Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

Low interest credit cardsTop Ten Low Interest Credit Cards

The most basic use of a credit card is to extend credit when needed. For consumers who expect to occasionally run a credit balance on their credit cards, a key feature they will be interested in is the interest rate that will be charged on that debt. A 0% promotional APR is of course attractive, but we have put together a list of the top cards for providing low interest rates after any promotional rate expires. And here they are.

1. Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom Card from JPMorgan has that 0% introductory rate for 15 months, applicable to balance transfers and purchases. The variable APR after that will be 13.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. The card also offers 5% cash back on categories of goods that rotate each quarter, for up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Cash back of 1% is offered on all other purchases, with no limit, and you can earn a $100 bonus by using the card to make $500 in purchases during the first three months, with an additional $25 offered if you add an additional user and make one purchase during the first three months.

2. Chase Slate

The Chase Slate card offers the 0% introductory rate for balance transfers and purchases, extended for 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99%. You can avoid any balance transfer fees on transfers made within the first 60 days you have the card, and after that the fee will be 3%, with a $5 minimum fee. The card has no annual fee.

3. BankAmericard Visa Card

The folks at BofA have produced the BankAmericard Visa Card that has 0% promotional APR on purchases, and on qualifying balance transfers, for 15 billing cycles. This will only apply to balance transfers made within the first 60 days of card ownership. Thereafter, the variable APR is 10.99% to 20.99%. The card has chip technology, making it useful on trips to Europe, where such technology is common. Balance transfers do incur a 3% fee with a $10 minimum fee, and the card comes with a $0 liability guarantee.

4. Citibank’s Double Cash Card

The Citibank’s Double Cash Card will help you will obtain cash back twice with each purchase. You get 1% cash back at the time you buy, and another 1% so long as you pay the minimum balance amount due at the end of the month. The card has a 0% APR for balance transfers and purchases, extended for 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. There is no annual fee.

5. Barclaycard Ring MasterCard

Barclays is offering the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, which has a low interest rate of 8% on purchases and balance transfers. If you don’t mind doing without the 0% promotional rate, this is one of the lowest rates around for ongoing credit card debt. There is no balance transfer fee, and no over-the-limit fee if you spend over your cash limit. There is also no annual fee.

6. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card that charges 0% promotional APR on purchases through February 2016. After that, a variable APR of 11.9% to 19.9% will apply. The card gives you 20,000 bonus miles provided you spend $1,000 on the card during the first three months you have it. For all purchases, you will collect 1.25 miles per dollar. The card has no annual fee.

7. Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card provides 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, good until May 2016. After that cardholders will pay 10.9% to 18.9% variable APR. There are no foreign transaction fees, and a 3% balance transfer fee is applied. The card has no annual fee.

8. Discover It

Discover Financial’s Discover It card provides you with 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and this promotional rate applies for 14 months. After that, the variable APR is 10.99% to 22.99%. There is a balance transfer fee of 3%, and you can receive 5% cash back for purchases in quarterly rotating categories, up to a quarterly maximum. For all other purchases, you will get 1% cash back.

9. Citi Simplicity Card

Citibank’s Citi Simplicity Card offers 0% promotional APR on purchases and on balance transfers for a lengthy 18-month period. After that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. This card also offers the very attractive feature of not charging late fees, or increasing your interest rate when you miss a due date for a payment.

10. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Card

PenFed’s offering is a Visa card that offers 5% cash back on gas purchases with its Plus edition, and 3% on its Standard edition. The Plus edition has no annual fee, and the Standard has a $25 annual fee that is waived for the first year.

Both editions offer a very low 4.99% APR for twelve months on balance transfers made during 2015, and after that the variable APR will still be a low 9.99% for balance transfers. When it comes to purchases, the variable APR is 9.99, applicable from the start. No foreign transaction fees are imposed. A good card for maintaining a relatively low ongoing rate.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards with 0% Promotional APR

Best Balance Transfer ardsTop Balance Transfer Credit Cards with 0% Promotional APR

Paying off credit card debt that bears a high rate of interest is a critically important task for people who want to maintain their financial well-being. One of the benefits of competition in the credit card industry is the emergence of cards that will accept a balance transfer of credit card debt from another issuer’s card, and allow the debtor to pay the debt of at a 0% APR interest for a defined period of time.

We highly recommend taking this course to pay off debt, in order to avoid the significant erosion of your finances that can occur from paying the interest rates that usually apply to credit cards, and that are significantly higher than the rates charged for mortgages or car loans. We have reviewed the credit card offerings in the balance transfer space, focusing on cards that have no annual fee, and here are our top picks.

 

  1. Chase Slate

This offering from Chase Slate allows cardholders to transfer a balance during the first 60 days of card ownership with no balance transfer fee. After that promotional period, the balance transfer fee with be 3% of the amount transferred with a $5 minimum fee. It’s worth noting that most other cards impose a balance transfer fee of between 3-5% even before they start charging interest on the balance.

 

After that, you will enjoy a 0% variable APR on purchases, and on balance transfers for 15 months. If possible, you should try to pay off your balance during that period. After that, you’ll be charged a variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers of 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99%, depending on the state of your credit. No annual fee.

 

  1. BankAmericard Visa Card

 

Bank America’s BankAmericard offering has a 0% promotional APR on purchases, and on qualifying balance transfers that extends for 15 balance cycles. After that period, the variable APR will be between 10.99% and 20.99% for both purchases and balance transfers. The 0% rate applies only to balance transfers made during the first 60 days of card ownership, and a 3% balance transfer fee applies to all balance transfers, with a minimum fee of $10.

 

The card features additional benefits, including chip technology, mobile banking, and a $0 liability guarantee, making the card useful for overall spending purposes as well.

 

  1. Citibank’s Citi Double Cash Card

 

Citibank has entered the balance transfer space with an offering that allows Citi Double Cash Card holders to earn cash back twice. All eligible purchases will secure 1% cash back, and you will get another 1% cash back by paying off your balance, provided you pay the minimum due. Cash back is unlimited, and there are no category restrictions.

 

As for balance transfers, a 0% APR applies both to them and to purchases, for the first 15 months you have the card. After that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. Again, there is no annual fee.

 

  1. Chase Freedom

 

JPMorgan’s Chase Freedom card offers the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases, also extended for a 15-month period. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% to 22.99% on purchases and balance transfers. New cardholders will be able to earn $100 bonus cash back after making $500 in purchases during the first three months they have the card. Add another authorized user and make a purchase during that period, and you’ll get another $25 bonus.

 

The card has a rewards system that lets you earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter. To qualify, you will need to sign up each quarter and activate that benefit. For all other purchases, you will receive 1% cash back. A 3% balance transfer fee is imposed on all transfers. There is no annual fee.

 

  1. Discover It’s 18-Month Balance Transfer Offer

 

The folks at Discover have produced the Discover IT with an 18-month period of 0% APR on balance transfers, and 0% APR on purchases. After those periods, variable APR of 10.99% to 22.99% will apply. There is a balance transfer fee of 3%.

 

This rewards card offers 5% cash back for purchases in categories that rotate on a quarterly basis, up to a quarterly maximum, and you will need to register for this benefit. You will receive 1% cash back for all other purchases.

 

  1. Capital One’s Platinum Prestige Credit Card

 

This Capital One’s Platinum Prestige Credit Card provides a 0% APR on balance transfers that will extend to May 2016 for new cardholders. After that a variable APR of 10.9% to 18.9% will apply. So the earlier you obtain this card, the longer that 0% rate will run. Balance transfers incur a 3% fee, but there is no annual fee, and the card offers fraud liability coverage in the event it is stolen.

 

  1. Citibank’s Citi Simplicity Card

 

The Citibank Citi Simplicity Card gives the longer 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases, with a variable APR thereafter of 12.99% to 22.99%. A balance transfer fee of 3% is imposed with a fee minimum of $5. No annual fee.

 

  1. NFL Extra Points Credit Card

 

The NFL has gotten in on the action with their NFL Extra Points card, which offers 0% APR for balance transfers for a 15-month period. After that the variable APR is 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%. You will need to transfer your balance during the first 45 days of card ownership – after that, you’re out of bounds!

 

You can also choose from 32 NFL team cards, and each has its own benefits and card art, or you can choose the general NFL card. You will get 10,000 bonus points for joining provided you spend $500 using the card during the first 90 days, and you will earn two points per dollar spent on NFL purchases and team purchases. All other purchases get you 1% cash back. There is no limit on points, and they can be redeemed for VIP NFL experiences, game tickets, and cash back statement credit.

 

  1. PenFed Promise Visa Card

 

The PenFed Promise Visa Card will get you a promotional APR on balance transfers of 4.99% for a twelve month period, and after that a low variable purchase APR of 7.99% to 16.99%. Purchases are charged at the 7.99% to 16.99% rate from the start of card ownership. The card also imposes no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no late fee, no penalty APR, no foreign transaction fee, and no cash advance fee. Basically, not many fees!

 

Advice For Those In The Market For A Balance Transfer Card

 

If you need to transfer you balance, a 0% promotional APR on balance transfers and purchases is what you should look for. A rate that’s low but not 0% will still add up to lost savings. It is also a good idea to use the card only for paying off debt, and not for accumulating more debt.

 

In most cases, failure to pay the minimum monthly payment will result in you losing that 0% rate, so these cards have to be used strictly in order to secure the debt payoff features they offer. If you build this into your planning, and prioritize payment of this card, the benefits will be substantial.

 

It is also a good idea to list all the applicable fees, and try to estimate how much they may come to over a one- or two-year period. If you are planning a high number of balance transfers, getting a card without that 3% balance transfer fee should be a priority. Also, introductory rates of “up to” a certain number of months usually offer the longer period only to cardholders with excellent credit, so bear that in mind when choosing. Again, balance transfer cards can save you a bundle, but only if chosen carefully, and used carefully. Enjoy!

Best Student Credit Cards

Student Credit CardsTop Student Credit Cards

College students who are over eighteen are able to take advantage of a range of credit card options. Along with the convenience of having a card, this can help students get started with the important task of building their credit. Provided they utilize careful spending habits and pay off their balance promptly, student card holders should have a solid credit history by the time they graduate. And that will help launch them into the adult world of employment background checks, and then car loans, housing rentals, and mortgages.

Many of the cards designed for students have a rewards system and other incentives for students who produce good grades and pay their balances off on time. That may be as attractive to parents as it is to the student cardholders. Some also have a point system, or offer 0% introductory APR on purchases, allowing you to maintain a balance for a certain period without incurring interest.

We have reviewed the offerings in the student credit card space, and have come up with our top six credit cards picks for students. If you or your student offspring is in the market for a credit card, a quick review of these student-oriented cards will let you know what is available.

  1. CitiBank Thank You Preferred Card for College Students

The people at CitiBank have put together the CitiBank Thank You Preferred Card for College Students that offers 2,500 bonus Thank You points, provided that you spend $500 on the card within the first three months of card ownership. You will earn two points per dollar spent on restaurants and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. The card offers a 0% promotional APR rate for the first seven months that you have it, and after that charges variable APR between 13.99% and 23.99%. The card has no annual fee.

  1. Discover It Student Card

The folks at Discover Financial have produced their Discover It Student Card, which features 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend each quarter on rotating categories of goods. The categories include gas, restaurants, entertainment and other options. You will need to sign up each quarter to enjoy that feature, while for all other purchases, you will receive 1% cash back.

The promotional 10.99% APR rate applies to balance transfers for the first six months, and thereafter, a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies. For purchases, a 0% APR applies for the same six-month, and a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies thereafter. The ability to choose your own card design is a student-oriented feature, and the card involves no annual fee.

  1. Discover It For Students with $20 Cash Back Bonus.

The Discover people also offer the Discover IT for Students cash back card, which provides cardholders with a $20 cash back bonus provided that they make a purchase using the card during the first three months of ownership. The card imposes no annual fee, and you can earn up to 5% cash back for the first $1,500 in combined purchases you make each quarter in rotating categories. You will also need to sign up each quarter in order to activate that very attractive 5% cash back feature.

For all other purchases, cardholders receive 1% cash back. The cash back is unlimited, and the card imposes no foreign transaction fees. Late payments do not result in an increase in your APR rate, and your first late payment will not result in a late fee.

The card provides a free FICO credit score to cardholders both online and on monthly statements, and this should assist students who are new to maintaining credit to keep their credit ratings where they need to be. Discover assures cardholders that its customer service is entirely US-based, and is open 24/7. The introductory APR for balance transfers is 10.99% for the first six months. After that, a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies.

  1. Discover It Chrome For Students With $20 Cash back Bonus

Discover’s third offering in this space, its Discover IT Chrome card, allows you to earn $20 cash back simply by using the card to make any purchase within the first three months you own it. You will then get 2% cash back on all restaurant and gas purchases up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, and you will receive 1% cash back on all additional purchases. This double cash back requires no rotating categories, and there is no need to enroll.

The card imposes no annual fee, and has no fees for foreign transactions or for over-limits. Late payments do not raise the cardholders APR, and the late fee on your first late payment is waived. Discover will make your FICO score viewable online and in monthly statements. This will help newcomers to credit understand this brave new world of credit scores and their impact on employment background checks, car loans, apartment rentals, and more. This card is an attractive option for students who want to earn a sign-up bonus, rewards, and cash back.

  1. Capital One’s Journey Student Rewards Card

Capital One’s offering in this space is their Journey Student Rewards Card, which gives cardholders 1% cash back on all purchases. The card also provides a 25% cash back bonus, which can be earned each month, provided that you make timely bill payments. The cash back will not expire, and Capital One does not limit the amount that can be earned. The cash back is also redeemable at any time, and a special automatic redemption feature is provided as well.

As with some other student cards, you receive the educational feature of free access to your credit scores, and your credit line will be lifted after you make the first five monthly payments in a timely manner. All in all, a good card for acquainting newcomers to the credit world.

  1. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card

Wells Fargo has produced its Cash Back College Visa Card, which lets cardholders earn 3% cash back on supermarket, drugstore and gas purchases for the first six months that they hold the card, with 1% cash back for all other purchases. Student cardholders will be able to redeem their cash back $25 at a time by deposit into their bank accounts or by check, with credit and awards also offered.

The introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers is between 5.90% and 13.90% depending on credit scores, and that rate will be extended for six months. After that the variable APR is between 11.15% and 21.15%. The card features 0% fraud liability and imposes no annual fee.

By making timely payments with this card, student newcomers to credit will be able to build a strong credit history and drive their credit scores upwards, but of course the opposite applies if their payments are not timely. And because the card incorporates chip-based technology, students who plan to travel overseas will be able to use the card during their trip in those other countries that have adopted this technology, which is particularly widespread in Europe.

Advice for Student Cardholders

While students generally receive more advice than they can remember, we would be remiss if we did not provide an overview of what it means to begin building your credit history with your first credit card. By making timely payments on a card, student cardholders will be able to establish a credit history and build high credit scores. This, in turn, will open doors to car loans, apartment rentals, and later, mortgages, all on far more preferable terms than would be available with weaker credit. Over a lifetime, tens of thousands of dollars in interest are at stake.

Equally important is the fact that employers often pull the credit history of their job applicants, using that information as a proxy for the applicant’s reliability. If they don’t like what they see, the job will be going to someone else. When you add in the cash back and other benefits that these cards offer, getting and carefully using your first credit card does make sense.

Beyond that, read the fine print. Remember that many cards offer a 0% promotional APR for purchases, but that the promotional rate expires after a certain number of months, and that the interest will be kicking in after that unless you can clear your balance each month. These cards, therefore, cannot be used as an addition to your student loans, which are offered at much lower interest. So be careful, and enjoy!

Top Small Business Credit Cards

Top Small Business Credit CardsSmall business owners have credit requirements and purchasing patterns and needs that are unique to them. In many cases, they will need a line of credit for business expenses, and of course not every business owner has the collateral that some banks require for larger lines of credit. And in almost all cases, business owners will have office supply needs well beyond what non-business owners experience.

Fortunately there are numerous credit cards offerings out there that are geared especially to small business owners. In fact, there are too many such offerings for a busy businessperson to evaluate, and that’s why we have prepared this review of the best ones out there. Even after weeding out the weaklings, we still have a full roster of seventeen business-oriented credit cards to look at. So let’s get to it.

 

  1. Ink Cash Business Card

 

JPMorgan Chase produced this card, which we rate as the best for cash back. During each year that you own the card, you will receive 5% cash back for the first $25,000 spent on telecommunications and cable, and on office supplies. And for the first $25,000 spent on restaurants and gas, you will get 2% cash back. For all other purchases, cardholders receive 1% cash back.

 

The promotional 0% APR rate lasts for one year, and is followed by a 13.24% rate thereafter. You can also receive $200 bonus cash back, provided that you spend $3,000 during the first three months of card ownership. There is, also, no annual fee. All in all, an impressive offering.

 

  1. Ink Plus Business Card

 

This card provides 50,000 bonus points, provided that you spend $5,000 using the card during the first three months of card ownership. You will earn 5 points per dollar for internet and phone services, and this includes both fixed and mobile, and that 5 point-per-dollar rate applies equally to office supplies and cable TV. There is, however, a $50,000 annual purchase cap on this 5 point rate.

 

A 2-point-per-dollar rate applies for all purchases at gas stations and for hotels, and a separate $50,000 annual cap also applies to this rate. You can transfer your points to most frequent flyer programs at a one-to-one ratio. Cardholders will also benefit from a waiver of primary auto rental collision damage, and trip cancellation or interruption insurance, provided that you pay for your car rental or your trip using the card. The annual fee is $95, but this fee is waived for the first year.

 

  1. American Express’s SimplyCash Business Card

 

The folks at American Express are offering, but only until February 24, 2015, the ability to earn a $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 on qualifying purchases with their SimplyCash Business card within the first six months of card ownership. You will receive 5% cash back on office supply shopping, and on your wireless services that are purchased directly from U.S. providers.

 

This card also offers 3% cash back on a purchase category of your choosing, which you can select from a list provided to you. A $25,000 annual cap applies to all of these 3% and 5% cash back offers, and you will receive 1% cash back on all purchases made above that cap. The introductory 0% APR rate extends for nine months on purchases. Thereafter, the APR rate is from between 12.99% and 19.24%, depending you the state of your credit. There is no annual membership fee.

 

  1. Capital One’s Spark Miles for Business Card

 

Consumers who select Capital One’s “Miles” offering in the small business category will receive a one-time bonus of 25,000 miles, provided that they spend $5,000 using the card within the first three months that they own it. An additional 5,000 bonus miles are offered to cardholders who apply for an employee card within the first 60 days.

 

The Spark Miles card earns its owners two miles per dollar spent on all other purchases. The miles that you earn are unlimited miles, and they never expire. When it’s time to redeem, you can select from travel purchases, cash back, gift cards, or merchandise. And when redeeming those miles, you can select any airline, and there will be no blackout dates. No foreign transaction fees are imposed, and the $59 annual fee is waived for the first year.

 

  1. Capital One’s Spark Cash For Business Card

 

Capital One has produced this card for consumers who prefer cash to miles. This card provides you with a one-time $250 cash bonus, provided that you use it to purchase $5,000 worth of goods and services within the first three months of card ownership. You also get a $50 cash bonus for obtaining an employee card within the first two months. The card provides 2% cash back for each purchase made, and the cash back is unlimited and will never expire. The annual fee is $59, but it is waived for the first year.

 

  1. Capital One’s Spark Miles Select for Business

 

The hits just keep on coming with Capital One, which actually has four card offerings in the business category. This one, Miles Select for Business, offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent, and a one-time signing bonus of 10,000 miles, provided you spend $3,000 using the care during the first three months that you own it. The card also features 0% APR on purchases until August 15, 2015, and thereafter the variable APR will be between 12.9% to 20.9%. Miles earned are redeemable for cash, of course, but also for gift cards, air travel bookings, and other options. Business people need to keep records, and Capital One recognizes that, providing holders of this card with an annual, complimentary, itemized report on their spending.

 

  1. Capital One’s Spark Cash Select for Business

 

This is the fourth and final Capital One offering, and provides a one-time $100 bonus, provided that you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three month that you hold the card. This card will get you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The cash back will not expire and is unlimited. A 0% introductory APR is available until August 2015, and after that a 12.9% to 20.9% variable APR will apply. There is no annual fee for the card, and no annual fee for additional employee cards.

 

  1. American Express’s Business Platinum Card

 

AmEx’s offering in the business space includes a promotion that allows cardholders to earn 40,000 rewards points by spending $5,000 on the care during the first three months of card ownership. You will also receive complimentary access to over 700 airport lounges worldwide, along with forty other premium benefits. You’ll get one point for every dollar you spend, on eligible purchases, and your points will not expire. There is also a 20% travel bonus for using Membership Rewards Pay with Points. The card’s premium features include complimentary, unlimited “Boingo” Wi-Fi usable at over 1 million Boingo hotspots throughout the world. The price for all these premium benefits is a hefty $450 annual fee, but if you can afford it, this card will get you pampered and privileged treatment around the world.

 

  1. American Express’s Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card

 

This business card enables you to earn 25,000 membership rewards points once you have spent $5,000 in purchases on your card within the first three months of Card Membership. You can receive three points per dollar on a product category that you can select, and two points per dollar on the remaining for categories.

 

Each category has a $100,000 cap, which won’t affect most of us, but should be noted by those with higher incomes. Earn one point on other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $175, but this fee waived for the first year.

 

  1. American Express’s Blue for Business Credit Card

 

This is a rewards credit card for businesses, and it provides 10,000 Membership Rewards points, provided you make your first purchase using the card within the first three months of card ownership. That comes to $100 in gift cards at certain identified retailers. An annual 30% “relationship bonus” is also available on eligible purchases each year. For other eligible purchases, you will receive one point per dollar spnt, and you will get an additional point per dollar spent when booking travel using the card.

 

The card as a promotional 0% APR for nine months on purchases, with a variable 11.24 to 19.24% APR on purchases thereafter. There is no annual fee for the card or for additional employee cards.

 

  1. U.S. Bank’s Business Edge Cash Rewards Card

 

This offering by U.S. Bank allows you to earn 3% cash back on gas purchases at the pump, and also on cell phone services and office supplies. You will earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. The rewards you earn with this card are unlimited and will not expire. Also, at each anniversary year, you will receive a 25% annual rewards bonus of up to $250, which is equal to 25% of the cash back you received in that year.

 

The 0% promotional APR period lasts for nine months and applies to purchases and balance transfers. Thereafter, a variable 11.99% to 17.99% APR rate will apply. There is no annual fee so long as you make at least one purchase on the card per year.

 

  1. U.S. Bank Business Edge Select Rewards Card

 

U.S. Bank also offers a Select Rewards card that permits you to earn 10,000 bonus points, provided you spend $5000 on the card during the first 90 days of card ownership. You will also earn three points per dollar spent in the category you choose, and the choice is from among the categories of auto, travel, entertainment, or day-to-day expenses.

 

Beyond that, you will also receive one point per dollar on your other purchases. The points that you can earn are unlimited, and an introductory 0% APR applies for purchases for nine billing cycles. After the introductory period there is an 11.99%-17.99 variable purchase APR, based on your credit. There is, in addition, no annual fee on this card.

 

  1. American Express’s Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card

 

This card allows you to earn 30,000 bonus miles, provided that you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card during the first three months of card ownership. You can also receive a $50 statement credit after making a purchase with Delta Airlines, using the card, within that same three-month period. The card will let you earn two miles per dollar spent on qualifying Delta purchases, and you will earn 1 mile per dollar spent on your other eligible purchases.

 

Cardholders will also receive other travel advantages including free first checked bags and priority boarding. While in the air, you will get 20% off eligible in-flight purchases, received in the form of statement credit. Since they know you’ll be traveling, no foreign transaction fees apply, and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

 

  1. American Express’s Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Business Credit Card

 

After you make your first purchase with this card, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points, and you’ll qualify for another 15,000 points by spending $5,000 using the card within the first six month that you own it. Above that, you can get two Starpoints for each dollar spent on eligible purchases charged directly to “SPG” participating hotels and resorts. The annual fee is $65, but it is waived for the first year.

 

  1. Citibank’s AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard

 

Citibank has designed this card especially for businesses that have a strong and established credit history. Cardholders, for a limited time, can earn 50,000 American Airlines Aadvantage bonus miles, provided that they spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months of card ownership. After that, you will get two AAdvantage miles per dollar that you spend on eligible American Airlines purchases (including codeshare flights booked through AA). You can also get two AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on select car rentals, telecommunications, and office supplies. For all other purchases, you will get one AAdvantage mile for each dollar you spend.
And this card offers plenty of additional perks, including Group 1 Boarding, free first checked bags for yourself and up to four traveling companions whose tickets were purchased with this card, provided you are all on the same reservation. You will save 25% on in-flight food and drinks (again, provided that you buy them with the card) on AA and US Airways flights. The annual fee is $95, but it is waived for the first year.

 

  1. U.S. Bank’s FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards Card

 

This card offering by U.S. Bank gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 20,000 enrollment Flexpoints by spending $3,500 on the card during the first four months that they own it. You will also get three points per dollar for qualifying charitable donations, and two points per dollar on the category of your choice, to be chosen from among office supplies, airline bookings, and gasoline. That two-point rate also applies to cell phone service charges. A one point-per-dollar rate applies for all other eligible purchases.

 

An airline allowance of up to $25 per ticket is also offered, and this can be used toward in-flight food and drinks, or baggage fees. The annual fee is $55, but it is waived for the first year, and it is also waived if you spend over $24,000 per year on the card.

 

  1. Citizens Bank Everyday Points Business MasterCard

 

Citizens Bank has a rewards card offering that provides some unusual benefits that bear examining. For example, the card offers 24/7 online account management and $0 liability for unauthorized purchases. You also receive travel assistance services, and enrollment in the MasterCard Easy Savings Program will get cardholders up to 20% in automatic rebates for purchases at participating stores, including DHL, AVIS, and Fuelman. And if you sign your employee cards up to the Easy Savings Program, they will enjoy those rebates as well.

 

Cardholders will receive rental car insurance, and will earn 3,500 bonus points for their very first purchase, and two points per dollar they spend on business purchases. When it comes time to redeem, these points can be traded for cash back, travel, office equipment, or other benefits. The card has an accessCARD Command feature that places before you on your computer screen all of your related credit, employee card limits and usage, and business purchases and expenses. Other cards do provide higher rewards and features, but the Citizens Bank card, which has no annual fee and many unique and attractive features, is definitely worth a look.

 

Advice for Business Credit Card Shoppers

 

If you are a small business owner, you may be able to reap additional benefits by owning more than one of these cards. This will allow you to maximize the benefits that each of them has to offer. Business owners may wish to use one card with a 0% APR to carry balances, which using another card for expenses that are repaid fully each month.

 

Such an approach will let you make full use of the strengths each card has to offer. Business cards will also allow business owners to strengthen their credit ratings and build a credit history that can be critical at times when a loan is needed to facilitate business growth. Separating you business credit history for your personal credit history is another valuable advantage that these cards offer.

 

 

What Is A Good Credit Score?

Credit ScoreCredit worthiness determines how much interest you will be asked to pay on a loan, how much you will have to pay for insurance, and whether you will be considered eligible for the best deals offered by most service providers. Your credit score is therefore an important number, and there are specific means to raising that score.

It should be pointed out that while there is no one definitive way to scale a credit score in terms of determining eligibility for good interest rates, one thing is clear. The amount you pay in loan interest can mean the difference between saving money and finding yourself drowning in debt. Understanding how your credit score is calculated and figuring out what you can do to improve it is the first step in understanding how to manage your finances.

What The Credit Score Reflects
There are different means of calculating credit worthiness, but the one most familiar to consumers is the FICO score. This is the rating system used to determine whether you are qualified for a credit card account, auto loan, or favorable insurance prices. The FICO score ranges from 300, which is the lowest rating, to 850, which is the highest possible rating.

Factors that influence your FICO score include payment history, amounts owed on loans and revolving credit lines, length of credit history, how often you apply for credit, and what assortment of credit lines you currently have. These are all calculated independently, and the results are mixed to form the final rating score.

In general, anything below a score of 550 is considered poor credit. The average grade is given for scores between about 550-700, and anything above 700 is considered as good credit. In the United States, the average score for consumers is around 720.

Other Credit Rating Systems
Banks that loan money for home purchases often use a different, more secretly calculated formula for determining credit worthiness. Insurance companies and service providers – such as cable and internet providers – often use their own means for determining credit eligibility.

Insurance providers may take your FICO score (check out our free Credit Score recommendations) into consideration before deciding how much to charge you for auto insurance. This is because statistics show a correlation between credit history and overall financial responsibility. After all, an insurance company wants to retain you as a customer for a long period of time, and they want you to pay them a lot of money, much more than you will ever ask for on an insurance claim.

Insurance companies and service providers therefore look at your credit score as well as your income and your current dwelling situation before they make a decision on rates and contract lengths. It is important to understand that your credit score is used by more than just VISA and MasterCard issuers.

Improving Your Score
If you already have several lines of revolving credit as well as a car loan, you probably don’t want to apply for any additional credit at this time. Every time you apply, the credit bureaus notice and may slightly decrease your score. Therefore, concentrate on paying down the balances you currently have, and make sure you always pay more than the minimum amount. Unless the balances decrease significantly over the next 12 months, your credit score is unlikely to improve.

Consider transferring your credit card balances to a single card with the lowest interest rate. Often, credit card companies will raise your credit line if you specifically ask for these transfers. You can then eliminate the other accounts and pay a single monthly bill to one company.

If you are in default with a credit card company, contact their second-party collector and negotiate a settlement amount. If you receive notices in the mail about paying only about two-thirds of the balance in order to settle, don’t believe it. You can probably settle for even less if you talk to them. This will not affect your credit score for up to five years after you settle, but it is a better option than continuing to have a defaulted account.

What Are the Best Cash Back Credit Cards?

Best cash back credit cardsOne of the best ways to get a discount, an actual cash discount, on practically everything you buy is to use a cash back credit card. With each purchase you make using the card, you will earn a percentage of the purchase price as a cash rebate. For consumers who are too busy to calculate points or miles, or wade through different rewards programs, the simple alternative of cold, hard cash may be quite attractive.

There are cash cards that offer 5% savings on supermarket purchases, gas stations and pharmacies, with an additional 1% usually offered on all other purchases. And customers with good credit are becoming so highly valued that bank are offering them highly lucrative card offers. If you apply online, you will in some cases receive a response within minutes, or even within one minute. In other words, in about the time it takes to check your credit rating. Here is a list of the top cash back credit cards that we were able to find.

Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom card, offered by JPMorgan Chase, offers a very attractive signing bonus of $100, provided the new cardholder spends $500 using the card during the first three months of ownership. An additional $25 bonus is offered if you add an authorized user and make any purchase within those same three months. Cardholders can also earn cash back by shopping at Chase’s online mall. The card charges no annual fee.

A greater, 5% cash back is available on purchases made within product categories that rotate every three months, and this high rate is available on up to $1,500 in purchases for each calendar quarter. For all other purchases, you will get 1% cash back. The card offers unlimited rebates, and they never expire. A promotional 0% APR is extended for the first 15 months of card ownership, and applies to both purchases and balance transfers. After that, you will have a variable APR of between 13.99% and 22.99%, applicable to both purchases and balance transfers.

BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card 

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card, offered by the people at BofA, will fit best with consumers who spend about $1,500 per calendar quarter on gas and groceries combined. The card offers 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back on supermarket purchases on the first $1,500 you spend on such purchases within each quarter. For all other purchases, you will get 1% cash back. Order online, and BofA will allow you to earn a $100 cash rewards bonus, provided that you make at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days that you own the card.

Cardholders do not need to enroll in a rewards program to earn cash back, or keep track of any rotating categories of goods on which the cash back applies. The card also involves no annual fees, and there is no expiration date on the cash back. When it comes time to redeem, you can receive your cash back as a statement credit, or receive a 10% customer bonus by redeeming you cash back into a BofA bank account.

The promotional 0% APR rate applies to balance transfers and purchases, and lasts for twelve billing cycles. After that, a variable APR of between 12.99% and 22.99% applies. In order to qualify for that introductory 0% rate, however, you will need to make your balance transfers within the first 60 days of when you open your account. A balance transfer fee of 3% does apply to each transaction, and a minimum $10 is applicable as well.

Citi Double Cash Card 

The people at Citibank have put together their Citi Double Cash Card, which as its name implies allows cardholders to double their cash back. You will be able to earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases, and then later, when you pay off your balance, you will receive another 1%, provided that you make the minimum required payment. Cardholders can also earn cash back in an unlimited amount, and there is no requirement to enroll in, or follow, particular cash back categories. No annual fee is charged for this card.

The Double Cash Card lets you redeem your cash back for statement credit, payment by check, or gift cards. A 0% promotional APR rate applies on both balance transfers and purchases for 15 months, and after that the variable APR rate is 12.99% to 22.99%, depending on the strength of your credit.

Discover It – 18-Month Balance Transfer Offer 

The people at Discover Financial are offering that Discover It card with an 18-month balance transfer feature. Cardholders, during an 18-month period, will be able to take advantage of a 0% interest on balance transfers, and a six-month 0% rate for purchases. After those two periods expire, the applicable variable APR rate will be between 10.99% and 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. A 3% balance transfer fee, however, is imposed. This is a particularly useful card for those who are looking to pay off interest-bearing debt accumulated on other cards.

Provided that you sign up for the 5% cash back bonus, the card will provide an impressive 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories, and these include travel, gasoline, restaurants and other. And you will receive 1% on all other purchases. That 5% is subject to quarterly maximums, following which the 1% rate applies.

Cardholders can also get from 5% to 20% cash back by shopping at Discover’s online mall using the Discover IT card. You will also benefit from 0% fraud liability, and you’ll receive mobile or email messages indicating if anything fishy or suspicious is going on with your card. The card has no annual fee.

Now, if you want to extend that 0% APR on purchases, you can sign up for the Discover It card that offers an introductory 0% rate on balance transfers, and on purchases, for 14 months, with a 10.99% to 22.99% variable APR rate thereafter. A 3% transfer fee will still apply to all balance transfers.

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express 

The people at American Express have the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express card with offers that provide $150 in statement credit back to cardholders after they make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of card ownership. A very impressive 6% cash back is offered on the first $6,000 in supermarket purchases made each year, and you will receive 3% cash back on purchases made at gas stations and department stores. All other purchases will get you 1% cash back. In exchange for these impressive features, the card does require a $75 annual fee.

Your cash back comes to you in the form of Rewards Dollars that you can choose to receive as statement credit. The card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, and after that the variable APR is between 12.99% and 21.99% based on the strength of the cardholder’s credit.

PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card 

This card comes in two flavors, the Standard and the Plus. With the Plus card, you receive 5% cash back on gas purchases, while the Standard card offers 3%. These Visa credit cards both feature a 4.99% balance transfer APR rate for one year, provided you transfer a balance to them during the 2015 calendar year. After that one-year period, cardholders will continue to enjoy a variable 9.99% APR on balance transfers.

Both cards impose no fee on foreign transactions. The Standard card has no annual fee for the first year, and a $25 dollar annual fee thereafter, which the Plus car has no annual fee.

Some Cash Back Card Advice

As you’ve seen, some of these cards offer high rebates, of up to 5%, on quarterly rotating categories, while others provide a flat cash back rate throughout the years. Still others will give a high 5% rate, but only up to a maximum in, say, groceries, that you are likely to exceed. As a result, many cardholders make the strategic decision to hold more than one card, allowing them to receive different cash back benefits depending on what they are buying. This will also allow you to switch cards as soon as you have hit the maximum on any one card.

If you are a debit card user of long standing, it may be difficult to make the switch to credit card use. So long as you are disciplined about paying off the card, or cards, each month, those interest charges will not kick in, and the financial advantages will be impressive, and will add up to very substantial savings over time.

Cardholders with larger budgets may want to select cards that have no maximum limit on how much cash back you can acquire. Remember also that, for certain cards, the cash back expires after a certain period of time, so it’s use it or lose it if you have one of those cards. Used correctly, cash back cards are a very useful tool for a family’s financial planning.

You Can Now Get all 3 Credit Reports + Score for Free

Free Credit Report GuyNeed to get ALL three credit reports? Well, there’s annualcreditreport.com which will let you get your Credit Score. For the TransUnion report you can go to CreditKarma.com, for the Experian report you can go to CreditSesame.com and for the Equifax report you can go to Mint.com.

That should give you everything you need to get your credit in order! And remember don’t use these guys:

Best Airline Credit Cards That Offer Bonus Miles In 2015

Top Travel Credit CardsOne of the best ways to ensure that you collect and utilize your frequent flyer airline miles or points is through the use of an Airline credit card that automatically records and tallies those benefits whenever you book a flight. These cards will of course also allow you to accumulate points through other purchases, and those points can equally be used to defray your travel costs when the time comes to book those expensive tickets.

There are a number of rewards credit cards that offer new cardholders bonus miles and points for signing up, which will get you to your goal that much faster. We have assembled a list of the nine top airline credit cards that offer such bonus miles, usually on the condition that you purchase a certain amount with the card in a defined period following your sign-up. Without further ado, here they are.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card provides cardholders with 40,000 bonus points that are worth $500 in travel rewards, provided that you spend $4,000 during the first three months that you hold the card. Once you add the first authorized user, and make a purchase during the first three months, you will be given an additional 5,000 bonus points.

When you make travel purchases through Chase’s online mall, or make restaurant purchases, Chase will provide two points for every dollar spent. These points will not expire, and they are unlimited. When the time comes to redeem them, they can be used at any airline, or for hotels or other purchases, and they can also be redeemed for cash. A highly valuable feature is that there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions imposed when you redeem. There is an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year.

2. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card

This BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5 points for every dollar you spend using it. No limit is imposed on the total points you can earn, and the points will never expire. You can redeem the points for statement credit toward travel bookings made with the card. The card imposes no foreign transaction fees, which is obviously a plus for overseas travelers, and there is no annual fee.

The introductory 0% APR period lasts for twelve billing cycles, and after that, a variable 14.99% – 22.99% rate applies. Bank of America customers who maintain a bank account with BofA receive a 10% customer points bonus on all purchases. And if you apply online, you’ll get 10,000 bonus points once you use the card to purchase $500 in goods or services during the first 90 days that you own it.

3. Capital One’s Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Venture Rewards Card offered by Capital One allows you to earn a 40,000 mile bonus, worth $400 in travel, provided you spend $3,000 on purchases during the first 90 days that you own the card. You will also receive two miles per dollar spent on any purchase, allowing you to increase your mileage at twice the rate!

Many of the Visa Signature privileges are also available with this card, including advanced ticket sales for events in major venues, a concierge service that is never closed, and others. While there is an annual fee of $59, the fee is waived for the first year.

4. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card allows you to collect points on all of your purchases. The Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card also provides new cardholders with the chance to earn 50,000 points for two round-trip tickets, provided they purchase $2,000 in goods and services within the first 90 days after obtaining the card. Because they know you like to travel, the card imposes no foreign transaction fees.

You will also get two points for every dollar you spend on direct travel purchases made with Southwest, and on every dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. Beyond that, you receive one point per dollar for all other purchases. The points are redeemable as travel credit against bookings with airlines as well as hotels, vacations, car rentals, and cruises, or if you prefer, you can redeem them for gift cards. The points never expire, and you will also receive 6,000 more points each year following your first card anniversary. Happy Anniversary! These powerful benefits, however, do come at the cost of an annual fee of $99,

5. British Airways Visa Signature Card

British Airways has gotten in on the Airline-sponsored card business with its British Airways Visa Signature Card offering. This card provides a generous 50,000 bonus points to new cardholders, provided they use it to make $2,000 in purchases during the three-month period after obtaining the card. And when you book a flight on British Airways, you will earn 2.5 points for each dollar you spend. Any other purchase made with the card earns you 1.25 points per dollar.

Once you have reached $30,000 in purchases within any calendar year, you will receive a Travel Together Ticket for a companion, usable within two years of booking. And once you get to that overseas destination, there will be no foreign transaction fees on your card usages.

An added plus is that this is a Visa card that incorporates smart chip technology, allowing you to make purchases in Europe, which has widely adopted such technology. There is an annual fee of $95, but the fee is waived for your first year.

6. United MileagePlus Explorer Card

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card, which provides 30,000 bonus miles, provided that you make purchases in the amount of $1,000 during the first three months. Cardholders are also eligible to receive up to 10,000 bonus miles per years, provided that they spend over $25,000 annually on the card. An additional 5,000 miles will show up on your account when you add an authorized user and make a purchase during the first three months.

When it comes to collecting miles for making purchases, the MileagePlus Explorer Card enables you to earn double miles for each dollar spent on a direct ticket purchase from United, and one mile for every dollar you spend on all other purchases with the card. The miles don’t expire, and they are unlimited. You can also redeem them for air tickets, car rentals, or hotel bookings. The cherry on top of all this is two complimentary one-time passes to the United Club, the airline’s airport lounge, per year, letting you dip your toe in travel the way it’s experienced by the upper crust. Probably even more valuable is that you will have your first bag checked in for free.

7. Citi’s AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard.

American Airlines travelers may be particularly interested in Citibank’s AAdvantage Plantinum Select MasterCard, which, for a limited time, will let you earn 50,000 American Airline AAdvantage bonus miles, provided that you spend $3,000 on the card during the first three months of card ownership. You will also collect double AAdvantage miles for each dollar spent on purchases, provided they are eligible purchases from American Airlines, and one AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on other purchases.

After you redeem your miles, you will be allowed to earn back 10% of those redeemed miles up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year. The card also allows you to check your first bag for free when you fly with American Airlines. The card does charge an annual fee of $95, waived for the first twelve months, but when you add up all its advantages, that cost may well be worth it.

8. Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard.

Hawaiian Airlines has waded into the card business with its World Elite Mastercard. This card, which was designed with Hawaiian Air frequent flyers in mind, allows you to earn 35,000 bonus miles provided you spend $1,000 with the card during your first 90 days of account ownership. If you spend $10,000 or more within a year, you will earn 5,000 bonus points, and you will also earn one mile for every dollar you spend with the card, and two miles for every dollar spent on direct Hawaiian Air purchases.

The card comes with an annual fee of $89, and the variable APR is 15.99% to 24.99% on purchases and on balance transfers.

9. Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Card.

The Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Card provides solid rewards on airline bookings, regardless of what airline you select. Cardholders get 40,000 points once they have spent $3,000 during the first three months of card ownership, and they earn three points for each dollar of airline purchases. Hotel bookings earn two points per dollar spent, and all other purchases get one point per dollar.

The card allows you to get reimbursed up to $100 on airline charges including baggage, lounges, and in-flight purchases. Discounts are also available at the major car rental agencies of up to 25%, and you can get up to $100 off of certain vacation packages. Points are unlimited, and never expire. And because it’s for travelers, no foreign transaction fees are imposed.

An additional advantage of this card is that its owners, when renting cars, receive auto rental collision and liability insurance and trip cancellation coverage. The card offers an introductory 0% APR rate on purchases and balance transfers for twelve months, and after that a variable APR of between 13.99% and 21.99% will apply. The cardholders with stronger credit will receive the lower rates. The annual fee is a hefty $175, but it is waived for the first year.

How Many Credit Cards Should I Own?

How many credit cards should I haveIt is always great to have a good credit rating score, especially if you plan to apply for a loan, or even just to keep your credit card interests low. There are many pros and cons about credit cards in order to improve your credit scores and to prevent you from drowning in debts as well.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages about credit cards to help you decide what is better for you:

ADVANTAGES:
1. Opening new cards affect your credit history – Every new credit card that you own adds to your credit score.
2. Owning several cards is fine for your credit score – Several cards in your name all maintained in good standing, add more to your credit score.
3. More credit cards mean higher credit limits and better borrowing ability – Credit card companies give you higher credit limits when they know that you own several credit cards. This is important when you need to borrow from the bank; you are also given a higher credit limit, especially if your credit rating is always above 700.
4. More cards offer more benefits – Different cards have different reward systems, so the more different credit cards you have the more variety of rewards you can claim.
5. The number of credit cards and their balances affects your credit score – They affect your score in a positive way if they are all active and with a minimum or zero outstanding balance.

DISADVANTAGES
1. More cards and higher credit limits may make you spend more. – Having a lot of credit cards in your wallet can give you a feeling of confidence of being able to pay. In effect you are tempted to spend more than what you can actually afford, even if you really didn’t need them.
2. More cards mean more shopping to do to keep them active. – The credit card company will close your account if it remains inactive after a certain number of years. If your card remained inactive and your account is closed, or if you decided to close a card which is seldom used, you will get a major deduction from your credit score.
3. More cards are difficult to handle. – You have to bring all your cards everywhere you go and should be used for the right place and time that you have planned to. You will have to remember to use the one with fewer charges on it.
4. Too many credit cards can be a problem. – You have to consolidate and keep track of payments and balances for many different accounts. It is not impossible to miss one or more payments and incur penalty charges.
5. Too many credit cards expose you to hackers – If you use too many credit cards you are exposed more to the possibility of your card being hacked by identity thefts.

While it may be true that it is not wise to have too many credit cards, owning several with well-maintained balances can be beneficial to you. When you have a high balance on one card, your credit will be affected. What you can do if you own several, is to spread your expenses to the different cards and therefore have a lower balance on each.

If you keep your balances to a minimum on all your cards, your credit becomes more attractive to lenders because it shows that you are a responsible holder of multiple credit cards.

Having more than one credit card is good, as long as you are able to maintain them with minimal balances all the time. If you are not sure you can handle a lot of them, just stick to one or a maximum of three. Three sounds to be the most sensible number for most people.

The best thing to do is always pay on time and keep your outstanding balances down. When you do this constantly, you will be saving more money and this will help you get a better credit score as well.

Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards

Best Cash Back Credit CardsTop Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards

Consumers have gotten on the rewards credit card bandwagon in a big way in recent years. For those of us whose spending habits are fairly disciplined, cards that offer rewards and other benefits for purchase decisions that we would have made any way provide “found money,” and many of us have figured this out. The card issuers do quite well off of those cardholders who run up interest-bearing debt on the cards. Meanwhile, the merchants who offer discounts for card use have to do so because if they don’t, their competitors will.

Provided that you are able to pay your account balance off each month, you will incur no interest charges in using these cards, and your credit score will rise to boot. Following an exhaustive survey, we have come up with our top cash-back credit cards picks for 2015, and here they are.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The folks at Chase have produced their Sapphire Preferred Card, which offers new cardholders 40,000 bonus points, once they have succeeded in spending $4,000 using the card within the first three months of ownership. If you add an additional cardholder and make any purchase within three months, you will collect an additional 5,000 points. The card also allows you to earn two points per dollar on restaurants and travel, and one point per dollar for all other purchases. This card offers a great deal of flexibility, allowing cardholders to redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, travel bookings, and more. The card offers a number of travel-related benefits, and has a $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year.

2. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

The people at BofA have produced a card that lets you earn 2% cash back at supermarkets, and 3% cash back on gas purchases for the first $1,500 you spend on such combined purchases per quarter. For all other purchases, the cash back rate is 1%. The company also has an online-exclusive offer, whereby once you have made at least $500 in card purchases in the first 90 days after you open the account, you will receive a $100 cash reward bonus. There is no annual fee for this card.

With the Cash Rewards card, you do not need to enroll in a rewards program or follow rotating categories of point-eligible goods, and the cash back will not expire. And when you redeem your cash back into a BofA account, you will get an additional 10% bonus. There is an introductory 0% APR period that applies to purchases and balance transfers, and that runs for twelve billing cycles. After that, the variable APR rate runs from 12.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. Also balance transfer fees of 3% begin to apply on each transaction, with a minimum fee of $10.

3. Chase Freedom Card

The Chase Freedom card, which is issued by the folks at JPMorgan Chase, provides cardholders with a 5% rebate on $1,500 worth of combined purchases in quarterly rotating categories. This card is therefore good for people with powerful organizational skills who know they will keep up with those changes in categories each season. You will get a 1% rebate on all other card purchases, and the card has no annual fee.

After you have spent $500 on the card within the first three months, Chase will confer upon you a $100 bonus, and you’ll get another $25 when you make any purchase and add an authorized user during the same initial three-month period.

Many other rewards card do not offer that 0% introductory APR, but Chase does, and the 0% rate extends for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. Thereafter, a variable APR of 13.99% to 22.99% applies on both balance transfers and purchases.

4. Discover’s Discover It Card

Discover’s offering in this space, the Discover It Card, provides cardholders with a 5% rebate for every card swipe-purchase in bonus categories that rotate on a quarterly basis, and you will receive 1% on all other purchases. A novel feature offered by Discover It is the ability to increase the value of your cash back by redeeming it for vouchers issued by listed merchants that include Hyatt, Samsonite, and Carnival Cruise.

There is no annual fee, and the card imposes no foreign transaction fees. The initial 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases extends for 14 months, and thereafter, a variable APR running from 10.99% to 22.99% applies.

5. Citibank’s Citi Double Cash Card.

The Citi Double Cash Card let’s you earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases, and you make another 1% on those purchases when you pay them off! To get that second 1%, you will need to make at least the minimum required payment against your balance. No rewards program enrollment is required, and no limit is placed on the amount of cash back you can qualify for.

When the time comes to redeem the cash back, you can choose between statement credit, a check, or gift cards. The introductory 0% APR applies to both balance transfers and purchases, and extends for 15 months. After that, a variable APR of between 12.99% and 22.99% will apply.

Top Airline And Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

These cards were designed with travelers in mind, and offer hotel and airline rewards. Let’s have a look at the best ones we were able to find.

1. United Mileage Plus Explorer Card

The folks at Chase have put this card together, the United Mileage Plus Explorer Card provides double miles for each dollar spent on United flight bookings, and one mile per dollar for all other purchases. You will collect 30,000 miles by spending $1,000 during the first three months of ownership, and another 5,000 miles by adding an authorized user and making a purchase within those same three months. Since they know you’ll be traveling, no foreign transactions fees apply, and the annual fee is $95, waived for the first year.

2. CitiBank’s Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card

Those who prefer Hilton hotels and stay there often may wish to consider obtaining a Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card. The card offers you the chance to earn 40,000 points by spending $1,000 within four months of opening the account, and that comes to eight hotel nights. If you use the card at a participating hotel you will receive six points per dollar spent, and you will receive three points for each dollar you spend on groceries, gas and at the drugstore. For all other purchases, you will get two points per dollar. There is no preset spending limit on this card, so you’ll have to impose that limit on yourself!

3. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One has produced the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which allows you to acquire air miles at a rapid rate. The card offers two miles per dollar spent on all purchases, and you can receive a promotional bonus of 40,000 miles, provided you spend $3,000 with the card within the first three months. Those points equate to $400 applicable toward travel costs. Made with travelers in mind, the card imposes no foreign transaction fees.

There is no limit on the points you can earn, and no expiration date for them. The miles, moreover, can be redeemed not only for airfare, but also for hotel bookings, car rentals, and gift cards, among other possibilities. The annual fee is $59, and is waived for the first year.

4. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card, produced by BofA, allows cardholders to earn 1.5 points for each dollar spent using it. The points are unlimited, and they do not expire. When the time comes to redeem them, you can choose from a range of travel purchases, with no blackout dates. Users are instructed to make travel bookings as usual, and then go online or call to redeem points for a statement credit toward those travel-related purchases.

There is an online-exclusive offer which allows you to earn 10,000 bonus points, provided that you spend at least $500 on purchases during the first 90 days after the account was opened. Those points amount to $100 toward travel purchases. An introductory 0% APR applies on purchases for the first twelve billing cycles, and thereafter, a variable APR of 14.99% to 22.99% will apply. There is no annual fee for the card, and BofA bank account holders will receive another 10% over their customer points on all purchases.

5. Discover It Card – 18 Month Balance Transfer Option.

The folks at Discover are offering an 18-month balance transfer option, which provides a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months following the sign-up date. After that, a variable APR 10.99% to 22.99% applies. This is a very long 0% period, and will be very attractive to people who want to pay off their existing credit card debt and avoid paying interest while doing so.

You should be aware that a 3% balance transfer fee will be imposed, with the 0% interest applying during the 18-month period after that. The 0% APR applies for six months on all purchases, and a variable APR of 10.99% to 22.99% applies on purchases after that. As with all Discover cards, the card offers 5% rebate up to a quarterly maximum spent in rotating categories after you sign up for 5% cash back. A 1% rebate will apply to all other purchases, but if you are using this card to pay off credit card debt run up elsewhere, you may want to pay off that debt first before going on to use the card for purchasing.

6. Ink Cash Business Card

The people at Chase have created the Chase Ink Cash Business Card, which is uniquely valuable to business people. The card provides 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent during each account year on wireless services, office supplies, and landline and cable service charges. In addition, a 2% cash back applies to the first $25,000 spent annually on restaurants and gasoline purchases, and an 1% unlimited rebate on every other purchase.

The card has no annual fee for the cardholder, or for any extra cards issued to employees. The 0% promotional APR extends for twelve months on purchases and balance transfers, and thereafter, a variable APR of 13.24% applies. A $200 bonus cash back applies when you spend $3,000 during the first three-month period.

7. Citizens Bank Everyday Points Business MasterCard

Citizens Bank has produced the Citizens Bank Everyday Points Business MasterCard, which offers 3,500 bonus points once you make your first purchase, and that goes on to provide two points per dollar spent on purchases using the card. The points are redeemable for goods and services including travel, office equipment, and cash back. The Citizens card also features an accessCARD Command feature that provides cardholders with comprehensive online control over their business spending and employee cards.

The card requires no annual fee, and as a further plus, it ensures that you will have $0 liability for fraudulent purchases and direct savings when you join Mastercard’s Easy Savings, and then purchase merchandise at participating merchants, who include major car rental and courier firms.