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Reward credit cards sorted by the value of annual cashback/gift card rewards for an average US family.

By , September 18, 2008

You can find a more frequently updated version of the list below on iCardReward.com. You can also subscribed to the Cashback miles and points deals forum to get email alerts about the latest cashback deals.

This is the first iteration in making a list of US credit cards sorted by annual CashBack. The main challenge is to find info about average spending in “credit-card-friendly” categories. Right now, I use info about average US family spending pattern for񎧕 from Bureau of Labor Statistics ( see a PDF file here ). Those spending categories can not always be directly converted into credit card reward categories. I will keep working on finding a more relevant info.

Here is the list of BLS spending categories and corresponding average annual amounts for 2005 that I used.

Housekeeping supplies $611
Household operations $8ǡ
Alcohol $426
Tobacco $319
Entertainment $2388
Other vehicle expenses $2339
Gas $2013
Utilities $3183
General $ᗨ
Public transportation $448
Education $940
Groceries 񘬡
Personal care $541
Healthcare $2664
Apparel $1886
Reading $126
House furniture and equipment $1767
Insurance $381
Restaurants $2634

Total: $27572

I included only the value of CashBack rebates and gift cards available either directly from a credit card company or via Points.com. The CashBack predictions were made for the first year of credit card ownership, meaning that first year’s annual fee, program fees, sign-up bonuses, spending bonuses were applied to the final reward value. No partial rewards were considered. In other words, if you accumulated 4999 points and you need 5000 points for the cheapest available gift card, the value of annual CashBack was considered $0 and the card was not included in the list. For HSBC Weekend card, I used average weekly CashBack rate of 1.29%.

I have done this mostly for personal credit cards for now. I will add lists of business credit cards and student credit cards later.

Anyway, here is a sorted list of ~50 US reward credit cards sorted this way. Click on the links below to see credit card prediction reports for the card of your interest.

| Cashback | Annual fee | Promo BT APR | Promo period for BT | Max. BT fee | Promo purchase APR | Promo period for purchases | Bank name | Card name
511.0 | $39 | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Miles(SM) Ultra-For Professionals
442.85 | $0 | 0% | 12 | $75 | 0% | 6 | Discover | Discover® More(SM) Card – Clear
425.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 6 | $99 | N/A | N/A | Chase | BP Visa® Card
400.0 | $75 | N/A | N/A | $5 | | | Citibank | Citi PremierPass® Elite Level
400.0 | $45** | 9.99% | 6 | N/A | 2.90% |ņ | American Express | Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
375.0 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | FIA Card Services, N.A. | Fidelity Investments Rewards Visa Signature® Card with WorldPoints®
368.66 | $0 | 1.99% | 30 | N/A | 0% | 3 | American Express | TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express
355.6788 | $0 |ŀ% | 12 | N/A | 0% | 12 | HSBC | HSBC Weekend Card®
350.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | $5 | N/A | N/A | Citibank | Citi PremierPass®
344.65 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America Accelerated Cash Rewards¢ American Express® Card
| Cashback | Annual fee | Promo BT APR | Promo period for BT | Max. BT fee | Promo purchase APR | Promo period for purchases | Bank name | Card name
338.515 | $0 | 4.99% | Until Paid | $99 | 0% | 12 | American Express | Blue Cash® from American Express
331.0775 | $0 | 0% | up-to 6 | $99 | 0% | up-to 6 | Chase | Chase PerfectCard™ MasterCard®
330.864 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | $5 | N/A | N/A | Citibank | Citi CashReturns(SM) MasterCard®
330.0 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Miles(SM) Rewards – Good Credit
330.0 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Miles(SM) Rewards – Excellent Credit
328.82 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Cash(SM) Rewards – Good Credit
325.72 | $35** | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | American Express | One from American Express®
325.72 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America® Cash Rewards Platinum Plus® MasterCard® Credit Card
325.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | $5 | N/A | N/A | Citibank | Citi® Diamond Preferred® Rewards Card
321.0 | $29 | N/A | N/A | $0 | 0% | until February 2009 | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Points(SM) Rewards
| Cashback | Annual fee | Promo BT APR | Promo period for BT | Max. BT fee | Promo purchase APR | Promo period for purchases | Bank name | Card name
315.65 | $29 | N/A | N/A | $0 | 0% | until February 2009 | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Cash(SM) Rewards
310.0 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Miles(SM) Rewards For Travel & Gas
304.97 | $0 | 0% | 12 | $75 | 0% | 6 | Discover | Discover® Open Road(SM) Card
287.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America Accelerated Rewards™ American Express® Card
280.0 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $0 | | | Capital One | Capital One® No Hassle Points(SM) Rewards – Excellent Credit
275.72 | $0 | 5.99% | Until Paid | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | American Express | Clear from American Express®
275.72 | $0 | 1.9% | 12 | $75 | N/A | N/A | FIA Card Services, N.A. | Total Merrill(SM) Cash Back Visa® Card
275.72 | $0 | 0% | 6 | $0 | N/A | N/A | IberiaBank | IberiaBank Visa® Gold Cash Back Rewards Card
275.72 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | 0% | 12 | HSBC | HSBC Platinum MasterCard® with Cash Back Rewards
275.0 | $0 | 4.99% | Until Paid | $99 | 0% | up-to 15 | American Express | Blue from American Express®
| Cashback | Annual fee | Promo BT APR | Promo period for BT | Max. BT fee | Promo purchase APR | Promo period for purchases | Bank name | Card name
275.0 | $0 | 0% | 6 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Financial Rewards® Visa® Platinum Plus® Card
275.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | $99 | 0% | up-to 12 | Chase | Chase Free Cash Rewards(SM) Visa® Card
271.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | $99 | 0% | up-to 12 | Chase | Chase TravelPlus Visa® Card
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Home Advantage™ MasterCard® from Bank of America
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | The Nature Conservancy Platinum Plus® Visa® Credit Card
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America Visa Signature® WorldPoints™ Rewards
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America WorldPoints™ Platinum Plus® Visa® Card
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Ducks Unlimited WorldPoints® Platinum Plus® Visa® Card
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America World MasterCard® with WorldPoints™
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Bank of America WorldPoints® Platinum Plus® MasterCard®
| Cashback | Annual fee | Promo BT APR | Promo period for BT | Max. BT fee | Promo purchase APR | Promo period for purchases | Bank name | Card name
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Rainbow Platinum Plus® Visa® Card
262.5 | $0 | 0% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | BoatU.S.™ WorldPoints® Platinum Plus® Visa® Card
256.955 | $0 | 3.99% | 12 | $75 | 3.99% | 6 | Discover | Discover® Motiva(SM) Card
250.0 | $0 | 1.9% | 12 | $75 | N/A | N/A | FIA Card Services, N.A. | MERRILL+® Card
250.0 | $0 | 0% | 6 | $75 | 0% | 6 | Discover | Miles by Discover® Card
250.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | ŭ | N/A | N/A | Citibank | AT&T Universal Savings and Rewards Card
250.0 | $0 |ŀ% | 12 | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Wyndham Rewards MasterCard(SM)
250.0 | $0 | 0% | up-to 12 | $99 | 0% | up-to 12 | Chase | Chase Flexible Rewards(SM) Platinum Visa®
220.0 | $85** | N/A | N/A | $5 | | | Citibank | Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
200.0 | $0 | 2.9% | 6 | N/A | 2.90% | 6 | American Express | Hilton HHonors® Platinum Credit Card from American Express
| Cashback | Annual fee | Promo BT APR | Promo period for BT | Max. BT fee | Promo purchase APR | Promo period for purchases | Bank name | Card name
185.0 | $0 | 0% | Ǭ | N/A | N/A | N/A | Bank of America | Major League Baseball® Extra Bases™ Credit Card
175.0 | $50** | N/A | N/A | $5 | | | Citibank | Citi® Gold/AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
110.0 | $90 | N/A | N/A | N/A | | | U.S. Bank | WorldPerks® Visa® Signature Card
100.0 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $5 | 2ቛ% | 6 | Citibank | Citi® Hilton HHonors® Visa® Signature Card
95.0 | $55 | N/A | N/A | N/A | | | U.S. Bank | WorldPerks® Visa® Platinum Card
75.0 | $0 | N/A | N/A | $5 | | | Citibank | Citi® Bronze® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
* – Balance transfer APR is valid only if the balance transfer is requested in credit card application
** – First annual fee is waived
*** – We are not allowed to show you the maximal fee for balance transfers. However, we did take the fee into account when we did calculations and sorted credit cards.
**** – Only the minimally possible APR is shown. Your rate will be determined by the bank based on your credit history, household income and other factors.

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