Best cash-back credit card right now?

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runner3081
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by runner3081 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:26 pm

Fidelity Visa Signature at 2% CB for everything works well.

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Watty
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by Watty » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:56 pm

There are lots of web sites that get into how to max out credit credit card bonuses and rebates and some people do that as a hobby.

If you don't want to get that involved with it a good starting point that works for me would be;

a) A 2% cash back card like the Fidelity card or the Citi double cash back card, but they just cut back some of the extra perks like price protection so be sure you are looking at the current details.

b) The Costco Credit card for 4% back on gas and 3% on travel. You need to be a Costco member but it has some nice perks. The rebate comes once a year and needs to be redeemed at a Costco.

eer_no_evil
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by eer_no_evil » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:00 pm

+1 for the Fidelity Card

snailderby
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by snailderby » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:09 pm

OP,

There's an 80-page thread on this topic that you might be interested in: viewtopic.php?t=192008. You might also be interested in this thread if you're focused on cashback cards: viewtopic.php?t=248838.

Here are a few of my favorites:
  • The Uber Visa Card (4% on dining + 3% on travel)
  • The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card (3% on dining, travel, and gas)
  • The PayPal Cashback Mastercard / Citi® Double Cash Card / Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card) (2% on everything)
  • The Bank of the West Cash Back World Credit Card (if you live in an eligible state) (3% on dining, gas, and groceries)
Last edited by snailderby on Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 6 times in total.

MichCPA
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by MichCPA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:13 pm

looking wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:59 pm
Hello BH

Are there any best credit cards available??, I can apply for, what about capital one planum, chase bank, and cash rewards credit card .bank of America ?///. My FICO score is 745 is it good or just ok. ??

Thank you
Depending on what matters to you
Dining- Uber card 4%
Gas- Costco Visa or PNC Cashbuilder 4% (Duck Unlimited and Sam's have 5% both not much else)
Gorceries- Amex Blue Cash Everyday 3% or Preferred (6% with a $95 fee)
All around- Citi Double Cash or Fidelity Visa 2%
Worth looking into: Wells Fargo Propel and US Bank Cash+

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TexasPE
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by TexasPE » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:40 pm

At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)

tommy85
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by tommy85 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:45 pm

Alliant credit union has 3% cash back on everything. It does have a 100$ annual fee which is waived off the first year. You break even at 20,000$ annual expense compared to no annual fee 2% back cards.

Tom

MichCPA
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by MichCPA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:46 pm

TexasPE wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:40 pm
May be worth a look...

https://slickdeals.net/f/13004074-bank- ... 9602-40045
I think the US Bank Cash+ might be a better option. Wider bonus category choices and you get to pick more of them. Higher top earning rate too. The SUB is lower, but its also got half of the minimum spend.

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jriding
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by jriding » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:50 pm

tommy85 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Alliant credit union has 3% cash back on everything. It does have a 100$ annual fee which is waived off the first year. You break even at 20,000$ annual expense compared to no annual fee 2% back cards.

Tom
The Alliant Signature Visa is my go-to card. Note that the 3% cash back is for the first year. After that it is 2.5%.

MichCPA
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by MichCPA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:52 pm

tommy85 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Alliant credit union has 3% cash back on everything. It does have a 100$ annual fee which is waived off the first year. You break even at 20,000$ annual expense compared to no annual fee 2% back cards.

Tom
I think many people would be better off supplementing the 2% card with an additional card to get a higher rate rather than paying this annual fee. For example, the Wells Fargo card would pull dining, gas, and travel out of this equation and you don't have the annual fee.

The best use case for the alliant card is if you can push through big estimated tax payments on it to grow your spend pool.

H-Town
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by H-Town » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:53 pm

looking wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:59 pm
Hello BH

Are there any best credit cards available??, I can apply for, what about capital one planum, chase bank, and cash rewards credit card .bank of America ?///. My FICO score is 745 is it good or just ok. ??

Thank you
See: doctorofcredit.com

My daily use:
1) Chase Freedom: 5% cashback quarterly rotating categories.
2) AMEX Preferred blue: 6% groceries, 6% streaming, 3% gas, parking, transportation
3) Barclay Uber: 4% dining out, 3% flight/hotel
4) Chase Freedom unlimited: 1.5%

My travel card:
5) Chase Southwest
6) Chase IHG & IHG Premier
7) Chase Sapphire

BW1985
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by BW1985 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:01 pm

How long is your credit history? Some banks require more than others.
Chase the good life my whole life long, look back on my life and my life gone...where did I go wrong?

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LadyGeek
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:12 pm

I merged looking's thread (started on the previous page) into the on-going discussion.
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MichCPA
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by MichCPA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:13 pm

H-Town wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:53 pm

See: doctorofcredit.com

My daily use:
1) Chase Freedom: 5% cashback quarterly rotating categories.
2) AMEX Preferred blue: 6% groceries, 6% streaming, 3% gas, parking, transportation
3) Barclay Uber: 4% dining out, 3% flight/hotel
4) Chase Freedom unlimited: 1.5%

My travel card:
5) Chase Southwest
6) Chase IHG & IHG Premier
7) Chase Sapphire
I like that group a lot and its actually better optimized for travel than cash. With that in mind, have you though about adding the Amex Gold to replace the Blue Cash Preferred and the Uber card? If you can use the credits (get takeout/delivery once a month and pay $100 in airline fees yearly) it has a lower effective annual fee than the BCP and caps out at 25k instead of 6k. The high cap also allows for getting gift cards and basically expands 4x to pretty much everything. The Amex points should be worth more than 1%. (Keep the Uber card for price protection though, highly underrated benefit).

H-Town
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by H-Town » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:10 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:13 pm
H-Town wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:53 pm

See: doctorofcredit.com

My daily use:
1) Chase Freedom: 5% cashback quarterly rotating categories.
2) AMEX Preferred blue: 6% groceries, 6% streaming, 3% gas, parking, transportation
3) Barclay Uber: 4% dining out, 3% flight/hotel
4) Chase Freedom unlimited: 1.5%

My travel card:
5) Chase Southwest
6) Chase IHG & IHG Premier
7) Chase Sapphire
I like that group a lot and its actually better optimized for travel than cash. With that in mind, have you though about adding the Amex Gold to replace the Blue Cash Preferred and the Uber card? If you can use the credits (get takeout/delivery once a month and pay $100 in airline fees yearly) it has a lower effective annual fee than the BCP and caps out at 25k instead of 6k. The high cap also allows for getting gift cards and basically expands 4x to pretty much everything. The Amex points should be worth more than 1%. (Keep the Uber card for price protection though, highly underrated benefit).
I haven't considered it. Thanks for suggesting. I did a quick search of AMEX gold review. I think I'm tied in with Chase UR program. But when I'm ready to get another round of bonus points, I'll definitely consider MR program with Amex gold.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:17 pm

Fidelity Visa 2% 529 Visa card. No limit, every purchase 2% reward.

MichCPA
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by MichCPA » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:20 am

H-Town wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:10 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:13 pm
H-Town wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:53 pm

See: doctorofcredit.com

My daily use:
1) Chase Freedom: 5% cashback quarterly rotating categories.
2) AMEX Preferred blue: 6% groceries, 6% streaming, 3% gas, parking, transportation
3) Barclay Uber: 4% dining out, 3% flight/hotel
4) Chase Freedom unlimited: 1.5%

My travel card:
5) Chase Southwest
6) Chase IHG & IHG Premier
7) Chase Sapphire
I like that group a lot and its actually better optimized for travel than cash. With that in mind, have you though about adding the Amex Gold to replace the Blue Cash Preferred and the Uber card? If you can use the credits (get takeout/delivery once a month and pay $100 in airline fees yearly) it has a lower effective annual fee than the BCP and caps out at 25k instead of 6k. The high cap also allows for getting gift cards and basically expands 4x to pretty much everything. The Amex points should be worth more than 1%. (Keep the Uber card for price protection though, highly underrated benefit).
I haven't considered it. Thanks for suggesting. I did a quick search of AMEX gold review. I think I'm tied in with Chase UR program. But when I'm ready to get another round of bonus points, I'll definitely consider MR program with Amex gold.
Chase is better overall so you made the right choice. But Amex does have groceries covered hands down. Since Amex has the once in a lifetime sign up bonus (SUB) policy, I would suggest waiting for a special offer or getting a referral. A bit of quick googling for offers can get you from the 35k standard SUB to 40 or 50k. That would also apply for other Amex card you might get for SUB points like the everyday cards. My average domestic flight redemption is probably 1.2 to 1.4 cpp, but I don't pick destination on best redemption.

international001
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by international001 » Sun May 24, 2020 6:50 pm

international001 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:05 am


It's good to know and test. Unfortunately, I don't usually buy at Costco and Walmart. I get 2.75% on groceries using AAA visa signature with BoA. The extra 0.75% is not worth the fee for me.

Can you do better without this 'arbitrage'?

Bump. Something amazing happened

It used to be that the +0.75% of platinum Preferred Rewards with ME applied only to the base 1%. Starting in April and w/o previous notice, I think it's applying to the full rewards (like 2% for groceries)

So, in essence, this is wrong:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/aaa-member ... redit-card

Instead of getting 2.75% in groceries I am getting 3.5% back!

Any chance this is a mistake by BofA?

bling
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by bling » Mon May 25, 2020 3:07 pm

international001 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 6:50 pm
international001 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:05 am


It's good to know and test. Unfortunately, I don't usually buy at Costco and Walmart. I get 2.75% on groceries using AAA visa signature with BoA. The extra 0.75% is not worth the fee for me.

Can you do better without this 'arbitrage'?

Bump. Something amazing happened

It used to be that the +0.75% of platinum Preferred Rewards with ME applied only to the base 1%. Starting in April and w/o previous notice, I think it's applying to the full rewards (like 2% for groceries)

So, in essence, this is wrong:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/aaa-member ... redit-card

Instead of getting 2.75% in groceries I am getting 3.5% back!

Any chance this is a mistake by BofA?
the linked article is wrong. if you have 100k with BoA it is easily the best.

the premium rewards gets you 2.625% FLOOR on everything. the cash rewards cards have bonus categories that you can change each month. with the multiplier that's 5.25%. online and dining are two very lucrative categories.

places like costco have a bonus too, and the effective rate here is 3.5%.

the only category where BoA loses is groceries, because you are capped at 5.25%, whereas AMEX has a 6% card, and a 4x MR gold card, which depending how much you value MR points, is > 5.25%.

jm1495
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by jm1495 » Mon May 25, 2020 3:21 pm

I prefer the Capital One Quick silver card.
1.5% cash back on everything.
No annual fee.
No minimum redemption amount.

I comped the card to the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred and came out slightly ahead with the Capital One card after deducting the annual fee. The other benefits like no minimum redemption amount made the deal for me.
The one caveat is that I drive an electric vehicle and do not purchase gas.

cowbman
Posts: 164
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by cowbman » Mon May 25, 2020 4:43 pm

jm1495 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:21 pm
I prefer the Capital One Quick silver card.
1.5% cash back on everything.
No annual fee.
No minimum redemption amount.

I comped the card to the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred and came out slightly ahead with the Capital One card after deducting the annual fee. The other benefits like no minimum redemption amount made the deal for me.
The one caveat is that I drive an electric vehicle and do not purchase gas.
You do realize there are several 2%+ cards without categories, right? Citi DoubleCash, Fidelity Visa, Bank of America Premium/Travel Rewards, several credit union cards, BBVA, and Paypal Mastercard are examples. Many of them are without foreign transaction fees, and I'm pretty sure none have an annual fee.

cowbman
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Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by cowbman » Mon May 25, 2020 4:46 pm

H-Town wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:53 pm
looking wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:59 pm
Hello BH

Are there any best credit cards available??, I can apply for, what about capital one planum, chase bank, and cash rewards credit card .bank of America ?///. My FICO score is 745 is it good or just ok. ??

Thank you
See: doctorofcredit.com

My daily use:
1) Chase Freedom: 5% cashback quarterly rotating categories.
2) AMEX Preferred blue: 6% groceries, 6% streaming, 3% gas, parking, transportation
3) Barclay Uber: 4% dining out, 3% flight/hotel
4) Chase Freedom unlimited: 1.5%

My travel card:
5) Chase Southwest
6) Chase IHG & IHG Premier
7) Chase Sapphire
Many people are dissatisfied with the Uber card since cashback is no longer an option. Given this, I would replace it with the Bank of America Premium Rewards (if you can get Platinum Honors). Otherwise, I'd probably recommended the Wells Fargo Propel. I personally don't find the Freedom unlimited rewarding and only use the regular one. There are so many 2%+ cards, the freedom unlimited isn't that rewarding. I'd prefer Citi Double Cash and/or AMEX Blue Business Plus.

cowbman
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by cowbman » Mon May 25, 2020 4:49 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:46 pm
TexasPE wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:40 pm
May be worth a look...

https://slickdeals.net/f/13004074-bank- ... 9602-40045
I think the US Bank Cash+ might be a better option. Wider bonus category choices and you get to pick more of them. Higher top earning rate too. The SUB is lower, but its also got half of the minimum spend.
The real bonus to this card is the Preferred Rewards offering up to 5.25% on $2500 per quarter for your choice of category. Popular categories are dining, gas, and online shopping. Seeing as you could make up to $525/year on a no annual fee card + $200 SUB, it's tough to beat!

international001
Posts: 1506
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by international001 » Mon May 25, 2020 6:05 pm

bling wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:07 pm
international001 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 6:50 pm
international001 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:05 am


It's good to know and test. Unfortunately, I don't usually buy at Costco and Walmart. I get 2.75% on groceries using AAA visa signature with BoA. The extra 0.75% is not worth the fee for me.

Can you do better without this 'arbitrage'?

Bump. Something amazing happened

It used to be that the +0.75% of platinum Preferred Rewards with ME applied only to the base 1%. Starting in April and w/o previous notice, I think it's applying to the full rewards (like 2% for groceries)

So, in essence, this is wrong:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/aaa-member ... redit-card

Instead of getting 2.75% in groceries I am getting 3.5% back!

Any chance this is a mistake by BofA?
the linked article is wrong. if you have 100k with BoA it is easily the best.

the premium rewards gets you 2.625% FLOOR on everything. the cash rewards cards have bonus categories that you can change each month. with the multiplier that's 5.25%. online and dining are two very lucrative categories.

places like costco have a bonus too, and the effective rate here is 3.5%.

the only category where BoA loses is groceries, because you are capped at 5.25%, whereas AMEX has a 6% card, and a 4x MR gold card, which depending how much you value MR points, is > 5.25%.
??

I'm just talking about the AAA visa signature card

I am telling you I have it and the article was right last march. e.g. 2.75% on groceries
But it's not true after April 3.5% on groceries

international001
Posts: 1506
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:31 pm

Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by international001 » Mon May 25, 2020 6:10 pm

cowbman wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:49 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:46 pm
TexasPE wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:40 pm
May be worth a look...

https://slickdeals.net/f/13004074-bank- ... 9602-40045
I think the US Bank Cash+ might be a better option. Wider bonus category choices and you get to pick more of them. Higher top earning rate too. The SUB is lower, but its also got half of the minimum spend.
The real bonus to this card is the Preferred Rewards offering up to 5.25% on $2500 per quarter for your choice of category. Popular categories are dining, gas, and online shopping. Seeing as you could make up to $525/year on a no annual fee card + $200 SUB, it's tough to beat!
Sorry

US Bank Cash+ is great for select categories, what is great if you spend on those categories in US (it has a foreign transaction fee)
But what are you talking about Preferred Rewards offering 5.25%? Preferred rewards is a ME status, which card are you talking about that uses Preferred Rewards?

atdharris
Posts: 440
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:18 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by atdharris » Mon May 25, 2020 6:51 pm

bling wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:07 pm
international001 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 6:50 pm
international001 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:05 am


It's good to know and test. Unfortunately, I don't usually buy at Costco and Walmart. I get 2.75% on groceries using AAA visa signature with BoA. The extra 0.75% is not worth the fee for me.

Can you do better without this 'arbitrage'?

Bump. Something amazing happened

It used to be that the +0.75% of platinum Preferred Rewards with ME applied only to the base 1%. Starting in April and w/o previous notice, I think it's applying to the full rewards (like 2% for groceries)

So, in essence, this is wrong:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/aaa-member ... redit-card

Instead of getting 2.75% in groceries I am getting 3.5% back!

Any chance this is a mistake by BofA?
the linked article is wrong. if you have 100k with BoA it is easily the best.

the premium rewards gets you 2.625% FLOOR on everything. the cash rewards cards have bonus categories that you can change each month. with the multiplier that's 5.25%. online and dining are two very lucrative categories.

places like costco have a bonus too, and the effective rate here is 3.5%.

the only category where BoA loses is groceries, because you are capped at 5.25%, whereas AMEX has a 6% card, and a 4x MR gold card, which depending how much you value MR points, is > 5.25%.
I've found that in the age of Corona, the Cash Rewards really does shine. I've gotten 5.25% back on online groceries now for months. Sure, you could get 0.75% more on the Blue Cash Preferred, but to me, it isn't worth the extra $95/year.

compoundloss
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:19 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by compoundloss » Tue May 26, 2020 10:12 am

I've used the Fidelity 2% cashback card as my primary credit card for around a decade without any complaints until recently. I've seen complaints about Elan's customer service but didn't worry about it because I hadn't personally had any issues with them. Unfortunately, I've now seen how bad their customer service is.

Trying to add my Fidelity card to my new cell phone's mobile wallet, so I can use it with NFC terminals, has been like opening Pandora's box. This ordeal started when my phone's wallet app directed me to call Elan to complete the setup. When I called them, they wanted to text me a verification code, but their system wouldn't allow them to send the code to my phone number because I use Google Voice. This meant they would have to call my landline and verify my identity over the phone.

It turns out they really take their time about calling back, and I missed their call days later. Because I didn't answer, they froze my credit card account so the card was completely unusable. I was even locked out of my account online and greeted with a very deceptive message saying they were having technical difficulties. I wasn't too concerned about not being able to access my account online because I thought they were legitimately having technical difficulties that would be resolved without action on my part. I didn't realize they had frozen my account until transactions started being declined.

It took me a week of calling them before I got lucky enough to get someone on the phone who could unfreeze the card after asking me some identity verification questions. Until that point, the people I spoke with would only tell me that someone would call me within the next few days. When I asked if there was anyone else they could transfer me to who could straighten out the mess, they simply told me there wasn't and someone would call eventually.

Even though they unfroze my card for now and I told them to just forget about letting me add it to my mobile wallet, they said someone would still call me to verify my identity. I haven't gotten that call yet, but I'm afraid they will freeze my account again if I miss it. In the mean time I'm trying to stay within earshot of my landline so I don't miss the call.

I pay my balance off every month and only use credit cards for convenience and cashback, but Elan is making this card very inconvenient. I sent Fidelity a message asking for help, and they just told me to contact Elan.

I've now replaced this card with another one for most of my online accounts where I have a card on file so I don't have to worry about it getting declined. I also will of course be using another card for NFC transactions. I can no longer recommend this card to anyone either, which I used to do a lot.

I guess they don't make enough in transaction fees after the 2% cashback to provide decent customer service or even care if you use the card.

Jags4186
Posts: 4882
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by Jags4186 » Tue May 26, 2020 10:22 am

atdharris wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:51 pm

I've found that in the age of Corona, the Cash Rewards really does shine. I've gotten 5.25% back on online groceries now for months. Sure, you could get 0.75% more on the Blue Cash Preferred, but to me, it isn't worth the extra $95/year.
It is not worth $95 to anyone if you can earn 5.25% otherwise. 6% * 6000 = $360 - $95 = $265. $265/6000 = 4.42% cashback. 4.42% < 5.25%.

snailderby
Posts: 964
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:30 am

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by snailderby » Tue May 26, 2020 10:25 am

international001 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:13 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
With PR Platinium Honors?
Which card gives you 4% for grocery? And gas?
With Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors:

BoA Cash Rewards - 5.25% on the bonus category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement)
BoA Cash Rewards - 3.5% on groceries
BoA Premium Rewards - 3.5% on travel or dining
BoA Premium Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases
BoA Travel Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases (if redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases)

inbox788
Posts: 7137
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by inbox788 » Tue May 26, 2020 11:32 am

compoundloss wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:12 am
I pay my balance off every month and only use credit cards for convenience and cashback, but Elan is making this card very inconvenient. I sent Fidelity a message asking for help, and they just told me to contact Elan.
...
I guess they don't make enough in transaction fees after the 2% cashback to provide decent customer service or even care if you use the card.
That's the problem, you should be paying double digit interest rates so they can make some money on the card, but most likely those that are paying double digit interest rates (and it's a surprisingly many) are probably being hounded by debt collectors, which are even worse at customer service.
People who use American Express as their primary card spend the most per month on average — around $1,687, according to a chart published by Morgan Stanley's Cheryl Pate.

Meanwhile, those using Visa, Discover, and MasterCard as their primary cards spend less than half that amount — at $843, $737, and $639 per month on average, respectively.
https://www.businessinsider.com/amex-vi ... nth-2015-9

If credit card companies charge merchants 3% and give back 2%, they're collecting on average about $8/month on each Visa. Not sure if that's even enough to keep the lights on. Used to cost a few bucks in paper, envelopes, postage and processing to mail out bills, not to mention processing the payments, and while I've gone to paying electronically, I'm still staring at a paper bill at the moment.

Is your complaint with Fidelity, Elan or Visa? Amex is far more vertically integrated, so they have less of these types of issues and they're also collecting twice the revenue with likely less costs. And their higher spend afford them other ways to monetize the relationship, so I hope their customer service is better. They're probably better in some ways, but not in others. I didn't think they had 2% cash back card, but came across the Blue Business Amex that might and compares to Citi Double Cash.

Re: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?
viewtopic.php?t=275627&start=50

Anyway, you could go either way, missing out on a few dollars a month for potentially better customer service with another card or company, or chasing more benefit. Travel cards are probably not doing well now, but I expect in a year or two, terrific offers will be flooding back.

compoundloss
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:19 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by compoundloss » Tue May 26, 2020 2:26 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:32 am
That's the problem, you should be paying double digit interest rates so they can make some money on the card, but most likely those that are paying double digit interest rates (and it's a surprisingly many) are probably being hounded by debt collectors, which are even worse at customer service.
I think you're right. I've never really understood how banks come out ahead on cashback cards that eat up most of their transaction fees. I can't see why anyone would carry a balance on a cashback card. If someone plans to carry a balance, I think they would be much better off shopping for a non-cashback card with a lower interest rate instead of effectively reducing an interest rate that's nothing special by 2 percentage points.
inbox788 wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:32 am
If credit card companies charge merchants 3% and give back 2%, they're collecting on average about $8/month on each Visa. Not sure if that's even enough to keep the lights on. Used to cost a few bucks in paper, envelopes, postage and processing to mail out bills, not to mention processing the payments, and while I've gone to paying electronically, I'm still staring at a paper bill at the moment.
And it must become even less profitable for them when you consider the cost of fraud and cardholder benefits like extended warranty protection that they claim to provide. I've never made a claim against a credit card extended warranty, but I've always kept it in mind in case it came into play on an expensive purchase. However, with this customer service experience I just had, I'm not confident at all they would actually honor an extended warranty claim.

I also wouldn't be surprised if credit card issuers close people's accounts who use the benefits too often. I bet they keep up with exactly how much money they've made or lost on every account, considering everything from interest paid to benefit use.
inbox788 wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:32 am
Is your complaint with Fidelity, Elan or Visa? Amex is far more vertically integrated, so they have less of these types of issues and they're also collecting twice the revenue with likely less costs. And their higher spend afford them other ways to monetize the relationship, so I hope their customer service is better. They're probably better in some ways, but not in others. I didn't think they had 2% cash back card, but came across the Blue Business Amex that might and compares to Citi Double Cash.

Re: Any credit cards that can beat the Citi doublecash?
viewtopic.php?t=275627&start=50

Anyway, you could go either way, missing out on a few dollars a month for potentially better customer service with another card or company, or chasing more benefit. Travel cards are probably not doing well now, but I expect in a year or two, terrific offers will be flooding back.
Thant's a good point about Amex; I'll check out that Amex card and the Citi one too. Having Fidelity, Elan, and Visa all involved with a card gives them plenty of opportunity to drop the ball and deflect responsibility. I'm disappointed that Fidelity would put its name on a card and not insist on customer service at least on par with its own.

I go out of my way to avoid having to deal with customer service, and fortunately I haven't had to deal with them much. The bad thing is when I consider the wasted time and frustration, one bad customer service experience like this can just about negate an entire year's worth of 2% cashback. I'm hoping I can regain enough confidence in this Fidelity card to go back to using it as my primary card eventually, but that's going to take at least a few months of no problems with it. I doubt I'll ever recommend it again as long as Fidelity sticks with Elan.

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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by FrugalProfessor » Tue May 26, 2020 2:30 pm

+1 to the BoA strategy.

https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/
https://frugalprofessor.com/boa-raise-c ... g-savings/

~8.25% cash back at Walmart (second link)
5.25% cash back (+ 2% executive) at Costco if you purchase gift cards online
5.25% cash back on Amazon and other online retailers (Delta.com, Expedia.com count as online)
5.25% cash back on Gas/Drugs/Restaurants/Travel (if you have multiple cards)
2.625% on all else

Conditional on 100k at ME.

Pretty good system. The cash back adds up.
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.

Leesbro63
Posts: 6590
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue May 26, 2020 3:35 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:30 pm
+1 to the BoA strategy.

https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/
https://frugalprofessor.com/boa-raise-c ... g-savings/

~8.25% cash back at Walmart (second link)
5.25% cash back (+ 2% executive) at Costco if you purchase gift cards online
5.25% cash back on Amazon and other online retailers (Delta.com, Expedia.com count as online)
5.25% cash back on Gas/Drugs/Restaurants/Travel (if you have multiple cards)
2.625% on all else

Conditional on 100k at ME.

Pretty good system. The cash back adds up.
And you can pay your Federal Income tax and arbitrage .782% at Pay1040.com. For retired Bogleheads who don't have withholding, this can really add up.

cowbman
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:10 pm

Re: good cash reward credit card

Post by cowbman » Tue May 26, 2020 8:39 pm

international001 wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 6:10 pm
cowbman wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:49 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:46 pm
TexasPE wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:40 pm
May be worth a look...

https://slickdeals.net/f/13004074-bank- ... 9602-40045
I think the US Bank Cash+ might be a better option. Wider bonus category choices and you get to pick more of them. Higher top earning rate too. The SUB is lower, but its also got half of the minimum spend.
The real bonus to this card is the Preferred Rewards offering up to 5.25% on $2500 per quarter for your choice of category. Popular categories are dining, gas, and online shopping. Seeing as you could make up to $525/year on a no annual fee card + $200 SUB, it's tough to beat!
Sorry

US Bank Cash+ is great for select categories, what is great if you spend on those categories in US (it has a foreign transaction fee)
But what are you talking about Preferred Rewards offering 5.25%? Preferred rewards is a ME status, which card are you talking about that uses Preferred Rewards?
Bank of America Cash Rewards (or any of its equivalents)

international001
Posts: 1506
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by international001 » Wed May 27, 2020 6:37 am

snailderby wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:25 am
international001 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:13 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
With PR Platinium Honors?
Which card gives you 4% for grocery? And gas?
With Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors:

BoA Cash Rewards - 5.25% on the bonus category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement)
BoA Cash Rewards - 3.5% on groceries
BoA Premium Rewards - 3.5% on travel or dining
BoA Premium Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases
BoA Travel Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases (if redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases)
Good options if you don't mind the foreign transaction fee or the annual fee

You can get 4.5% on travel, 3.5% on groceires with AAA signature, no foreign transaction or annual fee

international001
Posts: 1506
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:31 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by international001 » Wed May 27, 2020 6:46 am

international001 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:37 am
snailderby wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:25 am
international001 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:13 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
With PR Platinium Honors?
Which card gives you 4% for grocery? And gas?
With Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors:

BoA Cash Rewards - 5.25% on the bonus category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement)
BoA Cash Rewards - 3.5% on groceries
BoA Premium Rewards - 3.5% on travel or dining
BoA Premium Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases
BoA Travel Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases (if redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases)
Good options if you don't mind the foreign transaction fee or the annual fee

You can get 5.25% on travel, 3.5% on groceires with AAA signature, no foreign transaction or annual fee

compoundloss
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:19 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by compoundloss » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:56 am

Has anyone heard of the Premium Cash Back+ card issued by the State Department Federal Credit Union? It's a 2% cash-back card I didn't know existed until recently. It seems to currently have a $200 sign-up bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.

Credit union membership is required to apply for the card. State Department employees, on-site contractors, family members, and employees of affiliated organizations are eligible. However, they say American Consumer Council members may (odd that they don't seem sure) be eligible. An American Consumer Council membership costs $8.

My credit cards are all issued by big banks and have become frustratingly unreliable lately. The two cards cards I use most often have both been frozen recently because of erroneous fraud detection, and getting them straightened out has been way harder than it should be. I tried to call Chase at the 800 number on my card about my frozen card over the weekend, but they were closed, apparently because of the pandemic. Pandemic or not, it blows my mind that the biggest bank in the county would completely shut down its customer service over the weekend. With the overly agressive fraud detection and lack of customer service, I get the impression they simply don't care whether you use their card or not anymore.

I wonder if a credit union like this might be better in that respect. Surely they can't afford to pay a bunch of programmers to sit around and write these horrible fraud detection algorithms. Or maybe they use a third party for fraud detection and are just as bad. I don't know.

Card page: https://www.sdfcu.org/premium-cash-back
Credit union eligibility: https://www.sdfcu.org/membership#member ... gibility-1
American Consumer Council membership information: https://www.americanconsumercouncil.org ... ouncil.org

User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2223
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Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:51 am

Wow did anyone actually read this page?
https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/

That's an awful lot of hoops to jump through and you must tie up 100k with BofA. And the guy said he got $3600 in cash back.

Between my Alliant card and Costco card I certainly get over $3k/year with very little complexity.
- Costco card for restaurants & gas
- Alliant 2.5% for everything else

dukeblue219
Posts: 755
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by dukeblue219 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:57 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:51 am
Wow did anyone actually read this page?
https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/

That's an awful lot of hoops to jump through and you must tie up 100k with BofA. And the guy said he got $3600 in cash back.
You don't need to keep the $100k there if you don't want to. Keep it for 3 months, get your status renewed for a full 12 months, then transfer at your leisure. Repeat.

Jags4186
Posts: 4882
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:00 am

dukeblue219 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:57 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:51 am
Wow did anyone actually read this page?
https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/

That's an awful lot of hoops to jump through and you must tie up 100k with BofA. And the guy said he got $3600 in cash back.
You don't need to keep the $100k there if you don't want to. Keep it for 3 months, get your status renewed for a full 12 months, then transfer at your leisure. Repeat.
All you need to do is toss an old IRA into a Merrill Edge account and let it sit there.

jimmyrules712
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:36 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by jimmyrules712 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:03 am

rgs92 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 8:02 am
I think Fidelity also has a 2%-rebate-on-everything card. For some reason, my Fidelity cards pay just 1.5%, but I'm told that I could get them swapped for the 2% one if I get motivated to do so.
(I also use the Citi 2% card.)
Fidelity used to have a visa that paid 1.5% and an AMEX that paid 2%. Later they stopped opening new Visa 1.5% accounts and switched the AMEX 2% cards to Visa 2% and all new accounts going forward have been 2% VISA cards. They did not automatically convert the Visa 1.5% accounts to Visa 2% accounts and when I called to request converting mine they told me they can't/won't convert it and my only option was to close the 1.5% account and open a brand new 2% account. That was years ago so maybe they've changed their stance.

JackoC
Posts: 1401
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by JackoC » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:06 am

international001 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:37 am
snailderby wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:25 am
international001 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:13 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
With PR Platinium Honors?
Which card gives you 4% for grocery? And gas?
With Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors:

BoA Cash Rewards - 5.25% on the bonus category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement)
BoA Cash Rewards - 3.5% on groceries
BoA Premium Rewards - 3.5% on travel or dining
BoA Premium Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases
BoA Travel Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases (if redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases)
Good options if you don't mind the foreign transaction fee or the annual fee

You can get 4.5% on travel, 3.5% on groceires with AAA signature, no foreign transaction or annual fee
To clarify, Premium Rewards has an annual fee ($95) but no foreign transaction fee. Cash Rewards has no annual fee but a 3% foreign transaction fee.

I don't see what my cost is, even implicit to keep my IRA at Merrill to get Platinum Honors level. You didn't mention but that others 'you have to tie up $100k at BOA', OK but that costs zero (negative including the sign up bonus I got). There would be no ongoing fee difference if I'd left it at Vanguard. You have to have $100k, true, but there's no real opportunity cost to put it with Merrill except if you'd otherwise constantly shift the assets around for more bonuses (and as was mentioned, if you want to get tricky you could have it at Merrill long enough to get a year's Platinum status, switch it out for a bonus elsewhere if you qualify in less than a year, then but it back at Merrill in time to retain Platinum).

Back to PR, 2.625%-$95 surpasses 2% at $15.2k annual spend, ours is far above that*, like you say depends but it's basically a math relationship. That's not counting the $100 credit on airline incidentals you can get with the card. Also BOA does not complain about having several CR's so 5.25% (up to $2500/qtr spend per card) on several categories (or same, we often tag team 2 or more cards in sequence on 'online shopping' over a qtr).

This complex of cards is clear best IMO right now for people with ability to reach Platinum and at least fairly high spend levels, who aren't 'artistes' at exploiting airline points. I have Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Hilton in points systems (because they gave me bonus points to open them) and feel that point fans tend to overestimate the real value of points compared to cash, including the time and expertise you have to devote, and picking your moments. Whereas cash is cash, all the time for everything. I will cancel CSP before the second $95 fee becomes due and let the AmexH go dormant when I finish using those points.

*part of which is paying all estimated tax with this card, with 1.87% and 2% federal and state convenience fees, but still my net gain on est taxes alone is $250+.

Leesbro63
Posts: 6590
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:25 am

JackoC wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:06 am
international001 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:37 am
snailderby wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:25 am
international001 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:13 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:27 am
BoA Cards - I typically average 4% cash-back for all categories
With PR Platinium Honors?
Which card gives you 4% for grocery? And gas?
With Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors:

BoA Cash Rewards - 5.25% on the bonus category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement)
BoA Cash Rewards - 3.5% on groceries
BoA Premium Rewards - 3.5% on travel or dining
BoA Premium Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases
BoA Travel Rewards - 2.625% on ordinary purchases (if redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases)
Good options if you don't mind the foreign transaction fee or the annual fee

You can get 4.5% on travel, 3.5% on groceires with AAA signature, no foreign transaction or annual fee
To clarify, Premium Rewards has an annual fee ($95) but no foreign transaction fee. Cash Rewards has no annual fee but a 3% foreign transaction fee.

I don't see what my cost is, even implicit to keep my IRA at Merrill to get Platinum Honors level. You didn't mention but that others 'you have to tie up $100k at BOA', OK but that costs zero (negative including the sign up bonus I got). There would be no ongoing fee difference if I'd left it at Vanguard. You have to have $100k, true, but there's no real opportunity cost to put it with Merrill except if you'd otherwise constantly shift the assets around for more bonuses (and as was mentioned, if you want to get tricky you could have it at Merrill long enough to get a year's Platinum status, switch it out for a bonus elsewhere if you qualify in less than a year, then but it back at Merrill in time to retain Platinum).

Back to PR, 2.625%-$95 surpasses 2% at $15.2k annual spend, ours is far above that*, like you say depends but it's basically a math relationship. That's not counting the $100 credit on airline incidentals you can get with the card. Also BOA does not complain about having several CR's so 5.25% (up to $2500/qtr spend per card) on several categories (or same, we often tag team 2 or more cards in sequence on 'online shopping' over a qtr).

This complex of cards is clear best IMO right now for people with ability to reach Platinum and at least fairly high spend levels, who aren't 'artistes' at exploiting airline points. I have Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Hilton in points systems (because they gave me bonus points to open them) and feel that point fans tend to overestimate the real value of points compared to cash, including the time and expertise you have to devote, and picking your moments. Whereas cash is cash, all the time for everything. I will cancel CSP before the second $95 fee becomes due and let the AmexH go dormant when I finish using those points.

*part of which is paying all estimated tax with this card, with 1.87% and 2% federal and state convenience fees, but still my net gain on est taxes alone is $250+.
Note that currently that BOA card has a $50 grocery credit. Effectively making the fee $45.

MikeG62
Posts: 2752
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:33 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:25 am
Note that currently that BOA card has a $50 grocery credit. Effectively making the fee $45.
I think that is a targeted offer. I unfortunately haven’t received it.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

khram
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:36 am

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by khram » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:01 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:30 pm
+1 to the BoA strategy.

https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/
https://frugalprofessor.com/boa-raise-c ... g-savings/

~8.25% cash back at Walmart (second link)
5.25% cash back (+ 2% executive) at Costco if you purchase gift cards online
5.25% cash back on Amazon and other online retailers (Delta.com, Expedia.com count as online)
5.25% cash back on Gas/Drugs/Restaurants/Travel (if you have multiple cards)
2.625% on all else

Conditional on 100k at ME.

Pretty good system. The cash back adds up.
That's interesting. Maybe one day if I'm a big spender. Right now my monthly CC spend is < $1000. With 3% on groceries (5% if it's through Amazon), 5% at Amazon (and Walmart if I sign up for their card), 3% on gas, and 2% on everything else, the extra cash I'd make just wouldn't be worth it to me. During normal times, I'd pay cash for almost everything and my CC spend would be even less. People tend to spend 10-15% more when using cards, even if they're not racking up debt. Wipes out the value of rewards points in most cases.

On the other hand, Citi giving me $25/card to turn on automatic payments for 3 months is not a bad short-term victory. That plus various checking account/credit card sign-up bonuses by rolling some direct deposit money/monthly bills through different banks will net me far more.

jpelder
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:56 pm
Location: Concord, NC

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by jpelder » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:53 pm

Between my wife and I, we have 3
1. Citi DoubleCash: 2% on everything, no annual limit. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee. They did get rid of a lot of the side benefits, though.
2. AmEx Blue Cash Preferred: 6% at supermarkets and streaming, 3% for gas and transit, 1% on other stuff. The supermarket cash back is limited to $6000 spend per year. 3% foreign transaction fee. $95 annual fee.
3. CapitalOne SavorOne: 3% back on dining and entertainment, 2% on groceries, 1% on other. No annual fee, and no foreign transaction fee. We mostly got this one in advance of a now-cancelled European vacation this summer. We eat out enough that it's good for a few bucks each month. They have a 4% one with an annual fee.

We're considering the Amazon 5% card as a filing cabinet feature.

corp_sharecropper
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:36 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by corp_sharecropper » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:41 pm

I've been using 3 cards with what I consider to be outstanding results as they match well to our expenses.

Amazon Prime Visa: 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods. We get tons of stuff from Amazon and probably do about 30% of our grocery shopping at whole foods.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred: 6% on groceries and streaming services, 3% on gas. There are other categories but these are the main use cases in our house. 6% on groceries is awesome, especially with the amount my family goes through. There is an annual limit but it's still well worth it.

Fidelity 2% Visa: this is the "everything else" card.

At first I thought I would loathe remembering which card to use when/where, logging in to pay & check bills and redeem rewards from multiple accounts. But between password managers, account aggregators, ebills/BillPay, the Fido card integration into Fidelity, customizable due dates, etc.. it's been a breeze and I have gotten completely used to knowing which card to use & where.

I'm considering adding 1 more, the US Bank Cash+ card with quarterly selectable 5% categories. I have a feeling I'd be able to get >=5% back on the vast majority of cc eligible expenses. Also considering cards good for dining. I don't think I want more than 1 card (my AMEX blue) to have an annual fee though.

JackoC
Posts: 1401
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by JackoC » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:48 pm

khram wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:01 pm
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:30 pm
+1 to the BoA strategy.

Pretty good system. The cash back adds up.
1. That's interesting. Maybe one day if I'm a big spender. Right now my monthly CC spend is < $1000. With 3% on groceries (5% if it's through Amazon), 5% at Amazon (and Walmart if I sign up for their card), 3% on gas, and 2% on everything else, the extra cash I'd make just wouldn't be worth it to me. During normal times, I'd pay cash for almost everything and my CC spend would be even less.

2. People tend to spend 10-15% more when using cards, even if they're not racking up debt. Wipes out the value of rewards points in most cases.

3. That plus various checking account/credit card sign-up bonuses by rolling some direct deposit money/monthly bills through different banks will net me far more.


1. This is relatively objective math part. BOA PR at 2.625% with $95 beats 2% no fee starting at $15.2k annual spend. Though with the important assumption you can't use the $100 annual credit on BOA PR for airline incidentals (and a $50 grocery credit was mentioned, I also didn't get an ad for that will look into). Since BOA CR cards don't have annual fee, it's a bit more subjective what is 'worth it' to get 5.25% on several categories with several cards, also the $2.5k /qtr limit on a broad category like 'online shopping' can be gotten around using more than one card set to the same category, which is allowed. 6% groceries with AMEX, with annual fee, is the only ongoing cash reward above that on anything AFAIK and 6% of $6k -$95 is 4.42% net (could be boosted a little by the streaming and is there some credit on the $95?). Multiple BOA CR's, assuming the $100k at BOA/Merrill are quite hard to beat IMO even at too low a spending level for BOA PR to work, again assuming no credit against the fee.

2. This is altogether more subjective, to the point of being tangential IMO to 'what's the best cash back card?', which assumes...card, unless there's an argument a more generous cash back makes one spend more than a less generous cash back. Maybe, but even let's assume we are so excited about BOA cash back that it makes us spend $10k more than we did when Citi Double (2%) was our main card, far fetched but for argument's sake. I figure we get >$1k extra CB with the BOA combination (PR, CR including paying all taxes with CC, net of convenience fees). If we spend $10k more on stuff, we get $10k of stuff. That can't be directly compared to getting $1k cash just for some mouse clicking. $1k less money makes us $1k less well off. $10k more spending doesn't make us $10k less well off. It's a highly subjective judgement how much, if at all, that makes us worse off. So the theorized increased spending and cash back difference is apples and oranges. If you think *you* would spend 10-15% more, and *you* wouldn't get commensurate value, that's highly relevant. But that 'people' would spend 10-15% more is pretty irrelevant to me. I'm happy with the value we get from what we spend (relative to what's available in the market) and our spending level works fine for us. In that context $1k is a just $1k and I'd rather have it than not if it's not much work, and adopting the BOA PR/CR line up was pretty easy.

3. Card and bank/brokerage account opening bonuses can earn more than cash back, true. But there's not much trade off between the two. In fact back to BOA example I got opening bonuses on most of the cards and from moving the assets to Merrill to get to Platinum level. And since then I've signed up for various CC's (I never intend to use past the initial spend) and bank accounts just for bonuses. That has no direct bearing on doing better on cash back with BOA combo than I used to with Citi. I optimize cash back, and chase bonuses (though the cash back is now passive, chasing bonuses is ongoing effort, I don't do it as much as some people I know).

khram
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:36 am

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by khram » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:58 pm

I read through the article and it seemed like a hassle. I understand it's worth it for some people. In a perfect world where there is no Coronavirus and I'm paying cash for most of my food, I'm spending maybe $500/month on cards, maybe a little more if I purchase from Amazon or am buying big items.

Like I said, if I were to get married, start a family, increase my spending like most do, maybe it'd make sense. For now it's not worth much thought. My net worth is likely to swing more from the difference in whether I sell my RSUs the day they vest or 2 days later.

slyfox1357
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:13 pm

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

Post by slyfox1357 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:11 pm

corp_sharecropper wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:41 pm

Amazon Prime Visa: 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods. We get tons of stuff from Amazon and probably do about 30% of our grocery shopping at whole foods.
Amazon Prime Visa -> Don't usually see this mentioned but Amazon also has Amazon Fresh (grocery+). Great selection, prices and 5% back.

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