Not all credit cards offer bonus categories for higher earnings. Some are just plain old vanilla cards that offer the same rate of return no matter what merchant category you use them with.
In the past, the Fidelity 2% cashback card was the standard all rewards cards were measured against. If you were using a rewards card that earned only one frequent flier mile or hotel point per dollar spent, that mile or point had better be worth more than 2 cents each. OR you were losing money
There are plenty of cards that offer 1.5 to 2% cashback these days. And some, when you have a strong banking relationship with big balances, offer a little more on all transactions. And some switch categories every 90 days which I can’t keep up with and are limited. The following two cards are my choice for non-category bonus spend.
Citi Double Cash card pays 1% at the time of purchase and another 1% at the time of payment. There is usually no sign-up bonus or annual fee. But a recent change allows you to convert that cashback to Citi ThankYou points IF you also have a Citi Thank You card with an annual fee. The least expensive option is the Citi Premier card that quite often offers a 50K to 60K sign up bonus with $3000 to $4000 in spend in 90 days.
If you pair these two cards you will earn two Thank You points per dollar spent ( if you choose to convert to TY points) and that offers lots of redemption options. Each Thank You point is worth 1.25 cents if redeemed through the Citi Travel Center. And the transfer partners offer to redeem 1 point to 1 mile are Avianca, Air France, Cathay, Etihad, Eva, Jet, JetBlue, Malaysia, Qantas, Qatar, Singapore, Thai, Turkish and Virgin Atlantic. There are no hotel partners at present. The airline transfers are the best way to extract the highest value per point. NOTE: That Singapore KrisFlyer miles can be used on United Airlines awards and other Star Alliance partners.
The other option for non-category spends best value is the American Express Business Blue card. The typical sign-up bonus is 0 and there is no annual fee. For three of you, I can offer a 15,000 Membership Rewards referral sign up bonus. (more later on that) Membership Rewards points can be transferred into 18 different airlines representing all three alliances. OneWorld, Star Alliance, and Skyteam. In addition, transfers are possible to Choice Hotels, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. The transfer ratios vary based on the partner chosen. The 2X per dollar is limited to $50K per year.
With the Amex Biz Blue card, I can convert my MR points into cash because I pair it with my Schwab Platinum card at a rate of 1.25 cents per point when transferred into my Schwab Investment account. That card has a very high annual fee of $550.
Now to My Offer of 15,000 Membership Rewards points
My wife and I get to refer people to the card if you meet a $5k minimum spend in the first 3 months, you get 15000 Membership Rewards points as a welcome bonus. We also get a referral bonus. Your gain is 15K MR for doing an extra $2K spend in the first 90 days. If you want this no-fee card that is a great match for your non-category spend then send us an email with your first name and email address to [email protected] and we’ll get the referral emailed to you.
With either choice of cards, you are way ahead of a basic 2% cashback card. Earn extra cash with the Amex card or better values with either card when using the many transfer partners. We carry both of them.
Source: frugal travel guy