Cashback Credit Card
Cashback is one of the most popular rewards when it comes to redeeming reward points.
Below listed are reward cards that offer the ability to either directly or indirectly receive cashback rewards or vouchers with credit card purchases.
To find out more about cashback offers, and the difference between money back credit cards and cash back reward card, read through the guide below:
Comparison of Cash Back Credit Cards
With low rate cards, no interest cards, and rewards cards, it is hard to know which type of card to choose.
Well, there are also cash back cards that are an excellent choice if you are the right type of user. There are things you should know about this type of card before heading out to sign up for one.
You should be aware of the ins and outs before applying for this card. It can be a very wise choice if you happen to be the sort to use it well and take advantage of the benefits.
What Are Cash Back Credit Cards?
With the abundance of different credit cards out there, it is often hard to know which type is best for you to choose. You have be aware of your own spending habits and use of credit in order to find the one that will be the most advantageous to you and your circumstances. One choice for the savvy card user is the cash back credit card.
Cash back credit cards are credit cards that give you money back on purchases made with the credit card. That is the very simplistic explanation of the card as there are varying details depending on the type of card that you choose.
How Do These Cash Back Cards Work?
These cards work differently than rewards cards. Instead of giving you points towards items or services for which you can redeem the points, cash back cards give you cash back. This cash is sent directly back to your account. You are rewarded with cash for spending on your credit card. It is as simple as that.
And, if you shop at participating or partner retailers, you can often receive even more cash back. You will have to check the particulars of your specific card, but there are participating retailers who will provide you more money back simply by choosing to shop there instead of someplace else.
If you are the type of credit card user that takes pains to never pay interest and always pays off your balance each month then this may be the type of card you are looking for.
If you know what you are doing, you can really use these cards to your advantage.
How Much Cash Back Can I Receive?
How much cash back you receive depends mainly on the type of card that you decide to use. The different providers of cash back rewards cards vary in what types of offerings they have. Some offer a percentage while others offer a flat rate. Your credit card provider will give you all of the details when you sign up for your card.
Because there is a wide gap in what is offered, it is therefore important that you shop around as much as possible for the right deal for you. Doing credit card comparisons will make it possible for you to see the different cards side by side and then be able to clearly identify which offers are the most appealing to you.
The general rule is that most card users earn about 0.5% to 5.0% in cash back. The higher percentage is usually during bonus or introductory periods.
If you want to earn more, you can choose to shop at participating retailers who often provide more money back. You will also find that there are certain terms and conditions that may apply such as earning limits. Be sure to look very carefully at the fine print before you settle on any particular cash back card offer.
If you want to find out what you can earn back, you can use a ‘cash back earnings calculator.’ This will give you a clearer idea of how much your spending on your credit card will give you back. You can also use to it compare it with other card offers.
If you want to compare cash back cards with other types of cards such as rewards cards, you can use a rewards calculator which will compare cash back programs with other types of cards that provide points or vouchers or other types of offers.
On What Items Can I Earn Cash Back And How Much?
When you use your credit card, you are only eligible to receive cash back on purchases. This means that you will not receive cash back on any cash withdrawals, traveller’s cheques, the purchase of foreign currency, balance transfers, or transactions related to gambling.
You are also not eligible to receive cash back from interest that has accrued on your balance or from fees or from any default penalties.
So, this means cash back is only awarded when you make purchases at retailers or companies. This can be towards any goods or services that are purchased from these establishments.
Depending on the bank or building society, cash back cards will offer different types of programs. These will vary in percentage rate and other offerings. You must look carefully at each offer to see what is available and how they differ from other providers.
There are, generally, 3 different types of cash back programs. They are:
- Flat Rate Program
- Tiered Program
- Selected Retailer Program
When you understand these different types of programs, you will be able to choose the one that will give you the most advantage according to how you use your card.
Flat Rate Program
This type of program is the one that is the most straight-forward. The provider offers a flat percentage rate back on the amount of money that you spend. For instance, if you have a program that offers 1% cash back on the purchases that you make then you receive that amount back to you in cash every time you use your card.
One of the main benefits to utilising the flat rate program is that you will receive cash back any time you use your card for purchases.
The tiered program will provide a particular percentage back to you when you purchase a specified amount. Then you spend beyond that amount, you are rewarded back a cash back amount calculated at a different percentage rate.
You will find two different types of tiered program cash back cards. There are cards that will provide cash back for spending lower amounts and then there are those cards that will reward you with cash back for spending higher amounts.
Once you have assessed what type of spender you are then you will be able to find the tiered program that best fits your needs. If you spend large amounts each month then the program that rewards higher amounts is better for you. However, if you choose to spend money on lesser items, you may want to choose the program that rewards smaller purchases.
Selected Retailer Program
The Selected Retailer Program is a rewards scheme that gives cash back to those who shop with particular retailers that participate in the program. This program is ideal for those who shop regularly with these participating retailers as some of the rewards are up to 10% back on your purchases. That is a huge amount!
This should be appealing, however, if you already shop at these retailers. You should not overspend at a certain retailer simply for the cash back rewards. If you do not have certain retailers that are participating, you should choose a card program that gives you cash back on all of your spending.
Comparing Cash Back Credit Cards
When you are in the market for finding the best cash back credit card then you will need to take the time to compare the many different offers. There are pros and cons to each program. It is only after doing this comparison that you will be able to find the credit card provider that has the best deal suited to your spending style.
Here are some considerations that you should factor in as you begin your search.
Important Factors to Compare With Cash Back Programs
There are all kinds of things that you need to keep in mind as you do your cash back credit card comparison. The amount or percentage of cash back per dollar spent or points is not the only game in town so to speak and you would be wise to look at the big picture and pay close attention to the following points before you sign up with one card over another.
- Interest rate offered. The interest rate on a card is the big number that everyone must pay attention to. If one card is offering a huge bump in cash back for the first couple of months but has a significantly higher rate of interest than other cards, this card will not be in your best interest unless you tend to repay the balance due in the card each and every month.
- Potential penalties. Some credit card companies levy significant penalties to card holders who pay late, pay below the minimum payment and/or go over the credit limit for the card. No one intends to do any of these things but some of the penalties for doing so can be extremely harsh and financially difficult to deal with. You need to know the risks before you buy into the superiority of one credit card company over another to meet your credit needs.
- Annual fees. Another way credit card companies are banking on to make money is through annual fees. Some of them are quite costly. If you are planning on a card that is only for emergencies or a specific expense like fuel or groceries each month and plan to pay the balance in full at the end of every month but still cash in on the points, don’t dive in until you’ve read the fine print about annual fees. If the annual expense of having the card exceeds the amount of cash back you’re expecting you’d do better to select a different option as far as cash back programs are concerned.
- Actual points awarded. Some companies will offer higher points or cash back value to certain items while offering standard points for all other purchases. Some companies offer limited specials for the first two or three months that include bonus points for balance transfers, purchases, and other credit card related transactions. Some companies offer one rate that fits all purchases but it may be slightly higher than the standard rates for the other two types of cards mentioned.
Making money on cashback credit cards:
- You must pay off your debt each month. If you overspend and can not repay the debt you have cancelled out any cash benefit you will receive.
- Never use your credit card for cash advances. Cash advances begin gaining interest immediately, no interest free period. So again, all of your cashback and then some goes to paying the interest on that transaction.
- If you want to make the most money possible on cashback credit cards you should use them for everyday purchases. Petrol, groceries, dining out or anything else within your budget to repay each month and that is not deemed a cash advance by your credit card will make you the most in cashback.
- If you have to purchase something that you will not be able to pay off immediately or if you know you will carry a revolving debt you should choose a card that offers different rewards. You may even look at a low interest card that is used just for large purchases.
The first time you get your money from cashback credit cards it might not seem like much. Depending on how much you spend it could only be $30 in one month. But just think, if you could earn $30 a month for a full year you would make $360. Not too shabby for doing nothing but spending money that you had to spend anyway. The only thing you have to do is pay off your debt each month and you will start making money from your money.
Ideal if you are not interested in borrowing money for a long time.
If you need to borrow money for an extended period of time then a cash back credit card may not be the right option for you. Most cards carry a fairly high interest rate and the money that you would accrue in interest would outweigh what you would earn in cash back savings. It would definitely not be worth your while.
Ideal if you are able and willing to make most of your purchases on your credit card.
Putting all of your purchases on a credit can make some people squeamish. If you are of this sort then a cash back credit card may not be a good fit. However, if you prefer to put all of your purchases on your credit card and are comfortable doing so then you can stand to make some money back for simply spending money! That’s enough to make anyone smile!! The key is that it must be paid off each month in order to reap the benefits.
Ideal if the deal is comparable to what you spend monthly anyway.
If you need to spend a lot of money each month (more than you usually do) to gain the rewards from the card and it is more than you usually spend, it is not a good option for you. However, if you shop at a particular retailer and this retailer is a partner of the card you use then you can be rewarded the utmost for this. You will earn more cash back for spending money that you would already intend to spend.
There are also many retailers that are participators in cash back rewards program. It would be worth your time to do some research and find out which ones offer the best programs and if they are in line with what you would spend at their establishment already.
Ideal if you have a strong credit background.
In order to be eligible for a good cash back program, your credit record will have to be in good standing. These cards are usually extended to those who have a stellar credit background. You must have followed responsible borrowing habits and be certain that you have a strong credit score before you decide to apply. If you are unsure about your credit score and you are not accepted by the card provider, this may have a negative impact on your credit rating.
Be careful if you have existing debt on your credit cards.
If you are carrying extra credit card debt on your cards, you are probably not a good candidate for the cash back credit cards. The interest that you are paying will definitely be more than you would earn on the cash back rewards. If you are interested in having a cash back card then you should do your best to pay off all of your debt and then apply.
Be careful if you do not have a strong credit record.
Cash back cards are generally given to those who have a strong credit background. If you find that you have negative marks on your credit record, you should do all you can to clean up your credit and then apply for the cash back rewards card. There are cards that are given to those with poor credit with the intent to build it up again. These cards will help you to get your credit back on track again and then afterwards, you can apply.
Factors In The Decision Making Process
Cash back credit cards are not complicated but there are differences between the cards. This guide is intended to clarify some of those differences so you are able to choose the card that will be the most beneficial to you and your needs.
Recap on what to look out for
Cash Back Programs
Cash back cards all have different types of cash back programs.These programs are determined by the credit card provider themselves or the building society which the card is issued by. Once you have determined which card you are interested in then you will be able to find out how much cash back is given back on that card and on what types of purchase. Some will only provide cash back for groceries and petrol while others will give you cash back for all types of retail purchases. Looking closely and each offer will provide you with the details you need in order to make a sound decision.
There are three types of cash back programs. They are the flat rate, tiered and selected retailers programs.
- The flat rate program will give you money back at a flat percentage rate for all of your qualifying purchases.
- The tiered program will let you receive cash back on purchases up to a certain amount and then even more cash back if you spend beyond that.
- The selected retailers program gives you cash back for shopping with certain retailers. There are some that will reward you with up to 10% back for shopping at participating retailers.
Using the calculator
The cash back card that provides the most back to you sounds like the perfect card but that is not all you should take into consideration. There are different factors to mull over and it is important that you find the right card so you will better be able to maximise the benefits the card has to offer.
In order to do this, you can use the ‘cash back credit card reward calculator.’ This is an excellent tool to help you in your cash back credit card search. It will ask you to details about what you spend on average on your credit card and will then provide you information about how much you can expect to get back from the cash back rewards card. You will find out this information immediately so you can move in your search for the perfect cash back credit card.
The only drawback is that the tool cannot calculate the cash back that you may earn in a selected retailers program because it is so specialised. You may have to determine those earnings on your own. However, if you do not spend a lot but tend to shop regularly at a participating retailer then it might be worth your time to apply for the selected retailers program cash back credit card.
Introductory Bonuses With Cash Back
You may find some cards that provide introductory bonuses when you sign up as a cardholder. The incentive is that you may receive an increase in cash back during this initial period. The amount of the increase depends on the card provider. For example, ‘American Express Platinum’ will give back up to 5% on their card.
Offers for Special Introductory Rates
There are some cash back credit cards that will provide special introductory rates when you first have your card. They can range from a increased percentage for cash back or special rates at certain retailers or other type of rates.
Some of them will also include a special rate for purchases. For example, a card may provide 0% when you make purchases. This deal can last anywhere from 3 months to 6 months or even more. This is a great way to make some purchases and take your time to pay it off, as well.
You could opt to make a big purchase on something you have been waiting for. Since you have several months to pay it off, you can relax and pay it back within the time frame and earn cash back on that purchase. It is as if you are being paid to shop! You will earn no interest AND you get money back. Now THAT’S a good deal.
Standard Interest Rates
Each card comes with its own interest rate that is standard. And, the law requires credit card providers to display prominently the annual percentage rate for all of their credit cards when they are sending out their advertising.
If you intend to pay off the balance each month then it may not be a major concern but if you have to keep a balance for some reason, you may want to choose a card that has an annual percentage rate that is within what you think is reasonable.
Paying off your balance each month is the goal and is an important standard to uphold. If you want to reap the most benefits from your card, it is a very good idea to pay off your balance each month so you do not have any interest that accrues.
However, let’s face it. Life happens. Sometimes you may have a balance that carries over. If this happens, be sure you have a card that has a good interest rate that will not be too deleterious to your finances.
Beware of These…
Cash Back Ceilings
These are one of the biggest deterrents when you are searching for the perfect cash back credit card. These ‘ceilings’ are limits on how much cash back you can earn on your card. It is also referred to as a ‘capped amount of cash back’ or ‘capped amount of spending.’
Not every card has these ceilings but some of them do. If your card has a ceiling, then when you have reached that limit then you will no longer be eligible to receive cash back for the rest of the year. Once the new year begins, you will be able to start earning cash back again.
The good thing to note, however, is that these limits are usually fairly high. Most card users find they are still able to make back the cash they are hoping to. However, if you are interested in using a card that does not impose any limits on cash back earnings then you may want to consider the ‘Capital One World MasterCard’ or the ‘American Express Platinum’ credit card or the ‘Egg Credit Card.’
These cards do not have any limits so you can spend as much as you want and earn back as much as you want. It is perfect for those who may need to use a card for business and have the ability to pay off the amount each month. You spend, you earn!
Annual fees are a common feature on many credit cards and you will also find them on cash back credit cards. Annual fees are the amounts that credit card companies charge for keeping the account open and active. There are also administration costs associated with owning a credit card and those can be covered by annual fees.
The amounts of these fees vary from card to card. While some do not charge a fee at all there are some that charge a very high amount. It all depends on what you are looking for from your card.
The cards with the higher annual fees tend to have all the bells and whistles as part of the card. If you are primarily interested in simply getting cash back, you may want to search for a card that lets you do that and that’s it.
Balance transfers are GREAT, but they should not be done on cash back credit cards. The reason for this is because of the hierarchy of payments.
Let’s say you chose to move a balance over from a higher interest credit card over to your cash back credit card. This may seem like a good idea at first but after you start making your payments, you will begin to see why this is not such a great idea.
The payments will be applied to the balances that have the lowest interest rates first. That means if you have high balance at a low interest rate, you will pay on that balance first while all of your purchases will continue to accrue at the higher interest rate. Not only will your cash back revenue be cancelled out but you will end up paying even more in interest.
Your safest bet is to find a good balance transfer card and move your balance over to that card and use your cash back credit card for purchases only. There are many great balance transfer offers out there and you will likely save a lot more money if you take this option instead.
There is also no reason why you should not have more than one card. The cards serve different purposes so you can keep them around according to what you are using them for.
Can I receive cash back on cash advances? The answer is ‘no.’ You can only earn cash back on purchases that you have made on your card. These purchases can be for any goods or services. There may be some stipulations on what goods and services may be exempt from eligibility but you will need to check carefully on your card’s Terms and Conditions for that information.
There may also be certain retailers in which you can earn cash back. This would also be detailed on your Terms and Conditions. You are also not eligible to earn cash when you purchase foreign currency or if you use traveller’s cheques. Transactions for gambling and balance transfers are also exempt from earning cash back.
It is recommended that you take out cash with your debit card if you are in need of cash right away.
Will I lose the ability to earn my cash back if I make late payments? The answer is ‘yes.’ If you do not make your payments on time or if you go over your credit limit, you stand to lose the ability to earn cash back on your credit card. To safeguard against this, be sure to pay off your balance as soon as you receive your statement and be aware of how much your limit is so you are not in danger of going over it.
You can also set it up with your bank to have your payment to your card automatically debited from your account. This is a good option for busy folks who do not have time to go through their statements.
The Step By Step For Using Your Cash Back Card
1. Make the application for your card – The good thing is that you can do all of this online these days. Most providers make it very easy to apply for credit cards and you can go directly to their website and apply right online.
You will need to have some information ready. For example, your address, your salary before taxes and other personal information. If the details are in close proximity, you will be able to finish your application in no time.
Once you have applied, the credit card company will respond to you via post. Once this correspondence has reached you, then you will be asked to provide additional information. After this information has been provided, then you will receive your card in the post after a few weeks.
2. Direct debit is your friend – You do not want to be stuck being penalised for missed payments. The surefire way to combat this is by setting up a direct debit through your bank account. If you fail to make a minimum payment, you stand to lose the last month’s cash back rewards. The interest rates can be quite high so if you are sure to make your regular payments then you will not have to pay such steep interest charges.
Ideally, it is important that you pay more if not all but if the minimum is what you are comfortable with then this can be set up automatically with your bank and you will be worry-free.
3. Spend!! -I bet you like the sound of that! You will not earn any cash back rewards if you do not spend so it is in your best interest to spend! We all have to spend money each month. We have to get food to eat and pay for our transportation, at the very least. The nice thing is that you can be rewarded for making these basic and fundamental purchases.
So, with that said, buy your groceries. Fill your car with petrol. Buy some flowers for your sweetheart. Whatever you do, just be sure you are paying with your cash back credit card. Just be sure that all of your purchases are eligible. Note: gambling and cash advances are never eligible for cash back rewards.
4. The card should be used only for purchases – Why, you ask? Well, because balance transfers or cash advances or not eligible for cash back rewards. And, those transactions will be stuck in front of all of your purchases. So, your purchase balance will grow but you will not be making much on your cash back if anything at all. Most likely, you will be losing much more due to interest.
If you need a card for balance transfers then search for a card that can be used exclusively for balance transfers. You will be able to use each card for its specified purpose and then you will not lose the benefits that are available to each card.
5. Treat your credit card like it is a debit card – Debit cards are very common and most people have them issued to them from their banks. Most people also use their debit cards to pay for ordinary purchases. Do not do this! Use your cash back credit card like it was a debit card. Use it instead of your debit card for all the purchases that you would normally make with your debit card. That way you are earning cash back for all of the purchases that your make anyway.
If you go to the movies, use your cash back credit card. If you are going on holiday, use your cash back credit card. If you plan on furnishing your home, use your cash back credit card. Anything that you would be using cash for or using your debit card for should be used with your cash back credit card. The cash back that you can earn can be from 0.5% – 5% that would be coming back to you in cash.
There is no reason why you can’t be rewarded for buying the things you need. Your daily purchases will now begin to reward you back. So, the next time you are ready to make a cash purchase, think again and use your cash back credit card.
And, if you make large purchases for furniture and such, you will get even more protection from your card in case of failure to deliver. Just one more reason to use your card.
If you opted to go with the selected retailers card for your cash back card then you should have your card handy in your wallet in case you are ever at that retailer. This way you will be able to take the most advantage of your earnings.
6. Think beyond groceries – While most of us will think of groceries and petrol as everyday purchases, there are utilities and other payments that may also be paid with credit card. Check with your gas company, internet service provider, mobile phone company, or gas or water company to find out if it is possible to pay your bill with your credit card.
However, anytime you are at the mall and buying clothes or shoes or gifts for your friends or loved ones, those are also all purchases that can be made with your cash back credit card. Once you start thinking about it, you will be surprised about how many things can be bought with your credit card that you may not have considered before.
7. Be aware of when your deals end – If you have a card that has a promotional offer then you will want keep track of when that promotional offer ends. If you are making a lot of purchases on the hope that you are getting an increase cash back return but it has expired, you will be in for a big surprise. Mark it on your calendar so you are certain when the deals are ending so you can plan your purchases accordingly.
8. Know when to say ‘no’ – If your card is no longer giving you back the rewards you are looking for then it may be time to move on. You can cancel the card and apply for a new one that better suits your needs.
Look closely at the Terms and Conditions that accompany your card about how to terminate your relationship with the credit card company. Most providers require a letter and the card returned to them.
9. Once a year – There are some cards that will only provide the cash back rewards to their customers once a year. In order to be eligible for these rewards, you must have your account in good standing and also open. Only then will they transfer the funds to your account.
Follow these easy-to-understand steps and you will be on your way to earning cash back in no time!
Australian Cash Back Credit Cards
Card #1: Citibank BP MasterCard
There are a number of MasterCard products around that invoke the cash back program in order to sell, but the Citibank BP MasterCard is definitely one of the better ones. Citibank is one of the most trusted financial institutions in the world and their massive list of credit cards is proof enough of that particular fact.
In addition to this well known fact there is also the idea that the Citibank BP MasterCard comes with 5% off everything you purchase at BP locations as well as a universal 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
Card #2: American Express Money back Card
One of the main candidates for leading cash back credit card in Australia definitely has to be the American Express Money back Card.
The main reason for that has to do with the fact that as far as cash back is concerned, it is arguably the most competitive around. Unfortunately, it will be harder to rack up money back on your purchases as American Express is limited in the places it’s accepted, as opposed to the universal acceptance of Visa and MasterCard.
All of the purchases that you make on this card are given a cash back of 1% with no maximum at any point in time. In addition to that however, during the first three months you use the card you will get a 5% introductory cash back rate up to a maximum of $300.
What’s the cashback catch?
Essentially, there’s no real catch to cashback. You can redeem it just as much as any other reward. However, you’ll need to look in to the fine print of your rewards program in general.
If your credit card is capped at 100,000 points per year, and 20,000 worth of points equates to $100, the maximum you can potentially earn per annum for instance is $500.
Keep on the lookout for point capping, if you believe you’ll be using your card for a hoard of purchases each year, go for a card with no point capping.
Is it worth aiming for cashback rewards in the end?
Just like any regular rewards credit card, if you don’t spend enough per annum to offset the value of your annual fee, or pay excessive interest, the value of your rewards will be nil or less.
You may have to ask yourself if it’s worth aiming for cashback instead of regular ‘general’ rewards too. As demonstrated from this graph from Cannex Australia, the value is generally not as strong, particularly the more you spend on your card per annum:
- 8 ways to make the most of cash-back credit cards [ConsumerReports.org]
* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from. ‘Best and ‘Top’ are ratings which are subject to our consideration and is not rated against all Australian credit cards. We recommend you take this information into account when comparing credit cards.
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