Note: American Express is a Frequent Miler advertiser. Please see our Advertiser Disclosure.
Elsewhere, I’ve listed credit cards with the best signup bonuses, the Best Card Category Bonuses, and the best big spend bonuses. All of these can be found on the Frequent Miler Resources page. This page 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 used my Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) to estimate the rebate value as a cash back percentage. For example, if a card earns 5X on all spend and the Reasonable Redemption Value 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… or less. Reasonable Redemption Values are intended to be an estimate of a reasonable value that you can expect to get from your points. In real life, the value you get from your points depends entirely upon how you use them.
To account for annual fees, I assumed a total of $30,000 spent per year and subtracted the annual fee from the total rebate value before calculating the overall percent rebate offered by each card. Mostly only cards offering rebates above 2% are shown here, but I did include two popular no-fee 2% cash back cards to anchor the list.
|Card||Annual Fee||Estimated Rebate %||Notes|
|The Blue Business Plus Credit Card||$0||3.64%||This small business card offers 2X Membership Rewards points for all spend, up to $50K per calendar year.|
|Discover It Miles (Year 1)||$0||3%||The Discover It Miles card offers 1.5% for all spend, plus they will double all points earned in the first year. Points are worth 1 cent each. So, in year 1 this card offers 3% returns.|
Premium JCB Card
|$15||2.98%||This card offers 1% cash back on your first $1K of purchases, 2% cash back on the next $2K of purchases, and 3% cash back thereafter each year. Earn an addition $50 bonus when you spend $5K or more yearly. Only available to residents of California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon or Washington.|
|Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard||$0||2.9%||This card earns 2X for Amtrak spend, and 1X elsewhere. Points are worth up to 2.9% each towards Amtrak travel. Obviously this is a good choice only for those who intend to travel Amtrak frequently. See: Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card review.|
|Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard||$79||2.64%||This card earns 3X for Amtrak spend, 2X for qualifying travel, and 1X elsewhere. Points are worth up to 2.9% each towards Amtrak travel. Obviously this is a good choice only for those who intend to travel Amtrak frequently. See: Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card review.|
|Bank of America Travel Rewards with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards||$0||2.63%||Redeem your miles for any travel expense. Base earning is 1.5X, but you will get an additional bonus through the BOA Preferred Rewards program. Platinum Honors status (75% bonus) requires $100K or more invested in BOA and Merrill Edge / Merrill Lynch.|
|USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards||$0||2.5%||Combine with a free USAA Bank checking account and direct deposit in order to earn 2.5% cash back on all spend! Unfortunately, you do need to be a member of USAA to get this card (which means you or a family member needs to be active or retired military). Also, this card is currently available only in select states.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited paired with $95 premium card||$95||2.41%||This card earns 1.5 points per dollar for all spend. Pair with a premium card such as the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve in order to unlock the ability to transfer points to airline and hotel programs.|
|The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express (requires 30+ uses per billing cycle)||$95||2.41%||This card earns 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; and 1x points on other purchases. Key feature: Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. This means that the card earns at least 1.5 points per dollar on all spend as long as you use the card 30 or more times per billing cycle. Transfer points to airline miles for best value. Amex Business Platinum cardholders can get 2 cents per point value when using points to pay for flights within preferred airline (or for a premium ticket).|
|Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card||$59||2.3%||Earn 3% cash back first year, then 2.5% cash back everywhere in ongoing years. No foreign transaction fees. $25 minimum redemption. Join Alliant by donating at least $10 to Foster Care to Success|
|Bank of America Travel Rewards with Platinum Preferred Rewards||$0||2.25%||Redeem your miles for any travel expense. Base earning is 1.5 points per dollar, but you will get an additional bonus through the BOA Preferred Rewards program. Platinum status (50% bonus) requires $50K to $100K invested in BOA and Merrill Edge / Merrill Lynch.|
|The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express (requires 20+ uses per billing cycle)||$0||2.18%||This card earns 2x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) and 1x points on other purchases. Key feature: Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. This means that the card earns at least 1.2 points per dollar on all spend as long as you use the card 20 or more times per billing cycle. Transfer points to airline miles for best value. Amex Business Platinum cardholders can get 2 cents per point value when using points to pay for flights within preferred airline (or for a premium ticket).|
|Citi Double Cash||$0||2%||Get 1% cash back for purchases + 1% cash back when paying your bill.|
|Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa||$0||2%||This card earns 2% back when points are deposited to an eligible Fidelity investment account.|
Most of the calculations for this page can be found in this Google Docs Spreadsheet. If you would like to change assumptions or calculations, open the spreadsheet, click File… Make a Copy….