You might remember that a few months ago I had written about I had been rejected for a credit card from Capital One. I already had what was considered the Capital One Newcomer’s Card which gave me 1% flat cash back rate on everything. I had talked with Capital One over the phone about upgrading to the Quicksilver and they had told me that I would need to apply for the card myself but with my credit score and history of on time payments with Capital One I was almost guaranteed to be accepted. Well it turns out I was part of the “almost” and I received a rejection notice from Capital One about a week later. I decided to change my sights towards the Sallie Mae MasterCard, which was a credit card I had been eyeing in addition to the Quicksilver from the beginning. I’ve now had that card for two months, and now I’m going to give you a quick review on the card.
I was looking for a card to compliment my initial card that would boost the 1% flat cash back in certain areas, and this seemed like a card that would be a perfect fit. The Sallie Mae MasterCard offers the following cash back:
- 5% cash back on the first $250 you spend each month on gas
- 5% cash back on the first $250 you spend each month on groceries
- 5% cash back on the first $750 you spend each month on book purchases
- 1% cash back on everything else
You can see right away how this card fits into my budget, with gas being one of my biggest expenses each month. Being able to get 5% back at the pump is a huge bonus over just 1%, and have never even hit $200 of gas spending in a month this card is perfect as I’ll get the 5% back on the full amount I spend on gas each month.
The other category of groceries doesn’t really affect me as greatly, as I am not the one doing the grocery shopping in my household just yet. But that category is more for future purchases and I can still take advantage of it when I’m on vacation. You can’t really beat 5% cash back on all grocery store purchases and I don’t think there are any better cards out there with no annual fees. You can get the American Express blue cash preferred which gives 6% cash back, but that requires you to spend a large amount on groceries to break even after the annual fee.
I’ve also read things on the “books” category affecting a lot of general purchases on Amazon as well, but I have not tested this at all. I’ll probably stay away from abusing this loophole of sorts as the other two categories are what I was really looking for. But if I can get a few extra dollars back when I use this on Amazon every so often I will try to take advantage of it.
One of the things that I really like about this credit card is the dashboard for purchases being extremely simply and displaying the rewards right next to the purchases. You are able to see right away on each individual purchase if you are receiving the 5% cash back (5x “points”) or the 1% cash back (regular “points”). There is no guessing game or having to go back and calculate to make sure you are getting the rewards that you wanted for that purchase which I think is awesome.
The card actually is only Sallie Mae in name, and is completely managed by Barclay Card US so if you have any experience dealing with them it is a similar experience. I’ve had no problem setting up my payments and the first two payments were processed quickly with no issues. Honestly I have no real issues with this card and if you are looking for a solid gas or grocery card it’s the perfect fit.
The only drawback that I have to this card is it’s association to Sallie Mae and the fact they are making money off of it. It kind of sucks due to all the nightmares I’ve read about dealing with Sallie Mae as a student loan lender, but this card does not deal with them at all like I said. It is simply in name only as all the back end processing is handled by Barclay US. My Sallie Mae MasterCard review is that I can definitely recommend this card as a solid cash back option.