Best Flat-Rate Rewards

Fernando Volken Togni

Citi Double Cash Card (tie)

APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 13% to 23% after

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards: 2% on every purchase

Why It’s a Winner: Ties for the highest percentage earned on a flat-rate rewards card. True to its name, the Double Cash pays nearly double the earn rate on cash cards—a solid reward for those who prefer to carry a single card. Spend $2,000 a month, and you’ll get back $480 a year.

Caveats: You get the reward in two parts: 1% when you swipe, 1% when you pay your bill. But rewards cards make sense only for those who pay in full every month anyway, because of higher APRs. The bigger issue: By locking in at 2%, you forgo greater earnings with cards that pay higher rates in certain categories).

Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express (tie)

APR: 14%

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards: 2% on every purchase

Why it’s a Winner: It ties Double Cash for the highest earn rate on a flat-rate cash card. Since earnings must go into a Fidelity account, this card can help you build retirement (IRA) or college (529) savings.

Caveats: You sacrifice rewards for the ease of a flat earn rate. Also, if you simply want cash, you’ll have to set up a brokerage or cash management account from which to withdraw. Finally, AmEx’s network is still more limited than that of Visa or MasterCard.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at