Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Reward / Cash Back Credit Cards


Seems like an odd line to draw for someone that I can only assume is a manufactured spender.


I’m honestly not doing conventional MS . . . as practiced by any number of professionals posting here who have my respect and admiration. I’m a long ago retired person and conventional MS is a little too challenging for my current abilities. Old folks have to be allowed to slow down just a little . . . . . . or so I believe, anyway. If there are (seriously) senior citizens out there doing MS, the real thing I mean, you guys rock!!


Very much appreciate your most helpful post. Thank you.

Yes, that’s the difference. I would never use the brokerage . . . never, ever.

It’s only my opinion, but I think so long as you are giving Fidelity even a small amount of brokerage business you have every right to enjoy the benefits of their card.


I have a brokerage account with Schwab just to get the checking account and I haven’t used the brokerage in years (I use Fidelity) - I don’t have any issue with it since they don’t


As far as we can tell, you’re putting a bunch of charges on your credit cards without buying anything. Unless you want to describe what you’re actually doing, Manufactured Spending is the best description I can come up with.

Regardless, your spend isn’t organic and that was my point. Why draw the line at opening a bank account you don’t plan on using?


I’m unable either to confirm or deny exactly what it is I’m doing, or why. You are welcome to believe whatever you wish, as are others.

I wish you well.


If you open a bank account with a signup bonus only to meet the requirement to get the bonus and avoid fees, then close the account, you essentially open the account without any real intent on using it. Likewise, opening a credit card to meet the minimum spend to get the signup bonus then later closing the card is in the same vein. I don’t personally see any issues with either and any MS/travel hacker does this regularly. They offer the terms and we take advantage if it.

Obviously, the bank wants you to keep the account open and see regular use/spend/deposit, but that’s the game we play. The signup bonuses, at least for credit cards are intended to get people to run up interest and fees. Make no mistake, it’s a profit predatory run industry. I see no qualms about opening an account such as a Fidelity brokerage just to get higher cash back rewards even though you don’t intend to use it and I’ve rarely heard of a bank closing your account just because you aren’t using it enough (except for credit cards closing after 6+ mo of no usage). To each their own though.


I’ve had the cash management account and 2% card for a few years now and I’ve never used any brokerage services. They’ve never placed any demands on me. I wouldn’t worry about it.


Good and helpful information. Thank you.


A long time ago the money movement features of my Ameritrade brokerage account looked attractive, and I started using it as a hub to ACH money between banks. I even had some stocks in that account, just sitting there without being actively traded. My ACH capability was quickly suspended, and I was told that the cash management features were there to facilitate trading. I said “OK, got it”, and they re-enabled everything, but warned me not to do it again. Could be with Datek before getting acquired by Ameritrade, don’t remember for sure now.


Most helpful post, olegos. Thanks. I’m grateful.

I still have not decided where next to turn for new credit. It’s a tough decision. I’m hoping the best course becomes apparent to me in the fullness of (not too much) time.

You know, it’s funny. I was close to pulling the trigger on Quicksilver at 1.5%. The Visa version of Quicksilver offers a $200 bonus and no annual fee. Not bad, right? But the MasterCard version of Quicksilver . . with the very same 1.5% reward rate and also from Capital One . . comes with no bonus whatsoever and an annual fee!!

Obviously, given an even playing field, I would pick the MasterCard version in a heartbeat. But it’s not an even playing field at all. :frowning_face:

Gosh rewards MasterCards are a challenge.


The next best card for straight cash-back after the 2.5% Alliant Visa (or THE best no-AF card) is the 2% Citi Double Cash, which is a MC. I would expect Visas to be more in demand because Costco takes them.


There’s a business MC that is making the news rounds today that offers 1.75% back in rewards if you have BofA platinum honors. Comes with a $350 sign up bonus to boot.


As far as I can tell, the next best no AF cash back card after the 2.5% Alliant Signature Visa is the 2% Alliant Visa Platinum Rewards which…

  1. Does not wait till you’ve paid the balance to give you rewards and;

  2. Gives 5000 bonus points ($100) when you spend $500 in the first 3 months and;

  3. Has a possible 0% introductory rate for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.


It is a good card except that it doesn’t have extended warranty coverage (and i think it doesn’t have purchase protection, also) so, not a card to use when you want those coverages for the item you are purchasing…


I did…once…My laptop’s screen blew out…the factory warranty was over but i had 1 year extended coverage with my AMEX card…instead of having me get it repaired (after submitting an estimate from Toshiba) they decided to total it and sent me a check for the original purchase price…Got a new laptop out of the deal :slightly_smiling_face:

So, while you rarely may end up using it, i find they are both nice features to have…most cards have them…wonder why Alliant is so cheap they don’t include them (except on the signature card which automatically has the features)…

So, while you never used it, Argyll, it doesn’t mean that most credit card holders don’t appreciate having it…


I usually ignore the sign-up bonuses and intro features and only pay attention to them when comparing cards with everything else being equal. That leaves only #1 in your list, and that’s such a small thing to me, almost negligible. On the other hand, probably the reason someone would want to look past the 2.5% Alliant Visa would also rule out this card: not wanting to jump through hoops to join Alliaint, being blacklisted by Alliant, having a backup card (another one from the same institution is a poor backup), etc.

By the way, I looked through all 2+% cards in the wiki at the top here, and there are two other cards (both Visas) that also pay 2%, but each had some negatives that made it inferior to the Double Cash, in my opinion.


I look at the institutions first. Credit unions like Alliant have lower fees, are less likely to assess fees, have lower APR usually as well. It’s always been worth it to me to join credit unions as opposed to more impersonal institutions designed only for profit. People run into far more problems with the big banks than with most of the credit unions as credit unions are not-for-profits whose charter is to serve the members, not make as much profit off them as possible.


I always get the manufacturer extended warranty for laptops, usually five years. Credit card extended warranty plans seem useless to me, and are a lot more time and trouble, Using this feature once in your lifetime hardly seems like a reason to select a credit card.


Citi is driving me absolutely nuts with their security protocols. It always comes out OK but it creates SUCH a lot of hassle and wastes my time.