Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Discover it Cash Back Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

The Discover it® Cash Back is a great $0 annual fee card that provides a quarterly rotating cashback program where you can benefit from various 5% bonus categories. You may not benefit from all the categories, but there’s a good chance at least one quarter’s categories will suit your spending. This card also has many of the perks Discover is known for, including no foreign transaction fees and no penalty APR, which add value beyond the cashback program.

Discover it® Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good Credit

Breaking down the rewards

This card offers a cashback program where you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter — like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs — up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. You earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

The quarterly maximum is $1,500, allowing you to earn up to $75 cash back in the 5% cashback categories each quarter. Purchases exceeding $1,500 in the bonus categories earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

This card also comes with a new cardmember offer where Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. So, if you earn a total of $200 cash back during your first 12 consecutive billing periods, Discover will match it and apply your cash back within the next one to two billing periods.

What are the 5% cashback categories?

  • January – March 2018 – Gas Stations & Wholesale Clubs
  • April – June 2018 – Grocery Stores
  • July – September 2018 – Restaurants
  • October – December 2018 – Amazon.com & Wholesale Clubs

What can cash back be redeemed for?

  • Statement credits
  • Direct deposits
  • Gift cards starting at $20 (with at least $5 free added to each card)
  • Purchases at Amazon.com when you pay with rewards
  • Donations to charity

How do I activate the 5% cashback categories?

There is no automatic activation — you’ll have to either manually log in to your account and activate or call 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683). And while you may worry about forgetting to activate the 5% cashback categories, Discover makes the process a bit less stressful by providing plenty of time for you to activate. You typically can activate two months before the new 5% cashback categories start. For example, if you want to utilize the 5% cashback categories for October-December, you can activate starting August 1st. Plus, you can sign up for email alerts and push notifications via the Discover app.

Does cash back expire?

No, cash back doesn’t expire. If your account is closed or if you haven’t used it within 18 months, Discover will credit your account with any cash back remaining.

What we like about this card

The chance to pay for new purchases over time or get out of debt. If you plan on making new purchases that you can’t pay by your due date, or if you have a balance on a non-Discover card, this card provides you the opportunity to avoid interest charges. There is an intro 0% for 14 months on purchases and an intro 0% for 14 months on balance transfers. After the intro periods end, a 13.74% - 24.74% Variable APR applies. Take note: the fee for balance transfers is 3%, which is typical; however, there are also cards with intro $0 balance transfer fees.

No fee on your first late payment. If you miss a payment, don’t fret about incurring a late fee —  Discover waives your first late payment fee. Use this as a reminder to set up autopay or payment reminders.

No penalty APR: If you pay late, your interest rate won’t increase, unlike other cards that may charge penalty APRs near 30%. 

No foreign transaction fee. This card doesn’t charge the typical 3% fee some other cards charge on purchases made outside the U.S.

What to watch out for

13.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. While this APR range is typical of credit cards, it’s not ideal if you’re someone who carries a balance month-to-month. You can find other low interest credit cards that provide lower APR ranges and are better suited for people who carry balances.

What other cards should I consider?

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0*
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Regular Purchase APR
15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a great flat-rate cashback card. Compared to the Discover it® Cash Back, which has quarterly rotating categories, you earn the same cashback rate on all purchases — Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. This is a straightforward way to earn cash back, and you don’t have to worry about activating bonus categories. Additional perks of this card include Citi® Private Pass®, where you can get exclusive access to various entertainment events, and Citi® Price Rewind, which conducts a 60-day search for a lower price on eligible items you register, potentially giving you the difference if a lower price is found (up to $500 back per item, and up to $2,500 per year).

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Annual fee
$0*
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 18 months on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*
Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is a good alternative to the Discover it® Cash Back if you’re looking to finance new purchases. There is an intro 0%* for 18 months on Purchases*, which can help you pay off purchases over time without accruing interest. After the intro period ends, a 15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable) APR applies. While there are no rewards, this card has less fees than typical credit cards — there are no late fees and no penalty APR. Although this can be helpful if you forget to pay a bill, we encourage you to always make on time payments so you don’t rack up interest charges.

Bottom line

If you don’t mind activating quarterly bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back is a great choice for a $0 annual fee cashback card. Plus, you can benefit from the unique new cardmember offer in which Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards, Reviews

Chase Slate Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

The information related to the Chase Slate® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

If you’re drowning in credit card debt, a balance transfer credit card like the Chase Slate® may help you get out of debt. While the card itself is fairly basic, the balance transfer offer is consistently one of our top picks with its Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.

Breaking down the balance transfer offer

The Chase Slate® offers a decent 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After the intro period ends, a 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR is in effect. While this is a good offer, you can find cards with intro periods as long as 18 or 21 months — however, they may not offer a $0 intro balance transfer fee.

A great feature of the Chase Slate® is the Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. Completing a transfer within the 60 days allows you to save the typical 3% balance transfer fee other cards may charge. For example, if you transfer a $2,000 balance to a card with a 3% balance transfer fee, you will incur a $60 fee, but if you transfer the same balance to the Chase Slate® within 60 days from account opening, there is no fee.

What to know before completing a balance transfer with the Chase Slate®

A balance transfer can be a great way to get out of debt, but there are some terms to be aware of before you complete your transfer:

  • Balance transfer fee: Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. Make sure you transfer your balance within the first 60 days from account opening so you can benefit from the $0 intro balance transfer fee.
  • Regular purchase APR: If you continue to carry a balance once the intro period ends, you’ll incur a 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR. Therefore, it’s important to pay off your balance prior the intro period ending so you don’t repeat the same cycle of debt.
  • Balance transfer window: The clock starts ticking on your balance transfer offer as soon as you open your card. And, to qualify for the $0 intro balance transfer fee, you need to complete your transfer within 60 days of account opening. So, if you want to benefit from the majority of the 15-month intro period and the $0 intro BT fee, transfer your balance when you open the card or soon after account opening.
  • How long the balance transfer takes to process: Chase states most transfers are processed within a week, but some may take up to three weeks. While you’re waiting for your transfer to post, continue making payments on the card that had the debt.

How to complete a balance transfer with Chase

We have a step-by-step guide on how to complete your balance transfer with Chase here, which includes screenshots for each step.

>>Once you complete your balance transfer, check out our guide for five things you should do next.<<

What other cards should I consider?

If you’re looking for a longer balance transfer intro period or a card that has more perks in addition to a good balance transfer offer, check out the alternatives below.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.74%-25.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 Months
Intro BT APR
0% for 15 Months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
$0 balance transfer fee.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is our top pick for no-fee balance transfer cards since it also offers a rewards program and wide range of perks. Cardholders can transfer debt from a non-Amex card to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express and utilize the intro 0% for 15 Months (after, 14.74%-25.74% Variable APR). Plus, there’s a $0 balance transfer fee. This offer is similar Chase Slate®. But, where this card shines is the added benefits you receive. You can earn 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases. And, there are a variety of American Express perks including exclusive entertainment access and free two-day shipping at select merchants with ShopRunner. Terms apply.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 12 months on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

If it’s time you’re looking for, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer has one of the longest balance transfer offers available with an intro 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*. Once the intro period ends, a 14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable) APR is in affect. This may be beneficial for debtholders who want a long intro period, but keep in mind there’s a balance transfer fee — 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

For more alternatives, check out our roundup of the best balance transfer credit cards and the best no-fee balance transfer cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards, Reviews

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21-Month Balance Transfer Offer Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

Balance transfer credit cards can be a helpful way to finally dig yourself out of debt, as long as they’re used responsibly. The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer is one of the longest intro periods you’ll find today. The longer the intro period, the more time you have to make a dent in your debt without incurring interest charges, which makes this card one of our top picks for balance transfer cards today.In this review, we’ll cover all the benefits of the card, as well as tips on how best to use it for a balance transfer.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 12 months on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Breaking down the balance transfer offer

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer offers an intro 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers* (14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable) APR afterward). This is one of the longest balance transfer intro periods in our database, and may be plenty of time for you to pay off debt.

Take note, this card comes with a balance transfer fee — 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. While the fee is often outweighed by the amount you save by completing a transfer, you may want to check out no-fee balance transfer cards.

Key features of the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

  • Citi® Price Rewind: When you register eligible items with Citi® Price Rewind, a 60-day search for a lower price will begin. If a lower price is found, Citi may reimburse you for the difference between the amount you spent and the lower price found (up to $500 per item and $2,500 annually). Terms apply.
  • Citi® Private Pass®: You can receive exclusive access to a range of entertainment events including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more with Citi® Private Pass®. Terms apply.

What to know before completing a balance transfer with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Balance transfers can be a great way to get out of debt, but before you complete a transfer, check out some key terms:

  • Balance transfer fee: 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. This fee is higher than most balance transfer cards that charge a 3% fee, however it may be worth it.
  • Regular purchase APR: Balances that linger after the intro period ends will be charged a 14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable) APR. So, it’s important to make it your goal to pay off your balance before the intro period ends. This can help you avoid falling into the same cycle of debt you were in before the balance transfer.
  • Balance transfer window: Balances must be transferred within four months of account opening to qualify for the intro period. Therefore, transfer balances when you open the card or soon after so you don’t miss out.
  • How long the balance transfer takes to process: Citi states balance transfers can take up to 14 days to process. Continue making payments on your old card until the balance transfer posts to your account so you don’t rack up late payment fees.

How to complete a balance transfer with Citi

We have a step-by-step guide on how to complete your balance transfer with Citi here, which includes screenshots for each step.

>>Once you complete your balance transfer, check out our guide for 5 things you should do next.<<

What other cards should I consider?

If you’re looking for a credit card that offers rewards or has no fee on balance transfers, here are two of our top alternatives:

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.74%-25.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 Months
Intro BT APR
0% for 15 Months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
$0 balance transfer fee.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a comprehensive card that offers numerous benefits for cardholders. There is an intro 0% for 15 Months (after, 14.74%-25.74% Variable APR). Plus, you can benefit from the $0 balance transfer fee. That’s a solid offer and you can also earn rewards on new purchases — earn 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases. Other cardmember perks include free two-day shipping at select merchants with ShopRunner, travel insurance and exclusive entertainment access. Terms apply.

Chase Slate®

The information related to the Chase Slate® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

The Chase Slate® has a decent 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (after 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR). While that is a shorter intro period than the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer, there is a great Intro $0 on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. This can save you a good amount of money compared with paying a balance transfer fee that’s 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

For more alternatives, check out our roundup of the best balance transfer credit cards and the best no-fee balance transfer cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

BankAmericard® Credit Card Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

A balance transfer can be a great way to get out of debt, and the BankAmericard® Credit Card is a decent offering if you have debt on a non-Bank of America credit card. In this review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to make the most out of this card. One thing is clear from our review: There are plenty of other options providing longer intro periods or intro $0 balance transfer fees that have the potential to save you more money. So be sure to compare this offer with others before you sign up, especially if your credit is strong enough to qualify for the best BT offers.

BankAmericard® Credit Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR
Intro Purchase APR
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles
Intro BT APR
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Breaking down the balance transfer offer

The BankAmericard® Credit Card offers a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro period ends, a 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR applies.

Unfortunately, this card comes with a balance transfer fee — 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater. That means balances you transfer will be charged a fee. For example, transferring a $3,000 balance will incur a $90 fee. However, this is typically outweighed by the amount you save compared with keeping your balance on a card with a high APR.

Overall, this is an OK offer and may provide you with a chance to get out of debt, but you can find cards with the same intro period plus an intro $0 balance transfer fee — allowing you to save more money.

What to know before completing a balance transfer with the BankAmericard® Credit Card

While a balance transfer can be a great way to get out of debt, there are a few terms you should take note of before completing a transfer:

  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater. This fee is typical of balance transfer cards and while it may be worth it, you can find cards with intro $0 balance transfer fees.
  • Regular purchase APR: Any balances remaining after the intro period will be charged a 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR. To avoid interest charges, make sure you pay your balance in full before the end of the intro period.
  • Balance transfer window: Balances must be transferred within the first 60 days from account opening, and the intro period begins when your account is opened — not from the date you transfer your balance. Therefore, it’s key to transfer your balance either when you open your card or soon after so you can benefit from the majority of the intro period.
  • How long the balance transfer takes to process: It can take at least two weeks for your balance transfer to be processed. In the meantime, continue making payments on your existing card until the payment posts.

How to complete a balance transfer with Bank of America

We have a step-by-step guide on how to complete your balance transfer with Bank of America here, which includes screenshots for each step.

>>Once you complete your balance transfer, check out our guide for 5 things you should do next.<<

What other cards should I consider?

There are plenty of cards that offer better balance transfer deals with intro $0 balance transfer fees and rewards. Here are two of our top picks:

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.74%-25.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 Months
Intro BT APR
0% for 15 Months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
$0 balance transfer fee.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is an overall great credit card offering a rewards program, a variety of perks and the ability to get out of debt. There’s an intro 0% for 15 Months (after, 14.74%-25.74% Variable APR). Plus, there’s a $0 balance transfer fee. This offer is better than the BankAmericard® Credit Card — and in addition to transferring debt, you can earn rewards on new purchases. Earn 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases. This card also provides perks ranging from travel insurance to free two-day shipping with ShopRunner. Terms apply.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 12 months on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

If you want a long balance transfer period, check out the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer offering an intro 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers* (after, 14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable) APR). This can provide you with more time to pay off transferred debt compared with the BankAmericard® Credit Card. However, there is a higher balance transfer fee — 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. That’s compared with the BankAmericard® Credit Card’s balance transfer fee at 3% of the amount of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater. But, if you need more time to pay off debt, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer can be a good option.

For more alternatives, check out our roundup of the best balance transfer credit cards and the best no-fee balance transfer cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Best Cashback Sign-Up Bonus Offers of July 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

iStock

You’re always looking for the best deals when it comes to credit card bonuses. A popular lure credit cards are using to bring in new customers is cashback sign-up bonuses.

In a recent study, we found that the average introductory bonus in the travel rewards credit card category in 2018 is now 40,556 points, more than double the average bonus in 2008 (16,050 points) and up from 34,327 points five years ago. But these bonuses also come at a steep cost to consumers, with the average annual fee on a card with a bonus offer is $120, up 62% from $74 in 2008, according to the report.

After looking at the available cards, we found three we felt offered the best benefits for those looking specifically for ones with cashback sign-up bonuses. All three cards offer the cashback bonus without having to spend large amounts of money to get it. And they all offer ongoing cashback options and perks once the cashback intro bonus is gone, all with no annual fees.

Cards with the best sign-up bonuses

Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Read Full Review

Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months starts with One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, the highest among the three cards highlighted in this review. Once you spend $500 in three months to get the cashback bonus, it’s applied to your rewards balance within two billing cycles.

Cardmembers get a flat 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day, and you don’t have to register every quarter to get it. You’re also not limited to select categories to get the cash back and there’s a None foreign transaction fee.

Let’s say you spend $2,000 a month on the card. At unlimited 1.5% cash back, you’ll get $360 at the end of the year. Your rewards don’t expire during the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.

The perks with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months are pretty good considering it’s a no-fee credit card. There’s the usual benefits that come with Visa Signature®, including free upgrades and special savings at hotels, resorts and spas, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and fine wine and food events, free 24-hour concierge service, shopping and savings and special offers from retailers. There are also popular benefits like purchase security, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance.

Other cards may offer more bonus points or miles — for a higher spend — than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months. They may also more in cashback awards, especially in targeted categories like travel and dining, than what’s offered with this card.

Uber Visa Card

Regular Purchase APR
16.49%-25.24%

variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
4% back on dining, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, and 1% on everything else
Rewards
4% back on dining, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, and 1% on everything else
New Uber Visa Card members can Earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. The cashback bonus is applied to your card as soon as you make the required purchases within the first 90 days after you open your account. You don’t pay foreign transaction fees on the card.

If you spend around $800 a month on dining, you’ll earn $384 a year in cash back. The cash back in the travel category includes airfare, hotels and home share services like Airbnb. Spend $1,500 a month with the Uber Visa Card on these categories and get $540 back after a year.

After your bonus is credited, there are more perks that come with the Uber Visa Card. Music lovers who spend at least $5,000 a year on it can get up to a $50 credit for online digital subscription services. You get up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your mobile phone bill with your card. The card also gives you access to invitations to exclusive events and offers in select U.S. cities.

You can redeem your Uber Visa Card points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back, all via the Uber app once your balance hits $5 or 500 points. You must add your Uber Visa Card to your Uber account to take advantage of this feature. As long as the account is active and in good standing, your points never expire.

There are other cards that offer higher cash back for popular categories like airfares, hotels and dining. The cashback balance on your Uber Visa Card must reach $25 before you can use it for gift cards, statement credit or direct deposit. Your cash back redemption is capped at $500 a day. And the card doesn’t have an intro balance transfer rate.

The information related to the Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

TruWest Visa® Signature Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on TruWest Credit Union’s secure website

Read Full Review

TruWest Visa® Signature Card

Regular Purchase APR
9.65%-10.65%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
With the TruWest Visa Signature Card, you get a $100 introductory bonus when you spend $100 in the first 90 days after being approved. It’s not the most lucrative bonus out there, but we like it for a different reason: This is by far the lowest spend requirement among the three cards in this review.

The best feature of the TruWest Visa Signature Card is that it starts with a generous 0% intro APR for 18 months on all purchases and balance transfers. After 18 months, there’s a very reasonable variable APR.

You automatically earn 1.5% cash back under the card’s TruRewards program, plus you get up to 1 point for every $1 spent. If you spend $1,000 a month on the card, you’ll get $180 back after a year of spending.

The fine print: You must be a member of the TruWest Credit Union, with a minimum deposit of $5 to qualify, before you can apply for the TruWest Visa Signature Card. To become a member, you must either: live, work or own a business in Maricopa, Pinal, Pima or Yavapai counties in Arizona, or Travis or Williamson counties in Texas; attend school in Travis or Williamson, Texas; or be related to a member or be the surviving spouse of a deceased member.

How to use points

You can earn 5,000 bonus points when you add a cardholder to your account, which gives you more ways to boost your point totals. You also earn up to 10 extra points per $1 spent when you use them to make qualifying purchases on the TruRewards website.

You can use your points and cash back in the Get Extra Points program, where you can apply your cash back to your credit card account, buy gift cards from TruWest or retailers, book a flight, hotel or cruise, buy more than 300 different items ranging from electronics to jewelry and donate points to your favorite charities. You can choose the split-pay option, where you can redeem points and pay for items using your TruWest Visa Signature Card.

Like the, Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months, the TruWest Visa Signature Card gives you access to all the benefits of the Visa Signature program.

Alternatives to these cards

If these cashback bonus offers aren’t quite showing you the money, you may want to consider cards that offer double cashback benefits — with no annual fee, but also no cashback sign-up bonus — as an alternative.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Regular Purchase APR
15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer doesn’t force you to register in order to get cash back. Unlike cards with higher cashback options, almost all of your purchases are covered.

There are no caps on the total amount of cash back you can earn. So if you spend $1,000 a month on the card, that means you’ll get $120 in cashback rewards in a year. And you can get another $30 a year back if you make payments of $250 a month.

Once your cash rewards balance hits $25 or more, you can redeem your cash rewards as a check, a statement credit to your account, a gift card or as credit to a linked Citi savings or checking account or to a checking account where you have paid a Citi credit card bill at least twice.

Benefits that come with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer aren’t as robust as other cards in this category. And don’t use this card when you travel outside the U.S., since it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

If your account is closed, you won’t be able to earn or redeem your cash rewards, and you forfeit any accumulated cash rewards. Your cash rewards balance will expire if you have not earned any cash back from purchases or payments for 12 months.

Discover it® Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Cash Back

Regular APR
13.74% - 24.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good Credit

The great thing with the Discover it® Cash Back is that it matches all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year. So if you earned $1,200 in cash back in your first year, Discover will match that to $2,400 after your first 12 consecutive billing periods. The cash back is then applied to your account in the following one or two billing periods.

Each quarter, you can earn 5% cash on specific categories up to the quarterly maximum. It’s stand-alone grocery stores in the second quarter, restaurants in the third quarter and Amazon.com and wholesale clubs in the fourth quarter.

You must register for the categories each quarter in order to get the cashback reward. The cashback quarterly maximum is $1,500 for the Discover it® Cash Back, but there’s no limit on the overall amount of cash back you can earn.

If you do a balance transfer, you can save money if you pay off the balance before the end of the card’s 14-month term. But you will pay a 3% balance transfer fee.

The Discover it® Cash Back gives you free access to your FICO® Score on monthly statements, online and on the mobile app, and allows you to use the Freeze it® on/off switch feature that stops purchases, cash advances and balance transfers if you misplace your card.

If you want to spend some of your Discover it® Cash Back cashback rewards or go shopping, you can do it on the Discover Deals website. Here you can earn more cashback bonuses when you shop for deals from top brands or get discounts at the Discover Travel Deals site for flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises.

After the first year, the Discover it® Cash Back’s cashback match rewards goes away, and you don’t get the more robust travel and purchase benefits of other cards.

The bottom line

The introductory cashback bonuses for these credit cards can seem appealing when you first sign up. But you need to ask which benefits remain once you spend that initial bonus. And you need to balance whether the card is just as appealing once the more attractive intro purchase and balance transfer rates expire.

Since you don’t have to worry about annual fees, focus on a card with benefits that go beyond the initial intro cashback bonus. You want to get unlimited rewards with at least 1% cash back at a bare minimum.

It’s even better if you get a card that goes above the usual 1% on items in selected categories. You also want to have access to a website that will let you maximize your cashback rewards and get discounts for shopping. And you want a card that offers secondary perks like travel discounts, purchase and travel insurance and car rental collision coverage.

Keep your balances low and pay your card on time because you may end up paying your credit card company for the privilege of getting cashback rewards.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Benét J. Wilson
Benét J. Wilson |

Benét J. Wilson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Benét J. at benet@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus For July 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

As the credit card market gets increasingly more crowded, issuers are trying to gain customers with enticing sign-up bonuses. Typical sign-up bonuses require you to spend a given amount (usually ranging from $500 – $5,000) within the first few months of account opening (on average the first 3 months) before you can reap your reward. The type of bonus you earn can differ by issuer and come in the form of points, miles, cash back, and statement credit.

In this post, we list the best sign-up bonuses that you can earn from new credit cards, organized by credit cards for personal or business use and by category (travel, airline, cash back, and more).

Personal

Best travel rewards sign-up bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$95 Ongoing

Rewards

2 points on travel and dining, 1 point on all other spending

Regular Purchase APR

17.74%-24.74%

Variable

The bonus offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

What the points are really worth: 1 point is worth $.01, and when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards, 1 point is worth $.0125.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 25% more in redemption: When you redeem points for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards® your points get 25% more value. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer: Points can be transferred at a 1:1 rate to participating frequent travel programs currently including: British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good fit for people who frequently travel and would like an increased redemption value for their points with the 25% more value you receive when redeeming for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best hotel credit card sign-up bonus: Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Annual fee

$95 For First Year

$95 Ongoing

Rewards

Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 6,500 participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels and 2X points everywhere else.

Regular Purchase APR

17.74%-24.74%

Variable

The bonus offer: Earn 75,000 Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card!

What the points are really worth: The value of Marriott rewards points vary by redemption method, and there is no set monetary value.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • Free Night Award: Benefit from a Free Night Award each year after your account anniversary — valid for a one night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points. Other terms apply.
  • Elite status: Coming in 2019, receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year. Restrictions apply.
  • Flexible redemption options: Redeem points for hotel stays, room upgrades, experiences, car rentals, TSA Precheck, gift cards, and more.

Bottom Line: The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card is ideal for people who stay at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels, as the rewards program is structured around those purchases and you can receive a free night stay each account anniversary.

The information related to the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best airline credit card sign-up bonus: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Annual fee

$99, waived for first 12 months*

Rewards Rate

Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*

Regular Purchase APR

17.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

The bonus offer: For a limited time, earn Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.

What the points are really worth: The value of AAdvantage® miles vary by redemption method, and there is no set monetary value.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 10% miles back: You can earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back, with a maximum of 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles per calendar year*.
  • Preferred boarding: You can board the plane faster when flying with American Airlines*.
  • First checked bag free: On domestic American Airlines flights, your first checked bag is free for you and up to four companions.
  • 25% inflight savings: Receive a 25% savings on eligible inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*.

Bottom Line: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a great choice for American Airlines flyers who want to enjoy extra perks on their flights such as preferred boarding and inflight savings.

Best cash back sign-up bonus: Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee

$0

Cashback Rate

5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

Regular APR

13.74% - 24.74% Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

The bonus offer: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • Conveniently redeem cash back: Your cash back can be redeemed at any time and for any amount. This is great since other cards often impose a $20-$25 minimum redemption amount.
  • No late fee on your first late payment: Discover will give you a pass on your first late payment, a good reminder to set up autopay or calendar alerts.

Bottom Line: The Discover it® Cash Back is a great option for people looking to earn additional cash back with the Cashback Match™ feature — all without a minimum spending requirement.

Best luxury card sign-up bonus: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee

$450 For First Year

$450 Ongoing

Rewards

3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Regular Purchase APR

17.74%-24.74%

Variable

The bonus offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

What the points are really worth: 1 point is worth $.01, and when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 1 point is worth $.0150.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 50% more in redemption: Points redeemed for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 50% more in redemption value. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer: Easily transfer points at a 1:1 rate to participating frequent travel programs currently including: British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt.
  • Airport lounge access: You can access over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide with a complimentary, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a fantastic sign-up bonus that can benefit from the 50% more value points earn when redeemed for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards — great for travelers looking to maximize their points.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best student credit card sign-up bonus: Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Annual fee

$0*

Rewards Rate

Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment and Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases

Regular Purchase APR

16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

The bonus offer: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

What the points are really worth when redeemed for…

  • Travel with Citi’s travel portal: 1 point is worth $.01
  • Gift cards: 1 point is worth $.01
  • For purchases / statement credit: 1 point is worth $.0075
  • Shop with points, merchandise: 1 point is worth less than $.01
  • Cash back: 1 point is worth $.0005

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 0% Intro period: There is an intro 0% for 7 months on Purchases* on purchases which is a decent intro period for a student card. After the intro period, standard APR is 16.24% - 26.24%* (Variable).
  • Citi Price Rewind: When you register an item you paid for with your card, Citi will search for a lower price. If a lower price is found within 60 days, you may receive the difference between the price you paid and the lower price.

Bottom Line: The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a good card for students looking to maximize points on dining and entertainment purchases, while also potentially benefiting from money saving features like Citi Price Rewind.

Business

Best cash back sign-up bonus for businesses: Ink Business CashSM Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

Earn 5% cash back in select business categories

Regular Purchase APR

14.99%-20.99%

Variable

The bonus offer: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 0% Intro period: This card offers an intro 0% for 12 Months on purchases allowing your business time to pay off any large purchases made during this period. There is also 0% for 12 Months on balance transfers. After the intro period ends, a 14.74% – 20.74% Variable APR applies.
  • Higher rewards rate for select business purchases: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. This is helpful for business that typically spend in these categories.

Bottom Line: The Ink Business CashSM Credit Card is great for businesses that want a flexible cash back card that allows them to choose select business categories to earn the higher cash back rate.

The information related to the Ink Business CashSM Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best travel points sign-up bonus for businesses: Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Annual fee

$95 For First Year

$95 Ongoing

Rewards

Earn 3 points per $1 in select business categories

Regular Purchase APR

17.74%-22.74%

Variable

The bonus offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

What the points are really worth: 1 point is worth $.01, and when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 1 point is worth $.0125.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 25% more in redemption: When you redeem points for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards, they are worth 25% more. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 towards travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer: If you’re a part of participating frequent travel programs, you can transfer points at a 1:1 rate. Partners currently include: British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt.
  • Higher rewards rate for select business purchases: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. This is a great way for you to earn points on purchases your business spends a lot in.

Bottom Line: The Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card is a great card for businesses that travel since you can earn 25% more value in point redemptions with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Also, if your business wants to choose which categories they want to earn the higher rewards rate in, this card has several options with something for all businesses.

The information related to the Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Learn More

How to maximize your sign-up bonus

Below we list some helpful tips for you to select the best sign-up bonus for your spending and how to make sure you actually earn the bonus. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Understand how the minimum spend requirement and time period works. Nearly all sign-up bonuses require a minimum spend for you to earn the bonus. For example, a card may require you to spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening to earn 5,000 bonus points. If you open your card January 1, then you have until March 30 to spend $1,000. Each sign-up bonus differs, so make sure to check the terms and conditions.
  • What qualifies as spending on purchases? Sign-up bonuses have clear terms that require you to spend a certain amount, that means certain transactions don’t count for the spending requirement. Transactions that aren’t often eligible often include: balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers, interest, and fees of any kind.
  • Make a large purchase upfront to secure the bonus. If you plan on making a large purchase like a laptop or television, try and make it as soon as possible so you can meet the required spending for the bonus. But only do this if it’s feasible to pay it off soon after. If you make a large purchase upfront and are unable to pay it off before your statement is due, you will be stuck paying interest — unless your card has a 0% intro APR period. Still, you don’t want to fall into debt just to get the sign-up bonus.
  • Check other terms and conditions. A good rule of thumb is to look at the terms and conditions before you apply for any card. This allows you to see if the points / cash back expire or are only redeemable in certain ways. Reviewing the T&C can prevent you from missing out on your sign-up bonus.
  • Don’t be too greedy. To thwart people from nabbing sign-up bonuses and closing cards repeatedly, issuers may have rules that prevent customers from signing up for several cards from the same issuer over the course of a specific time period.
  • Take note: offers are time sensitive. Sign-up bonuses can change at any time, meaning an offer you click on may not be there later if you refresh or close the window.

How we picked the best sign-up bonus offers

The way we formulated this list was by looking at cards from all major issuers as well as some credit unions. From there we divided cards into two categories — travel points and cash back. When comparing cards in the travel category, we made sure to compare points worth, spending requirements, and rewards bonuses for redeeming via the issuer’s portal. For cash back cards, we simply looked at the size of the bonus and spending requirements. If there were cards with similar sign-up bonuses, we considered other features such as 0% intro period, APR and annual fees.

Let’s take an example, where 2 rewards cards both require you to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership:

  • Card A earn you 50,000 points
  • Card B earns you 60,000 points

Now someone may only look at the sign-up bonus for the Card B offer and think, “Wow, I earn 10,000 more points compared to Card A, I want Card B.”

But a closer look at the terms and conditions reveal that the points’ value differs for each card:

  • Card A’s points are worth $.0125 each when redeemed through the issuer’s portal
  • Card B’s points are worth $.01 each

Here’s the monetary value of the sign-up bonus for each card:

  • Card A: $625
  • Card B: $600

So the sign-up bonus that would be better is Card A, when considering points worth and redemption methods. Therefore, it’s always important to look at various aspects of a card, not solely the sign-up bonus.

Now let’s look at a cash back example:

  • Card A requires you to spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of card opening to earn $150 cash back
  • Card B requires you to spend $500 within the first 3 months of card opening to earn $150 cash back
  • Card C matches your cash back at the end of 12 months, and doesn’t require a minimum spending amount

It’s pretty clear that Card A is the worst value. Card B is better since you have to spend half the amount to earn the same sign-up bonus as Card A. However, if you spend over $15,000 in the first 12 months of card opening, Card C is the best option with unlimited cash back matching and no required spend.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Best Travel Credit Cards July 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

iStock

Looking over the sheer number of travel credit cards available is enough to overwhelm anyone. With so many cards offering points, miles or cash back, what should you look for in a new travel rewards credit card?

While having options is a good thing, trying to decide on the best travel rewards credit cards available can give you a difficult decision. When considering a new card, there are four factors you should consider before you hit the “apply now” button:

  • No foreign transaction fees. While up to 3% in foreign transaction fees may not sound like much, it can add over a quarter to every $10 you spend abroad. The best travel credit cards may not have foreign transaction fees.
  • Good rewards for spending. For every dollar you spend, you should earn rewards you can apply directly to your next trip: either flights, hotel rooms or other experiences.
  • Sign-up bonuses. Most cards offer a sign-up bonus after a required minimum spend to encourage people to apply for their card. The sign-up bonus should offer a substantial award that justifies the spending.
  • Annual fee. Although most cards come with an annual fee, the points or cash back you could earn should outweigh the cost.

Instead of getting lost looking for the perfect travel rewards card, start with this guide. We found the best travel cards for every lifestyle, each of which offer you some of the best rewards now and over time. If you want good travel rewards for the money you spend, consider adding these credit cards to your wallet.

Best premium travel cards

Premium travel cards come with the highest annual fees but also offer the highest level of rewards. From flexible points that can be transferred to travel partners, to elite hotel and lounge offers, your annual fee can be recovered through the luxury benefits on these cards. If you travel frequently and want to get the best experiences, these are the cards you’ll want.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee

$450 For First Year

$450 Ongoing

Rewards

3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Regular Purchase APR

17.74%-24.74%

Variable

Why we like it: Because you automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers solid rewards for what effectively turns into a $150 annual fee ($450 annual fee minus up to $300 in statement credits for travel purchases). Cardholders also receive up to a $100 application fee credit towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. In addition, you will earn three Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide, and one point per dollar spent everywhere else. If you make this your primary card, you could earn rewards which value more than the annual fee every year.

Rewards program: Purchases earn points in Chase Ultimate Rewards®, a flexible point program that can be used for travel rewards. One point has a value of 1 cent, but when redeeming for travel through the Chase travel portal, points have a fixed value of 1.5 cents. You can get an even greater value by transferring points to one of Ultimate Rewards® nine airline partners or four hotel partners.

Pros:

  • Flexible points that offer good value. Chase Ultimate Rewards are among the most flexible in the travel space, with nine airline and four hotel rewards transfer partners – giving you many different ways to use your points. You can also use points through the Chase travel portal at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents each towards airfare and hotels of your choice.
  • Exceptional rewards for travel and dining. Of all the premium credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers the most points per dollar spent for both travel and dining. If you primarily use this card when you travel, you would earn unlimited triple points on most of your big expenses.
  • Great travel insurance options. In addition to points earning opportunities and flexible points, this card also offers one of the best travel insurance plans available. When you use your card or Ultimate Rewards points to pay for your trip, you are automatically covered with baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, emergency evacuation insurance and roadside assistance.

Cons:

  • $450 annual fee. One of the biggest cons of this card is the $450 annual fee, due immediately in the first year. Even though $300 can be recovered from the annual travel credit, you still pay the $450 out of pocket. If you do not travel often, this card may not be right for you.
  • Limited travel lounge access. For the high price tag, this card only offers lounge benefits through Priority Pass, a network of lounges around the world. It does not allow entry into any carrier’s lounges and comes with some surprising rules, including limited accommodation during busy times.
  • No elite status with travel partners. Unlike its nearest competitor, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does not come with any elite status with partner brands. If you get accepted for this card, don’t expect to get to the front of the line at any hotels or car rental locations.

Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee

$550

Rewards Rate

5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.

Regular Purchase APR

N/A

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Why we like it: Considered one of the oldest and most prestigious awards cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers the most elite status, luxury experiences and credits for your spending. When you book trips directly with airlines or American Express Travel, you can also earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, allowing your rewards to rack up quickly. All other purchases earn one point per dollar. If you value luxury experiences and airline lounge access, this card could be a better choice.

Rewards program: Your purchases will earn Membership Rewards points, which can be used with American Express or transferred to their travel partners. When using Membership Rewards points at American Express Travel, your points are valued at 1 cent each, so your best use of points is through transferring to their airline or hotel partners. Points transfer to 16 airlines and three hotels, offering the most choices for award travel.

Pros:

  • Best lounge access programs. The Platinum Card® from American Express offers you the most ways to get into lounges when you travel around the world. In addition to Priority Pass, you can also enter Centurion Lounges and the International American Express lounges on arrival or departure at select airports, as well as Delta Sky Clubs when you are flying on Delta.
  • Elite status for holding the card. The Platinum Card® from American Express also comes with elite status at three car rental and two hotel loyalty programs: Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, National Car Emerald Club, Hilton Honors Gold Elite and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
  • Credits for Boingo Wi-Fi, Global Entry, Shoprunner and Uber. Even with the high annual fee, this premium card also comes with several credits and free services for frequent travelers. Cardholders get free Boingo Preferred Plan membership, free Shoprunner two-day delivery, along with monthly credits for Uber rides and one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee waiver every five years.

Cons:

  • Highest annual fees. While the card may offer the most status and immediate benefits, it also comes with the highest fee. At $550 for the annual fee, you will be pay for all your benefits in the first month, before you can get any value from them.
  • Only one bonus category. Another major downside of this card is that there is only one bonus category: five points per dollar spent directly with airlines or travel booked through Amex Travel. If you do not spend much on prepaid hotel reservations or airfare, you can’t maximize this bonus category effectively.
  • Limited airline fee credit. For years, The Platinum Card® from American Express was the only card to offer an airline fee credit. Today, it is one of the most limited: $200 only usable towards airline fees, available for only one airline you choose at the beginning of the year.

 

Best travel cards for simple rewards

While earning points and miles can be rewarding, some of the best programs are simple and straightforward. When we looked for the best simple rewards credit cards, we looked for those that not only offered cash back, but also bonuses for spending and redeeming, along with a low annual fee. After considering all our options, these are the best travel rewards cards for simple rewards.

Best cashback travel rewards card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Rewards Rate

2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Regular Purchase APR

14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Why we like it: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has a simple rewards program earning you the same amount of miles for all your spending. So, no need to worry about bonus categories — simply use your card on all purchases to rack up miles. Plus, there’s a current promo where you can earn 10 miles per dollar when you pay with your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card at hotels.com/venture through January 31, 2020.

Rewards program
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. You can redeem miles in several ways: as a statement credit for travel purchases via Purchase Eraser®, for new travel purchases made with the Rewards Center, for a check, account credit, gift card and more. Travel purchases eligible for Purchase Eraser® include: airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and timeshares. Keep in mind that these redemptions must be made within 90 days from the date your travel purchase posts to your account.

Pros:

  • Easy to use rewards. You can easily redeem your points in a variety of ways and Purchase Eraser® makes is simple to get a statement credit for travel purchases made within the past 90 days.
  • Visa Signature® benefits. As a Visa Signature® card, you can benefit from travel perks including lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, the Visa Signature® Luxury Hotel Collection with over 900 properties and more when you use your card. Certain restrictions, limitations, and exclusions apply.
  • 10x miles at hotels.com/venture. This offer allows you to earn a fantastic rate on eligible purchases made at hotels.com/venture when you use your card. Valid through January 31, 2020.

Cons:

  • Annual fee for a cashback card. The card is rather expensive for earning two miles per dollar toward travel, currently $0 intro for first year; $95 after that. If you don’t travel abroad often, there are other cards that offer the same cash back with no annual fee, though they may lack some of the travel perks this card offers.
  • No points transfer. Unlike other travel rewards cards, you can’t transfer points to frequent flyer programs. You have to redeem them in one of the ways mentioned in the ‘Rewards program’ section above.

 

Best travel card for millennials

Uber Visa Card

Uber Visa Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

4% back on dining, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, and 1% on everything else

Regular Purchase APR

16.49%-25.24%

variable

Why we like it: The Uber Visa Card offers high cash back rewards at the places millennials spend the most — all restaurants (including UberEATS), travel, online shopping and streaming services — along with no foreign transaction fees and up to $600 in mobile phone protection with no annual fee. Plus, some of the bonus categories are the biggest in their category: no other credit card offers 4% cash back on all dining purchases. Conditions apply.

Rewards program
The card offers cash back rewards for spending in four different categories:

  • 4% cash back on restaurants, takeout, and bars, including UberEATS
  • 3% cash back on airfare, hotels and vacation home rentals
  • 2% cash back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and music streaming services
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Cash back can be used as statement credits, credits towards Uber rides, redeemed for gift cards or transferred to a bank account with a limit of $500 in transfers per day. Conditions apply.

Pros:

  • Big cash back categories. Of all the cash back cards we have reviewed, the Uber Visa Card has the biggest rewards for both dining and online purchases. Using this card as your primary option for restaurants and digital shopping could help your rewards add up quickly.
  • Up to $600 in mobile phone protection. While many cards offer travel insurance, not many offer cellphone insurance. If you pay your cellphone bill with your Uber Visa Card, you could qualify for $600 in protection for accidental damage or theft. Conditions apply.
  • $50 online subscription service credit. Who doesn’t have at least one online subscription service anymore? If you spend at least $5,000 in your cardmembership year, you automatically get a $50 credit for an online subscription you pay with your card.

Cons:

  • Limited transfer options. While the cash back is good, The Uber Visa Card only has one transfer partner for their points right now: Uber. You can’t turn over your points into any other loyalty program, limiting their overall usage.
  • Limited definition of “online purchases.” The Uber Visa Card also comes with a very narrow definition of “online purchase” that qualifies for 2% cash back. You’ll have to check your credit card statements to see what counts as an online purchase, though Barclays announced in December that payments through third-party platforms like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay would count toward the 2% category.
  • No travel insurance. Although you may get up to $600 in mobile phone protection, you won’t get any travel insurance benefits when paying for your next trip with this card. If your flight gets delayed or your luggage gets lost, your card won’t reimburse any of your expenses.

Read our review of the Uber Visa Card

 

Best travel card with no annual fee

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

Annual fee

$0

Rewards Rate

unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day

Regular APR

13.74% - 24.74% Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Why we like it: While the Discover it® Miles compares closely to other cards with a $0 annual fee, the details make this card a real winner. At the end of your first year, Discover automatically matches all of your earned miles, giving you double the travel purchasing power. The card also comes with strong back-end features, including free Social Security number alerts and FICO® score checks.

Rewards program
The Discover it® Miles offers miles that can be used as cash back to pay for travel experiences. When you book trips using the Discover it® Miles card, you can redeem your miles towards statement credits on the trips, with no blackout dates. Your miles never expire as long as your card is active.

Pros:

  • Good credit security tools and customer service. In addition to having call centers based in the United States, this card also comes with solid credit security tools. These include free FICO® credit scores, Social Security number alerts, Experian® credit report monitoring and the ability to freeze your credit card from the Discover mobile app or website.
  • Wide acceptance in China and Japan. If you travel to Asia often, the Discover it® Miles may be your best bet for secure spending. Discover is accepted by China’s largest credit card network, UnionPay, and one of Japan’s largest payment processors, JCB.
  • Matched miles in the first year. Currently, no other company offers matched points or miles for your first cardholding year, effectively doubling your rewards. If you use this as your primary spending card, you could earn a lot of cash back towards travel.

Cons:

  • No transfer partners. Although doubled miles in the first cardholding year and unlimited rewards are great, you may not get to fly first class with them. Miles do not transfer to any airline partners – they can only be applied as cash back for travel expenses.
  • No bonus categories for earning miles. While other Discover cards offer rotating 5% cashback bonus categories quarterly, the Discover it® Miles offers no bonus categories. This means no matter where you use your card, you will always earn 1.5 points per dollar.
  • Low miles earning after first year. With no bonus categories, this means you may not earn very many miles after the first year.

Best credit union travel card

Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® from First Tech FCU

Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® from First Tech FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$75 Ongoing

Rewards

3 points for every $1 spent on travel; 2 points for every $1 spent on dining; 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Regular Purchase APR

12.49%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on First Technology Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Why we like it: We searched over 50 credit unions with few membership restrictions for the best travel rewards credit cards, and found it at First Tech Federal Credit Union. The Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® from First Tech FCU offers competitive bonus categories (Earn 3 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on travel; 2 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on dining; 1 Reward Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases), but comes with a lower interest rate than its competitors. The annual fee – First year free, then $75 annual fee thereafter

How to Qualify: To apply for the card, you must be a member of First Tech Federal Credit Union, which requires you to work for a sponsor company, live in Lane County, Ore., or become a member of the Financial Fitness Association or the Computer History Museum. A membership share in the credit union is $5 (held in a membership savings account), a membership in the Financial Fitness Association is $8, and a membership to the Computer History Museum is $15.

Rewards program
Points earned with the card go towards the Scorecard Rewards program, which fulfills rewards. Your points can be used towards travel experiences including cruises, hotels, or car rental certificates, merchandise available in their catalog, or can be redeemed for cash back. While your points value may vary for awards, cash back rewards are valued at one cent per point.

Pros:

  • Strong bonus categories. The bonus categories offered by the Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® from First Tech FCU are comparable to other major rewards cards, because you Earn 3 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on travel; 2 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on dining; 1 Reward Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases. This gives it strong value with better terms for the cardholder.
  • Flexible rewards options. Like other programs, points earned on the Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® from First Tech FCU can be used toward several different awards. Airfare, cruises, hotel certificates and car rental certificates are all available when you use your points and miles.
  • Lower annual fee and APR than other cards. Credit unions often offer better terms to cardholders than banks, and this card is no exception. The APR may be lower on balances held on the card, and the annual fee is at least $20 less than other comparable cards.

Cons:

  • Points vary in value. The two downsides about Odyssey™ Rewards points are that points vary in value, and they can’t be transferred to other airline partners. Because of this, using them for non-travel rewards may value them under one cent per point.
  • Credit union membership required. While the card is a good deal, you must be a member of the credit union to get the card. If you decide to take your money out of the credit union, your card could be canceled as well.
  • Upfront membership fees. This card is subject to membership in the credit union and an associated organization. Before you can apply for this card, you have to pay $13 in fees.

 

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

MagnifyMoney
MagnifyMoney |

Have a question to ask or a story to share? Contact the MagnifyMoney team at info@magnifymoney.com

TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

Advertiser Disclosure

Best of, College Students and Recent Grads, Credit Cards

Best Student Credit Cards July 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Getting a credit card while you’re in college might seem dangerous or confusing. But if you are able to use a student credit card responsibly, you do not need to be afraid, and you can set yourself up for financial success after you leave school.

Fortunately, learning how to choose and use the right student credit card is relatively simple. Make sure you avoid annual fees and go with a bank or credit union you can trust. When you get the card, make sure you use it responsibly and pay the balance in full and on time every month. If you do these things consistently over time, you can leave school with an excellent credit score. And if you want to rent an apartment or buy a car, having a good credit score is very important.

Our Top Pick

Discover it® Student Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
Regular APR
14.74%-23.74%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair

Best for Commuter Students

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

APPLY NOW Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Regular Purchase APR
14.74%-24.74%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit

Average

Best Flat-Rate Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Read Full Review

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month.
Regular Purchase APR
24.99%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Average

Best Intro Bonus

Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
3% cash rewards on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months, 1% cash rewards on virtually all other purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
12.65%-22.65%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair Credit

 

Best Credit Union Card

Altra Federal Credit Union Student Visa

APPLY NOW Secured

on Altra’s secure website

Read Full Review

Altra Federal Credit Union Student Visa

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
1 point per dollar spent
Regular Purchase APR
15.15%

Fixed

Credit required
zero-credit
New to Credit

Best for Studying Abroad

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

APPLY NOW Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Annual fee
$0
Rewards
1.5 points per dollar spent
Regular Purchase APR
16.49%-24.49%

Variable

Credit required
fair-credit
Fair Credit, Limited Credit history

Best Secured Card

Discover it® Secured

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Secured

Annual fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
$200
Regular APR
24.74%

Variable

Credit required
bad-credit
Bad

Best for No Credit History

Deserve® EDU Mastercard

APPLY NOW Secured

on Deserve’s secure website

Deserve® EDU Mastercard

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
1% on all purchases
Regular Purchase APR
20.49%

Variable

Credit required
zero-credit
New to Credit

Also ConsiderAlso Consider

Golden 1 Platinum Rewards for Students

Golden 1 Credit Union Platinum Rewards for Students:

This credit card offers a snazzy rewards program: rather than accumulate points, you’ll get a cash rebate instead. All you have to do is make a purchase. At the end of the month, you’ll get a rebate of 3% of gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases, and 1% of all other purchases deposited back into your Golden 1 savings account at the end of the month. You can join Golden 1 by joining the Financial Fitness Association for $8 per year and keeping at least $5 in a savings account.

What should I look for in a student credit card?

The most important thing to consider when looking for a student credit card is that it charges no annual fee. You should never have to pay to build your credit score. Fortunately, most student cards don’t charge you an annual fee, but it’s still something to watch out for.

The second most important thing you should keep an eye out for are tools that help you learn about credit or even promote good credit-building habits. For example, some student credit cards will give you a free monthly FICO® score update. You can use this freebie to see in real time how your credit score changes as you build credit history by keeping the card open, or paying down your credit card balance, for example.

The last thing you should be considering when picking out a student credit card is the rewards program. I know, I know, it seems counterintuitive. But stick with me — I’ll show you why in the next question.

Why shouldn’t I be concerned about maximizing my rewards while in college?

Rewards cards are nice to have. But if you’re a college student, here’s the truth: you probably won’t spend enough to earn meaningful rewards.

Why? With a good rewards program, you can earn points or cash back. A small percentage of your monthly spending can add up quickly. However, given the tight budget that most college students live on, it will probably take a while to earn meaningful rewards. For example, if you earn 1.25% cash back and spend $300 a month on your card, you would earn $45 of cash back during the year.

College students are very good at making good use of $45. And our favorite card offers a great cash back rewards program. Just don’t expect to earn a lot of cash back, given the tight budget of a college student.

Why should I get a credit card as a college student?

There are a lot of great reasons why you should get a credit card, as long as you can commit to using it responsibly.

The single biggest reason why you should get a credit card as a college student is because you can start establishing a credit history now. When you graduate from college, you will need a good credit score to get an apartment. And your future employer will likely check your credit report. Building a good credit history while still in college will help prepare you for life after graduation.

Getting a credit card while in college can also train you to develop good credit habits now. But you need to be honest with yourself. If you find that you can’t avoid the temptation of maxing out your credit card, you might want to switch to a debit card or cash.

Finally, getting a credit card now can be the motivation you need to start learning about credit. These skills aren’t hard to learn, and they could save you thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars later in life (when you want a mortgage, for example).

What is the CARD Act and why should I care about it?

Many years ago, credit card companies would market on college campuses. You could get a free beer mug or t-shirt in exchange for a credit card application. And you would be able to qualify for a credit card without having any income. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act was signed into law in May 2009 to change a number of practices.

How did the CARD Act change student credit cards?

The CARD Act made a lot of changes in how credit card issuers do business with students. One of the biggest changes was requiring students to be able to demonstrate an ability to pay. If you are under 21 and do not have sufficient income (a campus job, for example), you would need to get a co-signer.

In addition, colleges must now limit the amount of credit card marketing on campus. The days of free t-shirts and pizzas in exchange for credit card applications are gone. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible for a college student to get a credit card. Some highly reputable banks and credit unions still offer student cards. And building a good credit score while still in college is still highly recommended.

How can I protect myself from racking up debt?

When used properly, credit cards are a very convenient method of repayment. However, when not used properly, you can end up deep in credit card debt. It is important to establish a healthy relationship to credit now, with your first credit card.

You should try to ensure that you pay off your credit card bill in full and on time every month. Ideally, you should set up an automatic monthly payment. And to keep yourself on track, take advantage of alerts offered by most credit card companies. You can even get daily text messages reminding you of your balance.

How can I automate my credit card usage?

If all of this sounds confusing, don’t worry. There’s actually a way you can automate your payments so you never even have to bother with the hassle of using a credit card. All it takes is a few minutes of upfront work.

First, you’ll need at least one recurring monthly bill of the same amount, such as Netflix or Spotify. Log in to your account and set up an automatic payment each month using your credit card. Make a note of how much your monthly bill costs.

Next, log in to your bank account. Set up a second automatic payment to go to your credit card each month for the same amount as the bill. If your bank doesn’t offer the option to set up automatic payments, you may also be able to set up your credit card to automatically withdraw the amount of the bill from your bank.

Because you know this bill will be for the same amount each month (barring any price increases), you can literally just leave this running in the background each month on autopilot. You don’t even have to carry your credit card in your wallet if you don’t want to. Then, when you graduate, you’ll automatically have an improved credit score!

What happens to my student credit card when I graduate?

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line. But what about your student credit card? You will have a few options once you graduate and we detail them here.

Here is a summary of our favorite cards:

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

TAGS: , ,

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Best Small Business Credit Cards in July 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

Small business credit cards not only make it easier to separate personal and business finances, they offer business owners advantages they may not need or be able to get with a personal credit card. You might find the number of business credit card options overwhelming, so identifying your priorities will help you choose. Do you want rewards? Or do you merely need a card for short-term financing? The best small business credit card for you will depend entirely on your needs and goals.

Best small business credit cards for financing

0% APR financing

When to consider business cards with intro 0% financing: A business card with an intro 0% APR period can save you hundreds of dollars on interest compared to cards without 0% APR introductory periods. During the intro period, new purchases won’t accrue interest, and you can take your time paying off large purchases such as laptops and desks for your business.

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
12.99% - 20.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 Months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The information related to The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Why we like it: The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express offers small business owners the chance to finance new purchases with the longest intro period for purchases of any business card at intro 0% for 15 Months; 12.99% - 20.99% Variable APR after. Plus, you can earn rewards, receive purchase protection and get extended warranties — all with a $0 annual fee.

What to watch out for: You can lose the intro APR if a penalty APR applies to your account for any reason. To avoid this, always pay your minimum amount due.

Low interest rate

When to consider business cards with low interest rates: If you find your business has to carry a balance from time to time, it can be beneficial to have a low interest credit card that won’t cause you to rack up as much interest as other cards. But as a rule of thumb, try to pay your balance in full every month to avoid interest charges.

Bank of America® Platinum Visa® Business Credit Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America® Platinum Visa® Business Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
10.99%-21.99%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
No rewards
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent

Why we like it: The Bank of America® Platinum Visa® Business Credit Card has the lowest APR at 10.99% - 21.99% Variable. If you qualify for the lowest rate and end up carrying a balance, you’ll be charged substantially less interest than other cards with high APRs. Although there are no rewards, new accounts can earn an Online exclusive: $200 statement credit bonus after making at least $500 in net purchases in the first 60 days of your account opening. That’s the lowest spending requirement to get a bonus on a business card.

What to watch out for: You may not qualify for the lowest rate because the APR varies based on your personal or business’ credit worthiness.

Cash flow management

When to consider a business card for cash flow management: Some small businesses may not have a consistent cash flow, and that’s where a card with a flexible payment option comes in handy. You may be allowed to carry a balance interest free until your next statement if you make the minimum payment.

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

Regular Purchase APR
N/A
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee your first year, then $250.
Rewards Rate
Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The information related to The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Why we like it: The The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN has an uncommon payment option where as long as you pay your minimum due, you can pay your balance in up to 60 days without accruing interest (terms apply). This ‘grace period’ is uncharacteristic of business cards (and all cards in general), providing you with twice as much time as other cards do to pay off your statement without incurring interest charges. There are no rewards, but you can Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.

What to watch out for: To benefit from the extra-days-to-pay feature, make sure you pay your minimum due, or else you’ll miss out on the offer. Also, make sure this card is the best choice for your business because there’s a $0 introductory annual fee your first year, then $250.

Imperfect credit

When to consider a business card for imperfect credit: If you or your business has less-than-good credit, odds are you’ll not only have trouble qualifying for a credit card, but the terms you do qualify for won’t be ideal. However, you’re not out of luck — we found a card that considers small businesses with imperfect credit, and it has decent terms plus the foundation for you to improve your credit with responsible behavior.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Regular Purchase APR
24.74% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Credit required
bad-credit
Average/Fair/Limited

Why we like it: The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is for business owners with Average/Fair/Limited credit. Capital One considers Average/Fair/Limited credit as someone who’s defaulted on a loan in the past five years or has limited credit history (holding credit for less than three years). So, if you or your business has less-than-perfect credit, you may have better odds qualifying for this card compared to the majority of business cards, which require good or excellent credit.

What to watch out for: Although this card states it’s for business owners with Average/Fair/Limited credit, that does not guarantee you will be approved. As with any credit application, lenders look at a variety of credit factors.

Available for service members

When to consider business cards for service members: The following business credit cards are provided by credit unions for service members and have added perks, such as low interest rates, rewards, special offers and discounts. These cards require credit union membership, but you can typically qualify depending on where you live or work.

Navy Federal Credit Union Visa® Business Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union Visa® Business Card

Regular Purchase APR
10.15%-18.00%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
3 points on restaurants, 2 points on gas and 1 point on everything else
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent

Why we like it: The Navy Federal Credit Union Visa® Business Card has a $0 annual fee and provides an up to 15% discount on qualifying business purchases with Visa SavingsEdge®. You can receive discounts at restaurants, travel and shipping services, IT solutions and more at no additional cost. As a member of NFCU, you can also receive a discount on Geico auto insurance and access an Auto Buying Program where you can save on new and used cars — great if your business requires you and your employees to drive. Terms & limitations apply.

What to watch out for: The interest rate you receive depends on your creditworthiness, so you may not receive the lowest APR. Because membership is restricted, check here to see if you qualify for membership with Navy Federal Credit Union.

Navy Federal Credit Union Mastercard® Business Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union Mastercard® Business Card

Regular Purchase APR
10.15%-18.00%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
3 points on restaurants, 2 points on gas and 1 point on everything else
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent

Why we like it: The Navy Federal Credit Union Mastercard® Business Card has the Mastercard Easy Savings® Program, which provides you with an up to 10% discount on a wide range of purchases including car rentals, gas purchases, products and services like Bing Ads and Monster, and more. This can simply save your business money on everyday purchases and the program is free. NFCU members have access to perks that suit businesses that require driving for work, like the ability to save on Geico auto insurance and access to an Auto Buying Program where you can receive savings on new and used vehicles. Terms & limitations apply.

What to watch out for: The APR varies based on your creditworthiness, so you may not qualify for the lowest rate. Because membership is restricted, check here to see if you qualify for membership with Navy Federal Credit Union.

RBFCU Business Select Mastercard® credit card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union’s secure website

RBFCU Business Select Mastercard® credit card

Regular Purchase APR
11.40%-18.00%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
2% cash back on all purchases
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Why we like it: The RBFCU Business Select Mastercard® credit card has a great cashback program with unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. This flat rate is rare among business cards that tend to favor high rates only on select purchase categories. In addition to a cashback program, members of RBFCU can benefit from members-only pricing at select merchants like TurboTax® and Sprint® to save your business additional money. Terms apply.

What to watch out for: Not everyone will qualify for membership with RBFCU, so fill out this online form to check.

Best small business rewards credit cards

Travel perks

When to consider travel business cards: If you or your employees travel often, a travel card can be more valuable than typical credit cards because many offer travel insurance, airline fee credits, free Wi-Fi access and other travel-related perks.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Regular Purchase APR
N/A
Annual fee
$450
Rewards Rate
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1.5 Membership Rewards® points on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The information related to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.

Why we like it: We looked at business cards that offered travel perks, and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN emerged as the best overall business travel card because of its extensive benefits for business owners, including rewards potential, Welcome Offer, and added perks. You can take advantage of standout perks like access to over 1,000 airport lounges, credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck and a $200 airline fee credit. Terms apply. These benefits can save your business a substantial amount of money and make travel less of a hassle.

What to watch out for: There is a steep $450 annual fee for this card. However, considering the value you receive with this card, the annual fee may be worth it. For example, the airline fee credit and Global Entry fee credit are valued at $300, decreasing the effective annual fee for this card.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.74%-22.74%

Variable

Annual fee
$95 For First Year
$95 Ongoing
Rewards
Earn 3 points per $1 in select business categories
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

The information related to the Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Why we like it: The Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card allows you to increase the value of your points by 25% when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is a great way to increase the effective value of your points. Additional travel benefits include trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and travel and emergency assistance services.

What to watch out for: The higher rewards rate only applies to select categories, so if you primarily spend outside the select categories, you’ll earn a subpar cashback rate. Consider other travel business cards that suit your spending more.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Regular Purchase APR
18.74% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Rate
2 Miles per $1 on every purchase, every day
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Why we like it: The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers a hard-to-find flat-rate rewards program at 2 Miles per $1 on every purchase, every day. This rate allows you and your employees to earn the same amount of miles on any purchase with no bonus categories or caps. You can easily redeem miles for travel, and there is no minimum redemption amount.

What to watch out for: This card comes with an annual fee at $0 intro for first year; $95 after that, and although it’s lower than most travel business cards, it may not be ideal for everyone. Keep in mind you will need to spend $4,750 a year (after year one) to recoup the fee.

Big intro bonuses

When to consider business cards with big intro bonuses: A large intro bonus can be a simple way for business owners to earn extra rewards within the first few months of account opening — as long as you fulfill the requirements. You can use the rewards you earn in a variety of ways, from travel to statement credits that can lower your business’ expenses. Many cards that have big intro bonuses also have good rewards and perks, providing long-term value in addition to the short-term reward.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.74%-22.74%

Variable

Annual fee
$95 For First Year
$95 Ongoing
Rewards
Earn 3 points per $1 in select business categories
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

The information related to the Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Intro bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

What to watch out for: There are requirements that you need to follow in order to receive the intro bonus, so make sure you spend the required amount in the stated time period. Also, you miss out on added value by redeeming points outside of Chase Ultimate Rewards, so try to use the portal to receive the 25% more value on travel.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Regular Purchase APR
N/A
Annual fee
$450
Rewards Rate
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1.5 Membership Rewards® points on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The information related to The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.

What to watch out for: You need to satisfy two spending requirements to earn the full Welcome Offer — Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.

CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Annual fee
$95, waived for first 12 months*
Rewards Rate
2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases* and for every $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications, car rental merchants and at gas stations*, 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases*
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Limited-time offer: Earn Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening*.

Why we like it: The CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is one of few airline-specific business cards. This card has the largest limited-time offer compared to competitors and a typical spending requirement. In addition, there are great perks when you fly on American Airlines, such as in-flight discounts, first checked bag free and preferred boarding.

What to watch out for: This is an airline-specific card — if you don’t fly with American Airlines, you’ll miss out on some of the best perks.

Cashback rewards

When to consider cashback business cards: Cash back is a simple and straightforward way for your business to be rewarded for purchases. You can easily redeem your cash back as a statement credit, which is a great way to reduce your bill (just remember that redemptions can’t be applied to minimum payments).

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Regular Purchase APR
18.74% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Rate
2% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Why we like it: We looked at business credit cards offering cashback rewards and analyzed their rewards rates, fees and APRs, and among the group, The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business rose to the top. It has a standout cashback program earning you 2% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. There are no bonus categories or caps — you’ll earn the same rate on every purchase. You can even make redeeming your rewards simple by setting up automatic redemption, great for businesses that don’t want to fuss with rewards.

What to watch out for: The annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that — so after year one, you will need to spend $4,750 a year to break even.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 22.74% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Why we like it: The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has a decent rewards rate for business owners who want to avoid an annual fee at 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. This card is a good alternative to the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, offering all the same perks plus a $0 annual fee.

What to watch out for: The cash back rate is below the ideal 2%, and you can do better with a higher flat-rate card or with bonus category cards. But be aware they may have an annual fee.

Hotel rewards

When to consider business cards with hotel rewards: Traveling for business can get costly, but hotel rewards cards can help you save money on hotel stays and other expenses you may incur like meals. Whether you favor a specific hotel or often choose the best priced hotel, there are business cards for you that can earn you rewards and other money-saving discounts. Because hotel loyalty varies, we’re highlighting two cards with exceptional hotel rewards.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
16.99%-20.99%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$95 Ongoing
Rewards
Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The information related to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Why we like it: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is our top pick for businesses looking to earn rewards and perks on hotel stays. SPG® has numerous participating hotels where you and your employees can stay, and there are flexible redemption options for your points. For example, you have the ability to transfer points on a mostly one-to-one basis to over 30 airline frequent flyer programs. Additional benefits include credits towards SPG elite status, travel accident insurance and free Wi-Fi with Boingo and at SPG participating hotels (terms apply).

What to watch out for: The rate you earn on purchases outside of SPG and Marriott Rewards® hotels is lower than other hotel rewards cards, like the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card mentioned below. So, if you’re looking to earn a high rate on all purchases, check out other hotel rewards cards.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49%-26.49%

Variable

Annual fee
$95 For First Year
$95 Ongoing
Rewards
12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Why we like it: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers great benefits for business travelers who frequent hotels in the Hilton portfolio with a wide range of perks including complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status. This gives you a 25% bonus on Base Points, space-available room upgrades and more benefits that may make your stays more comfortable. Other Hilton perks include a rewards program that allows you to earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points at a fast rate and Weekend Night Rewards (terms apply). In addition, you receive baggage and travel accident insurance, 10 free visits to over 1,000 Priority Pass airport lounges every year and the ability to connect your credit card transactions to Quickbooks®, among other things.

What to watch out for: You don’t want to carry a balance with this card because there is a 17.24% – 26.24% variable APR. Although this is a typical range, it’s still high and can lead to large interest charges if you don’t pay your bill in full. But, if you pay in full and on time, this won’t be an issue.

Best category bonuses

When to consider business cards with category bonuses: If you spent a lot in particular categories, credit cards with category bonuses may be a great way for you to earn rewards for that spending. For example, if you drive a lot for business, a card with gas rewards may be ideal. Below we list the business cards that offer the highest reward rates on dining, gas and office-supply spending

Dining & gas

Sam's Club® Business Mastercard®

APPLY NOW Secured

on Sam's Club’s secure website

Sam's Club® Business Mastercard®

Regular Purchase APR
16.15%-24.15%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
5% cash back on gas (on first $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back on dining and travel, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit
Good

Why we like it: The Sam’s Club® Business Mastercard® offers a high 5% cash back on gas (on the first $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% cash back on dining and travel, and 1% cash back on other purchases. This rate is ideal for businesses that primarily spend on gas because you earn the highest rate on those purchases compared to other cards. Business owners who often take out clients for meals may want to consider this card because of its cashback rate on dining purchases.

What to watch out for: You need to be a member of Sam’s Club to open this card, and as a business owner you may not have a need for a Sam’s Club membership. However, membership starts as low as $45 a year, and considering there’s no annual fee for this credit card, that’s a small amount.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card from Citi

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card from Citi

Regular Purchase APR
16.74%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
4% on eligible gas worldwide, including Costco (for the first $7,000 per year and then 1%), 3% on restaurant and eligible travel worldwide, 2% on all other purchases at Costco and Costco.com and 1% on everything else
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent

Why we like it: The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi offers a tiered cashback program with 4% on eligible gas worldwide, including Costco (for the first $7,000 per year and then 1%), 3% on restaurant and eligible travel worldwide, 2% on all other purchases at Costco and Costco.com and 1% on everything else. This is a good rewards program for business owners with Costco memberships if you want to earn cash back in a wide range of categories.

What to watch out for: You need to be a Costco member to open this card, and membership starts at $60 per year. This is higher than Sam’s Club and definitely something to consider if you’re deciding between the two cards. Another important note is that you won’t earn as much cash back with this card as you would with the Sam’s Club® Business Mastercard®.

Gas & office supply stores

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard®  credit card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Regular Purchase APR
12.99%-22.99%

Variable

Annual fee
$0 For First Year
$0 Ongoing
Rewards
3% cash back on purchases at gas stations and office supply stores (up to $250,000 each calendar year, 1% after that), 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants, 1% cash back on all other purchases
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent/Good

Why we like it: The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card doesn’t require membership with a warehouse club like other gas cards and has a $0 annual fee. Business owners can earn a decent cash back rate at both gas stations and office supply stores, making this card ideal if you often spend in these categories.

What to watch out for: The gas cashback rate is lower than other business cards with gas as a category bonus and won’t earn you as much rewards.

Risks of using small business credit cards

While small business credit cards can provide a wide range of benefits for your company, they have drawbacks.

Here are some of the major risks:

Personal liability. As a business owner, you are solely responsible for all charges made on your account. That means if there are any unpaid balances on your account, whether from your spending or employee spending, you are liable.

Negative impact on you credit. If your account is in poor standing as a result of late payments, overdue balances, bankruptcy or other issues, the credit card issuer may report this information to the credit bureaus. As a result, your personal credit score may take a hit.

Not protected by the CARD Act. Business cards don’t receive the same consumer protections that personal credit cards receive with the CARD Act. The CARD Act requires credit card issuers to provide transparent terms as well as lower fees and interest rates for consumers. But, issuers of business cards don’t have to comply with those requirements. Therefore, a business card may have higher interest rates, more fees and confusing terms.

How to minimize the risks of business credit cards

Monitor employee spending. The ability to open employee cards is a great feature, but if you don’t stay on top of their charges, it can become risky. Some good practices include keeping records of all employees with card access, setting employee spending limits when available and monitoring your credit card statements. This way you can keep track of all spending made on your account and add limits when needed.

Avoid charging personal expenses. Use your business card the way it is intended to be used — exclusively for business purchases. Charging personal expenses makes managing your finances harder and complicates the use of your card.

Do not take out a cash advance. Cash advances are one of the most costly features of credit cards and are rarely a good choice because you’ll be hit with higher than normal interest rates and can rack up debt fast. As an alternative, check out small business loans.

Look at loans for long-term financing. Your business may need to borrow money for purchases like cars or other big-ticket items, and small business loans can be a great way to finance those purchases. Often with straightforward terms, loans can be a good alternative to charging purchases on your credit card. Compare small business loans here.

Do not try to bail out a failing business. If your business isn’t doing well, don’t take out a small business credit card with the hopes of bailing it out. Odds are you’ll only get into more debt and make the situation worse.

Best way to use credit cards for your business

Earn rewards. Almost all of the cards mentioned in this roundup provide rewards, allowing business owners to be benefit from typical business spending. You can use the rewards you earn in a variety of ways, like booking travel, applying cash back as statement credit to cover bills or redeeming them for gift cards for business expenses or employee incentives.

Manage cash flow. Business cards may provide expense-management tools so you can monitor spending and simplify everyday business transactions. You can use your card to automate business expenses like monthly phone bills or regular office-supply purchases.

Build business credit. Opening a small business credit card has the potential to build and improve your business credit. If you make on-time payments and use a relatively small amount of your available credit, your business’ credit can benefit greatly. Having a good business credit score can help you down the line if you plan on taking out a loan or other credit products.

Short-term borrowing. If your business plans on making purchases that can’t be paid immediately, some business credit cards offer 0% intro periods that are ideal for short-term borrowing and can be a better choice than a personal loan — when used responsibly. During the 0% intro period, you can carry a balance without incurring interest, and if you pay it off before the intro period ends, you can save on the interest that you would’ve incurred if you had taken out a loan.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Best of, Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Good Credit July 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

If you’re someone with good credit you should be able to qualify for a variety of credit cards. There are cards if you want to earn cash back, earn travel rewards or complete a balance transfer. MagnifyMoney has reviewed our database of over 2,000 credit cards to find cards you can qualify for with good credit. Here are our favorite cards for people with good credit.

Best cash back credit cards for good credit

Cash back credit cards can be great tools to boost your financial position. They basically make your life just a few percentage points cheaper — who wouldn’t want that?

Watch out for the pitfalls with these rewards cards, though. Don’t talk yourself into spending more because you’ll receive cash back. If you opt for a cash back card that offers you up to 5X more points on certain categories, make sure you understand that you often have to activate the bonus categories and set up reminders for yourself if necessary.

Best flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0*
Cashback Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Regular Purchase APR
15.24%-25.24%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Best 5% cash back

Discover it® Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
5% on certain categories, 1% on everything else
Regular APR
13.74%-24.74%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit
Good / Excellent

Also Consider

Visa® Platinum Rewards credit card from Nusenda Credit Union

Nusenda Credit Union Platinum Rewards

This card is a great choice for forgetful people who want cash back rewards. It’s one of the only cards offering revolving categories each quarter that you don’t have to opt in for; you will get these rewards automatically. This card would also be a great choice for those who want cash back rewards and don’t mind working with a credit union.

Best for big spenders in gas

Commuting can be a huge cost, especially if you live far away from your work and don’t use public transportation. If you spend a lot of money on gas each month, consider getting a cash back rewards card that gives you higher rates of return for these purchases. It’s like having an instant coupon for gas with you all the time.

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Fort Knox Federal’s secure website

Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa® Platinum Card

Annual fee
$0
Cashback Rate
5% back on all gas station spending, 1% on all other purchases
Regular Purchase APR
10.75%-18.00%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good

Best for big spenders in groceries

Groceries can be one of your biggest budget-busters, especially if you have a large family, a specialized diet, or live in certain parts of the country. The good news is there are certain credit cards that offer great rewards for grocery purchases. Here’s our top pick for a credit card to maximize your grocery cash back rewards.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Annual fee
$95
Cashback Rate
6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% on other purchases
Regular Purchase APR
14.74%-25.74%

Variable

Best travel rewards credit card for good credit

Travel can seem like a pipe dream to a lot of people. Even if you do have the cash, it still stings to see that much hard-won money leaving your bank account. But with a travel rewards credit card, you can have a sort of de facto savings account specifically for travel. And with a sign-on bonus like the one for our top pick, you can be jet-setting somewhere fun and interesting as soon as a few months from now.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Rewards
2 points on travel and dining, 1 point on all other spending
Regular Purchase APR
17.74%-24.74%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good/Excellent

Best airline credit cards for good credit

One of the biggest travel expenses is airfare. Even if you don’t have specific goals to travel regularly, surprises like cross-country family emergencies or get-togethers can take a big bite out of your budget.

Before signing up for an airline-specific card, it’s helpful to know what airline options you have near you. Different airlines tend to congregate more in different parts of the country; you won’t see any Alaska Airlines planes if you live in Maine, for example.

The information related to the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Plus Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best for Southwest frequent flyers

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Annual fee
$69
Rewards
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
Regular Purchase APR
17.74%-24.74%

Variable

Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

The information related to the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Best for United frequent flyers

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

Annual fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Rewards
2X miles on tickets purchase from United, 1 mile on everything else
Regular Purchase APR
17.49%-24.49%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good

Best for American Airlines frequent flyers

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Annual fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Rewards
2 AAdvantage® miles on American Airlines purchases, 1 AAdvantage® mile on everything else
Regular Purchase APR
17.74%-25.74%

Variable

Credit required
good-credit

Good

Best for Delta frequent flyers

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card From American Express

Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Rewards
2 miles on Delta purchases, 1 mile on everything else
Regular Purchase APR
17.49%-26.49%

Variable

Best luxury credit card for good credit

Even though traveling is fun, it can still be a stressful experience. In between fighting throngs of crowds and cramming into airline seats, it can be enough to drive even the most ardent travel-lover insane sometimes.

The good news is you can avoid all of that with a luxury credit card. These credit cards will give you an across-the-board better travel experience, from the moment you arrive at the airport until you make it back home. Here is our top pick for a luxury credit card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
Regular Purchase APR
-
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

Best 0% APR credit cards for good credit

If you really need to buy something moderately expensive but don’t have the cash for it yet, 0% APR purchase cards can be a great way to go. They’re basically like free short-term loans. These cards are similar to 0% balance transfer cards, but not all of them also offer you the ability to make new purchases with the free promo rates.

It’s recommended to only use these cards to buy things that you absolutely need rather than a new big-screen TV. For example, I used a 0% APR card to purchase the very computer I’m typing this on. I didn’t have $800 to spend at the time, but within a couple of months I had made enough money to pay it off in full — without having to pay a penny of interest. These cards offer great opportunities to better your life, without the extra cost — if you can pay off the card before the promo period is over.

18 months, 0% intro APR, 3% BT fee

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

APPLY NOW Secured

on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro BT APR
0%

promotional rate

Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 5% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater
Regular Purchase APR
15.74%-25.74%

Variable

Duration
18 months
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Learn more

You don’t need a perfect credit score to qualify for the best financial products. You’ll still get access to virtually all of the things an 850 credit score would unlock as long as you have a credit score of at least 760.

Good credit scores don’t happen by accident. Whether you deliberately aimed for your score or not, you have good financial management skills. However, this isn’t enough to guarantee your approval for a large number of financial products.

It’s actually possible to have a good credit score yet still be a high financial risk. For example, your credit score doesn’t take your salary into account. You could have a perfect credit score yet be unemployed with no income, in some cases.

When you apply for financial products, banks will look at your entire situation beyond just your credit score. Each bank will have their own approval criteria, and you might not pass one of them even if you have a good credit score.

Take heart, however; in general, you will be approved for most good financial products and services if you have a good credit score. But if the bank is very picky or something uncommon has happened to you (such as a recent job loss), it’s not surprising to be rejected.

Potential creditors don’t like to see a string of recent credit inquiries on your report because it might be a sign that you’re going on an out-of-control credit binge. Your score will be docked a few points per credit inquiry. This is a relatively small cut compared to more major transgressions like late payments and foreclosures, however.

When you have a poor credit score (600-648), you need every point you can get. The difference between a poor and a fair credit score is just 48 points; you need to do everything you can to gain those points and move up into the next bracket. Having a hard credit pull on your credit report will set you back even longer.

If you’ve got good credit, though, you don’t need to worry as much. You have 150 points between 700 and the maximum score of 850. That’s plenty of room to pay for small dings on your credit. You can have a hard inquiry on your credit report and still have a good credit score, unless you’re starting with a borderline good score of 700-705.

You’ve worked hard getting your score to this point, now how do you keep it there? Luckily, it’s not hard; basically, continue doing the good things you’re already doing.

Paying all of your statements on time and in full is one of the best things you can do to maintain your high credit score. A single late payment on your mortgage could set you back 60 points or more, downgrading you from good credit to average. Make sure all of your debt accounts are set up on autopay to avoid this potentially costly error.

Credit utilization (the percentage of available credit you’re using) is also one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. The less available credit you’re using, the better. In general, a credit utilization ratio of 10% or less will boost your score the most. This means that you’ll have a credit card balance of $1,000 or less for each $10,000 of credit you have available to you.

A few minor factors will also boost your credit score, but not as much as having a good payment history and a low credit utilization ratio. Keep credit inquiries to a minimum. In order to avoid a slew of inquiries that will be reflected in your credit score, make sure companies use soft pulls if you need to shop around for the best interest rates.

Also consider keeping your oldest credit cards open and closing any newer ones you’re not using. This will increase your average credit age. In general, an average credit age of five years or more is considered best and will boost your credit score.

You don’t want to be juggling around a ton of cards you’re not using. Closing old cards sounds like a good idea until you consider one factor: It may ding your credit score.

Creditors like to see that you can effectively handle credit accounts over long periods of time. That’s why average credit age is one factor included in credit scoring models.
If you close out an old card, your average credit age might drop. This would cause a corresponding dip in your score. The effect wouldn’t be huge (not as large as a late payment, for example), but it could be there nonetheless, especially if your average credit age is five years or less (over five years is the optimal average credit age).

That’s why most experts recommend keeping your oldest credit card open. If you want to juggle fewer accounts, close any newer ones that you’re not using. Of course, if your oldest credit card charges an annual fee and you’re not using it, then go ahead and close it anyway. Paying an annual fee for a card you’re not using likely outweighs any benefits from keeping the card open for the sake of boosting your average credit age.

Furthermore, if you close your old credit card before you apply for a new card, it’s possible that your credit score will drop enough that your application will be rejected, especially if you have a borderline good credit score. In this case, it’s better to wait until after you’ve applied and been approved for the new credit card before closing your old card, if you decide to do so.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

TAGS: , ,