard’s ShopDiscover, Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall, AmericanExpress’ BonusPointsMall, Citibank’s ThankYou Network, BankofAmerica or FIA’s AddItUp, Sovereign Bank (Santander) CashRewards, and others can vary with the same retailer or merchant. For one, I saw DiscoverCard give 5% bonus + whatever tier level you are in; Chase gave 3% +1%regular cashback; BankofAmerica gave 3%. Maybe you can enroll your FIA Schwab card with BankofAmerica’s additup, and get the 2% plus the bonus % cashback (not sure if this card and other affiliate/ co-brand cards are applicable; any1 know??) Alternately, you can price around if you are a Frequent Flyer Miles junkie; some airlines gives 10 miles per $ you spend by shopping from the airline’s webmall site, and you’ll get your normal cashback % from your card issuer. Side

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avatar 30 Anonymous

The Chase card at 5% looks worth the effort if you have the patience to track what card to use when and where. I have the older Fidelity 529 MasterCard, 2% into the kid’s college account. Amex Open gives 5% on Office supply store and certain hotels. So I use that for those specific purchases.

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avatar 31 Luke Landes

For those who mentioned the Fidelity card… I will add that to the list. Thanks for the feedback!

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avatar 32 Anonymous

Under a different category – spending money you actually possess instead of credit: PayPal Debit Card offers 1.5% on all purchases made using ‘credit’ as an option (instead of debit).

Understandably this is a different category debit vs credit (existing money vs borrowed). Might be a different feature idea. Local credit unions probably blow this benefit out of the water, but far less flexible in moving money around accounts.

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avatar 33 Anonymous

I have the True Earnings card and it has been huge because there is no cap, no minimum, and I have the business one which gets 4% back on gas as opposed to 3% that is listed here. Plus with the open network I save up to 10% in additional savings off of places like Hertz, Hyatt, FedEx, and Marriott. This year I’m averaging 2.3% back on my card across all expenditures when you figure the open network and the annual rebate from Costco for the executive membership. If you travel and eat out a lot, this card is definitely worth it.

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avatar 34 Anonymous

I think a lot of the cards have great potential for earning a lot, but I would rather have flat % back on purchases and not need to go online to ‘enroll’ for the extra % back. I also dislike changing categories, I really do not wish to time my purchases according to their rewards schedule (chase freedom!).

The penfed looks great as does anything that offer more than 1% on all purchases with no threshold nor limit.

At the moment I am using a chase amazon card. I buy a lot of stuff from amazon and it offers no limit 1% on all purchases and 2% on gas, dining, office supply and drugstore purchases, also with no limit nor threshold. Since I use amazon a lot it offers 3% on those purchases, which is nice. I do not need to log on to do anything but pay my bill and redeem my rewards. The way you redeem rewards with chase has been far superior to any other card I have used (BoA, TD, Discover).

I think the number 1 card on the list should be the one that requires the highest average % back with the least amount of ‘work’ on the user’s side.

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avatar 35 4hendricks

I love my Discover card for cash back. I then use the cash back to save 10-20% on gift cards

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avatar 36 Anonymous

Update: PenFed is offering 2% cashback on supermarkets only until Feb 28, 2011. So not a hot deal anymore.

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avatar 37 Anonymous

The Citi Cashreturns card “does” have a limit. I’ve had this card for two years and just discovered the $300.00 maximum limit on cash back. I think it was just instituted.

I’m replacing it today with something higher up on the list. Hopefully the information on the alternatives is correct.

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avatar 38 Anonymous

Chase has just started a requirement for their 10% feature that you open a checking account a keep a 1500$ minimum balance.

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avatar 39 Anonymous

Thanks for the advice! I had never heard of the PenFed card, but I just signed up for it to use for my gas purchases going forward. For the people who do have this card, what’s the deal with the Regular Share account? It made me deposit $5 into it (I guess opening a savings account is a requirement?). Can I just leave this account alone from now on? I really only applied for the credit card and don’t want to have to manage a savings account as well.

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avatar 40 Anonymous


Penfed is a credit union and are therefore goverened by the National Credit Union Association which requires membership into the credit union and a share savings account with at least $5 deposited into it in order to take advantage of any of thier banking products such as credit cards, checking account, mortgage loans, car loan, etc. You dont have to manage that share savings account, you just have to make sure you keep at least $5 in that account as per PEnfed’s membership requirement.

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avatar 41 Anonymous

Thanks Kim!

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avatar 42 Anonymous


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avatar 43 Anonymous


If you were denied for the credit card at Penfed you didnt meet thier strict lending guidelines. Penfed is a credit union and therefore very conservative which is why they can offer such wonderful rates, products and services to those who qualify. They are not a high risk lender and therefore do not have the delinquency and bad loans that other less conservative lenders do. Because of this they are able to pass on lower interest rates to thier borrowers and wonderful products like the Visa card that gives you 5% back on gas and 1% on all other purchases with no annual fee. I’m sorry you didnt have a very good experience.

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avatar 44 Anonymous

Although not as “flashy” as some of the offers in this article, I have been very happy with the PNC CashBuilder® Visa® Credit Card (formerly National City Bank Cashbuilder Visa). Here are the current terms from their website:

PNC CashBuilder Visa is a card that earns a 1.25% competitive cash back rate on all net purchases.*

•Earn 1.75% cash back on all your net purchases for the first billing cycle after account opening.*
•Variable purchase and balance transfer Annual Percentage Rate (APR), currently 12.99% to 20.99%, based on credit worthiness.** This APR varies with the market, based on the prime rate.
•No Annual Fee**

For more info and to read the “fine print” go to:

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avatar 45 Anonymous

I love my Nordstrom Visa Card – the points earned get converted into redemption vouchers that are sent automatically and can be used like cash at Nordstroms. I save my $20 and $40 vouchers and then when I’ve accumulated $200 in vouchers, I go shopping!

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avatar 46 Anonymous

I use my Target VIsa card when I shop at Target in order to get the 5% discount on purchases.

I use the Amazon Visa for purchases in order to earn their 3%.

I use the Costco AMEX for gasoline purchases at Costco to get 3% back on that.

For all other purchases, I use the Nordstrom Visa Card in order to earn their same-as-cash vouchers.

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avatar 47 Anonymous

you may want to consider the Citi Forward card for your Amazon purchases. You get 5 points for every dollar spent at restaurants, movies and bookstores (they consider Amazon a bookstore for some reason), and 1 point for everything else. The 5 points comes out to roughly 3.1% – 5% in the form of gift cards, and you can get a Visa gift card too, which is basically cash.

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avatar 48 Anonymous

Wow; good deal! Thanks for the feedback; I don’t see it on your list, so I’ll Google it.

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avatar 49 Anonymous

My favorite card was formerly the chase 5% card but I hate the rotating categories and am searching online for a replacement. I still have the former Schwab now FIA 2% card, and the beauty of it is that there’s no minimum to redeem the cash back, and it’s auto-deposited into my acct. As an Amazon shopper, I am aware of the Amazon card (3% on Amazon, 2% for everything else) and so far that is my leading contender to replace the Chase card. I just want cash back — not gift cards.

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avatar 50 Anonymous

What about PNC’s cards? The Cashbuilder card offers 1.25%-1.75% cash back on all purchases! Higher tiers can be gained by having a checking account or just by spending more!

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avatar 51 Anonymous

Last year on my Freedom card, I averaged 2.9% cash back between the rotating 3% and bonus 5% and a significant amount of shopping through their rewards shopping site, accompanied by only cashing in for the $250 checks. With that bonus $50 for rewards accumulation, that makes your effective earning rate 1.25% at the bare minimum. It should be higher always, simply because you have the rotating 3% categories.

However, I have recently applied for the Fidelity AMEX as well, and since the card uses the WorldPoints program, you can play it similarly to the Freedom card, in that if you wait until you hit 25,000 points, you CAN redeem for a 1:1 cash check for a full $250. Up until that point, the checks are fractional (because they WANT you to open a Fidelity account); however, a Fidelity account isn’t REQUIRED to take advantage of the 2% base earnings rate… just a little patience, that’s all.

When I ran a comparison between my Freedom card and the FIA card using the current available earning levels in the Chase Rewards Shopping site and the WorldPoints Mall, about 75% of the stores I use frequently online will produce a higher NET cash return using the FIA card than the Freedom card. In my book, the FIA card could be easily propelled up on this card list. It’s usefulness is being underestimated by the illusor tie to Fidelity.

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avatar 52 Anonymous

Thank you for doing the comparison. This article is a joke, it just updates every month with the same information so people think its current. The FIA is the best no annual fee cash back card around. I have the Chase Freedom as well, but only use when some place doesn’t take Amex.

I also think the Citi forward visa should be on the list. You get 5 points for every purchase on books, movies, music, and restaurants. And guess who is largest bookstore? Amazon. So you get 5 pts for every amazon purchase. You cant redeem them 1:1, so its not exactly 5% cash back, but I think it comes out to 2-3% cash back, slightly better than FIA. Oh, and the categories don’t change very few months, and you don’t have to opt in like the Chase Freedom.

I’m not sure why this editor is on love with the Chase Freedom, There are at least 2 better cards out there.

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avatar 53 Luke Landes

Each month I evaluate the current offers — in fact it’s updated on a more than monthly basis. The cards listed on this page change depending on what offers are available.

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avatar 54 Anonymous

On the American Express website, their description of the Blue Cash card says: Get 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% everywhere else. The woman from Money Magazine that was on the Today Show yesterday said 5% on three categories: gas, groceries & pharmacies and 1.25% on everything else once you hit $6500. Why the discrepancy?

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avatar 55 Anonymous

Hi Deb,

John is right about the card you are looking for. It’s the AMEX Blue Cash card which they stopped offering in May/June of 2011. I did an analysis on all these cards and that card, although no longer availabe, paid back the most for the normal single consumer, especailly with gas at where it is today. What I also concluded was that the AMEX Preferred was the second best card for my needs even with the $75 annual fee taken out the cashback.

For a family that spends alot on groceries that 6% could make a huge difference. If the AMEX Blue Cash was not availabe when I was doing my research, the AMEX Preferred would have been my second choice. Take a look at the AMEX Preferred.

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avatar 56 Anonymous

Be careful thoughh as the new AMEX Blue Cash cards (I have the older one with the $6,500 threshold limit) have a $6,000 Cap on the higher percentages; after you hit the Cap you start to earn lower percentages. The older Blue Cash cards had a $6,500 threshold before the higher percentages kicked in but thereafter were unlimited.

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avatar 57 Anonymous

I have the old Amex Blue and it is 5% on pharmacy, Gas, Grocery. I’m not sure when they changed the terms but its a shame as it really is a great cashback card for a family. They did force a change from 1.25% on everyday down to 1% on everyday. Other than that all remains in tact for the older customers.

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avatar 58 Anonymous

I think she was referring to the promotion % for the first 6 months.


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avatar 59 Anonymous


I just got off the phone with AMEX. I have been using the Blue Cash card for a few years now. I average about $1,000 back annually. The latter description is correct; 5% on gas, groceries & pharmacies and 1.25% on everything else – after $6,500. I make a habit of saving some major purchases for July when my card cycle resets, thus I hit the $6,500 in two billing cycles. One CATCH, Walmart is the largest retailer of groceries in the World, but AMEX does not recognize this and will only give you 1.25% back. The same is true for Sams and Costco.

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avatar 60 Anonymous


I have the Capitol One No Hassle Cash Rewards card but do not have to spend $6k to get 2% on gas and groceries. I don’t see where you get that or the 3%??? From Capital One site:

No Hassle Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards 2% cash back on purchases at gas stations and major grocery stores

1% cash back on all other purchases

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avatar 61 Anonymous

Now that I have been approved for the PenFed VISA, I now own 12…yes, 12 credit cards. I have recently in the past few months been heavily researching the new products and utilizing rewards. I have been diligent to maintain superb credit (has taken a bit of a hit lately with the three new cards and other hard hits). PenFed probably loves a clean payment history, not the credit score alone. So, if ANYONE cares to know the reason I have that many cards; it is simple. I have the following cards with the most utilized rebate potential out of all 12. Here we go. I will even list them alphabetically. :) OH! NONE of these cards carry an annual fee.

American Express Delta Skymiles Options – I use to book flights only.
Capital One Business Platinum VISA – Well, business expenses. Good bank, too.
Capital One (formerly Chase) Sony Card VISA – All things Sony. Plus you get a website benefit.
Chase Freedom MC – I utilize the 5% on the revolving promotions up to $1500.
Choice Privileges VISA – GREAT if you are a fan of Choice brand hotels.
Citi Hilton HHonors VISA – See above except apply to Hilton hotel family.
Discover More – Categories are similar to Chase Freedom. Cap on 5% is less than $400 usually.
Macy’s Department Card – What can I say? Everyone needs one retailer card. Great coupon kickers.
Wachovia Platinum VISA – Nothing. Big limit and low interest for a bad pinch.
WorldPoints VISA – Worthless.
Upromise World MC – This card is cool. It offers great online savings AND you can sign up for a free account with Upromise, link it to Sallie Mae Savings and…poof. Savings are swept into a savings account.

Lastly, I cannot wait to save 5% on gas ALL the time. Thank you for the advice from all blogs and commentary.

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avatar 62 Anonymous

Quick note. Chase allows to redeem rewards as small as $20-$25. Discover is $50 min. If it is one or the other, Chase Freedom is much better.

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avatar 63 Anonymous

This has been changed with Discover. You do not have to have $50 to get the cash back.

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avatar 64 Anonymous

i just applied for the Penfed card to get 5% back on gas. I will also apply for the AE Blue Cash :Preferred to get 6% back on groceries – the AE card costs $75 per year but we spend $600 per month on groceries so it will be well worth it. Lastly i got the Chase Freedom Card where i will get back $150 after my first $500 in purchases.

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avatar 65 epd21084

I’ve shopped through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and they never gave me the points (I think it was 5% of the purchase sub-total). I contacted them and they said they had no record of the transaction and would not give me the points that I earned by shopping through the “Rewards Mall.”

Total scam in my opinion… will never do that again. CapitalOne Venture card is far better for the Miles you get and Perk Central actually gives you the miles earned through their system.

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avatar 66 Anonymous

They don’t offer this anymore!

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avatar 67 Anonymous

A bit off subject, but does anyone know if/where I can get a current code for the $100 cash bonus for opeing a Chase checking account (not the one with the dd attached)? Thanks!

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avatar 68 Anonymous

Your website rates this card very highly. I will admit, at a glance it is very appealing. We spent a good bit of time and several phone calls to the card issuer and discovered some information that we are not sure that you are aware of. Did you realize that to get just a $10 cash back reward(true check in the amount of $10), using the 1% cash back, you would have to spend $100,000 in credit card purchases? So to earn the 2,000 points and a $20 cash back reward that they advertise, you would need to spend $200,000 in credit card purchases! I feel their advertising is misleading and thought you should check into this to see if you still want to rate their product so highly.


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avatar 69 Luke Landes

Your math is incorrect. For Chase Freedom, you earn 1 point for every dollar spent. You need to spend $1,000, earning 1,000 points, to redeem $10 in rewards, but you may need to earn more to qualify or a minimum payout. 1% cash back means it works out to $1 for every $100 you spend. It’s that simple.

“Rewards are earned as points, which can be redeemed for cash back. 1% cash back equals 1 point. If you choose to redeem for cash back, 1 point equals $0.01 cash back. For example, 2,000 points can be redeemed for a $20 check.”

The 5% bonus opportunity improves this offer

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avatar 70 Anonymous

1 point for $1 in purchases… to get a 1,000 points, you charge $1,000. Not sure where you’re getting your numbers.

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avatar 71 Anonymous

True Earnings® Card from Costco and American Express offers 3% for Restaurants as well.

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avatar 72 Anonymous

@ Lindsey,

B of A cards are generally not competitive for rewards by any means. If you’re looking for low apr, then yea, you may want to see what BA is offering. But those rewards you claimed are actually beaten significantly by several other card offers, both Discover and Citi regularly offer 5% cash back on the gas and grocery front and also have the 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can also get a $50 bonus from those cards as well if you keep you’re eyes peeled for ’em…sometimes even more.

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avatar 73 Anonymous

Hmm, I don’t really understand how it’s possibly not competitive with the Capital One No Hassle. And as far as I know, Citi and Discover only do that on a rotating basis. For someone like myself, who’s essentially only spending money on groceries and very little else, it doesn’t help much to only have that a few months out of the year. I wouldn’t regularly be spending much in most of the other categories. I think I’d earn more cash back with a steady 2% groceries all year. But regardless, this is Capital One No Hassle with better rewards on gas. There are some flat 1% cash back cards on that list, so I don’t see why B of A wouldn’t be included.

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avatar 74 Anonymous

Check out the new B of A cash rewards Visa. Straight 3% on gas 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else. No need to opt and no rotating categories.

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avatar 75 Anonymous

Why not one of the AMEX Blue Cash cards? 3% off groceries (or 6%-%75AF)

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avatar 76 Anonymous

Sorry, make that “or 6% – $75 AF”

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avatar 77 Anonymous

And actually, it looks like Capital One did away with their no fee version of the card. So if their $39 a year No Hassle card makes the list, makes no sense why the no fee B of A card wouldn’t. In my opinion.

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avatar 78 Anonymous

BOA’s card is not unlimited. see their T&C:

“You will earn total cash rewards of 2% (consisting of 1% bonus cash rewards and 1% base cash rewards) for net purchases at eligible grocery merchants and 3% (consisting of 2% bonus cash rewards and 1% base cash rewards) for net purchases at eligible gas merchants (the “Bonus Categories”), for the first $1,500 of combined net purchases made during each calendar quarter in the Bonus Categories”

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avatar 79 Anonymous

Good point. I’m low income, so that wouldn’t apply to me unless I was spending way more than I could afford. But for many people that may be a point of interest.

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avatar 80 Anonymous

THE CHASE CARD HAS QUARTERLY POINT LIMITS on the bonus 5% cash back offers (I think $75). I just got one and got screwed!

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avatar 81 Anonymous

How about this one?
Capital One Cash

Load up on cash back with a 50% bonus every year
Summary of Key Benefits:
Enjoy a 50% bonus on the cash back you earn every year
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
Get your cash back how you want it, when you want it
Save with a low intro APR on purchases and no annual fee
New account holders can earn a one-time $100 bonus

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avatar 82 Anonymous

Just want to say Chase freedom no longer offers 200 signup bonus. It is cut half to $100.

I am also interested to know what people think about the CapitalOne Cash with 50% bonus. Sounds okay, still not as good as having 2%, god i still have my FIA card but knowing that i will be losing the 2% end of october, i already miss the card!!!

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avatar 83 Luke Landes

The $200 Chase Freedom bonus is definitely still available (September 18, 2011). Just follow the link in this article.

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avatar 84 Anonymous

haa, you are right, the link in this article still says 200, but according to this link it is 100:

I did call Chase and they told me its no longer 200, whatever, i hate inconsistencies, i should just go for the capital one.

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avatar 85 Luke Landes

The offers we present on shizennougyou aren’t necessarily open to “the public” (that is, they are unadvertised except for on shizennougyou and possibly a small number of other websites). Phone CSRs may not necessarily know about them. The information provided here is current.

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avatar 86 Anonymous

BP has a good rewards card if you travel a lot and buy BP fuel. Unlimited Rewards. 5% cash back on ALL BP purchases (including snacks, beer, etc.) 2% on dining and travel, 1% on everything else, excluding online purchases. Apply for the card on BP’s website, but it is administered through Chase. I have had this card for just over a year now and have close to $500 cash back. I buy a lot of BP fuel.

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avatar 87 Anonymous

Navy Federal offers a cash rewards VISA card that gives you 1.5% after you make $10k in purchases. It’s 1% before you reach $10k in purchases.

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avatar 88 Anonymous

I have been trying to find a replacement card for my Charles Schwab (FIA) card ever since I found out it was being replaced with the pathetic BofA reward program. I saw this offer from Household Bank (HSBC): and wanted to see what others thought of it as a possible replacement before I took the plunge. It looks promising, but I wanted to see if anyone out there as had any experience with this card.

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avatar 89 Anonymous

I have a 2% rebate, no annual fee HSBC card that is capped at $400 back per year. Your link does not say anything anything about a cap, but you should double chack on that.

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avatar 90 Anonymous

I just starting using my Fidelity Visa 1.5% cash back card and found two issues:

1. No e-mail balance/bill/activity alerts. Perhaps this would change if I did not get a paper statement.
2. No ability to auto-pay the entire balance in full each month without intervention. You can auto-pay a fixed amount or manually pay the balance at a date in the future. But I am bound to get busy and forget to do this.

Were are my scissors…

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avatar 91 Anonymous

You omitted the CAPITAL ONE cash rewards card. 1% on all purchases plus at the end of one year you get a 50% bonus. This equals 1 1/2% of all purchases. No annual fee. $100 bonus for opening the account. If you pay off your balance each month, the only card that beats it is the Fidelity card that gives you 2% but requires you to open an brokerage account with them. I opened an account with them for $50 then applied for and got the 2% Fidelity card. Only problem Is that it is an American Express card. Bottom line: I get 2% unless the merchant doesn’t accept American Express, then I get
1 1/2%.

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avatar 92 Luke Landes

I’ve listed the Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards, but the Capital One Cash Rewards offers a lower cash back percentage for the benefit of no annual fee. I’ll add a note about the new card.

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avatar 93 Anonymous

I use the Chase Freedom and the Discover cards for cash back and as presented above the AXP card has a substantially higher tier to receive any cash. I had accumulated approximately 150,000 with membership rewards paying $40/month over 25 years (1,000) and then found that the conversion rate is so poor that the points are really about 75,000 with a 1/1 conversion instad of the typical 1/2 conversion. So I gave up on point cards or what I call “funny money” because of the huge loss during the conversion/redemption process. The best cash back account that I found is Chase freedom for the following reasons: 1) 1% cash back with no tier; 2) 2% more or a total of 3% on the top 3 or 5 of 15 category purchases (3 of 15 for non checking account customers and 5 of 15 for checking customers) 3) 5% more or a possible total of 8% for quarterly promotions. For the 4th quarter of 2011 the promotions are dining, movie theaters, department stores and charitable contributions totaling $1,500 and a separate $1,500 for Khols. They seem to me to have the best cash back program as they have no tier and the give the maximum or 8% on selected quarterly promotions 1% + 2% + 5% = 8%. The Discover card has a 3,000 tier before earning 1% and charges at Walmart or Sams club do not contribute to the tier and always have a cap of 0.25%. The benefit of this card is at redemption where there is a little price improvement on some gift cards at selected merchants. Their disadvantage compared to Chase is that the maximum ever benefit is 5%. The 5% quarterly benefit is not added to the tier level. Wheras with Chase it is added to a maximum of 8%. The 5% quarterly bonuses are often similar with Chase and Discover and each program requires that the customer sign up for each quarterly benefit. Both Chase and Discover had gas at 5% for the summer months. Also I have found that most of the time the dollar amount eligible for the Chase card is almost always higher than the Discover card for the similar quarterly promotion. This quarter the maximum charges for the Discover quarterly promotion (restaurants, department stores and clothing stores it only up to 300 in charges whereas the Chase card is $,1500 in charges (dining, movie theaters, charitable donations, department stores)

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avatar 94 Anonymous

go with Capital One’s new Spark for small Business, an obvious answer to Schwab’s termination of its 2% cash back card. 2% Cash back across the board. They are obviously going for all the disgruntled former Schwab card holders like me. It worked.

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avatar 95 Anonymous

Yes, there is a $65 fee for the spark card after a year however, and my experience with capital one is that they’ll change the program eventually and somehow make it not as good. This happened to me with the last capital one card I had when they went to their own tiered point system for paying for travel. It is lame.

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avatar 96 Anonymous

I have an LLC so this could work, but are there any implications to putting all purchases on a “business” card?

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avatar 97 Anonymous

Love the PenFed card so far – we’ve had it for 6 months now. The one thing that wasn’t mentioned in the article (but is important to note) that you don’t have to be a member of any of the organizations or military – they will allow you to join for a $20 donation (which is tax deductible). We use the card for all of our everyday expenses and pay it off each month, so the rewards have FAR outweighed the cost to join.

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avatar 98 Anonymous

I will cancel my B of A switchover asap now that Schwab/FIA is gone – it looks like CapitalOne’s Cashback MasterCard with 0% annual fee & 50% cash back bonus every year, 1% cash back on purchases, plus earn a one-time $100 bonus will be best for me, doing the math with the amount I put onto a card, will come out to be pretty much equivalent to the 2% cash back I got with Schwab/FIA.

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avatar 99 Anonymous

Does anyone have the history of the rotating categories of the Citi® Dividend World MasterCard.

I’m interested if the #$&*! categories aren’t in perfect alignment with other cards using the “Category Rotation” methods.

However, if they rotated their 5% and the categories are different, I could easily determine which card to use based on a particular month. (ie. if one card offered 5% in gas Jan- Mar and another offered 5% from Jun-Aug) I’d just switch the card I used to pay for gas based on the one that paid me the most cash back.

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avatar 100 Anonymous

HSBC has a credit card that pays 2% flat rate, no restrictions or annual fee. I recently set up all my recurring monthly bills to be paid automatically with this card. It makes a lot more sense to earn 2% cash back paying with that than it does paying straight out of my checking account.

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avatar 101 Anonymous

do you have a link to this offering? I can’t find that particular card paying 2% & no annual. thanks

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avatar 102 Anonymous

I can’t find the HSBC card you’re referring to. The only thing HSBC offers is the first 6 months at 2%, afterwards it falls to 1%.

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avatar 103 Anonymous

Household Bank Rewards Card.

They have closed sign-ups. (no word on when or if they will re-open; but, this isn’t the first time they’ve closed sign-ups) You can only sign up for their non-rewards cards.

Plus, the required credit score was pretty low for the decent rewards.

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avatar 104 Anonymous

HSBC is now with Capital One. That might be why you are not finding it. I have cards with both & I just received notice a couple of weeks ago.

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avatar 105 Anonymous

good article too by the way

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avatar 106 Anonymous

As for the Penfed 5% Gas cash back CC, you must be a member of their union. However, to become a member, all you need to do is make a $15 donation to their organization serving troops and invest $5 into your own share account as the minimum. From their, your entitled to all of the credit union’s benefits including some amazing loan rates. I just got my card 2 weeks ago : )

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avatar 107 Anonymous

Another great benefit to this card is they pay you your cash back each month as a credit to your account statement.

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avatar 108 Anonymous

Yup, I had this card for one year – and just got a mailing from them saying they are cutting their cash-back rate on non-gas purchases from 1% down to 0.25%.

Time to find another card and cancel this one.

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avatar 109 Anonymous

Yes Chuck,
Same thing just happened to us. All the reasons we chose this card are now gone. And…we’ve mentioned a number of times how you can’t download your transactions so you can plug them into quicken or your choice software & they basically said you can download a pdf of the statement or you need to download them right before the new cycle. I’m sure the troops overseas keeping track of their money sit at their computers so they can download their transaction history. Our relationship with Pen Fed will soon be over.

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avatar 110 Anonymous

Maybe this is new, but you may want to update the Citi Dividend World Mastercard details. You have on there that you get a $100 bonus after $500 in the first three months, well I applied and got approved about a week ago for that card, but with a $200 bonus after $500 in the first three months. Anyways, I’m looking forward to getting that card!

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avatar 111 Anonymous

Good article, I am looking to switch my everyday use card.

I am currently have Pentagon Federal Credit Union card, and just got a notice yesterday. They are lowering the interests rate (useless for me as I payoff every statement) and LOWERING the 1% rebate to 0.25% starting Feb 2012.

So you might need to drop it from your list.


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avatar 112 Anonymous

Extremely helpful article as I am looking for a new everyday use card. Here is my dilemma: I spend most of my money on groceries, gas and misc shopping items at either Sams Club or Wal-Mart. According to many of the card offers, Sams Club does not qualify as a grocer due to their Merchant Category Code. In fact, my wife’s Sam’s Discover Card only gives her.25 % back on purchases. Any recommendations on the best card if your primary purchases are from these outlets on a routine basis?

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avatar 113 Luke Landes

You generally can’t find good cash back deals at warehouse stores because the prices are generally lower per unit. The AmEx Costco TruEarnings card could be a good option if you shop at Costco stores, free for Costco members.

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avatar 114 Anonymous

I pay the $100 Plus member fee to get up to 2% back on my Sam’s Club Discover; the deal has annual spending levels where the % back increases whenever you pass a level threshold. I pay for almost everything with that card and pay off the balance each month to avoid interest. I’m honestly not sure it’s the best deal available, but I typically get back over $400 at the end of the year, so it’s been worth the extra $70 over a standard individual membership to me

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avatar 115 Anonymous

PenFed is cutting their cash back for general purchases to .25% as of Feb. 1. Still get 5% at the pump though.

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avatar 116 Anonymous

I just signed up for the $200 cash back Chase Freedom card. I spent $500 on some much needed things (i.e. new tires, car maintenance), and now I can receive my $200 cash back. Not to mention….I am getting 5% cash back on all these purchases.

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avatar 117 Ceecee

This is great info. I was switched by Chase to the Freedom card a few months ago. My original card with them always paid 5% back on gas, groceries and drugstores. That was a slammin’ good deal. They cut that back before changing to the Freedom card. It’s not bad, but I sure miss that original deal.

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avatar 118 Anonymous

My card is the best. 6% groceries, 3% gas & department, 1% everything else.

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avatar 119 Anonymous

And what would that be?

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avatar 120 Anonymous

It’s the AMEX with the annual fee, like $95 or $75 or something.

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avatar 121 Anonymous

He is probably talking about Blue Cash Preferred from AMEX

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avatar 122 Anonymous

Which cards would be best “longterm” once the signing bonuses have been used?

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avatar 123 Anonymous

I have my wife delivery expenses coming up in this month, any idea which card would give maximum cash back on hospital / medicines expenses. I did get my Chase Freedom today, is it advisable to apply another card immediately, or it might hurt my credit real bad. thanks.

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avatar 124 Anonymous

Pen Fed is changing the Platinum Cash Rewards card which is why I was on this site.

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avatar 125 Anonymous

Fidelity AMEX card is the best deal going. 2% unlimited into a Fidelity Investment account. Can’t beat that. To all of you deal seekers out there. If you’re not getting at least $.01 / Point you’re getting taken.

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avatar 126 Anonymous

The “Fidelity Investment Rewards” American Express card can give a 2% cash back return, which can be redeemed $50 at a time. The perks aren’t as huge as some other cards, but a card that gives back 2% with no limits sounds promising.

Are there any major shortcomings on this card that I’m not seeing?


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avatar 127 Luke Landes

That’s a good card. The only shortcomings as I see it are the requirement to have a Fidelity investment account of some type. If you already have one, that works out well. Fidelity does have some low-cost investment options, and you could likely just use a money market account/fund for collecting your 2% savings. Personally, I prefer cards that do not restrict your rewards to a certain account… but that might only be a small concern for some. With 2% cash back for all purchases, you don’t need to worry about enrolling in quarterly cash back programs and other nuisances.

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avatar 128 Anonymous

I have this card. It requires $2500 to sign up for a new fidelity account. Then you apply for the card and link it to the account. As long as you maintain $2500 in your fidelity account (in cash or stocks), you won’t get slapped by an investment account annual fee. You can redeem your points monthly to your account and withdraw them from your account whenever you like.

It is my “workhouse card”. while I might be getting only 2% cash back for gas or restaurants, I’m getting 2% for everything else as well. I shop at costco and get 2% on warehouse spending. (I think) the costco amex only gives you 1%.

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avatar 129 Anonymous

$2500 restriction is partially true. Yes, initial deposit has to be over $2500, but once it’s open, there’s no fee even the balance falls below $2500. However, if you have securities like mutual funds, yes, there are fees for them. I have investment and short-term cash management accounts with $0 on both. I pretty much use the accounts for redeeming the cash back.

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avatar 130 Anonymous

I am now having a similar problem here with Costco in Canada.
They will no longer be accepting Amex cards as from 31, Dec. 2014. I am currently using an Amex Choice Plus Card ($65.00 annual fee with an Amex gift certificate redemption return rate of 8%), instead of the Costco, no fee (1%) cash back card.
My average total monthly credit card purchases is $1,500.00. (Costco purchases is about 25%). I always pay off my balance in full on each billing period date.
Costco, as from January 2015, will only be accepting Master Cards. They are offering a Costco, no fee, cash back card which only pays .05% on the first $3,500.00 and 1% on all purchases thereafter.
I am looking for a Master card, with an annual fee and a points redemption return rate similar to my Amex Choice Plus card. Insurance coverage, travel benefits and credit facilities are not my priorities.
I would appreciate any suggestions offered.

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avatar 131 Anonymous

PNC Bank has a card that offers 1.75% cash back on all purchaes, no caps.

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avatar 132 Anonymous

I’ve discovered some cards tout their points earnings, but when you cash them in for a specific purpose, they require more than a point for point exchange. For example I have a Choice Rewards card with the primary purpose of earning hotel/motel points. They also allow you to use the points for gasoline cards etc… A room rate of $80 costs 8,000 points/cents OKAY, but to purchase a $50 gas exchange requires 16,000 points/cents or $160 worth of points. If a member has a CHASE AARP card, they can cash in their points as one-for-one. Each point returns 1cent. How do the above mentioned cards stack up on cashing in the points?

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avatar 133 Luke Landes


That’s the case sometimes with cards offering “points,” but these cash back cards earn cash back as indicated above. 1% cash back means you can cash in $1 for every qualifying $100 you spend. You may have to reach a certain level before receiving the cash back, but 1% means 1%.

That’s not always the case with cards where you earn points, like 1 point for every $1.

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avatar 134 Anonymous

Amex was good, not so much any more. High tier $6500 to get off the .25%. Used to be 2% after that plateau. They have continued to lower it and now are down to 1.0% after $6500. Will not be with them much longer. Also they charge vendors the highest fee,s for any credit cards. Can you say corporate greed so the boss gets a bigger Christmas bonus.

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avatar 135 Anonymous

I am looking for a cash back rewards credit card primarily to use for fuel. My husband is an owner operator of his own trucking business and we will typically spend around $100,000 annually in diesel fuel. The PenFed Visa card looks the most promising, however I was wondering if the cash back rewards for gas included diesel fuel, if there was a maximum amount that can be received in cash back rewards from the PenFed card, and if there are any other cash rewards credit cards with a higher % gas cash rewards?

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avatar 136 Anonymous

Randi, I’m fairly certain the card companies can’t distinguish between gasoline and diesel.As long as you pay at the pump, it shows up on your statement the same therefore you should be good on diesel.

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avatar 137 Anonymous

Fidelity American Express Investment Rewards Card. 2% on everything, no limit and no annual fee. You do need a Fidelity account to convert your points into cash. If you convert points via other methods provided, you will not get the 2%. I just have a small Fidelity account so I can get the 2%. Best card by far!

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avatar 138 Anonymous

If I am spending about avg $3000 a month by credit card, which card will I get the most cash back minus the annual fee if there’s any?

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avatar 139 Anonymous

I too like the Fidelity AmEx Investment Rewards Card at 2% on purchases or more if you decide to purchase an airline ticket within 21 days of your travel. Does anyone know about the the new U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Siganature Card? It lets you choose up to two rotating categories every quarter. It additionally pays you an extra $25 when you redeem in increments of $100 or more at a time. However, I think there is a $2.50 per month charge for some facet of it. I can’t seem to find the fine print for it to fully understand its benefits and losses. Anyone aware of this card?

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avatar 140 Anonymous

Be aware not all purchases qualify and it is impossible to get a list of locations that charges will not qualify as a valid purchase for the earnings.

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avatar 141 Anonymous

I recently got a US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card which is a great rewards card to complement the ones I already had like Chase Freedom and Discover. This is a brand new card that seemingly hasn’t been widely touted.

$50 new card member bonus when you spend $500 in your first 90 days

5% cash back on two categories that you choose
2% cash back on gas, groceries or drug stores – choose one
1% cash back on everything else
$25 bonus each time you redeem $100 or more cash back in a single redemption.

You must use the link below to get the $50 bonus after spending $500 in 90 days.

This is a credit card that is giving me 5% back on 2 categories of my choosing each quarter. My 2 are bill payment (such as cable, phone, Internet, satellite, & insurance) which is normally a huge expense for most people; and home improvement, such as Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, hardware stores.

More info:

A friend of mine has a US Bank mortgage and then got this card in addition to his US Bank checking account. This qualified him for their platinum checking package. A surprise bonus came on his first credit card statement: platinum checking customers get a 50% bonus each month on their credit card rewards (e.g., if you earn $10/month in rewards, you actually get $15). This can amount to a lot of extra money, since the rewards are not capped, and since you get an additional $25 bonus if you wait to redeem the rewards once you’ve accumulated $100.

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avatar 142 Anonymous

Bill Pay and Airlines categories are disappearing, unfortunately. This card is still good for 5% categories like restaurants, cell phone bills, and various categories of retail.

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avatar 143 Anonymous

The Discover card that said you get money back at warehouses is not accurate because Costco only accecpts American Express.

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avatar 144 Anonymous

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card (listed as #1 Cash Back card by shizennougyou) just announced, via monthly statement notice, a $6,000 annual limit on grocery purchases effective January 2013. The 3% cash back on groceries had previously been unlimited.

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avatar 145 Anonymous

I have the penfed cashback card and use it ALL the time for gas only. At 5% back I cannot afford NOT to use it. Its a great card and iv told all my friends about this one!

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avatar 146 Anonymous

you missed one of the best if not the best US bank cash +

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avatar 147 Anonymous

I’m staying clear of any chase card. We disputed a bill once. We bought a lottery subscription online and they coded it as cash advance. They charged a $10 cash advance fee on the $50 subscription and they up us interest rate to 200% on the balance if we didn’t pay it off. We never had any credit issues before this. All I wanted to find out was why they coded it cash advance and not a merchandise purchase. Never again.

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avatar 148 Anonymous

Td cash rewards offering 5% cash back first 6 mos at grocery, gas, utility bill, and cable, restaurants too. I estimate a $100 a month cash rebate for myself.

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avatar 149 Anonymous

I love my Chase Freedom card! I have earned about $600 last year by just using it on all my purchases. I buy everything on my credit card then pay it off at the end of the month… Then whoa! I have earn cash back! It’s easy and if your responsible has good perks!

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avatar 150 Anonymous

This looked pretty good from Pentagon Fed Credit Union:
PenFed Defender American Express® Card
1.5% back on everything and low apr for those people don’t pay off their bill very month.

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avatar 151 Anonymous

I don’t see Capital One Cash Rewards. They offer straight cash back, no gimmicks, no points, no categories, etc. 1% cash back on all purchases, bonus $100 back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months, and the best part is an additional 50% bonus on the cash back that you earned in a year. So, if you earn $500 total cash back over the course of a year, they give you an additional $250 back after that year’s time. Just got my bonus and it put a smile on my face!

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avatar 152 Anonymous

Schwas unfortunately got rid of the 2% cash back card about 18 months ago.

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avatar 153 Anonymous

Fidelity is the best by far— 2% aft u spend the first 1500

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avatar 154 Anonymous

I do well with:
Discover and Chase Freedom for only the quarterly categories, 5%.
Costco Amex for Costco purchases only, 3%.
Chase Ink Business for restaurants, office supplies, home improvement, and gas, 3%.
I just opened a Fidelity Amex for everything else, 2% (into a Roth IRA acct I already had with them).

Charge everything I can on credit cards, pay off balance each month.

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avatar 155 Anonymous

I have the starwood preferred guest card and love it for the sign-up bonus and the ability to convert starwood points into most airlines’ frequent flier mile at a rate of 20K starwood points to 25K frequent flier miles. To help with the math of picking the best rewards card you might want to try the rewards calculator at creditcardtuneup. com – it tries to calculate the best card and best combinations of cards for your normal spending.

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avatar 156 Anonymous

Just what I wanted, with this one, part of all I spend on food, fuel and entertainment will be put to work buying assets. Thanks for the tip. Where I go, hardly anyplace takes American Express,

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avatar 157 Anonymous

Pen Fed Platinum cash back now has a $25 annual fee (I’ve had the card for a year and they just sent a notice in the mail).

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avatar 158 Anonymous

get a card from penfed for gas- they promise 5% back for gas purchase- if u are not military member- u can pay one time fee of $5 and join, it’s excellent- we have mortaggae with them( 5 years /arm-free refinancing), excellt car loan and very good service

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avatar 159 Anonymous

Luke, I just came across the capitol one quicksilver that is no fees and 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Have you heard anything about this card?

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avatar 160 Luke Landes

Hi Peter,

I’ve added the Capital One Quicksilver card to the list. It looks like a good deal, and from what I can tell, CapOne’s customer service has improved over the years.

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avatar 161 Anonymous

I have been more than happy with BoA. Also look into Capital 1 Quick Silver – gives you 1.5% on everything.

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avatar 162 Anonymous

I just saw one for the Capital One Spark Business card. 2% cash back on all purchases, no caps, and $500 for using 4k in the first few months. 59 annual fee waived the first year. Sorry if I missed it, but I didn’t see this anywhere.

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avatar 163 Luke Landes

Thanks for the heads-up! That’s a good sign-up bonus. Watch out for that annual fee!

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avatar 164 Anonymous

Citi Double Cash gives 2% back, no annual fee, and is not Amex (it’s Mastercard). So better than pretty much anything else for flat cash back. But the Amex Blue Cash is best for groceries. Cap One Spark is good for the $500, but I’d cancel after getting the cash.

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avatar 165 Luke Landes

Citi Double Cash looks like a great card. I’ve added it to the list.

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avatar 166 Anonymous

Chase Freedom and Capital One Quicksilver are my favs!

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avatar 167 Anonymous

Great article; love that it’s current! I have been using a 1% cash back on everything VISA with no annual fee. Been using it for years because there are no weird hoops or fees, I get my cash back monthly, and Visa is accepted everywhere. Hiway Federal Credit Union Visa.

I’d be open to a higher % of cash back, of course, but I just don’t see that under the Visa brand…

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avatar 168 Anonymous

Luke … thanks for all you do here … I’m here today since I just found out that Discover is moving it’s restaurant 5% category to the 2nd quarter from the 1st. I was using them 1st quarter, Chase Freedom 2nd quarter and US Bank Cash+ for the 3rd and 4th quarters. This is usually my biggest spending category … so … I’m wondering if anyone has an idea for the 1st quarter restaurant category … yes … I do have Fidelity AE for a 2% at restaurants and everything else if nothing develops. I do eat at a couple of restaurants regularly so I could buy their gift cards this month and get a 20% bonus card for doing that … but … would still like to have another an additional 5% card for restaurants …

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avatar 169 Anonymous

Consumer advocate Clark Howard recommends the other Fidelity card for 2% on all spending here:

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avatar 170 Rob Berger

The Fidelity Visa is a great card, if you have a Fidelity account. It compares well with the Citi Double Cash card, which of course doesn’t require a Fidelity account.

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avatar 171 Anonymous

Probably a stupid question given all the information that has been provided, but I’m still in a quandry. Need to pay off an approximate 6K travel expense for in mid February for a future princess cruise and was trying to figure out which cash back credit card would net me the most benefit. I would plan on paying off the credit bill within the first 30 days so no interest charges. Any suggestions.

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avatar 172 highyieldconsultant

I just booked a luxury level cruise this week for around a $7000 total in air & cruise expenses and went through the same analytics as you are doing. I do this kind of a trip about twice a year and always manage to get USD $400 to $700 in ‘introductory’ rebates, on top of regular rebates. Yes, I get a new travel card for this every 6 months and you really need to find a ‘good’ deal at the time you are looking.

In respect to this web site I won’t say where I go to find this data but I will say there are resources published on the net that have developed detailed travel card reward analytics to the point your can determine the exact dollar introductory bonus value for various travel cards. I am more interested in these introductory offers than continuing terms.

Thus, for instance, a more hotel emphasized bonus might be more valuable to you than a flights emphasized bonus, etc. I maintain an 840 FICO so this tactic does not impact my credit but there are some credit card companies that won’t allow you to get a card from them if you have taken on more than 5 new cards in a 2 year period, so govern yourself accordingly. Good Luck.

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avatar 173 Raymond Barry

You might want to add the brand new Chase Amazon Prime Rewards card. For Amazon Prime members, they get unlimited 5% cash back on Amazon purchases and no foreign exchange fees (A Visa credit card too). Also unlimited 2% cash back on gas, restaurants, and drug stores. If you live overseas as a USA citizen and the country you are in uses Amazon, you can purchase international local products. Amazon has restaurants (slim selection), grocery stores, and office supplies.

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avatar 174 Subdue Sally

Women should avoid Capital One at all costs. Do NOT agree to obtain a joint account with Capital One. If your spouse opts for Capital One, if at all possible, carry a different card. If you are single, refuse to do business with Capital One to show your solidarity with other women.

Capital One has created a joint account with two numbers so that bills are pre-divided by purchaser. The financially controlling spouse need not spend hours pouring over the bill to determine which purchases were not his. Capital One has already done it for him!

Worse still, are the intrusive, tattle-tale emails. Capital One will actually send your spouse an email notification if they think the restaurant tip you left was too large. That’s right: Capital One decides what tip is appropriate and notifies your spouse if you surpass that amount. I took my kids out to eat and the restaurant removed the price of a meal because it contained a foreign object. I tipped as though the price of the meal had not been removed because it was not the waitress’ fault and she did a great job. Capital One emailed my spouse to inform him that I had left an excessive tip.

So, if you want Capital One its nose into your private business, stirring up sh!t in your marriage, encouraging male spouses to be even more controlling, then Capital One is for you. If, however, you believe that neither your marriage nor any tip you might leave is any of Capital One’s ********* business, then refuse to do business with them – ever.

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avatar 175 Pitbull

I have had extremely bad experiences with PNC Cash Rewards redemption. Their website has a button to “redeem rewards”. It does not work and has not for the four years I have had the card. I do understand that you need a minimum of $100 in redemptions to get this, but even then, the site does not allow this. There is a number to call which sends you into a very long and complicated phone tree, finally connecting you with another group. That group takes your information, and reconnects you to another group. After about 20-30 minutes, you can redeem them on the phone. I have called about this each month for the last four years, even speaking with the supervisor’s supervisor, and have been told that they are “working on it”. They are always “very sorry for my frustration” and give me a “direct number” to call, next time. Each month that number changes. There is definitely something illegal about this tactic.

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