If you ask me the one card that you should hold on to your wallet, that would be a Restaurant/Dining Reward Credit Card. The reason is, you never know when you will grab a cup of coffee, snack, lunch or Dinner with your friend or family. If you are someone who eats a lot outside or spend at least $200 per month for Restaurants/Dining then you should have one of these cards in your wallet. I will tell you why this $200 per month math is important in a bit.
Credit Card issuers are competing with new products and attracting the customers by offering rewards in the most spend categories. The two recently launched Credit Cards are offering 4% return for eating outside.
Capital One Savor if offering 4% cash back on your dining and entertainment purchases, 2% cash back on your grocery store purchases. To offset the $95 Annual fees from the second year, you need to spend at least $200 per month in Dining and Entertainment. Entertainment category includes Buying tickets to a movie, play, concert, sporting event, tourist attraction, theme park, aquarium, zoo, dance club, pool hall or bowling alley. Also, making purchases at a record store and video rental locations.
American Express Gold card is also offering 4% at US restaurants, in addition to that 4% at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 and 3X on flights booked directly at amextravel.com. Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at participating partners like GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. 40,000 Bonus Points Offer available to new Card Members.
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide. Capital One offers 4% in Dining, which makes a better redemption value. It makes huge difference if you eat out a lot.
Capital One 4% on Dining and Entertainment is clearly the best when it comes to category rewards and low annual fee.
Capital One Savor is offering a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Amex Gold is offering 40,000 Membership Rewards Points (Referral Link) after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months. 20% cashback for the first 3 months as a one-time promotion, is a great bonus.
Clearly Chase Sapphire Preferred offers the best bonus rewards, but if you are sticking to cash back credit cards then Capital One Savor is the way to go.
Redeeming Rewards & Perks
Capital One redemption is definitely hassle free, just take cash every now and then. Capital One recently added a One-year Free benefit as a promotion at Postmates. Postmates is a service that, like Grubhub and Seamless, connects you with restaurants, letting you place an order online for delivery or pickup. The Unlimited plan costs $9.99 a month and gets you free delivery on all orders of $15 or more. When you have an active subscription, Savor card will credit $9.99 per month when you charge for any purchase.
When it comes to Amex membership rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get better value when redeemed via their travel or hotel partners. Here is an example of some of the top redemptions that you can make with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Amex does offer bonus transfer rate time to time while transferring to their partners. For example, recently they offered 40% bonus points when transferred to British Airways. You can book a Business Class ticket for 20,000 BA points for a domestic flight within US or to Mexico via American Airlines. One sample redemption shown below for Chicago to Cancun via Business class, lie flat seat.
Chase Sapphire Preferred has the best reward program that is available in the market today, but if you want to avoid accumulating reward points with multiple cards, then Capital One Savor is way to go for taking cash.
Capital One waives their Annual Fees for the first year, after that it’s $95. With the new Chase Sapphire 60,000 Bonus offer, the Annual Fee is not waived off. It clearly pays off with the additional 10,000 Bonus points which is worth more than $95. It pays off if you spend enough in those categories.
Though Amex Gold charges an Annual fee of $250, with $120 monthly statement credit which includes GrubHub and Seamless and $100 Incidental Airline credit, which can be redeemed on certain airline gift cards. The net fee is just $30.
Capital One with $95 Annual Fee and top 4% category rewards is the best when it comes to paying off the fees with rewards with spending at least $200 per month in those categories.
Capital One is a strong Cashback card with 4% cash on dining and entertainment including internationally. Capital One offers great fraud alerts.
Chase Sapphire is a great card if you want to use it for travel rewards. If you know how to redeem rewards through partners like Hyatt, my favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption, where you can get hotel redemption starting from 5000 points giving better value and Chase Sapphire Preferred gives more value. A lot prefer to hold Chase Sapphire Reserve which is a premium card offering some great travel perks.
Amex Gold can be an additional card to maximize the Membership Rewards along with the Restaurant credits.
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