Should you use a 2% cash back card for non bonus purchases?

When your credit card(s) offer(s) bonus points categories, it’s a no brainer to use them when making purchases within those categories. For example when I’m out at a restaurant and the bill comes, I reach for my Chase Sapphire Reserve since I get 3x points per dollar on dining. What about non bonus spend? Should you put it on the same card and only get 1 point per dollar? Or should you put it on a 2% cash back card? Lets visit reasons why you should and should not use a 2% cash back card.

Reasons why you should use a 2% cash back card for non bonus purchases:

  • You are unfamiliar with transfering credit card points to airline/hotel loyalty programs and are unlikely to receive more than 2.0 cents in value for each point
  • You want to use your rewards where points are not accepted (i.e. rental houses, cabins, etc)
  • Most of your spending is not in non bonus categories and thus will not receive bonus points for your purchases

Reasons why you should not use a 2% cash back card for non bonus purchases:

  • You are very familiar with credit card points transfers and are very able or likely to get more than 2.0 cents in value for each point
  • You carry credit cards such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited or American Express Everyday Preferred that give 1.5x points per dollar and are proficient in points transfers or have a compliment card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve that gives a 50% bonus when using points through the Chase travel portal
  • You need to meet the minimum spend on a card. This applies for both a sign up bonus or a yearly spending requirement on a card (for a free night, elite status, etc.)

Have any reasons I may have missed? Comment below!

-Nick a.k.a. Points Tutor