Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards
0

#1

This thread is for best Reward and Cash Back credit cards. Cards that only offer sign-up bonuses or balance transfer offers should be discussed in a separate thread. Signup bonuses change frequently and are not included below.

This post is a Wiki. Please contribute and keep updated.

Abbreviations (click to unhide)
  • % - usually means cash back
  • AF - Annual Fee
  • FTF - Foreign Transaction Fee
  • MR - AMEX Membership Rewards points
  • TY - Citi ThankYou Points (sometimes TYP, which may also refer to ThankYou Preferred or Premier cards).
  • UR - Chase Ultimate Rewards points
Related Threads

Everything

  • 3-4.5x (points) - US Bank Altitude Reserve. 3x points on travel and mobile wallet spending (incl. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay). One point is worth 1.5c when redeemed for travel. $400 AF. $325 annual travel credit.
  • (applications are not being accepted as of 01/03/2018 per DoC) 3% JCB Marukai Premium: 1% for first $1K, 2% next $2K, 3% after. Additional $15 bonus when you spend $1,000 or more yearly and additional $50 bonus when you spend $5,000 or more yearly. Transactions processed over Discover network. Available only in: CA, NV, OR, HA, WA, CT, IL, NJ, NY. $15 AF, waived first year.
  • 3.5% (Travel or Dining Charges) and 2.625% (Non-travel / Dining Charges) BankAmericard Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors Status. No FTF. Redeem points for cash or for travel expenses or transfer to BOA or ML checking account for cash or statement credit or gift card purchase. $100.00 annual credit against airline seat upgrades, baggage fees, in-flight services and additional $100.00 credit every four years for TSA pre-check or Global Entry application fee.
    Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill and/or BOA combined or % rebate is less. $95 AF (not waived). Chip-and-Signature.
  • 2.625% Bank of America Travel Rewards. 1.5% for all purchases with Platinum Honors Status 75% bonus = 2.625%. Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill and/or BOA combined for platinum honors status, otherwise bonus is 10%, 25% or 50% instead of 75%. 2. No FTF. No AF. Chip-and-Signature.
  • 2.5% (3% for the first year) Alliant Credit Union Cashback Visa Signature - No FTF. $59 AF, waived first year. Chip-and-Signature.
  • (not taking new applications as of 01/08/2018 per DoC) 2.5% USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature - No AF. No FTF. Must have a USAA checking account with a qualifying direct deposit of at least $1,000 every month. Must be a full USAA member. Must reside in AL, AZ, CO, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX or WA (it will become available in additional states at a later date).
  • 2% & Special Financing - Blispay Visa - Earn 2% cash back on all purchases via an automatic statement credit every statement. No Payments No Interest on all purchases over $199 if paid in full in 6 months everywhere Visa® cards are accepted. Unlimited Cash Back. No AF. 3% FTF.
  • 2% Citi Double Cash Mastercard - 2% cash back: earn 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay. Unlimited Cash Back. No AF. 3% FTF. When you have $25+ in rewards, you can redeem for a check, statement credit, or direct deposit.
  • 2% Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature (Elan) - Earn 2% on everything. Rewards can be automatically deposited into a Fidelity brokerage or cash management (checking) account with minimum redemption of $50 ($2500 spend). No AF. 1% FTF.
  • 2% PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa - 1.5% on everything + an additional 0.5% if you maintain a PenFed Access America Checking Account (daily balance of $500 or a monthly direct deposit of $500 needed to avoid a $10 monthly fee) or are an active duty or retired member of the military.
  • 2% Capital One Spark Business Cash or Miles - 2% on everything. $59 AF. No FTF.
  • 1.75% BankAmericard Cash Rewards with Platinum Honors Status - Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill and BOA combined.
  • 1.575% Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard - 1.575% effective cash-back (1.5% cash back plus a 5% redemption bonus). No AF.
  • 1.5% Charles Schwab Investor American Express - 1.5% cash back automatically deposited into an eligible brokerage account. No AF. 2.7% FTF.
  • 1.5% (doubled to 3% for the first 12 months) - Discover It Miles. No AF. Redeem rewards for cash deposit or statement credit.
  • 1.5% BankAmericard Travel Rewards - No FTF. Must redeem rewards on “travel” expenses.
  • 1.5% Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards - 1.5% cash-back. No FTF.
  • 1.5% Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa - No AF.
  • 1.5% Northrop Grumman CU Cash Rebates - cash back deposited annually. No FTF. Join through Southern California Historical Aviation Foundation. Chip-and-PIN (Signature preferred, but supports true Chip-and-PIN if merchant terminal/kiosk/etc. requires it.)
  • 1.5% Navy Federal CashRewards - CashBack posts same day as purchase. No minimum redemption levels. No limits. No expiration.

Grocery

  • 6% AMEX Blue Cash Preferred - 6% on groceries (on up to $6K/yr), 3% on gas and department stores, 1% on everything else. $95 AF. 2.7% FTF.
  • 3.5% Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors status. Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill and BOA combined.
  • 2.55% PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature - 4.25% on gas, 2.55% at supermarkets, 0.85% on everything else. No AF. No FTF. 1 point = $0.0085
  • 3% Golden1 Platinum rewards - 3% on gas, restaurants, and groceries. Must be resident of California to be approved for card.
  • 3% Santander Bank Bravo Mastercard - 3% (on up to $5K/quarter) on gas, groceries, restaurants. $49 AF waived first year and each year thereafter when you keep $250,000 (Santander Select) or $75,0000 or $6,000.00 monthly direct deposit (Premier Plus Checking) with Santander Bank. 3% FTF (including in U.S. Territories except Puerto Rico).
  • 3% AMEX Blue Cash Everyday - 3% on groceries, 2% on gas and department stores, 1% on everything else. No AF, 2.7% FTF.

Gasoline

  • 5.25% Bank of America Cash Rewards with Platinum Honors status, Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill/BOA combined
  • 5% PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa - auto monthly statement credit (must enroll in other PenFed products/services such as checking/MMA/mortgage/loans to qualify for 5% rate, else only 3% for gas with $25 AF)
  • 5% Fort Knox Visa - 1.25% on everything else. (join CU for free but $10 initial membership fee, Card application process is complicated, Recommended that you avoid opening a checking account with them unless you plan to use them, there are dormancy fees associated with the checking product).
  • 5% USAA Cashback Rewards Plus AMEX - 5% on gas and military base purchases up to $3k/yr, 2% on groceries up to $3k/yr, 1% on everything else (military connection required unless you got a membership when they let anyone in).
  • 4.25% PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature - 4.25% on gas, 2.55% at supermarkets, 0.85% on everything else. No AF. No FTF. 1 point = $0.0085.
  • 4% (on up to $7K/yr) Costco Anywhere Visa (Citi) - 4% gas (on up to $7K/yr), 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco, 1% elsewhere.
  • 3-3.75x TY - Citi ThankYou Premier - 3x TY points on travel and gas, 2x on restaurants and entertainment, 1x elsewhere. No FTF. $95 AF. 20% off airfare when redeeming TYP through the TY travel center.
  • 3% Golden1 Platinum rewards - 3% on gas, restaurants, and groceries. Must be resident of California to be approved for card.
  • 3% SimplyCash Business Card from American Express - 5% for office supplies (on up to $12K/yr, then 1%), 5% for wireless services (on up to $12K/yr), 3% on gas up to 12k per year (excluding warehouse locations such as Costco), 1% elsewhere. Stackable with OPEN Savings.
  • 3% AMEX Blue Cash Preferred - 6% on groceries, 3% on gas and department stores, 1% on everything else. $75 AF.
  • 3% PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa - 0.25% on everything else, auto monthly statement credit. $25 AF.
  • 3% Santander Bank Bravo Mastercard - 3% (on up to $5K/quarter) on gas, groceries, restaurants. $49 AF waived first year and each year thereafter when you keep $250,000 (Santander Select) or $75,0000 or $6,000.00 monthly direct deposit (Premier Plus Checking) with Santander Bank. 3% FTF (including in U.S. Territories except Puerto Rico).

Dining

  • 4% Barclaycard Uber Visa
  • 4% Capital One Savor Rewards - No FTF. $95 AF.
  • 3.5% BankAmericard Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors Status - No FTF. Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill and/or BOA combined. $95 AF.
  • 3-4.5x UR - Chase Sapphire Reserve - 3x UR points on travel and dining. No FTF. $450 AF. $300 annual travel credit and lots of other benefits. 50% more value when UR points are redeemed for travel through the UR portal.
  • 3% Golden1 Platinum rewards - 3% on gas, restaurants, and groceries. Must be resident of California to be approved for card.
  • 3% Chase AARP card - 2 versions: Gas/Restaurants or Travel https://creditcards.chase.com/aarp/cardmember
  • 3% Synchrony Bank Marvel MasterCard - 3% on restaurants, entertainment (movie theaters, book stores, game stores, etc), and marvel.com - https://marvel.com/creditcard/. No AF.
  • 3% Costco Anywhere Visa (Citi) - 4% gas (on up to $7K/yr), 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco, 1% elsewhere.
  • 3% Santander Bank Bravo Mastercard - 3% (on up to $5K/quarter) on gas, groceries, restaurants. $49 AF waived first year and each year thereafter when you keep $250,000 (Santander Select) or $75,0000 or $6,000.00 monthly direct deposit (Premier Plus Checking) with Santander Bank. 3% FTF (including in U.S. Territories except Puerto Rico).
  • 3% Capital One Savor One Rewards - 3% on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% elsewhere. No FTF.
  • 2-2.5x TY - Citi ThankYou Premier - 3x TY points on travel and gas, 2x on restaurants and entertainment, 1x elsewhere. No FTF. $95 AF. 20% off airfare when redeeming TYP through the TY travel center.
  • 2x UR - Chase Ink Cash - 2x UR points on gas and restaurants.

Airfare

  • A note about airline-specific cards:
    All airlines have their own credit cards that earn miles for purchases. An airline will almost always have an exclusive agreement with just one bank to issue all of that airline’s credit cards (with a notable exception of American Airlines, who has cards from Citi and Barclaycard). Thus, the choice of “the best card” is a choice between various annual fees and benefits. In other words, there is no best United card, no best Southwest card, and no best JetBlue card. For this reason, those cards are omitted from the wiki.
  • 4.2% PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express - 5x points on Airfare, 1x on everything else. No AF. Must be a Penfed member.
  • 3.75% AAA Member Rewards with Platinum Honors Status - 3.75% on travel related purchases. Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill/BOA combined
  • 3.5% BankAmericard Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors Status - No FTF. Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill and/or BOA combined. $95 AF.
  • 3-4.5x UR - Chase Sapphire Reserve - 3x UR points on travel and dining. No FTF. $450 AF. $300 annual travel credit and lots of other benefits. 50% more value when UR points are redeemed for travel through the UR portal.
  • 3-4.5x (points) - US Bank Altitude Reserve. 3x points on travel and mobile wallet spending (incl. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay). One point is worth 1.5c when redeemed for travel. $400 AF. $325 annual travel credit.
  • 3-3.75x TY - Citi ThankYou Premier - 3x TY points on travel and gas, 2x on restaurants and entertainment, 1x elsewhere. No FTF. $95 AF. 20% off airfare when redeeming TYP through the TY travel center.
  • 3x MR - AMEX Premier Rewards Gold - 3x MR points on airfare, 2x on gas and groceries, 1x everything else. $195 AF, waived first year.
  • 3% Costco Anywhere Visa (Citi) - 4% gas (on up to $7K/yr), 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco, 1% elsewhere.

Hotels

  • 3.75% AAA Member Rewards with Platinum Honors Status - 3.75% on travel related purchases. Must have $100,000 in qualifying assets with Merrill/BOA combined.
  • 3-4.5x UR - Chase Sapphire Reserve - 3x UR points on travel and dining. No FTF. $450 AF. $300 annual travel credit and lots of other benefits. 50% more value when UR points are redeemed for travel through the UR portal.
  • 3-4.5x (points) - US Bank Altitude Reserve. 3x points on travel and mobile wallet spending (incl. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay). One point is worth 1.5c when redeemed for travel. $400 AF. $325 annual travel credit.
  • 3% Costco Anywhere Visa (Citi) - 4% gas (on up to $7K/yr), 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco, 1% elsewhere.
  • 2-10cpp - AMEX Starwoods Preferred Guest - $95 AF, waived first year. 2.7% FTF.
  • 2-10cpp - AMEX Starwoods Preferred Guest Business - $95 AF, waived first year.
  • 2-9x (points) Hilton - earn HHonors points: AMEX HHonors (7% Hilton Hotels, 5% gas, grocery, restaurants, 3% elsewhere); AMEX HHonors Surpass (9% Hilton Hotels, 6% drugstores, gas, grocery, phone, TV, internet, 3% elsewhere. $75 AF); Citi HHonors (6% Hilton Hotels, 3% grocery, drugstore, gas, 2% elsewhere).
  • 1-5x (points) Marriott - earn Marriott Rewards points: Chase Marriott Rewards (3% Marriott Hotels, 1% elsewhere. $45 AF); Chase Marriott Rewards Premier (5% Marriott Hotels, 2% dining, rental cars, 1% elsewhere. $65 AF); Chase Marriott Rewards Business (3% Marriott Hotels, 1% elsewhere. $30 AF).
  • 1-5x (points) IHG Rewards Club - 5x IHG Hotels, 2x gas stations, grocery stores & restaurants, 1x elsewhere. $49 AF. 1 free hotel night at each account 1 year anniversary.
  • 2-10x (points) Choice Hotels - Bank of America Choice Privileges Visa - 5% or 10% Choice Hotels, 2% elsewhere.
  • 1-3x (points) Hyatt - Chase Hyatt Visa - 1 free night every year, one more after spending $2K, worth up to $800 a night. $75 AF.

Office Supplies & Wireless

  • 5x UR - Chase Ink - 5x on office supplies, cellular/landline/cable, 2x on gas and hotels, 1x elsewhere. $95 AF, waived 1st year. No FTF.
  • 5% SimplyCash Business Card from American Express - 5% for office supplies (on up to $12K/yr, then 1%), 5% for wireless services (on up to $12K/yr), 3% on gas up to 12k per year (excluding warehouse locations such as Costco), 1% elsewhere. Stackable with OPEN Savings.

Advertising

  • 3x MR - AMEX Business Gold Card - 3x MR points on online ad spend (Google, FB, ect)
  • 3x UR - Chase Ink Business Preferred - 3x UR points on ad spend (Google, FB, ect)

Rotating Categories – see this thread for details.

  • 5% - Discover It - 5% cash-back for first $1500 in select quarterly categories, 1% otherwise. Double Cash Back for the first 12 months.
  • 5x UR - Chase Freedom - 5x UR points for first $1500 in select quarterly categories, 1 otherwise.
  • 5% - Citi Dividend - 5% on quarterly categories, 1% otherwise, up to $300 in rewards per year.
  • 5% - USBank Cash Plus - 5% on two categories per quarter, including Sporting Good Stores, Cell Phone, Bookstores, Department Stores, Fast Food, Electronics Stores, Furniture Stores, Hotels, Car Rental, Charity, and Movie Theaters as possible categories, plus 2% on one category (chosen from groceries, gasoline, or restaurants), 1% otherwise. Categories offered should not change every quarter. Once per year bonus of $25 prepaid card with a $100 redemption.
  • 3% Huntington Voice Mastercard - 3% in one category of your choice that can be changed quarterly -grocery stores - including Super Walmart, gas stations, travel & entertainment, restaurants, discount & warehouse stores, utilities & office supply stores, electronics, computer & camera stores, department, apparel & sporting goods stores, auto parts & service stores, home improvement stores - categories accurate as of 10/09/2018). 1% otherwise. No AF. No FTF. May have to apply at a branch if not currently a Huntington Bank customer. 3% category does not have to be selected each quarter if satisfied with current selection.

Retailer co-branded credit cards (MC/Visa/Amex)

  • Amazon.com Rewards Visa (Chase) - 5% cash-back for Prime members and 3% for the rest at Amazon.com. No FTF.
  • Brooks Brothers MC (Citi) - 4% rewards for BB purchases, 1% elsewhere, redeemed as BB credits in $20 increments.
  • Costco Anywhere Visa (Citi) - 4% gas (on up to $7K/yr), 3% restaurants and travel, 2% Costco, 1% elsewhere.
  • Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic Visa cards (Synchrony Bank) - 5% at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, 1% elsewhere. Each store’s card works at all the stores.
  • Gymboree Visa (US Bank) - Save 5% at Gymboree (Kid’s Clothing) and 1% elsewhere.
  • REI Visa (US Bank) - 5% back at REI, 1% elsewhere.
  • Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way Mastercard (Citi) - all rewards are in Shop Your Way Rewards (SYWR) points - 5% gas, 3% groceries and restaurants, 2% Sears and Kmart, 1% elsewhere. Warning: you must know how SYWR works before applying and consider the risk of collecting these points given SHLD’s ongoing financial struggle.
  • Toyota Rewards Visa (Comenity Bank) - 5% off Services, Parts, Accessories at a Toyota Dealer, 1% elsewhere. Use point balance towards future Toyota services or towards Toyota vehicle purchase or lease.

Retailer-specific, non-generic credit cards (not MC/Visa/Amex)

  • Home Depot Consumer Credit Card - Periodic 10% off coupons on purchases with some exclusions, $25 credit on sign up (YMMV).
  • Lowe’s Advantage Card - 5% off Lowe’s purchases. Combine with MyLowe’s Card for free parcel shipping and 10% discount for military/veterans on eligible purchases.
  • Target REDcard - 5% off Target purchases, free shipping on most Target.com purchases. Debit card and credit card available. No credit check to apply for the debit card.

Foreign Transactions

  • Many cards above have no FTF, we won’t list them again in this section.
  • All Capital One cards have no FTF. Quicksilver and Spark Cash have the best rewards.
  • All Discover cards have no FTF, but it’s not accepted everywhere and is less popular.
  • Some Barclaycard cards support Chip+PIN (e.g., Arrival), good for use at unattended kiosks and gas stations and countries where chip+PIN (i.e., offline PIN used instead of your signature – and not online/debit PIN even if the numbers are the same) are standard. Almost all other US-issued cards only support Chip+Signature and may not work at those kiosks, machines and cause confusion at non-tourist-focused merchants that cater to a more local-focused customer base.
  • If you do travel off the tourist path, then Chip and (offline) PIN for purchases cards available from: Andrews AFB CU (VISA), State Department CU (VISA), United Nations CU (VISA), First Tech CU (MC).

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#2

GGD: AmEx OBC (5% after $6500 spend, and since you can obtain multiples)

Amazon: either the Synchrony or the Chase cards, since they both offer 5% automatic CB.

Newegg: Syncrhony for electronics purchases, since they always have 0% financing (if you need it) and constantly have competitive prices. Tax free in some states too.

Everyday: PenFed 2% Power Cash Rewards (because rewards post when transactions post)

I am open to suggestions on how to improve though.


#3

Excellent posting etiquette! Someone read the instructions.


#4

EDITS – I used this post to test some copy/paste, so there are likely many edits that you can view. I took most of the quick summary from FW and formatted it for this forum. The links were not easy to carry over, so that still remains to be done. Additional cleanup is also needed.

Here’s what I keep in my wallet/binder:

  • Gas: Penfed 5% Gas Card [maybe not available anymore]

  • All spending: BoA Travel Rewards 1.5% + Preferred Rewards bonus = up to 2.625%

  • Grocery/Warehouse Club: BoA 3/2/1 card: 2% + Preferred Rewards bonus = up to 3.5%

  • Target: Redcard 5% off

  • Amazon: Amazon Store Card: 5% rebate

  • Delta Skymiles Platinum Amex: Churn $25k through for MQM bonus and MQD waiver to keep status. Awards 10k bonus miles.

There is an existing thread on FW that’s pretty good. This is where most of the Wiki came from.


#5

For the Amazon Card, keep in mind to receive 5% you need to have a “Prime” membership.


#6

How about the Chase Amazon card? We have both, but have been using the Synchrony just because it was already there, automatically, from when I applied years ago.


#7

Also, the Ally card I believe is 2% on Gas & Groceries only. 1% everything else.

CapOne QuickSilver is 1.5% on everything.


#8

You didn’t want to just copy the quick summary from there? I’m not sure if it’s entirely up to date, but it’s a better start than a short list.


#9

Yes I was probably going to go back and do that, maybe paring out anything that I know is old.

EDIT: I’m doing this in the next 25 minutes.


#10

AMEX Blue Cash Everyday is 3% on groceries. My wife and I each have one of these, got them with significant sign-up bonuses, and only use them for this category. Redeeming the cash back is a pain though (delay by a month, $25 increments, etc.).


#11

I say list the card multiple times if it’s good for multiple categories.

Maybe also include a list of 5 or 10, overall best cards (and explain why they’re good). Emphasis should be on spend bonuses, not signup bonuses (probably should be another topic).


#12

How come Citi 2% cash back card didn’t make it to the list?
Am I missing something here?


#13

Only that it’s a work in progress :slight_smile:. First post is a wiki, but you might have to level up (fairly easy) before it lets you edit.


#14

I think the anchor HTML tags work here, so the easiest thing to do might be to copy the HTML source of the QS. That might preserve both, the format and the links.


#15

Once you’ve paid your entire balance off wait a day and then chat with a rep and ask to “accelerate my rewards.” No more 1-month delay.


#16

I found a card that gives 3% off anything. It’s called the Marukai Premium JCB Card. It’s a Japanese card that uses the discover network. They issue the card to people in the USA, but only certain states like California and Hawaii.

“Earn up to 3% Cash Back Points on all purchases including spending at Marukai with no limit on how much you can earn.”

https://www.jcbusa.com/for_consumers/marukai-premium-jcb-card/


#17

I’m not sure why we’ve kept it off the list at FWF. Maybe because it is only available in 5 states, they’re stingy with approvals and credit limits, and it’s not accepted everywhere. Or maybe because it’s … fragile?


#18

IIRC, it also processes over Discover network, which limits acceptability.


#19

No Alliant Credit Union on here?

3% for the first year, then 2.5%:

No forex fees. $59 annual, but waived the first year.


#20