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Welcome bonuses are just not enough to convince customers to focus on one credit card and ignore the others for long. They’re more the icing on the cake, the extra boost that causes you to break down and apply. If you can’t decide between two cards with similar benefits, choose the one with the better welcome bonus.
The true substance of a card, though, is its ongoing benefits. Does the card have valuable perks that offset its annual fee? Can you earn rewards quickly and easily? Are the rewards even useful??
The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, my friends. It’s a sleeping giant. The more I consider it, the more I realize how it integrates perfectly into the lifestyles of many people. No joke, this could be the best card if you’re not interested in learning about how to use miles and points just yet. Instead, you get bonus cash back for such a gigantic portion of the money you spend every day.
I’ll help you decide if it’s worth paying the Capital One Savor Credit Card annual fee. You can read our full Capital One Savor Card review to understand why it’s one of the best cashback credit cards available.
Big return on dining and entertainment
With the Capital One Savor, you earn 4% cash back on dining (basically anywhere that serves food, including bakeries or bars). Pretty great — but one of the best Capital One Savor card benefits is that you’ll also earn 4% cash back on the broad category of entertainment (anything from zoos to bowling alleys to movie theaters to athletic fields). You even earn 2% cash back at grocery stores (just about any grocery store or supermarket except Walmart and Target).
Oh yeah, it also comes with a $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Chase doesn’t have a card with earning rates like this. Citi doesn’t have a card with earning rates like this. They’d better retaliate with similar cards of their own or they’re going to lose a lot of swipes to Capital One. Including mine.
This is going to sound ridiculous, but I love it that the card doesn’t have a bonus on travel. Every card and its mother earns bonus rewards on travel, and they — in turn — water down the rest of their bonus categories. The Capital One Savor skips the travel category and focuses the cash back in other areas.
There are plenty of heartthrob credit cards for travel to choose from. And you should definitely have one of them to protect you from things like flight cancellations, delayed baggage and rental-car crashes. But those cards are rarely the best choice for the lion’s share of your everyday expenses, like groceries.
Bonus cash back when booking with Vivid Seats
You’ll earn 8% cashback with Vivid Seats (similar to StubHub) through May 2020. This is an easy way to buy cheap tickets to concerts or sporting events. If you find yourself making ticket purchases like this with any frequency, you’ll rack up the cashback with the Capital One Savor card.
If you take five or more rides with Lyft during a month, you’ll earn $10 in Lyft ride credit. You can earn up to $120 in Lyft credits each year with this perk, meaning it can single-handedly offset the card’s $95 annual fee.
Easy to earn, easy to redeem
This card is one of the least complicated on the market. No rotating categories you have to remember and opt into. No confusing transfer partners.
True, it doesn’t earn points that you can use for a free-award night at an amazing hotel. It earns something far more versatile: Straight-up cash. You can use that cash for a night at an amazing hotel if you like. Or you can use it to pay utilities. Or for an oil change. Or a new TV. Or a flight to Australia.
The MMS team brings this card up often. A lot of us intend to open it because its earnings are so great. It comes with a $95 annual fee, waived the first year. So you can try it out for free one year and see if it’s actually worth the annual fee. But because this card possesses the bonus categories of a few different cards, this could be a good way to consolidate your wallet by getting rid of some of those other cards and saving money on those annual fees.
I wasn’t too hot on the Capital One Savor in the beginning, but I’m realizing that this may be the best Capital One credit card for the vast majority of us. It takes in the bulk of the spending most of us do every day. You’ll earn 4% cash back for dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.
I’ll definitely open it for a year and test it out. It comes with a $300 welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements! And I spend an unbelievable amount of money in those bonus categories.
Hopefully other banks are having the same epiphany, and will scramble to answer with a card of their own. I’ll gladly give them all a test drive if they come with an equally generous welcome bonus.
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