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Pile ‘Em Up – Why I Can Never Have Too Many of These Cards

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Cash Back Cards

2% Cash Back Cards

Cash back is still king for me.  I primarily enjoy cashing out major rewards currencies like Amex Membership Rewards via Schwab Platinum and Chase Ultimate Rewards with Pay Yourself Back.  But I’ll happily take all the rewards from 2% cash back cards, as well.  Such rewards certainly aren’t the flashiest, but they deliver solid everyday value.  And I want as many 2% cash back cards as I can get my hands on – for a few different reasons.  While many look past them, here’s why I can’t get enough.


Once in a good while, significant scaling opportunities arrive, and being able to spend large amounts on short notice is vital.  The last thing I need is more airline miles or hotel points at normal earning rates.  As with anything, these large spending opportunities are only worth pursuing when I can obtain real value, but in these cases, the benefit must be even more immediate.  Having additional 2% cash back cards gives me more capacity to strike on those opportunities.

Cash Back Cards

Mitigating Risk

Perhaps the most talked-about 2% cash back card is Citi’s Double Cash, and rightly so.  But a variety of card issuers, big and small, offer 2% cash back cards.  Having more of them enhances my options.  And by decentralizing that spend across a variety of products, I’m less apt to overdo it with any one product.

But if I go too hard on any one and perhaps get shut down, that loss isn’t as significant when I have more options to flank to.  Going a step further, I’m able to take more calculated risks and push harder if I can more reasonably absorb such a shutdown.  No risk it, no biscuit.

It’s Good Enough

I will shamelessly apply the “perfect is the enemy of good enough” cliche here.  Some banks offer cash back cards rewarding at well over 2%.  But they often come with significant strings, such as parking a bunch of money where I don’t want to, a card with a ridiculously low credit limit (cough, cough, Discover Miles), limited time earning offers, etc.  At higher volumes, I prefer to just keep it simple.  Do I miss out on a bit extra?  Maybe.  But my principles come first.

Cash Back Cards

Player Two

Like many of you, I’ve installed a revolving door of cards with my wife over the years.  Pretty little labels aside, I just want her to be able to take a break from all the craziness from time to time.  During this rest, she’ll just chip her 2% cash back card, instead.  Indeed, the rewards points with the wife are more valuable than anything a credit card can provide.


When I search for more 2% cash back cards, I sometimes come upon a bank or credit union new to me.  Sometimes, they offer other cards or hobby angles that I can maximize.  Even better, those entities are compatible with other plays I’m already leveraging.  The process of finding more 2% cards encourages me to stay curious, something that I find integral in our points and travel hobby.

Image of coins growing as if they are plants


Don’t get me wrong – I love a big, juicy new card signup bonus just as much as any other rewards hacker.  But there are points where the hobby goes beyond “just” earning those welcome offers.  I’ve found 2% cash back cards to be a vital tool in reaching those new heights.  I know others plug in cards well above that level, and bravo to them!  We can each optimally customize our respective strategies for our specific situations.  I’ll continue to do so, and I encourage you to, as well!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I go with Cashback cards for the sign up. If I can put a thousand of medical bills on a card and get $200 or so back, I’m in.

  2. I think the same rationale applies to hotel cards when also able to scale on non-regular bonus strategies. For example, I just purchased $3k of Marriott points at 20% off. I also earned 6x, or 14,400 Bonvoy points, as a Marriott purchase on a co-branded card stacked with an additional 10,000 bonus Bonvoy points from a separate AMEX Offer on my Bonvoy Business card (+ an addtl 4,800 points from the spend). I guess I prefer that to cash because if I shop hard enough I can also make a great redemption using said points whereas cash back can be a more locked-in value.


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