Updated: February 4, 2014
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express is a cash back rewards card that offers 3% cash back on U.S. stand-alone gas purchases. One major perk of the the Blue Cash Preferred® card is 6% cash back on groceries. This benefit is limited to U.S. stand-alone supermarkets and to the first $6,000 purchases made each year. The Blue Cash Preferred® card also includes 3% cash back for purchases made at major retailers like Dillard's, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, and several others. In addition to these cash back options, 1% cash back is available on all other purchases. A Rewards Dollars bonus of $100 can also be received after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. For those interested in transferring an existing balance to the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, balance transfer requests in the first 30 days of card ownership will receive a 12.99% - 21.99% APR that is based upon creditworthiness. A potential drawback of the card is the $75 annual fee, but depending on other purchases, the card could easily pay for itself.
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa® Card
The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa® card utilizes a points system to reward purchases made with the card. Every dollar spent on gasoline purchases with the PenFed Platinum Rewards card will result in five points. Instead of operating on a strictly cash back basis like other top gas rewards cards, the points system allows the cardholder to redeem points for rewards like hotels, airline travel, car rentals, and other merchandise. This flexibility makes the PenFed Platinum Rewards card a great option for those interested in diverse rewards options. Another benefit of the PenFed Platinum Rewards card is a very attractive introductory rate of 0% for the first 18 months on all balance transfers. An introductory variable rate of 9.99% on all purchases and cash advances is also in place until it is capped in June 2014. In addition to points being earned through gasoline purchases, cardholders will receive three points per dollar spent on supermarket purchases, and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Although there is no limit to the number of points you can acquire, the points do expire five years from the end of the month in which they were earned, or if the cardholder defaults on the agreement.
TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express
The TrueEarnings® card from Costco and Amex is a cash back rewards card that offers 3% cash back on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, including those at Costco locations. The 3% rate is capped at $4,000 per year. Any spending on gasoline above this limit will still be eligible for 1% back on all purchases. In addition to these gasoline benefits, the TrueEarnings® card offers 2% cash back at U.S. restaurants and 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases. There is a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first six months, and following that period, a market-based variable interest rate will be applied. One feature of the TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express to be aware of is that all cash back rewards are received as a coupon added to the last page of the February billing statement. The rewards coupon is redeemable at any U.S. Costco Warehouse for merchandise or cash. In order to redeem the coupon, the cardholder will have to visit a Costco location prior to August 31 in the year in which the coupon is issued. Although there is no annual fee for the card, a paid Costco membership is required.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card is a cash back rewards card that offers 2% cash back on groceries and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined spending each quarter. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ card requires no annual fee and includes 1% back on all purchases. One unique feature of the card is the ability to choose how rewards are received. Rewards can be deposited into a checking or savings account, credited to the account, sent directly to the card owner, or even be applied to a mortgage payment. Bank of America customers receive an additional 10% cash reward bonus if points are redeemed directly into a Bank of America checking or savings account. A bonus of $100 is awarded if purchases of $500 are made within the first 90 days of opening the account. Cash rewards can be redeemed online, but rewards cannot be redeemed if the account is not in good standing, and rewards will be forfeited if the account is closed.