New Venmo Card Personalizes Rewards

The Venmo Visa Credit Card pays you 3% cash back in the category in which you spend the most.

Photo of a young woman and a young man having iced coffee outside. The man is holding up a credit card.
(Image credit: Courtesy PayPal, Inc.)

When you’re looking for a rewards credit card, it makes sense to review your spending patterns and choose one that offers a high rate of cash back or points in the categories in which you spend the most. But if your top spending categories tend to vary, a new card from peer-to-peer payment service Venmo is a compelling option: It automatically rewards you in the categories with the highest spending each month.

The Venmo Visa Credit Card pays you 3% cash back in the category in which you spend the most during a statement cycle (the categories include groceries; gas; dining and nightlife; travel; bills and utilities; health and beauty; entertainment; and transportation). You get 2% back in the category in which you spend the second-highest amount and 1% back on other spending.

No spending limit applies the first year you have the card. Each year after that, combined spending in the 2% and 3% categories is capped at $10,000, with purchases earning 1% after you hit the limit. The card was recently offered to select users of the Venmo app and will become available to all U.S. users in the first quarter of 2021.

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Cash back is automatically added to your Venmo account, and you can transfer it to your linked bank account or debit card. You can also use it to pay your credit card bill, other Venmo users or merchants that accept Venmo at checkout.

More rewards from Chase. Chase has closed applications for its Chase Freedom card and introduced the Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard. Like the previous card, Flex offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in a category that changes each quarter (2021 categories were unavailable at press time; the 2020 fourth-quarter category included Walmart and PayPal purchases). But all year, Flex also provides 5% back on travel bookings made through Chase, 3% back at restaurants and 3% back at drugstores. Other spending gets 1% back. The card recently offered 5% back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases the first year, too. Rewards are earned as points, which you can exchange at a rate of a penny apiece for cash, gift cards or travel.

Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.