The best cash back / travel credit card is Capital One Savor because it has no foreign transaction fee and offers 1% - 4% cash back on purchases. The card gives 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, which makes it great for vacations. In addition, there’s 2% cash back on groceries and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, the card offers an initial bonus of $300 for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, which can provide a nice chunk of money to put toward a trip. Capital One Savor has a $95 annual fee, but waives that fee for the first year.
Capital One Quicksilver is another good cash back credit card for travel. It gives a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with a $0 annual fee. It also has an initial bonus of $150 for spending $500 in the first 3 months.
Both the Savor and Quicksilver cards require good credit for approval.
You might not want to use a cash back card for travel. Travel-branded credit cards often provide extra rewards for travel purchases. So you may want a cash back card for everyday purchases and a travel card for your trips.
Check out the Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature card. It has no foreign transaction fee and gives 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year. After that, it’s 2% back on everything. The card does have a $99 annual fee, but they won’t charge it during the first year. You’ll need excellent credit to get approved. Anybody can join Alliant CU by making a one-time $10 donation to the foundation Foster Care to Success.
The best way to get 10% cash back from a credit card is by earning an initial rewards bonus. For example, a bonus of $150 cash back for spending $500 within 3 months of opening an account – a deal several cards currently offer – is 10% back three times over. The Capital One Quicksilver and SavorOne cards have that 30% cash back initial bonus offer, as do the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards. They all have $0 annual fees.… read full answer
There aren’t any 10% cash back credit cards, at least none offering that much back on all purchases. But you can get 10% cash back from some credit cards in specific spending categories or thanks to promotional offers. For example, the NHL Discover it card offers 10% off ShopNHL.com and NHL.TV purchases. And Discover it Cash Back offers 5% back in bonus categories and gives double rewards the first year, for a total of 10% cash back on some purchases.
In terms of more consistent cash back rates, the highest on the market is Amex Blue Cash Preferred’s 6% cash back on $6,000 spent per year at U.S. supermarkets. For a high rate on all purchases, the best offer is Citi Double Cash, which gives 2% cash back.
Here are the best 2% to 10% cash back credit cards:
Best for groceries: Amex Blue Cash Preferred. 6% cash back on the first $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, unlimited 3% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on everything else. $200 for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. In 2016, Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday offered a limited-time promotion for 10% cash back on U.S. wireless telephone service. But it’s long gone now.
Best for gas: Amex Cashback Rewards Plus. 5% cash back on the first $3,000 per year in gas or military purchases, 2% on the first $3,000 at supermarkets and 1% on everything else.
10% first year rate: Discover it Cash Back. 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent in quarterly categories and 1% on everything else. 10% cash back the first year, because rewards get doubled at the end of the year.
Best for hockey fans: NHL Discover it. 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent in quarterly categories, 1% on everything else. Rewards doubled at end of first year only for total of 10% cash back. 10% Discount at ShopNHL.com and NHL.TV.
Best cash bonus: Chase Freedom. $150 for spending $500 in the first 3 months. 5% cash back on your first $1,500 spent in quarterly categories, 1% on everything else.
Best for travel: Capital One Venture. 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months ($500 in travel). 2 miles per $1 on all purchases.
Best overall cash back rate: Citi Double Cash. 2% cash back on all purchases, 1% at the time of purchase and 1% when the purchase is paid off.
Best store card rate: Overstock.com Credit Card. 8% back in Club O rewards on Overstock purchases, 2% Club O rewards on gas and groceries, 1% Club O rewards on everything else.
The highest cash back rates all have caps. But you’ll always earn at least 1% back when you make a purchase.
Also note that some cards with high cash back earning rates have bonus categories that change every few months. Others have bonus categories that stay the same. In many cases, cards with lower but unlimited rates, like Citi Double Cash, will give more value in the long run.
Plenty of credit cards give bonus cash back rewards in certain purchase categories. Cardholders may receive extra value on gas, groceries, dining, entertainment, wholesale clubs and more. Other cards have bonus categories that change every quarter, giving you the chance to earn big on different types of purchases every few months. … read full answer
Lots of credit cards with cash back bonus rewards on purchases also offer an initial cash rewards bonus for spending a certain amount in the first few months. Plus, it’s good to remember that many credit cards without cash back bonus rates still give a solid cash back rate on all purchases.
This information is accurate as of March 2019. Terms apply.
Cash back vs. travel rewards will be a win for cash back credit cards in most cases. For one thing, cash back tends to be more flexible. You can spend cash rewards on anything. But redeeming points and miles for something other than travel often means sacrificing a lot of value. Plus, many … read full answertravel rewards cards require you to book flights, airfare, etc., through the credit card company’s travel portal. So you miss out on the lower prices potentially available on other sites.
Cash back rewards also win because they are more stable in value. Credit card companies decide how many points or miles you need in order to redeem for flights, gift cards, and other rewards. That means points and miles can be devalued at any time. Credit card issuers can’t affect the value of cash, though. So, all else being equal, cash back rewards are the better option. But in the real world there are always exceptions.
Here’s when points & miles might win “cash back vs. travel rewards”:
Extra value for travel: Some credit cards give you more value for the rewards you earn when you redeem them for travel. For instance, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve give you 1.25 cents and 1.5 cents per point, respectively, when you book travel through the Chase website. And Capital One Venture gives you twice as much value when you redeem for a travel statement credit vs. other redemption options.
Attractive perks: Travel rewards cards often come with benefits such as travel insurance, airline fee credits and airport lounge access. For people who travel a lot, the extra convenience and monetary value these perks give may be worth sacrificing some redemption flexibility.
Foreign transaction fees: If you spend a lot of money abroad, or online at merchants located in other countries, foreign transaction fees can add up quickly. Since travel rewards cards rarely charge them, having one can save you money.
In general, cash back vs. travel rewards is a win for cash. But luckily, it isn’t necessarily a choice you have to make. You can always use a cash back card for your everyday spending and keep a travel card in your wallet for trips. Just watch out for annual fees.
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