Earn $1,000+ With These 3 Cash Back Cards

Earn $1,000 or More With These 3 Cash Back Cards

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 with cash back credit cards.

Quick Steps

  1. Open the Chase Sapphire Preferred, spend $4,000 in purchases in the first three months and earn $800 (this card does have a $95 annual fee).
  2. Next, open the Chase Freedom Flex by Mastercard, earn $200 on a $500 spend within the first 3 months. Optional: spend up to $12,000 at grocery stores in the first 12 months and earn another $600. We're not including this number in our math, though.  $0 annual fee.
  3. Then, open the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, spend $3,000 in the first 6 months and get a $300 in cashback. Also Optional: Earn 6% on up to $6,000 in groceries and streaming services a year. There is a $95 annual fee, which is why we placed this card in third place.

Limited Time Offer!: The $95 Annual Fee is waived for the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express for the first year through 12/10/2020.

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 $7,500 in actual living expenses over the 12 months will earn more than $1,000 in cash back in less than twelve months. That's like getting a 13% rebate on money you would have spent anyway!  That's a massive win on your path to FI.

The general strategy is this:

  1. Go for cards that offer the highest welcome bonuses, especially ones with the most generous category bonuses.
  2. 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!
  3. Meet the minimum spend requirement, preferably with expenses made in the highest cash back earning categories.
  4. Pay your credit cards off on time and in full every month.

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 more than $1,000 within a year, and if you're up for it, there are extra credit bonus recommendations for scoring even more.

Cash Back Card #1 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Look no further than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for the biggest bonus and increased earning opportunities in a few targeted spending categories.

New cardmembers will earn a one-time 80,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Cardmembers can redeem points for a statement credit, check, or direct deposit with a value of 1 cent per point making the 80,000 Ultimate Rewards point bonus worth $800. Note that this excellent card has a $95 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is billed to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You have the option to exchange these points for cash or for travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal. You'll get better value when redeeming your points for travel though. When booking travel with points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, points are worth 1.25 cents, or 25% more.

Total earned from this card: $800 bonus

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred here

#2 Chase Freedom Flex by Mastercard

The Chase Freedom Flex by Mastercard offers a $200 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. But wait, it gets better! Grocery store purchases (not including Walmart and Target) earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent in the first year–all with no annual fee!

Steps To Earn up to $800 With The Chase Freedom Flex

Between the $200 welcome bonus and maxing out the 5% grocery store bonus category during the first year, you'll earn at least $800. Plus, this card earns a 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, 3% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining in restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% at drugstores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Grocery Stores Sell More than Food

Even if your grocery budget doesn't support spending $1,000 a month, you can still qualify for this incredible bonus offer. Think outside the box a little when strolling the grocery store aisles. Many grocery stores sell gift cards to hundreds of different retailers you already shop at, including department stores, restaurants, Amazon, and others. With a little strategic planning during your grocery runs, hitting the $12,000 max can easily be within reach.

Total earned from this card: $200 bonus

Total earned so far: $1,000.

Learn how to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex by Mastercard here

#3 Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns a decent bonus and has solid cash back category bonuses.

This card offers $300 cashback as a statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months of account opening.

Limited Time Offer!: The $95 Annual Fee is waived for the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express for the first year through 12/10/2020.

Steps to Earn $300 With Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regular spending with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 1%, but this card really shines when it comes to groceries and streaming services, earning a nice 6% cash back for both categories. Other categories yielding a 3% cash back include gas, rideshares, and transit.

Total earned from this card: $300 bonus

Pro Tip: Use this card for groceries!

Total potentially earned from bonuses only with all three cards: $800 + $200 + $300 = $1,300

Learn how to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express here.

Congratulations! You've earned up to $1,300 using cash back cards on purchases you would make anyway!

Card FeatureChase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Freedom Flex by Mastercard Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Sign Up Bonus$800$200$300
Minimum SpendSpend $4,000 within the first 3 monthsSpend $500 within the first 3 monthsSpend $3,000 in the first 6 months
Category Bonus1% cash back on all purchases.
(2% for travel and dining out, not useful right now)
5% cash back on grocery store purchases in the first 12 months. 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants, 3% on drugstore purchases, 1% on everything else6% cash back for groceries and streaming services. 3% for gas, rideshares, and transit.
1% on everything else
Annual fee$95$0Limited Time Offer: $0 for first year. Offer expires 12/10/2020, then fee reverts to $95.
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.

Learn how to apply for the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card here.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $200 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.

Learn how to apply for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card here.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card also earns $200 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!

Learn how to apply for the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card here

Card FeatureInk Business Cash Credit CardCapital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardCapital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bonus$500$200$200
Minimum SpendSpend $3,000 in the first three monthsSpend $500 in the first three monthsSpend $500 in the first three months
Category Bonus5% 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 purchases3% cash back on dining and entertainment.
2% cash back at grocery stores.
1% cash back on everything else.
Annual Fee$0$0 $0
Learn how to apply for this card hereLearn how to apply for this card hereLearn 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.

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Affiliate Disclaimer

ChooseFI seeks to uncover helpful services that help you be financially resilient. However, we may receive compensation, at no cost to you, from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article, including from CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Opinions are the author’s alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of these entities. See our disclosures for more info.

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4 thoughts on “Earn $1,000 or More With These 3 Cash Back Cards”

  1. I have tried multiple times over the last two days, using your link for the Plastiq referral, but receive this message after clicking on link in my email: The referral code could not be applied at this time. Please try again in a few moments.
    It was a very informative article, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  2. Hey, when I go to that first Chase link, it says you get 60,000 miles, not cash back. Has it changed? Please advise, thank you!

  3. due to covid and the uncertainty of travel right now, are you banking on rewards for cash back vs travel points? Do you recommend getting these 3 credit cards while “reserving” options for the future to get other cc with the intention of earning travel points? I’m new to travel hacking with cc

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