I recently came across this thread on FlyerTalk and thought it was apropos because I was working on the math on some of the 2% cash back cards. As of writing this, I have 37 active credit cards issued in my name only and I do not think I have any more bandwidth to add additional cards. I will expand on this in the near future, but let’s jump back into the 2% cards.
In the breakdown above, we’re looking at spending $2950 for the Capital One Venture card to pay for the annual fee. Meanwhile, the Fidelity Visa where you earn 1.5% cash back up to $15,000 then 2% afterwards you need to spend the $15,800 just to break even with the Capital One Venture card and that calculation is using the rewards to pay for the annual fee. Finally, the Citi Double Cash card is the clearest winner with the assumption that you are paying the credit card on time.
Astute readers will know, the Venture card isn’t a true cash back card as it is akin to Barclay’s Arrival+ card. However, as “travel hackers” we all have some sort of travel expense and tricks that could use this bank of points. I did not include the Arrival+ into my consideration because I have 3 Barclay’s cards and assuming the annual fee sticks, I do not want to pay for it. Personal Finance Digest plotted it would take $45,000 to break even for the Arrival+ a little while ago. The math changes after Barclay’s devaluation.
From the looks of it, Citi Double Cash appears to be the clearest winner. But Citi plays games as you will see what Ari left on Travel With Grant’s review. The one thing that I am leery of with Citi is the history of cash advances. I would love to load all my Buxx cards with Citi, but I don’t want to be loading my Buxx cards automatically and overnight my 2% method becomes a cash advance method.
Going For The Cash
For as long as I have had this blog, I was chasing the points. Every mile and point I snapped up. I “own” over 600,000 transferable points and over million miles across all the programs. The transferable points include Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi Thank You Points with no end in sight on the accumulation due to the various programs and my every day spending.
As I’ve mentioned, I am switching the way I earn points, but for “regular manufactured spending”, my goal is now cash back which is why I have been looking at cash back cards a little closer.