Widespread errors to keep away from when utilizing a cash-back bank card

Money-back bank cards supply money rewards on the purchases you make. Many include different perks and options that may prevent cash in your month-to-month assertion or on curiosity prices.

However with so many alternative choices on the market, it is potential that you just’re not utilizing one of the best card or technique to maximise the worth you may get out of your money again card.

Listed here are some widespread errors individuals make with money again bank cards — and keep away from them.

You are not utilizing the best card in your spending

Money again rewards applications are available in all sizes and shapes, to keep away from leaving actual cash on the desk, it is best to verify that you just’re utilizing the best card in your particular spending habits.

Overview your finances and the place you spend most of your cash (i.e., gasoline, groceries, eating, and many others.). Decide how nicely your present card aligns with these particular spend classes after which take a while to look into different playing cards which may present extra cash again primarily based in your high expense classes.


For instance, suppose you spend lots on groceries and need a card with no annual charge.

In that case, the Blue Money On a regular basis® Card from American Categorical (see charges and costs) gives 3% money again on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gasoline stations and U.S. on-line retail purchases on as much as $6,000 per calendar yr in purchases for every class (then 1%), and 1% money again on different purchases. Money again will be redeemed as a press release credit score or at checkout.

In case you spend lots in several areas of your finances and need some extra flexibility, the Financial institution of America® Custom-made Money Rewards bank card may very well be a superb match.

It gives 3% money again on the class of your selection from the next choices: gasoline and EV charging stations, on-line procuring (together with cable, streaming, web, and cellphone providers), eating, journey, drugstores and residential enchancment and furnishings. The cardboard additionally gives 2% again at grocery shops and wholesale golf equipment and 1% again on every part else.

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Lastly, in the event you’d fairly simply earn a strong reward price on each buy — whatever the class — the Citi Double Money® Card (see charges and costs) is likely to be the ticket. It gives 2% money again on every part — 1% again if you make a purchase order and one other 1% again as you pay it off.

You are solely utilizing one card

Sticking with only one bank card makes issues lots less complicated, however even when your card’s rewards program hits your entire high spending classes, you can nonetheless get extra worth through the use of a number of bank cards.

For instance, the Capital One SavorOne Money Rewards Credit score Card gives 3% money again on eating, leisure, widespread streaming providers and at grocery shops (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Goal®), 5% money again on lodges and rental automobiles booked by means of Capital One Journey (phrases apply), 8% money again on Capital One Leisure purchases however the remainder of your purchases will web you simply 1% again.

In distinction, the Wells Fargo Energetic Money® Card gives a flat 2% money reward on purchases (see charges and costs).


With the Capital One SavorOne card, most of your purchases will possible fall into the 1% rewards price, which is uninspiring. With the Wells Fargo Energetic Money card, you are getting a fantastic rewards price on purchases, however you do not have the choice to earn extra in your high spending classes.

By combining the 2 playing cards, you get to earn a minimum of 2% money rewards on purchases, with the prospect to earn extra on sure purchases.

You may analysis different tiered rewards playing cards to seek out one of the best match for you.

You are excluding playing cards with annual charges

Many money again bank cards do not cost an annual charge, so it is pure to bristle a bit if you see one. However some money again playing cards with an annual charge make up for the associated fee by providing even higher reward charges than their no-fee counterparts.

Take the Blue Money Most well-liked® Card from American Categorical, for instance. The cardboard has a $0 introductory annual charge for the primary yr (then $95; see charges and costs), but it surely additionally has a better welcome supply than many different money again bank cards.

With the grocery store class alone, you may stand up to $360 in money again yearly, far outpacing the cardboard’s annual charge. Money again will be redeemed as a press release credit score or at checkout.

Associated: Why the Amex Blue Money Most well-liked is likely to be one of the best money again card proper now

You are paying extra in curiosity than you are getting in money again

Bank cards make it easy to carry a stability. Most haven’t any set reimbursement phrases, and minimal funds are sometimes simple to fulfill. However in the event you do not pay your invoice in full each month, you will be slapped with excessive curiosity prices in your unpaid stability.


If you wish to keep away from dropping a few of your rewards worth to curiosity prices, it is best to prioritize paying your invoice on time and in full each month.

You are not utilizing procuring portals or gives to earn extra

Some card issuers have procuring portals or particular gives that may enable you earn extra rewards on high of what your money again bank card already gives.

For instance, Amex Provides means that you can add particular reductions or bonus alternatives to your card in your on-line account.

These are focused and should be activated to make use of, however previous gives have included reductions like $100 off a cost of $500 or extra at Hilton and $35 off a Ray-Ban buy of $150 or extra. Chase does this with its personal comparable platform, Chase Provides.

Profiting from both of those choices is a simple method to multiply your rewards haul on sure on-line and in-store procuring journeys.

Moreover, you may make the most of money again web sites like Rakuten and TopCashback to earn much more.

You are not activating rotating bonus classes

When you have a card just like the Chase Freedom Flex or Uncover it Money Again, you may have the ability to earn as a lot as 5% money again on as much as $1,500 in purchases in varied classes that change each quarter.

The data for the Uncover it Money Again has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

In case you’re not paying sufficient consideration to the present quarter’s bonus classes whilst you’re procuring, you can be lacking out. Even in the event you’re utilizing one other card for many of your spending or for different bonus classes, it is nonetheless value it to make the most of a quarterly bonus class till you’ve got hit the spending cap to rake in all that additional money again.

Moreover, you will must activate the bonus each quarter. Thankfully, there’s normally some leeway with how a lot time you need to activate it, however in the event you neglect, you will find yourself leaving cash on the desk.

Associated: Bank card showdown: Chase Freedom Flex vs. Uncover it Money Again

Backside line

In case you’re utilizing money again bank cards, it is essential to make sure that you have the best ones in your pockets and that you are taking benefit of all the advantages they provide. In case you discover that you have dedicated a number of of those errors, search for alternatives to regulate your method and get much more worth out of your playing cards.

For charges and costs of the Blue Money On a regular basis Amex, click on right here.
For charges and costs of the Blue Money Most well-liked Amex, click on right here.

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