I used a Capital One Rewards credit card to earn an extra $400 per year. Recently I switched to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card since I buy my groceries and everything from Amazon, this card earns, even more, cash back for me.
Currently, the Amazon card offers 5% back at Amazon.com, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases to prime members. I focus on paying my existing bills using my credit card; this allows me to make more without going over my budget or going into debt.
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I don’t use it to pay my mortgage because I haven’t found a way to this without incurring a fee. My insurance and most of my utilities allow me to pay online with my card and without any additional fees. I also use it to pay medical bills and personal property taxes.
What is a Cash Back Credit Card?
A cash back credit card is a type of credit card that encourages you to spend by giving you cash back as a reward. A credit card company will usually give you back 1% to 1.5% for every dollar that you spend.
When people think of credit cards they usually think of debt and spending, but they can also be used to make money. Being organized and smart you could take advantage of some cash back rewards and put some money back into your bank account.
As long as you can pay your credit card balance in full each month, you will avoid interest charges. For additional cash back, try using Ebates with your cash back credit card.
Cards Recommended By Consumer Reports
There isn’t any particular card that is better than all the rest, there are a few cards that frequently rate near the top of the chart. Here are some of the cash back cards that Consumer Reports recommended.
Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash card pays a total of 2% cash back–1% on every purchase and 1% when you pay for the purchase. There is no annual fee, and the card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Discover it Miles
This is a travel rewards cards, but you can choose to have cash electronically deposited in a bank account. This card pays 1.5 miles on every $1 in purchases.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
This is also a travel card. It pays 2% in rewards for spending on travel and restaurants and 1% on all other purchases. This card also has a signup bonus of $500 when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. There is also an annual fee of $95, but there is no fee for the first year.
Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature
It pays 2% cash back on every purchase. Reward points have no expiration date. The funds are deposited into a Fidelity account. You can divide the money among up to five different accounts or just one. That means you could deposit money in a retirement account for yourself and a college saving for a loved one.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
This card pays 6% cash back on groceries for the first $6,000 spent each year. It pays out 3% cash-back on gas and 1% back on everything else. You get a 0% APR introductory rate and a bonus for new members. You do have to pay an annual fee for this card.
Citi Costco Anywhere
This card pays 4% cash back on gas for the first $7,000 spent, 3% cash back at restaurants and on travel, 2% on purchases from Costco, and 1% back on all other purchases. The annual fee is $55 unless you have a paid Costco membership, then it’s free.
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Plus Visa
This card pays 5% cash back on all gas purchases, 1% on all other purchases with no spending cap. It has no annual fee and pays a bonus when you sign up.
For Unlimited Retailer-Specific Discounts
Amazon Prime Store Card
This card pays 5% cash back on all purchases if you’re a Prime member. There is no annual fee, but you have to be a Prime member to use this card.
Special financing on purchases over $150 is available. Prime membership costs nearly $100 bucks a year and includes two-day shipping and media streaming service. If you spend $200 a month at Amazon, the cash back rewards will cover the cost of Prime with some money left over.
This card gives you a 5% discount when you make your purchase, there are some exclusions in the fine print. There is no annual fee for this card. It does have a higher than average interest rate if you carry a balance.
You get free shipping at Target.com and according to their website, you will receive 30 additional days to return any purchases beyond the standard return policy.
This comparison tool helps you choose a cash back credit card that rewards you the most based on what you spend.
All you have to do is enter your monthly spending in the different categories; then you will be shown which cards will reward you the most after one year and three years. Picking the right one could put hundreds – maybe even thousands – of dollars back in your account!
Keep Track Of Your Spending
There are a few apps that can help you manage your credit card purchases wisely; I use a checkbook app to keep me from spending money that I don’t have. I downloaded the iReconcile app from the Itunes Store several years ago, and it works very well for me. The app is very easy to use, there’s even a video to walk you through the setup and show you how to use it.
The way it works is it acts as a check register that I can use on my phone; I can keep a running balance of every credit card purchase that I make and compare it to the actual balance that I have in my checking account. That way I always know how much money I have so I don’t overspend.
It’s possible to make money using this method. You need to have a credit score greater than 700 to qualify for most of these credit cards. Also, make sure you read the fine print so you aren’t paying any fees that would eat into your profit.
These money-earning tactics are best for responsible credit users who make on-time payments and have favorable credit. If that’s you, you could have your credit card earn you money and work for you.
Credit Card Debt
If you can’t take advantage of the rewards credit card because you are currently carrying credit card debt, you might consider taking advantage of some of the 0% offers. There’s a lot of competition among credit card issuers, which is a benefit to you.
Some cards have no transfer fees and 0% introductory APR for up to 21 months. The Chase Slate and Citi Simplicity are cards that you might consider . Paying all of the money towards the principle will help you eliminate the debt much faster.