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- 3% on phone, Internet and cable services
- 2% on dining and at gas stations
- 1% on everything else
The card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
Now I find this new card interesting for a couple of reasons.
- It almost exactly mirrors the spending bonus categories of the Chase Ink Cash Card except that Ink Cash gives 5% back on phone, internet and cable rather than 3% and also includes office supplies as a top rebate category. Ink Cash also does 2% on dining and gas.
- It’s a new issuer that’s getting aggressive in this space. Credit card rewards are getting more aggressive, not less aggressive.
Now, is this the best cash back card or the best business rewards card? Nope.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. That can even be enough for a roundtrip business class award ticket between the US and Europe. (Chase points are super valuable because they transfer directly to a variety of airlines and hotels.)
It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google. It also comes with $600 protection against theft or damage when you use it to buy your cell phone. Of course ‘5/24’ applies, if you have had 5 or more new card approvals in the last 24 months you may not be approved.
The no annual fee Citi Double Cash Card gives you 1% back when you spend and another 1% back when you pay off the card. I’d rather have the straight-up strong cash return than some categories at 2% and a few at 3%.
Cash back is a better strategy than airline miles for people who use their credit card spending for domestic economy flights, plus of course cash isn’t limited to travel and potentially earns a rate of return when invested.
Roughly speaking 2% — or spend categories worth more than 2% — is the new normal. And that’s what airline frequent flyer programs have to compete with. One cent per point in value just isn’t going to cut it anymore and I’m not sure the people running the airline programs have figured that out yet, but if they don’t catch on quick to the need for higher redemption expenses it’s going to mean lost revenue.