What could you do with an extra $1,000? Pay down debt, shore up an emergency fund, invest in broad-based index funds? Whatever your plans might be, you can do it and you can start right now! Boost your financial position with ChooseFI’s step-by-step guide on how to earn more than $1,000 a year with cash back credit cards.
- Open the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months and earn $555.
- Next, open the US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, max out the 5% bonus categories, which will simultaneously earn the sign up bonus for a total of $275.
- Then, open the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, spend $1,000 in the first three months using the 3% grocery store bonus category, and earn $180.
ChooseFI’s Simple Three-Card-$1,000 Game Plan
The barrier to entry with this strategy is low. Married, single, still in school, you can do it! Anyone who has $4,500 in actual living expenses over the next year will earn $1,000 in cash back in less than nine months. That’s a whopping 22% back on money you would spend anyway! The general strategy is this:
- Apply for cash back cards with no annual fee. Cards that waive annual fees for the first year are okay too.
- Go for cards that offer the highest welcome bonuses for signing up, especially ones with the most generous category bonuses.
- Only use money you will spend to meet your everyday living expenses, or planned purchases. Don’t spend extra money just for the sake of earning a bonus!
- Meet the minimum spend requirement, preferably with expenses made in the highest cash back earning categories.
It couldn’t be easier! Wondering about which cards to open? No worries, we’ve got you covered. With these three cards, you can easily earn $1,000 in nine short months and if you’re up for it, there are extra credit bonus recommendations for scoring even more.
Cash Back Card #1 Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Look no further than the Ink Business Cash Credit Card for the biggest bonus and increased earning opportunities in a few targeted spending categories.
New cardmembers will earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. This excellent card has no annual fee.
You will also earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 in purchases at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone service per year. You also get 2% cash back on up to $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants. And finally, you’ll receive 1% cash back on everything else.
Pro-tip: Don’t think you qualify because you don’t have a business? Think again. If you earn any money outside of your W-2 job you have a business. That includes any side hustle, such as babysitting, dog walking, any type of freelancing, or even house hacking with Airbnb.
Steps To Earn $555 With The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Although the welcome bonus is $500, you earn at least $555 with this strategy. Earning 5% cash back is huge. The more you can spend in this area, the more cash back you earn, but spending just a modest amount works. Make a minimum of $500 in purchases at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone service while working toward the sign up bonus and earn $25.
The next spending category isn’t quite as lucrative, but using the Ink Business Cash Credit Card at restaurants and gas stations earns a healthy 2% cash back. Identify another $500 in spending in this category and earn $10.
You’ll receive 1% cash back when spending the remaining $2,000 in any category. The nets an additional $20. Here’s how to meet the remaining $2,000 minimum spend in responsible ways:
Pay Bills With A Different Kind Of Plastiq
Plastiq is an online payment service. It’s a great hack to use when you want to pay for things that don’t normally take credit cards, like rent, or to pay someone who helps around the house. Plastiq normally charges a 2.5% transaction fee, but when you sign up for Plastic using our link, your first $500 through Plastiq will be free-free.
Note: using the Ink Business Cash Credit Card will not work on payments through Plastiq on mortgages, HELOCs, auto loans, student loans, and payroll.
Give Yourself The Gift Of Amazon
Amazon has practically everything you could ever dream of needing to shop for. Rather than pay as you go, front-load your account with gift cards to help meet your credit card minimum spend. Purchase the Amazon gift cards using your Ink Business Cash Credit Card and then load them right back into your Amazon account. You meet your minimum spend, and now have an Amazon gift card balance already in your account, waiting to be used.
Score Some Discounted Gift Cards On Raise
There are stores where you regularly spend money. Don’t pay full price, get a big discount and get closer to meeting your $4,500 minimum spend. Buying discounted gift cards on Raise can save you up to 30% at stores you already shop at. Need your oil changed? Grab a Jiffy Lube gift card and get 20% off! Or purchase a Hulu gift card at face value and earn an immediate 9% back in Raise Cash.
Better yet, stack your gift cards with coupons from Raise for an even bigger discount.
Pay Your Bills In Advance
Don’t wait for the bills to come to you, pay them in advance! Assuming you aren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck and have no cash flow concerns, prepaying on your regular bills is an excellent strategy. You earn both the cash back and ensure you meet the minimum spending requirements. Stick to the essentials like home utilities, cell phone, home internet, and groceries to help you hit the $4,500 spend in three months.
But pay attention to which of these you prepay because you use them to get the most value from the next two cards we recommend.
Total earned from 1 card: $500 bonus + $25 (5% of $500) + $10 (2% of $500) + $20 (1% of $2,000) = $555
#2 U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has the highest possible cash back with the most versatile bonus categories.
This card offers a $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening–with no annual fee!
Steps To Earn $245 With The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
Between the welcome bonus and meeting the $500 minimum spending requirement using bonus categories, you earn $175.
$150 bonus + $25 (5% of $500) = $175
But wait, there’s more! What makes this card an absolute standout are its bonus categories, which earn an incredible 5% in cash back. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. However, bonus category earnings are limited to the first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on the two categories you choose.
You also earn 2% cash back on one other category of your choice and 1% on everything else.
Which categories should you focus on? To maximize your cash back, choose the two categories you spend the most every month. The most compelling for those on the path to FI are:
- Home utilities like power, water, and trash
- Cellphone providers like Mint and Get Mobile
- TV, Internet, and Streaming services like Comcast, Netflix, and Hulu
- Ground Transportation like Uber and Lyft
Assuming you max out your two 5% cash back categories, you’ll earn another $100 with this card.
$175 + $100 (5% of $2,000) = $275
Total earned so far: $835
#3 Blue Cash Everyday Card From American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express earns a decent bonus and has solid cash back category bonuses and has no annual fee. — In fact, it’s our favorite card for crushing it at the grocery store.
This card offers a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
Steps to Earn $180+ With the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
Regular spending with the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express earns 1%, but this card really shines when it comes to grocery stores and gas stations.
Purchases at U.S. supermarkets earn a lucrative 3% in cash back up to the first $6,000 per year. Cardmembers will also earn 2% cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores and 1% on everything else.
We all have to eat and most of us drive cars. It makes this card an immensely useful tool to keep in your wallet long-term.
$150 bonus + $30 (3% of $1,000) = $180
Pro Tip: Use this card at grocery stores to buy gift cards for places you would use anyway, earn 3% and possibly build a stash of fuel rewards points that help you get big discounts off your gas purchases.
Total earned from all three cards: $555 + $275 + $180 = $1,010
Congratulations! You earned more than $1,000 using cash back cards on purchases you would make anyway!
|Card Feature||Capital One Spark Cash for Business||US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card||Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express|
|Sign Up Bonus||$500||$150||$150 (statement credit)|
|Minimum Spend||Spend $4,500 within the first three months||Spend $500 within the first 90 days||Spend $1,000 in the first three months|
|Category Bonus||2% cash back on all purchases||5% on two categories of your choice (up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter).|
2% cash back on one other category of choice.
1% cash back on everything else
|3% cash back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year).|
2% cash back at gas stations and department stores.
1% on everything else
|Annual fee||$95, waived the first year||$0||$0|
|Cash Back In First 3 Months||$590||$275||$180|
|Learn how to apply for this card here.||Learn how to apply for this card here.||Learn how to apply for this card here|
Extra Credit (And Extra Cash) For High Achievers
How about that extra credit mentioned? Now that you’re hooked on earning cash back, here are some additional recommendations.
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card gives you a $500 bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
This no annual fee card earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase and offers a 0% APR for the first 12 months after account opening on purchases.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a $150 bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months from account opening.
It earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and doesn’t have an annual fee.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $150 cash back bonus after you spend $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
All purchases earn 1.5% cash back with no annual fee.
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card also earns $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months. However, it is unique in our extra credit card list since it has a few bonus categories to pump up your earnings potential. These aren’t rotating categories either, the bonus categories are year-round.
Earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, and 2% cash back at grocery stores, with an even 1% earned on everything else. All with no annual fee!
|Card Feature||Ink Business Cash Credit Card||Chase Freedom Unlimited||Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card||Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Minimum Spend||Spend $3,000 in the first three months||Spend $500 in the first three months||Spend $500 in the first three months||Spend $500 in the first three months|
|Category Bonus||5% at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services (up to $25,000 in purchases).|
2% at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 in purchases).
1% on everything else.
|1.5% cash back on all purchases||1.5% cash back on all purchases||3% cash back on dining and entertainment.|
2% cash back at grocery stores.
1% cash back on everything else.
|Learn how to apply for this card here||Learn how to apply for this card here||Learn how to apply for this card here||Learn how to apply for this card here|
In A Time of Crisis, Cash Is King
The travel industry is getting clobbered. Only time will tell how the chaos will pan out. Gambling on travel rewards may reap huge rewards in the end, but one thing is for sure. Cash never goes out of style. In a time of uncertainty, cash back cards are a sure thing that provides you with a financial boost you can use.