6 Credit Cards for College Commuters

A long commute to college isn't fun, unless you have a credit card that rewards you for driving and spending money on gas.

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

Waking up early to rush to class is never fun, and having to commute to school doesn’t make mornings any easier. Whether you live 15 minutes from campus or more than an hour away, every minute and mile counts. Being a few minutes late can ruin your performance on an exam, and having to drive a few extra miles can wreck your wallet.

While the first rings of an alarm clock might never get less jarring, having a credit card made for commuters can ease your mind during your morning commute. All of these cards offer great perks as well as gas-focused rewards that’ll turn every commute into an opportunity to rack up cash. (It’s a good idea to check your credit before applying for a new card. You can check two of your scores for free on Credit.com.)

1. 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: $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 on your new card within the first 3 months.
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then a $95 annual fee.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 13.99% to 24.99%.
Why We Picked It: The rewards are focused on gas and groceries, plus the APR can be low depending on your credit.
For College Commuters: You’ll save on gas in the long run, and buying snacks for your afternoon commute is more appetizing when you realize how much cash back you earn.
Drawbacks: If you constantly frequent gas stations, you may prefer a card with slightly better rewards on gas.

2. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 5% cash back on gas purchases, 3% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: $100 Statement Credit when you spend $1,500 in first 90 days.
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a year, and then variable 9.74% to 17.99%.
Why We Picked It: This card features unlimited rewards and a solid APR, alongside 1% cash back on everything.
For College Commuters: If you have a long commute that requires a lot of gas, this is a great card for racking up gas rewards.
Drawbacks: You have to become a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

3. BankAmericard Cash Rewards

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. These rewards are capped at $2,500.
Signup Bonus: $150 cash rewards bonus online after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% APR for a year on purchases, and on balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. After that, variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% will apply.
Why We Picked It: Your rewards never expire and they’re capped at a decent level if you’re not a large spender.
For College Commuters: If you have a shorter commute or very fuel efficient car, this card is for you because it has decent rewards up to a certain point.
Drawbacks: If you drive very often you might use up your rewards quickly.

4. Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas, 2% on groceries and 1% back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points if you use your card to make $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, variable APR will be 13.99% to 25.99%.
Why We Picked It: Your points last five years and there’s no annual fee.
For College Commuters: You can trade your points for cash, which is perfect for buying snacks, car chargers and more for your commute. Or, if your car breaks down during a drive, you can use your points for a rental car.
Drawbacks: The points eventually expire and the APR is on the higher side.

5. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases up to $7,000 per year. Earn 3% cash back on restaurants and travel, 2% back on Costco purchases and 1% cash back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (you will need a paid Costco membership)
APR: 0% APR on purchases for seven months, after that, variable 16.24% APR
Why We Picked It: The rewards are excellent and heavily focus on gas. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For College Commuters: This card is great for those who are near a Costco during their commute and often get their gas there.
Drawbacks: This card is only available to those with an active Costco membership.

6. Marathon Credit Card by Visa

Rewards: Receive $0.25 rebate per each gallon of gas you purchase when you charge at least $1,000 that month, $0.15 rebate per gallon if you spend at least $500 that month and $0.05 rebate per gallon if you spend less than $500.
Signup Bonus: Receive up to $0.50 per gallon for the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: None
APR: For purchases, 25.99%, 21.99%, or 17.99% when you open your account, based on your creditworthiness. For, balance transfers and cash advances, 26.99%.
Why We Picked It: This credit card focuses on gas and features great rewards.
For College Commuters: Living in the Midwest or Southeast has its perks if you have Marathon gas stations nearby. Whether you’re buying gas frequently for a long commute or only buying it occasionally, you’re still earning rewards.
Drawbacks: The APR for this card is really high. The rebates can only be redeemed as $25 Marathon cash cards that expire after 24 months. This card is only worth it if you frequently go to Marathon for gas.

Image: Georgijevic

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Costco Anywhere Visa® Card 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 College Commuters appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards to Help You Throw Parties

Parties are even more fun when your credit card's earning you solid deals.

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

Enthusiastic hosts love to throw parties for friends and family. Whether you like to put on lavish dinner parties with elaborate menus or make chili nachos for your friends on game day, you might be spending a lot at the supermarket. Some credit cards offer cash back rewards on grocery purchases, helping you host epic get-togethers.

Here are five credit cards to help you throw your next great party.

1. 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 and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (you will need a paid Costco membership)
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24%; variable 16.24% on balance transfers
Why We Picked It: Costco members earn double cash back as they stock up on party supplies. For Your Party: For Costco members, this card earns 2% cash back on all Costco purchases, which can help you feed a small army. Some Costco locations even sell their own generic brands of beer, wine and liquor. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Drawbacks: You’ll have to be a Costco member to access this card.

2. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual supermarket purchases, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back everywhere else
Signup Bonus: $150 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then a $95 annual fee.
APR: Variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: This card offers one of the best supermarket cash back rates available.
For Your Party: You’ll earn a whopping 6% cash back at supermarkets, which should prove extremely valuable for frequent party hosts.
Drawbacks: There is a $95 annual fee.

3. Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One

Rewards: 3% cash back on dining purchases, 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% – 24.49%
Why We Picked It: The card offers solid cash back rates on dining and groceries.
For Your Party: With 3% cash back on dining and 2% cash back on groceries, you’re covered whether you’re meeting a big group for dinner or hosting friends at home.
Drawbacks: If you don’t dine out a lot, you should keep looking.

4. BankAmericard Cash Rewards 

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn double cash back on all grocery and wholesale club purchases.
For Your Party: With 2% cash back on all grocery store and wholesale club purchases, you’ll earn double cash on party supplies. Plus, Bank of America customers get an extra 10% cash back when they redeem their cash for a bank account deposit.
Drawbacks: The best cash back redemption value is reserved for Bank of America customers.

5. 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: All purchases earn double cash back once you’ve paid them off.
For Your Party: There are no special incentives for groceries, but all purchases will earn 2% cash back by the time they’re paid off. That means you can earn double cash back on decorations, booze, groceries and everything else.
Drawbacks: There are no special cash back rates for groceries.

How to Choose a Credit Card for Party Expenses

If your primary purpose for a credit card is funding your parties, your choice is easy. You’ll want to choose a card that offers the strongest rewards wherever you get party supplies.

But if you also want a card for everyday spending, you may want to pick a cash back card that offers good rates at the other merchants you frequent. If your spending is truly scattershot, a card with a great flat cash back rate on all purchases might be the right choice.

Don’t forget to consider interest rates and fees. If you tend to carry a balance on your card, the ensuing interest will eat into your cash back earnings. Fees can have the same effect.

What Credit Is Required for a Card That Funds Parties?

Cards with great cash back rates generally require good to excellent credit. You should check your credit before you apply, as a hard inquiry resulting from a credit card application may slightly ding your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores free at Credit.com.

Image: svetikd

At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One. Citi Double Cash and Bank Americard Cash 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 5 Credit Cards to Help You Throw Parties appeared first on Credit.com.