Category Archives: Cash Back Cards

$15 for Paying Your Telephone, Internet or Cable Bill Automatically

Just got the following offer in the mail from Citibank regarding the Citi Dividend Card:

Call Citi at 1-877-564-5808 by 4/15/2007 to sign up, then contact your telephone, internet or cable service providers and register for their automatic payment service using your Citi® Dividend Card. Citi will credit 15 Dividend Dollars to your account after just three automatic payments in three months.*

Chase Business Cash Rewards Card Review

The Chase Business Cash Rewards card is not new, but if you’re in the market for a small business credit card, it’s certainly one worthy of consideration. Let’s cover the high-level essentials:

  • 0% fixed APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 (or 12) billing cycles
  • A variable purchase APR, as low as 14.24% (as of today), afterwards
  • A tiered rewards scheme with no merchant or category spending restrictions:
    • For the first $2000 of spending in a billing cycle, earn 1 point per $1
    • For new net purchases between $2000 and $2500, earn 5 points per $1
    • For new net purchases over $2500 in a cycle, earn 1.25 points per $1
  • You can redeem 5000 points for $50 or use the points towards merchandise.
  • Receive quarterly management reports
  • Receive additional cards your employees can use

While Chase markets the card as giving “up to 5% [cash] back,” that’s clearly misleading, as you’ll never receive a total return of 5%. If we were to use Chase’s logic, a flat 1% credit card could be marketed as giving “up to 100% back” if it was tiered such that you don’t earn anything for the first $99 of spending, but you earn $1 for the 100th dollar. But I digress.

Doing the math, the cash back percentage maxes out at 1.8% if you spend exactly $2500. That’s pretty nice. If you spend more within a cycle, your return will of course slowly move closer to 1.25%. So if you spend over $2500 in business expenses every month, you would earn somewhere between 1.25% and 1.8%, which is quite a nice return when you consider that it applies to any purchase, not just at specific merchants.

In addition, as a Visa, you’re unlikely to need another card should you so choose, in contrast with an Amex or Discover card, that do not enjoy universal merchant acceptance.

The news is not so good if you plan to carry a balance on the card. As is usually the case, if you won’t be able to consistently pay your bill in full, the first thing to consider is not the rewards or cash back, but the regular APR. And in this case, you can do better. Other Chase business cards, as well as business cards from other issuers, can offer better rates.

If, however, you don’t plan to carry a balance, this card is an excellent choice. It offers a high percentage of cash back every time, and you can use it almost anywhere.

Now Earn 5% Cash Back on Gas with Pentagon Federal Visa Platinum Cash Rewards

Starting in January, Pen Fed will start offering 5% cash back on gas at the pump on its Visa Platinum Cash Rewards credit card for both new and existing card holders. In and of itself, a credit card with 5% cash back on gas is good, but not great. When you combine it with the other features of the Pentagon Federal cash back card, however, it becomes an excellent card choice.

In particular, the card features 1.25% cash back on all other purchases, credited monthly on your statement. Also, of note is that Pen Fed does not charge an additional fee for transactions made in foreign currencies (a rarity these days), other than the standard 1% fee that Visa charges, which makes it ideal for use when travelling.

More details about the card can be found here.

Say Goodbye to Fidelity’s 2% 529 College Rewards Card

FIA has replaced its existing 529 College Rewards card that earned 2% cash back into a qualified 529 account with another card that earns only 1.5%. While the previous card was a MasterCard, the new incarnation is an American Express. Unfortunately this means that one of the best cash back cards on the market is no longer available to new customers. With these changes, there’s really no compelling reason anymore to apply for the 529 card as opposed to the Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature® Card with WorldPoints, as it will also earn an effective 1.5% cash back.

Existing cardholders will be able to keep their accounts and continue earning 2%, but the card with those terms is no longer available on Fidelity’s credit card page. The new 529 card offer can be found here. Thanks to CardRatings for pointing this out.

Amex SimplyCash Business Card: 5% Rebate on Gas, Office Supplies, Wireless

Amex has an attractive new business card, the SimplyCash Business Card, that offers 5% cash back on gas, office supplies, and wireless services, and 1% cash back on everything else, with no cap to the rewards you earn. You also don’t have to wait until the end of the year to receive your cash back, as it’s credited to your statement each month. In addition, there is a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months with no annual fee.

Credit goes to FW for spotting this one. To learn more about this card, visit this link.

Win a Vacation for Two to Puerto Rico By Using Your PenFed Credit Card

Between now and December 15, 2006, each time you use your Pentagon Federal credit card, you’re automatically entered to win a vacation for two to Puerto Rico, valued at $3,000.

As a reminder, if you’re not already a cardholder, the PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Rewards is a great cash back card, earning a flat 1.25% cash back on all purchases. In addition, it’s useful for overseas travel, as it’s one of the few credit cards that does not add a currency exchange surcharge on top of the 1% that Visa/MC charge.

More details about the Puerto Rico sweepstakes can be found here.

Chase Launches New Freedom Card

Chase has begun test marketing a new credit card under the name of “Chase Freedom.” This name is sure to confuse existing Chase consumers, as it’s the same name that was used for the card that was converted into the existing Chase PerfectCard.

The latest edition of the Chase Freedom card has a set of features far more complicated (but better) than the existing PerfectCard:

  • 3% cash back on eligible Gas, Grocery store, and Quick Service Restaurant purchases; 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Reach $50 in rewards and redeem for a $50 check; or reach $200 in rewards and redeem for $250 cash back.
  • The 3% cash back on eligible Gas, Grocery store and Quick Service Restaurant purchases is capped at $600 of spending per billing cycle; any excess in these categories is credited at 1%.
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months for purchases and balance transfers

The type of establishment that qualifies as a Quick Service Restaurant could include “pizza, hamburgers, tacos and sandwich shops, coffee houses, and more…” but really depends upon how the merchant codes the transaction.

You can find more information and apply for the card by visiting this link.

DiscoverCard “Get More” Program: October-December 2006

When you enroll in Discover’s “Get More” program, you’re eligible for 5% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter in specific categories, which rotate throughout the year. The categories for the next quarter (October 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006) have been released and this time they have an entertainment theme:

Restaurants—From fast food to fine dining

Movies—From movie tickets to movie rentals

Books, Music and Everything Else

In-store or online from these specific retailers:

  • AMAZON.COM
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Borders®
  • Circuit City
  • Crutchfield®
  • Napster®
  • Waldenbooks®

If you have an eligible Discover card, you can sign up by either logging in to the Account Center or calling 1-800-DISCOVER(1-800-347-2683).

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