Recently, my friend Katherine asked me what cash back card would be best for her if most of her spending is at restaurants. Currently, Katherine has the Chase Freedom, which gets 1% cash back at restaurants for 9 months in 2016, and 5% cash back for the remaining three months. If we assume that she spends $300 a month, we can guess that with her Chase Freedom, she’ll earn the following:
($300 x 9 x .01) + ($300 x 3 x 0.05) = $27.00 + $45.00 = $72.00 cash back by using her current credit card.
Using that as a baseline, what other cards might she be interested in? Well, her options include:
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday – 1% cash back on restaurants
- BankAmericard Cash Rewards – 1% cash back on restaurants
- BarclayCard CashForward – 1.5% cash back on restaurants
- Citi DoubleCash – 2% cash back on restaurants
- Discover it – 1% cash back on restaurants for nine months, 5% cash back for three months, plus all cash back earned the first year is doubled
- TD Bank Cash – 2% cash back on restaurants
Again, we’ll assume Katherine spends $300 a month on dining, which would earn the following for each card:
- American Express Blue Cash Everyday – $36.00
- BankAmericard Cash Rewards – $36.00
- BarclayCard CashForward – $54.00
- Citi DoubleCash – $72.00
- Discover it – $144.00 the first year, $72.00 every year after that
- TD Bank Cash – $72.00
Clearly, we have some winners and some losers. The big winner, of course, is the Discover it card, which will net Katherine a whopping $144.00 the first year. After that, she’ll earn $72.00 every following year.
Our middle of the road cards are the Citi DoubleCash and the TD Bank Cash, which would earn her $72.00 a year, which is on par with the it card after year one.
Finally our losers: the American Express Blue Cash Everyday, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards, and the BarclayCard CashForward, which would earn her $36.00-$54.00. Hard pass.
So there you have it, Katherine! Go for the Discover it, and you’ll be on your way to taking me out for a nice dinner (for the cash back, of course 😉 )!