PerkStreet 2% Cash Back Opportunities

Perkstreet PerkStreet, who I currently use as my personal spending account, just made their offer a bit sweeter. They are offering 2% cash back in certain spending categories. As you know, I signed up with PerkStreet about a year ago and have been enjoying their amazing 2% cash back on online purchases.

In a move to please their current customers and attract even more, they are bringing out the 2% rotating categories in addition to access to the the all new PowerPerks 2.0 with new deals coming every week – with no limit to how much you can earn. Similar to the Chase Freedom® Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back credit card, or the Discover More credit card.

Get 1% Cash Back on all non-PIN debit card purchases and 2% cash back online

The old “2% on everything” offer has expired since I signed up. Well, in a very nice move, PerkStreet decided to keep the cash back amount at 2% for all online purchases. The new promotion is quite extensive and this is how it divides: The old 2% on everything is now 1% on all non-PIN debit card purchases and the new 2% can be earned in three different ways.

  1. On online purchases at:®, iTunes®,,, and
  2. On in-store purchases at: Walmart, Target®, Best Buy® & Apple® stores, when you have a Current Account Balance of $5,000 or more
  3. When you and a friend use your cards together at the same restaurant, bar or coffee shop (both transactions must occur within 60 minutes of each other)

Without a doubt, PerkStreet is providing a fantastic deal. No credit card on the market today is giving that many cash back variations. To take full advantage of this offer, considering filling out an application for a checking account with PerkStreet.

Last Edited: March 8, 2014 @ 10:51 pm The content of is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comment Disclosure: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Actually the Fidelity Investments American Express Card has been offering 2% cash back on all purchases for years and still continues to do so to this day. The money has to go into a brokerage account, but you can withdraw it for cash whenever you want.

  2. Charles Schwab’s also credit card has also offered 2% cash back on all purchases since its inception a few years ago. I guess you can post any lie these days in a “news article” online with no editors and no accountability.

    • Sallie Mae has a 2% cash back rewards card. You can redeem a $250 check after $12,500 of spend.

  3. Tim was incorrect – it doesn’t have to go in a brokerage account, it can go in a fidelity mysmart checking account which you can immediately transfer to your bank account, or use your fidelity debit card and get the cash at an ATM.

  4. Phil, I would love to click on the link in your article to apply for a checking account at Perkstreet, BUT! What prevents me from doing so is the new swipe fee regulation in place now and how this will affect the decision to perhaps drop the cash back opportunity.

    As it is, USAA opted to drop their debit cash back program in lieu of charging monthly fees on their checking accounts.

    Any insights here?

    • Good question. I understand the concern with not wanting to waste your time doing the banking switch for some flash in the pan company.

      Here’s what PerkStreet says on their blog:

      “At PerkStreet, we have no plans to increase our fees or place additional limitations on spending. In fact, the only changes we plan on making are ones that will directly benefit our customers, like introducing a savings account and rolling out new mobile apps that are already under development. We plan to continue finding new ways to give our customers even more cash back than the unlimited 2% we already offer.”

      I believe them. Perkstreet’s only real offering is the debit card cash back. They’ve got to maintain that model or they will no longer have customers. They will do what it takes to keep it.

      • Swipe fee regulation (aka Dodd-Frank w/ Durbin Amendment) only apply to big banks. Big bank is defined as any bank that has $10 billion or more in assets. PerkStreet is no where close to that. This why they can offer cash back rewards on debit card purchases, as they are exempt from the new swipe fee regulations due to their size.

        The recent laws is part of an effort to re-distribute power and money from the big banks to smaller financial institutions. This way, big banks have less lobby power and helps to hedge against another financial crisis by not putting all money eggs in one bank basket.

  5. TJ, why would you use Perkstreet as your main spending account? I find that if you have more than $5k, you’d be better off having the money earn interest in an online savings account, an online money market account, or a Reward Checking Account (which as of Dec.21,2011 pays ~2.0-3.0% for upto $25k balances with e-statements, 1 ACH debit/or direct deposit, and usually 10 debit non-pin transactions..which most people use for like small change purchases), and, using your credit cards that pay anywhere from 1-5% in either cashbacks, rewards, points, miles? Plus, isnt the grace period on credit cards worth it? I feel you’re throwing away $30-50 in interest (on $5k, 1%, taxes) to earn -4%-to-+1% rewards on purchases?? It really depends on how much you spend on credit cards per year, and in which categories, and when. Your interest would be more if you have a Reward Checking Account. Isnt the combo of the Citibanks, Discovers, Chases, BankofAmericas, AmericanExpresses, CapitalOnes, and others with either the broader quarterly 5% rotating categories, or the 3%, 2%, 1% rewards in everyday purchases or groceries and gas? [[FYI, while the 2% Charles Schwab Investment credit card stopped in April 2011, cardholders still earned 2% cashback on all purchases until FIA/BankofAmerica converted and changed the cards around September-to-October 2011 to the 3-2-1 cards.]]

    • It is a personal choice. Benefits like grace period is not relevant if you’re not worried about cash flow. Rotating categories are nice, but they also reward caps. You also need to redeem a specific up to a specific tier to redeem the points for cash or miles. While this is true for PerkStreet, the redemption level is at every $50 ($2500 spend if you get 2% back). If you spend on this card for groceries, another card for gas, and another card for dining… it takes much longer to receive your rewards. By focusing your spending on a single, it simplifies your life and you can achieve your reward goals that much faster.

      Also, over half of Americans admit to carrying a credit card balance and have paid interest. Any rewards earned is negated by interest paid for most of credit card holders.

      Debit card usage means you live within your means. That is philosophically different from what the credit card companies would like you to do.

  6. WilliamLarson says:

    Eh; I’ll keep on using
    1) Gas – PenFed 5% on Gas 2) SallieMae 5% on “Groceries” up to $500/month 3) Citi Forward 5% on Restaurants & Amazon etc 4) Fidelity AMEX 2% on all the rest all the while my money rests in 4.09 APY Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking Account.
    2% is an LOL-able cashback for a majority of spending IYAM + I get to manipulate up my credit score LOL again.

    •  @WilliamLarson Not LOL-able at all since it’s a debit card. This card isn’t aimed at credit card users. It’s for people who want to avoid debt for whatever reason. It’s the cream of the crop when it comes to debit card rewards.

  7. Maria Barker says:

    Where they want me to buy to get the cash back is not where I want to spend to get the cash back.  So what freaking good is that?

  8. Do they have international transaction fees?

  9. KylePs80 says:

    Phil and friends, 
    Kyle from PerkStreet here. I just wanted to drop in and let you know that we have made some announcements about new features, including a new mobile app and savings account. This announcement came out today. I’ll likely see comments left on the PerkStreet blog sooner, but of course, feel free to ask questions or comment here on Phil’s blog as well.
    Here’s the announcement on our blog:

  10. Phil, I read the terms and conitions and it appears as though you may be only eligible for the 5% spending categories if you put $5,000 in the account and leave it there as a minimum balance. The $5,000 will earn no interest, which means I am sacrificing $50 a year which I would have gotten from my bank. However, after $2,000 in qualified spending I will receive $100 in cash back from perkstreet, for which I would have received $40 from my other rewards cards, on average.
    For people who are going to be able to attain $1,000 to $2,000 in annual spending within the limited categories, this is a net gain. However, my biggest gripe with perkstreet so far has been that the categories are a secret to non-members. So before I register for the card, how am I to know whether and how often I am interested in their 5% cateogories?  Also, when ssigning up for the card it was not even apparent to me that the minimum balance would be $5K.  I can’t remember where I saw it, but it wasn’t very apparent in the promotional literature.

    • You make great “points”, slopy. Pun intended. But seriously, I think the main selling point of PerkStreet is that it’s a debit card. I’m assuming your other rewards card is a credit card? People who choose PerkStreet are looking to move away from credit AND enjoy a few perks in the process. It’s never going to compete with Chase or Citi in terms of rewards, which is why I still use those guys. But for someone tired/scared of credit, it’s a happy medium.

  11. Philip Taylor, this is a terribly misleading article considering it is dated March 2013. They no longer have the 2% cash back on every non-pin purchase, they got rid of it last year.  See link below. And even when you get 1% cash back, they charge 10 percent for cash perks, so it’s really a 0.9% return. When you factor in the 5k balance in there which earns NOTHING, that’s another $50 a year wasted that I could have been earning with another bank. 
    As for the 5% “categories” these appear to be limited to a secret smattering of online only merchants. I’m doubly annoyed that your promo article got me interested in signing up for a debit card that won’t have nearly half the potential that you led me to believe it would. I hope others don’t waste the time that I have wasted applying for an account I will hardly use.