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By Eric Rosenberg, WCI Contributor
Cash back credit cards can turn every purchase into money back in your bank account, essentially providing a discount on everything you buy with it. Whether at the grocery store, shopping online, or filling up at the pump, using the right card can give you maximum rewards on each purchase. Here’s a look at some of the best cash back credit cards of 2022, focusing on the needs of the typical medical professional.
The card_name is an easy-to-use card with competitive cash back rewards. bonus_miles_full
This card has no annual fee and offers bonuses in popular categories—notably restaurants, drugstores, and travel bought through Chase.
The card includes purchase protection for new purchases, extended warranty protection, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and auto rental insurance. These are extremely valuable in many situations and usually come with higher-tier cards with an annual fee of around $100 or more.
Pro tip: Like other Chase-branded cash back cards, this card pairs well with either of the Chase Sapphire cards. You can convert cash back into travel rewards using the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred for the potential to get more value when redeeming.
The big drawback is the $95 annual fee card_name. However, this is waived for the first year. If you look at your typical spending habits, you may find it’s very easy to get more than $95 per year in cash back, netting yourself a nice profit. If you spend $150 monthly on groceries, you’ve already earned enough cash back from this card to pay the fee. Everything else is gravy.
Amex is known for its benefits, and this card delivers. $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred(R) Card. Enrollment required.
card_name is a credit card from Capital One with top rewards for food and entertainment. It features 3% back on dining, eligible streaming services, entertainment, and grocery store (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®) purchases. For travel booked through Capital One, it pays an impressive 5% on hotels and car rentals. You get 1% back everywhere else. The card has no annual fee.
Benefits include travel accident insurance, extended warranty coverage, and no foreign transaction fees. Travel and purchase protections are not the best around but rank reasonably well compared to other cards with no annual fee.
If you’re looking to crank up your rewards further, the SavorOne Cash Rewards card for Good Credit from Capital One comes with higher rewards with a $0 annual fee. If you spend around $1,000 per month or more on dining and entertaining, the Savor card is worth the annual cost.
PayPal Cashback Mastercard
The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is a unique credit card that requires a PayPal account to earn rewards. However, with a flat 2% cash back on all standard purchases and no annual fee, it is a good choice for someone who wants a simple cash back rewards system that’s easy to understand. When you use the card to check out with PayPal, you earn a higher 3% rewards rate.
If you’ve never used PayPal, it’s an online account used primarily for payments and online checkout. But it also has features similar to a checking account. You can redeem rewards for cash to your bank account or for purchases anywhere PayPal is accepted.
Benefits are provided by Mastercard. Unfortunately, those benefits are sparse, offering virtually no purchase or travel protections. This card is all about the cash back. If you use it for shopping with PayPal, you are protected by PayPal’s features but not your credit card.
Summary of Best Cash Back Credit Cards
There are other excellent cash back credit cards out there. However, they often require membership in a particular credit union or a particularly high credit score to obtain, limit how much spending per month is eligible for rewards, or don't exist any longer. The ones listed in this post are available to the vast majority of white coat investors.
When you swipe, dip, tap, click, or do whatever else they come up with next to complete a purchase, it’s a good idea to use a credit card that offers the best rewards for your spending habits. Obviously, you should only use a credit card if you can pay off the balance in full by the due date every month. Otherwise, interest costs often outweigh the benefits. As Dr. Jim Dahle has said, credit cards aren't really for credit; they're for convenience, and if you've carried a balance on a credit card more than once, they're probably not for you. Studies are clear that, on average, people spend more when they spend with plastic. So, if you're struggling with getting your savings rate as high as it should be, consider cutting up your credit cards. But if that's not an issue for you, you might as well get a “discount” on all of your purchases by using a cash back credit card.
Overall, any of these cards is a great choice for doctors and other high-income professionals looking to earn top cash back rewards on their spending. If you are torn between two, it’s OK to mix and match several cards to optimize your cash back and maximize your rewards.
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The White Coat Investor has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The White Coat Investor and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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.
card_name Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express