Cash Back instead of Miles

Cash Back


Cash Back

Some people like Cash Back more than miles because they find it difficult to accumulate enough miles to travel, or they find it difficult to redeem tickets because they always travel during high season, or they do not even travel too much, ….. For those cases, Cash Back will be better than miles.

Cash Back

We already earned $448.11 cash back as of May 4, 2015

We posted our miles and cash back earning summary on our Daily Miles page.  We also posted our every 2 weeks spending on the right column of Daily Miles page.  Hope that can inspire our miles and cash back fantasy to your daily spending as well.

My feedback on Cash Back Credit Cards

Online Cash Back Sites

If you do online shopping there are some sites that offer cash back just like airlines shopping malls that offer bonus cash back.  The most common three that I know are: ebates, fat wallet and top cash back.

It is same concept.  You go through the cash back site to visit your favor online retailers and shop, then you earn bonus Cash Back.

Among the 3, I found ebates has better cash back most of the time, but of course, you can have accounts setup on each site to search for the best deal.  If you are interested in setting up an account with the online cash back sites, please send me an email at so that I can forward you a referral link and I can have some reward as well.


I am using ebates for my Cash Back purchases when it offers deals that are better than airlines shopping malls.  From May 11- 18, 2015, ebates has a lot of deals for 16% cash back to celebrate its sixteen years in business.

Ebates 16% Cash Back

Ebates 16% Cash Back from May 11-18, 2015

My wife is planning to purchase beauty from Macy’s.  She will do her purchase at Macy’s online via Ebates by using my US Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card, for example, if she purchases an item for $50:

  1. she will receive 16% cash back from ebates, which is $8
  2. she will receive 5% cash back from US Bank Cash + Visa Signature, which is $2.5

Total $10.50 saving on a $50 purchase, which is equal to 21% discount.

You get a quarterly check from ebates on your accumulated cash back.

If you like ebates after you try it, you can refer your friends and earn Referral Bonus – 1st friend $20, 2nd friend $25, and 3rd friend $30.


How US Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card works?

This card offers $100 cash-back bonus when you spend $500 in net purchases within the first 90 days.

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card – you choose your 5% cash back categories

US BANK – Cash+ Visa Signature Card Benefits

  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category (like gas or groceries)
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • No limit on total cash back earned
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum redemption – redeem your cash back at any time in any amount when redeeming to checking, savings or statement credit
  • $25 Cash+ Bonus when you redeem $100 or more in a single redemption

Make sure you choose your categories each quarter. If you do not choose your categories, all net purchases
will still earn 1% cash back. Categories are subject to change quarterly.

This is a long term card that I will keep since I choose my 5% categories and it is no annual fee.


How Chase Freedom and Chase Ink Plus Card work?

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom Card

Chase Freedom Card 5% Cash Back

This is another long term card that I will keep besides US Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card.  The Chase Freedom card gives 5% back on bonus categories, but those categories are preset by Chase, and capped at $1,500 in purchases a quarter.

If you fully utilize the bonus categories that you choose in US Bank Cash + Visa and the preset bonus categories at Chase Freedom, most of your expenses will be 5% cash back.

Chase Ink Plus Card

Please refer to my posting on May 5, 2015 for this card.  This card can boost my daily expenses to 5X.

The beauty of this card is the ultimate rewards that you earn on Chase Ink Plus Card can combine with the ultimate rewards that you earn on Chase Freedom and the ultimate rewards can also combine with spouse, so you can decide you want cash back or travel rewards anytime.

Since Chase Ink Plus Card has a $95 annual fee, I would recommend one spouse apply for the card and get the bonus rewards.  After 13 months, close the first account and  the other spouse apply for the card and get the bonus rewards.

Why wait 13 months?

I have people asked me why wait 13 months to close the account?  How come do not close the account as soon as you receive the bonus rewards?

Because if you have too many credit cards with short credit history, it will pull your credit score down a bit.  In a long run, I do not recommend that.

If you do not mind to pay $95 annual fee for Chase Ink Plus card, this is a great card to keep along side with Chase Freedom card, which has no annual fee.

How American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card works?

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card – 6% Cash Back on Supermarkets, upto $6,000 spending per year

This card offers $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 3 months.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card Benefits

  • 6% cash back on US supermarkets , up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% afterward
  • 3% cash back on US gas stations, and US selected department stores
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • $75 annual fee

I do not have this card because it is not cost effective based on my spending pattern.  I spend average $300 per month in Chinese and Japanese grocery stores, but most of them do not accept American Express as payment.  I only spend average $100 per month in typical US supermarkets like Safeway, which can accept American Express.

6% cash back in $1200 groceries spending = $72, which is not even enough to pay for $75 annual fee every year.

It is okay to apply for this card since they give you $150 statement credit after your spend $1,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 3 months, which covers 2 years annual fees.

After 2 years, I only recommend to keep this card if someone have $6,000 groceries spending in supermarkets that can accept American Express.  With paying $75 annual fee, your net rebate is 4.75% with $6,000 groceries spending.  If you spend less, your net rebate will be even lower.  Therefore, I do not have this card because I could use my Chase Ink Plus card to get Safeway Gift Cards for 5X Ultimate Rewards at Office Supply Stores.

How Citi Double Cash Card works?

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card – 1% cash back when you spend and 1% cash back when you pay

This is a new card that just came out last year.  Citi Double Cash Card has a simple concept: you earn 1% when you purchase and earn 1% as you pay, total 2%.

  • Everything 2% cash back – 1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay
  • No category restrictions and no caps
  • Minimum redemption amount $25
  • No annual fee

If you are able to handle the features of different cards to maximize your rewards, I will not recommend Citi Double Cash Card because I can easily boost my spending to 5X.  When you can get 5%, why you settle for less, 2%?

If you just want a simple and no brainer cash back card, this card is good because it is 2% for all categories.




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