Yes, 1.5% cash back is good for a credit card’s rewards rate. A 1.5% cash back rate is much higher than the average cash back rewards rate among credit cards, and it should be the starting point for anyone in the market for a flat-rate cash back card.
One of the best 1.5% cash back credit card is Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. In addition to 1.5% cash back on all purchases, this card has a $0 annual fee, and offers an initial bonus of $200 for spending $500 in the first 3 months. Plus, Capital One Quicksilver comes with an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers. Its regular APR is 16.49% - 26.49% (V) and its balance transfer fee is 3%.
Ultimately, you might want to check out our editors’ latest picks for the best cash back credit cards on the market. These cards give at least 1.5% cash back on purchases, along with $0 annual fees, initial bonus offers, or 0% APR promotions. Whichever card you choose, be sure to pay the balance in full each month. Otherwise, you’ll risk interest charges wiping out your hard-earned cash back rewards.
The difference between cash back and points is that the former is the most versatile type of credit card rewards, as it can be redeemed for anything, and there’s never any doubt about how much it’s worth. Points, on the other hand, have a value set by the credit card company and tend to be worth the most when redeemed for travel. Credit card companies won’t always clearly disclose points values, and those values can change over time. It’s possible that points could be worth 1 cent apiece one day and 0.8 cents each the next.… read full answer
You can spend points for many different things. Usually, you can trade them for travel, gift cards, unique experiences, charitable donations or even cash. There are no restrictions on what you can use cash for. You can typically redeem cash back for a statement credit, paper check, or direct deposit to a bank account. One thing credit card shoppers should watch out for are cards advertised as offering cash back that really provide points. For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers “5% cash back” in certain bonus categories. But what it actually gives is 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1, which cardholders can then trade for cash back at a rate of 1 cent each.
Earning rate: Usually at least 1% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent.
Devaluation: Points can be devalued by the issuer, while cash back can’t.
Redemption options: Statement credit, check or deposit for cash. Travel, merchandise, gift cards, cash and more for points.
When it’s the best choice: Points for frequent travelers. Cash back for everyone else.
Let’s take a look at two high-profile cards in a battle of cash back vs. points.
Citi Double Cash Card tops the cash back offerings with 2% cash back on all purchases and an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, with a balance transfer fee of 3% intro fee ($5 min) for each transfer in first 4 months, after that 5% ($5 min) for each transfer. It also chases a $0 annual fee and requires good credit to get.
But if you’re a frequent traveler, Chase Sapphire Preferred is a more attractive option. It gives 5 points per $1 spent on travel purchased through Chase, 2 points per $1 on all other travel purchases, 3 points per $1 on dining and online grocery purchases, 3 points per $1 on select streaming services, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. It has an initial bonus of 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This card’s points are worth 1 cent each toward cash back or gift cards or 1.25 cents each toward travel. There’s a $95 annual fee and the card requires good credit.
For both cash back and points cards, you can expect to lose your rewards if your account closes for any reason. Most cards don’t let your rewards expire over time. But Citi Double Cash Card’s cash back expires if you don’t use your card for 12 months. And on points cards alone, your points can be devalued if the issuer decides to charge more points for its rewards. So, frequent redemption is essential.
So, the bottom line is that frequent travelers should check out points cards. Otherwise, cash is king.
All of these credit cards give 5% cash back, or more, on certain expenses. Some of those categories may change quarterly or yearly, require activation and usually have a cap. There’s never been a general-purpose credit card that rewards users with 5% cash back on all purchases.… read full answer
One of the best credit card for points is Chase Sapphire Reserve® because it gives 1 - 10 points per $1 spent, plus an initial bonus of 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Chase Sapphire Reserve points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards Reserved.
By comparison, the average credit card point has a redemption value of around 1 cent. Just bear in mind that Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a steep price tag, with an annual fee of $550.… read full answer
When shopping around for a points credit card, it’s important to keep in mind that points – along with miles – can undergo devaluation, meaning they can change in value at any time. Credit card companies reserve the right to change rewards programs at their leisure, or to cancel them altogether. There are also lots of rules governing each credit card’s rewards system, so make sure you’re aware of those rules before you sign up for a card.
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