A Great Cash-Back Credit Card for Dining Out

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For credit card users who have decided that a cash rebate trumps miles or points, there are at least three cards that deliver a reliable 2% back on any and all purchases, establishing 2% as the de facto benchmark for cash rebates.

The Citi Double Cash Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash back: 2% (1% when you buy, the second 1% when you pay your credit-card bill).
  • Disclosure: Citi is an Airfarewatchdog advertiser

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash back: 2%
  • Comment: The cash rebate must be deposited initially in a Fidelity account, so cardholders must be Fidelity customers.

And the newest among the 2% rebate cards: 

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cash back: 2%
  • Comment: Cash rebate is initially deposited into cardholders' PayPal accounts. From there, it can be transferred to a user's bank account.

There's a new card introduced this month by Capital One that offers 3% cash back, but only for one category of spend: dining. 

The Capital One Savor Card

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 3% cash back on dining
  • Earn 2% cash back on groceries
  • Earn 1% cash back on other spend
  • Annual%age rate (APR): 0% for first 9 months; thereafter variable rates of 15.49%, 20.49%, or 24.49%, depending on credit
  • Sign-up bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 within 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fees

"Dining" in this case is based on merchant codes used by the credit card company, and is broadly construed. Cardholders will earn the 3% for charges at coffee shops, food trucks, and bakeries, as well as restaurants at all price points.

If you're a foodie or a salesperson who regularly entertains clients over meals, the Savor card is well worth a look. An effective 3% discount can add up to significant savings over time. The fact that there are no foreign transaction fees makes it a good traveling companion, as well. And with no annual fee, it's an easy financial decision.

Use the Savor card when eating out, and one of the other cards for non-dining charges. For groceries, the choice is yours: It's 2% cash back with any of the four cards.

Bottom line: The Savor card isn't the best all-around cash-back card. But used selectively, it would make a nice complement to the cards that offer 2% cash back for all other categories of spend. Like steak and potatoes, or peanut butter and jelly. 

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the aforementioned entities.

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