Best Credit Card with Cash Back Rewards

sleevedraw

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All depends on what the earn rates are for me. For a card like the BCP (AF of $95; 6% at supermarkets) vs the BCE (No AF; 3% at supermarkets), sometimes a card with an AF can come out ahead. It's pretty easy to use a graphing calculator/system of equations to locate the inflection point of a card with an AF vs one without.

For example, for BCE vs BCP, the system is:
y0=0.06x - 95
y1=0.03x

This is just south of $3200/year, which pretty much every family spends on groceries.
 

sleevedraw

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Mostly negative changes coming to the Uber Visa starting February 2020.

Previously:
4% cash back on dining/UberEats
3% on travel
2% on online purchases/Uber
Else 1%
$50 annual credit for online subscription (Amazon Prime/Pandora/etc.) after $5000 in spend

Will be:

5% in Uber credit for Uber/UberEats
3% in Uber credit for travel
Else 1%
Online subscription credit nixed
 

fris

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That was gonna be my next card, just for the 4% on dining. I don't travel and dont want a card with annual fees, so not sure what to get next. Probably another chase since im 1 away from 5/24
 

sleevedraw

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That was gonna be my next card, just for the 4% on dining. I don't travel and dont want a card with annual fees, so not sure what to get next. Probably another chase since im 1 away from 5/24

Yeah, exhaust your Chase cards if you're at 4/24.

Once you're over 5/24, best no-AF dining cards are probably the below depending on what exactly it is you're looking for:
  • US Bank Cash+ if you primarily eat fast food (5% fast food only if you choose it as your selected 5% category; 2% restaurants if you choose it as your 2% category)
  • Sam's Club/Costco Visa (5%/4% gas respectively, 3% dining, both are solid daily drivers)
  • Cap1 SavorOne (3% dining/3% "entertainment" which is narrowly defined as museums, concerts, tourist attractions, and similar kinds of things, not video games or streaming)
  • Wells Fargo Propel (3% dining/gas/travel)
  • Bank of America Cash Rewards (3, 3.75, 4.5, or 5.25% on dining if you choose it as your category depending on your overall assets with BofA)
 

ShakyJake

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My parents have a Sams Club card. My mom made a mistake and paid all but 30 cents of that month's balance (she always pays the full amount to avoid interest rate charges).

So, that .30 balance ended up creating $4.65 in interest charges for that month. Does that make any god damn sense to anyone?
 

Kiroy

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My parents have a Sams Club card. My mom made a mistake and paid all but 30 cents of that month's balance (she always pays the full amount to avoid interest rate charges).

So, that .30 balance ended up creating $4.65 in interest charges for that month. Does that make any god damn sense to anyone?

probably 4.64 is the processing fee
 
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Unidin

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If you don't pay off the card, the bank will charge you the interest rate on the average daily balance for the last cycle. Since she ran it up and paid it mostly off, the majority of the month will be at the higher amount that the interest was calculated at.
 

Foler

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Soygen Soygen how is Fidelity's customer service on that 2% back card?

Been rocking chase for years, have a reserve and had 520k points banked. Kept telling myself over the years that I'd use them for flights but came to the recent realization that my travel isn't conducive to their portal (last minute flights and not super flexible, also they don't lost all available flights).

So I finally said fuck it and got $5200 cash back. Thinking of switching over to fidelity but I love the travel perks of the reserve so I may keep it as well.
 

sleevedraw

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Soygen Soygen how is Fidelity's customer service on that 2% back card?

Been rocking chase for years, have a reserve and had 520k points banked. Kept telling myself over the years that I'd use them for flights but came to the recent realization that my travel isn't conducive to their portal (last minute flights and not super flexible, also they don't lost all available flights).

So I finally said fuck it and got $5200 cash back. Thinking of switching over to fidelity but I love the travel perks of the reserve so I may keep it as well.

The Fidelity card is managed by Elan Financial Services, which is a subsidiary of US Bank. USB has their customer reps based domestically, but every time except for one that I've called USB, they've been surly as fuck with me.
 
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Foler

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The Fidelity card is managed by Elan Financial Services, which is a subsidiary of US Bank. USB has their customer reps based domestically, but every time except for one that I've called USB, they've been surly as fuck with me.
Meh.

Was pretty bummed when chase went from having someone picking up the phone knowing your name to automated bullshit so dunno if this completely puts me off.
 

sleevedraw

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Meh.

Was pretty bummed when chase went from having someone picking up the phone knowing your name to automated bullshit so dunno if this completely puts me off.

Now that I'm off of work, a more detailed post; if you're looking at transferring a lot of assets in exchange for credit card perks, here are your options that I know of (listed in no particular order):

1) US Bank
  • They have the Altitude Reserve as their premium-tier card. It's a Visa Infinite like the Sapphire Reserve with benefits that are (for the most part) similar, if slightly lessened. It earns 3x on mobile wallets/travel and 1x on everything else (points worth 1.5c when redeemed for travel.) They have a pretty cool feature called real-time redemption where if the card detects you are making a large travel purchase, it will send you a text/push notification to your phone and ask if you want to redeem your points for it. It also has the lowest effective AF of all the premium-tier cards ($400 AF with $325 travel credit)
    • They are extremely sensitive to manufactured spend and will happily shut down all your accounts with them if they detect you buying gift cards (which is easy for them to do, because the Altitude gives them line-item transaction data)
  • If you have a gold checking (a credit card or mortgage with them) or platinum checking account ($20k in assets with them), they will give you 100 free ETF/equity trades per year
  • Don't transfer any IRAs to them, because they're one of the few custodians that still charges an annual maintenance fee
2) BofA/Merrill
  • They have the Premium Rewards (silver) card as their flagship card, although it's technically a mid-tier card like the Sapphire Preferred or Amex Green
  • You don't get all the travel perks of the premium-tier cards, but the cash back earning structure is very good; can earn 3.5% cashback on travel (and BofA probably has the most liberal definition of "travel" of any card issuer; only thing that is not considered travel is gas) and 2.62% back on everything else if you have $100k in assets with them
    • You can pair it with one of their Cash Rewards cards (the red one) which can give you 5.25% in one category of your choice
  • Speaking from personal experience, BofA/Merrill's reps are good if you are a high-balance customer, although you will have to navigate phone trees and there are hold times
  • They give unlimited free ETF/equity trades for anyone who is in Preferred Rewards now ($20k+ in assets)

3) Schwab/Amex
  • Schwab has a custom version of the Amex Platinum with a discounted annual fee if you are a high-balance customer ($100 off the $550 AF with $250k in assets; $200 off the AF with $1mm in assets)
    • Schwab Platinum, unlike the basic Platinum, lets you cash out Amex MR Points as cash at a decent rate into your Schwab account (1 point = 1.25 cents)
    • The Platinum is a great card as far as travel perks, but it has very narrow bonused spend categories (flights booked directly with airlines/Amex; hotels with Amex)
      • You can pair it with the Blue Business Plus which gets a flat 2x points on everything for an effective 2.5% back on everything
    • The Platinum has a lot of credits like the Uber credit and Saks Fifth Avenue credit, but Amex makes them all a pain in the ass to use
  • Schwab has unlimited free equity/ETF trades now
  • Have not personally been a customer of Schwab's, but have heard their c/s is good; Amex's is good

4) Fidelity
  • 2% flat cash card, no muss, no fuss (except 1% internationally because there is a 1% forex fee)
  • Fidelity's c/s is good; Elan's is not
  • Unlimited free equity/ETF trades
5) Citi
  • Has the Citi Prestige as their flagship ($495 AF, discounted to $350 if you have Citigold [200k in assets with them] with a $200 travel credit)
    • It's a World Elite Mastercard, which is somewhere between Visa Signature and Visa Infinite as far as perks
    • Good card for foodies; gets 5x on restaurants/air travel; 3x hotels/cruiselines; 1x everything else
    • Also good if you stay long-term in expensive hotels because of the twice-a-year Fourth Night Free benefit
  • Citigold has a lot of cool concierge perks if you are an international traveler
  • Brokerage is eh (free ETF trades and $2.95 equity trades if you have $50k in assets with them)
  • I have yet to read a positive experience with Citi's customer service
 
Last edited:

Mist

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My Capital One Savor is pretty good, and my Chase Ink is good too. Still use Citi Double Cash a lot too.

Capital One Savor sent me a really dope metal card, it's even heavier and more metally than the Amazon one.

I don't have to pay the annual fee either because I got the card originally before it started having the annual fee, and it's a World Elite Mastercard.

I want to do Citigold but Citi's customer service is awful.
 
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Kiroy

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I think i've put this in this thread before, but I'd like to chime and say:

If you have a small business you frequent and really like, do them a favor and use your debit card instead of your rewards card. Or cash of course. The percent we pay the processors->cc companies is vastly different between the two.
 

Locnar

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I think i've put this in this thread before, but I'd like to chime and say:

If you have a small business you frequent and really like, do them a favor and use your debit card instead of your rewards card. Or cash of course. The percent we pay the processors->cc companies is vastly different between the two.

A lot of small business I go to won't take American Express because of the fees and hassles. Funny that American Express sponsor that shop small business thing. You'd think they themselves would help small business by lowering their fees instead of encouraging other people to stop small.
 

Kiroy

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A lot of small business I go to won't take American Express because of the fees and hassles. Funny that American Express sponsor that shop small business thing. You'd think they themselves would help small business by lowering their fees instead of encouraging other people to stop small.

They have good rewards, those rewards are paid for by the processing fees. I'm not sure of anywhere that doesn't take amex anymore cause all the other card companies have crazy rewards cards as well, people just have to take it. Then poor uninformed bastards use processors like square and get raped even harder.

Between a bad processor and a rewards card, a small business person could be paying 6% of a purchase to the two. It's rough on the folks with tighter margins trying to make their nut with volume. It's why some gas stations / convenience stores will flat out charge you 35 or 50 cents to use a credit card.
 

Soygen

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Soygen Soygen how is Fidelity's customer service on that 2% back card?

Been rocking chase for years, have a reserve and had 520k points banked. Kept telling myself over the years that I'd use them for flights but came to the recent realization that my travel isn't conducive to their portal (last minute flights and not super flexible, also they don't lost all available flights).

So I finally said fuck it and got $5200 cash back. Thinking of switching over to fidelity but I love the travel perks of the reserve so I may keep it as well.
I've never had to reach out to customer service on the card, fortunately. It's not Fidelity who runs the actual card service, though. It's Elan Financial. That said, Fidelity customer service is awesome and I would recommend them to anyone.
 

Foler

ForumQuest Champion
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Now that I'm off of work, a more detailed post; if you're looking at transferring a lot of assets in exchange for credit card perks, here are your options that I know of (listed in no particular order):

1) US Bank
  • They have the Altitude Reserve as their premium-tier card. It's a Visa Infinite like the Sapphire Reserve with benefits that are (for the most part) similar, if slightly lessened. It earns 3x on mobile wallets/travel and 1x on everything else (points worth 1.5c when redeemed for travel.) They have a pretty cool feature called real-time redemption where if the card detects you are making a large travel purchase, it will send you a text/push notification to your phone and ask if you want to redeem your points for it. It also has the lowest effective AF of all the premium-tier cards ($400 AF with $325 travel credit)
    • They are extremely sensitive to manufactured spend and will happily shut down all your accounts with them if they detect you buying gift cards (which is easy for them to do, because the Altitude gives them line-item transaction data)
  • If you have a gold checking (a credit card or mortgage with them) or platinum checking account ($20k in assets with them), they will give you 100 free ETF/equity trades per year
  • Don't transfer any IRAs to them, because they're one of the few custodians that still charges an annual maintenance fee
2) BofA/Merrill
  • They have the Premium Rewards (silver) card as their flagship card, although it's technically a mid-tier card like the Sapphire Preferred or Amex Green
  • You don't get all the travel perks of the premium-tier cards, but the cash back earning structure is very good; can earn 3.5% cashback on travel (and BofA probably has the most liberal definition of "travel" of any card issuer; only thing that is not considered travel is gas) and 2.62% back on everything else if you have $100k in assets with them
    • You can pair it with one of their Cash Rewards cards (the red one) which can give you 5.25% in one category of your choice
  • Speaking from personal experience, BofA/Merrill's reps are good if you are a high-balance customer, although you will have to navigate phone trees and there are hold times
  • They give unlimited free ETF/equity trades for anyone who is in Preferred Rewards now ($20k+ in assets)

3) Schwab/Amex
  • Schwab has a custom version of the Amex Platinum with a discounted annual fee if you are a high-balance customer ($100 off the $550 AF with $250k in assets; $200 off the AF with $1mm in assets)
    • Schwab Platinum, unlike the basic Platinum, lets you cash out Amex MR Points as cash at a decent rate into your Schwab account (1 point = 1.25 cents)
    • The Platinum is a great card as far as travel perks, but it has very narrow bonused spend categories (flights booked directly with airlines/Amex; hotels with Amex)
      • You can pair it with the Blue Business Plus which gets a flat 2x points on everything for an effective 2.5% back on everything
    • The Platinum has a lot of credits like the Uber credit and Saks Fifth Avenue credit, but Amex makes them all a pain in the ass to use
  • Schwab has unlimited free equity/ETF trades now
  • Have not personally been a customer of Schwab's, but have heard their c/s is good; Amex's is good

4) Fidelity
  • 2% flat cash card, no muss, no fuss (except 1% internationally because there is a 1% forex fee)
  • Fidelity's c/s is good; Elan's is not
  • Unlimited free equity/ETF trades
5) Citi
  • Has the Citi Prestige as their flagship ($495 AF, discounted to $350 if you have Citigold [200k in assets with them] with a $200 travel credit)
    • It's a World Elite Mastercard, which is somewhere between Visa Signature and Visa Infinite as far as perks
    • Good card for foodies; gets 5x on restaurants/air travel; 3x hotels/cruiselines; 1x everything else
    • Also good if you stay long-term in expensive hotels because of the twice-a-year Fourth Night Free benefit
  • Citigold has a lot of cool concierge perks if you are an international traveler
  • Brokerage is eh (free ETF trades and $2.95 equity trades if you have $50k in assets with them)
  • I have yet to read a positive experience with Citi's customer service
Thanks for all the info sleeve!

So at the end of the day if my goal is to max cash back it sounds like fidelity may be my best option? I can't find where it says unlimited free equity/ETF trades in their perks, have a link?

Some years I can drop a ton on travel and others not much. Even if I only get 1% back on travel stuff do to forex ex fee that's still the same 1% equiv I'd be getting for chase cash back. However, the chase points multiplier for categories like travel could make up for the lacking cash back no? Like if I spend $30k on flights in a year I'd get $2k back where as with fidelity that could vary from 1-2% depending on the currency they charge me in (I've had smaller Africa based airlines use local currency). Thus chase would come out on top with cash back?

One thing that's a huge plus of chase reserve is priority pass. My travel is usually in Africa/ME/Latin America and the difference between the VIP lounge and regular is usually Vastly different in Podunk African or s American countries (once had a 6 hour flight delay in the DR and got myself and 6 friends into VIP lounge for free, airport had no wifi but lounge had wifi + free drinks)

RoI of priority pass in American and European airports I feel like is diminishing.
 

Locnar

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Question for you Foler on your priority pass usage: Do they make you show your boarding pass when going in? I've been wondering if a card that gives lounge access is worth it to someone who most always flys standby.

I know the centurion lounges are great, but is the food in the PP lounges even worth eating? I've mostly seen just cheap looking finger food in them.
 
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