Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

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Hanksmoney
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:04 am

Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Hanksmoney »

BF3000 wrote: Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:17 pm With the possible exception of a lineup that includes the boa card with $100k parked at Merrill, it is hard to beat this 3-card, cash-only lineup:

6% groceries. Amex blue cash preferred

6% streaming. Amex blue Cash preferred.

5% travel. Chase freedom unlimited (if booked through ultimate rewards)

3% gas. Amex blue cash preferred.

3% restaurants. Chase freedom unlimited.

2.5% everything else: Alliant signature visa.
I do something close- Amex Blue even though I max out the 6% groceries category (10k I think). So I use my discover for 5% groceries for that quarter to keep myself from maxing out the Amex. I also use it for the other 5% quarters on gas, restaurants, Walmart, Amazon, etc. Then use Alliant for 2.5% on everything else.

My wife gets annoyed having to remember which card to use as it changes month to month. Honestly, it is a hassle, but I don’t want to cancel a card with a 30k limit and I get a few extra bucks. Plus the discover has the best cash back bonuses with the electronic gift cards. I’ll be in Lowe’s and figure a total - I can get the 10% adder on my cash back and e-gift card on my phone in 3 minutes.

The fee on the Amex really makes you have to calculate what you’re getting over the combination of Discover and Alliant.
criticalmass
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by criticalmass »

anon_investor wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:33 pm
criticalmass wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:23 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:20 pm
criticalmass wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:04 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:31 am

Are you a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member? If you are, there is a special hotline to call that is 100% staffed by senior US based CS reps. I have used that line a couple of times and experienced excellent service.
A special privileged hotline is needed to talk to Bank of America employees in America....tells us everything we need to know about banking at Bank of America. I may not be special, but I've never had anyone but US based employees answer the phone and take care of me at Navy Federal Credit Union.
I have no qualms take advantage of better service and credit card cash back made available to me by simply moving some ETFs shares from one brokerage to another. BoA likely loses a lot of money on me. I get a lot of cash back from their credit cards and I don't use any of their paid services.
Great for you....How much money do you need to keep at Bank of America for the privilege of your personal and banking information not sent overseas to some outsourced call center in another continent from where your account is domiciled? I wonder if BoA has figured out how to implement a Freeze Credit Card function on their website or mobile application yet.
I use BoA for the very good cash back: 2.62%/3.5%/5.25% cash back on all my purchases; you need $100k to get that level of cash back (Platinum Honors tier Preferred Rewards status). To get access to the special hotline you only need $20k to get Gold tied Preferred Rewards status. But the whole trick is I have Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge to qualify, I would be holding these same ETFs regardless of the brokerage. Why not take advantage of the high cash back? It costs me nothing to have my Vanguard ETFs there.

No BoA don't have a freeze credit card function, but I use all 3 of my BoA CCs regularly, so I have no need to freeze/lock them. Other CC companies have no or not real CC freeze/lock, like Amex only lets you freeze for a week, so it's not just BoA. But you can freeze/lock your BoA debit card online or via the mobile app.
Yup, lots of folks on this board have reported on the 2.625% travel cashback card. Many posts.
I'm good with my 6%, 5%, or 3% on everything else setup. I still find it fascinating that Bank of America requires you to hand over a hundred grand to get customer service in your own country (e.g. the United States of America in Bank of America) and their tech team hasn't figured out a lock on credit cards....even my credit union has managed that. Heck, even USAA can do that.
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anon_investor
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by anon_investor »

criticalmass wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:47 pm
anon_investor wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:33 pm
criticalmass wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:23 pm
anon_investor wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:20 pm
criticalmass wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:04 pm
A special privileged hotline is needed to talk to Bank of America employees in America....tells us everything we need to know about banking at Bank of America. I may not be special, but I've never had anyone but US based employees answer the phone and take care of me at Navy Federal Credit Union.
I have no qualms take advantage of better service and credit card cash back made available to me by simply moving some ETFs shares from one brokerage to another. BoA likely loses a lot of money on me. I get a lot of cash back from their credit cards and I don't use any of their paid services.
Great for you....How much money do you need to keep at Bank of America for the privilege of your personal and banking information not sent overseas to some outsourced call center in another continent from where your account is domiciled? I wonder if BoA has figured out how to implement a Freeze Credit Card function on their website or mobile application yet.
I use BoA for the very good cash back: 2.62%/3.5%/5.25% cash back on all my purchases; you need $100k to get that level of cash back (Platinum Honors tier Preferred Rewards status). To get access to the special hotline you only need $20k to get Gold tied Preferred Rewards status. But the whole trick is I have Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge to qualify, I would be holding these same ETFs regardless of the brokerage. Why not take advantage of the high cash back? It costs me nothing to have my Vanguard ETFs there.

No BoA don't have a freeze credit card function, but I use all 3 of my BoA CCs regularly, so I have no need to freeze/lock them. Other CC companies have no or not real CC freeze/lock, like Amex only lets you freeze for a week, so it's not just BoA. But you can freeze/lock your BoA debit card online or via the mobile app.
Yup, lots of folks on this board have reported on the 2.625% travel cashback card. Many posts.
I'm good with my 6%, 5%, or 3% on everything else setup. I still find it fascinating that Bank of America requires you to hand over a hundred grand to get customer service in your own country (e.g. the United States of America in Bank of America) and their tech team hasn't figured out a lock on credit cards....even my credit union has managed that. Heck, even USAA can do that.
Obviously they have no money for IT since they are paying out all that cash back! :twisted:

It is actually 3.5% on dinning/travel and 2.62% on everything else. With one of my BoA cards we get 3.5% cash back at Costco, where we actually do most of our grocery shopping (big household). We don't travel all that much, so straight cash back works better for us than redeeming for travel. Obviously very YMMV.

$100k isn't all that much (for a BH) considering it can be a combo of IRA/taxable/bank accounts. I moved $100k of Vanguard ETFs from Vanguard, good luck reaching any person on the phone there (I still have a bunch of money there though).
Lastrun
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Lastrun »

criticalmass wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:47 pm ..... I still find it fascinating that Bank of America requires you to hand over a hundred grand to get customer service in your own country (e.g. the United States of America in Bank of America) .....
Most of the larger banks are outsourcing. This is not unique to BofA. https://cwa-union.org/pages/a_sampling_ ... k_offshore

As a side note, drove by the NFCU WOC in Winchester just yesterday.
criticalmass
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by criticalmass »

Lastrun wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:48 am
criticalmass wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 10:47 pm ..... I still find it fascinating that Bank of America requires you to hand over a hundred grand to get customer service in your own country (e.g. the United States of America in Bank of America) .....
Most of the larger banks are outsourcing. This is not unique to BofA. https://cwa-union.org/pages/a_sampling_ ... k_offshore

As a side note, drove by the NFCU WOC in Winchester just yesterday.
Maybe, but when I call Discover they pride themselves on US based company, US based customer service. When I call Navy Fed, I get Winchester or Pensacola. When I call my local CU, I get a guy in town. It's not difficult.... Heck, even when you call Vanguard you get someone in the US....it just may take a while of listening to the Vanguard hold music first.
arf1410
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by arf1410 »

unless I am confused, to get the 2.5 % cash back from Alliant, you need a checking account with $1,000 minimum balance, AND automatic monthly deposits? I guess I could scheduled $1 per month automatic transfer from my main bank... but just not sure it is worth the effort
manlymatt83
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by manlymatt83 »

arf1410 wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 1:07 pm unless I am confused, to get the 2.5 % cash back from Alliant, you need a checking account with $1,000 minimum balance, AND automatic monthly deposits? I guess I could scheduled $1 per month automatic transfer from my main bank... but just not sure it is worth the effort
$1000 minimum yes. But it does earn some decent interest. And I use them as my main bank anyway so having the buffer is important.

It just needs to be any deposit of $10 or more each month. And incoming ach should work fine. Alliant has great ach capabilities.
Bayliss
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Bayliss »

I have the 2% Wells Fargo Active Cash card and the redemption of the cash is beyond dumb. The 25 dollas minimum and only in 25 dollar increments make it that you always have the "cash turds" a la when you purchase ETFs. It is annoying and makes me not want to use the card at all. You will never get all of your ewards back so essentially it is not a 2% card.

And I didn't know that when I got it so it was dumb on my part.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a better card. 1.5% on everything and 3% at drugstores and dining. So even if you don't eat out that often, that 1.5% comes out to 1.6 or 1.7%, easily. And you can redeem any amount, and it is is not in a form of a check but a direct deposit to any bank account.

And 10k spend the difference between 2% and 1.5% is 50 bucks. And what I said earlier, you actually requires you to spend more to obtain your money so it is just not worth it.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Bayliss wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 2:33 pm I have the 2% Wells Fargo Active Cash card and the redemption of the cash is beyond dumb. The 25 dollas minimum and only in 25 dollar increments make it that you always have the "cash turds" a la when you purchase ETFs. It is annoying and makes me not want to use the card at all. You will never get all of your ewards back so essentially it is not a 2% card.

And I didn't know that when I got it so it was dumb on my part.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a better card. 1.5% on everything and 3% at drugstores and dining. So even if you don't eat out that often, that 1.5% comes out to 1.6 or 1.7%, easily. And you can redeem any amount, and it is is not in a form of a check but a direct deposit to any bank account.

And 10k spend the difference between 2% and 1.5% is 50 bucks. And what I said earlier, you actually requires you to spend more to obtain your money so it is just not worth it.
Thanks for this analysis. I was on the fence about getting this card since I have a minimal checking account with Wells Fargo. My current credit cards are through Chase. Based on your post, I don't think I will bother. Wells Fargo has also done some pretty shady anti-consumer stuff, and this should have consequences that don't include me rewarding them with more business. I didn't start an account with them, but was migrated through the acquisition of Wachovia. I still have Wachovia checks. At the rate I write them, I will probably die with Wachovia checks.
tashnewbie
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by tashnewbie »

manlymatt83 wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 1:30 pm
arf1410 wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 1:07 pm unless I am confused, to get the 2.5 % cash back from Alliant, you need a checking account with $1,000 minimum balance, AND automatic monthly deposits? I guess I could scheduled $1 per month automatic transfer from my main bank... but just not sure it is worth the effort
It just needs to be any deposit of $10 or more each month. And incoming ach should work fine. Alliant has great ach capabilities.
I don't know if there is a deposit minimum, but if there is one, it's not $10. I do $5 and get the first tier rewards (2.5% CB on the CC).
2commaBH
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by 2commaBH »

OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! We have used Fidelity 2% cashback for years, but we're constantly having to cancel the card and re-enter all our AutoPays due to suspected fraud hits on the card. We are lucky if we can go a full year with a card number, and the last reset barely lasted 3 months! We have probably 10-15 credit card auto pays on credit, so it's a lot of work to reset. Some details:

- Excellent credit, family of 4 with two kids.
- We spend a lot monthly so a good cashback card will add up.
- We are all about simplicity first and efficiency a close second, so a category card or anything that requires much thought is not for us. I didn't mind sweeping money out of the Fidelity brokerage account to our checking (First Republic) and on to our real brokerage (Vanguard) every month.
- Some modest annual fee would be grudgingly fine if the cashback payouts make sense.
- We do not want to open accounts (park $100k, etc) anywhere as this detracts from our overall goal of simplicity.
- No special affiliations (ex-mil, public sector employee, etc).
- In addition to Fidelity 2% cashback, we have the Hilton Amex (initially for points and now as a backup/international card, not tied to this) and the Amazon Visa (no-brainer) card we just use on Amazon.
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.

TIA for any recs!!
manlymatt83
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by manlymatt83 »

2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:41 am OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! We have used Fidelity 2% cashback for years, but we're constantly having to cancel the card and re-enter all our AutoPays due to suspected fraud hits on the card. We are lucky if we can go a full year with a card number, and the last reset barely lasted 3 months! We have probably 10-15 credit card auto pays on credit, so it's a lot of work to reset. Some details:

- Excellent credit, family of 4 with two kids.
- We spend a lot monthly so a good cashback card will add up.
- We are all about simplicity first and efficiency a close second, so a category card or anything that requires much thought is not for us. I didn't mind sweeping money out of the Fidelity brokerage account to our checking (First Republic) and on to our real brokerage (Vanguard) every month.
- Some modest annual fee would be grudgingly fine if the cashback payouts make sense.
- We do not want to open accounts (park $100k, etc) anywhere as this detracts from our overall goal of simplicity.
- No special affiliations (ex-mil, public sector employee, etc).
- In addition to Fidelity 2% cashback, we have the Hilton Amex (initially for points and now as a backup/international card, not tied to this) and the Amazon Visa (no-brainer) card we just use on Amazon.
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.

TIA for any recs!!
Are you willing to keep $1000 in a checking account (earnings .25% interest)? If so, The Alliant 2.5% Cashback Visa Signature is probably a good option.
2commaBH
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by 2commaBH »

manlymatt83 wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:53 am
2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:41 am OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! We have used Fidelity 2% cashback for years, but we're constantly having to cancel the card and re-enter all our AutoPays due to suspected fraud hits on the card. We are lucky if we can go a full year with a card number, and the last reset barely lasted 3 months! We have probably 10-15 credit card auto pays on credit, so it's a lot of work to reset. Some details:

- Excellent credit, family of 4 with two kids.
- We spend a lot monthly so a good cashback card will add up.
- We are all about simplicity first and efficiency a close second, so a category card or anything that requires much thought is not for us. I didn't mind sweeping money out of the Fidelity brokerage account to our checking (First Republic) and on to our real brokerage (Vanguard) every month.
- Some modest annual fee would be grudgingly fine if the cashback payouts make sense.
- We do not want to open accounts (park $100k, etc) anywhere as this detracts from our overall goal of simplicity.
- No special affiliations (ex-mil, public sector employee, etc).
- In addition to Fidelity 2% cashback, we have the Hilton Amex (initially for points and now as a backup/international card, not tied to this) and the Amazon Visa (no-brainer) card we just use on Amazon.
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.

TIA for any recs!!
Are you willing to keep $1000 in a checking account (earnings .25% interest)? If so, The Alliant 2.5% Cashback Visa Signature is probably a good option.
I would, begrudgingly, if everything else checked out. I will investigate. Thank you!
2commaBH
Posts: 218
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by 2commaBH »

2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:59 am
manlymatt83 wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:53 am
2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:41 am OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! We have used Fidelity 2% cashback for years, but we're constantly having to cancel the card and re-enter all our AutoPays due to suspected fraud hits on the card. We are lucky if we can go a full year with a card number, and the last reset barely lasted 3 months! We have probably 10-15 credit card auto pays on credit, so it's a lot of work to reset. Some details:

- Excellent credit, family of 4 with two kids.
- We spend a lot monthly so a good cashback card will add up.
- We are all about simplicity first and efficiency a close second, so a category card or anything that requires much thought is not for us. I didn't mind sweeping money out of the Fidelity brokerage account to our checking (First Republic) and on to our real brokerage (Vanguard) every month.
- Some modest annual fee would be grudgingly fine if the cashback payouts make sense.
- We do not want to open accounts (park $100k, etc) anywhere as this detracts from our overall goal of simplicity.
- No special affiliations (ex-mil, public sector employee, etc).
- In addition to Fidelity 2% cashback, we have the Hilton Amex (initially for points and now as a backup/international card, not tied to this) and the Amazon Visa (no-brainer) card we just use on Amazon.
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.

TIA for any recs!!
Are you willing to keep $1000 in a checking account (earnings .25% interest)? If so, The Alliant 2.5% Cashback Visa Signature is probably a good option.
I would, begrudgingly, if everything else checked out. I will investigate. Thank you!
Noticed this is 2.5% cashback up to $10k monthly, after which it drops to 1.5%. This should be OK for us (breakeven point vs 2% cashback card is $20k monthly, which we hit very infrequently) but sharing for others.
Lastrun
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Lastrun »

2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:41 am OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! ........
.....
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.
Could you clarify this? Seems inconsistent.

Assuming Bank of America is out, and you are already looking at Alliant, you may want to look at the Citi Double Cash, the Wells Fargo Active Cash and the new Autograph, and the Capital One Venture X.

Edit: Forgot the Paypal Cashback.
2commaBH
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by 2commaBH »

Lastrun wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 11:39 am
2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:41 am OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! ........
.....
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.
Could you clarify this? Seems inconsistent.

Assuming Bank of America is out, and you are already looking at Alliant, you may want to look at the Citi Double Cash, the Wells Fargo Active Cash and the new Autograph, and the Capital One Venture X.

Edit: Forgot the Paypal Cashback.
Thanks - I meant as a tiebreaker or justification for a moderate annual fee.
the_wiki
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by the_wiki »

If you have a PayPal account, they have a good 2% everything card through Synchrony Bank. It also pays 3% if you run it through as a PayPal charge to the card. Rewards are just cash in any amount to your PayPal balance, which can be transferred out or used to pay card.

Edit: maybe already mentioned, sorry.
nalor511
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by nalor511 »

Northern Flicker wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2022 2:58 am I suppose I could install 6 copies of Authenticator apps to cover all of the financial accounts that support them.. Then I can be locked out of all of them if my phone dies or is lost or stolen.

I do think the PayPal card is a good candidate for the best of these. I would have PayPal autopay for our gas and water bills which would just spend down credits that accrued from their cash back card rather than hooking PayPal up to a bank account.
You can use multiple accounts/institutions in one Google Authenticator install. I have around 7-8
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sunny_socal
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by sunny_socal »

arf1410 wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 1:07 pm unless I am confused, to get the 2.5 % cash back from Alliant, you need a checking account with $1,000 minimum balance, AND automatic monthly deposits? I guess I could scheduled $1 per month automatic transfer from my main bank... but just not sure it is worth the effort
Totally worth the effort. It's 5 minutes of your time to set up a small direct deposit.
Pu239
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

Then hope that Alliant once again, as they have repeatedly done several times in the past, does not change their terms to reduce or make cash back more difficult to earn. I have the Alliant card but have lost confidence that the cash back is sustainable and will last.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
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sunny_socal
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by sunny_socal »

Pu239 wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 12:54 am Then hope that Alliant once again, as they have repeatedly done several times in the past, does not change their terms to reduce or make cash back more difficult to earn. I have the Alliant card but have lost confidence that the cash back is sustainable and will last.
And if it does, use something different. For the time being earning the cash is not difficult at all. I have full confidence.
Pu239
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

After 3 years of continuous downgrading, I no longer use my Alliant card and instead have found a small geofenced CU 2.5% card with no annual fee, unlimited earning, and no further requirements. I used to feel like you do about Alliant but that confidence was lost. For service, I prefer Navy Federal over Alliant. We'll see how my new cc arrangement works out.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
2commaBH
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by 2commaBH »

2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 11:06 am
2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:59 am
manlymatt83 wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:53 am
2commaBH wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:41 am OK we are in the market for a new cashback (not travel) card and would appreciate recommendations! We have used Fidelity 2% cashback for years, but we're constantly having to cancel the card and re-enter all our AutoPays due to suspected fraud hits on the card. We are lucky if we can go a full year with a card number, and the last reset barely lasted 3 months! We have probably 10-15 credit card auto pays on credit, so it's a lot of work to reset. Some details:

- Excellent credit, family of 4 with two kids.
- We spend a lot monthly so a good cashback card will add up.
- We are all about simplicity first and efficiency a close second, so a category card or anything that requires much thought is not for us. I didn't mind sweeping money out of the Fidelity brokerage account to our checking (First Republic) and on to our real brokerage (Vanguard) every month.
- Some modest annual fee would be grudgingly fine if the cashback payouts make sense.
- We do not want to open accounts (park $100k, etc) anywhere as this detracts from our overall goal of simplicity.
- No special affiliations (ex-mil, public sector employee, etc).
- In addition to Fidelity 2% cashback, we have the Hilton Amex (initially for points and now as a backup/international card, not tied to this) and the Amazon Visa (no-brainer) card we just use on Amazon.
- We like premium services if they are easy to access (eg, airport lounge, concierge services, etc) but not if they require scheduling several months out because of blackouts, etc.

TIA for any recs!!
Are you willing to keep $1000 in a checking account (earnings .25% interest)? If so, The Alliant 2.5% Cashback Visa Signature is probably a good option.
I would, begrudgingly, if everything else checked out. I will investigate. Thank you!
Noticed this is 2.5% cashback up to $10k monthly, after which it drops to 1.5%. This should be OK for us (breakeven point vs 2% cashback card is $20k monthly, which we hit very infrequently) but sharing for others.
In case it's helpful to others, we ended up going with WF Active Cash to replace our Fidelity 2% Cashback that has become too inconvenient for us due to constant fraud closures and resets.

We considered several others mentioned here (Alliant, Citi Double Cash, WF Autograph, Cap One Venture X, Paypal) but WF AC offered the simplest, highest yield with the least amount of hoops to jump through. In fact, the only real negative I am currently seeing on the WF AC card is its association with Wells, but I am willing to give them a second chance. (I note we also wanted to stay on Visa which eliminated Paypal (Mastercard) which otherwise seems very good.)
stoptothink
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by stoptothink »

Bayliss wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 2:33 pm I have the 2% Wells Fargo Active Cash card and the redemption of the cash is beyond dumb. The 25 dollas minimum and only in 25 dollar increments make it that you always have the "cash turds" a la when you purchase ETFs. It is annoying and makes me not want to use the card at all. You will never get all of your ewards back so essentially it is not a 2% card.

This is super annoying. This is one of the cards I churned within the last few years and I currently have like $19.xx in rewards just sitting there that I'll probably never be able to redeem because I've moved onto other cards.

I did just get the Chase Freedom Unlimited; $200 bonus, 1.5% back on everything (higher on some categories that we never use, like restaurants), 5% back on gas for the first year, and 15 months 0% APR.
RealSunset
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by RealSunset »

I like to keep my brokerage away from my credit cards thank you.
I've been considering the Fidelity card, with Fidelity as my brokerage as well. Hadn't thought there was a downside. Is there more risk of a breach or something like it?
PluckyDucky
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by PluckyDucky »

Pu239 wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 12:14 pm After 3 years of continuous downgrading, I no longer use my Alliant card and instead have found a small geofenced CU 2.5% card with no annual fee, unlimited earning, and no further requirements. I used to feel like you do about Alliant but that confidence was lost. For service, I prefer Navy Federal over Alliant. We'll see how my new cc arrangement works out.
Who is your new card with?
Pu239
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

The card is a fairly recent offering and they don't seem to have gotten their act together yet rolling it out. Online info is incomplete and sketchy at best. After speaking with a CU representative to clarify rewards terms (who couldn't answer my questions and had to repeatedly put me on hold while they contacted someone else for answers), the terms seem to be as I posted above (requiring points conversions to cash). Based on this information, I opened an account and was approved for the card. Before revealing the CU name, I'd like to confirm that the card rewards work as expected. The card is not listed or discussed on DoC, MyFICO, or Reddit. I will update here later, probably on the credit card rewards strategy thread.

A good alternative to the old Alliant Visa 2.5% card (prior to eliminating the AF and adding the checking account hoop) is the Crystal Visa card offered by Farmers Insurance Group FCU. First year earns 3% with annual fee waived. There is a $100 SUB for an initial spend amount (I forget how much) which offsets the $95 ($99?) AF imposed starting the second year. At this point, the cash rewards drop to 2.5%. I considered the card to replace Alliant but have instead embarked on optimizing categories using multiple cards, mostly from credit unions. There are some interesting CU cards out there if you qualify. SUB cards, of course, fill in the blanks.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
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sunny_socal
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by sunny_socal »

Pu239 wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:19 pm The card is a fairly recent offering and they don't seem to have gotten their act together yet rolling it out. Online info is incomplete and sketchy at best. After speaking with a CU representative to clarify rewards terms (who couldn't answer my questions and had to repeatedly put me on hold while they contacted someone else for answers), the terms seem to be as I posted above (requiring points conversions to cash). Based on this information, I opened an account and was approved for the card. Before revealing the CU name, I'd like to confirm that the card rewards work as expected. The card is not listed or discussed on DoC, MyFICO, or Reddit. I will update here later, probably on the credit card rewards strategy thread.

A good alternative to the old Alliant Visa 2.5% card (prior to eliminating the AF and adding the checking account hoop) is the Crystal Visa card offered by Farmers Insurance Group FCU. First year earns 3% with annual fee waived. There is a $100 SUB for an initial spend amount (I forget how much) which offsets the $95 ($99?) AF imposed starting the second year. At this point, the cash rewards drop to 2.5%. I considered the card to replace Alliant but have instead embarked on optimizing categories using multiple cards, mostly from credit unions. There are some interesting CU cards out there if you qualify. SUB cards, of course, fill in the blanks.
IMO you've signed up for more "hoops" than the Alliant card which is very simple:
- $1000 in checking account
- Nominal direct deposit (could be $1)

Done.

FWIW most banks have a minimum balance requirement to avoid fees - this is hardly unique to Alliant. Same with DD.
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SconnieBro
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by SconnieBro »

RealSunset wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:00 am
I like to keep my brokerage away from my credit cards thank you.
I've been considering the Fidelity card, with Fidelity as my brokerage as well. Hadn't thought there was a downside. Is there more risk of a breach or something like it?
I spent 10+ years playing all the credit card games for points, miles, etc. I've held a lot of cards. With that said, We've used the Fidelity 2% card as our daily driver for the last two years and have had no issues. We would recommend if you are willing to forgo up to 0.5% in rewards for simplicity.
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

sunny_socal wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 5:27 am
IMO you've signed up for more "hoops" than the Alliant card which is very simple:
- $1000 in checking account
- Nominal direct deposit (could be $1)

Done.

FWIW most banks have a minimum balance requirement to avoid fees - this is hardly unique to Alliant. Same with DD.
Quite right but I'm having some fun doing it. Given Alliant's record of downgrading, adding diversification to the cc portfolio provides some rewards risk protection. Besides, I don't need another checking account unless accompanied by a SUB and I don't like e-statement requirements. Alliant might be done fiddling with their Visa cards but it came too late. IMHO, I doubt the nominal DD of $1/mo. will suffice for long. When I finish my rewards cc lineup, I'll post the results on the cc strategy thread and let the pummeling begin.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
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sunny_socal
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by sunny_socal »

Pu239 wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:46 am
sunny_socal wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 5:27 am
IMO you've signed up for more "hoops" than the Alliant card which is very simple:
- $1000 in checking account
- Nominal direct deposit (could be $1)

Done.

FWIW most banks have a minimum balance requirement to avoid fees - this is hardly unique to Alliant. Same with DD.
Quite right but I'm having some fun doing it. Given Alliant's record of downgrading, adding diversification to the cc portfolio provides some rewards risk protection. Besides, I don't need another checking account unless accompanied by a SUB and I don't like e-statement requirements. Alliant might be done fiddling with their Visa cards but it came too late. IMHO, I doubt the nominal DD of $1/mo. will suffice for long. When I finish my rewards cc lineup, I'll post the results on the cc strategy thread and let the pummeling begin.
Alliant doesn't have a 'record of downgrading.' In fact they even removed the annual fee - for most people this is a big plus. I also don't see any 'risk' with Alliant as you allege. I'm not trying to change your mind, just pointing out that Alliant requirements are rather common and not particularly onerous. My local CU has a $2500 minimum balance for some MM accounts, for example.

Fidelity is another card that's easy to recommend - straight 2%. I send the cash back reward to my Fidelity account and I can transfer it to my regular bank at any time.
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

sunny_socal wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:27 am
Alliant doesn't have a 'record of downgrading.'
How long have you had your Alliant card?

When I got my card, it came with a promotional 3% cash back rate for the first year followed by 2.5% cash back the second year and beyond on all purchases limited only by the credit limit of the card. An annual fee of $49 was waived the first year but was raised to $99 before my first year ended so that’s the fee I paid during my first 2.5% year. I applied and was approved for the card at a local branch. The card was simplicity in itself and I used it exclusively for about 3 years until terms progressively changed beyond my liking. After accounting for the annual fee, my 2nd and 3rd year effective cash back rate worked out to be around 2.3 to 2.4%. Spending more than $10k/mo. happens maybe a couple times a year with the average well below that so a $10k cap would come into play from time to time.

The card now offers a flat 2.5% on the first $10k/mo. if certain terms are met, including opening a checking account that requires maintaining a minimum balance, direct deposit, and e-statements for a 3 month period prior to qualifying for the 2.5% cash back. Cash back above the $10k cap is earned at 1.5%. No annual fee is assessed but certain purchases (mainly manufactured spend related) are now disqualified and a promotional rate is no longer offered. Until then, cash back is earned at a 1.5% rate which means that one would lose either 1% using the Alliant card or 0.5% if using the Fidelity card during this initial 3 month period. While still somewhat simple, the card is no longer as simple as it once was, although it does effectively equal a true 2.5% rate for monthly balances of less than $10k.

Soon after I got my card, my local Alliant branch closed thus requiring on-line banking only. This was my first disappointment with Alliant as I prefer in-person banking and the convenience of walking into a branch for services when necessary. I admit that it bothered me when Alliant left the community and employees of that branch lost their jobs. Because Alliant was no longer willing to invest in the community, I began having doubts about Alliant. Even Navy Federal CU has committed to a local branch here and appears to be thriving despite being located a thousand miles from the nearest sea. Since initiation of the checking requirement change, I’ve discovered several local CUs that offer 3 to 5% cash back on selected major category spending, plus one that purports to offer 2.5% cash back for all spending. It’s a little more work but what’s not to like? I’m supporting local business while doing better than what Alliant has to offer. If I like a particular CU, I can always open a checking account later with no strings attached. And the ball point pens, lollipops, dog treats, and similar giveaways are free. Variety and competition are a good thing.

Regarding checking account minimum balances, I don’t know why that subject keeps coming up. Checking account balance minimum requirements are widespread and largely insignificant. Maybe I’m old school, but I simply don’t want another checking account at a bank that I can’t visit in person, don’t need and will not use. Over the past several years, Alliant has eliminated the promotional rate, increased the annual fee (now reversed to $0), limited cash back earnings, restricted certain purchases from earning cash back, added a checking account requirement with further qualifications, initiated a phase-in period for earning 2.5% cash back, and physically pulled entirely out of our local market. Some prefer these changes, some do not. For my purposes, I call it downgrading. After three consecutive years of changes to cc rewards terms, I have simply given up on Alliant as a reliable source for rewards planning. It’s still a good CU with a better than average rewards card provided one is willing to risk further changes in terms. I’m not trying to talk you out of the Alliant card, just providing recent experiences with mine in case anyone cares. Clearly, I’m not the kind of customer that they are trying to cultivate.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by sunny_socal »

Won't quote your reply - but basically you don't like it since you prefer a B&M branch for any bank and they took away your branch. That's fine, I prefer never to step foot in a B&M branch if I can help it! :wink: They're not local to me but I've had the Alliant card since the beginning and enjoy the 2.5% cash back. The only card that is widely touted as 'better' is from Bank of America and it comes with 100k balance requirement.
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

It's really more about my lack of confidence they won't change the terms yet again and that I don't need another checking account. A branch isn't necessary for a cc. Note also that I used the card well after the branch closure until the checking account requirement was instituted. Everything added up to become a fail. I think it's great you love your card and power to all who do. I have found another way.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by FedGuy »

Pu239 wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:19 pmI considered the card to replace Alliant but have instead embarked on optimizing categories using multiple cards, mostly from credit unions. There are some interesting CU cards out there if you qualify. SUB cards, of course, fill in the blanks.
Can you share which credit union cards you find particularly interesting?
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by NabSh »

I use BoA. 2% groceries, 3% (I can choose between, online, gas or travel)
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by sunny_socal »

Pu239 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:22 am It's really more about my lack of confidence they won't change the terms yet again and that I don't need another checking account. A branch isn't necessary for a cc. Note also that I used the card well after the branch closure until the checking account requirement was instituted. Everything added up to become a fail. I think it's great you love your card and power to all who do. I have found another way.
Banks change their minds all the time and things usually get 'worse' - just a fact of life.

My youngest son just turned 18, I said let's go open a checking account for you. Lo and behold, the local Chase bank has these requirements to avoid fees:
- $1500 minimum balance
OR
- $500 monthly direct deposit

You can keep chasing the ideal situation but it won't exist forever. Banks need to make money and a high yield credit card must be paid for somehow. BofA imposes a huge investment balance other banks have checking account balance. But since I need to keep some cash on hand anyway (don't you?), I moved $1k to Alliant and it was no big deal. I have much more elsewhere and maintaining such a balance is not inconvenient at all. You may be upset that Alliant removed the annual fee and substituted the 1k checking balance but most people would view this as beneficial rather than quitting the card.
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by WhiteMaxima »

I use FIA for daily use 2% reward. Costco Citi Visa (2% Costco, 3% eat out, travel, 4% gas). Cap one Venture X for travel (better insurance, free airport lounge)
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by anon_investor »

sunny_socal wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:38 am
Pu239 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:22 am It's really more about my lack of confidence they won't change the terms yet again and that I don't need another checking account. A branch isn't necessary for a cc. Note also that I used the card well after the branch closure until the checking account requirement was instituted. Everything added up to become a fail. I think it's great you love your card and power to all who do. I have found another way.
Banks change their minds all the time and things usually get 'worse' - just a fact of life.

My youngest son just turned 18, I said let's go open a checking account for you. Lo and behold, the local Chase bank has these requirements to avoid fees:
- $1500 minimum balance
OR
- $500 monthly direct deposit

You can keep chasing the ideal situation but it won't exist forever. Banks need to make money and a high yield credit card must be paid for somehow. BofA imposes a huge investment balance other banks have checking account balance. But since I need to keep some cash on hand anyway (don't you?), I moved $1k to Alliant and it was no big deal. I have much more elsewhere and maintaining such a balance is not inconvenient at all. You may be upset that Alliant removed the annual fee and substituted the 1k checking balance but most people would view this as beneficial rather than quitting the card.
Banks don't have loyalty, so why should we all? Open accounts with banks that make the most sense at the time, then change if circumstances change (whether it is what the bank offers or life circumstances). Right now if you have $100k of ETFs to move around, the BoA set up provides the most pure cash back (2.625% on everything, even more with other BoA cards). If not, then for most folks (aside some with access to some special cards via their credit unions) the Alliant 2.5% cash back card is the best. Obviously YMMV. Folks you can pay everything via PayPal (online or in-store) you can get 3% cash back on everything with the PayPal CC.
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

FedGuy wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:35 pm
Pu239 wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:19 pmI considered the card to replace Alliant but have instead embarked on optimizing categories using multiple cards, mostly from credit unions. There are some interesting CU cards out there if you qualify. SUB cards, of course, fill in the blanks.
Can you share which credit union cards you find particularly interesting?
Credit unions and small banks tend to be locality specific so listing my cards probably wouldn't be of much help to you. Besides, I'm still in the process of finding new cards so my search is incomplete. Furthermore, our current spending amounts in some categories like gas, dining, travel, Amazon and others don't justify special cards over a basic card. For finding cards applicable to your area, I'd start with the excellent list maintained on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/wi ... _category/

For researching credit unions in your area, CreditUnionsOnline maintains a listing of CUs by state, including identifying the 25 largest, which tend to offer the best products. https://www.creditunionsonline.com/ When considering CUs, don't forget to consider family members in other states as a potential avenue for membership.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Pu239
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

sunny_socal wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:38 am
Banks change their minds all the time and things usually get 'worse' - just a fact of life.
Hence the need to adapt and change. Alliant changed beyond what I liked so I did too. Why the incredulity?
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Pu239
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Pu239 »

anon_investor wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:04 am
Banks don't have loyalty, so why should we all? Open accounts with banks that make the most sense at the time, then change if circumstances change (whether it is what the bank offers or life circumstances). Right now if you have $100k of ETFs to move around, the BoA set up provides the most pure cash back (2.625% on everything, even more with other BoA cards). If not, then for most folks (aside some with access to some special cards via their credit unions) the Alliant 2.5% cash back card is the best. Obviously YMMV. Folks you can pay everything via PayPal (online or in-store) you can get 3% cash back on everything with the PayPal CC.
Amen, brother!
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Mike Scott
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by Mike Scott »

Citi Double Cash which is a 2% card has a sign up bonus right now which is unusual for this card. The Sears MC mentioned upstream has averaged around 20% back across offers this summer. AMEX Business Golds and Platinums are in the middle of some all time high offers. The card sign up bonus offers have been pretty juicy the last year and if anything are getting better.
gougou
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Re: Best 2% Cashback No Fee Credit Card (not travel)

Post by gougou »

Recently got the Coinbase card. It should give 4% cashback on everything, but the cashbacks are cryptos, which I expect to sell immediately when I get them.
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