Top Cash Back Card
Our pick for the top cash back card is the following offer. What we like about it is the $100 bonus that you receive when you make $500 in purchases. What we also like is the variable rate that starts at 12.9% which is right in line with other cash back cards, many of which do not have $100 cash back bonuses. If you treat this card as cash and don't drive up a high balance, you can easily benefit from the rewards structure -- and with the $100 bonus that is applied after just $500 spent on the card, in our opinion the offer is too good to pass-up.
Playing the Cash Back Game Like a Pro
While there is no right way or wrong way to use credit cards, there are some techniques that may be implemented to really work to your advantage. If you're a regular visitor to our website, you know that we are huge fans of using credit cards for everything we can rather than using cash. For those of you unfamiliar with this strategy, every single thing that you can pay for with plastic -- do it. This includes even things like a drink at a 7-Eleven. Why should you do this? Because if you have a rewards card it really adds up. Let's examine this a bit further as it relates to cash back credit cards.
Let's run through a typical day where you're running errands. You leave your house, and head out to the gas station to fill up your tank. You fill up your car with $40. We'll use the top cash back card listed above for this exercise as the rewards program is very easy to understand. That $40 would result in a savings of $2.00 as you get 5% back at gas stations.
You then go grab a bagel sandwich, spend $4 and save yourself another $.04. You go to the grocery store, drop $80 on groceries and earn 1% back on that purchase. At this time you've already earned $2.84 in cash rewards and it probably isn't even noon. You could do this all day, every day. The secret is discipline. It's tempting to pull out $4 for that bagel sandwich because you probably have it in your pocket. Don't do it. Save yourself money.
The savviest consumers do this and the end result is never paying full price for everything. Have you ever been out to dinner with a group and one guy picks up the check and has everyone give him cash? He maybe even might say something like "The points add up." Well, he's right.
The reality is that most of us don't make huge ticket items all the time which is the best way to maximize savings with rebate cards. However, most of us also spend a majority of our salaries on regular living expenses. If those expenses are paid for with a cash back deal we can earn more. That's how it's done. It is important though to make sure that we don't spend the money that we're substituting with our credit card on other things. Use it to pay your bill. Failure to do so may result in putting yourself into debt that you will have a hard time getting out from underneath. Also, banks will typically rescind any rebates earned if you default on your account. Some will even do so if you make late payments so be careful with your spending and timeliness of paying your bills. If you are able to accomplish this and don't carry a balance that results in interest accrual that negates your earnings you can do very well; with discipline extremely well over the course of a year.