UPDATE 3/23/2015: This page is no longer up to date. For updated information, please see the new page of the same name: Best rewards for everyday spend.
In other posts, I’ve listed the credit cards with the best signup bonuses, the best category bonuses, the best big spend bonuses, and the best opportunities for earning miles and elite status. All of these can be found under the “Credit Cards” menu on any page of the Frequent Miler site. Today’s post is essentially the “all other” category. What cards are worth using when you are not working towards a big signup bonus, you’re not angling for a big spend bonus, and you have no good category bonus options?
For cards that earn points instead of cash back, I’ve listed the “X” which is the number of points per dollar earned for everyday spend. For example, “2X” means that the card earns 2 points per dollar for everyday spend. I then used my Fair Trading Prices point valuations to estimate the rebate value as a percentage. For example, if a card earns 5X on all spend and the Fair Trading Price of those points is .4 cents each, then the card earns an estimated 2% rebate on all spend. This does not mean that you will get only 2% in value from your points, you may get much more (see “Fair trading prices explained“).
|JCB’s Marukai card for Hawaii and California residents||$25||~2.7% (assumes total of $10K spent annually)||This card offers 1% cash back on your first $1K of purchases, 2% cash back on the next $1K of purchases, and 3% cash back thereafter each year. Earn an addition $50 bonus when you spend $5K or more yearly.|
|Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – $89 Annual Fee Card||$89||2X (2.2%)||Points are worth 1 cent each, but you get 10% back when you redeem points for travel.|
|BOA BankAmericard Privileges with Travel Rewards||$75||2.2X (2.2%)||Redeem your miles for any travel expense. Base earning is 2X, but you will get an additional 10% annual bonus if you have a qualifying BOA account.|
|Citi Double Cash||No Fee||2%||1% for purchase + 1% when paying your bill|
|Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex||No Fee||2X (2%)||Card earns 2% back when points are deposited to an eligible Fidelity investment account.|
|Capital One Spark Business Card||$59||2%||Straight up cash back|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||$59||2X (2%)||Redeem your miles for any travel expense.|
|Discover Escape||$60||2X (2%)||Redeem your miles for any travel expense.|
|Chase United MileagePlus Club Card||$395||1.96%||By redeeming miles for otherwise expensive flights on United or Star Alliance partners, it’s possible to get far more than 1.96% value.|
|Amex SPG (personal or business)||$65||1.95%||Use points for free nights at SPG properties or transfer to many airline programs at a favorable ratio. Depending on how you use these points it is possible to get much more than 1.95% value.|
|Amex Blue for Business (temporarily expired offer)|
|Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa||No Fee||1.5% to 2%||Earns 1.5X on first $15K spend per year, then 2X (2%)|
|Capital One QuickSilver Rewards||No Fee||1.5%|
|Navy FCU Cash Rewards||No Fee||1.5%|
|BOA BankAmericard Travel Rewards||No Fee||1.5X (1.5%)||Redeem your points for any travel expense.|
|Chase British Airways Visa||$95||1.25X (1.61%)||It’s possible to get far more value than is reflected in the fair trading price by redeeming for short non-stop flights on partner airlines.|
|US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards (or Business Rewards)||$75
|5X (1.25%)||Despite the low Fair Trading Price, it’s possible to get far more value than this (see Club Carlson rocks our world… Again).|
Did I leave out any good ones? Keep in mind that category bonuses (e.g. 2X for travel, 5X for office supplies, etc. are covered in a separate post. Same goes for big spend bonuses (e.g. Earn 10K miles after $25K spend).