As someone with a career in personal finance, I don’t like leaving money on the table. I’ve experimented with various credit cards to maximize cashback rewards. After much trial and error, I’ve developed a system that yields around 5% cashback on everything I buy. In this article, I’ll share my strategy, which includes the best credit cards I’ve found for different spending categories and tips for managing them efficiently.
Maximizing Cashback on Amazon and Gas
Amazon Prime Card from Chase
The Amazon Prime Card from Chase offers 5% cashback on Amazon purchases and at Whole Foods, without an annual fee. However, the 5% cashback is only for Prime members; non-members receive 3% back. To take advantage of this offer, keep your Prime Card saved in your Amazon account and Apple Pay wallet.
Citi Custom Cash Card
The Citi Custom Cash Card, with no annual fee, provides 5% cashback in your highest spending category, up to $500 spent per month. This card can be particularly helpful for purchases at gas stations, where you can easily reach the $500 limit without exceeding it.
Dining and Travel Rewards
American Express Gold Card
For dining expenses, the American Express Gold Card is ideal, offering 4.4% cashback (4 times points on dining, with points worth 1.1 cents each). Despite the $250 annual fee, the unlimited cashback on dining makes it a worthwhile investment for those who spend heavily in this category.
American Express Platinum Card
When booking airfare or hotels, the American Express Platinum Card offers 5 times points, which translates to 5.5% cashback when using the Schwab version of the card. Points can be redeemed for airfare or hotel stays through the AmEx travel website.
Everything Else: The X1 Credit Card
The X1 Credit Card is perfect for all other purchases, offering 2% cashback on everything. When you spend $15,000 in a year, the cashback rate increases to 3% for that entire year. Additionally, the refer-a-friend bonus can increase your points even more, offering up to 10 times points for a limited time.
Cashback Credit Card Strategy Simplified
Use the following cards for their respective categories:
- Amazon Prime Card from Chase for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
- Citi Custom Cash Card for gas station purchases
- American Express Gold Card for dining expenses
- American Express Platinum Card for airfare and hotel bookings
- X1 Credit Card for all other purchases
By using these cards strategically, you can maximize cashback rewards and enjoy an average of 5% cashback on everything you buy. Keep in mind that individual spending habits vary, so adapt this system to your needs and preferences to make the most of your credit card rewards.