Best Credit Cards on Reddit for Cashback, Rewards, Churning & Good or Bad Credit


By Chris Huntley, Certified Credit Consultant

Last updated 6/30/2020


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Summary: We read 100+ posts in r/creditcards and r/personal finance Subreddits (and comments) to bring you the best list of credit cards on Reddit for cash back, first time applicants, churners, good credit or bad credit, and points.

We know you'd rather get the information you want about credit cards on Reddit without scouring through subreddits for an hour, so we put this quick reference guide together for you.

Here you'll find the best subreddits on:

Reddit Best Credit Cards for Rewards, Cashback, Churning, First-Time Cards

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One of the best things about searching for the best credit cards on Reddit is the moderators don't allow any advertising or affiliate links in the threads.

If you were at Nerd Wallet or Bankrate, you won't find this since their lists are dominated by the highest paying advertisers, the big boys like Discover, Chase, and Capitol One.  But there's some good stuff on Reddit.

Best Cash-Back Credit Cards on Reddit (5% or More!)

#1 Cash-Back Post - Best 5% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/comments/dcqd8p/best_5_cash_back_no_annual_fee_for_each_category/

I don't think as much research has gone into any other credit card post on Reddit than into this post.  It's contstantly updated and delivers some lesser-known offers than from the big boys like Chase and Amex.

The cool thing about this list is these cards have no annual fees.  Most of the best cash-back cards do have a fee.

I'll put the results in a chart for you.

Gas Cards Reddit:

Credit Card

Cash Back

Notes

Fort Knox Visa Platinum

5%

No cap

L&N Platinum Rewards Cash Back Visa

5%

No cap

AFCU Platinum Cash Back Visa

5%

$7,000 Cap

Dining Credit Cards Reddit

Credit Card

Cash Back

Notes

Vantage West Connect Rewards

5%

$1,500 per quarter cap

AFCU Platinum Cash Back Visa

4%

$9,000 per year cap

Golden 1 Platinum Rewards

3%

No Cap

You may want to start with Golden 1 since Vantage West and AFCU are unavailable for most people.

Grocery Credit Cards Reddit

None of these pay 5%.  The only way to get over 5% is with the American Express Blue card, (pays 6% for groceries) but it has an annual fee.  

Credit Card

Cash Back

Notes

Verizon Visa Rewards

4%

No cap

Golden 1 Platinum Rewards

3%

No cap

Chase Amazon Prime Rewards

5%

Only works at Whole Foods, requires Amazon Prime membership

Other Categories

As I said, this is not your ordinary Reddit post.  It goes deep.

We also get the best cash-cards with no annual fees for everything from travel, to utilities, TV/internet/streaming services, cellphone, movie theaters, entertainment, card insurance, and more.

Best_Credit_Cards_for_Utilities,_TV,_Cellphone,_Movie_Theaters,_Entertainment,_Car_Insurance_-_Reddit

Caution - Some users complain that these smaller cards are not well known for a reason and don't have the best customer service or their online portal is terrible.  Think about when you go to redeem your cash back.

Best Cash-Back Post #2 - "I researched all the cashback credit cards so you don't have to!"

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/b5qjvf/i_researched_cashback_credit_cards_so_you_dont/

This one gives you the best cards (some pay 5% or more) but most have annual fees.  

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature - If you have a Prime membership you can get 5% on purchases made at Amazon.com and Whole Foods
  • Alliant Cashback Visa Signature - This is the highest straight cashback card I found on Reddit.  It pays 2.5% across the board, so no tracking categories.  But it has a fee of $59 - definitely worth it if you spend a lot.
  • American Express Blue Cash Preferred - This is the highest cash back I found on Reddit for groceries.  It pays 6% cash back and 3% on gas.  Fee $95.
  • US bank Cash+ - This one pays great at 5% but is a bit complex in that you have to choose two categories only that will pay 5%.
  • Citi Double Cash - This one pays you 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off so a total of 2% across the board.  Doesn't pay as high as Alliant Cashback but it has no annual fee.  
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Another great post if you're only interested in cash-back cards and don't want to deal with points, miles, etc, is in this post in the r/creditcards subreddit. ​

Best Cash-Back Post #3 - Best Credit Card Combo

https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/comments/dr306n/best_credit_card_combo/

User rayd0tcom commented on this post with this excellent suggestion for cash back cards:

  • 6% groceries from BCP (Amex Blue Cash Preferred)
  • 5% Amazon 
  • 4% Dining from Uber - Update - This has been reduced to 3% and only pays in Uber credits.  It does, however, work for Uber Eats so "dining" could still be considered 4% off
  • 3% Flights and Hotels from Uber - See note above
  • 3% Gas/Transit (Amex Blue Cash Preferred)
  • 2% on everything else from Paypal

Update 6/29/20 - Since Uber is not a great cash-back option anymore, I would replace that with Dining with the Vantage West Connect Rewards (5% cash back) or the Alliant card which pays a flat 2.5%.

Best First Credit Cards

Quick Answer - The consensus in many Reddit posts including this one and this one is that you won't likely be approved for a traditional credit card when you are just starting out.  

You'll want to look into a secured credit card first.

#1 Post - What's a Good Starter credit card?

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8lew4m/whats_a_good_starter_credit_card/

The comments on this post are excellent because many of them focus on the poster's unique situation in that he is young and a student.  In other words, he has no credit history and will very likely be declined for any traditional card.  Many of the comments also suggest to use this opportunity for the poster to "build his credit."

The consensus here is to get a secured credit card or a student card.  User burrito_finger recommends the EECU Student Starter Card.

Bad Credit?  Start building your credit with a "secured credit card."  Check out our review of the best cards.

#2 Post - Best Credit Card for Starters

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8hnuhi/best_credit_card_for_starters/

The comments on this post also suggest to start with a secured card, although some commenters suggested that Discover is a good place to start as well as Wells Fargo, who will start new creditees/students off at a $500 dollar credit card, according to user MuchCrumby.

Another user with no credit applied for several cards and got declined for all of them until applying for Chase Freedom.

Reddit Churning Resources

Would you believe credit card churning is so popular on Reddit that it has its own subreddit at r/churning with 217,000 members?  The daily question thread gets hundreds of comments on a new post every day.

The 5/24 Rule - Start Here

One thing you need to know before getting into churning is the 5/24 rule.  

Some cards (Chase for sure) has a rule that says if you have opened 5 or more new credit cards in the past 24 months (from any bank), you won't be approved for a new credit card.

With that knowledge, here are the best churning resources on Reddit.

#1 Churning Resource - FAQ: Credit Card Recommendation Flowchart

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/9hf4ex/faq_credit_card_recommendation_flowchart/

This contains an impressive flowchart created by u/kevlarlover and u/goatfresh.

It takes you through your 5/24 status and then your desired outcome (cash back or travel rewards) and recommends the best cards.  There are several cards on this list not normally found in the r/personalfinance or r/creditcards subreddits like Ink Preferred, Southwest personal and business cards, Barclays Arrival+, Barclays AA, US Bank Altitude and more.

Here's a direct link to the Reddit churning flowchart.

#2 Churning Resource - Churning Wiki

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/wiki/index

This wiki page has links to some very important threads and is really all you need to answer your FAQ's including:

  • What is churning?
  • What cards you should get
  • Best cashback cards
  • Manufactured spending 
  • Getting a business card without a business
  • Planning your first App (or App-O-Rama)
  • Do's and Dont's of App-O-Rama
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Manufactured Spending on Reddit

One big subcategory of churning on Reddit is manufactured spending (MS).  That's because for people who are opening a lot of credit cards, it can be hard to spend the required amounts for the bonuses.  

Manufactured spending is a strategy to spend money with your credit card that is a legit transaction to the credit card and then liquidate the money you just spent so you get your money back.  The two most common ways to manufacture spending are:

  1. Funding a bank account with a credit card
  2. Buying gift cards with a credit card

Reddit explains manufactured spending is a tricky process that takes time to learn, and it can tie up your funds, so don't start out with a lot of money until you learn the process well.

This wiki is the best intro to manufactured spending on Reddit, with additional resource links if you want to dive deeper.

Best Cards for Points and Rewards on Reddit

Quick Answer - The Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) is widely considered on Reddit and other forums to be the best rewards card if you travel at all, period.

You can that in this post, and this post, and this one too.  It is probably the #1 discussed card in the r/creditcards and r/personalfinance subreddits.

It comes with a huge annual fee ($450) but $300 goes to reimburse you for travel every year.  (Uber counts as travel, by the way).  Plus you get 3% cash back on travel and dining and 1% on everything else, and 60,000 bonus points (cash value of approximately $1,200) to sign up (as of 6/29/20).

Dining includes nicer sit-down restaurants, but also fast food.  So if you're like me and want 3% off of Taco Bell, In-N-Out, and Subway, you'll make your money back on your annual fee here alone.  

If you take just one 2-3 day vacation per year, it probably pays for itself.  Also comes with: 

  • free trip insurance
  • free car rental insurance (so you can waive both of these)
  • free dining credits at airports with Priortiy Pass and lounge access

This post on Reddit shows why the $450 annual fee for CSR is a no-brainer.

If you don't travel at all, its sister, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is also worth looking into since it only has a $95 annual fee and many of the same benefits.

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Editor's Rating: 4.8

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  • 60,000 Bonus Points
  • 2x Points for Travel & Dining
  • $0 Delivery Fee for *DoorDash

*On qualifying food purchases.  Click to learn more about bonus points.

Note that user piginthecity says reward cards are only worth it if the person uses them responsibly and pays the card(s) off in full every month.  In the same thread, user u/prestodigitarium says that on paper, rewards cards are a much better deal than cash back cards (especially the airline miles cards).

Best Retail/Store Cards on Reddit

The overwhelming advice in Reddit posts like this one and this one is "not to bother" with store cards.

They say to "skip the store cards" and got with a more conventional card like Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

That being said, there are a few exceptions:

Best Store Cards Post #1 - Target Credit Card worth it? (Redcard)

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/9qvmkl/target_credit_card_worth_it_redcard/

This post in r/personalfinance provides the following info:

  • The card pays 5% (appears this may be 5% off at the register rather than cash back)
  • Includes 2-day shipping online (so you could shop at Target online and avoid Amazon Prime fees)
  • Can use it to buy gift cards (so 5% discount on gift cards)
  • Some users complain about low starting credit limits such as just $300
  • Gives you an extended return policy

Quick Tip for Paying Your CC Bill:

Don't wait for your "due date" to pay your credit card balance.  That hurts your credit utilization and credit score.  Instead, pay before the end of your billing cycle.  Learn how here.

Best Store Cards Post #2 - Amazon credit card. Is it worth anything??

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/7y744x/amazon_credit_card_is_it_worth_anything_should_i/

Here are the highlights of the Amazon card from this post and other similar ones:

  • Get 5% all Amazon purchases (no category exclusions)
  • It pays 2% on gas and 1% on other purchases
  • Must be an Amazon Prime member to get the discount
  • It's high interest so pay off the balance in full every month
  • Some purchases automatically qualify for 0% for 12 months
  • Some users complain about low starting credit limits such as just $300
  • Some users state the 5% has greater value applying it to reducing your current purchase than to future purchases
  • It works for Amazon Fresh too, so there's a way to get 5% discount on your groceries!

Best Store Cards Post #3 - Walmart and Capital One reveal details of new Walmart Mastercard and store card

https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/comments/d622zh/walmart_and_capital_one_reveal_details_of_new/

Here are the bulletpoints for the Walmart card:

  • The card pays 5% if you buy at walmart.com
  • It pays 2% if you buy at the store (in-store purchases)
  • Pays 2% on restaurants and travel, 1% everywhere else
  • First 12 months, you get 5% off in-store
  • Get only 2% cash back on gift cards

Costco also has a 5% cash back card if you're a member.

As always, credit cards need to be used responsibly.  The idea is to use them for the points/rewards/cash, and then pay them off each month.

User u/pretend_im_right shared the horrifying stat here that the average customer takes 6 years to pay off a single purchase at the big retail store cards like Victoria's Secret or Banana Republic.  When you consider the APR or 24.99% to 29.99% that many of these store cards charge, people end up paying more in interest for these items than the actual item originally cost!

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Best Sign Up Bonuses on Reddit

Here are some of the best sign-up bonuses we found on Reddit.

  • Capital One Savor Card - $500 if you spend $3,000 in thei first three months
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve - $60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited, US Bank Cash+, and Bank of America Cash Rewards all offer $150 when you spend $500 in the first 3 months (Equivalent to 30% off of $500 in purchases)

Note that not all Reddit users look for sign up bonuses.  User zoenphlux says he doesn't chase sign up bonuses.  It's "too much hassle and it hurts your credit to have new accounts and pulls all the time."

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Common Credit Card Abbreviations on Reddit

It can be a bit confusing searching the r/personalfinance and r/creditcard threads for info with all the 2 and 3-letter abbreviations.  I hope this helps.

Basic abbreviations:

  • CC - Credit card
  • AF - Annual fee
  • CB - Cash back
  • AOR - App-O-Rama (obtaining multiple credit cards in a short period of time)
  • OP - Original Poster (the one who first posted and started the thread)

Card specific abbreviations:

  • BCP - American Express "Blue Cash Preferred"
  • CF - Chase Freedom
  • CFU - Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • CSR - Chase Sapphire Reserved
  • CSP - Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • UR - Ultimate Rewards (Chase)
  • BOA - Bank of America
  • WMCC - Walmart Credit Card
  • Citi DC - Citibank Double Cash
  • SW - Southwest

Best All-Around Cards on Reddit

"ONE card to rule them all!"

One of the most popular type of posts you'll see on Reddit is from the person who doesn't want to deal with tracking points or categories or managing multiple cards.  In other words, if you could have just one card for ALL uses, what would it be?

Best all-around credit card in 2019-20?

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/bh9jkh/best_allaround_credit_card_in_2019/

Ok, yes, this is dated from last year, but once you've read through a hundred threads, you start to see the same players and this thread has them all.  The cards you see repeated over and over are:

  • Citi Double Cash - Pays 2% cash back if you pay off your balance in full
  • Alliant - The no fee version pays 2% cash back.  Pay just $59 for the 2.5% cash back version.
  • Uber - Uber gets 4% at bars/restaurants/Ubereats, 3% hotels/airfare, 2% online, and 1% in-store.
  • Amex Blue Cash - Pays 6% on groceries, 6% on streaming like Netflix/Hulu, and 3% on gas
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve - 60,000 points for signing up, $300 travel credit per year, 3% cash back on travel and dining and 1% on everything else - (You really have to take 1 vacation per year for this one to be your card since it has a steep annual fee)

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Editor's Rating: 4.8

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  • 60,000 Bonus Points
  • 2x Points for Travel & Dining
  • $0 Delivery Fee for *DoorDash

*On qualifying food purchases.  Click to learn more about bonus points.

How Many Credit Cards Should I Have Reddit

There are multiple posts about how many credit cards you should have on Reddit, but these stand out as the best.

They have a LOT of comments so we'll summarize the best points made by the users.

#1 Post - How Many Credit Cards is Too Many?

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/7nfyp0/how_many_credit_cards_is_too_many/

This one has 71 comments.  Here's the TLDR (too long, didn't read) summary of the best comments:

  • The consensus from users is as long as your are responsible with your cards, there is no specific number that is "too many cards" although many users say TWO is the perfect number (one for rewards like travel, and one for cashback on everything else)
  • The best way to manage your cards is to set up autopay, don't overspend, and never carry a balance
  • If you have several, you might keep a spreadsheet to track them
  • Keep in mind several cards have annual fees.  It can also hurt your credit to close a credit account or tradeline that has been open for a long time, so be sure to keep a number of cards you can A) keep open and B) justify the annual fee
  • You can do a great job getting cash back and rewards with just 2 to 3 cards like the Amex Blue Preferred (6% on groceries and streaming services, 3% on gas), the Chase Sapphire Reserve (3% on travel and dining), and the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature, which pays 2.5% cash back for the $59 fee card (2% for the free version).  Optionally, if you shop a lot on Amazon, you can get 5% back with their card and you'd pretty much cover everything in 4 cards.
  • Keep in mind applying for a new card will count as a hard inquiry (short-term will negatively affect your credit score)
  • It's a good idea to have cards from different networks like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and AmEx.  Not everyone takes American Express, so you want a backup!

Credit Score Tip:

If using several credit cards, be sure to make the occasional purchase on each card.  The credit card company reports your balance and account activity every month to the credit bureuas and you won't get any "credit" for payment history if you have a zero balance.

Credit Card Combos on Reddit

With all these cards with great benefits to choose from, (you probably don't want them all), what's the best combo?

If you want to maximize rewards in every category (cash back, gas, dining, grocery, travel, etc) there's a great post for this in r/creditcards:

Best Credit Card Combo -

https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/comments/dr306n/best_credit_card_combo/

In user u/digoxin_bigcoxin's case, he/she has the following:

  • Amex Blue Cash Preferred ($95 fee) - 6% Groceries, 3% gas (Note - I personally own this card and know it also pays 6% on streaming like Hulu and Netflix!  Cha-ching!)
  • Alliant Cashback Visa Signature ($99 fee) - Unlimited 2.5% (3% cash back in first year!) 
  • Uber - 4% Dining / 3% travel (Update 6/29/20 - Uber has dropped dining to 3% and gives Uber credit, not cash)
  • US Bank - 5% Utilities, 5% gym ($2.5k cap per quarter)
  • Chase Freedom - 5% rotating (I don't personally like these rotating cards.  It forces you to stay on top of them)
  • Amazon/Target cards - 5% off (See more in the store card/retail card section)

What I love about this post is the user covers everything from straight cash back (with the Alliant CC - 2.5% unlimited) as well as groceries, gas, and even your gym membership and utilities.  Who knew you could get a 5% discount on your gym club membership or electric and gas bill?

He also considers the Bank of America cash rewards cards.  One pays 3% for dining and the other pays 3% for gas.  Both offer a 75% boost if you have $100k balance with BOA (or Merrill Lynch).  An extra 75% on top of 3% pencils out to an impressive 5.25%!

Other commenters added cards specifically for travel like the Amex Platinum (for Airline purchases) and the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant (for Marriot hotel stays).

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ELI5 Credit Cards on Reddit

"ELI5" or r/explainlikeimfive is a popular Subreddit with over 18 million members in the community.  It stands for "Explain Like I'm 5."

Several posts have been made in r/explainlikeimfive about credit cards and credit scoring, but there are some we found that are exceptionally good.

#1 Post: Credit Cards -https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/1910f7/eli5_credit_cards/

The gist of this post is "I'll give you a plastic card.  Use it to buy stuff instead of using your own money.  But you have to pay me back.  If you pay me back in the next few weeks, you can pay me the same amount of money you spent.  But if you don't, you'll have to pay me back extra."

#2 Post:  Explain the Benefits of Having a Credit Card - https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/1zpkmw/eli5_the_benefits_of_having_a_credit_card/

This is a great thread introducing points and rewards and how great credit cards can be if you use them responsibly.  It also talks about building your credit score.

#3 Post:  Should I Get a Credit Card? -

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/7xepzs/should_i_consider_getting_a_credit_card/

#4 Post:  How to Get a Credit Card -

https://www.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/comments/9r5h2y/looking_to_get_your_first_a_new_credit_card_read/

#5 Post: Credit Card Basics -

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/32h02k/detailed_introduction_to_credit_card_basics/

#6 Post: Credit Card Tips -

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/a4x018/first_credit_card_tips_and_advice/

#7 Post: How Do Credit Cards Work? -

https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/92aiwh/eli5_how_do_credit_cards_work_and_what_are_the/

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