Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards


Don’t forget CVS.


Guys there may be trouble in paradise regarding the Freedom CU credit card 5% reward deal. We already have ProfessorEd’s report of woe up thread. Now this:

5% at Freedom CU - Too good to be true?

My own data point remains at “so far so good”, but I am on pins and needles with significant concern regarding AA (adverse action) despite not having strayed from the written terms and conditions of the card.

My guess is this promotion is way over budget at Freedom CU and they are doing what they can to rein things in.


This is another post regarding the Freedom CU 5% reward deal. I am now aware in detail of an additional data point. However, I promised confidentiality to the person who shared with me their experience, and I intend to keep that promise. Hence:

All I can say is that with the Freedom CU card at 5%, if you seek to avoid AA (adverse action), it is a REALLY bad idea to recycle your credit line. Doing so definitely attracts attention from the “powers that be” at Freedom CU. And the clawback experienced by ProfessorEd and reported up thread is not an isolated example.

As for myself personally, while I have not recycled by credit line, I have ventured right up to the edge of doing so. As a result I am far from confident that I am safe from AA. We are very nearly at January’s end. Fingers are crossed.


Just to be clear, what I’m thinking is that recycling of your credit line with this 5% Freedom CU deal seems to be a common element with those cardholders who have experienced AA.

However, I’m NOT at all certain that avoidance of credit line recycling will protect anyone from AA. There might exist other AA triggers of which I remain unaware.


Up-thread I said this:

Has anyone actually checked the terms for a clause that prohibits recycling your credit line for rewards earning purposes? Isn’t that step one in figuring this whole thing out?


Me, too, and others as well. I was merely offering additional support.

I checked the terms and conditions before applying for the card. It’s a key reason I applied. But apparently not all actual terms and conditions are stated in the written terms and conditions.

It’s a small credit union with only four branches. The people there behind this deal failed to consider the consequences of offering a 5% CC deal with such generous terms and conditions. They are attempting now to control their losses by going after some cardholders who have recycled their credit line.

Additional evidence of the naïveté of these Freedom CU folks can be found in the rapidity with which they restore your line when you make a payment. The restoration is instantaneous!! :grinning:


Update on my experience. I got their 5% card and then used it for large donations through the Paypal giving Fund. They credited me with a significant sum to my share account in accord with the terms (quicker than promised), but then charged the amount deposited back to my loan account. I got several excuses. The final one was that they claimed to believe I had used Paypal to charge the card, and then sent the payment back to myself, which would be improper. After arguing they have reversed the charge back, and after repeated phone calls to the person (who never returned the calls) they called and said they had reversed the clawback.

They clearly had not considered the possibility that there might be people out there who planned each year to make charitable donations equal to the 60% of adjusted gross income that can be deducted from your income for tax purposes, or who might have large expenses for tuition or tax payments.

In favor of there having been a mistake is that they first tried to remove the funds from my share account, and the reversed this (possibly someone told them that they lacked legal authority from removing funds from a share account, and then added the amount to the loan amount).

One question left open is how or whether to take advantage of their offer of a 5% rebate on balance transfers. They do state that balance transfers are limited to your credit line and balance transfers must be outstanding for a full credit cycle for the 5%. As I read the terms, they should reject another large balance transfer request since I had earlier done one (and failed to notice the need to keep it open for a full cycle). However, if they accept the transfer, and it is kept open for a full cycle, I should be entitled to the 5%.

The alternative is to keep the account near the credit limit, and then take advantage of a loan at the low .99% rate for the promotional period. Advice would be welcome.


They similarly shouldn’t have legal authority to add the amount to any loan either.


I don’t think they didn’t consider this. I think they didn’t consider that they had to put in their terms that you couldn’t earn rewards on any transactions beyond your credit limit in each cycle.


What “loan account”? Because on a legal basis, they’re on better grounds reversing an “erroneous” ACH deposit than arbitrarily adding a random balance to an unrelated debt.

Glad you got this resolves rather easily. But it goes to show, no matter how much you read or how many questions you ask, it’s all good until it suddenly isnt all good. All financial institutions seem to forget they’re merely a party to a contract, and instead like to act as the judge and jury to impose whatever the hell works out best for themselves. Not getting what you expect is a legit risk when going into any of these type of rewards-generating purchases.


So very true. It’s all a crapshoot. But you can’t win if you don’t play.

I’m right up to the line this month at Freedom CU with their 5% card. It’s a lot of money. Fingers are crossed.


What a crazy, unanticipated outcome!:joy:

Never saw this coming. Having more good fortune than a human being should be allowed to have. Fell into a buttertub. The details:

I posted up thread about Bank of America (B of A) changing the terms of their legendary “1-2-3” card. They now allow cardholder to choose his or her 3% category. I posted that for others here. But I saw at the time no benefit for myself.

Well, I surely got that wrong! Turns out one of the allowed categories, online shopping, covers the unconventional spending I have been doing for a while as a money making activity. I was making money at the old reward rate of just 1%. Now my formerly lowly B of A card has surged from “worst to first”. They just tripled my reward!! :joy:

I don’t have any other card that pays me 3% on the unconventional spending I’m doing. Closest I have is my Alliant card at 2.5% with a $59 annual fee. There is no annual fee at B of A. OK, Discover still is giving me 3%, but that is only for the first year. The 3% at B of A is forever!!

Course this projected windfall does not arrive absent concern. To wit, will tripling by B of A of my rewards come with a higher level of scrutiny of my purchases? I dunno. Time will tell. But for now this is all a lot of fun.


Re: Slick Deals $125 bonus for opening Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card.

I was approved January 7. Today, 1-25-19, the bonus is in my Paypal account.


There’s a $2500 limit per quarter for the higher rewards, then it drops to 1%.

“Earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.” (BOA)


Thanks, Argyll. Yeah, that pretty much shoots me in the foot. I might have known it was too good to be true. Foolish of me to think so.

Still some help, of course. But nothing like what I was thinking. :cry:


Hard to know what they were thinking. However, they did put in their terms a reference to balance transfers being limited to the credit limit. I think they had in mind that the 5% back on balance transfers would be limited to your credit limit, but it could be interpreted as that they would not make balance transfers once you had exceeded your credit limit. This suggests they were aware that people might borrow and repay the same amounts repeatedly .

A technical point is whether you earn 5% back on purchases made in January that do not get posted until February. I read the terms as being that I will.

"Total amount of balance transfers during this period cannot exceed your credit limit. Balance transfers are subject to finance charges from the date they are posted to your account. Member is responsible for completing the balance transfer. Balance must remain through first billing cycle. 5% Cash Back reward will be applied by the 5th business day of the following month. All purchases made from November 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019 with the Cash Back card will receive 5% cash back deposited into the primary savings account at the credit union by the 5th business day of the following month.

Purchases made after January 31, 2019 with the Cash Back card will receive 1% cash back deposited into the primary savings account at the credit union by the 5th business day of the following month. This offer is only available for new card applications during the promotional period. After the promotional period, the APR you receive on a Visa Cash Back card will be a variable rate that will be adjusted monthly and will be the sum of an index plus a margin. The Index will be based on the highest Prime Rate as published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal in effect on the day the introductory rate expires, and subsequently, 10 days prior to the first day of each calendar quarter of each year. The Index plus our Margin equals your Interest rate. Changes in the Index will cause changes in the Interest Rate. Your rate will not be less than 10.9% or greater than 17.9%. All rates accurate as of 11/1/18. The maximum credit card limit per Member is $30,000. The maximum unsecured debt per Member is $30,000. Offer subject to credit approval. Not everyone will qualify. You must be at least 18 years of age. Offer is available for a limited time, may be withdrawn at any time and is subject to change without notice."


A question is what is “online shopping.” I presume it includes Amazon (so that the return rate for those of us with Preferred status that gets us a bonus of .75% as much would earn 5.25%, which exceeds the 5% I get on the Amazon store card, and probably gets me a little better purchase protection). There are some smaller firms I sometimes shop at, whose classification is unknown to me.

If anyone has any experience I would appreciate confirmation as to how Amazon is treated. I am presuming they can separate out online purchases for stores such a Walmart and Target.

We spend a lot on Peapod, (groceries delivered to house, but I presume that is not considered on line shopping.

Incidentally, the $2500 per quarter limitation might be avoided if there are more than one such card in the household (say spouse has one). Alternatively, it might be wise for a spouse to pick a different category for their 5% rewards. If it is desired to qualify the spouse, joint brokerage account values counts towards both owner’s status.


There’s another thread about that here…link



Was hoping would be able to report a positive data point this morning. Unable to do so truthfully. Here is data point anyway:

The Freedom CU CC 5% reward gift horse is gone as of today. On 12/1/2018 they paid me my 5% reward for November spending. On 1/1/2019 they paid me my 5% reward for December spending. Today is 2/1/2019 and I had hope of finding, in my Freedom CU savings, the reward for my January spending. No dice. Yes, I’m aware they say five days and all that. But today’s outcome, at least so far, is inconsistent with past outcomes as regards timing of the reward payment.

Obviously I have no clue why things are different this time. I hope this change does not signal more aggressive spending scrutiny by the credit union.

Will be monitoring my Freedom CU account today in hope they still might post my reward as happened in the past.


Woo Hoo!! :joy::joy:

They just credited my savings with the FULL amount I had hoped to receive, the FULL 5% on everything I “spent”.

Better late than never. Am really happy camper!!

Concern regarding possible clawback? Moi? :grin:

Well, they will need to act fast. I just scheduled an ACH withdrawal at PurePoint, Freedom to PurePoint. That reward I just received will be gone early Monday morning. And of course I’m earning PurePoint interest on the money already.


Can anyone help with this question which is regarding the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards CC?

This is a Visa card and there is no annual fee. Card pays a 1.5% reward across the board. I do not have this card at present, but am considering it, subject to learning:

Can cash advance (CA) limit of this card be adjusted by cardholder, upon request, independently of cardholder’s credit limit?

Asked another way, can CA limit be set to zero, or to a small number, without impacting your credit limit?


Bit of online research is indicating Capital One will not allow independent adjustment of CA limit. Not good. Quicksilver is a desirable card superficially, but I’m just seeing too many negative comments about Capital One to be comfortable applying for this card. Pity


Is it correct to assume that the goal here is to prevent something being considered a cash advance without your prior knowledge? That may be important to know as part of asking the question since it would seem conceivable that they allow a transaction initially despite the CA limit but then later decide to treat it as a CA. Just trying to think like a bank.