This post is not about the biggest bonuses in the credit card world, but rather cards that a regular family can use year after year. While my strategy is to switch the cards regularly and collect miles and points along the way, this is not for everyone.
I have long argued that for a middle-class family cash back for non-bonus spending usually makes more sense. With an introduction of Amex EveryDay Preferred card, there is now a compelling reason to earn flexible points instead of cash. It is listed second on my list, and for me personally, would be a top choice.
Additionally, I am the first to admit that the idea of getting close to a million points per year is not sustainable in the long run for a family with normal expenses. At some point you will run out of cards to apply for.
1) Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
It gives 6% back on groceries on up to 6,000 dollars per year, 3% back on gas and department stores and 1 percent back on everything else. The card comes with an annual fee of 95 dollars, but it’s worth it for groceries bonus alone.
If you spend 500 dollars a month on groceries (and most families do), you will have 360 dollars at the end of the year just from that category. That is fantastic!
A couple of caveats: there are still places that don’t accept Amex. Another one: usually Walmart is not coded as a grocery store. If you shop at Publix or similar store, it’s not an issue. The best offer for this card is a $250 bonus after $1,000 spending in 3 months
2) The Amex EveryDay Preferred
You get 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1000 in 3 months. The annual fee is $95, not waived. This may be your top pick depending on your goals.
3) US Bank Cash Plus Visa Signature card
Pays us commission. You get $100 bonus after spending $500 in 90 days. You can also try to convert from an existing US Bank credit card over the phone. Here is the earning structure:
- Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in net purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose like Restaurants or Department Stores.
- Earn 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category like gas, groceries or drug store purchases.
- Earn 1% cash back on everything else.
- Earn a $25 Cash+ Bonus when you redeem $100 or more in a single redemption. Limit of 1 per calendar year.
- No limit on total cash back earned.
CLICK to my post for full analysis.
4) Sam’s Club MasterCard
Sam’s Club credit card application (pays no commission)
Sam’s Club membership is required to apply and maintain this card. You earn 5% cash back on gas (on up to $5,000 per year), 3% on dining and travel, 1% on everything else.
5) Chase Freedom Visa
Leana’s personal referral lin (I will get 10,000 UR points if you are approved)
This card also pays us commission.
You get a bonus of 17,250 points (good for $175) after spending 500 dollars in 3 months and adding an authorized user. The card has no annual fee. It’s a decent choice and can get you established with Chase bank, which has most of the best sign-up bonuses. Chase Freedom has rotating categories where you get 5 percent back on gas, groceries, drug stores or restaurants, depending on the quarter of the year.
There are many ways to leverage this deal, like buying Amazon gift cards at CVS when it’s part of 5 percent bonus category and so forth. This is actually my primary card when I am not chasing after specific bonus. I would guess if you were to put all of your expenses on this card, you probably would average out 2 percent cash back on everything, which is good.
6) Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card
It gives flat 2 percent back on everything, no annual fee. I get no commission on this card. Apply through this non-affiliate application link in order to get $100 sign-up bonus.
Unlimited 2% cash-back
Every net $1 spent equals 2 rewards points
No limits on reward points and no restrictive categories
Points will not expire
7) Discover IT
- You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
- Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
- 100% U.S. based customer service.
- Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
- No annual fee.
- This is actually a pretty good “keeper” card as well, similar to Chase Freedom, though it’s not accepted everywhere.
Leana’s referral link that will give both of us $50 upon approval.
Check this link for $75 Amazon gift card by applying directly here
8) Citi Double Cash Card
Pays us commission if you apply through my site. Try this link in incognito mode and you may be able to see $100 sign-up bonus.
You would get 2% total cash back, as long as you pay your bills on time (and you should).
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99%, based on your creditworthiness
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- The only card that earns you cash back twice on every purchase with:
- 1% cash back when you buy
- Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time*
- No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories
- No Annual Fee
9) Uber Visa Card
You will get 4% back on dining, 3% on travel and airfare, 2% on online purchases, 1% on everything else.
Up to a $50 credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 on your card per year
Up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your mobile phone bill with your card
No foreign transaction fees
Redeem points for Uber credits, e-gift cards, or cash back
No annual fee
10) Alliant Cashback Visa Signature
Earn 3% cash back during first year, 2.5% afterwards. The annual fee is $59, waived during first year. No foreign transaction fees.
Keeper for some:
Spirit Airlines MasterCard This is a “niche ” product and will not be a good fit for everyone. It’s a good deal due to 2,500 miles one-way redemption on certain routes at off-peak times. Read more about it HERE
So, these are my picks. No card is right for everyone. I suggest, you investigate the choices for yourself. All of these offers require good to excellent credit. Also, if you happen to have other cards from these issuers, you may be able to convert without applying for a new card. Don’t hesitate to email me or ask a question in the comments section.
You may also read my post on cards where annual fee can pay for itself HERE
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.