4 Credit Cards for Military Members Awaiting Deployment

While you wait for deployment, find a credit card that'll give you maximum rewards.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

There are many credit cards offered to military members and civilians alike that have great rewards programs, interest rates and features. But if you’re a service member who needs a credit card leading up to deployment, don’t jump at the first card that looks decent.

Many cards have features offered only to military members, and others go above and beyond the requirements for interest rates and fees set by the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act.

Here are four credit cards for military members awaiting deployment.

1. PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases for PenFed HonorsAdvantage Members, 1.5% cash back on all purchases for everyone else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 9.74% to 17.99% on purchases; 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 9.74% to 17.99
Why We Picked It: Military members get double cash back on all purchases.
For Military Members: Current and former military members qualify to become PenFed HonorsAdvantage Members, and will get 2% cash back on all purchases. There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. Plus, balance transfers get 12 months interest-free.
Drawbacks: You must be a PenFed member to access this card.

2. Navy Federal GO REWARDS Credit Card

Rewards: Three points per dollar spent at restaurants, two points per dollar spent on gas and one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 9.99% to 18%
Why We Picked It: Everyday purchases earn points with a variety of redemption options.
For Military Members: All purchases earn reward points, with special rates on dining and gas purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise and more. There are no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks: Points expire after four years. You must be a Navy Federal member to access this card.

3. USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $3,000 in annual gas station and military base purchases, 2% cash back on up to $3,000 in annual supermarket purchases and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 12.9% to 26.9%
Why We Picked It: Cardholders earn great cash back rates on gas and on-base purchases.
For Military Members: This card earns a fantastic 5% cash back rate at gas stations and military bases, 2% cash back at supermarkets and 1% cash back everywhere else. There are no foreign transaction fees. During deployment, USAA will cap the interest rate on qualified accounts at 4%.
Drawbacks: You must be a USAA member to get this card. There is no signup bonus.

4. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% upon payment
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: This card has a strong 0% intro APR offer and earns double cash back on all purchases upon payment. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Military Members: All your purchases earn 1% at the time of purchase and an additional 1% when you pay. You also get 15 months interest-free, which is a long time to pay off purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait until you pay to earn the full cash back. There is a foreign transaction fee.

How to Choose a Card for Military Members

The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act caps interest rates for all established credit obligations at 6% during your time of active duty.

But some credit cards go beyond the minimum federal requirements and will set interest rates below 6% and waive fees while you’re deployed. Many of these policies are difficult to find online, so you should call the issuer of any card you’re considering to check their active duty policies.

Beyond that, you should choose a card that best meets your needs at home or abroad. While military credit cards are designed specifically for service members, you shouldn’t discount civilian cards, as they may have strong offers and military-friendly policies as well.

Cards with strong rewards programs, low interest offers and other perks all have their own benefits and drawbacks. Be sure to consider your spending habits and how a credit card can meet your specific needs.

What Credit is Required for a Card for Active Duty?

Credit cards for military members have highly variable credit requirements, ranging from poor to excellent credit. But if you’re looking for a card with strong rewards or low interest rates, you’ll likely need good to excellent credit to qualify. Be sure to check your credit score before applying, as you’ll want to be reasonably confident in your chances of approval. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: vgajic

At publishing time, the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Signature Visa, Citi Double Cash and USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 4 Credit Cards for Military Members Awaiting Deployment appeared first on Credit.com.

11 Ways to Lower Your Monthly Student Loan Payments

Student loans are a huge burden but they don't necessarily have to be. It's possible to lower your monthly student loan payment with the right tips.

Student loan debt is a huge burden for millions of Americans, representing the second largest form of consumer debt in the country. A large monthly student loan payment can make it difficult to afford your other living expenses. Luckily, there are many ways to make that monthly payment more affordable.

Here are 11 ways to lower your monthly student loan payment.

1. Income-driven Repayment Plans

Federal borrowers with insufficient income should consider an income-driven repayment plan, which lowers your monthly payment based on your income and family size. There are several income-driven repayment plans, including the Revised Pay As our Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE), Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR) and Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR).

Each plan is different, but they all reduce your payments to a set percentage of your discretionary income. You can work directly with your loan servicer to determine which plan is right for you.

2. Loan Consolidation

If you have multiple federal loans, a direct consolidation loan will combine them and allow you to make a single monthly payment. Consolidation can also extend your repayment period up to 30 years, reducing your monthly obligation. Keep in mind that this would increase the amount of money you pay in the long run.

3. Pay Ahead of Time

If you’re still enrolled in school or you just graduated, it could be beneficial to start paying on your loan now. Many federal student loans do not accrue interest until the grace period after graduation expires. If you start making small payments now, you’ll reduce the principal of your loan and the overall interest you’ll pay.

4. Employer Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Many government employers have offered loan repayment assistance for some time, but even private companies are getting in on the game to attract millennial workers. Before you jump at a job offer from an employer with a student loan assistance program, you’ll want to check the details to see if the program actually reduces your monthly payment.

“About 4% of employers are now offering employer-paid student loan repayment assistance,” said Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Strategy at Cappex.com. “However, the employer payments are almost always in addition to the borrower’s payments and the borrower may be required to make at least the standard monthly payment. So, the main impact is on shortening the repayment term, not in reducing the monthly payment amount. “

5. Graduated Repayment Plans

Graduated repayment plans will temporarily reduce your monthly payments, increasing them every two years. This is a good choice if you currently can’t afford your payments but have confidence that your income will steadily increase over the next ten years.

Graduated repayment “starts off with very low payments, just above interest-only, and increases the monthly payment every two years. No payment will be more than three times any other payment,” said Kantrowitz.

6. Extended Repayment Plans

Extended repayment plans increase the lifetime of your loan up to 25 years. This will drastically lower your monthly payment if you’re currently on a ten-year payment plan. You will end up paying much more over the life of the loan.

7. Refinancing

Refinancing your federal loans with a private lender can help you get a better interest rate, which could lower your monthly payment and save a lot over the life of your loan. For this option, you’ll need good credit. To see where your credit stands, you can check two of your scores for free on Credit.com.

You’ll also want financial stability. That’s because private lenders don’t offer income-driven repayment plans, deferment or forbearance and many other options available to federal borrowers. If you fall on hard times with a private loan, you’ll have fewer tools at your disposal.

8. Roll Your Loan into Your Mortgage

If you have a home with some available equity, you could roll your student loan into your home equity line of credit (HELOC). This can reduce your interest rate, but will likely require good credit.

9. Automatic Payments

Many lenders offer payment or interest reduction as an incentive to sign up for automatic payments. Check with your loan servicer to find out if they offer this option.

10. Use Credit Card Rewards

Some credit cards offer rewards that can be put directly toward your student loan. For instance, the Citi Thank You Preferred Card for College Students earns points that can be redeemed for a check that is issued to your loan servicer.

11. Deferment or Forbearance

If you’re desperate to reduce your payment, deferment or forbearance can pause or significantly reduce your monthly payments for a limited amount of time. Deferment also pauses interest, while loans in forbearance will continue to accrue interest.

You must work directly with your loan servicer to apply for deferment or forbearance. Qualifying circumstances may include financial hardship, unemployment or military deployment.

Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

The post 11 Ways to Lower Your Monthly Student Loan Payments appeared first on Credit.com.

11 Things College Students Should Know Before Opening a Credit Card

Getting your first credit card is a big step and with the right knowledge you'll be on your way to having great credit and plentiful rewards in no time.

College is a great time for financially responsible students to start learning to use credit cards. Credit cards can enable students to make purchases, build credit and even earn rewards. But credit cards can be a confusing concept for a first-timer.

Here are eleven things all college students should know about their first credit card.

1. It Can Help Build Your Credit …

Credit cards are important credit building tools, as card activity is typically reported to credit bureaus and included on your credit report. Over time, credit cards can help you establish an excellent credit score. Excellent credit can help you secure loans, land better interest rates and even reduce common monthly payments.

2. … If You Use It Correctly

Credit cards only help your credit when they’re used wisely — irresponsible use can severely damage your credit. To successfully build your credit, you’ll need to start and stick to smart credit card practices. These include making payments on time, maintaining a low balance and keeping accounts open over time.

3. It Isn’t Free

The credit limit on your credit card isn’t a budget for your next spending spree. Any purchase you make on your credit card will accrue interest if isn’t paid off in time. Plus, credit cards charge additional fees, which may include annual fees, foreign transaction fees and late payment penalties. Pay close attention to the annual percentage rate (APR) and fees for any credit card you’re considering.

4. Missed Payments Have Consequences

If you miss a payment or make a late payment, your credit card issuer may charge you a late payment fee. You might get slapped with a penalty APR that’s much higher than the interest rate you signed up for. That missed payment could even land on your credit report and bring down your credit score for up to seven years.

5. There Are Options if You Have No Credit

If you have no credit history, you can still qualify for certain types of credit cards. One of the best options is a secured credit card, which requires a security deposit upfront but then works just like a traditional credit card. You could also have a trusted family member add you as an authorized user to their credit card account.

6. You Should Pay More Than the Minimum

While it’s tempting to only pay the bare minimum each month, it’s wise to pay a little more. Minimum payments won’t significantly reduce your balance, and you may wind up paying a lot in interest over time. To completely avoid interest, you should pay off your balance in full each month. This means you shouldn’t charge more than you can afford to pay.

7. Applications Can Harm Your Score

When you apply for a credit card, the ensuing credit check (known as a hard inquiry) may land on your credit report. Hard inquiries can ding your credit score a few points but aren’t damaging in the long term. There is a risk in submitting too many applications over a long period of time, so you should try to limit your credit card shopping to a two-week period.

8. Use Rewards Wisely

Many credit cards earn rewards, such as cash back or travel points, as you spend. These rewards can be extremely valuable, but only if you use your card correctly. For instance, cash back cards are less valuable if you carry a balance month-to-month, as interest will eat into the profitability of your card. The way you redeem rewards also varies from card to card, so you’ll want to pick a card that actually provides rewards you’ll use.

9. Not All Cards Are Created Equal

Some credit cards are specifically designed for college students and offer security features, rewards and programs that benefit the fledgling credit card user. Take a look at student-focused credit cards, as they may be more accessible to you and have student-friendly policies. Some of these cards have certain requirements when it comes to credit scores. Before applying for any new cards, it’s wise to check if you will qualify by reviewing your credit scores. You can check two credit scores for free on Credit.com.

10. It Doesn’t Have to Be Exclusive

Your credit card will help build credit whether or not you use it religiously, so don’t feel obligated to use it for everything. You can keep it in case of emergencies or for the occasional purchase.

11. There Are Security Benefits

Credit cards offer a number of security benefits over cash and debit cards. They aren’t tied to your bank account, and you’ll never be responsible for more than $50 if your credit card is stolen. Plus, credit card companies often offer additional security features and monitor your account for suspicious activity.

Image: GeorgeRudy

The post 11 Things College Students Should Know Before Opening a Credit Card appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards for Die-Hard NFL Fanatics

Love the NFL? You'll also love being rewarded for loving it.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Football season is fast approaching, and die-hard NFL fans will be spending a lot on their favorite sport. Whether you love tailgating and seeing live games, throwing game day parties or hitting your local sports bar, you might be spending a lot of dough as a fan.

Some credit cards can help you unleash your inner football fanatic, earning rewards as you spend and support your favorite team. Here are four credit cards for NFL fans.

1. NFL Extra Points Credit Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on NFL and team purchases, one point per dollar spent on other purchases
Signup Bonus: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for six months on eligible NFL ticket purchases, then variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% on all other purchases; 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, then variable 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%.
Why We Picked It: NFL fans earn double points on NFL purchases and get exclusive discounts.
For the NFL Fan: You’ll earn double points on your NFL and team spending, including tickets, in-stadium purchases and at team pro shops. Points can be redeemed for cash back, game tickets or NFL experiences. You’ll also get 20% off purchases at NFLShop.com. Plus, eligible NFL ticket purchases are interest-free for six months.
Drawbacks: You’ll only earn double points at a limited number of officially approved merchants.

2. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on other purchases
Signup Bonus: 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn double points on dining and entertainment purchases, including sporting events. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) 
For the NFL Fan: If you go to a lot of games, the double points you earn on sporting events can rack up quickly. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, electronics, travel and more. There’s a 15,000-point signup bonus.
Drawbacks: If you tend to watch games at home, you won’t get as much value from this card.

3. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offers may vary)
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: If you love to tailgate or throw game day parties, this card can help.
For the NFL Fan: The 6% cash back rate at supermarkets comes in handy when you pick up food for tailgating or game day parties. You can also earn a hefty signup bonus.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.

4. Capital One Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 15.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: Fans who spend game day at sports bars can earn cash back all day.
For the NFL Fan: If you like to watch games surrounded by wings and beer at your local sports bar, you’ll earn 3% cash back on dining purchases on game day. Plus, there’s a $100 signup bonus.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend a lot at restaurants, keep looking.

How to Choose a Card for Your NFL Purchases

The best card for your football fandom depends on your spending habits and how you wish to earn rewards.

Try to pick a card that rewards the way you spend. If you go to a lot of games, a card that rewards ticket or entertainment purchases might be right for you. If you throw a lot of game day parties, a card that rewards grocery purchases might be a good fit. If you like to hit sports bars, a card with dining rewards could be the right choice.

You should also take a close look at the card’s rewards and redemptions. Cash back and points rewards have varying redemption options, so make sure the card you’re considering earns rewards you’ll be motivated to redeem.

What Credit Is Required for a Card for Football Fans?

Cards with cash back or points rewards typically require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you’ll want to be confident in your chances of approval, as a hard credit inquiry resulting from a credit card application can ding your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: ActionPics

At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Preferred, Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and Capital One Premier Dining Rewards credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 4 Credit Cards for Die-Hard NFL Fanatics appeared first on Credit.com.

6 Credit Cards for the Avid Nature-Lover

Even better than the great outdoors? A credit card that rewards you for loving them.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

If the great outdoors is your ideal destination, the world is full of opportunities for your next vacation or weekend activity. But while your hobbies may be cheap compared to luxury hotels and shopping trips, you still have to pay for outdoor gear, gas and more.

Certain credit cards can help you fund your outdoor adventures and make them more affordable. Here are six credit cards for the nature-lover.

1. Cabela’s Club Visa Classic

Rewards: 2% points back on Cabela’s purchases and at participating Cenex convenience store locations, 1% points back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $25 in points upon approval and $10 in points when you make five purchases in 30 days
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 9.99% on Cabela’s purchases, variable 16.22% to 25.22% on other purchases
Why We Picked It: Cabela’s shoppers earn points good for purchases at the outdoor supplier.
For Your Outdoor Needs: The card earns 2% points on all Cabela’s purchases and 1% points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for free gear and outdoor experiences at Cabela’s.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend thousands of dollars a year at Cabela’s, keep looking.

2. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard

Rewards: 5% points on Bass Pro Shops purchases, 1% rewards points on everything else
Signup Bonus: $20 statement credit when you spend $100 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Intro 1.99% for seven months on purchases, then variable 13.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Shoppers earn points for future Bass Pro Shops purchases and get access to special discounts all year round.
For Your Outdoor Needs: Cardholders earn 5% points on Bass Pro Shops purchases and 1% points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for goods and merchandise at Bass Pro Shops’ retail locations, website and catalog.
Drawbacks: If you aren’t a die-hard Bass Pro Shops customer, this card won’t provide much value.

3. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year, 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (you will need a paid Costco membership)
APR: 0% for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24%; variable 16.24% on balance transfers
Why We Picked It: Costco offers a wide variety of outdoor and sporting products and cardholders can earn big cash back rewards. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your Outdoor Needs: With this card, Costco members can get 2% cash back at Costco, which stocks supplies including camping gear, groceries and outdoor apparel. The additional cash back rates provide many ways to earn cash back on your excursions.
Drawbacks: The card is only available to those with an active Costco membership.

4. REI Co-op Credit Card

Rewards: 5% back on REI purchases, 1% back on all other purchases
Signup Bonus: $100 REI gift card upon your first purchase
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: REI shoppers can earn annually distributed rebates on all purchases on top of REI’s member dividend, a profit-sharing program.
For Your Outdoor Needs: The card earns 5% back on REI purchases and 1% back on all other purchases, with rewards distributed annually in the form of a rebate. That’s on top of your REI member dividend, a profit-sharing feature that typically earns you 10% back on your annual REI spending. Plus, every time you use your card, REI will make a donation to the National Forest Foundation.
Drawbacks: This card is only valuable if you spend a lot at REI.

5. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offer may vary)
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: If you travel by car and do your own cooking, this card can earn a lot of cash back.
For Your Outdoor Needs: With 6% cash back at supermarkets and 3% cash back at gas stations, you’ll put money back in your pocket every time you gas up or stock up on s’mores supplies. There’s also a nice $150 signup bonus.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.

6. Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

Rewards: Two miles per dollar on all purchases
Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $89
APR: Variable 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% on purchases; 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Every purchase earns double miles that can be redeemed for travel.
For Your Outdoor Needs: With double miles on all purchases and a signup bonus, you can quickly rack up points for your trips. For those that love to rough it, miles can be redeemed for campground rentals.
Drawbacks: After the first year, there’s an $89 annual fee.

How to Choose a Card for Your Next Adventure

When you’re choosing a card for your outdoor adventures, try to identify the cards that best reward your spending habits.

If you spend thousands of dollars annually at one outdoor supplier, a store-branded credit card may provide a good return. But if you tend to spread your purchases around, you should look for a card that isn’t tied to one store.

Try to choose a card that will reward the way you like to travel. For example, if you like taking road trips to camping destinations, a card with strong cash back rates on gas and groceries might be the right fit. Also be sure to check the redemption options for all rewards, as they vary between cards.

What Credit Is Required for an Outdoor Credit Card?

Store-branded credit cards tend to have looser credit requirements, though this isn’t always the case – for instance, the Costco credit card requires excellent credit. General credit cards with cash back or travel rewards tend to require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you should check your credit score to make sure you have a good chance of approval. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: pixdeluxe

At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi,Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 6 Credit Cards for the Avid Nature-Lover appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards to Take Back to College

College is even better with the right credit cards. Don't miss out on deals and cash back!

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

For many students, college offers the first opportunity to forge a path toward independence. It’s also a huge opportunity to learn how to manage personal finances. Credit cards can be a useful tool in that journey, as they require responsible management even as they’re used to build credit, make purchases and even earn rewards.

Many credit card issuers offer cards designed to meet the college student’s needs. Here are five credit cards to consider taking with you to college in the fall.

1. Discover it Chrome Card for College Students

Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined gas and dining purchases per quarter, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for six months on purchases, then variable 13.99% to 22.99%; 10.99% for six months on balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 22.99%
Why We Picked It: Students earn cash back on all purchases, with an extra incentive for dining and gas.
Benefits: Gas station and restaurant purchases earn 2% cash back and all other purchases earn 1% cash back. Discover will match all cash back you earn in the first year, and students will get a $20 cash back bonus every year they maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher. There are no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks: If you don’t have a car and don’t dine out much the cash back value tanks.

2. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 2,500 bonus points when you spend $500 in the first three months. These points can be redeemed on $25 gift cards at select providers.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for six months on purchases, then variable 14.99% to 24.99%; variable 14.99% to 24.99% on balance transfers
Why We Picked It: Students can earn points on all purchases, with extra incentives for dining and entertainment.
Benefits: You’ll earn two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment (including restaurants, bars, concerts and sporting events) and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, cash and more. Citi also provides price and purchase protection, trip cancellation insurance and many other consumer-friendly benefits. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much on dining and entertainment, you may want to keep looking.

3. Journey Student Rewards Credit Card from Capital One

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases, with a .25% boost when you pay on time
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Students get extra motivation to make timely payments.
Benefits: All purchases automatically earn 1% cash back, but that rate is boosted to 1.25% for every month you make your payment on time. After making your first five timely payments, you can access a higher credit line. There are no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks: The APR is extremely high.

4. BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Rewards: 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases
Signup Bonus: 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases, then variable 15.99% to 23.99; variable 15.99% to 23.99% on balance transfers
Why We Picked It: Students can redeem their points for travel.
Benefits: All purchases earn 1.5 points per dollar. Points can be redeemed for flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and other travel purchases, with no blackout dates or restrictions. There’s no foreign transaction fee.
Drawbacks: Those who don’t travel should look elsewhere.

5. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 21 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: Students get a long time to pay off purchases and balance transfers interest free.
Benefits: The card’s primary appeal is its 21-month 0% APR offer. That’s a long time to pay down a balance or make purchases with no interest.
Drawbacks: There are no rewards.

How to Choose a Credit Card for College

If this is your first time with a credit card, your best choice is likely a simple card with minimal fees and an easy way to earn rewards. You may also want to look for a card that’s forgiving on late payments in case you slip up.

If it’s rewards you’re after, choose a card that matches your spending habits and provides rewards you’ll actually use. For instance, frequent diners might choose a card with special rewards for restaurant purchases.
Some cards offer 0% intro APR offers that let you avoid interest on purchases or balance transfers for a limited time. Remember, the best way to use a credit card is to pay your balance off in full each month before interest is applied.

What Credit Is Required for a College Credit Card?

Credit cards designed for students tend to have looser credit requirements and may be available to students with average or good credit. You should check the credit requirements before you apply. If you aren’t sure about your credit, you can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: Mixmike

At publishing time, the Discover it Chrome Card for College Students, Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students, Journey Student Rewards Credit Card from Capital One and Citi Simplicity credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 5 Credit Cards to Take Back to College appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards for Flipping a House

Earn maximum profit and rewards when using the best credit cards for flipping a house!

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

When you flip houses for a living, cash flow and a consistent source of financing are very real concerns. You’ve got to buy your fixer-upper and pay for the cost of renovations, which may include materials, equipment and contractor bills. When you’re short on cash and have immediate renovation costs, credit cards can help you move your project forward.

Credit cards with 0% intro annual percentage rate (APR) offers can help you afford those expenses and give you time to pay them off interest-free. Here are four credit cards for house flippers.

1. Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

Rewards: None
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for qualifying purchase types, then variable 17.99% to 26.99%
Why We Picked It: If you make frequent trips to Home Depot, this card offers many financing opportunities.
For Your Flip: Home Depot purchases of $299 to $998 get six months of 0% APR. Purchases $999 to $1,998 get 18 months of 0% APR. Purchases of $1,999 or more receive 24 months of 0% APR. The home improvement retailer also offers 0% APR for periods ranging from 12 to 24 months on various purchase types including building materials and HVAC systems.
Drawbacks: If you don’t frequently shop at Home Depot, this card isn’t right for you.

2. Discover it

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating bonus categories, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for six months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Cardholders earn cash back and get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
For Your Flip: This card earns 5% cash back on bonus categories that rotate every quarter and 1% cash back on everything else. Discover will match all cash back you earn in the first year. You’ll also get 0% APR for six months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers.
Drawbacks: The home improvement bonus category has already come and gone for 2017.

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 15.99% to 24.74%
Why We Picked It: The card offers a flat cash back rate and 15 months interest-free.
For Your Flip: All purchases earn unlimited1.5% cash back so you can save on all renovation expenses. Plus, you’ll get 15 months to pay off purchases and balance transfers without interest.
Drawbacks: There are better cash back rates available with other cards.

4. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 21 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: The length of the 0% intro APR period makes this card a strong contender. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your Flip: Purchases and balance transfers alike are interest-free for 21 months. That’s a long time to pay off your flip.
Drawbacks: There are no cash back rewards with this card.

Choosing a Card to Help Flip Houses

Try choosing a card that fits your specific renovation needs. If you want to earn cash back as you purchase supplies and pay contractors, a card with a flat cash back rate may be a good fit. If you tend to spend in one place, a brand-specific card (like the one offered by Home Depot) may be a better choice.

If you intend to use a 0% intro APR offer to avoid interest on future purchases or a balance transfer, you’ll want to look carefully at the payback period. Make sure you can realistically pay off your balance transfer or renovation purchases before the offer expires. Otherwise, interest charges will hit your credit card statement like a ton of bricks.

What Credit Is Required for a House Flipper’s Credit Card?

Credit cards with cash back rewards or 0% intro APR offers generally require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you’ll want to be fairly confident you can get approved. You can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com to learn where your credit currently stands.

Image: Highwaystarz-Photography

At publishing time, the Discover it, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Citi Simplicity credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 4 Credit Cards for Flipping a House appeared first on Credit.com.

These Credit Cards Can Help You Save for Holiday Gifts

Holiday gifts can be expensive,let these credit cards help you get the best possible deals.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Discussions of the winter holidays in July may cause you to react with groans or eye-rolls. But if you find yourself struggling to afford gifts for your loved ones every year when the holidays roll around, you could benefit from starting a holiday savings plan early.

Cash back credit cards put money back in your pocket so you can save for the holiday season. Here are five credit cards that may be able to help you afford this year’s holiday gifts.

1. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Rewards: 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 2% cash back at gas stations and certain department stores and 1% cash back everywhere else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offer may vary)
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Everyday purchases can earn you cash back, and there’s a nice little signup bonus to boot.
For the Holiday Season: Commonplace purchases such as groceries and gas earn special cash back rates, with everything else earning 1% cash back. Plus, you’ll get a bonus cash back just in time for the holidays.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much at supermarkets, gas stations or participating department stores, this card won’t hold as much value.

2. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 3% back at Amazon.com (5% if you also have Amazon Prime), 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $50 Amazon gift card (upon approval)
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 15.24% to 23.24%
Why We Picked It: This card earns extra rewards when you shop at Amazon.com and more, and rewards can be redeemed for future gifts.
For the Holiday Season: The card earns a percentage back on all purchases, with special rewards rates at Amazon.com, restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. Your rewards come in the form of points, which can be redeemed for future Amazon.com purchases and gift cards. You’ll also get a bonus $50 Amazon gift card right out of the gate that you can use to order those gifts.
Drawbacks: If you don’t do much shopping at Amazon.com, or don’t plan on doing so, this card probably isn’t ideal for you.

3. Chase Freedom

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating spending categories, unlimited1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% APR for 15 months, then variable 15.99% to 24.74%
Why We Picked It: Spending categories that earn 5% cash back and a signup bonus can help you save fast.
For the Holiday Season: You’ll earn 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate each quarter; past categories include gas stations and grocery stores. You can also earn a $150 signup bonus for spending $500 in three months, which is a fairly low spending threshold.
Drawbacks: You have to do the work of tracking and activating bonus spending categories with this card.

4. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% on payments
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: By the time you pay off your purchases, you’ll have earned a flat 2% cash back on everything you buy. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For the Holiday Season: All purchases earn 2% cash back by the time they’re paid off, so you’ll be earning a great cash back rate on everything on this card.
Drawbacks: You won’t get your full cash back until you pay your balance.

5. QuicksilverOne From Capital One

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $39
APR: Variable 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Consumers with average credit can still get in on cash back savings.
For the Holiday Season: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back, which can help you save up a decent holiday fund.
Drawbacks: There’s an annual fee and an above-average APR with this card.

Choosing a Credit Card to Save for the Holiday Season

Shoppers can use cash back rewards to start saving for holiday gifts. When choosing a card to help you save, you’ll want to pick one that rewards the types of purchases you make. If you mostly spend at a few specific types of merchants, you may want a card that offers special cash back rates at those merchant types. However, if you tend to spend at a wide variety of merchants, you may want a card with rotating purchase categories or a solid flat cash back rate on everything.

Cash back rewards can usually be redeemed for statement credits, but some cards also offer redemption options for gift cards, bank account transfers and merchandise. Make sure to pick a card with redemption options that will most benefit your holiday savings plan.

Remember, a cash back card earns the most value when you pay your balance in full each month.

What Credit Is Required for a Card That Helps Save for Gifts?

Cards with cash back rewards usually require good to excellent credit (although there’s at least one card on this list available to consumers with average credit). Before you apply, you’ll want to check your credit score to be reasonably confident in your chances of approval. You can check two of your credit scores free on Credit.com.

Image: andresr

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, Chase Freedom, Citi Double Cash, and QuicksilverOne From Capital One credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post These Credit Cards Can Help You Save for Holiday Gifts appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards That Can Help You Save for a Car

Saving for a car can be much easier when you've got credit cards with major rewards and perks.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

The more you save up for a down payment on your next car, the better off you’ll be financially when you drive off the lot. A bigger down payment can reduce the amount you need to borrow,  increase the range of cars you can afford and even lower your monthly payments. But saving up for a car can be difficult when you’ve got many other expenses.

Cash back credit cards can help you save by earning money back on your purchases, putting cash back in your pocket.

These four credit cards can earn you cash back and that you can use to help you pay for your next ride.

1. Discover it Card

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating bonus categories, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: Discover will match the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for six months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Long-term planners can use Discover’s cash back match for down payment assistance.
For Your New Car: This card earns 5% cash back on bonus categories, such as restaurants and home improvement stores, that rotate every quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn in the first year. If you have a year or more to save up for your new ride, that bonus can help you make a final push to boost your down payment.
Drawbacks: To get the most out of this card, you’ll have to do the work of tracking and activating spending categories each quarter.

2. Chase Freedom

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating bonus categories, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 15.74% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: The 5% cash back bonus categories and signup bonus can help you quickly save.
For Your New Car: With 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories like gas stations and grocery stores, you’ll have plenty of ways to save. There’s also a $150 bonus when you spend $500 in three months, which shouldn’t be too difficult.
Drawbacks: Like Discover it, this card requires a bit more maintenance.

3. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in yearly spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Multiple ways to earn special cash back rates means you’ll have many ways to save for your car.
For Your New Car: With 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and certain department stores and 1% cash back elsewhere, there’s no shortage of opportunities for saving. Plus, $150 bonus cash can go right toward that down payment.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee, which slightly reduces the potential profitability of your card.

4. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% upon payment
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 18 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: If you religiously pay off your balance each month, you’ll consistently earn 2% cash back on all purchases. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your New Car: With all purchases earning 2% cash back by the time you pay, you can earn a solid cash back rate no matter what you’re buying.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait until you pay to earn the full cash back rate.

Choosing a Credit Card to Help Save for a Car

Cash back is the primary way credit cards can help you save for a car. When picking a credit card to help you afford your next ride, you’ll want to choose a card that rewards the way you spend. You can try to find a card that offers special cash back rates on the purchase types you make most frequently. Or, if you tend to spread your purchases around at many types of merchants, a card with quarterly rotating purchase categories or a flat cash back rate on all purchases might be a good fit.

Be sure to check the cash back redemption options on any card you’re evaluating. Some cards will let you redeem your cash back as a deposit to your bank account, while others may only provide a credit to your credit card statement. The latter method can still help you save for a down payment as you’ll have a smaller credit card bill, but it’s something you should keep in mind.

It’s also important to remember that a cash back card works best when you pay off your balance in full each month, especially once any 0% APR period expires. That’s because interest charges will eat into the cash back you’ve earned.

What Credit Is Required for a Card That Helps You Afford a Car?

Cards with strong cash back offers and signup bonuses usually require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you’ll want to be reasonably sure you can get approved, as a hard credit inquiry resulting from a credit card application can slightly hurt your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores completely free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Discover it, Chase Freedom, Blue Cash Preferred by American Express, and Citi Double Cash credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that prices for products and services frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms cited in this article may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with the company directly.

Image: BraunS

The post 4 Credit Cards That Can Help You Save for a Car appeared first on Credit.com.

6 Credit Cards for New Homeowners

Like a new home, a credit card is a big commitment that can seriously pay off.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial events and someone with a new mortgage may primarily be focused on how they’ll afford their new mortgage payment. But it takes more than a mortgage to make a home, with additional expenses such as furniture, remodeling projects and other needs adding to the overall cost.

You may be wondering how you’ll afford all these costs on top of a mortgage payment. Credit cards with low intro APR offers and cash back rewards can help.

Here are six credit cards worth considering if you’re a new homeowner (or will be soon).

1. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 21 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: This card offers an extremely long intro 0% APR(Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your New Home: With 0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, you’ll have nearly two years to make purchases or pay off a balance interest-free. That’s a long time to furnish your home or pay off a remodeling project.
Drawbacks: There are no rewards.

2. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in yearly spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $250 bonus cash when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: New homeowners have many ways to earn great cash back rates on purchases.
For Your New Home: The card earns 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back everywhere else. That means you can earn big cash back rewards as you stock your fridge, pick up accessories and appliances at department stores and fill up your gas tank for all those shopping trips. Plus, you get 12 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.

3. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: $200 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 25.99%
Why We Picked It: Wells Fargo borrowers can put their cash back directly toward their mortgage.
For Your New Home: You’ll earn a solid 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Plus, if your mortgage lender is Wells Fargo, you can redeem your cash back as a credit to your mortgage principal. You’ll also get 12 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: Some competitors offer stronger cash back rates.

4. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months, a $25 bonus when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 15 months, then variable 15.74% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: A solid cash back rate and a long intro 0% APR period make this card a contender.
For Your New Home: You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. Plus, you’ll get 15 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: There are higher cash back rates out there.

5. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on purchases and an additional 1% upon payment
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 15 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn a great cash back rate on all purchases with a strong incentive to pay them off quickly.
For Your New Home: With 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% upon payment, you’ll be motivated to pay off your home expenses. Plus, you’ll have 15 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: You won’t earn your full cash back until you pay your bills.

6. Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

Rewards: None
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% intro APR for qualifying purchase types, then variable 21.99% to 26.99%
Why We Picked It: This card can help fund your DIY remodel and repair projects.
For Your New Home: Home Depot purchases of $299 and up get six months with no interest. Home Depot also offers 0% financing promotions for up to 24 months on many different purchase types, including appliances, windows and roofing. Cardholders also get access to special discounts and a year of hassle-free returns.
Drawbacks: If you don’t shop at Home Depot, this card isn’t right for you.

Choosing a Card for Your New Home Expenses

There are two primary ways credit cards can help with home expenses: cash back and 0% intro APR offers. New homeowners should look closely at these policies when evaluating a credit card.

If your priority is cash back, you’ll want to choose a card that rewards the way you’ll be spending on your new home. For instance, if you’ll be entertaining a lot, you may want a credit card that offers special cash back rates on groceries. If you’ll be ordering a lot of gadgets and appliances online, you’ll want a card for online purchases. If you tend to spread your purchases around, you may want a card with a good, flat cash back rate on all purchase types.

Intro 0% APR periods are helpful because you can avoid interest for a predetermined amount of time. If you have a lot of upcoming purchases, you won’t have to worry about paying interest for a while. If your new home expenses have already contributed to a high credit card balance, you can get some relief by transferring that balance to a card with a 0% intro APR offer. When choosing a card, look for one that gives you enough time to pay off your balance transfer or make most of your initial home purchases interest-free.

What Credit is Required to Get a Card for New Home Expenses?

Cards with cash back and strong balance transfer offers usually require good to excellent credit. To increase your chances of approval, you should know your credit score before you apply. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Simplicity, Blue Cash Preferred by American Express, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Citi Double Cash credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that prices for products and services frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms cited in this article may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with the company directly.

Image: courtneyk

The post 6 Credit Cards for New Homeowners appeared first on Credit.com.