For consumers who frequently dine out or who are stay-at-home wannabe chefs, the TD Cash Credit Card seems like a worthy option, what with its 3% cash back feature on dining and 2% on grocery store purchases. And among cash back cards, those aren’t bad benefits. But … you can do better if you’re looking for a lucrative cash back credit card.
Is the TD Cash Credit Card Right for Me?
The TD Cash Credit Card is a fairly decent option if dining and groceries are the main focus of your spending, as long as you don’t spend very much money on those two categories combined.
However, if you spend more than $9,500 a year on dining, groceries, and entertainment, then the Capital One Savor card is likely a better option for you. Despite the annual fee, which Capital One waives in the first year, the Capital One Savor card will give you a greater amount of cash back on your dining and grocery purchases.
In fact, there are several cash back cards that will give you significantly better rewards on many more categories than just dining. And even if you constrain yourself to cards that have no annual fee, you will still find several that are offer better rewards than the TD Cash Credit Card.
Everything You Need to Know About the TD Cash Back Credit Card
Assuming you live in a state where the card is available, here are the benefits and features the TD Cash Credit Card offers:
- Unlimited 3% cash back when you dine out
- Unlimited 2% cash back at grocery stores
- 1% cash back on everything else you buy
If you’re a typical American family spending about $300 a month on eating out and about $400 a month on groceries, and another $1,500 on random, everyday expenses, then you’re looking at just under $400 a year in cash back with the TD Cash Credit Card – enough to fund a month’s worth of grocery shopping.
The “cash” shows up as points in your account, but you can redeem them for statement credit or as a direct deposit in your bank account only after you collect 2,500 points, the equivalent of $250.
I find that to be limiting since other cards allow redemption regardless of the amount you’ve collected. Take, for instance, the HSBC Cash Rewards card. It pays you 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase, plus an additional 10% of all the cash back you earn during the year. And you can apply your cash back as a statement credit each month, if you wish, or use it for gift cards or travel rewards.
The TD Cash Credit Card will also give you a $200 cash back bonus after spending just $500 in the first 90 days, equivalent to a 40% return, not a horrible bonus, but, again, you can do better by shopping around (assuming a sign-up bonus is important to you).
You’ll also pay no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, which is great if you travel overseas or regularly buy products from overseas, online vendors.
Although “cash” is part of this card’s name, you don’t actually have to receive cash back. You can opt to use the points you’ve collected to pay for travel and gift cards, though the value of those points vary based on what you’re purchasing. But, once again, I will say that you have much better options.
What You Need to Know Before You Apply for TD Cash Credit Card
First, where do you live?
The TD Cash Credit Card is available to residents of an exceedingly limited number of states – namely, the 16 states astride the Eastern Seaboard. Indeed, the farthest west this card is available is the western-most corners of Virginia and North Carolina.
The 16 states where you need to live to qualify for TD Cash Credit Card are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C
So, if you’re anywhere along the Gulf Coast (save for Florida), or anywhere west of the Appalachian Mountains, then applying for the TD Cash Credit Card is a waste of time.
You should, instead, look to the Capital One Savor card if you want a credit card focused on cash-back options related to groceries and dining.
What Credit Score Do I Need for a TD Cash Credit Card?
This card is fairly easy to obtain… well for those who have an excellent credit score.
You’ll need a credit score generally above 690, and most American consumers are above that level. So, unless you have fair or poor credit, obtaining a TD Cash Credit Card shouldn’t be difficult.
TD Cash Credit Card Alternatives for Poor or No Credit
If you do have poor credit or no credit history, then you’re probably not going to get a TD Cash Credit Card.
A better option for you is the Capital One Platinum Card, which is designed for poor credit or no credit history.
You won’t get any perks and benefits such as cash back or airline miles or whatever, but, then again, when you’re trying to build credit or rebound from a history of poor credit, what you really care about are fees and the ability to obtain credit in the first place.
With no fees, and with the fact the Capital One reports monthly to the three primary credit bureaus, the Capital One Platinum Card is a solid option.
The Better Credit Card Option of Good to Excellent Credit
If you have the kind of credit score that would otherwise allow you to obtain the TD Cash Credit Card – meaning good to excellent credit – then you should look instead to the Citi Double Cash Card.
It offers a straight-up 2% cash back on everything: 1% when you buy, 1% as you repay.
Assuming you’re that average American family spending $285 a month on dining out, $370 on groceries and right at $1,500 on everything else, the Citi Double Cash Card will dump nearly $520 in cash back into your account every year, a great deal more than the TD Cash Credit Card will give you. Citi’s not offering any sign-up bonus with this card, but there’s also no annual fee.
The Better Option If Restaurant Meals are Your Primary Food Expense
If your greatest monthly expense is, in fact, restaurant meals (and the average American is spending about $3,400 annually on eating out) then there’s still a better option to consider: the Capital One Savor Card.
With the Savor Card, you get 4% cash back on restaurants as well as entertainment (which accounts for nearly $3,400 in the average American’s budget and likely encompasses a good bit of the random spending for which you would otherwise earn just 1% from the TD Cash Credit Card ). You also get the same 2% cash back on supermarkets (excluding Walmart and Target), and 1% on everything else.
Savor is also going to give you $300 in bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also imposes a $95 annual fee, though that’s wiped away in the first year.
You will have to earn back that $95 for Savor to make more sense than the TD Cash Credit Card, but if you’re main spending is dining and entertainment, you will likely have no trouble recouping the annual fee.
All things considered, the Capital One Savor Card is going to dump more cash into your account if your primary spending is dining and groceries, with a bit of entertainment thrown in. (And for Capital One, entertainment includes: movie theaters, sporting events other than collegiate, live-theater, amusement parts, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, pool halls, bowling alleys, even record stores.)
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
- Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Another example of a card with better reward options: the US Bank Cash+ card. It gives you 2% on grocery, restaurants and gas, and 5% on up to $2,000 in spending in any two categories you want, including fast-food, various types of entertainment and streaming categories, clothing, furniture, transportation and others.
If a majority of your credit-card spending leans toward any of those 5% categories, you will do better with the US Bank Cash+ card because those are categories for which the TD Cash Credit Card offers just 1%. The categories can change, and you can change them quarterly — but still we’re talking about categories that are stuck at 1% with the TD Cash Credit Card.
And the US Bank Cash+ card is no fee, plus you get $150 in bonus cash after spending just $500 in the first three months.
The Better Option if Groceries are Your Primary Food Expense
Finally, if your food purchases are truly concentrated on groceries and playing chef at home, then the Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express is your better option.
With this card, AmEx will give you 6% cash back on up to $6,000 a year (equal to $500 a month) in grocery purchases. You’d have to spend, on average, $1,000 a month on groceries for the TD Cash Credit Card to be a better value.
With Blue Cash Preferred, you’re also getting 6% cash back on streaming subscriptions, and 3% at gas stations and transit expenses (taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, etc.).
Again, that’s likely a good part of your random spending for which the TD Cash Credit Card is only going to give you 1%. AmEx will give you 1% on everything else.
To me, this card also easily tops the TD Cash Credit Card. Plus, you’re going to get $250 in bonus cash back after spending just $1,000 in the first three months. The annual fee is $95 (which basically means that if you spend more than $1,583 a year on groceries – or $132 a month – then you will recoup your annual fee and be better off than if you had a no-fee card like the TD Cash Credit card.
The Wrap Up
All of this boils down to the question: Should you Get the TD Cash Credit Card?
I would counsel against it.
This card’s selling point is that it gives you a bonus, cash back rate for dining out and grocery purchase. And while that bonus rate isn’t too bad, there are simply far better options for cash back if restaurant meals and groceries are your primary expenses — such as Capital One Savor and AmEx’s Blue Cash Preferred.
For me, that makes the TD Cash Credit Cash a full-on pass because there are simply better cash back cards on offer these days.
But we want to know: Have you found a better cash back strategy for restaurant and grocery purchase? If so, leave us a note in the comment section below.