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In The Weeds with a Few Niche Cash Back Credit Cards

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Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash Back Credit Cards

Many years later, cash back is still my favorite rewards redemption option.  Shockingly, I love cash back credit cards, especially wacky ones which most probably don’t think of first.  When it comes to 2% cash back everywhere, many stop at the Citi Double Cash – a remarkably solid choice.  But whether it’s uncapped 2% back or other reward schemes, so many other more niche options beyond Citi, Chase, and Amex are out there.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Cash Back Credit Cards

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa

By parking $500 in a free checking account, the no-fee PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa goes from uncapped 1.5% to 2% cash back everywhere.  I’ve found PenFed very flexible in our hobby for a variety of plays, and in my experience, they also offer relatively high credit limits.  Rewards arrive quickly – cardholders are able to cash out a few days after purchases.  PenFed is boring but also drama-free, and I’ll increasingly embrace the former with the latter these days.

Cash Back Credit Cards
A cash bonus on a forced product change was a pleasant surprise.

Synchrony Premier World Mastercard

Like some of you, I backed into this no-fee 2% cash back everywhere card.  When Synchrony phased out the Rakuten Visa, they automatically product-changed me to the Premier World Mastercard.  Ever since, I’ve used it much more than I expected.  As I recently described, I can never have too many uncapped 2% cash back everywhere cards.  My wife wasn’t as lucky to be product changed to the card.  We’ve embraced this card so much, she recently picked one up via new application.

Cash Back Credit Cards
Source: Comenity.

Bread Cashback Amex

Compared to others on this list, this unlimited 2% cash back everywhere card sports one unique feature – it’s a third-party Amex card.  Such products are a fairly endangered species in our hobby.  Check out why you should bother with third party Amex cards here.  And recently, my wife’s Bread Cashback Amex card was targeted for a spend bonus.  She’s earning an extra 1% up to a $75 bonus this month.

Source: Sam’s Club.

Sam’s Club World Elite Mastercard

True cash back probably isn’t the first many think of with this no-fee card.  Indeed, rewards are provided as Sam’s Cash, easily redeemable on normal Sam’s Club transactions.  But recently, I’ve opted to simply cash out the rewards at Customer Service for green.  The card earns 5% rewards at all gas stations, up to $6k annual spend.  Sam’s Plus members earn 3% more rewards on top of their 2% Plus earn.  Watch out for rewards earning limits, though.  Rewards from credit card spend cap at $5k annually, and rewards from 2% Plus membership earn cap at $500 each year.  Nonetheless, plenty can stay busy within those limits.

Niche Cash Back Credit Cards – Conclusion

These are just a few of my favorite niche cash back cards.  I have others and look forward to picking up more.  I know many love maximizing Discover and Bank of America via Preferred Rewards.  Also, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a powerhouse for high spenders looking for a 2% cash back card with no preset spending limit.  I’ve found having many options available is key to being able to lucratively strike in our hobby, and options beyond the credit card heavyweights play a large role.  Of course, based on individual situations, our preferences can vary.  So, dear reader, what are your go-to cash back cards beyond Amex, Citi, and Chase?

Information about American Express products mentioned in this post was collected independently by Miles to Memories and the author.

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. Benjy, is there some way to get 2% cash back from PenFed rewards? If not, then is it really comparable to 2% cash back cards? Thanks and Merry Christmas.

    • Eddy,
      PenFed Power Cash provides rewards as true 2% cash back. Other PenFed cards, such as Pathfinder, provide points at a cashout cent per point value less than a penny each, and they have relatively limited bonus categories, hence I’m not including them here.

  2. I never understand why retailers and credit card companies miss the mark with cards like Sam’s or Costco cards. They urge you to spend on it and join Sam’s+ or whatever but the card should include that benefit instead. If the Sam’s card included Sam’s+ (and I’d even go so far as to suggest they include Walmart+ in that same program) and provided say 2 or 3x at gas stations I’d be a LOT MORE interested. In addition, Costco and Sam’s should include the annual membership in that card even if they charge a fee to offset that. It’s just not that attractive to me as a product otherwise and I do plenty of shopping at Sam’s and Costco. I think Sam’s or Costco could keep more people loyal if they just charge like $50 a year for their cards and include a basic membership. Why would you give it up? You might even spend on it when you are there.


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