current best cash back credit card?

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LH
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current best cash back credit card?

Post by LH » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:08 am

I am looking for a card with a high hopefully 2 percent cash back percentage for all types of purchases.
I currently have a sallie mae 2 percent cash back card, which is going away in October, to some sort of books, gas, whatever, and everything else 1 percent.

thanks for help,

LH

Carl53
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Carl53 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:48 am

Priceline Visa 2% on everything
Amex Blue Cash Preferred 6% grocery store purchases (Including gift cards that can be used in lieu of the card above in many instances), 3% gas/dept store, 1% else but has $75 fee
PenFed Platinum Rewards 5% gas, 3% grocery and 1% else (no foreign transaction fees)

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Sunny Sarkar
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:17 am

Fidelity Investment Rewards AmEx gives 2% cashback on everything:

Link: https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ress-cards

Thoughts: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 9#p1466399
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle

Mandrale
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Mandrale » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:06 am

Sunny Sarkar wrote:Fidelity Investment Rewards AmEx gives 2% cashback on everything:

Link: https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ress-cards

Thoughts: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 9#p1466399
In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account. Which do you see as an easier transition for one who is just looking to bank the rewards, and then transfer them out to another external bank?

stupidkid
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by stupidkid » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:32 am

Carl53 wrote:Priceline Visa 2% on everything
A little more than 2% if you consider the 5% on name your own price bids and you travel frequently (I do). There's also a redemption bonus of ~1% if you redeem your points for those priceline bids.

Point of clarification, this isn't exactly 2% cashback in that you don't get a check sent to you. You redeem points for statement credits, which I think is just as good but some find odd.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... st=1468157

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by slug » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:24 pm

Check out the US Bank Cash plus to pair with any 2% card. You get 2 5% cash back categories that YOU CHOOSE every quarter. Wait until you you get $100 in rewards and get an additional $25 debit card. Now you're up to 6.125%. Have a US Bank mortgage or loan? You can open a Platinum checking account and get an additional .5%.

6.625% is hard to beat.
Personal Finance Blogger at Sunk Costs are Irrelevant --> click on globe under my avatar

mlipps
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mlipps » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:44 pm

Just realized today PNC Cashbuilder is up to 1.75% back w/sufficient spending OR their Performance Spend checking account. 1.25% minimum.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mlipps » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:45 pm

Also, you mention books, Citi Forward is 5% back at bookstores, aka Amazon.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Knowzy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:33 pm

Mandrale wrote: In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account.
Just to clarify a common misconception about the Fidelity Amex (that, unfortunately, I helped perpetuate until other BHs set me straight): You do not need a brokerage or money market account with Fidelity to get the card. Having an account with them simply lets you cash in your rewards quicker.

With a Fidelity brokerage/money market, as soon as you earn $50 cash back, you can redeem it. Without a Fidelity account, you can't cash out at 2% until you've earned $250 ($12,500 in spending).

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by jasonlitka » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:45 pm

Carl53 wrote:Priceline Visa 2% on everything
Amex Blue Cash Preferred 6% grocery store purchases (Including gift cards that can be used in lieu of the card above in many instances), 3% gas/dept store, 1% else but has $75 fee
PenFed Platinum Rewards 5% gas, 3% grocery and 1% else (no foreign transaction fees)
The Amex Blue Cash (the old one) is the card I'm using. I did the math on my spending YTD about a month ago and the card I have looks like the best deal. The newer Everyday card would only get me about 83% of what I got with the old card. The Preferred card was about a 3% increase after the $75 fee but that's close enough I don't want to risk it just in case my spending habits change.
Jason Litka

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:35 pm

Knowzy wrote:
Mandrale wrote: In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account.
Just to clarify a common misconception about the Fidelity Amex (that, unfortunately, I helped perpetuate until other BHs set me straight): You do not need a brokerage or money market account with Fidelity to get the card. Having an account with them simply lets you cash in your rewards quicker.

With a Fidelity brokerage/money market, as soon as you earn $50 cash back, you can redeem it. Without a Fidelity account, you can't cash out at 2% until you've earned $250 ($12,500 in spending).
Let me clarify the misunderstanding: there is no separate "money-market" account at Fido. There are 2 types of taxable brokerage accounts:
1. Investment account: this is a standard brokerage account allows check-writing/billpay, requires minimum balance to avoid fees, core position can be one of Fidelity tax-free money-market Fidelity funds.
2. Cash Management account: this is like a normal "checking" account, but much better: allows check-writing/billpay, debit card with all ATM fees reimbursed and no foreign transaction fee, no minimum balance requirements, no fees, core position is FDIC-insured, can buy any investments in the account (although Fidelity encourages clients to use this account for cash mostly).

I have both accounts. For someone who only needs an account to redeem the credit card rewards I would strongly suggest the 2nd option as you won't need to keep any money in the account.

One piece of advice: on your Fidelity AmEx card website set up an automatic rewards balance redemption to your Fidelity account, so you will not need to track it and redeem manually. The way system works is it attempts redemption once a month and if the balance is less than 5000 points it just does nothing.

dbltrbl
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by dbltrbl » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:30 am

+1 Foglifter. Very nice summary of FIDO AMEX. I was not aware of no foreign transaction fee or you meant for the account withdrawal? I think Credit card does have foreign transaction fee.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by rogermexico » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:47 am

I like Chase Ink (Business card). 3% on gas, restaurants, home improvement/hardware, office supplies, 1% on the rest, no fees. Lacks the consumer protections recently enacted for consumer cards and has shorter grace period, but worth it in my estimation. I don't remember having to do anything to demonstrate that I had a business.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:08 pm

dbltrbl wrote:+1 Foglifter. Very nice summary of FIDO AMEX. I was not aware of no foreign transaction fee or you meant for the account withdrawal? I think Credit card does have foreign transaction fee.
I personally verified this last year on 2 trips to Europe, the debit card rocks! As to the AmEx card - your' right, I believe it's 1%. So I used only CapitalOne cards for purchases.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by 3Wood85 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:52 pm

foglifter wrote:
Knowzy wrote:
Mandrale wrote: In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account.
Just to clarify a common misconception about the Fidelity Amex (that, unfortunately, I helped perpetuate until other BHs set me straight): You do not need a brokerage or money market account with Fidelity to get the card. Having an account with them simply lets you cash in your rewards quicker.

With a Fidelity brokerage/money market, as soon as you earn $50 cash back, you can redeem it. Without a Fidelity account, you can't cash out at 2% until you've earned $250 ($12,500 in spending).
Let me clarify the misunderstanding: there is no separate "money-market" account at Fido. There are 2 types of taxable brokerage accounts:
1. Investment account: this is a standard brokerage account allows check-writing/billpay, requires minimum balance to avoid fees, core position can be one of Fidelity tax-free money-market Fidelity funds.
2. Cash Management account: this is like a normal "checking" account, but much better: allows check-writing/billpay, debit card with all ATM fees reimbursed and no foreign transaction fee, no minimum balance requirements, no fees, core position is FDIC-insured, can buy any investments in the account (although Fidelity encourages clients to use this account for cash mostly).

I have both accounts. For someone who only needs an account to redeem the credit card rewards I would strongly suggest the 2nd option as you won't need to keep any money in the account.

One piece of advice: on your Fidelity AmEx card website set up an automatic rewards balance redemption to your Fidelity account, so you will not need to track it and redeem manually. The way system works is it attempts redemption once a month and if the balance is less than 5000 points it just does nothing.

On the piece of advice, are you referring to the FIA website or the Fidelity website? I just received my Fidelity AMEX and opened a Cash Mgmt account after getting the card. Do I need to wait until I get the debit card in the mail to add this to my redemption account?

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:59 pm

3Wood85 wrote:
foglifter wrote:
Knowzy wrote:
Mandrale wrote: In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account.
Just to clarify a common misconception about the Fidelity Amex (that, unfortunately, I helped perpetuate until other BHs set me straight): You do not need a brokerage or money market account with Fidelity to get the card. Having an account with them simply lets you cash in your rewards quicker.

With a Fidelity brokerage/money market, as soon as you earn $50 cash back, you can redeem it. Without a Fidelity account, you can't cash out at 2% until you've earned $250 ($12,500 in spending).
Let me clarify the misunderstanding: there is no separate "money-market" account at Fido. There are 2 types of taxable brokerage accounts:
1. Investment account: this is a standard brokerage account allows check-writing/billpay, requires minimum balance to avoid fees, core position can be one of Fidelity tax-free money-market Fidelity funds.
2. Cash Management account: this is like a normal "checking" account, but much better: allows check-writing/billpay, debit card with all ATM fees reimbursed and no foreign transaction fee, no minimum balance requirements, no fees, core position is FDIC-insured, can buy any investments in the account (although Fidelity encourages clients to use this account for cash mostly).

I have both accounts. For someone who only needs an account to redeem the credit card rewards I would strongly suggest the 2nd option as you won't need to keep any money in the account.

One piece of advice: on your Fidelity AmEx card website set up an automatic rewards balance redemption to your Fidelity account, so you will not need to track it and redeem manually. The way system works is it attempts redemption once a month and if the balance is less than 5000 points it just does nothing.

On the piece of advice, are you referring to the FIA website or the Fidelity website? I just received my Fidelity AMEX and opened a Cash Mgmt account after getting the card. Do I need to wait until I get the debit card in the mail to add this to my redemption account?
FIA website. Fidelity only gives you a snapshot of your card balance on their site. It's a shame - they don't even allow to get electronic bills for the card in Fidelity billpay, although you can successfully track the card in the FullView. I think the reason is billpay and fullview are powered by different 3d party vendors.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by RyeWhiskey » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:31 pm

I use a combo of 3 cards:

CapitalOne Cash Rewards Mastercard: 1.5% back on everything. This is my basic card used for purchases not covered by the next one.
AMEX Blue Cash: 3% back on groceries, 2% back on gas. I use this card for purchases not covered by the following. (If you spend a lot on gas/groceries, check out the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card)
Chase Freedom Visa: 5% back on rotating categories. I use this card only when the category is in play as a 5% cash back.

Given that the Chase Freedom card has Gas as a category twice in 2012 and Groceries once, I average out to 3.5% back on Gas and Groceries per year, and somewhere between 1.5% and 2.5% on everything else. I like this combo of cards as it provides me all three major credit cards (Visa, Amex, MC) and a nice cash back amount on all purchases. I also find that carrying more than three cards becomes too complicated.
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:15 pm

Here's the cards I use in the order of preference:
- Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend World, Discover - 5% on rolling categories. Actually it happens that groceries and restaurants sometimes are covered by these cards at different quarters so I'm getting 2.5% annualized. Citi sometimes offers non-standard categories, like medical expenses.
- Costco AmEx for gas only - 3%
- Chase Amazon - 3% on Amazon and sometimes they have promotions for other categories
- Fidelity AmEx at Costco and on categories not covered by higher than 2% cards
- CapitalOne World Rewards - 1.5% everywhere if Fidelity AmEx is not accepted

Goalie50
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Goalie50 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:27 pm

Keep in mind: many (most) cards have 3% international transaction fees. This will eat way into your cash back.
Last edited by Goalie50 on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gemini
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Gemini » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:56 pm

Best cashback card for gas purchases is the Penfed Visa - 5% cashback on gas (and only gas) purchases anywhere.

I also use the Amex BC Preferred for 6% cb on groceries and amazon/other gift cards.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Jerilynn » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:47 pm

Gemini wrote:Best cashback card for gas purchases is the Penfed Visa - 5% cashback on gas (and only gas) purchases anywhere.

I also use the Amex BC Preferred for 6% cb on groceries and amazon/other gift cards.
Good point about the Pen Fed.

Let me clarify some things.

There are 2 different Penfed cards. One gives a 5% cashback on gas and this is automagically credited to your account every month. The other one gives 'reward points' of 5% on gas, 3% on groceries, 1% on everything else.
When you have 50 reward pts, you can go to the website and they will issue you a $50 pre-paid visa card.

I had the gas only cash card and converted it to the rewards card in order to get 3% off my grocery bill, which I think is worth the small inconvenience of having to use the rewards card.
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Slick8503 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:11 am

Also, the Penfed 5% gas/3%groceries card has a $250 bonus if you spend a relatively modest(can't remember exact) amount in the first three months. That's really what swayed me to choose it over the standard 5% card and go through the hassle of the gift cards.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Gemini » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:13 am

Slick8503 wrote:Also, the Penfed 5% gas/3%groceries card has a $250 bonus if you spend a relatively modest(can't remember exact) amount in the first three months. That's really what swayed me to choose it over the standard 5% card and go through the hassle of the gift cards.
the standard 5% for gas has nothing to do with gift cards. It is a straight 5% cb on gas that is credited to your monthly statement. I liked this much better because I did not want to deal with the whole gift card hassle with the other Penfed card.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Pam01 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:48 am

slug wrote:Check out the US Bank Cash plus to pair with any 2% card. You get 2 5% cash back categories that YOU CHOOSE every quarter. Wait until you you get $100 in rewards and get an additional $25 debit card. Now you're up to 6.125%. Have a US Bank mortgage or loan? You can open a Platinum checking account and get an additional .5%.

6.625% is hard to beat.
Slug, does this US Bank cash plus card have virtual account number feature for online purchases?

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Pam01 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:50 am

I use a Fidelity Amex 2% cashback card as my main card. I also have a Fidelity Visa 1.5% cashback card to use in places where Amex isn't accepted.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:04 pm

Gemini wrote:Best cashback card for gas purchases is the Penfed Visa - 5% cashback on gas (and only gas) purchases anywhere.

I also use the Amex BC Preferred for 6% cb on groceries and amazon/other gift cards.
For Costco members Costco AmEx is a better choice: given Costco's cheaper (~2-5%) gas prices 3% cash back amounts to a bigger reward than 5% elsewhere. And the business card pays 4% back.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:11 pm

Pam01 wrote:I use a Fidelity Amex 2% cashback card as my main card. I also have a Fidelity Visa 1.5% cashback card to use in places where Amex isn't accepted.
Good choice. Fido AmEx is my "almost" main card, except when Chase Freedom/Discover pay 5% in rolling categories. Why miss a chance to get 5%! I know, it takes some mental effort to remember what/when and you have to enroll every quarter... but truly it's worth the hassle. Also, Chase offers text reminders and sends you a tiny card with the annual schedule (I keep it on my fridge).

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mediahound » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:43 pm

foglifter wrote:Here's the cards I use in the order of preference:
- Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend World, Discover - 5% on rolling categories. Actually it happens that groceries and restaurants sometimes are covered by these cards at different quarters so I'm getting 2.5% annualized. Citi sometimes offers non-standard categories, like medical expenses.
- Costco AmEx for gas only - 3%
- Chase Amazon - 3% on Amazon and sometimes they have promotions for other categories
- Fidelity AmEx at Costco and on categories not covered by higher than 2% cards
- CapitalOne World Rewards - 1.5% everywhere if Fidelity AmEx is not accepted


You should really replace the Chase Amazon card with the Citi Forward which gives 5% cashback on Amazon purchases as well as restaurants, book stores and entertainment (like movie theaters).

For 'everywhere else' purchases, I like the Priceline Rewards Visa which gives 2% on all purchases.

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Jerilynn » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:32 am

mediahound wrote: You should really replace the Chase Amazon card with the Citi Forward which gives 5% cashback on Amazon purchases as well as restaurants, book stores and entertainment (like movie theaters).
I looked at their website, but they don't specifically mention Amazon. Is it considered a 'bookstore'? Did you ever manually check to see if you were in fact getting 5% on amazon purchases?
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mlipps » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:01 am

Jerilynn wrote:
mediahound wrote: You should really replace the Chase Amazon card with the Citi Forward which gives 5% cashback on Amazon purchases as well as restaurants, book stores and entertainment (like movie theaters).
I looked at their website, but they don't specifically mention Amazon. Is it considered a 'bookstore'? Did you ever manually check to see if you were in fact getting 5% on amazon purchases?
Everyone I have ever seen reporting this says they get 5% on Amazon. Sources include FatWallet, NerdWallet, etc. I personally just got mine for this purpose this week, so hopefully they're right! :)

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:39 am

Mandrale wrote:
Sunny Sarkar wrote:Fidelity Investment Rewards AmEx gives 2% cashback on everything:

Link: https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ress-cards

Thoughts: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 9#p1466399
In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account. Which do you see as an easier transition for one who is just looking to bank the rewards, and then transfer them out to another external bank?
Someone mentioned that you can pipe the rewards to a non Fidelity account as long as you wait until $250 is accumulated - this is probably your easiest option. I'm not sure if the $250 redemption to an external non-Fido account can be automated.

Redemption into the Fido checking account ("Cash Management Account"), or the brokerage account ("The Fidelity Account"), or even a Fido 529 account - all are very easy and can be automated for every $50. I love both the automatic redemption and the lower $50 bar, plus I have the Fido account anyway - so this is the better option for me.

Best,
Sunny
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by harikaried » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:30 am

mediahound wrote:You should really replace the Chase Amazon card with the Citi Forward which gives 5% cashback on Amazon purchases as well as restaurants, book stores and entertainment (like movie theaters). For 'everywhere else' purchases, I like the Priceline Rewards Visa which gives 2% on all purchases.
I'm thinking about simplifying my credit cards to be just those 2.

Citi Forward: ~5.2% cash back on restaurants/entertainment/amazon (ThankYou points towards a 4% mortgage)
Priceline: ~2.1% cash back on everything else (use points towards priceline purchases)

I'll phase out my Amex Blue Cash that needs the $6500 threshold to get 5% for gas and groceries, and use it for those categories only for the rest of this year. And going forwards, no need to check if places accept Amex!

For reference, my credit card dollar spending distribution:
  • 12.5% gas/grocery
  • 30.0% food/entertainment
  • 57.5% everything else

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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by bungalow10 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:31 am

Mandrale wrote:
Sunny Sarkar wrote:Fidelity Investment Rewards AmEx gives 2% cashback on everything:

Link: https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ress-cards

Thoughts: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 9#p1466399
In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account. Which do you see as an easier transition for one who is just looking to bank the rewards, and then transfer them out to another external bank?
My rewards transfer automatically to my Fidelity brokerage account, to the MM sweep. Painless.
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:50 am

Sunny Sarkar wrote:
Mandrale wrote:
Sunny Sarkar wrote:Fidelity Investment Rewards AmEx gives 2% cashback on everything:

Link: https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... ress-cards

Thoughts: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 9#p1466399
In your thoughts post you state that you may use either the brokerage account w/ money market rates or their checking account. Which do you see as an easier transition for one who is just looking to bank the rewards, and then transfer them out to another external bank?
Someone mentioned that you can pipe the rewards to a non Fidelity account as long as you wait until $250 is accumulated - this is probably your easiest option. I'm not sure if the $250 redemption to an external non-Fido account can be automated.

Redemption into the Fido checking account ("Cash Management Account"), or the brokerage account ("The Fidelity Account"), or even a Fido 529 account - all are very easy and can be automated for every $50. I love both the automatic redemption and the lower $50 bar, plus I have the Fido account anyway - so this is the better option for me.

Best,
Sunny
I haven't seen any verbiage regarding the $250 redemption... note that you get 2% only if the reward is redeemed to a Fidelity account. Otherwise you get 1%. Which makes redemption outside Fidelity pretty much useless.

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FlyHi
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by FlyHi » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:15 pm

I use the Capital One cash rewards credit card. It gives:
$100 bonus for joining
1% cash back on all purchases
50% bonus on cash back every year

Since I do my regular banking at Capital One I can just transfer money from my checking amount to pay the credit card bill.
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:25 pm

FlyHi wrote:I use the Capital One cash rewards credit card. It gives:
$100 bonus for joining
1% cash back on all purchases
50% bonus on cash back every year

Since I do my regular banking at Capital One I can just transfer money from my checking amount to pay the credit card bill.
The trick with this card is to not redeem the cash back too early... one should wait until the annual bonus is posted, because the 50% bonus only applies to the current rewards balance. But the main perk is no foreign transaction fee.

With numerous options to get 2% with other cards C1 doesn't look too attractive. As I mentioned I do use it in rare cases when my Fido AmEx is not accepted.

mediahound
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mediahound » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:38 pm

foglifter wrote:
FlyHi wrote:I use the Capital One cash rewards credit card. It gives:
$100 bonus for joining
1% cash back on all purchases
50% bonus on cash back every year

Since I do my regular banking at Capital One I can just transfer money from my checking amount to pay the credit card bill.
The trick with this card is to not redeem the cash back too early... one should wait until the annual bonus is posted, because the 50% bonus only applies to the current rewards balance. But the main perk is no foreign transaction fee.

With numerous options to get 2% with other cards C1 doesn't look too attractive. As I mentioned I do use it in rare cases when my Fido AmEx is not accepted.

I dont think this is true. The annual additional .5% cashback is cummulative.

foglifter
Posts: 237
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:04 pm

mediahound wrote:
foglifter wrote:
FlyHi wrote:I use the Capital One cash rewards credit card. It gives:
$100 bonus for joining
1% cash back on all purchases
50% bonus on cash back every year

Since I do my regular banking at Capital One I can just transfer money from my checking amount to pay the credit card bill.
The trick with this card is to not redeem the cash back too early... one should wait until the annual bonus is posted, because the 50% bonus only applies to the current rewards balance. But the main perk is no foreign transaction fee.

With numerous options to get 2% with other cards C1 doesn't look too attractive. As I mentioned I do use it in rare cases when my Fido AmEx is not accepted.

I dont think this is true. The annual additional .5% cashback is cummulative.
I actually called the customer service and asked about this. They confirmed.

mediahound
Posts: 680
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mediahound » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:12 pm

foglifter wrote:
mediahound wrote:
foglifter wrote:
FlyHi wrote:I use the Capital One cash rewards credit card. It gives:
$100 bonus for joining
1% cash back on all purchases
50% bonus on cash back every year

Since I do my regular banking at Capital One I can just transfer money from my checking amount to pay the credit card bill.
The trick with this card is to not redeem the cash back too early... one should wait until the annual bonus is posted, because the 50% bonus only applies to the current rewards balance. But the main perk is no foreign transaction fee.

With numerous options to get 2% with other cards C1 doesn't look too attractive. As I mentioned I do use it in rare cases when my Fido AmEx is not accepted.

I dont think this is true. The annual additional .5% cashback is cummulative.

I actually called the customer service and asked about this. They confirmed.


You must have a different deal then me then. Look at this screenshot from the website:

https://img.skitch.com/20120830-m682tx8 ... d3ycbc.jpg

It clearly states:

"My Base Earn Rate
1% cash back

My Bonuses
Anniversary: 50% of your prior year's rewards earnings "


It states nowhere that you have to save up cashback unredeemed in order to get the additional .5%.

I'll know for sure next month since September is my one year anniversary with this card and I expect to get my .5% bonus cashback and have redeemed all rewards since I no longer use this card in favor of the Priceline Rewards Visa (2% cashback).

If it really works the way you state, that would be the stupidest reward program ever but it clearly states 'bonus on previous rewards", not current rewards, so I highly doubt that is how it works.

foglifter
Posts: 237
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:28 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:40 pm

mediahound wrote:
foglifter wrote:
mediahound wrote:
foglifter wrote:
FlyHi wrote:I use the Capital One cash rewards credit card. It gives:
$100 bonus for joining
1% cash back on all purchases
50% bonus on cash back every year

Since I do my regular banking at Capital One I can just transfer money from my checking amount to pay the credit card bill.
The trick with this card is to not redeem the cash back too early... one should wait until the annual bonus is posted, because the 50% bonus only applies to the current rewards balance. But the main perk is no foreign transaction fee.

With numerous options to get 2% with other cards C1 doesn't look too attractive. As I mentioned I do use it in rare cases when my Fido AmEx is not accepted.


I dont think this is true. The annual additional .5% cashback is cummulative.

I actually called the customer service and asked about this. They confirmed.


You must have a different deal then me then. Look at this screenshot from the website:

https://img.skitch.com/20120830-m682tx8 ... d3ycbc.jpg

It clearly states:

"My Base Earn Rate
1% cash back

My Bonuses
Anniversary: 50% of your prior year's rewards earnings "


It states nowhere that you have to save up cashback unredeemed in order to get the additional .5%.

I'll know for sure next month since September is my one year anniversary with this card and I expect to get my .5% bonus cashback and have redeemed all rewards since I no longer use this card in favor of the Priceline Rewards Visa (2% cashback).

If it really works the way you state, that would be the stupidest reward program ever but it clearly states 'bonus on previous rewards", not current rewards, so I highly doubt that is how it works.

Maybe I should give it a try - redeem now and see how the bonus works. And then decide whether I close or keep the card. :wink:

FedGuy
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by FedGuy » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:45 pm

foglifter wrote:With numerous options to get 2% with other cards
Numerous? There's Fidelity, which I personally have little interest in pursuing after what happened to the Schwab card. There's Priceline, which is kind of a weird card unless you want to carry around a picture of William Shatner, and...what else? I think Sallie Mae was discontinued. If you know of others, I'd love to hear them.

mediahound
Posts: 680
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mediahound » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:49 pm

FedGuy wrote:
foglifter wrote:With numerous options to get 2% with other cards
Numerous? There's Fidelity, which I personally have little interest in pursuing after what happened to the Schwab card. There's Priceline, which is kind of a weird card unless you want to carry around a picture of William Shatner, and...what else? I think Sallie Mae was discontinued. If you know of others, I'd love to hear them.
You have the option of getting the Priceline Card without William Shatner on it. I did. Looks like any other credit card, nothing weird about it:

Image

rj49
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by rj49 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:20 am

mlipps wrote:Also, you mention books, Citi Forward is 5% back at bookstores, aka Amazon.

Actually Citi Forward gives 5 points at Amazon, but the redemption amounts for gift cards are higher (for instance, 6000 points for a $50 gift card), so it comes out to less than 5% back.

Discover Card is pretty good for cash back for many merchants (15% on Groupon, 5% at the online Apple Store, 5% on many travel sites), as well as with their rolling 5% categories, so I think they're a good way to pick up extra money. Plus you can spend the rewards money on Amazon, without having to accumulate a certain balance first, so I like that simplicity over the more complex points programs, like Citi's ThankYou rewards.

mediahound
Posts: 680
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by mediahound » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:32 am

rj49 wrote:
mlipps wrote:Also, you mention books, Citi Forward is 5% back at bookstores, aka Amazon.

Actually Citi Forward gives 5 points at Amazon, but the redemption amounts for gift cards are higher (for instance, 6000 points for a $50 gift card), so it comes out to less than 5% back.

Discover Card is pretty good for cash back for many merchants (15% on Groupon, 5% at the online Apple Store, 5% on many travel sites), as well as with their rolling 5% categories, so I think they're a good way to pick up extra money. Plus you can spend the rewards money on Amazon, without having to accumulate a certain balance first, so I like that simplicity over the more complex points programs, like Citi's ThankYou rewards.
With the Citi Forward card, if you redeem for an Amazon.com credit, it still works out to be a higher percentage cashback than the Chase Amazon 3% card. And you have the option of redeeming for other gift cards for the full 5%.

Rotating cashback categories like with the Discover card is a fools game, IMO. They really get you when you forget what category is on at the moment or things like that.

foglifter
Posts: 237
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:29 pm

FedGuy wrote:
foglifter wrote:With numerous options to get 2% with other cards
Numerous? There's Fidelity, which I personally have little interest in pursuing after what happened to the Schwab card. There's Priceline, which is kind of a weird card unless you want to carry around a picture of William Shatner, and...what else? I think Sallie Mae was discontinued. If you know of others, I'd love to hear them.
OK, I apologize, the options are in fact scarce. I don't think Fidelity card is a short-term thing: I think Fidelity offers it to attract clients and this sounds like a smart marketing strategy. Fido doesn't require your to invest with them to get the card. The cash account has no fees of any kind and if someone just want to get their cash back they just need to set up an automatic redemption. I'm sure that Fidelity gets new clients when people who come because of the AmEx card see how great the website is and how much overall Fidelity offers at reasonable fees or no fees at all (#1-2 along with ETrade according to JD Powers for the last few years, 30+ commission-free ETFs, free Treasury bond purchases, gazillions of NTF funs, etc.).

I wouldn't compare Fidelity with Schwab, there might be business reasons behind Schwab's decision to ditch the card.

FedGuy
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by FedGuy » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:19 pm

Thanks, Foglifter. Actually, though, I think most of what you said about the Fidelity card applied to the Schwab card as well. I was actually already with Schwab because a prior employer (a company in the financial services industry) required me to choose from a very short list of companies to invest with, and Schwab was the only one I'd heard of. The Schwab card probably kept me there longer than I otherwise would have stayed, and now that I have fairly significant unrealized tax gains in my Schwab account, I'm kind of stuck. I'm not sure why Fidelity can make their card work and Schwab couldn't do the same, so I think I'll keep my distance for the time being (as I work to start shifting some of my assets to Vanguard).

centrifuge41
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by centrifuge41 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:43 pm

First things first. Get cards for big signing bonuses, not ongoing cashback program, unless you are very high spend. Programs change all the time, and in general, signing bonuses far exceed ongoing cashback in value.

If you're high spend, skip over Citi Dividend, Discover More, and Chase Freedom. The caps are all very low (all equivalent to ~$6000 of spend a year). Exception: when Chase Freedom's bonus is 30,000+ points.

Downgrade/convert large signing bonus cards to the cards that you really want over time. This is especially true since large signing bonus cards are usually those with annual fees (often waived for year 1).

In practice, what does this mean? Want a Forward for 5 points/$ on amazon, dining, etc? Get a ThankYou premier (or two. See "two browser trick". There are still 50,000 point bonus links out there). Downgrade to Forward after 6 to 12 months.

Want a US Bank Cash+? Sign up for Flexperks first. It offers $331 of cash, or (up to) $663 worth of airfare.

Fidelity Amex is a nice card, but there isn't a signing bonus. There's some non-BofA Fia cards that can be converted. I'm not sure what the best inroad is. Consider sending the points to Aeroplan if you fly, especially if airline tickets continue to be ~$500 vs. 25,000 points.

3% gas-home-restaurant-office version of Chase Ink is no longer available.

Costco Amex for gas only: sub-optimal since there is a 5% gas Penfed card with a decent signing bonus. Also: Amex Blue cash Preferred gets 3% at gas stations. This card is worth it for the 6% grocery category if you spend > $2500/year on groceries, relative to the Blue Cash Everyday.

foglifter
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:31 pm

FedGuy wrote:I'm kind of stuck. I'm not sure why Fidelity can make their card work and Schwab couldn't do the same, so I think I'll keep my distance for the time being (as I work to start shifting some of my assets to Vanguard).
You don't need to "marry" a brokerage firm (meaning, move your investments) because of a credit card. You can just open a checking account with Fido and get your 2% cash back from the card. Actually, unlike Schwab, which has its own bank, Fidelity doesn't have a bank and their card is issued by FIA Card Services, which is owned by BofA. Even the core position of the cash account is held in some bank (from a list of 5 program banks). Now, FIA has it's own rewards program, I believe it's called World Points or something like that. So the trick is if you redeem in any way other than into Fidelity account you get 1% back. I think 1% is pretty much an industry baseline as almost any card offers at least that level of rewards. Now, my guess is when you redeem to Fidelity account you get 2% and chances are the additional 1% might be paid by Fidelity itself (or Fidelity might reimburse FIA). I think this is an excellent marketing strategy, Fidelity gives you nice cash back for an opportunity to show off its excellent brokerage platform.

Again, this is just my guess, but I'm sure all parties involved get what they want: FIA gets merchant transaction fees from American Express, Fidelity gets new clients who might in the future bring in their assets.

foglifter
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by foglifter » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:22 pm

centrifuge41 wrote: Costco Amex for gas only: sub-optimal since there is a 5% gas Penfed card with a decent signing bonus. Also: Amex Blue cash Preferred gets 3% at gas stations. This card is worth it for the 6% grocery category if you spend > $2500/year on groceries, relative to the Blue Cash Everyday.
If you buy gas at Costco the 3% cash back with Costco Amex is usually more than 5% on a non-Costco station due to lower prices. Surely this is a limitation, but if you live in a major metropolitan area with several Costco location you won't have a problem.

Blue cash Preferred has an annual fee so it is suitable for those buying groceries in only in supermarkets. Places like warehouses (Costco) and specialty stores (Target) are not considered supermarkets and hence purchases won't be considered as groceries. The same may be true for some smaller standalone stores. Another issue with the small grocery stores is many of them don't accept AmEx.

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jeffyscott
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Re: current best cash back credit card?

Post by jeffyscott » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:37 pm

foglifter wrote:If you buy gas at Costco the 3% cash back with Costco Amex is usually more than 5% on a non-Costco station due to lower prices.
This must vary by market as whenever I have checked, the 5% off was equal to or better than Costco with 3% off. Right now, according to gasbuddy, our Costco is $3.859, which is 0 to 14 cents per gallon less than other stations in the area.

WI does have a minimum mark-up law, so it could be that the situation here is unique due to that.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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