Best Cash Back Rewards in 2016
Cashback rewards cards are great. If you’re like me and use your credit card to get the basic essentials like gasoline or food, having a nice little extra payday at the end of every month can be a good thing. Cash back can generate and be forgotten about, and can then make for a nice little surprise for a cardholder. Five cards that are cash back centric will be covered; the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card, the US Bank Cash card, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card, the Capital One Quicksilver card, and the Citi Double Cash card.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
The American Express AmEx Blue Cash Preferred Card is offered through American Express. There is a signing bonus for opening an AmEx Blue Cash Preferred account – after $1000 in purchases are made during the first 3 months of membership, a cardholder will receive $150 back in the form of statement credit, applied to their next statement. This equals out to $333.34 per month, which isn’t too bad. After that, a cardholder can earn up to 6% cashback on purchases for up to $6,000 in a year (that means $360 in cashback) for supermarket purchases (American Express has a list of marketplaces that they approve automatically available on their website). After that, a user will receive 1% cashback for all supermarket purchases. All gas station purchases result in a 3% cashback of up to $1,000 per year. Select U.S. department stores will also net a 3% cashback reward. Other eligible purchases, subject to approval by the creditor, earn 1% cashback. Cashback can be redeemed in the form of statement credit, donated to charity, or a check can be mailed to a cardholder.
There is a $75 annual fee, and a minimum of $25 cashback required for redemption. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, which then increases to 12.99% to 21.99%, dependent on a users’ credit score. The Blue Cash Preferred card also offers fringe benefits, such as purchase protection, return protection, and travel insurance.
US Bank Cash
The US Bank Cash Card is offered through US Bank. There is a 5% cashback on the first $2,000 in combined net purchases on any two categories, which can range from electronics to clothing to business purchases – there is a list of categories and included retailers on US Bank’s website. There is also a 2% cash back on a cardholders’ choice of an everyday category, which are purchases made frequently, like gas or groceries. After that, there is a 1% cashback on all purchases made with the card – there is no checklist of categories or retailers eligible for the cashback reward. There is no required minimum amount in order to redeem cashback.
There is no annual fee for the US Bank Cash card, and the variable APR ranges from 12.99% to 123.99%. There is no introductory APR period for purchases (meaning interest accumulates right away), and a 0% introductory APR period for balance transfers. The cash advance APR is 23.99%.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
The Bank Americard Cash Rewards Card is offered through the Bank of America. There is a 3% cashback on gas purchases and 2% cashback on grocery stores, up to a maximum of $1,5000 spent on the two combined categories. That means a minimum of $30 cashback, or a maximum of $45 cashback for these two special categories. Following that, there will be a 15 cashback on all other sorts of purchases. Cashback categories do not change and are consistent, meaning a user does not have to designate which category they would like to receive cashback on.
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards is also unique in that it rewards users for having a high balance in their Bank of America accounts, and will supplement cashbacks with extra money. Cash back can be redeemed in the form of a check, statement credit, or can be deposited immediately into a Bank of America checkings or savings account. There is a flat bonus of 10%, but a Bank of America member who has $100,000 or more in their checking or savings account will receive a 75% bonus deposited into their Bank of America account. Rewards also do not expire for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card.
This card has a 0% introductory APR for 12 months, and balance transfers made within the first 60 days will also follow the 0% introductory APR. However, balance transfers are subject to a fee of either 3% or $10, whichever is greater. After that, APR will increase to a range of 12.99% to 22.99%, dependent on credit score. There is no annual fee for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card.
Capital One Quicksilver
The Capital One Quicksilver card offers unlimited cashback, offering a full 1.5% cashback on all purchases made. Cash back can be redeemed as a personal check mailed to the cardholders’ billing address, applied as statement credit, or can be donated to charity. In addition to cashback, the Quicksilver card also offers a $15 credit on every tenth Uber ride (obviously, requiring the Quicksilver card to be used as the payment method for the ride.) The QuickSilver card offers as one-time $100 bonus after $500 is spent on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account.
There is no annual Quicksilver Capital One card, and there is an introductory period of 12 billing cycles until interest begins accumulating. After that, interest will increase up to a range of 12.9% to 22.9%, dependent on a cardholders’ credit history. Balance transfers will be subject to a minimum of $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is greater.
The Quicksilver card also has a sibling card – the QuicksilverOne card. The QuicksilverOne card has a slightly different rewards set of rewards, and also notably does not include a required balance transfer fee. The QuicksilverOne card is meant for new Capital One members, or for pre-existing Capital One members who do not have credit in good standing. The QuicksilverOne does have an annual fee required to keep the account open, while the Quicksilver does not.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash card is offered through Citi Bank. The Double Cash card is unique in that it offers cash back twice per billing period. All purchases will earn 1% cashback immediately, and when a balance is paid off, a user will receive another 1% cash back. This cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, as a personal check, or as a gift card. There is a minimum of $25 required in order to receive cashback. There is no maximum on the cashback received, and no required categories in order to receive cashback.
There is a 0% into APR period on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 15 months of opening the account. After that, the variable APR will increase to a range of 12.99% up to 22.99%, depending on a users’ credit score. There is no annual fee required to keep the account open.
Depending on what bank a cardholder may have, the smartest choice may be to use that banks’ cashback card. The BankAmericard exemplifies this, not only allowing a user to instantly receive cashback into their checking or savings account, but also encouraging deposits into Bank of America accounts by offering bonuses of extra cash back for doing so. For that reason, it is worth it to shop around and find what may offer fringe benefits available for users who hold other accounts with the same creditor instituiton.