Artykuły

Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card Review

0

I have two cash-back credit cards for everyday purchases, two credit cards for travel purchases, a credit card for grocery store purchases, a credit card for Amazon purchases, and a handful of backup credit cards I don’t use regularly.

None of them are the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card. Bread Cashback isn’t a terrible credit card, but there’s nothing remarkable about it. And with so many standout rewards credit cards to choose from, “nothing remarkable” is not where you want your credit card to be. 

That said, Bread Cashback is a decent entry-level cash-back card if you’re a first- or second-time credit card user who has already established a track record of responsible credit use and is ready to dip a toe into the wide world of rewards credit cards. But you can also do that with other entry-level credit cards that might be better than Bread Cashback — like the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card and Citi Double Cash Card. But before you decide, see how Bread Cashback’s features stack up to theirs. 

What Is the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card?

The Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card is a cash-back credit card with no annual fee. It’s ideal for people who want a basic credit card that earns unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. 

Bread Cashback offers a lineup of exclusive American Express benefits, such as discount offers with major brands (Amex Offers), generous rewards with select dining partners, and useful travel and consumer protections. These benefits don’t cost anything but may require card purchases or out-of-pocket expenses to take advantage of.

Bread Cashback’s issuer is Bread Financial, which offers an array of other financial products:

How the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card Stacks Up

Bread Cashback isn’t the only flat-rate rewards credit card on the market. Not by a long shot. Before you apply, see how it compares to another flat-rate card that offers unlimited 2% cash back on eligible purchases: the Citi Double Cash Card. 

Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card Citi Double Cash Card
Annual Fee $0 $0
Sign-Up Bonus None For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
Intro APR Promotion None 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then variable regular APR applies
Cash-Back Rewards Unlimited 2% back on eligible purchases Unlimited 2% back on eligible purchases when you pay your balance in full
Foreign Transaction Fee None 3% of the transaction amount

What Sets the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card Apart?

Bread Cashback isn’t a remarkable credit card, but it does have a few notable features that deserve mention. As entry-level cash-back cards go, it’s a good choice for people who like getting deals on top of cash-back rewards.

  • Access to Exclusive Deals Through Amex Offers. Amex Offers are cardholder-exclusive discounts and deals you can’t find anywhere else. There’s usually a minimum spend requirement, but the discounts are impressive — sometimes 30% or more.
  • Discounts or Freebies With Participating Restaurants. Swipe your Bread Cashback card at participating restaurants (dine-in or takeout) and claim your choice of 20% off the bill or a free appetizer. I’ve reviewed loads of credit cards and never seen this specific deal advertised before.
  • No Annual Fee or Foreign Transaction Fee. Bread Cashback doesn’t have an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Most competing cards charge one or the other.

Key Features of the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card

Bread Cashback isn’t a complicated credit card, but you should understand how it works before you apply. These are its most important features and perks.

Earning Cash-Back Rewards

Bread Cashback has a straightforward cash-back rewards program. Use your card wherever they accept American Express to earn unlimited 2% cash back on purchases. (Cashlike transactions like balance transfers and cash advances don’t earn cash back.)

Bread Cashback’s expansive flat-rate rewards program makes it a good credit card for everyday spending. 

Redeeming Cash-Back Rewards

Redeem your rewards for cash direct-deposited into your bank account or statement credits to your Bread Cashback balance. You can redeem at any time and in any amount, and your rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains in good standing.

If you use Bread Cashback as your primary credit card, I’d recommend redeeming for statement credits to reduce your net spending on the card. Cash redeemed into your bank account will probably find its way back to Bread as a credit card payment anyway. On the other hand, hard cash is a better choice if you can find something to spend it on before your next Bread Cashback payment. 

Amex Offers Program

As a Bread Cashback cardholder, you enjoy exclusive discounts and cash-back opportunities through Amex Offers, American Express’s partner rewards program. Specific Amex Offers come and go, but these are some examples of real deals I found:

  • Spend $155 or more with Ray-Ban and get $30 back (good for two separate transactions of $155 or more each)
  • Spend $500 at participating Viceroy resorts in the U.S., Mexico, and Caribbean, get $100 back
  • Spend $100 or more on gift cards at HappyCards.com, get $15 back
  • Get 30% back on qualifying TaxAct purchases, up to $60 back

Amex Offers usually require you to spend a hefty amount to benefit. So they’re best for reducing the cost of larger purchases you were planning to make, anyway. It helps if you’re not loyal to a particular brand or committed to a specific plan — so if you’re in the market for quality sunglasses but don’t care whether you get Ray-Bans or Oakleys, the Ray-Ban offer is perfect for you.

#AMEXFORFOODIES — Dining Benefits & More

Bread Cashback participates in the #AMEXFORFOODIES program. As a cardholder, the signature benefit getting up to 20% off or a free appetizer at participating restaurants — mostly independent or small chain establishments. You can use the offer for dine-in or takeout, and it’s enough incentive to work your dinner plans around. 

Note that as of now, there are fewer than 100 participating restaurants in the United States, so don’t be shocked if you can’t find any options in your hometown (or you have to do some work to find a participating establishment). For example, as of this writing, there are only four in Atlanta, eight in Chicago, 12 in Boston, and 27 in all of New York City. 

But the list may grow over time. And if your favorite establishments aren’t on the list, let them know about it, and maybe you can use it later.

That said, #AMEXFORFOODIES has some other perks:

  • Exclusive in-person culinary experiences with critically acclaimed chefs
  • A video library featuring culinary instructionals from prominent chefs and bartenders
  • Detailed recipes to make yourself at home

The recipes are available right on the #AMEXFORFOODIES website, but you have to enter the last six digits of your card number to access the video library or register for an in-person event. There aren’t any future events scheduled as of October 2022, so don’t clear your schedule just yet.

Important Fees

Bread Cashback doesn’t charge an annual fee, so even if you decide it’s not the best card for you, there’s no penalty for keeping it as a backup card. It also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which is good news if you regularly travel abroad or purchase stuff from non-U.S. vendors.

Credit Required

Bread Cashback requires good to excellent credit. If you have a spotty or limited credit history or your credit score is low, work on improving it before you apply.

Applying for the Bread Cashback Card

Bread Cashback has an easy application process that takes just a few minutes. To start, simply enter your phone number, zip code, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and some additional personal information. You’ll likely receive an approval decision within minutes.

Activating Your Bread Cashback Card

After you receive your Bread Cashback card in the mail, you go online to activate it. It only takes a minute or two, and you don’t need an account first. Enter your card number, expiration date, Social Security number or other acceptable identification, and zip code.

Online Account & EasyPay

Don’t skip setting up your online account. If nothing else, you can enable autopay and ensure you don’t accidentally forget to pay your balance. Plus, your dashboard is where you can check your card balance, find Amex offers, and view and redeem your rewards.

But even if you don’t set up an online account, you can still pay your bill electronically using the EasyPay feature. Just complete a quick identity verification process, and the system gives you just enough access to schedule a payment without giving would-be thieves enough access to do any harm.

Responding to a Prescreened Offer

Bread Financial is big on prescreened offers. If you get one in the mail and want to learn more, click the “Received a pre-screen offer?” text on the Bread Cashback card’s homepage and enter the prescreen ID to get started.

Receiving a prescreened offer doesn’t necessarily mean your application will be accepted — though unless something about your creditworthiness changes for the worse between when it extends the offer and when you apply, the issuer will probably honor the offer. It also means Bread already has some of your information, so you won’t have to spend as much time filling out the application or waiting for an approval decision. 

You should definitely take advantage of a prescreened offer if you were planning to apply for the Bread Cashback card anyway. If you weren’t, think carefully before proceeding, as applying for any credit card results in a hard credit inquiry that could temporarily lower your credit score and affect your ability to qualify for other credit products.

Advantages of the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card

Look into Bread Cashback for low carrying costs, solid cash-back rewards, and the potential to earn impressive discounts you won’t find elsewhere.

  • Unlimited 2% Cash Back on Virtually All Purchases. Bread Cashback earns unlimited 2% cash back on virtually all purchases, excluding only cashlike transactions like cash advances and balance transfers. That’s a solid rate of return on everyday spending.
  • No Annual Fee. Unlike some similar basic cards, Bread Cashback doesn’t charge an annual fee.
  • Amex Offers Program Promises Up to 30% Off (Maybe More). If you’re planning a big purchase — new glasses, travel, a refreshed wardrobe, a special night out — check out the Amex Offers program. Expect to save 15% to 30%, and perhaps more, on qualifying purchases.
  • Up to 20% Off or Free Appetizer With Dining Partners. The #AMEXFORFOODIES promotion can net you up to 20% off your bill or a free appetizer at select eateries. If you dine out or get takeout often, get to know the participating restaurants in your area — though with only about 100 nationwide, don’t be shocked if there are fewer than you’d like.
  • Super-Easy Application and Online Account Registration. Applying for a Bread Cashback card is very easy, especially if you have a prescreened offer. Expect the process to take just a few minutes. 
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. There are no surcharges for international transactions with Bread Cashback. That’s good news if you travel outside the U.S. regularly or buy from international merchants.

Disadvantages of the Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card

Bread Cashback has some notable downsides. Consider these potential drawbacks before applying.

  • No Sign-Up Bonus. Bread Cashback doesn’t have a sign-up bonus for new accountholders. Many if not most competing cash-back cards do, and those offers are often worth hundreds of dollars during the first few months after account opening, so that’s a significant disadvantage.
  • No 0%-APR Intro Promotion. Bread Cashback doesn’t have a 0% annual percentage rate introductory promotion for purchases or balance transfers. That’s another common feature of competing cards and cause for pause if you have your eye on any other options.
  • No Way to Earn More Than 2% Back on Everyday Purchases. Except for Amex Offers and #AMEXFORFOODIES, which require some planning and luck, there’s no way to earn cash back at a rate higher than 2%. Many competing cards have 3%, 4%, even 5% cash-back tiers.

Alternatives to Consider

Not sold on Bread Cashback? You have plenty of other choices. One of these alternatives may fit your needs better.

Product Service Best For
AmEx Blue Cash Preferred Card Supermarket and gas station purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card General travel and dining purchases
Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Up to 5% cash back in rotating categories
Wells Fargo Active Cash Solid sign-up bonus for new cardholders
Capital One Venture X Card Premium travel perks

Final Word

The Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card is a good credit card, but it’s not a great credit card. 

If you’re content to earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases and don’t want to deal with cash-back tiers or rotating categories, it’s a fine choice as an everyday credit card. But if you’re looking for a purpose-built credit card for more specific types of purchases, such as gas or groceries, then Bread Cashback isn’t your best option.

It’s also not the best choice if you’re looking for a generous sign-up bonus or 0% APR offer, both of which are easy enough to find on no-annual-fee cards.

Bottom line: I won’t advise against applying for Bread Cashback. There’s nothing deeply wrong with it. But I would encourage you to consider the alternatives before proceeding.

Closing Costs Calculator: Find Out How Much You Could Pay

Poprzedni wpis

AirBnB Investing – Is It Right For You?

Następny wpis

Mogą Ci się spodobać

Komentarzy

More in Artykuły