There’s a lot of credit cards options. A Lot of options. And there’s always new ones coming out.
As a consumer I like the variety of options. It’s not like other products or services where there is only a handful of options – or less – to choose from (I’m looking at you cable and satellite TV).
Even if you like to open up new cards frequently to get credit card rewards or travel hack, it’s nice to have one “go to” credit card that you can default to. If you don’t travel hack or open up cards frequently then it really makes sense to have a go-to card.
I’ve shared in the past about a few of the top cash back credit cards as well as what I recommend for a first card, but today I want to talk about the best cash back credit card you have never heard of.
I was only recently exposed to this card but I think it deserves to sit at the top of the list when it comes to cash back credit cards. It’s that good.
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
The best cash back credit card you have never heard of is the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. This card offers the highest cash back on the market with it’s flat 2% cash back bonus.
Regardless of how widely known the card is, it’s undeniable that this card leads the pack when it comes to cash back credit cards. Besides the flat 2% cash back offer, it also has no annual fee. Additionally it offers all the standard credit card perks such as 24/7 support, travel and emergency assistance, zero-liability fraud protection, and identity theft recovery services.
An additional feature that I like about this card is that your cash back rewards are deposited directly into your Fidelity account. From there you can either cash it out to your bank account or use it to invest. This is a great feature because it’s easy to treat cash back rewards like free money and use it on things you otherwise wouldn’t purchase (don’t worry – it’s okay to splurge once in a while).
Why is this card not wider known or written about? I think it has something to do with Fidelity not pushing the card as hard as other credit card offers have been pushed. I’m also fairly certain (though not 100% sure) that they do not offer affiliate relationships like some of the other more well-known cards. If one thing is true it’s that big credit card comparison sites and, in turn, writers, focus on the cards that give them a payout per conversion.
How the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card Stacks up to Other Cash Back Credit Cards
So how does the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card stack up against other credit cards? Let’s compare it to a few of the other top cash back credit cards.
- Cash Back Rate
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a 2% cash back rate, which is comparable to the Citi® Double Cash Card which offers you 1% cash back when you use your card and 1% cash back when you pay your bill, for a total of 2% cash back. It’s 0.5% higher than the Chase Freedom Unlimited which offers 1.5% cash back. Finally it offers 1% more than the Discover it® Card.
- Revolving Category Bonuses
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card does not have any revolving category bonuses where you can earn more than 2% cash back, but neither does the Citi® Double Cash Card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. The Discover it® Card, on the other hand, does offer quarterly 5% cash back bonuses on select categories (i.e. dining, entertainment, home improvement stores, etc.) for up to $1,500 of eligible purchases.
- Annual Fees
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card charges no annual fee, but neither do any of the other three cards I mentioned. This is typical for a majority of cash back cards.
- Sign Up Bonuses
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card typically does not advertise a sign-up bonus, but in Google I did find an ad that led to a link where they are offering a $100 cash bonus when you make at least $1,000 of eligible purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account.
The Discover it® card offers a somewhat different bonus. After your first 12 months of being a cardholder, whatever cashback rewards you earned during that period will be doubled. So if you earned $100 throughout your first 12 months, you will be given an additional $100 in cashback bonus.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months of opening a card.Finally the Citi® Double Cash Card offers no sign up bonus.
The good news is that with even just these four cards there is a variety of reasons to sign up for each card. For example, The Discover it® card does not offer as much in regular cash back rewards with its 1% rate, but the revolving rewards categories make a case for using it for specific purchases that align to those bonus categories.
Assuming we go off of rate alone, why is the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card better than the Citi® Double Cash Card? The only real differentiating factor is that the Fidelity cash back rewards go into your investment account. While I don’t think there has been any research around this, you can imagine that someone who has the cash in their investment account is more likely to invest it than someone who has it deposited into their checking account.
Cards to Use in Tandem with the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Assuming you are sold on the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, is there any reason to open other cards?
I’m into travel hacking and I’m willing to do the work to gain lucrative sign-up bonuses (you can see a few attractive offers in my post Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2017). Beyond that, though, there is a case to be made that the Discover it® Card is worth having for the 5% revolving categories.
Additionally there are some brand- or store-specific cards that provide 5% cash back. The only one I generally recommend is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card which offers 5% cash back on every Amazon purchase. And if you’re like me, that 5% will add up quick.
Have you heard of the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card? Would you use this card as your default credit card? Why or why not?