5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase

Credit cards are a super convenient financial tool, but they can often be confusing.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Cash back credit cards often reward certain forms of spending more than others. But if your spending habits don’t heavily favor a specific purchase type, a card with the same cash back rate for all purchases could be the better choice.

Here are five credit cards that provide consistent cash back no matter what you’re buying.

1. Citi Double Cash Card

Rewards: 1% cash back on purchases with an additional 1% cash back upon payment.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR; variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases.

Why We Picked It: For each paid purchase, you get 2% cash back.

For Every Purchase: All purchases automatically earn 1% cash back, and an additional 1% is awarded once you pay. In other words, you have the potential to earn double cash back on everything.

Drawbacks: If you don’t pay your minimum due each month, you won’t earn your full cash back.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.

Why We Picked It: You get a solid cash back rate on every purchase.

For Every Purchase: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every purchase you make. There’s also a $150 sign-up bonus with a low spending requirement.

Drawbacks: The balance transfer fee is 5% of the transfer amount with a minimum of $5, which many other cards can beat.

3. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card offers cash back on all purchases and a big sign-up bonus.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. There is a 1.8% cash back incentive for mobile wallet purchases, but that rate reverts to 1.5% after one year. And if you can spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get a nice $200 sign-up bonus.

Drawbacks: For some, the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus may be out of reach.

4. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $39

APR: Variable 24.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Good cash back rates aren’t limited to those with excellent credit.

For Every Purchase: Those with average credit can earn a competitive 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase.

Drawbacks: The starting APR is quite high, which is normal considering the lower credit requirements. There’s also a $39 annual fee.

5. Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card has a decent cash back rate and offers extra value as you redeem.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. When you redeem, 5% of the redemption amount is credited back into your account, giving your earnings a little boost every time you cash in your rewards.

Drawbacks: You must have at least $50 in cash back earnings before you can redeem.

How to Choose a Card with a Consistent Cash Back Value

If you’re choosing a credit card for its consistent cash back value, you’ll probably want the card that offers the best rewards rate on all purchases. Cards with 1.5% cash back for all purchases are commonplace, so don’t settle below that threshold. Some cards offer more, but they may require you to jump through extra hoops.

You should also review any available sign-up bonuses, as they can boost the initial value of the card. If you’re looking to avoid interest on purchases or balance transfers, look for 0% intro APR offers.

Remember that cash back cards should be paid off in full each month before interest is applied. Otherwise, interest can reduce the value of your rewards.

What Credit Is Required for a Card with Consistent Cash Back?

Cash back cards are available to consumers with a wide range of credit scores. While the best cards are usually reserved for those with excellent credit, those with bad credit aren’t necessarily locked out of rewards. No matter your credit standing, you should check your credit score before you apply. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Double Cash Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. 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.

Image: Peopleimages

The post 5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase

Credit cards are a super convenient financial tool, but they can often be confusing.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Cash back credit cards often reward certain forms of spending more than others. But if your spending habits don’t heavily favor a specific purchase type, a card with the same cash back rate for all purchases could be the better choice.

Here are five credit cards that provide consistent cash back no matter what you’re buying.

1. Citi Double Cash Card

Rewards: 1% cash back on purchases with an additional 1% cash back upon payment.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR; variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases.

Why We Picked It: For each paid purchase, you get 2% cash back.

For Every Purchase: All purchases automatically earn 1% cash back, and an additional 1% is awarded once you pay. In other words, you have the potential to earn double cash back on everything.

Drawbacks: If you don’t pay your minimum due each month, you won’t earn your full cash back.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.

Why We Picked It: You get a solid cash back rate on every purchase.

For Every Purchase: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with every purchase you make. There’s also a $150 sign-up bonus with a low spending requirement.

Drawbacks: The balance transfer fee is 5% of the transfer amount with a minimum of $5, which many other cards can beat.

3. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card offers cash back on all purchases and a big sign-up bonus.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. There is a 1.8% cash back incentive for mobile wallet purchases, but that rate reverts to 1.5% after one year. And if you can spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll get a nice $200 sign-up bonus.

Drawbacks: For some, the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus may be out of reach.

4. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $39

APR: Variable 24.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Good cash back rates aren’t limited to those with excellent credit.

For Every Purchase: Those with average credit can earn a competitive 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase.

Drawbacks: The starting APR is quite high, which is normal considering the lower credit requirements. There’s also a $39 annual fee.

5. Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus cash back if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99%, 20.99%, or 25.99% APR based on your credit.

Why We Picked It: This card has a decent cash back rate and offers extra value as you redeem.

For Every Purchase: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. When you redeem, 5% of the redemption amount is credited back into your account, giving your earnings a little boost every time you cash in your rewards.

Drawbacks: You must have at least $50 in cash back earnings before you can redeem.

How to Choose a Card with a Consistent Cash Back Value

If you’re choosing a credit card for its consistent cash back value, you’ll probably want the card that offers the best rewards rate on all purchases. Cards with 1.5% cash back for all purchases are commonplace, so don’t settle below that threshold. Some cards offer more, but they may require you to jump through extra hoops.

You should also review any available sign-up bonuses, as they can boost the initial value of the card. If you’re looking to avoid interest on purchases or balance transfers, look for 0% intro APR offers.

Remember that cash back cards should be paid off in full each month before interest is applied. Otherwise, interest can reduce the value of your rewards.

What Credit Is Required for a Card with Consistent Cash Back?

Cash back cards are available to consumers with a wide range of credit scores. While the best cards are usually reserved for those with excellent credit, those with bad credit aren’t necessarily locked out of rewards. No matter your credit standing, you should check your credit score before you apply. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Double Cash Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. 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.

Image: Peopleimages

The post 5 Credit Cards with Consistent Cash Back Rates for Every Purchase appeared first on Credit.com.

I Have an 800 Credit Score. Why Was I Rejected for This Travel Rewards Card?

You can imagine my shock and frustration when I received a rejection letter from Barclaycard a few days after submitting my application online.

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

It started simply enough. For months, I’d had my eye out for a premium travel rewards card, one that had a great rate of return, a sweet signup bonus and a rare miles redemption.

After a week of research, I settled on the Barclayard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, a popular option that packs perks, carries a low annual fee of $89 and offers miles that never expire. It also features a 5% redemption, awarded every time you cash out your miles.

To ensure I’d be able to qualify, I did my due diligence and pulled my credit reports on AnnualCreditReport.com (you can also view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.) Nothing looked suspicious: After years of keeping a budget and dutifully paying my credit card bills on time, my hard work had paid off and my credit score was in the solid 800 range.

So you can imagine my shock and frustration when I received a rejection letter from Barclaycard a few days after submitting my application online. What had I done?

“Too few accounts with sufficient satisfactory performance,” read one of the bullets. “Insufficient number of credit cards on your credit report,” read another.

Armed with this information, I gave Barclaycard’s customer service line a call. Yes, I was a reliable customer, I explained. Yes, I paid all my bills on time. See? It said so right there on my credit report. After responding to a few more questions, which mainly involved why I’d closed the other cards in the first place, I was approved.

“Consumers should always try to call and speak with a human if they want a different outcome,” said Eric Lindeen, vice president of marketing for ID Analytics in San Diego. “Sometimes they are able to take care of you.”

The Curse of Closing Two Credit Cards 

I could’ve avoided all of this. The two cards I’d canceled were the only ones I had — a big no-no in the world of credit, said Lindeen, whose company offers credit-risk management scores to issuers to help them onboard new customers.

“If the two cards you canceled were your only two cards, that would have a big impact on your score,” he said. Having “one to two cards is good, three to five is great; zero is not good. That probably was a 30- to 50-point hit to your score.” (You can learn how credit utilization — your total amount of debt versus how much credit has been extended to you — affects your credit score here.)

The issuer may also have perceived my lack of cards as a sign that I was “experiencing a high turnover of cards,” Lindeen said, referring to the practice of card, or mile, churning. For the unfamiliar, card churning refers to the act of signing up for rewards credit cards, spending just enough to earn the signup bonus and ditching the plastic before the annual fee kicks in.

As evidenced by the wildly popular Chase Sapphire Reserve — which touted an unprecedented 100,000-point bonus for spending $4,000 in the first three months — and the backlash Chase received on dozens of blogs and Reddit after reportedly establishing a 5/24 Rule (you won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more accounts in the past 24 months) to prevent this kind of behavior, it’s no wonder issuers have grown wary. Who wants to give away money and not make a profit?

Certainly not American Express, whose Platinum Card touts some of the best travel rewards out there. Prospective applicants are warned: “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.” Likewise, Citi notes that its bonus ThankYou Points “are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.” [Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.]

“Your application was initially declined because the system found that there had been at least two recent account closures — which flagged the application,” said Barclaycard representative Nicole DyeAnderson over email.

Now I knew why I was in this predicament.

How to Avoid Rejection (by a Credit Card) 

Keeping an eye on your spending and credit behavior is a big deal. Even one purchase can cause your score to plummet, said Lindeen, and the last thing you want is to permanently damage your standing. Keeping debt levels low, applying for cards as your score can handle them and paying bills off on time are the right ways to build up your credit. But all too often, people get carried away or lured by a large signup bonus.

Lindeen also stressed the importance of keeping your oldest credit card open as long as possible. “Mortgages and car loans reach an end point and later drop off your report,” he said, whereas a “credit card is something you can keep on file for your entire life.” A key metric in most scores is the age of your oldest tradeline, or item on your credit report, so holding onto your credit cards is important for building and maintaining credit.

For yours truly, it might be worth it to call my old issuers and see if they’ll reopen the cards with the original open date. Until then, I’ve learned my lesson — and probably won’t cancel another credit card again.

At publishing time, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and Platinum Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. 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.

Image: fizkes

The post I Have an 800 Credit Score. Why Was I Rejected for This Travel Rewards Card? appeared first on Credit.com.

Barclaycard Beefs Up Signup Bonus for CashForward Card

Barclaycard is offering a nice cashback signup bonus just for using the card.

Opening a new credit card usually means an opportunity to earn a signup bonus. In the case of the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard, that bonus comes in the form of cold, hard cash.

Starting Tuesday, Barclaycard is beefing up its signup bonus for the CashForward card from $100 for spending $500 in the first 90 days to $200 for spending $1,000 within the same time frame.

On top of that, Barclaycard is keeping its introductory 15-month, 0% APR for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, but is extending the 0% APR to purchases as well for the same 15 months. After the introductory period expires, the variable for both new purchases and balance transfers goes to a variable 15.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% APR, depending on your creditworthiness at the time of application. (There’s a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount being transferred, whichever is greater.)

Other Noteworthy Perks 

For those in search of a seriously simple cash back card, you can’t do much better than the Barclaycard CashForward card. It offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus a 5% cash rewards bonus, which you receive every time you redeem. Redemptions start at just $50 and come in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit into your U.S. checking or savings account. As a further incentive to swipe, rewards never expire so long as you keep the account open, active and in good standing.

The CashForward card offers other perks as well. Chip-card technology helps make purchases more secure, while cardholders on the go have access to MasterCard’s 24/7 travel assistance service. Beyond that, Barclaycard offers $0 fraud liability, meaning cardholders will not be held responsible for any fraudulent charges that they report.

Before You Apply 

If the thought of unlimited cash back has you thinking of applying for the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard, you’ll want to be sure you’ll actually use it. Though the card doesn’t carry an annual fee, its variable APR may strike some as relatively high, so you’ll want to consider whether this card is a good choice for you if you tend to carry a balance.

You’ll also want to check your credit to make sure you’re able to qualify, as Barclaycard requires excellent credit. You can do that right here on Credit.com, where you’ll receive two of your free credit scores, with helpful updates every two weeks. Checking your credit scores won’t hurt them one bit and is a great way to stay on top of your finances, especially if you’re trying to improve your standing.

At publishing time, the Barclaycard Cash Forward World MasterCard credit card is 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).

Image: pixelfit

The post Barclaycard Beefs Up Signup Bonus for CashForward Card appeared first on Credit.com.

How to Visit Disney World for Free (or Close To It)

Anyone with kids understands that Disney World is a vacation they need to take at least once. After all, it’s the happiest place on earth. The only problem is, the place is expensive, and it’s only getting more so. In February, Disney announced they were raising ticket prices.

Last year, Disney parks started implementing tiered admission prices based on the season. This was to help fight overcrowding at some of the busiest times of the year.

With the price increase, most Disney theme parks will see mid-tier tickets increase to $107, up from $102. Peak season tickets (think spring break, summer and Christmas break) will increase to $119 from $114. And one-day tickets for the low season will go up to $99 from $97.

Tickets for the Magic Kingdom will cost a bit more for mid-tier tickets, up from $110 to $115, but peak prices will remain unchanged at $124.

Obviously, it gets expensive for a family. Just visiting the Magic Kingdom would end up costing a family of four between $396 and $496 depending on the season. And that’s for just one day at the park. Disney does offer special discount ticket packages, however, so be sure to check out what’s on offer before booking. You might be able to get a really good deal, especially during the off-season.

Of course, there are other ways to reduce your costs for visiting the happiest place on earth. You can start by using the rewards you receive from credit cards, for starters. There are three different cards you will need to make your trip nearly free (excluding food costs).

The Flights

Southwest Airlines is a favorite for many people. They’re inexpensive, they’re friendly and the overall flying experience is considered quite pleasant. Frequently the airline runs sales with prices starting at $59 one-way, or approximately 4,130 Southwest Rapid Reward points. That means for a family of four, it’s possible to get round-trip flights for as little as 33,040 points.

To cover this expense, you can sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card. You will receive 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 within the first three months. In addition to this signup bonus, you will also receive 2 points per dollar on Southwest Airlines flights and on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. For all other purchases you will receive 1 points per dollar. There is a $69 annual fee, but you will receive 3,000 bonus points on every card member anniversary.

The Hotel

A couple of years ago, Wyndham Resorts changed how many points were needed for a free night at any property. Instead of using a tiered system like other hotel brands, they moved to a flat rate. It now costs 15,000 points per night at every hotel.

Located right outside the Disney Park is the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. This hotel is extremely kid-friendly with multiple pools, water slides and themed rooms. There is also a free shuttle that will take you to the Disney World gates.

To cover the expense, you could sign up for the Wyndham Rewards Visa card from Barclaycard. You will receive 30,000 points after your first purchase and another 15,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days. These 45,000 points would be good enough for three free nights. If you and your spouse both sign up for this card, you could earn up to six free nights.

In addition to the points you earn after signing up, you will also receive 5 points per dollar spent at any Wyndham property. Purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores and on any utility bill will receive 2 points per dollar. All other purchases will receive 1 points per dollar. There is a $75 annual fee, but you will receive 6,000 bonus points on each anniversary.

The Theme Park

We have already talked about how expensive it can be to purchase Disney World tickets. Luckily the cost can be mostly offset by the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard. With this card you will receive 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. You will also receive 2 miles per dollar on every purchase that you make.

The points you earn are worth statement credits on any travel expense. Each mile is worth one cent each. That means the 50,000 mile signup bonus is worth $500, enough to cover the costs of four Disney theme park tickets at peak season prices. However, it’s important to understand that purchases at Disney won’t be coded as a travel expense and you won’t be able to use your miles. Instead, you would need to purchase your Disney tickets through either Expedia.com or UndercoverTourist.com.

Another perk of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card is that you will receive 5% of your rewards back in your account upon redemption. That means if you redeem the 50,000 miles for Disney tickets, 2,500 miles will be put back into your account. There is an $89 annual fee with this card, but it’s waived the first year.

Being Smart About Multiple Credit Cards

One of the big things to consider before applying for multiple credit cards, is that it’s wise to space out your applications. Too many new credit requests all at once can ding your credit scores, meaning your application for your second, third or even fourth card could be declined. Plus, multiple credit cards aren’t for everyone. They mean you’ll have to keep track of multiple initial-spend requirements, plus multiple due dates for your monthly payments.

Also keep in mind that, while the rewards may be attractive, especially if you’re trying to take a free vacation, you may not want (or be able) to spend the necessary amounts to reap those rewards. It’s important to understand whether or not that kind of spending will fit within your household’s budget. The last thing you want to do is end up coming home from Disney World with debt you’ll struggle to pay off.

Whatever you decide, checking your credit scores before applying is an important step. It can help you understand whether you’ll actually qualify for the particular rewards card you have your eye on (rewards credit cards tend to require higher credit scores). You can get your two credit scores absolutely free and updated every 14 days, right here on Credit.com.

At publishing time, the BarclayCard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is 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).

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The post How to Visit Disney World for Free (or Close To It) appeared first on Credit.com.