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The 2% cashback credit card is a special breed. This type of card rarely offers a signup bonus or an intro APR period on purchases, but lets you earn high cash back on everything you buy. For some, this may not be enough if there isn’t a bonus early on. However, the value of a 2% cashback card shines in the long run.
Compare 2% cash back credit cards
Consider these 2% cashback credit cards
A 2% cashback credit card, like those listed below, will let you earn unlimited cash back on all of your purchases.
Best for balance transfers: Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card can be a solid choice if you’re looking to move your balance from another card with a high APR to save on interest. You earn high cash back for every purchase you make and you won’t pay an annual fee.
Best for PayPal users: PayPal Cashback Mastercard®
With the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, you earn unlimited cash back on all of your purchases. There’s no minimum redemption threshold, meaning you can redeem any amount at any time after it becomes available.
Best for Fidelity investors: Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
If you already own a Fidelity account, the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card card can be a solid addition to your wallet. Its primary feature is the unlimited cash back on all of your purchases. And if you redeem your earnings into an eligible Fidelity account — such as a Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plan or a Fidelity Retirement account — you can add to your investments.
You also get Visa Signature perks such as concierge services, emergency cash, card replacements and more.
Best for big spenders: Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card
The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card can be a great choice for those who spend anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000 or more annually with their card. Instead of a signup bonus, you get accelerated cash back on everything you buy for your first year. In addition, you get Visa Signature travel perks and you won’t pay an extra fee when using your card abroad.
How we selected our top cards
When choosing this year’s top 2% cash back credit cards, we compared a number of factors among eligible cards, including purchase and balance transfer APR, annual fee and any additional rewards or perks offered. We highlighted cards that stood out in one or more of these categories.
What’s changed in 2019
With so few 2% cash back credit cards to choose from, our list remains unchanged for 2019 compared to other cash back offerings.
How to compare 2% cashback credit cards
If you’re only looking to get unlimited 2% cash back on all of your purchases, any of these cards would work. But to find the right fit for your financial needs, consider the following:
- Do you need to make a balance transfer? If that’s the case the Citi® Double Cash Card offers a strong intro APR period on balance transfers.
- Do you plan on carrying a balance? If so, you’ll want to look at cash back cards with lower purchase APRs to avoid accruing interest that could offset your rewards.
- Do you frequently use PayPal? The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® could be a good card for you. All of the cash back you earn will be applied to your PayPal account balance and you can use it however you want. This could also be a great choice for those who run their small business transactions through PayPal.
- Do you want to see your rewards grow? The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card lets you deposit your cash back in up to five of their eligible accounts. This includes retirement or college savings accounts. If you’re not in a hurry to use your rewards, deposit them in such an account and watch your money grow.
- Do you spend big? If so, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card would earn you the highest rewards the more you spend, especially during your first year of card membership.
Should I get a 2% cash back credit card?
A 2% cash back credit card is a step above the industry standard of 1.5%. However, they’re fairly uncommon as far as cash back credit cards go, so you’ll find yourself with a fairly limited selection of cards if you stick to just 2% cash back.
Not only that, but there are a variety of other rewards cards out there, including cash back cards with even greater earning potential. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a 2% cash back credit card:
- Do you spend more in a particular category? A flat 2% cash back card’s strength is in its reliability. No matter what you spend on, you’ll receive the same reward bonus. However, if you’re someone who spends a higher proportion on certain purchases, such as gas or groceries, you might consider a card that rewards categorical spending. Some of these cards can let you earn as much as 3% cash back or more.
- Do you travel? Travel rewards cards are famously valuable for those who travel enough to make good use of them. If you’re a frequent traveler, you might find the rewards and perks of an airline or hotel card far outweigh the cash back of a 2% cash back credit card.
- Do you prefer simplicity? If you don’t like to worry about annual fees, limitations on earning or other nitty gritty credit card details, a 2% credit card could prove the perfect sweet spot for fire-and-forget rewards.
2% cashback credit cards are designed for long-term use, which is why they don’t typically come with a signup bonus. But if you plan to keep one of them, they’ll earn more than a 1.5% cashback card that has a signup bonus.
If you’re not sure if any of these cards would work for you, consider other cashback credit cards and compare your options until you find the right card.
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