Which cards to use for Simon Visa Gift Cards online

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Yesterday, Simon Mall opened registration for a new manufactured spending opportunity that enables the volume for which their malls have become known with the convenience of shopping from home. See: Simon Gift Card online bulk ordering. Everything you need to know. Readers had two key questions: Which credit card(s) should you use to purchase and how the heck are you liquidating these Simon gift cards in a time when most of the United States is under stay-at-home orders? Greg recently wrote about 7 ways to increase spend from home. The truth is that apart from paying taxes, your options are limited today. Don’t buy these cards if it means you will need to make extra trips to the store today. However, we’ll eventually get past COVID-19 and return to a world in which liquidation is easier, so today’s post will focus on which card(s) to use to buy Simon Visa Gift Cards when it makes sense for you to do so again.

A word of caution

Simon Gift Cards

First up: if you are new to manufactured spending, you should read our Manufactured Spending Complete Guide before you jump into buying any type of prepaid gift cards. Know that there are risks and complications. You have to be organized (losing one thousand-dollar-card will wipe out the value gleaned from a lot of points). Banks may not like your spending patterns and may shut down your accounts. Liquidating cards can be complicated, difficult, or impossible in some areas. There are a lot of variables.

To that end, I recommend reading a post I wrote last year when Simon debuted the $1K Visa Gift Cards at their malls: Mistakes to avoid on $1K Simon Visa Gift Cards.

A couple of key points from that post (I recommend reading the whole thing if you haven’t):

  1. Avoid a sudden sharp increase in spend on any one issuer’s card(s) as this is a common trigger for account shut downs. Also see Why Chase shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them. This may become even more relevant in a recession.
  2. Diversify your earnings. Amex awards no points for Simon purchases (so don’t use an Amex to buy these). You never know when another issuer may become the next Amex, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  3. Have a backup to your backup plan in terms of liquidation. I wrote last year that you never know when your preferred liquidation option might disappear. I never could have anticipated that this would be because we are all sheltered at home trying to get a pandemic under control, but the current situation with COVID-19 is a good example as to why you don’t want to buy more cards than you can afford to float since you don’t know when things can suddenly change.
  4. If you are purchasing money orders, be sure to deposit in a bank that you don’t care much about. Some banks will shut down your accounts for money order deposits, so you don’t want to deposit them in a bank that issues credit cards that you want to have. Furthermore, avoid structuring your deposits, which is a crime.

You can read more on mistakes to avoid in the post linked above in this section.

Costs of Simon Gift Cards

Simon Gift Cards can be purchased online in denominations of $10-$1,000 with an activation fee of $3.95 per card.

When ordering online, there is an additional $10 processing fee per order regardless of order size. You will also pay for shipping, which varies depending upon your location. The fee to my home address is $10 per order, others have reported $11 or $12. For the purposes of this post, I’ll suppose a $12 shipping fee.

Simon’s velocity limit is $25,000 per day. That number is total spend including fees. Customers can place multiple smaller orders as long as they stay under $25K per day, but note that the processing and shipping fees will be charged separately for each order.

For the purposes of comparison below, it is useful to figure the cost per point if you’re buying Simon Gift Cards online. However, the cost per point varies depending on your order size since the processing and shipping fees make up a larger percentage of a smaller order.

The Simon bulk ordering program is really designed for those who can and want to buy larger volume, but to create comparison points, I have figured costs below based on 3 hypothetical order sizes: $5K in gift cards, $10K in gift cards, and $24K in gift cards (I’m using $24K in case you don’t want to end up with a single card with an odd amount on it). I’m using $12 as my estimated shipping figure to do the math.

I am further going to assume a cost of $1 per $1K to liquidate. Your true cost may be more or less depending upon how you liquidate.

That means those orders will cost:

  • $5K in Visa Gift Cards + $19.75 activation fees (5 x $3.95) + $10 processing + $12 shipping + $5 liquidation = $5,046.75.
  • $10K in Visa Gift Cards + $39.50 activation fees (10 x $3.95) + $10 processing + $12 shipping + $10 liquidation = $10,071.50
  • $24K in Visa Gift Cards + $94.80 activation fees (24 x $3.95) + $10 processing + $12 shipping + $24 liquidation = $24,126.80

Below you’ll find the cost per point for each of those order sizes depending upon whether you’re using a credit card that earns 1x, 1.5x, or 2x points as well as your cost per thousand dollars spend for those focusing on cash back.

To give an example that explains the methodology for the numbers:

  • Buy $5K in gift cards for $5,041.75, earn 5,041.75 points at 1x.
  • Cost to earn those points with $5 in liquidation fees added = $46.75
  • $46.75 / 5,041.75 points = $0.00927 (rounded to 0.93 cents per point)

As you can see, at 1x you’re paying just under 1 penny per point all-in. That’s the methodology used for the numbers below.

Cost per point at 1x

  • $5K order = 0.93c per point
  • $10K order = 0.71c per point
  • $24K order = 0.53c per point

Cost per point at 1.5x

  • $5K order = 0.62c per point
  • $10K order = 0.47c per point
  • $24K order = 0.35c per point

Cost per point at 2x

  • $5K order = 0.46c per point
  • $10K order = 0.36c per point
  • $24K order = 0.26c per point

Cost per $1K card including shipping and processing before liquidation:

  • $5K order = $8.35 per card
  • $10K order = $6.15 per card
  • $24K order = $4.87 per card

Why buy Simon Gift Cards online?

To someone relatively inexperienced in manufactured spending, the numbers above likely look pretty good: after all, those costs are well below the Reasonable Redemption Values of many different types of points.

However, it isn’t the cheapest game in town. As Greg previously noted in his post about 7 ways to increase credit card spend from home, Gift Card Mall and GiftCards.com both offer cheaper options considering portal rewards. Given the fact that Simon is more expensive, it probably wouldn’t make sense to sign up for the program if your aim is only to buy a few thousand in cards at a time. You can do better if you’re only looking to order a couple thousand now and then. However, Simon does have some advantages that make it attractive for some.

For starters, Simon welcomes MSers with open arms. They know we’re buying cards to earn points and they are happy to have us — they obviously launched this special bulk ordering program specifically for folks looking to earn points. While I have no doubt that GCM and the like know why people are ordering, they can sometimes be a real pain. After just one or two orders of $1K or $1500, my account was banned from ordering on Gift Card Mall for years for no explicable reason. We couldn’t even place orders under my wife’s maiden name before we were married (same shipping address). Eventually, after several years, I was able to get an order through — but my wife still hasn’t gotten one through successfully. Many readers regularly place orders with those sites without issue, but at the same time we aren’t the only ones who have had difficulty. That’s not an issue with Simon.

A second benefit of Simon cards is that they offer the highest denomination available online since each card can be loaded with $1K. Those higher denomination cards are much more convenient for me in terms of liquidation. Larger cards means splitting tender fewer times which in turn tends to mean less scrutiny / skepticism from cashiers. I have a much easier time splitting tender two ways for $2K in MOs than four or more ways over smaller cards. The fact that the cards can now be personalized with my name should make this even easier.

Finally, volume makes Simon appealing. The ability to spend up to $25K per day is unmatched. I imagine that most readers don’t need anywhere near that capacity, but it far exceeds the limits you’ll hit elsewhere so for those who are looking to do heavy volume, this provides an option.

Which are the best credit cards to use for Simon gift cards online? The Best Everywhere else cards

Best Everywhere Else Credit Cards Simon gift cards

First of all, do not use Amex cards to buy Simon gift cards. Since 2019, Amex cards have not earned points on Simon gift card purchases.

[Update] Second, do not use the Alliant Visa Signature card. Alliant stopped paying cash back on obvious online gift card purchases in February 2018.

In terms of risk, no other issuers stand out as particularly risky nor particularly safe. Any issuer may shut down your accounts for large gift card purchases. My advice is always to go slow: avoid spending way beyond your stated income with any one bank, avoid a sudden sharp increase in spend, do not cycle your credit limits (this means using your entire credit limit, paying off the amount owed, and then charging on the card again in a single billing cycle). Even if you follow those pieces of advice, a bank could shut you down at any time. If you will lose sleep over being shut down, you should re-think buying gift cards.

All that said, the best cards for Simon purchases will be those that earn the best rewards for everyday spend since Simon purchases likely will not trigger category bonuses on most credit cards. Of course, if you’re working on a new welcome bonus, Simon makes for a relatively cheap way to earn a big initial bonus. There are also the Best Big Spend Bonuses to consider. For example, I earned 3 Radisson free night certificates this past year mostly by buying Simon gift cards.

In the next section, I’ll summarize the best card from each bank, but the following table comes from our Best Everywhere Else Cards page. See that page for a full explanation and keep in mind that you need to ignore the Amex cards.

Card Info Name and Earning Rate (no offer)
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card
Base
Earning rate: 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Terms apply.
Discover it Miles (First Year)
Base
3%
Earning rate: 1.5 miles per dollar for all spend. All Miles are doubled at the end of your first card membership year.
Citi Double Cash Card
Base
Earning rate:
Bank of America Travel Rewards (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards)
Base
2.625X
(2.63%)
Travel
5.25X
(5.25%)
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, this card earns: 2.625X points for all spend (and 5.25X for travel purchased through BOA's travel center)
Bank of America Premium Rewards (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards)
Base
2.625X
(2.63%)
Travel
3.5X
(3.5%)
Dine
3.5X
(3.5%)
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, earn: 3.5X travel and dining ⚬ 2.625X everywhere else
BOA Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business)
Base
2.625X
(2.63%)
Travel
5.25X
(5.25%)
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, this card earns: 2.625X points for all spend (and 5.25X for travel purchased through BOA's travel center)
BOA Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X Amtrak ⚬ 1X elsewhere
BOA Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Amtrak ⚬ 2X qualifying travel ⚬ 1X elsewhere
Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card
Base
2.5%
Earning rate: 2.5% cash back everywhere up to $250 back per billing cycle (Note that some purchases, like those from GiftCards.com, are not eligible for cash back)
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card (with 30 purchases per billing cycle)
Base
Gas
Grocery
Earning rate: Earn 50% more points: 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. With 30 or more purchases, earn: 4.5x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1.5x) ⚬ 3x points at US gas stations ⚬ 1.5x points on other purchases.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Base
Earning rate: 1.5% cash back everywhere in the form of Go Far Rewards ⚬ 1.8% back on Google Pay or Apple Pay purchases for the first 12 months
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
Base
Other
Earning rate: 1.5X on all purchases ⚬ 5X Lyft
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Base
Other
Earning rate: 1.5X on all purchases ⚬ 5X Lyft
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Base
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
Capital One Spark Miles Business Credit Card
Base
Travel
Earning rate: 2X everywhere ⚬ Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car
bookings through Capital One Travel
Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®
Base
Earning rate: 2X Miles on all purchases
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Base
Earning rate: 2X Miles on all purchases
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
Base
2%
Earning rate: 2% cash back on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1% thereafter). Terms apply.
Paypal Cashback Mastercard
Base
2%
Earning rate: 2% cash back everywhere
Fidelity Rewards Visa
Base
2%
Earning rate: 2X everywhere
UBS Cash Rewards Visa Business
Base
2%
Earning rate: Earn 2% cash back on your first $100,000 in eligible purchases each year then 1%
Capital One Spark Cash Business Credit Card
Base
2%
Earning rate: 2% everywhere
Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 3X on Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam purchases ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Business Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X United ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else
Chase United MileagePlus® Club Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X United ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else
Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard
Base
Earning rate: 1.5X everywhere
Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 10X at CC hotels ⚬ 5X elsewhere.
Radisson Rewards Business Visa Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 10X at CC hotels ⚬ 5X elsewhere.
The Amex EveryDay Card (with 20 purchases per billing cycle)
Base
Grocery
Earning rate: Make 20 or more purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points, less returns and credits ⚬ With 20% more points, earn: 2.4X points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1.2x) ⚬ 1.2X on other purchases
Bank of America Cash Rewards (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards)
Base
1.75%
Travel
5.25%
Dine
5.25%
Gas
5.25%
Grocery
3.5%
Shop
5.25%
Other
5.25%
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program, earn: 3.5% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 5.25% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter
Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard (with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards for Business)
Base
1.75%
Travel
5.25%
Dine
3.5%
Gas
5.25%
Phone
5.25%
Office
5.25%
Biz
5.25%
Earning rate: With Platinum Honors status with Bank of America's Business Advantage Relationship Rewards program, this card earns: 3.5% on dining plus 5.25% on 1 choice from: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services (for the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases each calendar year, 1.75% thereafter) and 1.75% everywhere else.
Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card issued by Barclays
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X at Choice Hotels and on purchases of Choice Hotels points or gift cards ⚬ 2X everywhere else
Capital One Spark Miles Select Business Credit Card
Base
Travel
Earning rate: 1.5X everywhere ⚬ Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel
The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley
Base
Travel
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Base
Travel
Earning rate: 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Base
Travel
Other
Earning rate: 5X flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com ⚬ 1.5X points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5000 or more (up to 1 million additional Membership Rewards points per year) ⚬ 1X elsewhere
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
Base
Gas
Grocery
Earning rate: ⚬ 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) ⚬ 2x points at US gas stations ⚬ 1x points on other purchases.
The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X prepaid hotel bookings at Amextravel.com ⚬ 5X for Mercedes Benz purchases
American Express® Gold Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Grocery
Earning rate: 3X points for flights booked with airlines or on amextravel.com ⚬ 4x points at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 1x) ⚬ 4x at restaurants worldwide ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply.
American Express® Green Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X on travel & transit (including flights, hotels, taxis, and rideshares) ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. See
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
Base
Travel
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X at AmexTravel.com ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express for Ameriprise Financial
Base
Travel
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
The Gold Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial
Base
Travel
Dine
Earning rate: 2X points for Flights booked directly with airlines and at U.S. Restaurants
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X points for flights booked with airlines ⚬ 2X points at US gas stations, US supermarkets & US restaurants ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply.
The Morgan Stanley Credit Card from American Express
Base
Travel
Dine
Shop
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X U.S. Restaurants ⚬ 2X select U.S. Department Stores ⚬ 2X Car Rentals Purchased Directly from Select Car Rental Companies ⚬ 2X Airfare Purchased Directly from Airlines
The Platinum Card® from American Express for Schwab
Base
Travel
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel ⚬ 5X points for prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
Base
Travel
Gas
Biz
Earning rate: Earn 3X on one of your choice, 2X on rest. [3X choices: ⚬ Airfare purchased directly from airlines ⚬ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ⚬ U.S. purchases at gas stations ⚬ U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 3X and 2X apply to first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter.
American Express® Business Gold Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Biz
Earning rate: Earn 4X on the two categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from the following categories: ⚬ US purchases at restaurants ⚬ Airfare purchased directly from airlines ⚬ U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ⚬ U.S. purchases at gas stations ⚬ U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers. 4X applies to first $150,000 in combined purchases in your two categories each calendar year, 1X point per dollar thereafter and on other purchases. Terms apply.
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Base
Grocery
Earning rate: ⚬ 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) ⚬ 1x on other purchases
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® card
Base
Travel
Gas
Grocery
Phone
Other
Earning rate: 2X charity and then 2X in one of the following: cell phone providers, gas, grocery, or airline purchases (whichever category you spend most on each month).
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Other
Earning rate: 2X Travel and Dining ⚬ 5X Lyft
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Other
Earning rate: 3X Travel and Dining ⚬ 10X Lyft
Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card
Base
Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months
Wells Fargo Rewards Visa® card
Base
Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Office
Other
Earning rate: 5X office supplies ⚬ 5X cellular/landline/cable (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) ⚬ 2X gas and restaurants ⚬ 5X Lyft
Wells Fargo Rewards Visa (First 6 Months)
Base
Gas
Grocery
Other
Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months
Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
Base
Travel
Phone
Biz
Other
Earning rate: 3X travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year) ⚬ 5X Lyft
Chase Ink Plus® Business Credit Card
Base
Travel
Gas
Phone
Office
Other
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X office supplies, 5X cellular/landline/cable ⚬ 2X gas and hotels ⚬ 5X Lyft
Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card (First 6 Months)
Base
Gas
Grocery
Other
Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months
UBS Visa Signature
Base
Earning rate:
Chase Freedom
Base
Grocery
Other
Earning rate: 5X Lyft ⚬ 5X in rotating categories on up to $1,500 spend per quarter. Q2 2020: 5X Grocery stores (excludes Walmart & Target), gym and fitness club memberships, and select streaming services
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Other
Earning rate: 3X flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, dining, gas, rideshares, transit, and streaming services
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® card
Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X restaurants ⚬ 2X gas stations and airlines
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Business Travel Rewards Visa® Card
Base
Travel
Gas
Phone
Office
Other
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X cell phone ⚬ 2X charity ⚬ 2X gas, office supply, or airline purchases (whichever is most each month).
UBS Visa Infinite
Base
Travel
Gas
Grocery
Earning rate: 3x for commercial air travel, 2x for gas and groceries, and 1X everywhere else
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
Base
Travel
Shop
Other
Earning rate: 5x prepaid hotel & car rental through Altitude Rewards Center ⚬ 3X travel and mobile wallet payments
UBS Visa Infinite Business
Base
Travel
Phone
Office
Biz
Earning rate: 3x for air travel and hotel stays, 2x for eligible business expenses (office supplies, business cable/internet, shipping, business phone and advertising), 1X everywhere else
Chase Hyatt Visa Signature
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X restaurants, airlines, car rentals ⚬ 3X Hyatt
Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X restaurants / cafes / coffee shops, airlines, local transit, fitness clubs and gym memberships ⚬ 4X Hyatt
BOA Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard
Base
1.5X
(1.5%)
Travel
Earning rate: 1.5X everywhere; 3X for travel booked through BOA's travel center
Bank of America Travel Rewards
Base
1.5X
(1.5%)
Travel
Earning rate: 1.5X everywhere; 3X for travel booked through BOA's travel center
FNBO TravElite Credit Card
Base
1.5X
(1.5%)
Travel
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Travel ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else
Discover it Business - Double cash back your first year
Base
1.5X
(1.5%)
Earning rate: 1.5% cash back for all spend.
Bank of America Premium Rewards
Base
1.5%
Travel
2%
Dine
2%
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X travel and dining ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else
Capital One Spark Cash Select Business Credit Card
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Barclaycard CashForward
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Wells Fargo Business Platinum Visa® card
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% cash back everywhere if you choose the cash back program (note that you must opt in to the cash back program at account opening to get the signup bonus and 1.5% everywhere. If you choose points, this card earns 1x everywhere and a bonus 1,000 points in any statement period that you spend $1,000 or more.
Capital One Quicksilver
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Schwab Investor Card® from American Express
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5% everywhere
Discover it Miles - Double Miles your first year
Base
1.5%
Earning rate: 1.5 miles per dollar for all spend.
Citi ThankYou Prestige Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Earning rate: 5X airfare, dining, and travel agencies ⚬ 3X hotels and cruise line ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Citi Business ThankYou Card
Base
Other
Earning rate: 3X rotating quarterly categories
Citi Premier Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Other
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X travel and gas ⚬ 2X dining and entertainment
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card
Base
Dine
Other
Earning rate: 2X dining and entertainment
Citi Rewards+ Card
Base
Gas
Grocery
Earning rate: 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ⚬ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases
Citi Rewards+ Student Card
Base
Gas
Grocery
Earning rate: 2X at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 per year ⚬ Round up to nearest 10 TY points on all purchases
AT&T Access More Card
Base
Travel
Shop
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ⚬ 3 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ⚬ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
AT&T Access Card
Base
Travel
Shop
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ⚬ 2 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ⚬ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 6X Marriott Bonvoy ⚬ 2X everywhere else
Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business
Base
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand
Earning rate: 6X Marriott ⚬ 4X dining, internet, cable and phone service ⚬ 4X gas stations and shipping ⚬ 2X everywhere else.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand
Earning rate: 6x at Marriott Bonvoy properties ⚬ 4x U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. suppliers and on U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ 2x everywhere else. Terms Apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: 3X airfare charged by airline, US restaurants, 6X Starwood and Marriott Properties; 2X everywhere else
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 6X Starwood and Marriott Properties ⚬ 2X everywhere else
Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 6X Ritz & Marriott.⚬ 3X airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants ⚬ 2X everywhere else
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 2X at at participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners ⚬ 2X Southwest
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 2X at at participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners ⚬ 2X Southwest
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
Base
Travel
Phone
Biz
Brand
Earning rate: 3X Southwest ⚬ 2x on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 2X at at participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners ⚬ 2X Southwest
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 2X at at participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners ⚬ 2X Southwest
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 14X Hilton spend ⚬ 7X US restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, select car rental companies ⚬ 3X everywhere else ⚬ Terms & Limitations Apply.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 12X Hilton spend ⚬ 6X U.S. restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ⚬ 3X everywhere else
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand
Other
Earning rate: ⚬ 12X Hilton spend ⚬ 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases (flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel; car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; US restaurants; US gas stations; wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service provider; US shipping purchases)
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 7X Hilton spend ⚬ 5X US restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ⚬ 3X everywhere else
Barclays JetBlue Plus Mastercard
Base
Dine
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X restaurants and grocery ⚬ 6X JetBlue ⚬ 1X everywhere else
JetBlue Business Card
Base
Dine
Office
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X restaurants and office supply stores ⚬ 6X JetBlue ⚬ 1X everywhere else
JetBlue Card
Base
Dine
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X restaurants and grocery ⚬ 3X JetBlue ⚬ 1X everywhere else⚬
Capital One Venture One Credit Card
Base
1.25X
(1.31%)
Earning rate: 1.25X everywhere
Chase United Explorer Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: 2X United ⚬ 2X restaurants ⚬ 2X on hotel stays
BOA Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Alaska Airlines ⚬ 1X elsewhere
BOA Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Alaska Airlines ⚬ 1X elsewhere
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Credit Card from American Express
Base
Travel
Dine
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ⚬ 2X restaurants ⚬ 2X US Supermarkets
United℠ Business Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Office
Other
Earning rate: 2X at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores ⚬ 2X United ⚬ 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxicabs, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services
Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Business
Base
Dine
Gas
Office
Earning rate: 2X at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores ⚬ 2X United.
AAdvantage® AviatorTM Business MasterCard®
Base
Travel
Phone
Office
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X AA, office supply, telecommunications services, and at car rental agencies ⚬ 1X everywhere else
United Club℠ Infinite Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 4X United ⚬ 2X dining & travel
AAdvantage® AviatorTM Silver World Elite MasterCard®
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X AA ⚬ 2X hotel and car rentals ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Avianca Vida Visa Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 2X Avianca
Avianca Vuela Visa Card
Base
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Avianca ⚬ 2X gas & grocery ⚬ Free bag for travel between US & South America
TD Aeroplan™ Visa® Credit Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 2X Aeroplan miles per dollar spent on Air Canada purchases
Korean Air SKYPASS Visa issued by US Bank
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 2X Korean Air
Korean Air SKYPASS Select Visa issued by US Bank
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 2X miles on Korean Air, Other Airlines, Car Rental, Hotels
Korean Air SKYPASS Business Visa issued by US Bank
Base
Travel
Gas
Brand
Earning rate: 2X miles on Korean Air, Gas Stations, Hotels
Delta SkyMiles® Blue Credit Card from American Express
Base
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: 2X restaurants worldwide ⚬ 2X Delta ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Credit Card from American Express
Base
Dine
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: 2X Delta ⚬ 2x restaurants worldwide ⚬ 2x US supermarkets
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Credit Card from American Express
Base
Dine
Brand
Other
Earning rate: 2X Delta ⚬ 2X U.S. purchases for advertising in select media ⚬ 2X U.S. shipping purchases ⚬ 2X restaurants
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve for Business Credit Card
Base
Brand
Other
Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 1.5X on all spend per calendar year after spending $150K
Virgin Atlantic White Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Virgin Atlantic ⚬ 1X elsewhere
Asiana Airlines Visa Signature
Base
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X gas and grocery ⚬ 3X Asiana.
AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X AA ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Credit Card from American Express
Base
Travel
Brand
Other
Earning rate: 3X Delta ⚬ 3X purchases made directly with hotels ⚬ 1.5X on purchases of $5K or more (max 50K extra miles per year)
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
Base
Dine
Gas
Brand
Earning rate: 2X restaurants ⚬ 2X gas ⚬ 2X AA
Asiana Airlines Visa Business Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 2X Asiana
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card
Base
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: 2X grocery ⚬ 2X AA ⚬ 1X everywhere else
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard
Base
Travel
Gas
Phone
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X AA ⚬ 2X certain telecommunications merchants ⚬ 2X car rental merchants ⚬ 2X gas
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express Card
Base
Travel
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X or 4X Travel ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else ⚬ 4X travel for Access America
Checking account holders and military members
Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard issued by First Bankcard
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 10X at Best Western properties ⚬ 2X elsewhere
Radisson Rewards Visa Signature Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 6X at CC hotels ⚬ 3X elsewhere
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X airline, hotel, taxi, limousine, rental car, train bus, restaurant, fast food and takeout food and dining purchases ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Cathay Pacific Visa Signature card
Base
Dine
Brand
Other
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X Cathay Pacific ⚬ 1.5X dining ⚬ 1.5X purchases outside of the US ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X British Airways. Iberia, and Open Skies purchases ⚬ 2X hotels ⚬ 1X elsewhere
Chase Iberia Visa Signature® Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL and OpenSkie ⚬ 1X elsewhere
Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Aer Lingus, Iberia, British Airways, LEVEL and OpenSkies ⚬ 1X elsewhere
BB&T Spectrum Rewards
Base
1.05X
(1.05%)
Earning rate: 3% cash back on all net qualified purchases for the first 90 days, then 1%
Discover it® for Students
Base
Shop
Earning rate: 5X in rotating categories, up to $1500 spend per quarter. 2019 Q4 = Amazon, Target, and Walmart.com
Discover it®
Base
Gas
Other
Earning rate: 5X in rotating categories, up to $1500 spend per quarter. 2020 Q2 = Gas stations, Uber, Lyft, Wholesale Clubs
TD First Class Visa Signature® Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Earning rate: 3X travel & dining
BBVA
ClearPoints Credit Card
Base
Earning rate: Choose one of ten categories for 3x and one for 2x each quarter, then 1x everywhere else. Must choose 3x and 2x categories before each quarter starts or all purchases will default to 1x. You may select your categories as early as the first day of the preceeding quarter. Bonus categories are not capped.
Barclays Arrival™ World MasterCard®
Base
Travel
Dine
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X Miles for travel and dining ⚬ 1X everywhere else
BBVA Compass Select
Base
1%
Other
3%
Earning rate: Choose one category (e.g. Airlines) to earn 3x points; Choose 2 categories (e.g. Dining & Hotels) to earn 2x points ⚬ Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
Marvel MasterCard from Synchrony
Base
1%
Brand
3%
Other
3%
Earning rate: ⚬ 3% cash back for dining, select entertainment, and Marvel purchases
(Select entertainment = Movie Theatres, Video Rental and Game Stores, Theatrical and Concert Promoters, Amusement Parks, Digital Entertainment, Games and Software, Music, Books and Newsstands, Toys and Hobby Stores)
TD Business Solutions Visa
Base
1%
Dine
2%
Gas
2%
Phone
3%
Earning rate: ⚬ 3% phone, internet and cable services ⚬ 2% dining and gas stations
TD Cash Visa Credit Card
Base
1%
Dine
3%
Grocery
2%
Earning rate: ⚬ 3% dining ⚬ 2% grocery stores
BBVA Compass NBA American Express Card
Base
1%
Gas
2%
Grocery
2%
Brand
3%
Other
5%
Earning rate: 2X gas and grocery ⚬ 3X NBA purchases ⚬ 5X on all purchases during the NBA All-Star Weekend and two weeks of the NBA finals
U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card
Base
1%
Other
2%
Earning rate: 2x on top two categories where you spend the most each month.
U.S. Bank Cash+
Base
1%
Travel
5%
Dine
2%
Gas
2%
Grocery
2%
Shop
5%
Phone
5%
Other
5%
Earning rate: Each quarter, choose two 5% cash back categories (capped at $2K spend per quarter combined) and one 2% category (uncapped). 1% cash back everywhere else. 5% Categories: Home Utilities ⚬ Ground Transportation ⚬ Select Clothing Stores ⚬ Cell Phone Providers ⚬ Electronic Stores ⚬ TV, Internet & Streaming Services ⚬ Gyms/Fitness Centers ⚬ Fast Food ⚬ Sporting Goods Stores ⚬ Department Stores ⚬ Furniture Stores ⚬ Movie Theaters. 2% Categories: Gas Stations ⚬ Restaurants ⚬ Grocery Stores
Huntington Voice
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
3%
Gas
3%
Grocery
3%
Shop
3%
Office
3%
Biz
3%
Other
3%
Earning rate: 3% cash back on up to $2K in spend in the category you choose each quarter: gas stations, travel & entertainment, restaurants, discount & warehouse stores, grocery stores, utilities & office supply stores, electronics and computer and camera stores, department and apparel and sporting good stores, auto parts & service, and home improvement stores
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World EliteTM Mastercard
Base
1%
Gas
3%
Phone
3%
Office
3%
Earning rate: 3% back at gas stations, office supply stores, and cell phone/service providers ⚬ 1% back everywhere else ⚬ Note: purchases of gaoline greater than $200 will not be deemed to be a purchase of automotive gasoline and will therefore earn only 1%.
AARP Credit Card from Chase
Base
1%
Dine
3%
Gas
3%
Earning rate: 3% restaurants and gas stations.
Capital One Savor One
Base
1%
Dine
3%
Grocery
2%
Earning rate: ⚬ 3% on dining ⚬ 2% on purchases at grocery stores ⚬ 1% everywhere else
Capital One Savor
Base
1%
Dine
4%
Grocery
2%
Other
4%
Earning rate: 4% cash back on dining and entertainment ⚬ 2% at grocery stores ⚬ 8% back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020 ⚬ 1% everywhere else
Affinity Cash Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card
Base
1%
Dine
7%
Gas
2%
Grocery
2%
Other
5%
Earning rate: 5% back at all bookstores, including Amazon ⚬ Extra 5% back in rotating categories (Q1 2020: Restaurants) ⚬ 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Gas
3%
Grocery
6%
Shop
3%
Other
6%
Earning rate: ⚬ 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) ⚬ 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. ⚬ 3% Cash Back on transit (includes taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 3% cash back US gas stations ⚬ 1% cash back on other purchases ⚬ Terms apply.
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Gas
3%
Phone
5%
Office
5%
Biz
3%
Earning rate: ⚬ 5% US office supply stores and US wireless phone services ⚬ 3% your choice from list of categories (e.g. airfare, hotels, car rentals, gas stations, restaurants, select media buys, shipping,computer) ⚬ 1% other purchases. 3% and 5% rebates are capped at $50,000 per rebate year and then earn 1% thereafter. Terms Apply.
“Old” Blue Cash Card from American Express
Base
1%
Grocery
5%
Other
5%
Earning rate: ⚬ Up to 5% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & select U.S. drugstores (Everyday Purchases) ⚬ Up to 1% Cash Back on other purchases. ⚬ For your first $6,500 in purchases in a reward year, you will earn 1% on Everyday Purchases (5% thereafter), and 0.5% on other purchases (then 1%) ⚬ Terms Apply.
Citi Dividend Platinum Select
Base
1%
Other
5%
Earning rate: 5X on rotating categories each quarter. 5% limited to $6K spend per year. 2020 Q1 = Fitness Clubs and supermarkets
ABOC Platinum Rewards
Base
1%
Dine
5%
Gas
5%
Other
5%
Earning rate: 5x in rotating categories, up to $1500 spend per quarter. 2020 Q2: Groceries stores, restaurants, and certain forms of transportation
Costco Anywhere Business Visa
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
3%
Gas
4%
Brand
2%
Earning rate: ⚬ 4% gas (up to $7K spend / year) ⚬ 3% restaurant & travel ⚬ 2% Costco ⚬ 1% everywhere else
Costco Anywhere Visa
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
3%
Gas
4%
Earning rate: ⚬ 4% gas (up to $7K spend / year) ⚬ 3% restaurant & travel; 2% Costco ⚬ 1% everywhere else
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Base
1%
Gas
2%
Grocery
3%
Shop
2%
Earning rate: ⚬ 3% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) ⚬ 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores ⚬ 1% cash back on other purchases ⚬ Terms apply.
Bank of America Cash Rewards
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
3%
Gas
3%
Grocery
2%
Shop
3%
Other
3%
Earning rate: 3% back on your choice of the following: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, home improvement & furnishings (can choose a new category monthly). ⚬ 2% back at grocery stores & wholesale clubs ⚬ 1% back everywhere else. 2% and 3% rewards are capped at $2500 in combined purchases per quarter
Major League Baseball®
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ MasterCard® credit card
Base
1%
Grocery
2%
Shop
2%
Other
3%
Earning rate: 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 3% on one category of your choice between gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings (can choose a new category monthly) up to the first $2,500 in combined 2% and 3% category purchases each quarter, then 1%.
Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard
Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
2%
Gas
3%
Phone
3%
Office
3%
Biz
3%
Earning rate: 2% on dining plus 3% on 1 choice from: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services or business consulting services (for the first $50,000 in combined choice/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter) and 1% everywhere else.
Upromise World MasterCard® issued by Barclays
Base
1%
Shop
2%
Brand
5%
Other
2%
Earning rate: ⚬ 5% cash back on eligible Online Shopping through Upromise.com (in addition to portal cash back) ⚬ 2% cash back at eligible in-store department stores and movie theaters ⚬ 1% cash back on all other purchases
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) Cash Back Visa issued by Synchrony Bank
Base
1%
Brand
3%
Earning rate: 3% cash back on qualified purchases made through the Ebates portal ⚬ 1% cash back everywhere else.
Amazon Business American Express Card
Base
1%
Dine
2%
Gas
2%
Grocery
5%
Shop
5%
Phone
2%
Brand
5%
Other
2%
Earning rate: Prime Members: 5% on US purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, Whole Foods. 2% Back at US restaurants, US gas stations, and on US wireless telephone services
Disney Visa Card
Base
1%
Earning rate:
Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®
Base
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: 5X at FlyFrontier.com ⚬ 3X restaurants
Uber Visa Card
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: 5% Uber Cash for Uber spend (including UberEATS) ⚬ 3% Uber Cash for dining, hotels, and airfare ⚬ 1% Uber Cash everywhere else
The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® issued by Barclays
Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: 3X Hawaiian Airlines ⚬ 2x gas, dining, and grocery stores ⚬ 1x everywhere else
The Hawaiian Airlines® Business MasterCard® issued by Barclays
Base
Dine
Gas
Office
Brand
Earning rate: 3X Hawaiian Airlines ⚬ 2x gas, dining, and office supply stores ⚬ 1x everywhere else
Sonesta World Mastercard
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: 2X airfare, car rental and dining ⚬ 3X Sonesta
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier
Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 2X airline, car rental, & restaurants ⚬ 5X Marriott.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
Base
Travel
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Marriott Bonvoy ⚬ 2X travel ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Citi® Expedia+ Credit Card
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 3X Expedia purchases
Citi® Expedia®+ Voyager Card
Base
Dine
Brand
Other
Earning rate: 4X Expedia purchases ⚬ 2x restaurants & entertainment
Wyndham Rewards Visa issued by Barclays (no annual fee)
Base
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Wyndham ⚬ 2X gas, utility & grocery ⚬ 1X everywhere else
Wyndham Rewards Visa issued by Barclays
Base
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Other
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X Wyndham ⚬ 2X gas, utility, & grocery ⚬ 1X everywhere else
LATAM Visa Signature issued by US Bank
Base
Brand
Earning rate: 2X on spending with LAN & TAM
Chase IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X IHG ⚬ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants
Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: ⚬ 5X IHG ⚬ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants
Chase IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
Earning rate: 25x at IHG properties and 4x everywhere total for the first year, then: ⚬ 10X IHG ⚬ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants.
BOA Platinum Business Visa
Base
0%
Earning rate:

Best card from each bank

Based on the table above (again, see our Best Everywhere Else cards page for a full explanation of the methodology), here are the best options to consider from each bank:

  • -Amex: BBP Remember: do not use Amex.
  • Capital One: Venture or Spark Miles. At 2x “Miles” everywhere, these cards earn the equivalent of 1.5x airline miles per dollar spent with most of their transfer partners. Alternatively, redeem miles for a statement credit against travel purchases at a value of $0.01 per mile.
  • Chase: Freedom Unlimited or Ink Business Unlimited. At 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, the cost per point is very reasonable no matter which of Chase’s airline partners to which you transfer (Hyatt is also a great value). If you also have the Sapphire Reserve and redeem points for travel through Ultimate Rewards, getting 2.25c would also be attractive.
  • Citi: Double Cash. At 2% back, this card will earn $20 per $1K spent. That’s an easy win. However, keep in mind that if you have a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige, you can also turn rewards into Thank You points and transfer to partners. At the costs per point shown above, a sweet spot like using Turkish miles to book United becomes really sweet.
  • Bank of America: Cash Rewards (limited) or Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors. The Cash Rewards card offers a 3% bonus category that you can choose and online shopping is an option. I don’t know for sure that Simon’s bulk ordering will trigger this bonus, but Simon has long offered their $500 cards online and according to Doctor of Credit’s payments workshop those orders triggered the online shopping bonus. Note that the 3% bonus is limited in use as it is capped at $2500 in spend per quarter. For those with $100K on deposit with Bank of America (in cash & investments), the Premium Rewards card with Platinum Honors is your best bet. At 2.625% back everywhere, it earns $26.25 per $1K spent.
  • Barclays: Unless you have the no-longer-available Arrival Plus or Arrival Premier or you really value a particular co-branded program’s points, give Barclays a miss. Some may consider using an Aviator card since it is the most practical option for earning AA miles, but it’s not very cheap to do so. Perhaps it could be worth it for the big spend bonus.
  • US Bank: The Altitude Reserve maybe? To my knowledge, Simon won’t trigger any current US Bank category bonuses, nor does US Bank have a particularly good “everywhere else” card. I’d likely give them a miss as well unless you’re going after the aforementioned Radisson free night certificates, which are earned for each $10K spend up to $30K per cardmember year.
  • Others: A Discover IT Miles card could be a terrific option given the fact that you’ll earn double the rewards at the end of the first year, making for an effective 3% back. Of course, if your account gets shut down before the year is done, you may not see those rewards. Still, it is a worthy contender. The BBVA Compass Select may offer a niche play according to one reader. Finally, any 2%-back card (like the Fidelity Visa) offers enough earnings to more than offset costs.

Bottom line

The bulk ordering program for Simon Visa Gift Cards isn’t for everyone. For starters, it isn’t the cheapest option online. By the same token, many readers won’t need the kind of volume that Simon offers. On the other hand, for those who can handle more volume and stomach the potential risk, they do offer a very interesting option to earn rewards that outweigh the costs. At the present moment, liquidation is a huge obstacle. As I noted yesterday, I will once again be clear here: I am not encouraging anyone to risk your health and the health of others to engage in MS. Please don’t order cards with a plan to make extra trips to the store for the purposes of liquidation right now. However, we will hopefully eventually get past the current pandemic — between now and then is a good time to make your plan of attack in terms of which card(s) make the most sense for you. Be sure to know your liquidation options before you get in for a large order and If you’re intending to order in bulk, it probably makes sense to spread the love around over several cards and issuers. There’s still some risk, but the rewards are worth it for some.

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Michael Phillips
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Michael Phillips

Thanks for all the detailed info!

the other Sam
Guest
the other Sam

“If you are purchasing money orders, be sure to deposit in a bank that you don’t care much about. Some banks will shut down your accounts for money order deposits.”

This is a must.

Just got all my accounts closed by Santander (after depositing about ~5k in MO’s per week for the past 18 months). Made the mistake of using that checking account to pay all mortgages, all utilities, student loans, etc. Real PITA brought on my laziness, plus the angst of waiting for a big check from them via snail mail.

Somewhat humbling to receive a letter from them with the opening lines, “Santander has decided to end its relationship with you. This decision is final.”

I’ll be back to Santander in a year for a bank bonus (if they’ll have me), but lesson learned.

BOND
Guest
BOND

the other sam, thanks for the heads-up. I had a Bank of West checking account closed a couple years back for depositing about $12k in MOs inside 2 weeks. It was a not a main account, but a bank bonus producing account that one can churn every 2 years.

Another heads-up: Do not deposit MOs in bank bonus accounts, even on a small scale.

LarryInNYC
Guest
LarryInNYC

Here’s my question: How much do you guys know about the economics of this for Simon? Someone’s got to be coming out behind in this and I can’t figure out who.

Simon is charging 0.4% (less than 1%). It seems unlikely to me that they’ve negotiated a super-low rate with the credit card companies, so presumably they’re paying between 1% and 3% percent on that same transaction. In that case, Simon is losing between $6 and $26 per $1K card sold. That can’t be right?

The only way I can see that it would be economical for them is if they’re paying a discount on the $1k on the card. That might be possible if the underwriter of the card is expecting some “breakage” (that is, some small proportion of cards are paid for but never use — or only partially used). If that’s the case then either the card backer is correct (in which case it’s individual consumers — the ones who don’t fully realize the value of the card — who come out behind) or the card backer is wrong and they themselves are coming out behind. While the assumption about breakage may be valid for smaller scale transactions I’m guessing that anyone who buys $1K cards like this is pretty likely to realize the full value.

I have to assume that both Simon and the gift card underwriters keep a pretty close eye on this, in which case it has to be breakage that keeps the music playing on the merry-go-round. You guys have any idea?

Barry
Guest
Barry

DOC had an article on Oct 13, 2019 about the economics of gift card sales. Basically the article claimed that there is 9% breakage on gift cards. The article claimed that the retailer earns 5% on the sale minus 2-3% for swipe fee. Blackhawk Network keeps 4%.
I assume that these numbers are fairly accurate. It also explains why supermarkets and office supply stores can occasionally sell the cards at a loss.

Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)
Guest
Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)

These programs are specifically targeting customers that will have near zero breakage (lost or stolen cards, not leaving balances on them), so I’ve wondered if there is some financial engineering reason to want to boost revenue numbers.

Stephen Dedalus
Guest
Stephen Dedalus

While useful, I think the Simon 1K VGCs are slightly overrated because of the lack of category bonuses. The earning rates for the listed cards don’t seem overly exciting, with the possible exception of the BofA cash rewards card due to the online category, though I don’t have this card. For me, the single best card card to use for Simon 1K VGCs is the Hyatt card. Even though there isn’t a category bonus, Hyatt points are quite valuable, there are milestone rewards (free nights, etc.) with each tier of nights stayed, and it’s the most convenient and cost effective way to gin up Globalist status. I can’t get anywhere close to staying 60 nights, but I can stay 35 nights, and then just MS 50-60K with Simon VGCs relatively easily to earn the remaining nights, in terms of the lower cost and (most important) easier liquidation at Walmart. It may not be a bad option, either, to use the Southwest card to obtain the remaining points needed for the companion pass, after a sign up bonus has posted.

flyernick
Guest
flyernick

Seems like any discussion ought to include some rating as to shutdown risk for various cards. I’ve heard the Altitude Reserve doesn’t like MS. Does that include Simon? I’ve seen a couple data points recently about US Bank shutting down Radisson/Club Carlson cards for obvious MS.

R2E
Guest
R2E

Links to data points on the US Bank/Radisson shutdowns?

R2E
Guest
R2E

Might make sense to also include the big spend bonuses on your credit cards, e.g., Radisson free nights.

Jkwon
Guest
Jkwon

is “non MR” earning AMEX card still a no-go? For example, Hilton, Bonvoy, etc from AMEX still won’t earn anything?

Ron
Guest
Ron

I just got my Alliant CU statement and DID NOT earn the 2.5% rebate on my Simon VGC bulk purchase. I was just below their $10k monthly spend limit for rebate and got nothing on the Simon portion.

Robert
Guest
Robert

My wife and my citi double cash card “declines” above $2000 @ Simon Mall.