Capital One's new Savor card literally pays you money for dining out and buying groceries

Cash back and rewards-based credit cards are pretty much a guaranteed way to earn “free money” (a term that will forever make zero sense while simultaneously making so much sense in context.)

The reality is, though, that often times credit card companies and banks alike will offer cash back or rewards for certain purchases that are either unattainable or unrealistic — not even factoring in initiation and annual fees for the card itself. 

SEE ALSO: Restaurant owner has a hilarious response to rude TripAdvisor review

Ideally, we would all have access to a card that offered us rewards as a bonus while we were already spending the bulk of our money on the things we love the most, instead of trying to hit a certain spending threshold to earn rewards.

That would be pretty sweet (pun intended, of course) wouldn’t it?

Well, for foodies, cooks and professional dining out-ers, it looks like that wish has just been granted.

Enter the Savor card by Capital One, the first cash back credit card that rewards consumers with money on food and dining-related purchases.

With no annual fee, the card follows a simple 3-2-1 breakdown of cash-back allocations: Three percent cash back on dining out, two percent on groceries and one percent on all other purchases.

10 purchases to never make with a credit card:

10 purchases you shouldn't make with a credit card
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10 purchases you shouldn't make with a credit card

#1: Household bills

If you are already cutting it close for the month, you may be tempted to use plastic to pay the utility, cellphone or cable bill. But if you’re not paying off your full balance each month, the interest you will be charged makes those monthly bills even more expensive.

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#2: Cars 

Car dealers often don’t allow credit card purchases, or may limit the amount of the purchase price you can put on your card. Dealers don’t like credit card payments because they have to pay the 1 to 3 percent fee the card company charges to process the transaction.

You could exercise the cash-advance option. But you’ll pay a fee and a higher interest rate. Also, you won’t get a grace period on the interest — it will begin to accumulate right away.

Instead of using a card, go to a credit union or bank to get financing approved at a reasonable interest rate before shopping for a car.

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#3: Student loans

If you can’t afford to pay your federal student loans, you have options. They include an income-based repayment plan, deferment, forbearance and possibly loan forgiveness. Take a look at “How to Get Free Help With Your Student Loans” to learn more.

Paying your student loan debt with a credit card increases the amount of interest you’re paying on the debt. Even if you have a zero-percent introductory credit card offer, it will expire in time.

And while the federal government will accept a credit card payment for loans in default, many student loan servicers won’t allow this form of payment.

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#4: Retail therapy

Think a new purchase will cheer you up? Perhaps. But remember that cash is king if you choose this mode of “therapy.” Use cash, and you won’t let your credit card balance spiral out of control.

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#5: Medical bills

If you use a medical credit card available through your health care provider’s office to pay bills, be careful to read the fine print about your obligations.

Also consider steps you can take to reduce health care costs. See “10 Ways to Fight High Medical Bills.”

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#6: A night on the town

Handing your credit card to an unscrupulous waitperson equipped with a skimming device isn’t your only worry. If you’re out on the town throwing back drinks, it’s easy to run up a tab you can’t afford.

So when painting the town, it’s best to pay with cash.

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#7: Big-ticket items you can’t pay off immediately

Credit cards offer great purchase protections and should be used for many big-ticket purchases. But buying something on credit when you can’t afford to pay it off right away isn’t smart.

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#8: Credit card payments

You can’t charge your monthly credit card payment on another credit card. But perhaps you’ve been tempted to use a cash advance from a credit card to bolster your checking account so that you can pay other bills.

We’ve already explained the folly of cash advances. Your credit card is not an ATM and should not be used as one.

There are real benefits, however, to transferring high-interest credit card debt to a new card with a generous zero-percent balance transfer offer. Just be aware of the balance-transfer fee and find out how long the offer lasts.

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#9: ‘Sale’ items

Convinced that you might miss out on savings if you don’t purchase a specific item on sale right away? That’s one of the warning signs of an impulse buy.

Wait a day and think about whether you really need the item. Nine times out of 10, the answer will be “no.”

You aren’t saving money by spending it for something you don’t need.

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#10: Unsecured online purchases

When shopping online, make sure the web address has “https” at the beginning. If it doesn’t, that’s your cue to take your online shopping elsewhere.

In fact, do your homework before purchasing anything online to make sure a company is reputable and not the source of many consumer complaints.

Which purchases do you refrain from making with your credit card? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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So whether you’re someone who’s keen on all of the hottest restaurants in your area or a loyal weekly grocery haul kind of person, Savor will reward for the food-centric purchases you’re already making.

And according to new data, a startling majority of people ARE already making these purchases.

In the MasterCard SpendingPulse™ Report, it was found that consumer spending has grown a whopping 20 percent in the restaurant industry, followed by five percent in the grocery industry.

Managing Vice President of US Card at Capital One, Emilia Lopez, further explained:

“When we asked people to share what matters most to them, we heard repeatedly that food and dining are an important part of their lives. We created the Savor card to give customers a simple way to earn more when they are doing what we know they love. Whether it’s cooking a meal with family, enjoying coffee with friends, or celebrating a special occasion at a favorite restaurant, the Savor card helps make life’s moments more rewarding.”

Restaurant spending in general has increased by $100 billion in the past three years, with restaurant sales increasing at a sky-high 59 percent year-over-year increase over the past decade. 

That’s a lot of people dining out!

So next time everyone reaches to split the check at brunch, put it all on your Savor card and have your friends pay you back — you’ll be reaping the delicious benefits without anyone having to know.

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