Yes, that is right - i am earning over 12% back via a combination of points that can be eventually used as cash.
Let me explain. I have both, the Chase Freedom Card as well as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (this one has a $95 annual fee, but it is totally worth it as can be seen here). The Freedom card gives out 5% cashback - as chase ultimate reward (UR) points on rotating categories every quarter up to $1500 spent, this quarter the categories are grocery and drugstores. These UR points can then be converted to cash, used for booking travel directly on the chase website, or if you have the sapphire preferred card - transferred to an airline partner by converting to miles.
I usually transfer these UR points to a partner airline like United or Southwest and have traditionally managed to get a 2 cent per mile/UR point value on these, as can be seen in this post.
Safeway grocery stores carry all kinds of gift cards, from amazon to home depot, restaurants, movie theaters etc. For every GC purchase, you earn 2x safeway points, which can then be used as gas rewards.
Here is an example -
Buy a $100 amazon GC from safeway. Earn 500 UR points, worth upto 1000 cents ($10) when used with a partner airline. This also gets you 200 Safeway points, each set of 100 points can be used to get 10 cents off per gallon of gas, so this nets you 20 cents off per gallon, saving about $2.5 on an average tank fill up. You end up getting about $12.5 in points/value for an expense you would incur anyway.
We shop at amazon a lot, so getting $12.5 back on every $100 that we would spend there (and other places like our favorite restaurants) seems like a no-brainer and a great way to earn some passive income.