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Best Cash Rewards Card for Heavy Usage

Established Contributor

Re: Best Cash Rewards Card for Heavy Usage



Got it

Start (Sept 2011): low-mid 600s. NOW: TU FICO: 801, EQ FICO 808, EX FICO 798 (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Message 11 of 14
Established Contributor

Re: Best Cash Rewards Card for Heavy Usage

BTW, some cards of note using that interactive site at nerd wallet:


Best for gas: Simply Cash Business Amex OPEN. No Annual Fee

Best for Gas Non-Biz: Seems to be Chase Freedom among major cards.

Best for Groceries (more $300 per month): Blue Cash Everyday. No Annual Fee

Best for Groceries (less than 300 per month) Chase Freedom


Best at a common personal mix of $600 per month with $200 on gas, $300 on Groceries and $100 on dining: Blue Cash Every Day and Chase Freedom with $155 and $152 respectively in annual cash back savings.


Beyond that, as you slide the monthly spending total up, the extra spending will go under the "Other" Category. Doing this The Freedom slips from second place when you hit $1200 per month (meaning $600 in other spending) and yields to the Cap One Cash. At $1300, the BC Everyday and Cap One Cash are virtually even. At $1400, the Cap One Cash edges into first.


Moral of the story: The high cash back cards (3% to 5% on select categories) tend to have limits. As you spend more heavily on a wide range of things, the Cap One Cash becomes better due to its features of no limits and a flat rate on everything. 

Start (Sept 2011): low-mid 600s. NOW: TU FICO: 801, EQ FICO 808, EX FICO 798 (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Message 12 of 14
Established Contributor

Re: Best Cash Rewards Card for Heavy Usage

ztnjpv wrote:

My research on the most lucrative cash back cards has been rather tedious and difficult. Some cards SEEM more lucrative based on superficial descriptions of percentages in certain categories (often revolving) but then the fine print shows limits on how much cash back you can earn. Others that seem limitless and the Cap One Cash...are stuck at 1.5% and that's it.


I own a business and intend to shift a lot of my monthly payments (that incur no service charge for CC payments) from my check book to my new card. It's easy money for doing nothing different. 


I was looking at business cards too. The problem with a lot of these cards is that the lucrative percentages are for things I don't really use that much like travel and office supplies. I own a restaurant so I'm putting things on the card like advertising (print, web radio), garbage p-up, linen service, telecom services and utilities (if applicable with no fee). There may be others. Sadly,  the BIG purchases...don't fit as well. Smiley Sad They either won't do it or charge a fee that cancels out most of the benefit. But the sum of everything else is pretty darn good without it. Add in my personal usage and we're talking between $6-7K per month. Maybe more. 


The Cap One Spark Cash Card (business card) seems to be the best one at 2% on everything. But the site that told me this, Nerd Wallet, doesn't expand very well on categories. It's more suited for personal categories. See here: There are other biz cards that boast 3% and 5% back on certain things but they don't apply or aren't worth much to me.


Anyone know of something even better? or an interactive site that helps you choose? Chase Freedom and Citi Dividend are often listed among the best but they have pesky, low limits that would short change my efforts. 

If you intend to use this card purely for your business, a strait 2% cash back card is your best bet. Like you already mentioned, most of the popular cash back cards only pay out highly in certain categories of spending or rotate these categories every quarter. For general non-category spending (which almost all of your purchases with wholesale food suppliers will fall under) you will only get 1% (or even less) back with these cards.


With regard to the 2% cards already mentioned, you probably want to go with a Visa instead of Amex b/c a lot of suppliers in the restaurant business do not take Amex. The Spark seems to fit your needs, although keep in mind there is an annual fee of $59 after the 1st year that will offset some of the cash back you earn. I'm not familiar with the Sallie Mae Visa but that is another card to consider b/c it doesn't have an annual fee.

Message 13 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Best Cash Rewards Card for Heavy Usage

If you don't mind using a personal card for business, the PNC Cashbuilder credit card is pretty good. It gives 1.75% cashback if you spend $4000 a month or if you have a performance select checking account with them. You do have to get $50 before you can cashout but that's pretty easy. You can choose a statement credit or a direct deposit into a PNC account. After you request the cashout the cash is there the next day. The best thing about it is that the cashback posts as soon as the purchase does. Most you have to wait until the end of the billing cycle.


Aside from that like someone said there is the Sallie Mae card, but it's 2% is deceiving since you have to get $250 cashback for it to be truly 2%. The is a Priceline card fom Barclay Bank that is the same, but that is only good for a statement credit. The Fidelity American Express is true 2% at any amount if you deposit it into a Fidelity account, but you can easily transfer it to another account if you like.

Message 14 of 14