Current 2% Cash Back Credit Card Deals

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Yes, believe it or not, it is possible to get a credit card with 2 percent cash back. When you think about it, this is a must-have for everyone. Why? Because even if you have a card that gives you higher rebates on certain categories (such as groceries, gas, airfare, etc) you are likely only getting around 1 percent (or less!) on everything else you buy. You’re basically losing easy money that you could be getting with 2 percent cash-back credit cards.

Which cards give you 2 percent cash back? (or a 2 percent rebate?)

Over the past decade or so, there have been a very small handful. Unfortunately many of them are no longer available. For example, the popular Schwab 2 percent cash back card was discontinued for new applicants in 2010 (and then in 2011 existing cardholders were switched over). HSBC used to have the “weekend card” that gave 2 percent but only on Saturday and Sunday… that too was discontinued. Fortunately there are still a few 2 percent cards that are going strong in 2014 if you know where to look. (Updated for 2014).

Capital OneĀ® VentureĀ® Rewards Credit Card – As with the Arrival, this isn’t a true “cash-back” card because if you redeem for cash, the value will be lower (so you will not be getting 2 percent on your spending). However, if you spend your rewards on travel, it’s like earning 2 percent on all your spending.

The card gives 2 miles per dollar spent. Those miles can be redeemed to offset travel purchases you make with the credit card, at a rate of 1 mile for a 1-cent credit toward the travel purchases.

This card has no foreign transaction fees. To learn more and to see the current promotional offer check out my Capital One Venture Rewards credit card review.

fidelity cardFidelity American Express – Unfortunately you can’t apply for this unless you have a Fidelity account. It is a 2 percent cash-back credit card and the rewards are deposited into your Fidelity account (cash management account, brokerage account, IRA, etc.). While the Schwab card is no longer in existence, this one from Fidelity is now the best brokerage-affiliated card on the market, as you get 2 percent on all eligible purchases for no annual fee. The major drawback with this card is that if your rewards are deposited into your retirement accounts, the amount will be counted against your annual tax-exempt contribution limit (so in other words, your rewards may basically be taxable).

Discover EscapeDiscover Escape – [2013 update: No longer available] Toward the end of last year Discover announced that this card offer would no longer be available.

This little known gem is hard to beat. It gives 2 miles for every dollar spent. Each mile equals $0.01 that can be used to pay for virtually any travel related purchase you make. So you are essentially getting a straight 2 percent cash back on everything.

For example, let’s say you bought a plane ticket on Expedia… afterwords you could call up Discover and have them credit your account for the value of that purchase, using your accumulated “miles”. The only drawback is that while Discover’s domestic acceptance is now strong, using it outside of the U.S. will be tough in most parts of the world (for that reason, the Venture is a better choice).

Household Bank Rewards – [updated: Now discontinued for everyone] This card was available years ago and it was re-launched in summer 2011. It gave a flat 2 percent on everything y and if you had good credit, there was no annual fee. The downside was that this card was geared towards those with mediocre credit, so there wasn’t exactly stellar service or benefits. The credit limits weren’t fabulous either. But that aside, it was the only 2 percent card that didn’t have an annual fee and anyone could apply for it. Back in 2011 they stopped accepting new applicants and the old existing accounts were phased out for 2013.

Honorable Mention: AmEx Blue Cash Preferred – This card is not a 2 percent card, but it gets an honorable mention and here’s why — you get 3 percent to 6 percent cash back on eligible category spending for supermarkets, gas stations and department stores. Depending on your spending patterns, your average cash back might very well reach or even exceed 2 percent. To learn more check out my American Express Blue review.


This review was written or last updated August 14, 2014.


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

18 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. MikeOWave June 11, 2014 at 9:06PM

    The Barclay Arrival should have the same disclaimer as the Capitol One Venture. The points are only worth 2% when applied to travel and the 10% points refund is only good for travel related expenses

  2. Lee April 20, 2014 at 9:27PM

    Fidelity 2% back is fantastic. I received several thousand dollars in rewards last year.

  3. Lee April 20, 2014 at 9:26PM

    The Fidelity card is fantastic. I use it for business and received several thousand dollars in cash rewards last year. 2% is great! No complaints from me. Sparks 2% is also great.

  4. Jim March 22, 2014 at 6:59PM

    Concerning drawbacks to the Fidelity AMEX — NO!! — the major drawback is that it is processed by FIA Card Services. I have had this card (and another processed by FIA Card Services) for about ten years and charge approximately $50,000 per year. But I absolutely cannot justify staying with this card when there are other similar cash back products without the hassle of having to deal with FIA.

    FIA’s fraud algorithm decilines one or two transactions a year for me – standing in line at the grocery store, filling up for gas in the middle of a trip – it happens year after year. Call the number on the back of the card, wait ten minutes to get a rep on the line, wait for the rep to transfer you to the fraud department, and then listen to them tell you that your last two or three transactions met some sort of suspicious criteria that, in my case, has never made any sense – like the last one was I filled up for gas where I always fill up for gas and then went to the grocery store where I always buy groceries. FIA will never call you when this happens – you have to call them. (Compare this to charge and credit cards from American Express for example, AMEX immediately calls you when this sort of thing happens.)

    FIA cancels my one or another of my credit cards about once every two years due to “Merchant Compromise.” They don’t call you – you just all of a sudden find that your card doesn’t work anymore. Another card arrives in the mail and you have about one to two weeks to change all of your linked accounts (I have about 20 or 30 accounts linked to my primary credit card) before the original one expires. Under no circumstanse will FIA tell you what the “compromise” was. (Compare this to other cards that I have had – the processor tells me exactly what the problem transaction(s) was.)

    Finally, FIA provides no Quicken direct connect or web connect capability. If you use Quicken as I do, you have to manually download all of your transactions at the end of each billing period into Quicken. With the direct or web connect capability, you can charge something, go home, open Quicken, and immediately see the transaction. This is a must-have capability for me, particularly considering the volume of my monthly credit card transactions.

    Bottom line: I like the 2% cash back with my Fidelity AMEX but there are other cards out there with this benefits – NASA Federal Credit Union Platinum Cash Rewards VISA is an example. I would recommend to anyone that they stay away from cards processed by FIA card services except for complementary cards that you do not routinely depend on.

    • Craig October 20, 2014 at 1:18PM

      FIA has updated their online services. Web connect will now work with Quicken 2012 or later. There is no direct connect support. We just recently had a number cancelled for merchant compromise, but they did leave a voicemail. A callback to FIA confirmed that it was legitimate, but they would not give the vendor’s name. We have also had a fraud alert and lock two or three times. Resolution takes about 5-10 minutes. If you carry a second card, you may lose 1% cash back for that purchase, but you can make your purchase and leave before resolving the fraud alert.

  5. fortune March 11, 2014 at 12:42PM

    Not really 2% for Barclaycard Arrival.
    Cash back statement credit redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $12.50. Gift card redemptions start at 5,000 miles for $25.

    You can redeem your miles for travel and cash back statement credits, gift cards and merchandise. Travel statement credit redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25, for any travel purchase within the last 90 days. A Travel purchase is defined as: Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies.

  6. John July 24, 2013 at 8:16AM

    Its a “major drawback” to deposit the 2% back on the Fidelity card into a retirement account? Come on man, most people deposit very little into their retirement accounts. To deposit $1000 into an account from the Fidelity card, one would have to charge (spend) $50,000 on that card per year. 90% of us will never charge $50k on a credit card in a year. Plus very few people ever max out their retirement accounts as well so the 2% could reduce their tax burden. I think the 2% into my retirement account is a bonus. You could also deposit that 2% into a brokerage account and have the cash.

    • Ben August 10, 2014 at 11:13AM

      Regarding Fidelity, no need to put rewards into retirement or investments. Open a Fidelity Cash Management Account – just like a checking account. Pull $$ out whenever you like at no penalty.

  7. Alan May 27, 2013 at 2:59PM

    It looks like Barclay’s Priceline card is now only 1% for all purchases, 5% on name your own price

  8. Scott February 6, 2013 at 5:18PM

    I looks like the Priceline.com Barclaycard is 2%.

  9. victor himbaugh January 7, 2013 at 3:54PM

    The Capital One Sparks business card pays 2% cash back with no cap.

  10. Cenor January 31, 2012 at 3:12AM

    Currently I’m using one. Once the accumulated cash back reach $50, it will be credited to account. I’m constantly receiving $50 every 2 months. I will definitely not go back to bonus or other reward cards again.

    • Christina February 1, 2012 at 1:50PM

      Which card is that, Cenor?

      • Rich December 20, 2012 at 4:22PM

        I would like to know the name of this card too and: is there an annual fee or any other disadvantages like expiration time frames?

  11. MoneyStasher December 12, 2011 at 5:05PM

    The American Express Blue Card really is a monster earner. The Chase Freedom with 5% revolving categories is also a great card to have.

    Your best bet is to have a 2% card for general spending, and a card like the Blue Cash or Chase Freedom for spending in the current bonus categories.

    • Do No January 27, 2012 at 6:35PM

      Keep in mind that 5% is usually on the first 1500 only.

  12. Brian September 16, 2011 at 12:40PM

    how about the new capital one small business card?

    • Hano April 16, 2012 at 8:51AM

      It has an annual fee.

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