Cash-back reward credit cards are very popular. But with so many cards out there and so many rules, you may not be getting as much money as you could.
Consumer Reports has a new free online tool, at ConsumerReports.org/cashbackcards, that makes it easy to find the best cash back rewards card for your spending pattern.
You just enter your monthly spending for gas, groceries, restaurants, travel, and everything else, and up pop your best cards.
For the average American household, the best choice is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card if you use it for for three years. It pays back six percent on groceries for the first $6,000 you spend a year, 3 percent on gas, and 1 percent on all other purchases. Although it has an annual fee, it could save the average household more than $1,300 over three years.
Two runners-up: the Citi Double Cash Card and the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card. Each pays back 2 percent on all purchases and there’s no annual fee. They’ll save the average family about $1,200 in the first 3 years.
But keep in mind that if you don’t pay the card off in full every month, your cash-back rewards can be wiped out by interest charges. And if you incur a late fee, you could lose your points for that month.
With any cash-back card, it is a good idea to check the card websites regularly to make sure the terms haven’t changed.