Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.
Why Use A Cash Rebate Credit Card?
The only credit cards I use are cards that give me cash back on my purchases. If you qualify for one, I think it's stupid not to take advantage of earning money back on things you're buying every month anyway. It's extra money to play with.
I charge most of my monthly expenses on my rebate card including gas, groceries, all of the supplies for my business, and some of my utilities. I'd charge my mortgage payment on my rebate card too if the bank allowed it. The rebate percentage on my primary rewards card is only 2%, but the purchase rebates add up, averaging out to around $50 per month.
Using Cash Back Cards Responsibly
Rebate cards often require a higher credit score to be eligible for one. With a credit score of at least 600 and a healthy credit history, you're more likely to qualify. You must be disciplined when using cash back credit cards and not spend more to get bigger rebates. Use the cards to pay for things you're going to buy anyway.
The key is to pay the statement balance in full, on time, to avoid paying interest and late fees. Interest and late fees eat away at any money earned from your purchases. Interest rates on these cards are typically higher than other cards too, so always pay off what's due every month and take the rebate.
Citibank Double Cash Credit Card
The Citibank Double Cash card is what I use for the majority of my purchases. Citibank rewards 2% cash back on all of your purchases year round, without rotating categories like Discover It.
The rebate is processed at the end of your billing cycle and posts to your account monthly, typically on the fifth day of the month. You have the option of direct depositing the cash into your checking account, applying it to your balance, or requesting a check in the mail. I usually let the rewards balance accumulate and treat myself to something nice.
In addition to earning money back, you also get zero percent on balance transfers, not purchases, for eighteen months. There is no annual fee. If you're responsible and pay your statement balance on time, you won't pay any interest.
Discover It Rewards
Discover It gives you a nice return of 5% cash back on certain purchases that change each quarter. The four rotating categories are gas and wholesale clubs, home improvement stores, restaurants, and Amazon and Target.
I mostly use this card to get the 5% back on gas, which typically runs from April through June. Use their rewards calender to get the most out of the card.
Like the Double Cash card, there is no annual fee with Discover It. But unlike Citi, you get zero percent on purchases and balance transfers for the first fourteen months, which gives you the freedom to pay any amount you want towards your balance at zero expense.
This card also has a matching perk for new members, which provides additional cash at the end of the year. After the first twelve billing cycles, purchases are matched and added to your rebate balance. Rewards can either be applied to your charge balance or direct deposited into your bank account.
Discover is great if you take advantage of the 5% category and confirm the store you're shopping at is eligible, otherwise the card only gives you 1% back. Since Discover offers one of the highest percentages back on purchases, the best strategy is to rotate your rewards cards to maximize your rebates on eligible purchases.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
The main advantage of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is the nice bonus you get if you meet the minimum purchase requirement. If you know you will definitely spend at least $500 in the first three months of opening your account, using this card for the $150 bonus alone is a no-brainer. That is exactly what I did when I bought my new TV.
You also get an additional $25 bonus when you add an authorized user to your account in the first three months. You can add any authorized user you want and you'll still get the $25 bonus. In total, you can get $175 in bonuses with this card, simply for signing up and buying the things you're going to buy anyway.
Beyond the sign-up bonus, there is zero percent on purchases for the first fifteen months. The rebate percentage for Chase Unlimited is 1.5% of every purchase. You can direct deposit the cash into a separate bank account or apply it to your balance.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Matt G.