Cash-back credit cards offer one of the easiest paths to long-term rewards that are simple to understand and easy to redeem. Of course, not all cards are created equal. While some cash-back cards offer a fixed rate of rewards, others off rotating rewards categories or “tiers” of rewards based on what you buy.
The new Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
falls into the latter category, offering different levels of rewards for different purchases. Fortunately, the rewards are lucrative – especially in certain categories – and there’s no annual fee for the first year ($95 after that). The fact this card offers a signup bonus is just icing on the cake.
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: A Solid Cash-Back Card Anyone Could Use
If you’re angling for a cash-back card that makes earning rewards easy, it’s hard to go wrong with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Earning an unlimited 4% cash back on dining can help you earn rewards quickly, and the fact that card offers 2% back at grocery stores helps it stand out among comparable cards.
The fact the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, or annual fee the first year, also makes this card a winner for anyone looking for a simple way to rack up cash-back rewards.
When comparing to other cash-back cards, many would save that the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card also has one of the easiest rewards programs to understand. Earning a flat rate of rewards in two categories and 1% back on all other purchases means you’ll never have to guess how much your rewards will be worth or how much you’ll earn. The fact you don’t have to keep track of rotating categories is also a plus since that’s one less step you’ll have to take each quarter.
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: The Downsides
While this new Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card definitely has its share of upsides, there are some downsides to consider, too. One of the biggest is the redemption side and how it works.
Basically, you can redeem your point for cash-back and that’s it. While it’s hard to complain about earning cash-back, the fact you only have one way to redeem rewards puts this card at a distinct disadvantage when compared to other cash-back cards that offer several redemption options such as the Chase Freedom® and Discover it®.
In addition to offering several redemption options, keep in mind that some cards also let you pool your points across their card brands for even better options. Let’s say you wanted to earn cash-back with the goal of redeeming your points for travel later on. If you chose the Chase Freedom® and also had the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you could pool all your points in your Sapphire account for superior travel redemption options, including the option to transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs.
With the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you can redeem cash-back for travel expenses if you want, but you don’t have the option to pool points or get better travel perks by pairing your card with a premier travel card.
Another potential downside is the fact that you could earn a higher rate of return with certain other cash-back cards. If you spend a lot on dining, for example, the new Uber Visa Card offers a superior product with 4 percent cash-back on dining including restaurants, bars, fast food, and UberEATS. More on that card in a minute.
Who the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is Good For:
- People who spend a lot on dining and groceries
- Anyone who wants to avoid paying an annual fee for the first year of opening an account
- People who prefer cash-back over travel rewards
- Someone who wants to earn an easy signup bonus
Who Should Skip It:
- Anyone who wants to pair their cash-back card with a travel card for better redemptions
- Someone who might be better off with a premier rewards card
- People who want more options than just redeeming points for cash-back
Comparing Cards: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card vs. Uber Visa Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Before you sign up for the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, it’s important to see how much you might earn with comparable cards. In this section, we’ll compare the new Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card against two other no-fee cards - the new Uber Visa Card and the popular Chase Freedom Unlimited®. We already know how the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card works, but how does the Uber Visa Card work?
In addition to offering 4 percent cash-back on dining, the Uber Visa Card doles out 3 percent back on travel including airfare and hotels, 2 percent back on online purchases including online shopping and streaming services, and 1 percent back on all purchases. Of course, the Uber Visa Card also offers a signup bonus of $100 after you use your card for $500 in purchases within three months.
At first glance, the Uber Visa Card looks like a clear winner. Not only is the dining tier higher than the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, but the 3 percent you get back on travel is a nice perk, too. Of course, the fact you earn 2 percent back on groceries with the Savor card still brings it ahead with those who spend a lot at the grocery store (and who doesn’t?).
Still, some people don’t want to bother keeping up with a bunch of different categories, and for those people, a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be a better option. This card also comes with no annual fee but offers unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases regardless of what you buy. This card also allows you to earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchase in your first 3 months from account opening, making the Chase Freedom Unlimited® a tough contender.
The Bottom Line
With no annual fee for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, and up to 4 percent cash-back, the new Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card could easily be the smartest option for your everyday spending.
Then again, there are numerous other cash-back credit cards to consider as well. Before you pull the trigger with a new card, make sure to compare all the cash-back options on the market to find the best one for your lifestyle and spending habits.
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