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The Master 2% Back/No AF Thread (Don't Settle for Less!)


cv91915
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  • 4 weeks later...

On 6/13/2021 at 4:00 PM, cv91915 said:

 

This card is now live.

 

GxGsUNV.png 

 

 

Insert your fake account scandal remarks below, as well as any stupid name variations that include "Hells" and/or "Fartgo," but at least it isn't the Double Cash and its ridiculously over-complicated method of paying 2% back... eventually.

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I think I will get this card given my + experience with the Propel.  Yeah its WF but over the past several years they have cleaned up their act (and this coming from someone who DID have false accounts opened in their name).  Companies are not people even if they are "Incorporated", with new management they really can be reformed quickly, especially publicly traded ones who are subject to a public board where stock holders can force change.  I may be completely wrong but to me it looks like WF is actively trying to fix the credit division and actively trying to move their target user base to higher FICO clients to lower risk.  I kind of wonder if WF recent personal line of credit delete was because they had on average extended those lines to a group of users who defaulted too much.  Again just speculation but with the delete of new PROPEL it makes me wonder if the users they attracted maximized it and it was not profitable.  I would bet on a relaunch or redesign of WF travel cards next, maybe ones with real travel partners instead of direct cash.  This article explains well what I am talking about if one looks at the relative income via interchange fees vs direct interest payments: https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-do-credit-card-companies-make-money  yes I know it does not include WF but it does give a way to guess at likely FICO range of target credit card holders for the banks shown.

Edited by Wander907
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7 hours ago, Wander907 said:

I may be completely wrong but to me it looks like WF is actively trying to fix the credit division and actively trying to move their target user base to higher FICO clients to lower risk. 

 

In support of this view, the Wells Fargo Secured Visa is now gone from their web site.  I'm sad to see it go for nostalgic reasons since it really helped me back when I needed it, with a max limit of $10k.  If they're moving up-FICO, though, they certainly don't want to keep that around.

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12 hours ago, nemo said:

 

In support of this view, the Wells Fargo Secured Visa is now gone from their web site.  I'm sad to see it go for nostalgic reasons since it really helped me back when I needed it, with a max limit of $10k.  If they're moving up-FICO, though, they certainly don't want to keep that around.

 

It's possible that the card wasn't discontinued.  Perhaps it's still available in-branch (or on request) for existing customers.

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5 hours ago, jonson said:

SDFCU's Premium Cash Back+ Credit Card. No annual fee, no FTF, low APR. $200 sign-up bonus with $3k spend.

 

https://www.sdfcu.org/premium-cash-back

 

On 2/24/2021 at 2:38 AM, cv91915 said:

 

I had that one, but I don't blame you for missing it, since I've done a poor job consolidating the list.  :) 

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Cards that Pay 2% on All Purchases with No AF (No Strings)

 

Citi Double Cash 
This card pays 1% back per $1 spent + another 1% back when you pay your bill. I'm not a big fan of the 1% + 1% gimmick, but it does pay 2%... eventually...  Also be aware that there's a $25 minimum redemption, which makes this stupid card even stupider.  If you're patient, the math works.

 

FNBO Complete Rewards Visa Signature 

2% back when redeemed into any checking account. The product page suggests that you can only get 2% when redeeming to an FNBO account, however the account terms say that you receive 2% back when redeeming via ACH to any checking account. CAUTION: Other redemption choices like travel are worth as little as 1%. 

 

State Department FCU Premium Cash Back+

I expended a significant amount of blood, sweat and tears trying to leave this cult credit union (saga is detailed in this thread), but if you're already in and want to stay, this card works for 2%.  SDFCU offers a good secured card, and this would be a logical way to leverage an existing relationship take a big step up in card quality when you can.

 

Wells Fargo Active Cash <--   N e w   J u l y   2 0 2 1

Flat 2% without the "half now/half later" nonsense on Citi's offering.  Yes, I know... fake account scandal, Hells Fartgo.  Ell-O-Ell.

 

There may be some unexpected terms that have not yet surfaced, and I'll update this if/when they present themselves.

 

Cards that Pay 2% on All Purchases with No AF (Other Account Requirements)

 

Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card (Elan)

Points are redeemable to a Fidelity retirement, brokerage, 529 or checking ["Cash Management"] account).

 

PayPal Cash Back Mastercard (Synchrony)

Requires a PayPal account.

 

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature 

Has checking account or military service requirements to earn 2% (otherwise it pays a depressing 1.5% back)

 

2X Cards that Were 2%, Then Devalued to 1.34% and Then Revalued Back to 2%  (Proceed with Caution)

 

Alliant CU Visa Platinum Rewards 
Earns 2 points/$1 spent, which is 2% cash back when redeemed as a statement credit or deposited into an Alliant account.  $50 minimum for redemptions.  

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Alliant briefly devalued the redemption value of these points in early 2021, making this a 1.34% card (worse than a Capital One Quicksilver), but then restored the redemption value after getting blowback.   Another devaluation is inevitable, it just may be communicated better next time.  Use this card for 2% if you already have it, but if I was in the market for a 2% card, this one would be last on my list due to the devaluation threat.   A 1.34% card is effectively worthless, and they've already tried that once.

 

Cards That are Disguised as 2% Cards But Are Not

 

Capital One Venture

Not only does this card have an annual fee of $95, but you only get a 2% return if you redeem points against recent travel purchases. If you haven't made any recent travel purchases your points will only get you 1% in redemption value. Charging a $95 AF for a card that pays as little as 1% back when you aren’t paying attention is obscene.  

This card recently added the ability to transfer points to certain airline loyalty programs, but at a rate less than 1 point = 1 mile.  1:1 transfers are a baseline expectation based on what competing cards offer.

 

TURD.

 

Cards That are Disguised as 2% Cards But Are Not AND Have Other Requirements 

 

I will delete this card from future updates, because it has an AF and doesn't even pretend to be a 2% card anymore.

 

Navy Federal Flagship Visa Signature 

You can only get this card if you are currently a member (or can become a member) of this credit union, which is infamous for freezing your bank accounts and preventing you from accessing your own money "for your own protection," and other hijinks that make them unbearable to deal with. The card itself has a flat 2 points/dollar reward structure paired with an indefensible $49 annual fee. BOWL WINDER.

Edited by cv91915
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I'm considering getting the SDFCU 2% card to replace my Citi Double Cash.  Not having a FTF plus 2% is tempting me.  I know some people on here seem to have something against credit unions, but I love the one that I am currently with.  Plus SDFCU is headquartered 5 minutes from where I live so if there is a major issue, I have somewhere to go and solve it.  Seems like there are a million credit unions in the Washington DC area.

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7 hours ago, creditcaper1 said:

I'm considering getting the SDFCU 2% card to replace my Citi Double Cash.  Not having a FTF plus 2% is tempting me.  I know some people on here seem to have something against credit unions, but I love the one that I am currently with.  Plus SDFCU is headquartered 5 minutes from where I live so if there is a major issue, I have somewhere to go and solve it.  Seems like there are a million credit unions in the Washington DC area.

 

Depending on how my rebuild goes, If I'm not able to get better offers elsewhere, I am hoping they will allow me to convert my secured card over to the Premium Cash Back+. SDFCU has mostly been good, but their online account manager leaves much to be desired.

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks to @RehabbingANDBlabbing for pointing out in another thread that the Alliant Platinum Rewards Visa (2% cash back via points) has been discontinued for new applicants.  This can be verified in their list of credit cards, which no longer includes that card.

 

https://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank#filter=credit-cards

 

This card had a rocky past anyway, having been devalued to 1.34% back and then reinstated to 2% after protests.  Now it cannot be applied for at all.  So far, it still seems to work for existing customers (including me), but it won't be of use to anyone searching this thread for a new card.

Edited by nemo
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Cards that Pay 2% on All Purchases with No AF (No Strings)

 

Citi Double Cash 
This card pays 1% back per $1 spent + another 1% back when you pay your bill. I'm not a big fan of the 1% + 1% gimmick, but it does pay 2%... eventually...  Also be aware that there's a $25 minimum redemption, which makes this stupid card even stupider.  If you're patient, the math works.

 

FNBO Complete Rewards Visa Signature 

2% back when redeemed into any checking account. The product page suggests that you can only get 2% when redeeming to an FNBO account, however the account terms say that you receive 2% back when redeeming via ACH to any checking account. CAUTION: Other redemption choices like travel are worth as little as 1%. 

 

State Department FCU Premium Cash Back+

I expended a significant amount of blood, sweat and tears trying to leave this cult credit union (saga is detailed in this thread), but if you're already in and want to stay, this card works for 2%.  SDFCU offers a good secured card, and this would be a logical way to leverage an existing relationship take a big step up in card quality when you can.

 

Wells Fargo Active Cash <--   N e w   J u l y   2 0 2 1

Flat 2% without the "half now/half later" nonsense on Citi's offering.  Yes, I know... fake account scandal, Hells Fartgo.  Ell-O-Ell.

 

There may be some unexpected terms that have not yet surfaced, and I'll update this if/when they present themselves.

 

Cards that Pay 2% on All Purchases with No AF (Other Account Requirements)

 

Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card (Elan)

Points are redeemable to a Fidelity retirement, brokerage, 529 or checking ["Cash Management"] account).

 

PayPal Cash Back Mastercard (Synchrony)

Requires a PayPal account.

 

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature 

Has checking account or military service requirements to earn 2% (otherwise it pays a depressing 1.5% back)

 

2X Cards that Were 2%, Then Devalued to 1.34% and Then Revalued Back to 2% and then discontinued for new applications:

 

Alliant CU Visa Platinum Rewards 
Earns 2 points/$1 spent, which is 2% cash back when redeemed as a statement credit or deposited into an Alliant account.  $50 minimum for redemptions.  

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Alliant briefly devalued the redemption value of these points in early 2021, making this a 1.34% card (worse than a Capital One Quicksilver), but then restored the redemption value after getting blowback.   Another devaluation is inevitable, it just may be communicated better next time.  Use this card for 2% if you already have it, but if I was in the market for a 2% card, this one would be last on my list due to the devaluation threat.   A 1.34% card is effectively worthless, and they've already tried that once.

 

Cards That are Disguised as 2% Cards But Are Not

 

Capital One Venture

Not only does this card have an annual fee of $95, but you only get a 2% return if you redeem points against recent travel purchases. If you haven't made any recent travel purchases your points will only get you 1% in redemption value. Charging a $95 AF for a card that pays as little as 1% back when you aren’t paying attention is obscene.  

This card recently added the ability to transfer points to certain airline loyalty programs, but at a rate less than 1 point = 1 mile.  1:1 transfers are a baseline expectation based on what competing cards offer.

 

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Key cash back card is flat 1.5%, but bumps up to flat 2% if you also have both a checking and savings account with them, and meet minimum thresholds for both. We have both so I would qualify, but converted my old WF home mortgage card to their new active cash instead (zero appetite to open up any new accounts right now).

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Cards that Pay 2% on All Purchases with No AF (No Strings)

 

Citi Double Cash 
This card pays 1% back per $1 spent + another 1% back when you pay your bill. I'm not a big fan of the 1% + 1% gimmick, but it does pay 2%... eventually...  Also be aware that there's a $25 minimum redemption, which makes this stupid card even stupider.  If you're patient, the math works.

 

FNBO Complete Rewards Visa Signature 

2% back when redeemed into any checking account. The product page suggests that you can only get 2% when redeeming to an FNBO account, however the account terms say that you receive 2% back when redeeming via ACH to any checking account. CAUTION: Other redemption choices like travel are worth as little as 1%. 

 

State Department FCU Premium Cash Back+

I expended a significant amount of blood, sweat and tears trying to leave this cult credit union (saga is detailed in this thread), but if you're already in and want to stay, this card works for 2%.  SDFCU offers a good secured card, and this would be a logical way to leverage an existing relationship take a big step up in card quality when you can.

 

Synchrony Premier   <-- N e w   O c t o b e r   2 0 2 1

Pays 2%, but the only redemption option is an automatic statement credit for that cycle's net purchases.  

 

Wells Fargo Active Cash <--   N e w   J u l y   2 0 2 1

Flat 2% without the "half now/half later" nonsense on Citi's offering.  Yes, I know... fake account scandal, Hells Fartgo.  Ell-O-Ell.

 

Cards that Pay 2% on All Purchases with No AF (Other Account Requirements)

 

Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card (Elan) 

Points are redeemable to a Fidelity retirement, brokerage, 529 or checking ["Cash Management"] account).

 

Key Bank Cashback Credit Card  <-- N e w   O c t o b e r   2 0 2 1
Must be a checking account customer and deposit at least $1,000 a month, and also have a savings or investment account with a minimum daily balance of $1,000, otherwise they saw off 25% of your rewards and only pay 1.5% back on the credit card.

 

PayPal Cash Back Mastercard (Synchrony)

Requires a PayPal account.

 

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature 

Has checking account or military service requirements to earn 2% (otherwise it pays a depressing 1.5% back)

 

2X Cards that Were 2%, Then Devalued to 1.34% and Then Revalued Back to 2% and then discontinued for new applications:

 

Alliant CU Visa Platinum Rewards 
Earns 2 points/$1 spent, which is 2% cash back when redeemed as a statement credit or deposited into an Alliant account.  $50 minimum for redemptions.  

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Alliant briefly devalued the redemption value of these points in early 2021, making this a 1.34% card (worse than a Capital One Quicksilver), but then restored the redemption value after getting blowback.   Another devaluation is inevitable, it just may be communicated better next time.  Use this card for 2% if you already have it, but if I was in the market for a 2% card, this one would be last on my list due to the devaluation threat.   A 1.34% card is effectively worthless, and they've already tried that once.

 

Cards That are Disguised as 2% Cards But Are Not

 

Capital One Venture

Not only does this card have an annual fee of $95, but you only get a 2% return if you redeem points against recent travel purchases. If you haven't made any recent travel purchases your points will only get you 1% in redemption value. Charging a $95 AF for a card that pays as little as 1% back when you aren’t paying attention is obscene.  

This card recently added the ability to transfer points to certain airline loyalty programs, but at a rate less than 1 point = 1 mile.  1:1 transfers are a baseline expectation based on what competing cards offer.

 

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On 7/13/2021 at 3:45 AM, cv91915 said:

2X Cards that Were 2%, Then Devalued to 1.34% and Then Revalued Back to 2%  (Proceed with Caution)

 

Alliant CU Visa Platinum Rewards 
Earns 2 points/$1 spent, which is 2% cash back when redeemed as a statement credit or deposited into an Alliant account.  $50 minimum for redemptions.  

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Alliant briefly devalued the redemption value of these points in early 2021, making this a 1.34% card (worse than a Capital One Quicksilver), but then restored the redemption value after getting blowback.   Another devaluation is inevitable, it just may be communicated better next time.  Use this card for 2% if you already have it, but if I was in the market for a 2% card, this one would be last on my list due to the devaluation threat.   A 1.34% card is effectively worthless, and they've already tried that once.

 

Alliant is 2.5% but capped at $10K per month, then becoming 1% for that month on amounts over $10K.  They dropped the annual fee in the last six months.

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6 hours ago, Menta33 said:

 

Here is their website describing it.

 

They added maintaining a $1,000 balance on deposit with them to get the max rebate of 2.5%.

 

Right, that's what I was saying.

 

The card to which I was referring used to be 2%, then they briefly devalued the points which reduced the payback to 1.34%, and they've since closed that card to new applications.  

 

The 2.5% card is out of scope for this thread by definition.  :) 

 

We could always use a "Cashback Cards that Return More than 2%" thread, if you're feeling frisky.  

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5 hours ago, cv91915 said:

 

Right, that's what I was saying.

 

The card to which I was referring used to be 2%, then they briefly devalued the points which reduced the payback to 1.34%, and they've since closed that card to new applications.  

 

The 2.5% card is out of scope for this thread by definition.  :) 

 

We could always use a "Cashback Cards that Return More than 2%" thread, if you're feeling frisky.  

 

I'm all for a more than 2% thread as those are the interesting ones.  To me the 2% even are sock drawer material.

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7 hours ago, Menta33 said:

 

I'm all for a more than 2% thread as those are the interesting ones.  To me the 2% even are sock drawer material.

 

The purpose of this thread was to establish the floor for what a reasonably creditworthy person should accept in a flat-rate cashback card, and then to provide enough info that people could choose one with the fewest requirements/dependencies.  

 

The draw for some of the flat 2% back structure is simplicity, and it appeals to people who don't want to shuffle their regular purchases across multiple cards even when it means foregoing some rewards.  

 

Once you go past the flat 2% there are a lot more asterisks when presenting the options.

 

The Alliant card you mentioned, for example, isn't a flat 2.5% cashback because the rewards go down after $10k in monthly spending.  It's one of the few cards that rewards you less as you spend more.  

 

And the 2.625% options at BoA require $100k in deposits/investments at Merrill/BoA, which is a high bar for the average person.  Fidelity has a 3% offering for its wealth management clients.  Discovery IT pays 3% for a year, and then cuts rewards in half.

 

I've also consciously omitted one or more regional offerings to focus on the 2% cards with the broadest appeal.

 

Consider starting a > 2% cashback thread; it would be an asset to the community.  
 

 

Edited by cv91915
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5 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Consider starting a > 2% cashback thread; it would be an asset to the community.  
 

 

 

Your knowledge on +2% cards in broader than mine, please start the thread with details on the Fidelity 3% offering.

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