Tag: cash back

Credit Cards

Review: PenFed Launches 1.5% – 2% Power Cash Rewards Credit Card

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PenFed, a credit union that anyone can join (more on that later) has just introduced a new cash back rewards credit card. The card pays a high, flat cash back rate and brings a credit union approach to fees (low and not many of them) and simplicity. Here are the details on the cash back that you can earn:

  • Anyone with military service earns 2% cash back on all spending, with no limits or restrictions. That is the highest flat cash back rate in the market.
  • Anyone with a PenFed checking account (restrictions apply) earns 2% cash back on all spending, with no limits or restrictions. (If you keep $500 in the checking account, there is no fee and you earn 0.20% APY on the money).
  • If you do not have military service or a checking account, you can earn 1.5% unlimited cash back. At 1.5%, the card matches Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Quicksilver, but it is still beat by Citibank’s Double Cash.
  • There is a minimum redemption amount of $5 for the cash back that you have earned.
  • There is a bonus offer: get $100 of cash if you spend $1,500 during the first 90 days.

In addition to the cash back, here are some additional features:

  • Chip with pin functionality: if you travel overseas, you might find chip + signature limiting. For example, trying to use a card with only signature functionality at kiosks across Europe (like the London Underground) can be challenging.
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
  • Variable APR range of 9.24% – 17.99%. If you have excellent credit, the lowest APR at Citi (on the Double Cash product) is 13.49%. For people who revolve occasionally, this could be a better option. (Although our advice remains to pay your balance in full and on time. If you need to borrow money, personal loans and balance transfers remain cheaper options).

Our Verdict

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Military: 2% is the gold standard for a flat rate cash back credit card, and PenFed delivers for men and women who have served. This is better than any competing flat-rate cash back credit cards because of the lower APR and lack of foreign transaction fees.

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Spending Abroad: If you use Citi Double Cash, you would be hit with a foreign transaction fee of 3%. So, you would earn 2% but be forced to pay 3% in fees. Before this card, Capital One Quicksilver was our top choice because of a 1.5% earn rate and no foreign transaction fees. PenFed’s card now wins because (a) if you put $500 into a PenFed checking account you can earn 2% on this card, and (b) the card offers chip and pin functionality. If you spend $1,000 overseas this year, you would pay $10 to Citi, (2% cash back – 3% fees = -1%), would earn $15 with Capital One and would earn $20 with PenFed.

Tie: Best Flat-Rate Cash Back Credit Card: With both Citi Double Cash and PenFed you can earn up to 2%. Each card has its own unique differences, which is why they are tied for best flat-rate card in the market.

  • PenFed: You need to join the credit union, open a checking account and fund the account with $500 (or sign up for direct deposit) to ensure you get the full 2% and avoid fees. Financially it will make sense, but there are a number of obstacles to get the full rewards (unless you are military).
  • Citi Double Cash: It is easy to apply and get the card (no credit union membership or Citi checking account required). However, the card is actually 1% as you earn and 1% as you pay, so it takes longer to get the full 2%. The interest rates are higher and there is a foreign transaction fee.

There are still options to earn higher cash back rates in certain categories. You can find the best cash back credit cards by every category here. For example, you can earn 5% unlimited on gas with Fort Knox Credit Union or 6% (with limitations) on groceries at American Express.

If you want to learn more or apply, you can visit PenFed’s website.


Requirements To Earn 2%

Here are the details on how to ensure you get the full 2% earn rate:

Military: You are eligible to earn 2% if the primary or joint applicant is in military service, the National Guard, the Reserves, an honorary discharged veteran or retired from the United States military. Military members receive the 2% upon completion of the application – no further action is required.

Checking Account: If you do not meet the military requirements, you would need to open a checking account with PenFed. The account is called the “AccessAmerica Checking Account.” There are some decent benefits to the account (you can earn 0.20% APY interest on balances up to $20,000 and 0.50% APY on balances between $20,000 and $50,000). If you shift your monthly direct deposit of at least $500 to this account, you will not have a monthly fee. However, if you do not want to shift your direct deposit, you can deposit $500 and keep it there to meet the required minimum balance. This is actually the easiest way to earn the 2%, cash back rate and, given the 0.20% interest on the checking account, it can be financially worthwhile.

Join the Credit Union: There are multiple ways to join the credit union. If you are active or retired military, you are eligible to join for free. If you work for the US government or are a relative of a member, you can also join for free. But don’t worry if you are unable to meet those requirements. You might belong to an eligible organization (check here). You can also join an organization to become eligible for credit union membership. You can pay $17.00 (one time and non-refundable) to join Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. By supporting a good cause, you become eligible for credit union membership. In addition to the credit card, PenFed is known for low rates on auto loans and mortgages.

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Earning Cashback, Reviews

Is the Amazon Rewards Visa Card or Amazon Prime Store Card Better for Your Amazon Purchases?

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Review - Amazon Rewards Visa Card or Amazon Prime Store

For loyal Amazon shoppers, a credit card that will give you money back for spending only makes sense. There are now three options:

  • New: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (from Chase) – 5% back, and our top choice
  • Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (also from Chase) – 3% back
  • Amazon Prime Store Card (from Synchrony, can only be used at Amazon) – 5% back

The good news: if you are an Amazon Prime member, it is easy to get 5% cash back from all of your Amazon spending all year long. And if you spend a lot of money at Amazon, the savings can be significant.

Note: The information related to the Amazon Prime and Rewards Visa Credit Cards has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

5% at Amazon: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card 

This is a new credit card that has just launched. If you are an Amazon Prime member, this is the best way to get the most cash back from your spending at Amazon.com.

With this credit card, you get 5% back at Amazon.com with an eligible Prime membership.

You also earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. And you will earn 1% back on everything else.

There is no annual fee, no earning caps and no foreign transaction fees.

How the points work

When you use your card, you will actually be earning points.

You would earn 5 points for every $1 you spend at Amazon.com, 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.

You can choose to redeem those points at Amazon (during checkout) or through Chase.

When you check out at Amazon, you will see your point balance and would be able to apply those points to your purchase. Every 100 points = $1.

But you can also redeem those points through Chase and get cash back, gift cards or travel. If you want cash back or gift cards, the value is the same as using the points at Amazon to shop. Every 100 points = $1.

There is also a lucrative sign-on bonus of $70. You will receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon approval. Unlike many other sign-on bonuses, you do not have to spend a certain amount of money in order to get the offer.

If you are already enjoying the benefits of Amazon Prime, this card is an obvious choice.

But if you are thinking about Amazon Prime, this card is a great way to try it out.

If you spend $99 for Amazon Prime membership and then apply for this card, you will immediately get $70 of it back in the form of an Amazon gift card. You can learn more about the card at Amazon.

3% at Amazon: Amazon Rewards Visa Card

Amazon RewardsThe Amazon Rewards Visa Card is also brought to you by Chase and gives you 3% back for Amazon.com purchases including digital downloads, gift cards, Amazon Fresh orders, Amazon Prime Membership and other items sold by third-party merchants on the Amazon marketplace. You do not need to be an Amazon Prime member to get the 3% cash back at Amazon.

You can also get 2% back at gas stations, drugstores and restaurants. On other purchases you get 1% back. So everything is the same as the Prime Rewards card, except you earn only 3% at Amazon instead of 5%.

Just like the Prime Rewards credit card, cash back is tracked with a point system. 1 point equals $0.01. For example, if you spend $100 on Amazon.com, you’ll get $3 in cash back, which equals 300 points. You can trade in points for statement credit, travel or gift cards. Points never expire unless your account is closed and there’s no rewards cap.

The card doesn’t have an introductory deal. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid transferring a balance to a card you want to use for rewards. This card has an exceptionally high balance transfer fee (5%) and no introductory deal; two major red flags for a balance transfer.

For a sign on bonus, the card gives a $50 Amazon.com gift card loaded to your Amazon.com account once your application goes through. The Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card has no annual fee and you can learn more here.

5% at Amazon: Amazon Prime Store Card

amazon store cardSynchrony Bank issues the Amazon Prime Store Card. If you’re already an Amazon Prime Member, you can apply for the regular Amazon Store Card and be automatically upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card, which gives you 5% cash back on eligible purchases. Those interested in the card and not currently Prime members can apply for the store card and then get the Prime membership to be upgraded.

The card can be used on Amazon.com and on other merchant sites that have the Amazon Prime Store Card option activated for payment. However, the card can’t be used to buy digital newspapers and magazines, games or software downloads on Amazon.com.

You can redeem cash back for statement credit until instructed otherwise. In the fine print, Amazon reserves the right to change the cash back program into a rewards program where you redeem points for products instead.

If you end your Amazon Prime Membership, your Amazon Prime Store Card will become a regular Amazon Store Card that doesn’t earn 5% cash back. There’s no annual fee on the card, but Prime membership does cost $99 per year.

Pros and Cons

Amazon.com Rewards Visa Cards

Pro: Multiple bonus categories. Sure, you shop on Amazon.com, but you probably shop elsewhere too. With this card you’ll get an extra bonus for shopping online plus cash back in other areas that fulfill everyday needs like filling up your gas tank. You also have flexibility to redeem cash back in multiple ways.

Pro: No annual fee. Earning cash back from each category is free, no annual fee.

Pro: A sign on bonus. When you get approved you’ll get either a $70 (Prime Rewards) or $50 (Rewards) gift card right away you can use to shop.

Pro: 3% or 5% cash back when you pay for Amazon Prime Membership. Amazon Prime Membership comes with free two-day shipping and unlimited TV and movie screening with Prime Video. What devoted Amazon shopper doesn’t want that? An added benefit with this card is double-dipping. You get the Prime perks and cash back for paying for them.

Pro: High cash back for Prime members. If you’re a Prime member, you can get 5% cash back. You likely won’t be able to beat that rate.

Con: No intro APR. Since most credit cards have some type of introductory interest rate, a card that doesn’t have one stands out. You’ll need to pay off the balance each month starting from the very beginning to benefit from rewards earned.

Con: Tougher approval. You may need better credit to get these cards from Chase than the Amazon Store Card from Synchrony, which has a much higher interest rate.

Amazon Prime Store Card

Pro: 5% cash back. This is a huge amount of cash back for faithful Amazon shoppers. You’ll get rewarded handsomely for spending. And the redemption process is easy; your cash back is used for statement credit. One thing to keep in mind is it may take up to two billing cycles for the money to appear on your account.

Pro: Easier approval. This is a store card limited to Amazon purchases, so you might find it easier to get approved for this card with less than perfect credit.

Pro: No annual fee. The Amazon Prime Store Card doesn’t have an annual fee.

Con: A very high APR for everyone: This card charges a 26.24% APR for everyone, regardless of credit score. Yes, even an 850 FICO would still get you a horrible 26.24% interest rate. Never borrow with this card.

Con: Fine print. The fact that you can’t use this card for software downloads on Amazon sticks out as a negative. Amazon sells software downloads including TurboTax, QuickBooks and Norton Security. These products aren’t cheap and purchases you would want to get 5% cash back on.

Con: Requires Amazon Prime Membership. To use this card you have to be an Amazon Prime Member so in some respects there is a fee involved even though it’s not an annual fee specifically for the card. Amazon Prime Membership costs $99 per year. If you’re not already a member and want to become one for the card, you must spend enough to pay for membership.

Con: Exclusive to Amazon. A gift and a curse. You’ll have to follow up with another card for cash back on other things like groceries, gas, dining or travel.

Other Cards for Amazon Spending

Chase Freedom is another excellent option.

With the Freedom, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. In the past, Amazon has been included as one of the 5% categories, typically around the holidays. 

Discover itDiscover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer gives you the chance to earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter.

You’ll get 5% back in categories like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.

From January until March 2017, the bonus categories are gas stations, ground transportation and wholesale clubs

All other purchases get an unlimited 1% cash back. You can redeem cash back for gifts cards, statement credits, charitable donations, deposits to an account or merchandise.

Which Card Should You Choose?

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa is a good one to consider if you already have an Amazon Prime account. It’s not worth getting an Amazon Prime account just to get this card unless you plan on spending big in the future on the site. If you spend moderately throughout the year, the basic Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card is a better choice between the two. You’ll get rewarded for more diverse spending in addition to your online shopping.


Best of, Earning Cashback

7 Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Dining Out in 2017

Advertiser Disclosure

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


Getting a deal at your favorite restaurant doesn’t have to be restricted to happy hour or an early bird special. Thanks to certain credit cards rewarding restaurant spending, foodies can enjoy a good meal while cashing in on cash back anytime.

Even better, rewards earned can be redeemed for cash value so that you can enjoy your bonuses however you like- whether that’s with more restaurant spending, traveling the world, or simply paying off your every day expenses

After scouring our database of some 2,000 credit cards, here are Magnify Money’s top picks for best restaurant cash back rewards cards in 2017. 

Unlimited Cash Back 

Chase AARP Visa – 3% Cash Back
Get 3 percent cash back on all restaurant purchases with the Chase AARP Visa. While you must be 50 or over to enjoy most benefits of AARP membership, this cash back card is available to anyone who meets the credit score and qualification criteria (age not being one of them). The 3 percent cash back bonus applies to gas as well as restaurant spending, with all other purchases earning 1 percent cash back. There are no cash back limits and is no annual fee, so this card tops the list when it comes to restaurant rewards.

The information related to AARP Visa credit card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Sam’s Club Mastercard – 3% Cash Back

You get (almost) unlimited 3% dining cash back with the Sam’s Club Mastercard. The catch is you can earn a maximum of $5,000 in cash back rewards a year, but that’s a huge amount. You’d have to spend over $160,000 on the card in a year to hit that cap, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to worry about the maximum.

The card also earns 3% cash back on travel and 5% cash back on gas, though that’s capped on the first $6,000 in gas purchases a year. And while there’s no annual fee for the card, you do need to be a Sam’s Club member to hold the card.

Costco Anywhere Visa – 3% Cash back

costcoanywhereLike the Sam’s Club card, you can get a full 3% cash back on restaurant purchases with the Costco Anywhere Visa. The card also earns 3% back on travel purchases, 2% on Costco purchases, and 4% on gas for the first $7,000 in purchases a year.

There’s no annual fee for the card, but you need to be a Costco member to hold the card, so if you don’t have a membership already, you’ll be paying extra to get this card.

Cash Back with Limits

Huntington Voice Credit Card – 3% Cash Back

You can earn 3 percent cash back, up to $2,000 every quarter, on a spending category of your choice with the Huntington Voice Credit Card. If you know you want indulge in dining out next quarter, just select “restaurants” to activate your bonus cash back. You’ll still earn 1 percent cash back on all other spending and not have to worry about an annual fee.

SimplyCash Business Credit Card from American Express – 3% Cash Back

Like the Huntington Voice card, the SimplyCash Business Credit Card allows users to choose their 3 percent cash back category. Additionally, card members get 5 percent cash back at office supply stores and wireless telephone service providers and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. Bonus cash back is automatically credited to cardholder’s statements and capped at $25,000 annually. The card has no annual fee.

Santander Bravo MasterCard – 3% Cash Back

Earn 3 points (up to 15,000 points per quarter) for every dollar spent on gas, groceries and restaurants and 1 point per dollar on all other spending with the Santander Bravo MasterCard. Points can be redeemed for airline tickets or gift cards. 10,000 points= $100 gift card, which means cash back bonus categories are capped at $5,000 worth of spending per quarter. This card comes with an annual fee of $49.

Quarterly Cash Back

Discover it® Cashback Match(TM)  – up to 5% Cash Back

Discover it cash back credit cardIn addition to 1 percent cash back on every day spending, the Discover It card comes with quarterly 5 percent cash back bonus categories. From January until March 2017, the bonus categories are gas stations, ground transportation and wholesale clubs. However, restaurants have been a category in the past, and it is highly likely that it could be a category in the future. You must opt in to receive the quarterly cash back bonus boost. Earned cash back can then be redeemed as a statement credit, a deposit in your bank account, shopping on Amazon or even as a gift card to a large number of retailers. This card has no annual fee.

Chase Freedom

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. There is a $0 annual fee. 

Nusenda Cash Rewards – 5 % Cash Back

platinum rewads card by nusendaThe New Mexico Educators Cash Rewards card is offered by Nusenda Credit Union (formerly the New Mexico Educators Credit Union) and provides 1 percent cash back on all purchases with no limit and 5 percent cash back on rotating categories each quarter, which includes restaurants from April to June and October to December of 2017. The bonus in rotating cash back categories is limited to $1,5000 in purchases per quarter. This card has no annual fee.

Are these deals the best for you?

Cash back rewards should only be pursued by responsible credit users who have no trouble paying off their balance on time and in full each and every month. If you’re a credit all-star who also has an affinity for dining out, these cash back cards will provide the best perks. If you carry a balance, check out our other picks for the best credit cards that can help you pay it down faster.

As always, check the fine print on each card before signing up, making special note of any fees. With those things in mind, decide which rewards structure best serves your typical spending activity and enjoy the benefit of cash back on all your restaurant spending.


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Best of, Earning Cashback

The Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Every Category – 3% and More in 2017

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The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

credit card and dollar close-up

MagnifyMoney keeps a database of over 2,000 credit cards and their features, including cash back cards you can compare with our tool. We used it to find the absolute highest cash back rewards you can earn in each category, more than the standard 1-2% you usually see.

If you’re ready for cash back there are over 25 categories where you can earn 3% or more in pure cash back on your credit card purchases.

Scroll down and you’ll find links to the best cash back credit cards we’ve found that earn more than 2% cash back in special categories. These are cards that let you get pure cash value, not complicated points that can be used only for travel.

Before you dig into categories, every cash rewards wallet should have one of these two no fee cards, with double cash back on everything you spend:

Fidelity Rewards Visa721_card.Citi_double




Once you have the Citi Double Cash or Fidelity Visa, you can add other cards that earn more than 2% in special categories to really boost your cash rewards.

The best cash back credit cards with no limit rewards

Maybe you don’t want to mess with rotating categories or remembering limits on cash back. If that’s you, there are only a handful of cards that you need to carry to get the most in totally unlimited cash back.

As you’ll learn below, you may be leaving about $500 a year or more on the table by not holding at least some of these cards.

They are all no annual fee cards, and they ensure you will earn more than 2% cash back on your total spending with absolutely no limits. Some cards have higher cash back rates with limits, and you can see those below this list in our review of cards for each category

378_card.378_card.PenFed_Premium_Travel_Rewards_American_Express_CardAirfare: PenFed Premium Travel Rewards – 4.25%

This card advertises 5x points on airfare, but there is a bit of a catch. When you redeem the points it earns for the closest thing to cash, a prepaid Visa card, your points are worth about 0.8 cents each, so that 5x points is really about 4.25% cash back on your airfare spending.

Travel: AAA Member Rewards Visa – 3%

While the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards wins for airfare spending, the AAA Member Rewards Visa offers 3% back on airfare, plus  all kinds of travel, including hotels, car rentals, and cruises. You don’t have to be a AAA member to get the card.

349_card.349_card.PenFed_Platinum_Rewards_Visa_Signature_CardSupermarkets: PenFed Platinum Rewards – 2.55%

The card earns 3x points on supermarkets, but the points are worth about 0.85 cents each when you redeem them for a prepaid Visa gift card, so the real unlimited cash back rate is about 2.55%.

If you spend less than $6,000 a year ($500 a month) on groceries, then the Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% back on the first $6,000 each year. The $95 annual fee on this card is a better deal vs the PenFed Card if you spend about $3,000 a year in groceries (about $250 a month).

Note that if you live in California, you may earn 3% unlimited cash back on groceries with the Platinum Rewards card from Golden 1 Credit Union.

Gas: Fort Knox Credit Union Platinum Visa – 5%

You might not have heard of this credit union, but anyone can join. You just need to pay $5 to join the American Consumer Council / Kentucky and you’re    eligible.

The PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa also offers 5% unlimited at the pump, but you have to have a qualifying account like a checking account with direct deposit or mortgage to get the 5% rate.

1167_card.AARP_ChaseDining: Chase AARP Visa – 3%

You don’t have to be 55+ to hold this card, it’s available to anyone who is interested and meets the credit standards. So you can enjoy your ‘senior discount’ on dining any time.

(The information related to the AARP Visa and Chase Ink Cash Business credit cards has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards.)

Everything else: Citi Double Cash (up to  1% + 1%) or Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa (2%) 

If you have a military affiliation, USAA offers some members the USAA Limitless cash back card, with 2.5% unlimited cash back if you make $1,000 a month in direct deposits to USAA. This card is only targeted to select members, so you won’t see it advertised on their website and no guarantees you will be offered the card.

Or if you live in California, the JCB Marukai Premium card gives you 3% cash back on all purchases beyond $3,000 in yearly spending.

Just mark each of the cards you pick in your wallet with a sticker for each category so you remember which to use, and you’ll rack up lots of cash with minimal hassle. And afraid to have more than one card? Well if you’re responsible with credit, a few additional inquiries might have less of an impact than you think. See our experience with scores and getting several cards for the rewards.

For unlimited retailer-specific discounts, also consider:

If you want to maximize absolutely everything, read on…

We’ve organized cash back cards for each of the over 25 spending categories that are currently eligible for more than 2% in cash back rewards.

They include both year round and quarterly rotating categories like those on the Discover It. Pick the categories that matter most to you, and you’ll see the opportunities you have to earn 3-5% if you’re willing to keep track of some limits and quarterly changes.

Remember, these are all cards that let you earn cash value rewards, with no restriction on where you spend the rewards, unlike travel points.

You’ll find three flavors of cash back rewards, in the order of hassle factor:

  • Unlimited cash back – This is the simplest form. You usually won’t find the very highest 5%+ rewards this way, but we’ve found some great cards that get you 3% or more in some popular categories.
  • Cash back with limits – This is where a card limits the cash back you earn by putting a cap on the spending which earns the cash back in the specific category, on a combination of categories, or the card as a whole.
  • Quarterly rotating categories – These are the cards with the big headline 5% rates. Don’t be fooled. While you can earn the 5% rate, you may have to opt in to categories each quarter manually and be hit with caps on how much you can earn.

Advertising Services

With Limits

3%: SimplyCash Business Credit Card from American Express – up to $25,000 in purchases in bonus categories



With limits

  • 3% – Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Quarterly category in 2017

  • 5%: Nusenda Cash Rewards – Oct – Dec – up to $1,500 – Anyone can join the Nusenda Credit Union (formerly the New Mexico Educators Credit Union) by becoming a member of the La Montanita Food Co-op.



5% Quarterly Category in 2017

  • 5%: Discover it – up to $1,500 – dates to be determined

Book stores

With limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose

Car Rentals


With limits

Cell phone

With limits

Cable / Satellite / Landline Phone / Internet

Clothing Stores

With limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose
  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Commuting, Taxis


Quarterly category in 2017

Department Stores


With limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose
  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Quarterly category in 2017

  • 5%: Citi Dividend – October – December – up to $300 total cash back on card (no longer open to new applicants)

Discount stores

  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Drug stores

With limits


Quarterly category in 2017

  • 5%: Nusenda Cash Rewards – July – Sept – up to $1,500 – Anyone can join the Nusenda Credit Union (formerly the New Mexico Educators Credit Union) by becoming a member of the La Montanita Food Co-op.


With limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose
  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Quarterly category in 2017

  • 5%: (Best Buy only) Citi Dividend – October – December – up to $300 total cash back on card (no longer open to new applicants)


With Limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose

Quarterly Category in 2017

  • 5%: Citi Dividend – January – March – up to $300 total cash back on card (no longer open to new applicants)



With limits

Quarterly category in 2017

Grocery Stores


With limits

Quarterly category in 2017


With Limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose

Home improvement

No limits

With limits

  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Quarterly category in 2017

  • 5%: Nusenda Cash Rewards – April – June – up to $1,500
  • 5%: (Home Depot only) Citi Dividend – January – March – up to $300 total cash back on card (no longer open to new applicants)
  • 5%: Discover it – up to $1,500 – July – September



With limits

Quarterly category in 2017

  • 5% – New Mexico Educators Cash Rewards – Oct – Dec – up to $1,500
  • 5%: (Hilton Hotels only) Citi Dividend – July – September – up to $300 total cash back on card (no longer open to new applicants)

Movie Theaters

With Limits

  • 5%: U.S. Bank Cash+ up to $2,000 / quarter across two 5% categories you choose

Quarterly category in 2017

Office Supply Stores

With limits

Online Retail




With Limits

Quarterly category in 2017



With limits



Trains, Cruises, Other Vacation


With limits


  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice


  • 3%: Huntington Voice – up to $2,000 in spending a quarter in one category of your choice

Warehouse Clubs


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Best of, Earning Cashback

Best Cash Back Cards for Grocery Shopping in 2017

Advertiser Disclosure

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


Shopping for groceries typically does not rank highly on the to-do list. Unless the excitement stems from sampling the foods at the demo stations, grocery shopping just is not thrilling. Cash back on the other hand, that’s worth getting pumped up over. Now you can inject some enthusiasm into a rather mundane task by using one of the best cash back cards for grocery shopping.

Unlimited Cash Back

PenFed Platinum Rewards – 2.55%

349_card.349_card.PenFed_Platinum_Rewards_Visa_Signature_CardWith unlimited cash back on groceries, this card can certainly help reduce the overall grocery budget. If you spend about $700 a month on average for groceries, this reward equals about an $18 cash back reward. That does not seem like much, but it means an extra $216 in a year. Tuck that away in a top saving accounts with a 1.00% interest rate, and you can pad your earnings even more.

Caveat: PenFed is a credit union, so you must first become a member of the credit union in order to be eligible. Fortunately, anyone can join by making a one-time donation to National Military Family Association ($15) or Voices for America’s Troops ($14).

If you live in California. The Golden 1 Credit Union offers a no annual fee card with unlimited 3% cash back on groceries.

Cash Back with Limits

Amex Blue Cash Preferred – 6%

695_card.695_card.Blue-Cash-Preferred-Card-from-American-ExpressIf you spend $600 or less per month on groceries, then the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card may the best choice for you. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back on groceries and 1% on everything else. The annual cap is $6,000 for grocery spending. That’s an average of $500 a month in grocery spend. You would earn $30 a month just in the groceries category. That’s an extra $360 just from cash back. Plus, there is a $150 bonus when you open the card and spend $1,000 in the first three months. That’s $510 of cash back in year one, before the annual fee.

Caveat: There is a $95 annual fee. With the right spending, this fee is easily covered by the rewards. However, if you allow the card to collect dust in your wallet, the fee is an unnecessary expense.

NUSENDA Credit Union Visa Platinum Rewards – 5%

This Visa Platinum Rewards card offers 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter.

From January – March, groceries are one of the 5% categories. You can earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases a quarter, and there’s no annual fee for the card. Anyone can become a member of NUSENDA – just ask about it when you apply.

Consumers Credit Union Visa Signature Cash Rebate Card – 3%

Consumers Credit UnionThis Visa Signature cash back card from Consumers Credit Union offers credit union members 3% cash back for grocery and convenience store purchases. However, anyone can become a member of the credit union by paying a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee to CCU’s sponsor, the Consumers Cooperative Association, and then depositing and maintaining a minimum $5 in a Membership Share/Savings Account. The card also gives 2% for gas purchases and 1% for all other purchases. There is a $100 bonus for making $1,000 worth of purchases in the first 60 days.

Caveat: There is a cash back maximum of $6,000 per year, which, if you were spending in groceries only, would equate to $200,000 of spending. And the cash back is credited to the VISA each month, preventing you from depositing that cash and earning interest.

Huntington Voice – 3%

175_card.175_card.Huntington_Voice_Credit_CardThe Huntington voice card allows you to boost your earnings and choose your 3% cash back category. In this case, you could choose grocery spending and earn up to 6,000 points ($2,000 of spending) equaling $60 back per quarter. If you spend $2,000 a quarter (every 4 months) on groceries, you could earn up to $240 a year. Cash rewards work out to 1% for all other non-boosted categories.

Caveat: The ability to change categories and the point system can get a little confusing. Don’t hesitate to call Huntington if you need an explanation on your account.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday – 3%

381_card.205_card.blue_Cash_Everyday_Card_from_American_ExpressThis Amex card comes with no annual fee and a $125 bonus after the first $1,000 spent within 90 days. For grocery spending up to $6,000, you’ll earn 3% and if you go over $6,000 you will still earn 1% on all grocery spending. That’s a potential to earn $305 in year one. The card also offers an unlimited 2% on gas spending and select department stores.

Caveat: The bonus cash back in grocery stores and gas merchants depends on the merchant category code. If you buy groceries at Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon be aware that these retailers do not count as supermarkets.

Santander Bravo – 3%

697_card.697_card.SANTANDERBRAVOThe Santander Bravo card offers a $100 bonus after the first $1,000 spent within 90 days. You will also earn up to 15,000 points ($5,000 of spending) per quarter for grocery, gas station, and restaurant spending. This works out to a 3% cash back rate and the potential to earn $600 a year. The points can be redeemed for gift cards and airline tickets.

Tip: The 3% only applies to the first $5,000 spent per quarter, around $1,700 per month. There is also an annual fee of $49.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards – 2%

161_card.161_card.U.S._Pride_BankAmericard_Cash_Rewards_Visa_cardThe BankAmericard cash rewards card from Bank of America offers 2% cash back on grocery spending up to $1,500 per quarter. There is no annual fee and you can redeem this cash directly into a Bank of America checking or saving account. The card also offers 3% on gas related spending. The rewards never expire and if you apply online and spend $500 in the first 90 days, you also receive a $100 cash rewards bonus.

Caveat: The $1,500 limit per quarter applies to both grocery and gas spending. After you hit that limit, all other purchases earn 1% cash back.

Last Piece of Advice

Make sure your grocery store is included as an appropriate merchant by a company before applying for one of these credit cards. You don’t want to think you’re earning 6% back and then realize it doesn’t report as a grocery store to your credit card company!



Best of, Reviews

10 Best NO FEE Rewards Credit Cards of 2017

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The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

There are an abundance of no fee rewards credit cards available, so how do you best determine which one to keep in your wallet? Most earn a measly 1% on your spending, while others have no rewards at all. To help, we’ve dug deep into our database of thousands of rewards cards to find the very best no annual fee rewards credit cards of 2016 for each category.

While you might find rewards credit cards with an annual fee can give you the best rewards, we’re sticking to no fee cards that are available even if you don’t have truly excellent credit (good credit should be fine for most of these).

The first cards we list here offer unlimited double rewards on everything you purchase, while the remaining offer 3% or better rewards on spending in popular categories so you can mix and match to maximize your rewards, or they offer the chance for better earning if you use your rewards for travel.

1. Double Rewards on Everything, NO FEE – Citi Double Cash

721_card.Citi_doubleCiti offers you rewards twice. First, you get 1% cash back when you make a purchase. Then, you get another 1% cash back as you pay it off. All with no annual fee and no spending cap. If you pay off in full each month, you’ll get both rewards at the same time. That lets you earn rewards twice as good as standard reward cards.

If you like to maximize things and want to earn more rewards in special spending categories, consider pairing this with one of the no fee cards we list below.

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2. Honorable Mention: 2% Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature, NO FEE

fidelityrewardsvisaFidelity provides no annual fee 2% cash rewards on purchases if you deposit the cash you earn into a Fidelity account. But you don’t need to have any stocks or investments to have an account. Fidelity has no fee cash accounts where you can deposit your rewards, then withdrawal when you’re ready to spend. Be aware this card is designed for people with Excellent credit, while the Citi Double Cash might be easier to get.

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Both cards offer you the flexibility to earn double rewards on anything you purchase; so either one of these is a nice addition to a rewards strategy. The advantage of the Fidelity card over the Citi Double Cash is that its foreign transaction fees are just 1% versus 3% for the Double Cash. But setting up the Fidelity card and rewards is more cumbersome than the dead simple Citi Double Cash.

If you want to earn more than 2% rewards here’s a rundown of the best no fee rewards credit cards that earn 3% or more in the most popular categories. You can click on each category for our take and details:

And if you’re interested in traveling, here are the best no fee rewards credit card deals:

If you like to dig, we also have a complete (and long) list of cards that earn more than 3% on purchases in many more special categories, including cards with an annual fee.

3. Restaurant Spending: Chase AARP Visa – 3% Rewards, NO FEE

1167_cardAARPBychaseAlthough AARP is known for serving Baby Boomers, foodies of any age can sign up for this card – AARP membership not required. You get 3% cash rewards at restaurants as well as gas stations. You also earn 1% rewards on all other purchases.

The information related to AARP Visa credit card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Learn more at AARP.org

4. Travel Spending: AAA Member Rewards Visa – 3% Rewards, NO FEE

340_card.340_card.AAA_Member_Rewards_Visa_Signature_CardNo need to be an AAA member to take advantage of this rewards card. You earn cash back when you shop at travel merchants including airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, cruise lines and travel agencies. Along with the 3% cash rewards for travel, you earn 2% cash rewards on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases. On everything else you get 1% rewards.


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5. Gas Spending: Fort Knox Credit Union Visa Platinum – 5% Rewards

fort-knox-visa-platinumSpend a lot of cash at the pump? The Fort Knox Credit Union Visa Platinum offers 5% cash back for gas. On all other retail purchases, you get 1% cash back. Anyone can join the Fort Knox Credit Union by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council for $5.

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6. Grocery Spending: Blue Cash Everyday from American Express – 3% Rewards

381_card.205_card.blue_Cash_Everyday_Card_from_American_ExpressThe Blue Cash Everyday from American Express offers 3% cash rewards on grocery store purchases up to $6,000 per year. You also get 2% rewards at gas stations and select department stores. On everything else you earn 1% rewards.

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7. Honorable Mention: Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards – Unlimited 3% Grocery Rewards

If you live in California, the Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards card will give ygolden1ou 3% cash rewards for purchases on groceries without the caps on the Blue Cash Everyday, along with gas and restaurants and 1% rewards on all other purchases. Also in California, the JCB Marukai Premium card offers unlimited 3% cash rewards on all purchases after your first $3,000 in spending each year. The catch is there’s a $15 annual fee on the card.

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5% Cash Rewards in Rotating Categories: NO FEE

Cards with a rotating reward program can give you 5% cash rewards with no annual fee, but you’re limited to spending in special categories each quarter and there’s a cap on how much spending earns the 5%. You also have to opt into the 5% cash back rewards program each quarter.

8. Chase Freedom – 5% in rotating categories, $0 ANNUAL FEE

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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9. Discover it® Cashback Match™ – 5% in rotating categories, NO FEE

With Discover, you earn 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter up
to the quarterly maximum (up to $1,500 of combined purchases) when you sign up. You also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time. And your cash back never expires. Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year on the credit card – only for new cardmembers.

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10. Platinum Cash Rewards Visa from the Nusenda Credit Union – 5% in rotating categories, NO FEE

nusenda_logo5% cash rewards on groceries, gas expenses, movies, restaurants, home improvement, education and travel. This quarter, cardholders will earn cash back on restaurants, hotels and airfare purchases. There’s a cash back cap of $1,500 per quarter. Anyone can join the Nusenda Credit Union by donating $10 to the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance; contact a customer representative for details. The advantage of this card is that its categories tend to be more broad, and not store-specific like those on the Chase Freedom and Discover It, so it’s a great way to get you closer to 5% rewards on everything you spend.

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If you’re going to go through the effort of enrolling in a rewards program, consider all three cards to see which categories will benefit you the most. But, if you’re looking for freedom to spend without restrictions, sticking with the Citi Double Cash card may be your best simple bet.

Honorable mentions for travelers

No foreign transaction fees with plain cash back: Quicksilver from Capital One – 1.5% Rewards

Capital One's QuicksilverCapital One’s Quicksilver gives you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. And like all Capital One credit cards, there are no foreign transaction fees. Even though you earn less rewards than the Citi Double Cash or Fidelity American Express, this card is a better option for your international spending, since you avoid fees of 1 to 3%.

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Real airline miles: Amex EveryDay Card

The Amex Everyday Card is a no annual fee rewards credit card that earns Amex Membership Rewards points, which you can turn into real amexeverydayairline miles with several airlines, including Delta SkyMiles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, JetBlue True Blue, and Virgin America Elevate. It’s the only no annual fee card you can apply for online that can net you real Delta SkyMiles. When you want to convert points to Delta miles, just go to the Amex site, and transfer your points to Delta or the other participating airline programs any time.

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Points for travel on any airline: Bank of America Travel Rewards

bankofamericatravelrewardsThe Bank of America Travel Rewards card earns a base 1.5x points per dollar you spend, and you can use the points to erase travel purchases from your statement. Every 10,000 points is worth $100 when you use them for travel, so each point is worth one cent. Where the card gets interesting is if you’re a Bank of America customer with a checking, savings, or IRA account. If you are, you’ll get a 10% bonus on what you earn each year, so the card effectively earns you 1.65x points per dollar. Even better, if you’re a Platinum level member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards (which you get by keeping a lot of your money with them), you can earn up to 2.625x points per dollar, which is an incredible deal. There are also no foreign transaction fees to worry about.

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How can you get the most value from a rewards credit card?

In order to best benefit from no annual fee rewards credit cards, follow these tips:

  • Narrow your focus: Before choosing a no annual fee rewards credit card (or cards), take a look at your budget and several months’ worth of bank statements. Then, pick cards that’ll offer you the most cash back for things you already buy. You shouldn’t change your spending habits to match a rewards program.
  • Give your rewards cards a job: Don’t spread out your spending onto too many cards without a purpose or you risk making less cash back overall. Choose a few cards and assign them a job so you know what purchases to make on each one to maximize your cash back.
  • Don’t get overzealous: Rewards shouldn’t justify overspending, especially if you’re struggling with debt. It’s a reward for making legitimate purchases. After all, you won’t make enough back to put a big dent in your monthly statement. For instance, $2,500 spent on the Fidelity American Express card equals a $50 deposit. It’s a great perk, but it shouldn’t be your sole reason for buying something.
  • Read the fine print: Understand the implications of each rewards program. For the rotating category cards, you get a huge amount of cash back, but you’ll have to strategize your spending each quarter to earn it. And you have to enroll into the program by the deadline to qualify. Set a reminder on your smartphone or calendar if necessary. You don’t want to miss out on a cash back category for an entire quarter.

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Earning Cashback

How to Redeem Cashback with Capital One

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The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to Redeem Cashback with Capital One

Capital One offers a credit card option for everyone, whether you’re a student, consumer looking to earn rewards, or a business owner. If you’re looking for a flexible cashback card with no annual fee, the Capital One Quicksilver card is an excellent choice because the card allows you to receive cashback on everything you purchase.

In this post, we’ll touch on:

  • How to earn and track cashback rewards with your Quicksilver card
  • Navigating through the Capital One online portal to access cashback rewards
  • How to redeem cashback rewards

Since you can earn cashback on every purchase you make, it’s very easy to rack up cashback rewards with the Capital One Quicksilver card. Cardholders receive 1.5% cashback, which isn’t the highest rate on the market, but it’s unlimited and there are no quarterly, rotating categories you need to sign up for. The only way you’ll ever lose rewards is if your account is closed. 

How to Access Cashback with Capital One Quicksilver

To access your cashback rewards, you’ll log in to your account by going to capitalone.com/sign-in. You’ll see a screen like the one below, where you can click ‘Sign In’ in the US Credit Cards column in the Credit Cards category.


After you log in to your account, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard. If you have more than one Capital One credit card, you’ll need to look at the account that says “Quicksilver” or “QuicksilverOne,” which will display a preview of your cashback rewards amount. 

Earned rewards are usually visible online within 10 days, but may take up to two statement cycles to post to your account.


The amount you have in cashback is clickable and will take you to the My Rewards page that shows more details about earning and receiving cashback. 

How to Redeem Cashback Rewards

You can view all your options to redeem your cashback rewards on the My Rewards page. Cardholders can set up automatic redemption preferences for their cashback or request it manually.


If you use your card every day and regularly earn cashback, you might find it convenient to set up an automatic redemption option, and you can even set up your account to redeem cashback when you reach a certain threshold like a $25 or $50 in cashback.

Setting Up Automatic Redemption for Cashback Rewards

Step 1: To set up automatic redemption for your cashback, click on “Set Auto Rewards Preferences” at the bottom of the My Rewards page (as seen in the screenshot above). 

Step 2: After you click on it, a pop-up window will appear, and you’ll need to click the green “Let’s Get Started” button to set your preferences. capone4

Step 3: Next you’ll choose where you’d like your rewards to go. You can choose from a credit to your account or a check by mail.


Step 4: Now you’ll choose when you want your cashback rewards to be redeemed. Since the amount of cashback you receive depends on the amount of purchases you make and how often you use your Quicksilver credit card, it might be tricky to pinpoint when you’d like to redeem cashback rewards, but you can always change your preference later.


If you prefer to redeem your cashback when it reaches a certain amount, you can choose between the following thresholds: $25, $50, $100, and $200.

If you choose to have it redeemed by date, you can choose your month, and you’ll receive whatever cashback you earned on the fifth of every month.

Capital One Quicksilver cardholders who don’t want to set up automatic redemption preferences for their cashback rewards can redeem cashback easily by doing it manually from the My Rewards page after signing in to their online account.

Plus, there are more options available when you choose to redeem your rewards manually.

Redeeming Your Rewards for Cash


If you’d like to redeem your cashback for cash, you can choose between getting an account credit, receiving a check in the mail, or applying your rewards to purchases you’ve made with your Quicksilver card.

If you are carrying a balance, the option to redeem cashback for purchases may come in handy by helping you pay down your balance and avoid some interest charges.

Gift Cards


There are more than 80 gift cards you can receive for retailers, restaurants, online stores, and more when you redeem your cashback rewards. Some gift cards are only available in certain amounts, so if you only have $10 in cashback, for example, you’ll be able to get an Amazon gift card but you won’t have enough to get an Applebee’s gift card. 



If you want to donate your cashback, you can start that process by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on the My Rewards page dashboard.

Clicking on that button will direct you to capitalone.com/give, where you can search for charities and nonprofits and redeem your cashback so you can donate it to a cause you support. 

Transfer Rewards to Another Account


You may be able to transfer your cashback rewards if you have another Capital One account. Rewards transfers are only permitted between certain Capital One accounts, so you’ll need to check eligibility by typing in the account number and your last name to see if this option is available to you.

If you are able to transfer your rewards to another Capital One account, it’s free to do, and you can transfer your rewards to friends’ or family members’ accounts so you can redeem them faster.

This is a great option if you are planning a trip with family or friends and want to use credit card rewards to supplement the travel costs.

The rewards you transfer don’t expire. 

Final Word

Earning cashback with a Capital One Quicksilver card is as easy as making a purchase. When it comes to redeeming your rewards, the process is also simple and you have plenty of redemption options.

Cardholders who use their card regularly should set up automatic rewards redemption preferences for added convenience. The simplified process of redeeming rewards along with the various options available and the fact that rewards never expire (as long as your account is in good standing) make it easy for cardholders to enjoy the benefits of earning and redeeming cashback.


Credit Cards, Earning Cashback, Reviews

USAA is Secretly Testing a New 2.5% Limitless Cashback Credit Card — And It Could be a Game Changer

Advertiser Disclosure

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Two best friends sitting in a cafe and gossiping,

A cashback rewards card that gives you more than 2% cashback on every single purchase with no annual fee, no spending cap, and no category restrictions is fairly rare. That’s why the new USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card could be a game changer.

Rumors of the card’s existence first surfaced on Reddit last month. The card was featured briefly on the USAA website in mid-October but quickly disappeared.

MagnifyMoney reached out to a USAA spokesperson, who said they could confirm the card is in pilot mode but could not say when it will be released to the broader USAA membership.

“We believe this new product can provide our members better value and reward them for their loyalty to USAA,” said Gloria Manzano, senior communications partner for the company.  “If we determine this potential new product can help us better serve our members, we’ll make it available to all of our members as soon as possible.”

Manzano declined to offer more details on the terms and benefits that the card will offer.

Because of the exclusivity of this pilot product, there was very little information on the offer until recently. In this post, we’ve put together what we know about the card so far, based on customer testimonies online and the brief glimpse of the cards terms when it was featured on USAA.com in October.  We will update this post as new information is published.

  • The credit card basics
  • How to apply for the card and redeem cashback
  • USAA eligibility criteria
  • The fine print details
  • The pros and cons

The Basics of the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card

  1. Earn unlimited 2.5% cashback.

All purchases get 2.5% cashback with no cap.

  1. A USAA bank account with a monthly $1,000+ direct deposit is required to earn 2.5% cashback.

The 2.5% cashback deal does come with one catch. You must have an open USAA bank account and maintain a monthly direct deposit into that account of over $1,000 every 30 days to earn 2.5% cashback.

  1. Earn unlimited 1.5% cashback without direct deposit.

If you don’t meet the $1,000 direct deposit condition, all purchases get 1.5% cashback instead.

Applying for the Card and Using Cashback Earned

usaa1 (1)USAA members can log in to their USAA account to review all credit card products. Because the card is in pilot mode, you can apply for the card only if the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card shows up as an available offer. You can also call USAA and give member services your member number to find out if you’re eligible.

Redeeming cashback rewards with USAA is simple. Cashback can be redeemed at any time in increments of $1. You can request a cash deposit into a USAA checking or savings account. The other option for redemption is statement credit.

USAA Eligibility Criteria

USAA credit cards are only open to USAA members. USAA serves customers who meet certain eligibility criteria. Those who don’t fall into any of the qualifying groups will not be able to take advantage of the 2.5% cashback opportunity.

USAA offers membership to active military currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. You can also apply for membership if you’re a former military service member who’s retired or has been honorably discharged.

Family of USAA members, including children, widows, widowers, and un-remarried former spouses, are eligible for membership as well. Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies, in advanced ROTC, or on ROTC scholarship and officers within 24 months of commissioning are eligible for USAA services.

You can review the eligibility criteria and apply for membership here.

The Fine Print and Fees

Keep in mind there may be changes to the terms of this card in the future since it’s currently a pilot program.

Right now, the card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. The only fine print is that you must have $1,000 to direct deposit into a primary bank account with USAA every 30 days to get the unlimited 2.5% cashback. This may or may not be possible based on your job, financial situation, and where you prefer to bank.

Pros and Cons

Pro: Earn 2.5% cashback. Getting unlimited 2.5% cashback without having to worry about a spending limit or changing your spending habits each quarter is a sweet offer.

Con: The $1,000 direct deposit requirement for 2.5% cashback. Even though this isn’t a difficult requirement to satisfy, it’s still another hoop you must jump through beyond becoming a member to unlock the 2.5% cashback. We’ll cover another cashback card below that offers double cash without stipulations.

Pro: USAA has a straightforward redemption process. You can use your cashback at any time as long as you redeem it in $1 increments. 

Con: It may still be a waiting game. The rollout of this card was pretty “hush-hush.” The card wasn’t even shown on the USAA website until recently. At first, only targeted members were getting a special invitation and sneak peek of the offer. Now the terms appear on the site, and you can log in to your USAA account to see if the pilot program is available to you. 

Pro: No fees. This card has no fees across the board. You earn an unlimited amount of cashback while avoiding annual and foreign transaction fees. There’s also no fee to open up a USAA bank account to set up your monthly direct deposit for the 2.5% cashback.

Other Cashback Cards to Consider

Since the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card is a bit heavy on the qualifying conditions, let’s cover two cards that will give anyone cashback.

The Citi Double Cash Card may be the biggest rival to the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card because you can earn double cashback without having to meet any special conditions. This card has no caps or category restrictions. You get 1% cashback when you make a purchase and then another 1% cashback when you pay off the statement. There’s also no annual fee, and you can redeem cash earned for a check, statement credit, or gift card.


For another quick cashback comparison, the Capital One Quicksilver card offers 1.5% cashback unlimited with no annual fee. There are no category restrictions on the cashback, which is consistent with the Citi Double Cash Card and USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card. Cashback also never expires, and you can redeem cashback at any time with a statement credit or check. Although you’re getting a little less cashback here, it’s another option that has limited fine print conditions. 


Who Will Benefit the Most from the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card?

The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card is one that any USAA member who’s on the hunt for a cashback card should consider. Earning unlimited 2.5% cashback with no fees or category restrictions is a unique offer and one that’s worth jumping on.


Credit Cards, Earning Cashback

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Review: Solid Card for Spending on Groceries and Gas

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The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Review

Travel may be the credit card rewards of choice for many, but you don’t have to be a big traveler to get in on rewards. If you prefer cold, hard cash to airline tickets, there are plenty of options out there for you. Some of them, like the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card, even come without an annual fee.

To help you decide if this is the right option for you, we’ll cover:

  • The basics of the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card
  • Benefits
  • The fine print
  • The pros and cons
  • How to get the most value

All You Need to Know About the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card

BankAmericard offers a tiered rewards structure.

1. You earn 1% cashback on every purchase.

On every single purchase you make, you’ll earn at least 1% back. That means for every dollar you spend, you’ll earn a penny.

2.You earn 2% on purchases at grocery and wholesale stores and 3% at the pump.

These aren’t rotating bonuses. No matter the time of year, you’ll earn 2% cashback when you shop at grocery or wholesale stores and 3% cashback on gas. There is no special program or opt-in registration required.

These programs are, however, limited to the first $2,500 you spend per quarter on both gas and groceries combined. After that, your purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and wholesalers will only earn 1% until the next quarter when the higher bonuses will automatically resume.

3. You can earn a $100 cash reward bonus.

At the present time, if you spend $500 within the first 90 days of opening your account, you’ll be rewarded with a cash reward bonus. That’s a very low threshold to earn rewards.


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How Cash Back Works

You can redeem your cash rewards via check, direct deposit into your Bank of America checking or savings account, or as a contribution to your Merrill Lynch Cash Management account. The minimum you can cash out is $25.

If you are a customer of Bank of America, there are extra incentives. If you choose to have your cash rewards deposited into your Bank of America checking or savings account, you earn an additional 10% bonus. That means if you have $100 in cash rewards, you’ll be awarded with an extra $10 on top of it.

You can earn even more cash back if you are a Preferred Rewards client. This rewards program comes with three tiers.

If you have a total average of $20,000 of assets per month in your Bank of America and Merrill Lynch accounts combined, you qualify for Gold Preferred status. At this level, you earn a 25% bonus on your cash rewards effectively turning your $100 into $125.

The next level is Platinum Preferred. It requires your average monthly assets to total $50,000. At this level, the bonus is 50%, which turns $100 into $150.

The highest level is Platinum Honors Preferred. To qualify, your assets must average at least $100,000 per month. The bonus at this level is 75%, so your $100 turns into $175.

The Fine Print

Every card comes with some fine print. First, let’s look at the fees associated with the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card:

  • No annual fee.
  • Pay 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening for 12 months.
  • If you miss or are late on a payment, interest will jump up to penalty APR permanently.
  • Your first late fee will be $27. Subsequent late fees can be as high as $37.
  • There is a $27 returned payment fee.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee.

You’ll also want to know what qualifies as a grocery store. The overarching theme is that if they primarily sell food, they qualify. However, if they sell other goods along with food, like drug stores and superstores, your purchases will only earn 1%. Here are some places that will earn you the full two percent:

  • Supermarkets
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Meat lockers
  • Candy stores
  • Nut stores
  • Confection stores
  • Dairy product stores
  • Bakeries

In the gas category, you’ll only earn 1% at truck stops, superstores and supermarkets, but you can earn the full 3% by shopping at merchants whose primary business is the sale of:

  • Automotive gasoline
  • Heating oil
  • Propane
  • Kerosene

One other place that qualifies is the boat marina.

How to Get the Most Value from the Cash Back Program

If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, it’s wise to redeem your rewards via direct deposit. If you meet the asset requirements, it’s worth applying for the Preferred Rewards programs as the bonuses are significant.

However, 1% cash back isn’t the best offer out there. For rewards on everything, the Citi Double Cash Rewards gives you 1% on every purchase, and then an extra 1% every time you pay your statement, which we advise doing in full every single month. It also carries no annual fee.

If you want to earn more on grocery purchases, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card offers 6% cash back on purchases at supermarkets. Like BankAmericard Cash Rewards, it excludes superstores. It also excludes warehouses. The higher cash back rate will help you earn rewards three times as quickly, though the annual cap is $6,000. If you spend more than that on groceries in a year, you may want to run your own numbers to figure out which one is better for you.

There are also other options on the market that allow you to earn more cash back for gas purchases. The PenFed Platinum Plus Cash Rewards Visa gives you 5% back every time you spend at the pump. You can qualify for this card by opening an additional financial account with PenFed Credit Union.


Benefits and Protections

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards card does come with some benefits. The most powerful is perhaps $0 liability guarantee. You will not be held liable for any fraudulent charges as long as you can support the fact that they were, indeed, fraudulent. This may also kick in if Bank of America notices suspicious activity on your account.

Another unique benefit is the ability to access ShopSafe. This is a program that assigns you a temporary card number when you shop online. It’s linked to your real card number, but allows you to shop without entering your sensitive information over the internet.

The final benefit worth noting is the ability for Bank of America customers to enact Overdraft Protection. If you have a checking account with Bank of America, you can link it to your card to prevent any instances of declined purchases.

Pros and Cons

Pro: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can enhance their cash back with bonuses.

Con: Even with these bonuses, you can find another card with higher cash back rewards.

Pro: No rotating categories to keep up with.

Con: There is a $2,500 cap per quarter for gas and grocery rewards.

Pro: The $100 bonus for spending $500 within the first 90 days is a decent reward for a low minimum spend.

Con: It does have a foreign transaction fee. There are other cards on the market that would be better to use outside the country.

Pro: No annual fee.

Who Will Benefit Most from the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card?

The biggest winners are those who have a checking or savings account with Bank of America and spend about $2,500 per quarter on groceries and gas combined. That comes out to about $833.33 per month, so if you commute a long distance or travel a lot for work, this may be a good option for you. If you’re feeding a family, this may also be a good option as the caps on other cards can be more restrictive.


Credit Cards, Reviews

Blispay Credit Card Review: 2% Cash Back Card, if You’re Careful

Advertiser Disclosure

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Credit Card Review

When it comes to cash back cards, the competition is fierce. Blispay is a new Visa credit card that offers 2% cash back with no restrictions and a financing option for large purchases. Although 2% cash back with no cap is decent, the special financing promotion incentive could easily do more harm than good. In this post, we’ll help you determine if the Blispay credit card should be in your wallet.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The Blispay credit card offer
  • How cash back works
  • The fine print details
  • The pros and cons

The Offer  

1. All purchases earn 2% cash back

There’s no revolving categories or spending limits. The Blispay credit card gives you unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, no spending caps and no strings attached.

2. Special financing for 6 months

Beyond the 2% cash back deal, Blispay offers a financing option for big spending. Whenever you make a purchase of $199 or more, you get 6 months to pay it off interest free. However, if the balance of that purchase is not paid off within 6 months, retroactive interest will be charged at 19.99% APR from the day the transaction posted to your account. That’s a big catch: you’re interested isn’t waived, it’s retroactive. Failing to pay off the purchase in 6 months means the 19.99% APR that’s been accumulating will all get tacked onto your balance.

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A Closer Look at Blispay 2% Cash Back

How to earn cash back

Cash back can be earned at any merchant where Visa is accepted. Purchases made through Apple Pay, PayPal or a digital wallet with a Blispay credit card will count for 2% cash back as well. Occasionally, Blispay may offer special cash back promotions where you can earn even more from your spending. For an example, if you spend $5,000 on your card for the year, you have the potential to earn $100 in cash back, which is a 0.02% cash back value.

How to redeem cash back

The draw of the Blispay cash back program is you won’t need to do anything beyond pay for a purchase to earn and redeem cash back. Each month, the cash back tallies up and automatically applies as a credit to your statement balance when the billing period ends. The application process is also quick. You can apply online and start using your account right away.

The Fine Print

Simple way to earn rewards: The 2% cash back on all purchases with no cap is an uncomplicated way to earn a reward from using the Blispay card. However, the fine print comes in with the special financing. The “no payment, no interest” promotion seems like a deal upfront, but it can really be a trap if you’re not careful.

Understand the consequences of deferred interest: This special financing is really just deferred interest and means interest accruing on your balance will be charged at a later time. If you rely on the promotion to avoid making payments right away on many purchases, you can easily run into trouble when 6 months expires on each one. The way Blispay includes the interest-free period as a promotion alongside the 2% cash back deal could be a way to lure you into spending more money than you can pay off before interest hits.

Cash back is worthless if you don’t pay off your bill in full: If you choose to use this card, understand that earning 2% cash back is worthless if you keep getting charged 19.99% APR later on. You want to avoid interest entirely to get the most benefit from a cash back card. Otherwise, you may pay more in interest than you even earn in cash back.

The Blispay Fee Structure

The Blispay credit card has no annual fee. So, if you choose this card and pay off your balances diligently, it is possible to earn cash back for free. But, you will have to pay more for purchases made internationally since there’s an international fee of 3%. Lastly, there’s a minimum interest charge of $2.00 and the late payment fee is $25 to $35.

Pros and Cons

Pro: No restrictions on the 2%. You can earn 2% cash back without adjusting your spending habits or paying attention to categories. There’s also no cap. You’ll earn 2% cash back no matter how much you purchase.

Con: Special financing is retroactive interest. If you rely on the financing for many large purchases, you can fall behind on payments and get charged retroactive interest. When that happens you won’t see much, if any, return from 2% cash back. The no-interest financing option could be a trap, so be cautious.

Pro: No annual fee. You won’t need to earn a certain amount of cash back to compensate for an annual cost of this card because there is none.

Con: High fees. Although there’s no annual fee, the interest rate and other fees such as the 3% foreign transaction fee are ones that need your attention. If your credit score is good to excellent, you may be able to get a lower interest rate with another card that doesn’t have the special financing element. For instance, the starting interest rate on the Citi Double Cash card is just 13.24% APR as opposed to 19.99% APR.

(No matter what cash back card you decide on, it’s best to pay off your balances entirely to skip interest altogether. But a lower interest rate is ideal in case you do need to revolve a balance.)

Pro: Automatic statement credit. Each statement period your cash back will appear as a credit on your account. You won’t have to initiate the redemption of cash back. This card requires hardly any maintenance.

Alternative Cash Back Option

Another simple double rewards card you want to consider is the Citi Double Cash. You earn 1% cash back for making purchases and your rewards double when you pay off those purchases. In this case, you’re incentivized for paying off your bills right away which is the best method of using a cash back card.

Who Will Benefit Most from the Blispay Credit Card

The Blispay credit card gets a low score from us because of the financing angle included in the promotion. Reeling you in with deferred interest can hurt you more than 2% cash back can help if you fall off track. But, if you plan to avoid the 6 month special financing trap, you may be able to reap the benefits of cash back while steering clear of the pitfall.