The holy grail of cash back rewards cards are those that pay two percent on all purchases. We’re not talking about rotating categories, like the 5% cards. And we aren’t talking about rewards that are capped (5% rotating category cards cap the rewards you can earn). We are talking about true 2% cash back credit card offers.
I use just such a card virtually every day, but I knew that there were others. So I did some research, and my findings are below. One key thing to keep in mind is that with all cards that pay two percent cash back, points or miles, there is always a catch. As an example, the card I use (listed first below) pays 2%, but only if you use the rewards for travel.
Best 2% Cash Back Credit Cards
My primary credit card. I also use the business card version, called the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. With these cards you earn 2 miles for every $1 spent. If you use the miles for travel, they are worth $0.01 each, making the card a true two percent card. You can earn 5X miles on hotels and car rentals when booked through Capital One Travel.
If, however, you use the miles for anything other than travel, the miles are worth half that. My family and I travel enough to use all of our miles on travel. And now, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is offering a 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
The beauty of this card is how you use the miles. We book travel through various services and pay with our Venture card. Once the charges hit our account, we just log into Capital One and redeem miles to pay for the travel.
Capital One lists those charges that qualify as travel, and paying for them with miles is as easy as selecting a check box. We’ve paid for everything from airfare and hotels to car rentals.
Discover it® Cash Back – Not a standard 2% cash back on everything kind of the card, the Discover it® Cash Back does what you might expect. All cash back earned in the first year is matched on your card anniversary date. This means that the 1% you earn on all purchases becomes 2% and the 5% you earn on select categories every quarter becomes 10%. For a first year bonus … that’s awfully solid.
There’s no annual fee and for a limited time, new cardholders can take advantage of social security alerts. When you sign-up, Discover will monitor your social security number on thousands of risky websites. If a match should ever pop up, you’ll be immediately notified of the location of your social security number.
A free monthly FICO credit score is also included.
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card – You’re not going to find a cash back credit card with a higher every day rewards program. Simply impossible. This card offers cardholders a flat cash back rate of 2.5% on every purchase. If that isn’t reason enough to own this credit card it also carries a low 3% cash advance fee and doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.
The one immediate drawback to owning the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is the $99 annual fee; but there’s no annual fee year #1.
The catch is that you must be a member of the Alliant Credit Union to be approved for this credit card. While that may sound difficult, it’s actually quite simple. Here are the ways in which to join:
- Anyone who is willing to make a one-time $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success charity group.
- An employee or retiree of a Qualifying Company.
- A member of a Qualifying Organization.
- An immediate family member of an existing Alliant member.
- Anyone that lives or works in a Qualifying Chicagoland Community.
Citi® Double Cash Card – One of the few no nonsense 2% cash back credit cards available today, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back when you buy, and another 1% cash back when you pay. Unfortunately, balance transfers do not count toward your cash back rates. There is no annual fee.
The Citi® Double Cash Card has no cash back limit and it has no tier levels to reach. Every purchase you make is counted the same way and earns the same rate of cash back. Citi also has a pretty cool feature called Price Rewind. When you make a purchase using any Citi eligible card (like the Double Cash), they’ll shop around for the same product. If they (or you) can find the product you purchased cheaper, you might be refunded the difference in price.
Finally, you’ll also have access to Citi Price Pass. This feature provides you the opportunity to purchase hard-to-find tickets to thousands of different events, worldwide.
This cash back card offers card members a flat 2% cash back rate in the form of rewards points. Points never expire and there’s never a limit on how many you can earn. The rewards are deposited into your Fidelity account, which is required to get the card. Six different Fidelity accounts are eligible to own the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card and they are:
- Brokerage account
- Fidelity® Cash Management Account
- Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plan
- Retirement account
- Fidelity Go® account
- Fidelity Charitable® Giving Account®
There is no annual fee to own the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. There’s also minimum perks beyond the 2% cash back rate; but what else are you looking for in a great cash back credit card?
If you know of other cards that pay as much or more in rewards on all purchases, leave a comment below.