Get Your Cash Back

I heard on the radio this morning that today is “Dump Day” which signifies the last day to break off your relationship with your significant other before the holidays roll around. Since my wife and I are solid, I decided I would use dump day to finish closing out any cards that had served their purpose in 2017 and who I didn’t care to spend the holidays with this season.

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Sure, you may look like a huge nerd. But labeling your cards will ensure you always use the right one in the moment and capitalize the return on your spending.

You may have noticed my new Uber card that arrived this week. I’m very excited about it: A no annual fee card that provides 4% cash back on dining and 3% on hotels in addition to its other perks. It’s the latest no-fee cash back card in my wallet, and one that I expect will stay for a while.

Most cash back cards don’t carry an annual fee, and allow you to use your earned rewards directly on your next statement. Whether you decide to redeem monthly, or you save them all year to pay off Christmas gifts is up to you.

Here’s a summary of how I earn cash back without paying annual fees:

Category % Back Using Card
Rotating categories including Amazon purchases and Groceries. 5% Discover It Card
Dining, Bars and Uber Eats 4% Barclay Uber Visa Card
Costco Gas 4% Citi Costco Visa
Hotels and Airfare 3% Barclay Uber Visa Card
All Else 2% Citi Double Cash Card

You’ll always want to ensure another card in your wallet doesn’t provide you a better return on a specific purchase before committing. For instance, my American Express Platinum nets me a nearly 10% return on airfare purchases so I don’t use my Uber card for airfare. However, 15% of your credit score is calculated using the length of your history with an account, so these no-fee cash back cards can be a real anchor in your collection and are a great solution for card users who are weary of annual fees.