Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards


I did extensive research when I wanted more and better credit cards some years ago. Studies and reviews convinced me to avoid big banks altogether so for many years I only had credit union cards.

“Megabanks… offer state-of-the-art digital banking platforms. And because high-profile brands are under constant attack by cybercriminals, megabanks have sophisticated security systems, which include fingerprint log-in for mobile banking and voice- and face-authentication systems. But when it comes to customer service, you’ll do better at credit union or regional bank.”

“Credit unions are among the highest-rated services we’ve ever evaluated, with 96 percent of our members highly satisfied vs. 80 percent for the three biggest national banks. That satisfaction is driven by good customer service, not surprising when you consider that credit unions are owned and managed by their members. Credit union members usually have access to free checking, higher interest rates on certificates of deposit, and significantly lower rates for credit card and auto loans.”

Membership in credit unions is a cooperative relationship where they strive to serve their members, rather than view them as marks to make money from. Credit unions are “not-for-profit” entities. To be sure, credit unions can have their problems, but they usually pale by comparison with big banks. Big banks have less social responsibility and engage in more questionable financial activities because they are governed by making profits for shareholders, so there’s a greater chance you might be victimized by some of their tactics.

I went through the list of the 100 biggest credit unions in the US to find out: 1) Which ones I could join; 2) Which had good credit cards and; 3) Which ones had good overall reviews and records. I looked at the largest credit unions because smaller ones tend to have more restrictive membership and fewer resources for superior offers.

Now I have cards from 7 CUs. I have two non-CU cards - Amex Preferred and Barclays (used to be Sallie Mae). Amex has been great, Barclays not so much, but I don’t use it any more.


Argyll good writeup as always. I for certain have tried to locate credit cards at credit unions. And of course I have the Alliant card.

Problem for me was trying to find profitable (i.e., high rewards percentage) MasterCards. Most of the CUs I checked were featuring Visa cards.


FNBO has an Extra Earnings Visa that gives 2% back on everything for the first year. After that, it reverts to 1%. No annual fee.


not a great card as 2% cards are better. Even with the 2 100.00 bonuses…they dont pay out the bonus if you buy gift cards…so be carefull or just buy in grocery where they cant get that info. But if yoiu buy in grocery…the bce or bcp are better and no chance of clawback on bonus. I you spend 6k in grocery wot bcp you get 360-95.fee +265…Plus they also have bonues for new apps. With the bce you would net 180… plus you can have both for total of 445/year. Then get the citi 2x card fgor other spending,


yeah!! Im 67 working ft and a big mser…so far


You young people spoil everything for us fossils! :rofl:



NFCU offers:

Flagship Rewards: 3x points on all travel purchases, 2x points on everything else — 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account. That’s enough for a $500 flight, hotel stay, car rental, cash back or gift cards. —Pay a $0 intro annual fee for the first year; a $49 annual fee applies thereafter.

Cash Rewards : 0% intro APR on balance transfers for six months – $100 cash back when you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening your account.

GoRewards: 3x points for restaurants, 2x on gas, 1x everything else.12 month 0% APR no-fee balance transfers, No annual fee.

Platinum Rewards: 0% 12 month balance transfer offer.

  1. i feel the best cards as of now are Discover Miles… 1.5 on everything plus 1.5 after first year. So actually 3% on everything for 1 year. I had it…wife had it and now son is using it. 3 different cards for 3 people. Never any questions from them even if buying gift cards in grocery. No limit. Only problem is low credit lines… but you can increase it via online tool after 60 days. drawback… you cant have more then one other Discover card. 2) Alliant 3% card on everything for the first year then 59.00 fee and 2.5% back. They dont pay anything on purchases at Giftcardmall/ And they seem to be watching. But if you are smart you can do it with cards bought elswhere.


Has everyone forgotten about the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature card? You need to open a checking account or have military service but it’s still 2%.


Fidelity required me to fund my brokerage account with a minimum of $10 before they would let me do mobile check deposits. Yes, I called and asked.


@Shinbone, upon receipt of this junk mail, I thought of you. :sake:

From Fifth Third Bank, a rewards MC that pays:
3% at restaurants
2% at fuel, grocery and drug stores.
1% elsewhere
$100 bonus on 1.5k spend in first 90 days (pretty weak, 53)

I’m unsure as to where you’re doing your excavating, so the above may not be so great, but thought it worth mentioning. This was targeted, but they’re probably happy for the free advertising.


Very good of you. Thanks! I am always on the lookout for profitable Mastercards! However, full disclosure:

My entire game relies on across the board rewards, the higher the better. I can, and I do, make dough with 1% across the board cards. But I make a LOT more money with cards having higher across the board rewards.

At present my ability to apply for new credit is somewhat limited. It is constrained by my having made perhaps too many past applications. So I am not applying for more 1% cards at this time. My most recent card carries only a 1.5% reward. But that extra one-half percent translates into nice additional profit because all my overhead is more than paid for with the first one percent; the extra half percent is entirely gravy.:wink:

As for the restaurants, gasoline, groceries, etc., extra rewards:

I have no way to turn those higher reward percentages into profit at this time. Am focused solely on the across the board rewards percentage.


did you know about the cap one Savor card?? 2 versions… one with a 500.00 bonus /spend 3k in 90 days…4% at rest/fast food unlimited… free version has 3% back and lower bonus. The fee for the 4% and 500 bonus is 95.00 waived 1st year. But capone has to have the most stringent
security in place. I can not get there cards as I maxed out rewards on other cards and they closed one AFTER giving me 1200.00 reward $. Saw a $1500 purchase from giftcardmall. My mistake. But my 2 sons applied and going thru ringer with their security. Had to mail in verification stuff… phone calls to listed # to verify them… plus emails to be answered with public records. Approved last week for both but it take 10 days for cards to arrive… Worth it for bonuses.


Did you know the Marvel MasterCard gives 3% back on Netflix?


Player two experienced this with Capital One with a previous card, so I know what you mean. They insisted there was a “fraud alert” on her credit record and thus it took extraordinary proof to get their card, though there was no such thing.

The $500 bonus is tempting, but Capital One is pull happy. They pull all three bureaus, then frequently deny on first try. If you call recon, they do three more hard pulls.


I think my sons are OK. One got email last night that card is on the way…the other passed the fraud and ID test…he called a phone # and a recording stated its being reviewed. Still dont know. They must lose tons of biz…


Right, all major streaming services should be covered on Marvel Synchrony. The other card that does this is the refreshed Wells Fargo Propel (AmEx):


The uber card gives you $50 back per year on a streaming service if you spend at least $5k per year on the card - that seems much better than a few pennies per dollar on Netflix.


So 1% is better than 3%? Oh okay…


No, the Uber card pays 2% up front for streaming services. And if you total spend on all categories is > $5K, then you get $50 more. So that’s more like 36% (in the example of Hulu $12/mo).

I’m not advocating the Uber card, and in fact don’t even have one. Just saying _TJ had a good point.