If youâre like many people, your spending habits changed in 2020. You probably traded travel and in-person dining for online shopping and takeout. You may have even added a streaming service or two to your list of subscriptions.
Credit card issuers have started offering new perks and rewards to address these changes. And though these perks try to solve for pandemic woes, thereâs something to be said for the convenience they offer, even when normalcy returns. There are also a few long-standing features, like online shopping portals, that belong in the credit card conversation now more than ever.
The best cash back card for you depends on your spending habits. So when your budget or lifestyle changes, you should make sure your credit cards are still bringing you consistent value. Here are a few cash back credit card features you need to look out for in 2021.
All information about Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, Wells Fargo Propel and U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
1. Discounted grocery and takeout delivery services
If youâre planning to do a fair portion of your dining at home this year, you should look for a card that makes that easier and cheaper. With the right card, you can earn rewards on restaurant and grocery store purchases, while also saving on the services that deliver them, like Uber Eats, Doordash and Instacart.
Here are a few of our favorite cash back cards for food delivery:
American ExpressÂ® Gold Card â Youâll get up to 12 months of complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership, as long as youâre enrolled by Dec. 31, 2021. This service usually costs $9.99 per month, offering an unlimited $0 delivery fee for restaurant orders and 5 percent off restaurant orders over $15, along with a $0 delivery fee on select supermarket groceries over $30. In addition, youâll get up to $120 in annual dining credits for eligible purchases with Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed and more.
Chase Sapphire ReserveÂ® â If you enroll by 12/31/2021, you and your authorized user(s) will receive at least 12 months of complimentary DashPass (usually $9.99 per month), which means free delivery on qualifying DoorDash orders. Youâll also get up to $60 in DoorDash credits in 2021.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card â Because itâs in the Mastercard network of credit cards, youâll get two months of Instacart Express, including $0 delivery fees on orders over $35. You can get this benefit with any US-issued Mastercard card, but the Capital One Savor is an especially good option because it also offers 4% cash back on dining and 2% cash back on grocery store purchases.
2. Online shopping portals and rewards
Though cash back cards are known for their simple redemption process, you can often get even more value by using their shopping portals. Not every card and issuer has this option, but itâs certainly worth looking into if you now prefer to do your shopping digitally.
For example, the Shop Through Chase portal features deals from over 200 retailers, offering boosted cash back rates as well as discounts on purchases at stores like Nike, Banana Republic, Sephora and Under Armour. Other shopping portals include the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall and the Citi Bonus Cash Center.
Another option is to use a credit card that offers boosted cash back on online shopping purchases. While the cash back rates may not be as high as you would find in a shopping portal, youâll earn consistent cash back on all of your online shopping purchases, regardless of the merchant.
Our favorite cash back card for online shopping is the Bank of AmericaÂ® Cash Rewards credit card, which earns 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings), as well as 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Note, however, that those rates apply only to the first $2,500 in combined grocery store/wholesale club/choice category per quarter. After that, itâs just 1%.
Another contender is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature. You have to have a Prime membership to get it, but the rewards offer serious value for Amazon lovers. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases.
3. Streaming service rewards
As streaming services continue to multiply, it seems like you need two or three subscriptions just to stay up to date on your favorite shows. Earning cash back for your subscriptions can make this pleasure a bit less guilty.
The best card for earning cash back on streaming services is the Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express, which offers 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, including Disney+, HBO and HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV, Prime Video and more.
Another great card that offers rewards for streaming subscriptions is the Wells Fargo Propel American ExpressÂ® card, which offers 3 points per dollar for select streaming service subscriptions. While this isnât strictly a cash back card, you can redeem your points for cash back at the same value. Plus, thereâs no annual fee.
4. Rewards on utilities
If youâre working from home or spending more time indoors, your utility bills have probably increased this year. It might instinctively feel wrong to pay bills with a credit card, but it can actually save you money. With the right card, you can earn cash back on your energy, electricity, gas and water bills. Just make sure your utility providers donât charge a convenience fee for using a credit card.
The best cash back card to use for home utilities is the U.S. Bank Cash+â¢ Visa Signature Card. This card allows you to pick two categories from a list of 12 to earn 5% cash back in (on up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter). On that list of twelve is home utilities. If you were to spend $150 on eligible utilities each month, that 5% cash back would put an extra $90 in your pocket annually.
The start of a new year is a perfect time to assess your budget and credit card strategy. If youâre earning a measly 1% cash back or nothing at all on a significant portion of your budget, consider applying for a credit card that will help you make the most of those expenses. Check out our full analysis of the best cash back credit cards and apply securely when youâre ready.
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