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- I usually put all of my spending on travel rewards cards so I can redeem my points to book flights and hotel stays.
- However, now that travel is off the table for the foreseeable future, cash-back credit cards are starting to look more appealing.
- Credit cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offer money back on all your purchases.
- You can maximize purchases like groceries and food delivery by using a card that offers bonus cash back in these categories.
- See Business Insider’s list of the best cash-back credit cards.
I almost always charge my purchases to a card that earns travel rewards rather than cash back. In fact, I pair my one cash-back card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve so I can transfer the cash-back rewards over and redeem them for travel. This strategy has helped me earn a ton of Ultimate Rewards points, which I’m hoping to redeem for a business-class to Europe, and maybe even a stay at the Park Hyatt in Paris.
However, that all seems like a distant dream right now — with travel at a complete standstill while the world tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Credit cards likely aren’t the first thing on your mind right now, but we still have to eat — and stock up on the essentials — and if you’re making a purchase you’re able to pay off, you might as well get rewarded for it. While I know my travel points will be there to help me save on flights and hotels when everything’s back to normal, for now I’m switching my focus to cards that put money back in my account.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Cash-back cards can reward you for grocery purchases
For many of us, the biggest expense beyond food and rent is currently groceries. Luckily there are several cash-back cards that offer bonus rewards for purchases at US supermarkets:
- Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express — Earns 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1% back); $95 annual fee
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express — Earns 3% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1% back); no annual fee
- Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card — Earns 2% cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target); $95 annual fee
- Costco Anywhere Visa® card by Citi — Earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases from Costco and Costco.com; no annual fee but requires a Costco membership
- Chase Freedom — Earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in rotating bonus categories each quarter of the year when you activate. In Q2 (starting in April), grocery stores is one of the bonus categories. This card has no annual fee.
Read more: The best credit cards for buying groceries
Get money back on food delivery
Food delivery is one of the other potential big expenses during this period when most of us are staying home. Again, plenty of cash-back cards offer bonus rewards on restaurants — a category that includes food delivery.
- Capital One Savor card — Earns 4% cash back on dining (and entertainment); $95 annual fee
- Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card — Earns 3% cash back on dining (and entertainment); no annual fee
- Wells Fargo Propel® American Express card — Earns 3x points (equal to 3% cash back) on eating out and ordering in; no annual fee
- Uber Credit Card — Earns 3% cash back on restaurant purchases; no annual fee
Read more: The best credit cards for food delivery
Earn 2% back on every purchase
In addition to using my Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, I’m thinking about adding the Citi Double Cash card to my wallet. This card earns 2% cash back (1% back when you buy, and another 1% back when you pay your bill), and with no bonus categories to keep track of it’s an easy choice for maximizing purchases that wouldn’t earn me bonus rewards with another card — like the CBD lotion and bubble bath I stress-bought on Ulta earlier this week.
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