Your Current Options for Earning 5x on Credit Cards

Earning 5x points/cash back is pretty much the best you can do right now, and there might be more options than you think to earn it. There are the regular options that you’ve heard of over and over (i.e. the ones with affiliate links) and then there are the ones that are seldom discussed (i.e. the ones without affiliate links). I figure now is a good time to put together a list of the current ones I know about. As always, make sure you read the Terms and Conditions of each offer before you decide to apply.

These are not ranked in any way – you can decide which one works best for you.

 

1. The Wells Fargo Rewards Visa

It has 5x drugstores!

It has 5x drugstores!

 

I actually applied for this card the day after my recent app-o-rama because I decided I wanted it (yes, poor planning on my part, but I got the card anyway). I have an interesting story about obtaining this card that I’ll post later this week, and it may help you if you’re like me and didn’t have an existing relationship with Wells Fargo.

With this card you’ll earn 5x rewards points (which is basically 5% cash back) on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. Those are important categories for manufactured spenders, particularly the latter 2 because of the availability of Vanilla Reloads and other gift cards. According to the T&Cs, “There is no limit to the Points You may earn in any calendar year.”

There is no annual fee on this card.

 

2. Citizens Bank CashBack Platinum MasterCard

Citizens Bank CashBack Platinum MasterCard.

Citizens Bank CashBack Platinum MasterCard.

 

Similar to the Wells Fargo card above, this card provides 5x cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases, but only gives it for 90 days. That’s a very limited window, but if you’ve run out of other options then I’m sure you’ll gladly take it.

They’ll send you cash back in the form of $50 checks automatically, according to their website. Let’s hope they’ll be sending you a lot of checks over that 3 month period!

There is no points cap and no annual fee on this card.

 

3. TD Easy Rewards Visa Card

Another solid choice.

Another solid choice.

 

With this card you’ll earn 5x on dining, groceries, gas and cable, phone and utility bill payments for 6 months. The obvious omission here is drugstores, which is unfortunate, but is slightly made up for with the addition of dining and utility payments. Still, you can go to town on the gift cards at grocery stores.

I don’t have any experience with this card so I can’t say exactly how the cash back works, but it can’t be too complicated. There is no points cap and no annual fee on this card.

 

4. Ink Cash and Ink Classic cards from Chase

Same 5x categories as the other Ink cards, but another 20K bonus!

Same 5x categories as the other Ink cards, but another 20K bonus!

 

The not-as-cool siblings of the Ink Bold/Plus cards are actually pretty useful also. They provide 5x on the first $25K spending at office supply stores and cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. These are the same categories as the more popular Ink cards, but each of these cards also come with a 20K point bonus that might make it worthwhile if you’re out of other 5x options.

Neither of these cards have an annual fee.

 

Summary

I recommend these cards for heavy manufactured spenders. Hopefully there are some cards above that you’ll find interest in, but just be careful not to get too carried away – you wouldn’t want your account(s) to get shut down!. As always, don’t apply for any cards unless you pay off your bills every month and your credit is in good shape.

Do you know of any other good 5x cards?

Comments

  1. Marathon man says:

    No circles and arrows please!

    Less details!
    Less details!
    Less details!

    • Travel Summary says:

      I’m just honored that the great MM found this blog and post.

      • AveApostle says:

        Are we sure it’s the real MM? …It would be his shortest post ever.

        Also I think the REAL MM would say “fewer details”.

        • Marathon man says:

          Oh its the real mm alright…

          I just know now that I must work twice as hard and thrice as fast on the afforementioned cards cuz in time each company is going to “enhance” their product and suddenly ya’ll aint gonna git no more 5x off of these things…

          I am of the belief that those who write about these vehicles of MS construction should consider being less circles and arrows in their presentations. The information can still be delivered but perhaps in more general terms because if you think about it, revealing the easy, picturesque, step by step guide is ultimately never a good thing.

          Example: HGIC goes viral on FT, and Incomm takes away the HGIC pin feature with the flick of a switch at like 1:46pm EST one weekday and then OD goes cash only within the week.

          Pickles tells WSJ about mint coins, and they start only letting you buy up to $1k a day per CC. So people learn to buy AMEX GCs with each CC and then use those to buy each single order and it lasts til NPR decides for us that earning miles is unethical and interviews people who tell what we do. Coins end.

          There are many more such stories I could recall from my 10 solid years of MSing and 17+ in overall miledum.

          Some of the afforementioned Xcards have been known about in smaller “MSpheres” (I did not coin that term but can vouch for the person who did) but all have generally respected the notion of NOT going heavily public on FT or on blogs until now. I can say that doing so, with one shamrock colored card was not cool and will probably have a negative effect on this gem that will involve sweeping changes in a relatively short timeframe. You dont see the changes right away but they happen and then BOOM! It’s gone.

          Will a new good deal come up in its place in one form or another? Maybe. But one cant think like that. One mustnt say, “Dont worry…I just lost my job but I’ll just get a new one tomorrow.” Because what if you dont?!

          Also, exposing such CCs in such a post isnt going to get you sooooo many hits that Chase says, oh let’s let you have access to links that earn you money like MMS or the Boarding Area blogs do when somebody applies for a new CC through them. Chase recently upped the amount of hits one needs to reach that status and we newer or smaller or lesser blogs may never reach it now. They have effectively closed off the faucet or changed the deal… They are like my above examples which ended the gig for the masses who flocked because it became “too much” and too saturated.

          At least one of the CCs mentioned here is less prepared to handle too many of our kind all at once so if a writer writes about it to try and get hits to later get link status that he wont really get anyway, then the gig dies and we are left worse off than if it had just been more carefully and quietly shared in smaller circles over a longer period of time. Respect the line!

          I dunno how else to put it. And yes, I’ll mention that on http://www.mileageupdate.com, I write too but I’ll argue that my senseless drivel on my section on there does everything to avoid the easy step by step big reveals and instead tries to speak in slightly more cryptic terms. I aint perfect and oh yes I make many mistakes, but I see no benefit in over saturating the universe with things like this blogpost.

          • AveApostle says:

            OK, I give up, you clearly are the MM.

            But there’s nothing here that’s bad or hurtful. It’s helpful.

            And if you think losing NINETY WHOLE DAYS OF 5X!!! over his posting this offer here is bad…then, man, you just have to get yourself better cards if you’re counting on these.

            Then again, you’re MM and you should already know that.

          • Marathon man says:

            No it is helpful to share ideas and one can write what one wants but some ccs are more fragile than others and their backing banks will now more easily find and see the source of their sudden and vigorous increase of apps, approvals, and thus heavy grocery gc use and they may shut er down faster than they would have had the knowledge of such ccs been left to the less public and more jumbled chatter of other mediums.

            I was actually referring to the other green cc but yes, both banks can react similarly ad from my experience with both ccs, they are indeed less able to handle the very traffic they think they want.

            For an example of this dynamic, google the story of heady topper, a vt ipa that is so good people were selling it on black markets and the brewery got so busy in sales they actually said “we dont want to make this kind of money” and closed the brewery to customers walking in and buying cases. Now you can only get the coveted beer in certain local area bars and stores if its avail.

          • Marathon man says:

            After all that 90 day cc used to be a 10%.

            Why aint that so any longer? Any guesses?

          • AveApostle says:

            …because the Internet does what it does and redistributed power from a few people who thought they were smarter and therefore better than everyone else to the masses?

            Because I think essentially what you’re complaining about is the Internet doing what it is supposed to.

            So, will the deal die? All deals die. Oh well–as some of your FT friends would say “on to the next deal”

          • Marathon man says:

            Professor Terguson: Is she right? ‘Cause I know that’s the *popular* version of what went on there. And a lot of people like to believe that. I wish I could, but I was *there*. I wasn’t here in a class room, hoping I was right, thinking about it.
            [shouting]
            Professor Terguson: I was up to my knees in rice paddies, with guns that didn’t work! Going in there, looking for Charlie, slugging it out with him; While
            [shouts]
            Professor Terguson: pussies like you were back here partying, putting headbands on, doing drugs, and
            [shouts]
            Professor Terguson: listening to the goddamn Beatle albums! Oh! Oh! Oh!
            Thornton Melon: Hey Professor, take it easy. These kids were in grade school at the time, and as for me… I’m not a fighter, I’m a lover.

          • :)

  2. cash is good, but you need a lot of BB to make it works, which take away from other mile and point cards to earn for other flights and hotels

  3. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…..

    Unless you are a resident where TD does business (East Coast) you will be denied for this card. I was, even after pleading with them. Thankfully, they didnt do a hard pull…just flat out denied me for not living in a qualifying state.

    Amol, anxiously awaiting your WF story!

  4. BeachMiles says:

    Travel Summary, I hope you’ll still share your interesting story about getting the WF , without an existing relationship.
    If MM has you gun shy, please PM me.

    • Travel Summary says:

      Haha MM definitely doesn’t hasn’t kept me from posting anything…it’s just been busy with work and upcoming trips. I’m hoping to write it over the next few days!

      • marathon man says:

        I aint trying to tell anyone what to write or keep anyone from posting anything. And I like this blog anyway.

        All I am saying is that there are some gigs that should be more on the down low and less in the public eye or up front and center. People ought to think through these matters first before writing about them in such fashion. If writers of FT posts or blog posts would refrain a bit from bringing out these gems in certain ways, then they would last a lot longer and be more available to more people over time. That is the goal, right? The way to do this is to, sure, tell about things and all, but try and allude to such things and hint at them in bits and pieces so that real readers learn and think for themselves more, and then, armed with such information they gain only from following your writings, they can put the pieces together if they are truly into this stuff. Consider the decoder pin that Ralphie receives is the 1940 “Speedomatic” model which helps to solve a puzzle the kid would rush home to complete by listening to Orphan Annie on the radio in the classic movie, A Christmas Story! Also, if posts are less obvious and out there, it helps to keep the evil eyes of those who would change or end such deals from seeing the full picture. As well, the formation and fostering of many many smaller networks can help spread deals so the sharing everyone says they do can still in fact exist.

  5. BeachMiles says:

    T.S., we’ve been waiting four weeks for the rest of the story;
    ” I have an interesting story about obtaining this card that I’ll post later this week, and it may help you if you’re like me and didn’t have an existing relationship with Wells Fargo.”

  6. I know this is an old post, but it’s missing a lot of 5% or above cash back cards. No old blue cash, no blue cash preferred, no fort knox, no rotating cards etc.

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  1. […] in cash back cards than points and miles. This prompted me to write a post a few weeks ago on your current options for earning 5x, including several cash back options. The one I got the most questions on was the Wells Fargo 5x […]

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