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


cv91915
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Is there interest in updating the list to note which cards charge a foreign transaction fee? 

 

(Maybe they all do).

 

I'm doubly annoyed this morning, because:

 

1.  We were just reimbursed by T's employer for this (the underlying purchase that created to the FTF was reimbursed within days of submitting the expense report).

 

7Vu20OD.png

 

It wasn't clear when this purchase was made that the company was shipping and charging for the item from outside of the US.

 

2.  We gave the City Dubble Kash the boot (it's the most ridiculous 2% card ever devised, but also because I'm going to PC it to a Custom Cash so we have a 5% gas card). 

 

I switched him to the Wells Fargo Active Cash, but I just checked and it also charges a 3% FTF, so I'll have to temporarily swap out that card with something else for while he's in Turkey for the bulk of December).

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, cv91915 said:

Is there interest in updating the list to note which cards charge a foreign transaction fee? 

 

(Maybe they all do).

 

I'm doubly annoyed this morning, because:

 

1.  We were just reimbursed by T's employer for this (the underlying purchase that created to the FTF was reimbursed within days of submitting the expense report).

 

7Vu20OD.png

 

It wasn't clear when this purchase was made that the company was shipping and charging for the item from outside of the US.

 

2.  We gave the City Dubble Kash the boot (it's the most ridiculous 2% card ever devised, but also because I'm going to PC it to a Custom Cash so we have a 5% gas card). 

 

I switched him to the Wells Fargo Active Cash, but I just checked and it also charges a 3% FTF, so I'll have to temporarily swap out that card with something else for while he's in Turkey for the bulk of December).

 

 

 

 

Good catch.

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10 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Is there interest in updating the list to note which cards charge a foreign transaction fee?

There is definitely interest here.  I have also been nailed for purchases I didn't know were foreign.  The FTF is a big consideration for me.

 

Of the cards on your list, only the SDFCU, PenFed, and Capital One cards are free of an FTF.

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7 hours ago, Menta33 said:

 

 

Definitely worth including.  I've had past experience with 2% cards NOT charging the FTF.

 

4 minutes ago, nemo said:

There is definitely interest here.  I have also been nailed for purchases I didn't know were foreign.  The FTF is a big consideration for me.

 

Of the cards on your list, only the SDFCU, PenFed, and Capital One cards are free of an FTF.


I will include this info on my next update.  Thanks for the feedback.

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1 hour ago, StarkRaven$ said:

How about the PayPal Mastercard? I don't have this card. I don't advocate it. Just curious if it fits this category.

On 10/31/2021 at 12:42 AM, cv91915 said:

PayPal Cash Back Mastercard (Synchrony)

Requires a PayPal account.

 

Already on the list ✔️

 

Edited by cv91915
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17 hours ago, nemo said:

There is definitely interest here.  I have also been nailed for purchases I didn't know were foreign.  The FTF is a big consideration for me.

 

Of the cards on your list, only the SDFCU, PenFed, and Capital One cards are free of an FTF.

 

Out of curiosity, did you note if the ones that charge FTFs are all 3%?   If not I can look them up.

 

3% is the most common FTF I've seen, but then I rarely pay much attention to this. 

 

When I leave the US I know that my travel-oriented cards don't charge FTFs.

 

 

Edited by cv91915
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3 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Out of curiosity, did you note if the ones that charge FTFs are all 3%?

 

Fidelity has a 1% FTF and the discontinued Alliant card has a 2% FTF.  All the others that have an FTF are 3%.

 

Wells Fargo is a little different.  Its 3% fee is a "Foreign Currency Conversion Fee" where you can buy in a foreign country without fees as long as the charge is in US dollars.

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20 hours ago, nemo said:

There is definitely interest here.  I have also been nailed for purchases I didn't know were foreign.  The FTF is a big consideration for me.

 

Of the cards on your list, only the SDFCU, PenFed, and Capital One cards are free of an FTF.

"For example, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard has no foreign transaction fees, which can save you 3% compared to the Citi Double Cash card. For international travelers, or anyone purchasing items abroad, this can add up to significant savings. Another benefit of the PayPal card is that you can redeem rewards any time with no minimum." - Forbes

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47 minutes ago, StarkRaven$ said:

"For example, the PayPal Cashback Mastercard has no foreign transaction fees, which can save you 3% compared to the Citi Double Cash card. For international travelers, or anyone purchasing items abroad, this can add up to significant savings. Another benefit of the PayPal card is that you can redeem rewards any time with no minimum." - Forbes

The Forbes article may be obsolete.  Synchrony's web site says there is a 3% FTF for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard.

 

https://www.synchronybankterms.com/gecrbterms/pdf/PAYPAL_CASHBACK_MASTERCARD.pdf

 

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11 minutes ago, nemo said:

The Forbes article may be obsolete.  Synchrony's web site says there is a 3% FTF for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard.

 

https://www.synchronybankterms.com/gecrbterms/pdf/PAYPAL_CASHBACK_MASTERCARD.pdf

 

Yes you are correct. According to Doctor of Credit:

 

This card is adding back the 3% foreign transaction fee beginning 7/25/21. Hat tip to reader

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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.  3% FTF.

 

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%.   3% FTF.

 

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.  No FTF.

 

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.  3% FTF.

 

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. 
No FTF for transactions in US Dollars, however there is a 3% conversion fee if payment is made in another currency.  3% FTF.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

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).  1% FTF.

 

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.  3% FTF.

 

PayPal Cashback Mastercard (Synchrony)

Requires a PayPal account.  3% FTF.

 

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature 

Has checking account or military service requirements to earn 2% (otherwise it pays a depressing 1.5% back).  No FTF.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

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% in redemption value if you redeem points against recent travel purchases. If you haven't made any recent travel purchases your points will only get you 1%.  

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.   No FTF though.  🙄

 

Think long and hard before you pay $95.  If you can't explain authoritatively why this card is better for you than a flat 2% cashback with no annual fee, please take a pass unless you only intend to pocket the SUB and close the card before the second AF is due.   

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FNBO’s card is now called Evergreen Visa Signature. I just got this one (no card I no the mail yet though).  Interestingly, it looks like FNBO has reduced their number of core cards down to just this card and their secured card. I remember they used to have quite a few. Now it’s just these two, along with all of their cobranded cards.

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