Have you been looking around for the best cash back credit card with 5% cash back or more? It may sound like a great deal, especially when you see legitimate 5% cash back card offers from big banks such as Chase, Citibank, Bank of America etc. However, you need to understand that nothing is for free and how do banks make money from consumers even through legit cash back VISA or MasterCard offers.
The banks and card issuers want you to spend more money freely and conveniently through their credit cards, and that is where the fees and APR comes in. That does not mean these companies are scams, it is a reasonable fee they charge for the convenience. However, it is only fair when you know exactly the card rates and fees on these cash back credit cards such as the Chase Freedom Visa, Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard etc and not just how much discounts and rebate offers you get after charging a lot of expenses to the card, even to the point that these exceed your monthly income.
This emphasis on the 5% cash back offer and down playing of the risks of high interest credit card debts and how difficult it is to pay down is the reason why there are so many US consumers that default on the monthly payments, charge-offs, etc. You end up thinking of how to spend another $100 in order to get $5 cash incentives or to exchange for gifts,
After all, it is a known fact that banks and credit card companies make a lot of money but you will be surprised that most of their profits really do come from the fees and interest on the free credit cards with cash back that they issue by the millions into the consumer market each year.
If you do make a lot of purchases each month and think that applying for the best credit cards with 5% cash back offer can help you save some money, it can be done as long as you read and understand their terms and conditions carefully, especially the fine print.
When you compare cash back credit card reviews, do not just look at the amount of rebate given. Sometimes, you are only allowed the maximum cash back when you spend at certain places, such as restaurants, book stores, certain grocery stores etc. There are also specific airline rewards credit cards that allow you to earn more cash rebate for buying air tickets, hotel booking, rental cars etc. That means you may not get 5% on all types of purchases, and you may need more than one cash back credit card to get the best rebate for a particular type of item purchase. For example, with the popular Discover More Card with 5% cash back or the Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards Card, you only get 1% to 3% on common grocery purchases etc.
5 Percent Cash Back Credit Cards Issued By Big Banks
If everyone can get 5 percent cash rebate with these cards from Chase, Capital One etc, why do some people choose to use other types of Visa or MasterCard or Orchard Bank Cards? The reason is simple, you need to spend more on these cards in order to offset the higher than average APR or annual fees charged on these cards. Yes, these are the little details the banks did not focus on in their catchy advertisements. If you apply for a plain vanilla credit card offer with no incentives or cash back, the typical Annual Percentage Rates of regular credit cards is around 6% to 9% percent depending on your FICO credit ratings. On the other hand, you have to pay at least 12% APR on 5 percent cash incentive credit cards. Just prioritize and pay off these high APR card balances at the end of the month first before the grace period is over.
Most banks that offer cards with cash back incentives or rebate programs will also levy an annual account fee although this can be waived if you call in and ask for discounts, or after you have spend above a minimum amount each year.
Do not assume that your 0% APR credit card with 5% cash back will be valid forever. Usually, these zero percent APR is used as introductory promotional periods between 3 to 12 months. When you have forgotten when the introductory APR promo is over, you will get hit by the 15% fees.
Do not get addicted to the thrill of getting the special gifts, cash rewards or incentive rebate programs and start spending more than necessary. You will find it hard to pay down your balances due to the high APR on these cards. This will affect your credit score and additional interest rates can be levied if your FICO score falls under 700 or when you start falling behind your monthly payments.
Trying to take advantage of 5% cash back credit card offers can easily backfire and cost you more if you are not careful. If you are not that self disciplined or the amount of potential dollar savings from the cash back incentives are not that much, then it is better to get no annual fee low APR credit cards to manage your cash and spending instead. Always read and ask questions regarding the credit card fee structures and fine print before you apply.