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Best flat rate cash back card?

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JNA1
Valued Contributor

Best flat rate cash back card?

I know that is a broad question🙈, but let me explain my needs and maybe you guys can help.

Until 2017, I (mistakenly) had no credit cards, no car loans, and no personal loans. Our mortgage was the only thing I had on my credit report. There was no derogatory marks whatsoever. We paid cash for everything, thinking this was a great thing. After checking my credit report in preparation to buying a new car, I was shocked at how mediocre it was for somebody who in my mind should have near perfect credit. I was ignorant to the game, but decided to change my approach. Now I have more reported debt on my report than I ever have, and as you can imagine, my report looks great. 😂 (754 - 765 range across the various bureaus).

Back in 2017, I got a Synchrony Car Care card (just to have one) and I use it very sparingly just to build credit and have account that will start adding years to my account open status. I use it a few times a month, and I plan to do that from now on. It has 5500 limit, and I’ll keep it to add to my credit utilization rating.

Last year, after researching it, we opened a Discover cash back card and pretty much funneled all monthly spending through it to reap cash back rewards and build my credit profile. We pay it off before the 20th of each month and we’re on pace to earn around $1000 in cash back for the year thanks to Discover’s cash match bonus for the first year. Of course, in a few short months, that first year bonus will be over and the 2% I’m earning on non 5% categories will become 1%. I’m wanting to get a 2% cash back card to fill that void, but I’m unsure of which one I should go for next. I’ve seen the Citi Double Cash card, the PayPal and by Synchrony and Synchrony’s own 2% Unlimited.

My question is will it hurt to have 2 Synchrony cards or will the Citi be a better option? Also is there better options I don’t know about?

I want to be really selective about opening new accounts because my credit is looked as new because all but my house have been opened in the last 2 years, so it has my average 3yrs and 8 mos. This next card is the last account I plan to open for a while so I let my average age of accounts increase with time, so I want to get this one right.
Our credit card journey started 3/2018


Hover over cards to see limits and usage. Total CL - $608,600. Cash Back and SUBs earned as of 5/31/24- $21,590.43
CU Memberships

Goal Cards:

Message 1 of 36
35 REPLIES 35
AverageJoesCredit
Legendary Contributor

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

DC and PPMC are excellent imo. The PPMC is great as it has 0 tedemption so its pure flat cash back. No need to hit $25 min like DC. I believe its no FTF and is a simple card to use.
Message 2 of 36
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

I gripe about the PayPal Cashback because it doesn't have any sort of transaction notifications and I hate the website but it's a solid card otherwise. 

Both Sync and Citi are said to be similarly awful with disputing charges and customer service (I haven't dealt with Citi yet but Synchrony hasn't thrilled me in our interactions) but from a value standpoint, the PayPal is much better than the DC with no minimum redemption and no FTF as long as you make sure never to carry a balance because the APR tiers are awful. 

Alliant has a 2% everywhere card, PenFed has a 1.5% that earns 2% if you are military or get a checking account with them ($500 minimum balance to avoid a fee), Fidelity has a 2% card if you have accounts with them, BBVA has a 1.5% thats 2% with a checking account... there are plenty of options out there if you're willing to do the work. 

I grabbed a Discover IT Miles so I get 1.5% on everything and a 1.5% match after the first year for an effective 3% cash back rate. There is also HSBC and Chase Freedom Unlimited offering capped variants that offer 3% for the whole year. 

Message 3 of 36
JNA1
Valued Contributor

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

I sell a decent amount of things on eBay, so I use PayPal regularly. I already have the PayPal debit card and the account is linked my bank account already, so redeeming rewards seems pretty flexible with the PayPal card.

That said, so far with the Discover card I’m just letting the cash back rewards sit there and we might use it pay toward our condo on vacation next summer.
Our credit card journey started 3/2018


Hover over cards to see limits and usage. Total CL - $608,600. Cash Back and SUBs earned as of 5/31/24- $21,590.43
CU Memberships

Goal Cards:

Message 4 of 36
JNA1
Valued Contributor

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

So i assume it won’t be an issue to have another Synchrony card, even though I don’t use the Car Care card all that much?
Our credit card journey started 3/2018


Hover over cards to see limits and usage. Total CL - $608,600. Cash Back and SUBs earned as of 5/31/24- $21,590.43
CU Memberships

Goal Cards:

Message 5 of 36
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

If you use PayPal a lot, the PayPal Cashback makes sense. If you have a business account though, like most who sell on eBay have, you will likely have to open a personal PayPal to apply. 

Message 6 of 36
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?


@JNA1 wrote:
So i assume it won’t be an issue to have another Synchrony card, even though I don’t use the Car Care card all that much?

Nah, I have four Sync cards. Sync has a $100K max credit limit per customer cap and most cards additionally have a $10K online cap (you have to make a call to Credit Solutions to get more). It's possible to get a lot of Sync exposure with all the merchants they have cards for. 

Message 7 of 36
JNA1
Valued Contributor

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

Ok thanks.

That Alliant card with 2.5% looks great, but I wonder if my relatively new credit history would hurt my chances of getting it?
Our credit card journey started 3/2018


Hover over cards to see limits and usage. Total CL - $608,600. Cash Back and SUBs earned as of 5/31/24- $21,590.43
CU Memberships

Goal Cards:

Message 8 of 36
TSlop
Valued Contributor

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

I think the Citi Double Cash at 2% is a good overall card for cash back. I'd have one myself but my credit union already offers a 2% card. However, I may open one someday to add a MasterCard to me repertoire (I only have one but it's a corporate card). I'm not sure if the Double Cash ever offers a SUB, but I may jump on it if I ever see one in the future.

Message 9 of 36
JNA1
Valued Contributor

Re: Best flat rate cash back card?

I’m not familiar with the term “SUB”?
Our credit card journey started 3/2018


Hover over cards to see limits and usage. Total CL - $608,600. Cash Back and SUBs earned as of 5/31/24- $21,590.43
CU Memberships

Goal Cards:

Message 10 of 36
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