Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards


This my be important after the three month period is up. This will then lower your utilization. Many here (myself included) have all the credit the major banks are comfortable giving them. Having lines from small credit unions, regional banks etc. will increase your available credit and hence lower your utilization even after the card is paid off, and is possibly little used as having a low reward rate. .


Freedom CU sent me a letter asking for a copy of my membership certificate in the ACC and my driver’s license, and enclosed a prepaid envelope. I interpret their prepaid envelope as indicating they expect to issue the card, but it certainly slows things down, especially if you had not already joined ACC ($8.00) or qualified for membership in some other way.


Good luck and I hope things work out well for you.

My own card finally arrived today after the normal wait. I am charging everything I’m able to it and will pre-pay a good bit before the end of January.

Have been told statements close on the last day of the month, with payment due by the twenty-eighth. There is no provision for adjusting downward your CA limit. However, the special they have ongoing might make that unnecessary. My own CA experience is nil and I’m going to have to learn the ropes to take advantage here . . . if there is profit to be had. Really do not know at this point.

Anyway, the card is working so far just fine and I’m hoping for good things between now and January’s end. It’s a wonderful time of year . . . . . . . . to have a 5% card, I mean!:grinning:


Course with interest rates ascending it becomes concerning to pay too far in advance. This because you lose interest on the money you must pay out early. However, the 5% reward on this card is I assume a tax-free reward whereas the interest you would earn is taxable. Hence:

Advantage goes to the Freedom card at 5%


I did learn I was approved.A low level employee in the credit approval department indicated the line size was based on an average of what others had given, and quoted a wrong figure for the highest limit I had. She said this was after a supervisor’s review and i decided not to try to argue, since someone could easily conclude from my credit report that I would be an unprofitable customer, using it heavily until the 5% was over, and then carrying a balance at their .99% annual rate as long as that was available (6 months I believe).

They cannot actual issue the card until they have a membership account to attach it to. I was told if can put the documents needed into a pdf form they can be sent as attachments to their help E-mail, but as a security mechanism any other form cannot be opened.


Having fun with my Freedom card. The 5% across the board reward interval is very short, lasting only until the end of January. But oh my goodness does it EVER come at a great time for spending!! I’m actually even putting a lot of conventional spend on the card. A 5% card on Black Friday! It “don’t get a lot better” than that.

Unconventional spending? I am experimenting. After having got bit at NFCU I’m a tiny bit gunshy. But my sense so far is that Freedom is different and will be fine. Will know more early in December following first statement. If experiments pan out it’ll be full speed ahead with the unconventional spending at Freedom. :grinning:

Craziest thing of all is that I very nearly did not apply for this Freedom card!! What on earth was I thinking?!! Now realize this card is a total no-brainer. Old age must be catching up with me to where I did not see that from the get-go.


This holiday season, spend $200 between November 16th, 2018-December 31st, 2018 with your Marvel Mastercard®, and earn a $30 Fandango e-gift card, perfect for taking your favorite sidekick to the movies!


Excellent, how much do you use this card on a monthly/annual basis? I got the same offer, but I have to spend $400 for the $30 Fandango money. I am going to try hard to only spend the $400 via 3% categories, but it might not be possible. My usage was pretty steady (few hundred a month) until my Savor card became 4%, then my Marvel card usage dropped to zero, but probably not soon enough to get the lower threshold on this offer.

The only two categories that this card offers that are still unique to this card are 3% bookstores (aside from the Amazon card) and 3% streaming (Netflix/Sling/Hulu).


It depends on how much I spend eating out. At a minimum, I use it to pay for Netflix. Since last year, the most I charged in a single month is $300. Monthly average is probably $100-150.

“Select entertainment categories include Movie Theatres, Video Rental and Game Stores, Theatrical and Concert Promoters, Amusement Parks, Digital Entertainment, Games and Software, Music, Books and Newsstands, Toys and Hobby Stores.”


Added Savor and Savor One to wiki.


Unanticipated positive outcome this morning with Freedom Credit Union 5% card. Here is my data point:

Wanted to pay off card before close of statement on (I think) November thirtieth. Did routine ACH transfer of funds from Alliant to my Freedom CU savings. Then, at Freedom website, did transfer from Freedom savings to my Freedom CU 5% CC account. The outcome:

Funds were applied to my CC balance reducing it to zero straightaway. Also they instantly restored my credit line to its maximum value.

I have other no BS cards that do this. But some, instead, put payments on hold, which is always a nuisance, and do not restore your credit line right away. So three cheers for Freedom CU! I could not be more pleased.

Now, of course, it has become “wait and see” to learn whether or not the promised 5% reward will materialize early in December. Time will tell.:wink:


Looking for a card with a big sign-up bonus for a short term large expense (medical). Ok with free 1st year no annual fee since I plan in cancelling it before the year is up.

So far it seems like Chase Sappire Preferred, any other suggestions?

Chase Preferred - 50k point for $4k spend in first 3 month. ($625/$4000 = almost 15% back)


Cash only or travel rewards? If travel there are a couple higher value options. If you stay at hotels and take flights, the aspire has a negative effective annual fee and even worth keeping past year 1. Year 1 you get $500 airline (can be gift cards), $250 Hilton credit (only good at ~200 of them, but good on base room charges not just additional), 2 weekend night certificates, and 150k hilton points (~$600). Around $2000 in year 1 for $450 fee paid, $1500 profit. In following years, it’s around $750+ worth back every year for $450 fee, so a net profit of about $300/yr, plus Hilton’s highest status level and standard premium card stuff like priority pass and global entry fees.

Back to cash, if you can reasonably apply as a sole proprietor, the Chase ink preferred has 80k chase points instead of 50k. I think I have referral bonus offers on all three of those cards currently but those help someone else don’t give you extra.

Not really a great idea, some terms already specifically call out this behavior. But you can instead usually downgrade right after the year.


Capital 1 venture is $750 in travel right now.


Can you run any travel charges through it? If so, you might consider Sapphire Reserve instead. Also, Priority Pass access is multi-year now on CSR. If you cancel or downgrade, you should be able to keep PP access for 3-4 years (I can’t remember which).


How large :slight_smile:

Spark Cash Business*: $500 for $5K/3mo + $1500 more if you spend $50K/6mo.
Arrival+: 70K points (worth ~$735 travel credit) for $5K/3mo, AF waived.

(*) YMMV charging medical expenses on a biz card. I did that recently (on Cap1) and received a reminder letter to not use a business card for personal expenses (may have been a coincidence) and a 50% reduction of CL (possibly because I didn’t use the card in a while and then charged 50% of CL).


Probably going to be around $10k. My credit is frozen so it will be a bit of work, I already have card with citi and chase so they may be easier to get. right now it seems I’ll be sticking with Chase Sapphire.


I thaw/refreeze mine with all three bureaus probably several times a year. Takes 5 minutes total. Probably less since September 21.


So, typically, how do you know which bureau to unfreeze? Or you just unfreeze all three as a matter of course?


It could easily be different with CreditKarma. I dunno because I have no experience with them. Maybe CreditKarma does a better job.

But with the free services I use to obtain FICO (and other similar) credit scores, there is a MAJOR issue with currency. Said another way, too often the free credit scores one receives from financial institutions are far too old to be of any value whatsoever.

My credit score moves up and down like a yo-yo. A score from several weeks ago is meaningless. A score which is one or two months old is downright silly. When I encounter the REALLY old scores I usually think :

why even bother?


That’s a good question. The simple answer is to thaw/refreeze the three major bureaus and let them have at it. Mind you, in the state where I live, even before September 21, thaws/freezes were free so I had little incentive to try to scope it down. In general, I’ve found that asking the credit card lender which bureau they pull from almost always gets the answer “All of them”. They may not actually pull from all of them, but they don’t want people shopping for cards based on who pulls what bureau.

That said, I recently applied for a rewards card that I needed to steer away from one bureau (Z). I left the one with the info I didn’t care for them to see frozen. They called me and said they were unable to pull from that bureau. I stated that I was certain that I’d unfrozen X and Y, but maybe not Z. And they immediately said, OK, we’ll use X instead. Worked out well.