20 Credit Cards with No Cash Advance Fees

Credit Cards with No Cash Advance Fees

If you have a credit card, your financial institution has likely mailed you checks for cash advance purposes. Understanding this aspect of your available credit is incredibly important, as it can be much more expensive than simply making a purchase.

Taking a cash advance gives you money now in cases where you can’t use a credit card (perhaps paying rent), or have otherwise maxed out your purchasing power. Many financial institutions will charge you a fee between 1% and 5% just for making this transaction.

But some cards have no fees for cash advances.

The catch is, interest starts accruing immediately on cash advances, meaning that even if you pay your statement balance in full by the due date, you will still incur interest charges in the interim. So if you do a cash advance, try to pay it off as quickly as possible, even before the due date, to minimize the interest you pay.

Best Cards with No Cash Advance Fees

These credit unions offer no cash advance fees on all their credit cards. While you’ll pay interest from the day you take out the cash, as a last resort it’s a better bet than paying an upfront fee. These are all credit unions anyone can join, but many of them require excellent credit to qualify for a card.

PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union CDs Pentagon Federal Credit Union, commonly known as PenFed, offers five different credit cards with no cash advance fees. None of them charge a foreign transaction fee, and all interest rates are the same for purchases and cash advances.

Anyone can join PenFed Credit Union simply by making a one-time donation of $14 to Voices for America’s Troops, or a one-time $15 donation to the National Military Family Association.

  • PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • PenFed Promise Visa Card
  • PenFed Gold Visa Card
  • PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card
  • PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa

American 1 Credit Union

American 1 Credit Union American 1 Credit Union offers four different credit cards with no cash advance fees. Interest rates on purchases and cash advances are the same, though there is a foreign transaction fee of 1%.

Anyone can join American 1 Credit Union by joining Community 1 Cooperative. You pay $3 for membership, which includes a litany of discounts on consumer products and services across an array of industries.

  • American 1 In-House Visa

CapEd Federal Credit Union

 CapEd Federal Credit Union CapEd Federal Credit Union offers one card with no cash advance fees. It also carries the same interest rate for purchases and cash advances, but does have a foreign transaction fee that varies depending on if the transaction is in USD or requires conversion into a foreign currency.

To join CapEd, all you have to do is make a one-time $20 donation to the Idaho CapEd Foundation.

  • Visa Platinum Card by CapEd Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union First Tech Federal Credit Union offers three different cards that come with no cash advance fees. The interest rates on these transactions will be higher than the interest rates on regular purchases, however. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Anyone can join First Tech through membership in the Financial Fitness Association, which costs $8 per year, or a digital membership to the Computer History Museum, which will run you $15 per year.

  • Odyssey Rewards World Elite MasterCard
  • Platinum Rewards MasterCard
  • Choice Rewards World MasterCard
  • Platinum Secured MasterCard

ISU Credit Union

ISU Credit Union ISU Credit Union offers two cards that have zero cash advance fees. Interest rates on cash advances are higher than those on regular purchases for the first year only, and there is a foreign transaction fee of 1%.

To join ISU Credit Union if you don’t live, work or study in Southeastern Idaho, you can qualify through paid membership at a number of Southeastern Idaho organizations including humane societies and educational cause groups.

  • Platinum MasterCard by ISU Credit Union
  • Platinum Plus MasterCard by ISU Credit Union

Mid-Illini Credit Union

Mid-Illini Credit Union Mid Illini Credit Union offers two different cards that come with no cash advance fees. Interest rates for purchases and cash advances are identical, and there is a foreign transaction fee of 1%.

Anyone can join Mid Illini Credit Union by making a one-time $1 donation to Dollars for Scholars, an organization that provides scholarships to students of McLean County, Illinois.

  • Visa Classic Card by Mid Illini Credit Union
  • Visa Platinum Card by Mid Illini Credit Union

Stanford Federal Credit Union

Stanford Federal Credit Union Stanford Federal Credit Union offers a singular card with no cash advance fees for which the general public qualifies. There are no foreign transaction fees, and rates are the same for purchases and cash advances.

To join Stanford Federal Credit Union, you can become a member at the Museum of American Heritage or join Friends of the Palo Alto Library.

  • Visa Platinum Cash Back Rewards Card by Stanford Federal Credit Union

Digital Credit Union

Digital Credit Union Digital Credit Union offers two cards with no cash advance fees. While interest rates are the same for both cash advances and regular purchases, foreign transaction fees will vary based on the need for currency conversion.

You can join Digital Credit Union by donating to any number of organizations that match your interests. The most common organization new members choose is Reach Out for Schools, which only requires a one-year membership at the cost of $10.

  • Visa Platinum Card by Digital Credit Union
  • Visa Platinum Rewards Card by Digital Credit Union

Alternatives to Cash Advances

While cards that offer no fees on cash advances are cheaper, that does not mean these transactions are cheap. You should only take a cash advance as a last resort in a true emergency. In order to avoid becoming one of the American households that can’t cover $400 financial hardships, start building an emergency fund today. When you withdraw money from your own savings account, you have to pay zero interest and zero fees.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, but you do have a credit card, it is wiser to charge emergency expenses as a purchase rather than taking money out as a cash advance if at all possible. Even when interest rates are identical for these two different types of transactions, cash advances will start charging you those rates immediately, while purchases won’t require you to pay interest until after the first statement is issued.

Payday loans are another alternative. However, they’re not necessarily a good one. They often come with numerous fees and aren’t as hassle-free as some lenders make them out to be. If you don’t pay off your loan at the end of the term (often about two weeks), you risk incurring fees that can add up to more than your loan. This can translate into effective interest rates in the triple digits. If they’re your only option, be extremely careful. Above all, make sure you fully understand the terms and costs.

Foreign travelers will also want to charge purchases whenever possible for this same reason. If you must use cash, a cash advance is a safer alternative to withdrawing money from your bank account abroad, but it is also wise to pay it off using your financial institution’s online services as soon as possible to avoid paying more interest than you have to.

Cash advances aren’t ideal, so if you can avoid them you should. However, they are a much better option than turning to the alternative lending industry where you’ll find predators and payday loans.

The post 20 Credit Cards with No Cash Advance Fees appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

7 Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Dining Out in December 2017


If you’re someone who frequently dines out, cashback credit cards that reward you for it are a great way to put money back in your pocket. Cashback cards for dining can earn you rewards for purchases made through restaurants, bars and takeout establishments. This is a great way for foodies to reap extra rewards just by doing what they love — eating!

We picked the following cards because they offer competitive cashback rates above 2% for dining-related purchases, as well as have low or no annual fees. As with most rewards credit cards, you may lose your cashback rewards if your account is not in good standing.

Uber Visa Card – 4% cash back

Uber Visa Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

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




The Uber Visa Card offers unlimited 4% back on dining purchases that will benefit the biggest foodies. Additionally, earn 3% back on hotels and airfare, including vacation home rentals; 2% back on online purchases that include Uber, online shopping and video and music streaming services; and 1% back on all other purchases. Dining purchases include those made at restaurants, fast-food restaurants, bars and UberEATS. Your rewards come in the form of points with a value of $0.01 per point (so 2,500 points can be redeemed for a $25 statement credit, for example). Another cool perk: There is a great sign-up bonus of 10,000 points (worth $100) if you spend $500 within the first 90 days of account opening. You can read our full review here.

AARP® Credit Card from Chase – 3% cash back

AARP® Credit Card from Chase Bank

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

3% cash back at restaurants and gas station purchases, 1% on everything else



Don’t be led astray by the name: This card isn’t limited to people over 50 — anyone can apply. The AARP® Credit Card from Chase offers 3% cash back at restaurants (including fast food) and gas station purchases, and all other purchases will earn 1%. There is a great sign-up bonus of $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

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

Sam’s Club Mastercard® – 3% cash back

Sams Club MasterCard

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

5% cash back on gas (on first $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% on dining and travel, and 1% on other purchases




on Sam's Club’s secure website

The Sam’s Club Mastercard® offers 3% cash back on restaurant purchases (excluding purchases at wholesale clubs other than Sam’s Club). You will also earn 5% cash back on gas (on the first $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 3% on travel and 1% on other purchases. From now until Dec. 31, you can receive a $45 statement credit if you open your card online and make a $45 purchase on Samsclub.com on the same day you open your account. However, you do need a Sam’s Club membership to apply, and current membership fees start at $45 per year.

Take note that you’re limited to earning a maximum of $5,000 in cashback rewards in a calendar year. Checks are issued each February for the cash back earned during the previous calendar year. You will lose any cash back you earned if you end your membership or let it lapse, or if you accumulate less than $5 cash back in a calendar year.

Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi – 3% cash back

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Annual fee


Cashback Rate

4% on eligible gas worldwide, including Costco (for the first $7,000 per year and then 1%), 3% on restaurant and eligible travel worldwide, 2% on all other purchases at Costco and Costco.com and 1% on everything else




on Citibank’s secure website

The Costco Anywhere Visa® by Citi requires a Costco membership (currently, annual memberships start at $60) and offers 3% cash back on restaurant purchases, including at cafes, bars, lounges and fast-food restaurants. Take note that purchases made at bakeries and certain restaurants/cafes in department stores, groceries or warehouse clubs will only earn 1%. In addition, earn 4% on eligible gas worldwide, including Costco (for the first $7,000 per year and then 1%), 3% on eligible travel worldwide, 2% on all other purchases at Costco and Costco.com and 1% on everything else, including the nonqualifying purchases listed above.

Cash back comes as an annual credit card reward certificate in February billing statements, redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco Warehouses. You must maintain your Costco membership to receive rewards, and you will also lose rewards if you accumulate less than $1 in cash back or if you don’t redeem them by the end of the year.

Capital One® SavorSM Cash Rewards Credit Card – 3% cash back

The Savor℠ card From Capital One

Annual fee


Cashback Rate

3% on dining, 2% on groceries, 1% on all other purchases




on Capital One’s secure website

The Capital One® SavorSM Cash Rewards Credit Card enables you to  earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, as well as 2% on groceries and 1% on all other purchases. Also, there is a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. (The card website specifies that the one-time bonus is available by applying through the site, and may not be available if an applicant navigates away from the page. Also, the bonus may not be available for existing or previous accountholders.)

Alternatives: Rotating Cashback Categories

Chase Freedom® – 5% cash back

Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup>

Annual fee


Cashback Rate

5% on certain categories, 1% on everything else





on Chase’s secure website

The Chase Freedom® card offers rotating bonus categories that earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (then 1%). All other purchases will earn 1% cash back. This past July through September, the bonus category was restaurants. Through the rest of this year, October-December, is Walmart. You must activate the bonus category to earn at the higher rate. You can also earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months from account opening.

Discover it® Cashback Match™ – 5% cash back

Discover it® - Cashback Match<sup>TM</sup>

Annual fee


Cashback Rate

5% on certain categories, 1% on everything else





on Discover’s secure website

The Discover it® Cashback Match™ offers 5% cash back in bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% on all other purchases. Restaurants are slated to be a bonus category from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2018. Set a reminder to activate the bonus category. In addition to a cashback program, Discover is offering a first year cashback reward in which it will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Are these deals the best for you?

Cashback rewards should only be pursued by responsible credit users who have no trouble paying off their balance on time and in full every month. If you’re a credit all-star who also has an affinity for dining out, these cards will provide the best perks.

If you’re apt to carry a balance, check out our picks for the best credit cards that can help you pay down debt faster.

As always, check the fine print on each card before signing up, taking special note of any fees. With those things in mind, decide which rewards structure best serves your typical spending activity and enjoy the cashback benefits — and the good eats.


The post 7 Best Cash Back Credit Cards for Dining Out in December 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Best Cash Back Sign-On Bonus Credit Cards of December 2017


Do you normally use your credit card for making every day purchases? Can you manage your money responsibly and pay off your balance in full every month? If so, you should be using a rewards credit card to take advantage of the free cash back and bonuses that are offered.

Many credit card companies are offering cash back rewards and sign-up bonuses these days. You can earn an equivalent of $400 or more just keeping to your regular spending. It’s essentially free money, as long as you use your credit card correctly.

Let’s take a look at how you can be a responsible consumer first, and then we’ll review the credit cards with the best cash back sign-on bonuses.

How to Be Responsible With Your Credit Card

Before we recommend credit cards with the best sign-on bonus, we want to make sure you understand exactly how rewards credit cards should and shouldn’t be used.

You shouldn’t try and take advantage of a rewards credit card by charging anything and everything to it. Yes, you acquire cash back or points based on your purchases, but you’re also acquiring debt if you charge more than you can afford.

You should use a rewards credit card exactly as you would use any other credit card (or your debit card). Only swipe for what you can afford to pay at the end of your billing cycle.

While many of these cards have 0% introductory APRs, after the introductory period is over, you’ll have high APRs (in the 14% – 24% range). If you carry a balance, any cash back you receive will be negated by the interest you’ll have to pay.

Only charge your necessary expenditures and stick to your budget. Don’t look for extra opportunities to pay more just for the sake of getting points.

You want to take advantage of credit card companies – not have it the other way around.

Best Cash Back Sign-On Bonuses

Now that you know how to use rewards cards, let’s review the best options out there.

Uber Visa Card

  • You have to spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days to receive the $100 bonus.
  • There is no annual fee.
  • Earn 4% back on restaurants, takeout and bars, including UberEATS; 3% back on hotel and airfare, including vacation home rentals; 2% back for online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and streaming music services; and 1% back for everything else.
  • Earn up to a $50 credit for online subscription services after you spend $5,000 or more on your card per year.
  • The variable APR is 15.99%, 21.74% or 24.74%.
  • There is no foreign transaction fee.

This card is not only great for its sign-up bonus requiring a low spend, but also for the great 4-3-2-1 rewards program.

Read our full review here >

Uber Visa Card

Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card

  • You have to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to receive the 20,000 bonus points
  • There’s an annual $45 fee, which is waived for the first year
  • You earn 3x the points at U.S. gas stations, 2x the points at U.S. restaurants, and 1x the points on all other net purchases
  • You can redeem points for travel, merchandise, cash back, gift cards, and more
  • Points can be redeemed for cash by applying them to your qualifying Wells Fargo account or requesting a paper check. Cash redemption options are available by phone and online in increments of $25 only.
  • You can get an additional annual bonus of 10%, 25%, or 50% on non-bonus rewards points if you have a qualifying consumer Wells Fargo Checking or Savings Account
  • There’s an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months on balance transfers and purchases, and after that, the variable APR ranges from 14.99% – 22.99%
  • There are no foreign currency conversion fees
  • There’s a late and returned payment fee up to $37
  • Up to $100 off qualifying air + hotel packages at destinations worldwide

This card is a great option if you’re already a customer with Wells Fargo because of the relationship bonus offered.

Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card


on Wells Fargo’s secure website

Visa® Signature Elite Card from NEFCU

  • You have to spend $2,000 in the first 3 months for 20,000 points
  • Those 20,000 points are redeemable for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more. These points are not redeemable for a cash equivalent
  • You earn 1.25 points per $1 spent, which can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards and more
  • The points to cash option allows members to use points to make a NEFCU Visa Signaure Elite Credit Card payment or a cash deposit to their NEFCU accounts. There is a $25 minimum per conversion.
  • Rates range from 11.99% – 17.99% APR on the Visa® Signature Elite Card
  • No annual fee

This card requires a membership to NEFCU, a credit union located on Long Island, NY. If you live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in Nassau or Suffolk County, you’re eligible for membership. If a relative is already a member, he or she can sponsor you.

Visa Signature Elite Card from NEFCU


on NEFCU’s secure website

Wells Fargo Rewards® Card

  • You have to spend $1,000 in the first 3 months to receive 20,000 bonus points (note this is an online only offer)
  • You can earn 5% cash back for every $1 you spend on groceries, gas, and drugstore net purchases for 6 months on up to $12,500 spent, plus 1% for every $1 spend on all other purchases
  • You can redeem points for travel, merchandise, cash back, gift cards, and more
  • Points can be redeemed for cash by applying them to your qualifying Wells Fargo account or requesting a paper check. Cash redemption options are available by phone and online in increments of $25 only.
  • There’s no annual fee
  • There’s a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on balance transfers and purchases. The variable APR then ranges from 18.15% – 26.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • There’s a late fee and returned check fee up to $37
  • The foreign exchange currency conversion fee is 3%

This is a good “every day” rewards card to carry with you. You’re automatically enrolled in the Wells Fargo Rewards Program when you get this card.

You need a Wells Fargo account to apply online, though you can also apply at a branch.

Wells Fargo Rewards Visa® card


on Wells Fargo’s secure website

Use Cash Back Credit Cards With Caution

As you can see, some of these cards come with annual fees and introductory APRs that are great for the first year. However, some of the benefits might not be good enough to warrant keeping the card once that year is over.

Keep in mind that “credit card churning” – canceling your cards after the first year and applying for a new one – will have an effect on your credit score. It might not be huge, but it’s a good idea to avoid this practice if you’ll be making an important purchase in the near future (like buying a home).

Otherwise, take advantage of credit card companies and save money on travel, gift cards, and more. You should absolutely earn points on your regular purchases by spending with a rewards credit card.


The post Best Cash Back Sign-On Bonus Credit Cards of December 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

The Best Options for Rebuilding Your Credit Score – December 2017

The Best Options for Rebuilding Your Credit Score

A strong credit score is a vital part of your overall financial health. But rebuilding a damaged (or non-existent) credit score can feel impossible. Don’t despair. There are plenty of avenues you can take in order to rehabilitate your credit score and it all begins with identifying your starting point. 

How Bad is Your Bad Credit Score? 

Before you start to panic about rehabilitating your bad credit score, let’s determine if it’s even bad. Where do you fall in the range of FICO and VantageScores?

  • Above 750: Excellent Credit
  • 680 – 749: Good Credit
  • 620 – 679: “Near Prime” or Acceptable Credit
  • 550 – 619: Sub-prime
  • Below 550: Bad Credit or No Credit Score/Thin File

Your credit score isn’t the only thing that will keep you from being approved for credit. These factors are common reasons for being declined.

  • Your debt-to-income ratio is above 50%
  • You have no credit score
  • You have been building up a lot of debt recently
  • You are unemployed

In order to focus on rehabilitating your credit score, you’ll need to start with getting a line of credit. This may sound impossible because you’re constantly getting declined. Fortunately, there are options tailored specifically for people looking to re-establish credit.

[Read more about bad credit scores here.]

Rehabilitating a Bad Credit Score (550 and under) 

Get a Secured Card

You’ll use your own money as collateral by putting down a deposit, which is often about $150 – $250. Typically, the amount of your deposit will then be your credit limit. You should make one small purchase each month and then pay it off on time and in full. Once you prove you’re responsible, you can get back your deposit and upgrade to a regular credit card. Read more about secured cards here.

[Check out our secured credit card database here.]

Rebuilding from a 551 – 619 score 

Apply for a Store Credit Card

You might be used to checking out at a store and being asked if you’d like to open a credit card. While these credit cards come with really high interest rates and are great tools to tempt you into buying items you don’t need, there is a big perk to store credit cards: they’re more likely to approve people with low credit scores. Just be sure to only use the card to make one small purchase a month and then pay it off on time and in full. Unsubscribe to emails about deals and don’t even carry it around everyday in your wallet if you can’t resist the desire to spend. Read more here. 

[Find all the details about how to improve your score here.]

If you’re unable to get a store credit card, you should apply for a secured card.

Rebuilding from the 620 to 650 score 

If you’re on the 620 end of the spectrum, you may want to consider applying for a store card or, if you’re rejected, a secured card. Store cards typically approve into the lower 600 range. Just be careful that you aren’t tempted into the spending traps like 30% off sales for card members. Just make one small purchase a month and pay it off on time and in full. 

650 really isn’t a terrible credit score. You’re average and even closing in on good credit, which starts at 680. Lower interest rates and better options will be available to you, which is why it’s important to get there.

If you’re looking to get a credit card with a 650 score, then you should consider checking to see if you’re pre-qualified for any cards. This will help minimize your chance of rejection upon applying.

It will be a harder to be approved with a debt-to-income ratio above 40%.

Otherwise, your goal in this bracket should be to use no more than 20% of your total available credit. Pay your bills on time and in full. And keep pumping that positive information onto your credit report until you reach the 700+ category. 

Who You Need to Avoid 

Access to credit and loans may come easier than you expect, but that should also be a danger sign. There are several lenders who are willing to provide lines of credits or loans to people with poor credit. These options are often very predatory. If you’re simply trying to rebuild your credit history and improve your credit score, then there is no need to take this offers. If you’re in desperate need of a line of credit for an emergency, but have bad credit, please email us at info@magnifymoney.com for a tailored response.

Here are the options you need to avoid when trying to rebuild credit:

1. Payday and Title Loan Lenders – There is never a need to take out a payday or title loan if you’re trying to merely rebuild or establish credit history. Most of these lenders don’t report to the bureaus and you’ll likely end up in a painful vicious cycle of borrowing and being unable to pay it down.

[How to get out of the payday loan trap.]

2. First Premier – The bank claims to want to offer people a second chance when it comes to their finances, but its fee structure and fine print prove the exact opposite. First Premier charges you a $95 processing fee just to apply for a credit card. Then it levies a $75 annual fee on the credit cards and most cards only come with a $300 limit. You’re paying $170 for a $300 credit line! The APR is a painful 36%. In year two the annual fee reduces to $45, but then you’re charged a monthly servicing fee of $6.25. And to top it all off, you’ll be charged a 25% fee if your credit limit is increased. Stay away from this card! Use the $170 it would take to open the card and get a secured card instead.

[Read more about First Premier here.]

3. Credit One – Credit One does an excellent job of confusing consumers into thinking they’re applying for a Capital One card. The logos are eerily similar and easily confused.


Capital one

While Credit One is not as predatory as First Premier or payday loans, there is really no need to be using it to rebuild your credit score. Credit One makes it a bit tricky to get to its terms and conditions without either going through the pre-qualification process or accepting a direct mail offer. You’ll see this when clicking to look at its credit card option.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.34.54 PM

A quick Google search yielded this terms and conditions sheet, which may be slightly different than the one you’d receive if you applied for a card. According to the one we found, Credit One charges an annual membership fee from $0 to $99. Credit line minimums are between $300 and $500. So you could be paying $99 for a $300 credit limit. APR is relatively standard, but on the high side, with 16.99% to 24.99%. Given the high annual fees, we recommend saving your money and using a secured card with no annual fee to begin rebuilding your credit score.

The post The Best Options for Rebuilding Your Credit Score – December 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Best Secured Credit Cards with Low Deposit Requirements – December 2017

secured credit cards

Secured credit cards are used as a tool to build credit history from scratch or put positive information on a credit report after negative incidents such as bankruptcy, missed debt payments or accounts in collections. By feeding positive information into a credit report, you can improve a credit score, which is essential for getting the best financial products on the market.

In order to be eligible for a secured credit card, you must provide a minimum deposit. This deposit typically serves as your line of available credit, but in same cases your line of credit may be higher. Plenty of secured cards require rather hefty minimum deposits of $300 or more, which may be prohibitive for many Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Fortunately, alternatives to the high deposits exist. We’ve pulled together a list of the best secured cards that require a deposit and/or credit union membership fee of $200 or less.

$200 minimum deposit – Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee Discover offers a secured credit card with a minimum deposit of $200. This is our favorite secured credit card for a number of reasons. There is no annual fee. You can earn cash back. And our favorite feature is the automated monthly review that starts at month eight. Discover will start automatic monthly reviews at month 8. If you qualify, you could be transitioned to an account with no security deposit. Even better, you could potentially be eligible for a bigger credit limit. This feature really sets Discover apart from the competition – and your goal should be to get back your deposit as quickly as possible through responsible credit behavior.

No annual fee: There is no annual fee on this card.

Bankruptcy? No problem: If you have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past, you can still qualify for this card. It is a great way for people to rehabilitate their credit.

Earn cash back: Most secured credit cards do not offer any rewards. With the Discover it Secured Card, you have the opportunity to earn cash back while earning rewards. You can earn 2% at restaurants and gas stations (on up to $1,000 of spend each quarter). Plus, get 1% cash back on all your other purchases. Earning cash back is not the primary reason to select a secured credit card, but it is a nice option to have available.

Free FICO Credit Score: Discover will provide you with a copy of your official FICO credit score.


on Discover’s secure website

$49, $99, or $200 – Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® CapitalOne offers a Secured MasterCard with a minimum deposit under $200. Our preferred credit card is from Discover. However, if you don’t have $200, you might want to consider this offer from Capital One.

  • $49 minimum deposit for a $200 line of credit, based on creditworthiness
  • No annual fee
  • 24.99% variable APR

Fine Print of the Capital One Secured MasterCard

The minimum required deposit can be as high as $200 based on your creditworthiness. So while this card could be only $49 for some, others might be asked to fork over $200.

Ensure that you don’t carry a balance as the secured card comes with a 24.99% variable APR, in the event Capital One raises its prime rate.


on Capital One’s secure website

$100 minimum deposit – Visa Classic Secured by Justice FCU

Visa Classic Secured Card from Justice FCU You can join Justice FCU if you are an employee or retiree of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, or of another qualifying group, or an eligible family member. If that doesn’t apply, don’t fret. Anyone can join JFCU by first becoming a member of an eligible JFCU association like the National Sheriff’s Association, charges a $38 membership fee. It only costs $5 for eligible individuals to join JFCU, so that would raise the total cost of membership to $43.

  • Minimum deposit of $100
  • No annual fee
  • Credit limits range from $100 to 110% of pledged shares.
  • 16.90% non-variable APR.


on Justice Federal’s secure website

$200 – Rate Advantage Secured Visa by Coastal FCU

Rate Advantage Secured Visa by Coastal FCU Anyone can join Coastal Federal Credit Union. You can either work for an eligible business partner, have a family connection to a current member or be a member of North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association or The North Carolina Consumers Council. Anyone can join NCSEA or NCCC with an $18 membership fee deducted from your initial deposit to a savings account opened with CFCU.

The minimum deposit required to join is $100 in a primary savings account.

  • $100 minimum deposit
  • No annual fee
  • 16.25% APR variable

Total Cost:

  • Non-member: $200
  • Member: $100


on Coastal Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Best Strategy for Rebuilding Credit

The strategy for building a strong credit score with a secured card is simple. Make one small purchase each month ($10 or less), wait for your statement to come in, pay your bill on time and in full and then repeat the next month. By making just small purchases, you’ll be using a very low amount of your overall credit limit (also called utilization), which helps drive your credit score up faster because it shows you’re responsible.

Keep an Eye on Your Credit Score and Credit Report

Once you’re in the process of building or rebuilding your credit, it helps to have a benchmark. The easiest way will be to establish a profile with one of the free credit score websites: Credit Sesame, Quizzle, Credit Karma. Do a monthly check in with your credit score to see how it’s improving.

In addition, you should also keep tabs on your credit report by downloading the report from each of the three bureaus. By law, you’re entitled to one free report from each bureau per year. You can download them all at once or space them out throughout the year. Go to annualcreditreport.com to download your free reports. Monitoring your reports will ensure all the information there is accurate and alert you about anything that may be damaging to your score, like an item in collections or reported missed payments.

A Word to the Wise

Never carry a balance on your secured card. The point of a secured card is to be building (or rebuilding) your credit history. Make one small purchase a month and pay it off on time and in full. Follow those two steps and you’ll see your credit score start to raise quickly.

Find other secured card options on our secured card comparison table.

The post Best Secured Credit Cards with Low Deposit Requirements – December 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

7 Best 0% Purchase Credit Card Offers From Banks & Credit Unions – December 2017

0% purchase credit card

If you’re about to make a big purchase that you need time to pay off, using a 0% introductory purchase offer on a credit card could be the cheapest way to spread the payment out over time.

  • You can currently find 0% deals for as long as 21 months, with no fees, but since rates after the intro period are high, only use these deals if you’re sure you can handle paying off the debt before the period is up.
  • When searching for 0% purchase cards, make sure you select a card that waives interest. Far too many cards, especially those offered by retailers (like Apple’s offer with Barclaycard) only defer the interest which means you can get get a nasty surprise when the intro period is up.

Below are the 7 longest 0% purchase credit cards from our database of over 3,000 credit card products from banks and credit unions, and all of them have no sneaky deferred interest, so you really are getting a 0% rate for the introductory period.

After the list, we will explain:

1. Citi Simplicity® – 0% Intro Purchase APR for 21 MONTHS

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever


on Citibank’s secure website

The longest 0% intro purchase APR available now is the Citi Simplicity® Card. This credit card is unique because it also offers no late fees ever, and no penalty APR if you make a late payment.

If you already have the Citi Simplicity®, you can apply for the Citi Diamond Preferred Card. The Diamond Preferred card also has no annual fee and a 0% introductory purchase rate for 21 months. Just beware that it’s not as friendly as the Simplicity®, and has late fees typical of regular credit cards (a fee up to $35. Your rate will go up to a 29.99% penalty APR if you miss a payment.

Citi is OK with you holding both cards to get the 0% on purchases twice, though don’t try to apply for them both on the same day. Better to space it out when you have your next big purchase to manage, and by then you’ll have a good payment history with Citi that could qualify you for the credit line you need for your purchase.

 2. TruWest Visa Signature Credit Card – 0% Intro Purchase APR for 18 MONTHS

TruWest Visa® Signature Card


on TruWest Credit Union’s secure website

While this is a good deal, unfortunately TruWest is a credit union with restricted membership. You need to live in certain regions of Texas or Arizona, or work for a few select employers like Motorola in order to join (details here), but if you can join, you will enjoy 0% into APR for 18 months on purchases with no annual fee.

Even better, after the 0% purchase period is over, your regular ongoing APR is just 8.90% – 9.90% making this one of the safest choices for a 0% purchase credit card.

3. Citi® Double Cash Card – 0% Intro Purchase APR for 18 MONTHS

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer


on Citibank’s secure website

The Citi® Double Cash offers a 0% introductory APR on purchase for 18 months with no annual fee.

It also happens to be one of the most rewarding cash back cards available. You get 1% cash back on your purchases, plus you get 1% more back when you pay those purchases off. So if you plan to be able to pay things off in full within 18 months this can be a better deal than cards that have no cash back rewards.

4. Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card – 0% Intro Purchase APR for first 18 MONTHS

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card


on Wells Fargo’s secure website

This card offers an intro 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months. After the intro period your APR will be 16.15% to 25.99% variable, depending on your credit history.

In addition to the 0% intro period, there is no annual fee and unfortunately no rewards. Keep in mind you need excellent credit to qualify, so if you have less than perfect credit check out some of the other offers.

5. [card.bt.381.card_name] – 0% Intro Purchase APR for 15 MONTHS

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express


on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

This card offers an introductory 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and after that your variable rate will be [card.bt.381.card_purchase_apr] depending on your credit history. There’s a $[card.bt.381.card_annual_fee_for_firstyear] annual fee, and it’s also a cash back card.

You can earn 3% at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), and then 1%. You can also earn 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and you’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.

6. Discover It® Cashback MatchTM – 0% Intro Purchase APR for 14 MONTHS

Discover it® - Cashback Match<sup>TM</sup>


on Discover’s secure website

This card does not charge an annual fee and offers a 0% introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 14 months after you open the account. After that your regular variable APR will be between 11.99% – 23.99% variable, depending on your credit history.

It also happens to be a cash back card with rotating purchase categories which change each quarter. You can earn up to 5% cash back.

7. Alliant Visa® Platinum – 0% Intro Purchase APR for 12 MONTHS

Visa® Platinum Card from Alliant CU


on Alliant CU’s secure website

Alliant is a credit union that anyone can join. You can take a simple eligibility test (here). But don’t worry if you answer “no” to most of the questions. You can always join by donating $10 to Foster Care For Success. With that donation, you can join the credit union.

Their Visa® Platinum offers no annual fee and a 0% purchase APR for 12 months.

Deferred versus Waived Interest

Not all 0% offers are created equally. Some credit card companies offer “deferred” interest, whereas others off “waived” interest.

Let’s take a simple example. You spend $1,000 on a credit card with an APR of 18%. You will make payments of $75 every month. There is a special offer that gives you 0% interest for 12 months. On “Credit Card A” interest is deferred. On “Credit Card B” it is waived. After making 12 payments of $75, the remaining balance in month 13 would be $100.

Credit Card A: Deferred Interest

With a “deferred” interest offer, the bank does not forgive the monthly interest accrual. Instead, the bank just keeps track of the interest that would have accrued. If you do not pay the balance in full during the promotional period, you will get retroactively charged the interest at a high interest rate. In the example above, you would be charged approximately $117 in month 13. (I use “approximately” because credit card companies have slightly different ways of calculating and charging interest. But it is safe to assume that you would be charged more than $100 of interest on your remaining $100 balance.)

Credit Card B: Waived Interest

Waived interest is very different. For every month of the promotional period, the credit card company actually forgives the interest. There will never be a retroactive catch up after the promotional period ends. In our example, you would only be charged $3.26 of interest in month 13, compared to more than $100 in the deferred example.

Deferred interest products are surprisingly common. If you are being offered 0% financing by a retailer, you are probably being offered a deferred interest product.

How To Qualify For A 0% Purchase Credit Card

In order to qualify for a 0% intro purchase credit card, you will need to have good credit. If your credit score is above 700, you are highly likely to be approved by one of the issuers. If your score is between 650 and 700, you still have a good chance.

With a credit score below 650, it is highly unlikely that you would be approved, though you may want to check to see if you are pre-qualified for a card before applying. Many of the banks let you check to see what deals they are specifically targeting to you, and you can see a list of them here. Checking what you’re pre-qualified for won’t show up on your credit report or score.

In addition to your credit score, the credit card company will want to ensure that you are employed. And most credit card companies will look at your debt burden.

If your debt burden is more than 50%, it is unlikely that you will be approved.

The lower your debt burden, the better your chances. You calculate your debt burden by dividing the monthly payments on your credit report (which would include your mortgage, auto loans, student loans, personal loans and credit cards) by your monthly paycheck before taxes are taken out.

When Is A Personal Loan Better?

There is no lower interest rate than 0%. So, if you are able to use a 0% credit card to make a purchase, that is your best bet. However, there are a few circumstances where a personal loan might be a better option:

  • Your credit score is too low for a 0% offer. Personal loan companies are offering increasingly competitive interest rates, especially for people with lower credit scores.
  • You need to borrow money for a big cash expense. For example, you might need to pay a contractor who does not accept credit cards. If you need cash, a personal loan is always a better deal than a credit card.
  • You don’t trust yourself with credit cards. Some people feel nervous with credit cards. You might be tempted to spend more than you want. Or, you might be tempted to only pay the minimum due, extending the repayment term. A personal loan can be an easy way to borrow a set amount of money for a set period of time.

If you want to consider a personal loan, you can compare and apply using our personal loan comparison tool. You can check your interest rate and see if you are approved without hurting your credit score at most lenders.

The post 7 Best 0% Purchase Credit Card Offers From Banks & Credit Unions – December 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

7 Low Interest Rate Credit Cards – December 2017

storecard - lg

Credit cards are notoriously known for having extremely high interest rates. In fact, the average interest rate for credit cards is 15% – that’s much higher than the interest rates you can get on a personal loan.

Unfortunately, these high interest rates can pack a big punch when it comes to paying back your consumer debt. If you only pay the minimum amount you owe, you’re paying a lot more toward interest and not making much progress toward your principle balance. Having a lower interest rate can help you pay off your debt quicker, especially if you tend to keep a balance on your card each month.

Luckily, not all credit cards have insane interest rates. There are quite a few out there in the 6% range.

If you’re unable to pay your entire credit card balance off in full each month, these low interest rate credit cards are a good alternative for you. However, many of these cards are offered by credit unions with strict memberships policies, so you may not be eligible.

One thing to note: all of these credit cards offer variable rates, which means your rate is subject to change. Many of these cards have a cap of 18% APR so your rate won’t go higher than that, but it’s something to check. Most cards also offer rates that vary based on the prime rate. The prime rate is the lowest interest rate at which banks are willing to lend money.

Apple Federal Credit Union Educator Credit Card

Educator Visa from Apple FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing




on Apple Federal’s secure website

This credit card has an introductory rate of 3.99% APR for the first 12 months for qualifying members. Be aware this rate increases to between 8.99% – 18.00% APR after the promotional period expires. The rate you receive is determined by your creditworthiness, and the APR varies with the prime rate.

The maximum credit line is $35,000, and you have the option to skip a payment during July, August, and September if you meet the eligibility requirements. If you skip a payment, interest still accrues, so only skip if you can’t come up with your minimum payment.

There are no miscellaneous fees charged for regular use of this card – no annual fee, account set-up fee, cash advance fee, or foreign transaction fee.

You have a grace period of 25 days on purchases made, but if you’re late 15 days late (or more) making a payment, you’ll have to pay $25 or the minimum amount owed, whichever is less. There’s also a returned payment fee of $25 if your payment doesn’t go through.

Other fees to watch out for include a statement copy fee of $5 (you’ll receive e-statements for free), a $5 card replacement fee, and a $20 stop payment fee.

Because this is a credit card from a credit union, you must be eligible to become a member to apply for the card. According to the disclosure agreement, “Applicants must be currently employed by an Apple Federal Credit Union Select Employee Group School System: Clarke County, Fairfax, Falls Church, Frederick County, Loudoun County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Prince William and Stafford AND have a minimum $1,000 Direct Deposit.” Apple Credit Union is based in Virginia.

Kitsap Credit Union Gold Card

Kitsap Credit Union Gold Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing




on Energy Plus’s secure website

This credit card has a 7.15% variable rate APR. The maximum interest rate this card can have is 18%, and there’s no annual fee.

This card comes with a 25 day grace period on purchases, no fees for cash advances, travel accident insurance up to $400,000, and no balance transfer fees.

In order to qualify for the Gold Card (it offers Classic, Standard, and Platinum choices as well), you must have an annual income of $30,000.

To become a member of Kitsap Credit Union, you must live, work, worship, or attend school in Washington State. If someone you’re related to resides there, or has membership, you can also apply.

Abri Credit Union Visa Platinum Credit Card

Visa Platinum Credit Card from Abri CU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing




on Abri Credit Union’s secure website

Abri’s Visa Platinum Credit Card also offers a 8.15% – 17.15% variable rate APR. These rates are subject to change monthly with the prime rate. Your rate is based on your credit score.

Abri also offers a balance transfer promotion: 1.99% APR for 6 months, after which time you’ll receive the normal variable rates.

The credit line ranges from $500 to $25,000, there are no balance transfer fees, there’s a 25 day grace period on purchases made, and there’s no annual fee.

There is a cash advance fee of 1.5% of the amount requested – this fee maxes out at $50. There’s also a foreign transaction fee of 1% of the amount of the transaction in U.S. dollars.

Late fees and returned payment fees are both $25, while a card replacement fee is $5.

To join Abri Credit Union, one of the largest Credit Unions in Illinois, you must live or work in DuPage, Will, Grundy, or Kendall Counties. Parts of Kane and Cook Counties are eligible as well. You can also become a member if a relative has membership.

Visa Gold Card by Educators Credit Union

Visa Gold Card from Educators

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing




on Educators’s secure website

Educators Credit Union offers a Visa Gold Card at a current variable rate of 7.25% APR. It also doesn’t come with an annual fee.

Those with well-established credit can qualify for the Visa Gold Card.

The normal credit limit of this card ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 and over, and there’s a 25 day grace period.

If you’re late on a payment by 10 days or more, you’ll have to pay a fee of $10. If your payment is unsuccessful, you’ll have to pay a fee of $30.

There are no fees on cash advances or balance transfers, and there are no foreign transaction fees. There’s a rewards component to this card, and you earn one point for each $1 purchase.

Additionally, you’re eligible for $500,000 worth of travel accident insurance, rental car collision coverage, and extended warranties.

To become a member of Educators Credit Union, you must live and work in Southeastern Wisconsin. Special preference is given to those in education, healthcare, and government fields.

Visa® Platinum Credit Card by Whitney Bank

VISA Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Whitney Bank

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing



The Visa® Platinum Credit Card from Whitney Bank  has a 13.99% – 17.99% variable APR. There’s an introductory offer of 0% APR for 7 months on purchases.

There’s also an introductory APR of 1.90% for 12 months for balance transfers.

If you’re late on making a payment after 10 days, a late fee of $15 will be incurred. If your payment gets returned, you’ll be subject to a $25 fee. Balance transfer fees are equal to 3% of the amount you’re transferring, up to a maximum of $50 for each transfer. Cash advance fees are equal to 3% of the amount requested.

Benefits of this card include $500,000 travel accident, auto rental, and baggage delay insurance. Additionally, new cardholders are automatically enrolled in the Whitney Points Plus program, so you’re eligible to earn rewards.

You must already have an account with Whitney Bank to apply for this credit card online. Otherwise, you can visit a branch to apply (it serves the Gulf South area). If you do have an account with them, you’ll be able to fill out the online application.

Lake Michigan Credit Union Prime Platinum Card

Platinum Visa Card from Michigan State FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing




on Michigan State Federal’s secure website

Lake Michigan’s Prime Platinum Card has a 8.90% – 16.90% variable APR.

There’s no annual fee with this card, the maximum credit line is $25,000, and you’re eligible for free car rental insurance, 24 hour member service, a 25 day grace period, and emergency card replacement.

There are no balance transfer fees, although there’s a cash advance fee of 3% of the amount requested. There’s also a 1% foreign transaction fee.

If you’re late on a payment, you’ll incur a fee of up to $15 on balances less than $1,000, and up to $25 for balances of $1,000 or more. If your payment is returned, you’ll have to pay a fee of up to $25.

Anyone can become a member of the Lake Michigan Credit Union by donating at least $5 to in the West Michigan Chapter of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. You are also eligible if you work, reside, attend school, or worship within any county in the State of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Finally, you can join if an immediate family member is a member.

VISA Platinum Credit Card by Fort Community

VISA Platinum Credit Card from Fort Community CU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing




on Fort Community’s secure website

This credit card has an interest rate of 8.9% – 13.96% variable (it’s based on the prime rate + 3.99% APR), but it’s still less than half the average interest rate of most credit cards.

There’s no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no transaction fee for purchases.

The late payment fee is up to $10 if you’re late on your payment by 10 days or more, and the returned payment fee is up to $12. There’s also a cash advance fee of 3% of the amount requested, and a 1% foreign transaction fee.

To be eligible for membership to the Fort Community Credit Union, you must live or work in Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Rock, Walworth, or Waukesha County in Wisconsin.

Always Get the Best Rates

Anytime you’re looking to borrow money, you should be making sure you’re getting the best rates possible. Otherwise, borrowing becomes a lot more expensive than it needs to be.

If you’re not eligible to apply for any of these cards, try checking your own local credit union to see what rates they offer. Aim to have an interest rate of less than 7% on your credit cards, but also make it a goal to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid every paying interest.

Find other options on our low interest rate credit cards comparison table here.

The post 7 Low Interest Rate Credit Cards – December 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Top 4 Personal Loans for an Engagement Ring

Engagement ring

Updated November 08, 2017
Getting engaged is an exciting yet nerve-wracking milestone. You’re eager for your partner to say “yes” and hoping she’s impressed by what she sees when you open the box.

The best way to afford the ring of her dreams is planning early and saving up. Financing an engagement ring should be your absolute last resort. After all, there are other larger expenses that come after marriage including moving, buying a home or starting a family that you could spend that money on instead.

Still, if you decide financing is right for you, here are a few personal loans that provide funds for engagement rings:


[EarnestAPR]Rates from 5.25% APR[/EarnestAPR]

Earnest has the lowest interest rate of the loans on our list and no origination fee. [EarnestTerm]Loan terms are 1, 2 and 3 years[/EarnestTerm]. [EarnestLoanAmt]Earnest will lend you $2,000 to $50,000[/EarnestLoanAmt]. Other [EarnestCreditScore]than your credit score[/EarnestCreditScore], Earnest will look at your income, education, earning potential and other factors to decide if you’re eligible for the loan. [EarnestOrgFee]There’s no origination fee[/EarnestOrgFee] and [EarnestPrepayFee]no prepayment penalty[/EarnestPrepayFee]. There is, however, a [EarnestInq]hard pull of your credit report[/EarnestInq].

Earnest could be a good option if you have limited credit history, but an offer letter or current position that pays you more than enough money to cover loan payments. After submitting an application, you’ll get a response within 2 business days.


[LendingClubAPR]Rates from 5.99% APR[/LendingClubAPR]

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer loan marketplace where people who need to borrow money are matched up with investors. [LendingClubTerm]You can get a loan for up to 5 years[/LendingClubTerm]. [LendingClubLoanAmt]You can borrow up to $40,000[/LendingClubLoanAmt]. [LendingClubOrgFee]The origination fee is 1% to 6%[/LendingClubOrgFee]. Your origination fee is assigned based on your credit profile. The higher your credit score the less you’ll pay for origination. You can check to see if you’re approved and your rate without harming your credit score.

After applying for LendingClub, peer investors will see your profile in the marketplace and hopefully fund your loan. Once your loan is funded by investors and your application documents check out, you’ll get the money wired to your account.

To get the very best rates through LendingClub you’ll need an excellent credit history, low debt-to-income ratio and a high credit score among other factors.

LendingClub loans are not available in Iowa or West Virginia.

Lending Club


on Lending Club’s secure website


Karrot is not currently offering new loans. Should you have an outstanding loan, Karrot states they are still servicing those loans.

Karrot gives out [KarrotLoanAmt]personal loans from $5,000 to $35,000[/KarrotLoanAmt]. [KarrotTerm]Loan terms range from 3 to 5 years[/KarrotTerm]. [KarrotOrgFee]The loan has an origination fee of 1.05% to 4.75% that’s non-refundable and deducted from the loan upfront[/KarrotOrgFee]. Karrot doesn’t charge prepayment penalties. Other than origination, fees will only come into play if you skip out on a payment, have a check returned or request copies of your loan documents.

Shopping for loan rates on the site won’t ding your credit score. Karrot doesn’t go into specifics about the credit score you need to qualify, but you do need to at least have a credit history and a bank account to verify your income.


[ProsperAPR]Rates from 5.99% APR[/ProsperAPR]

[ProsperLoanAmt]You can borrow as little as $2,000 and up to $35,000 from[/ProsperLoanAmt] Prosper, another peer-to-peer lending marketplace. [ProsperTerm]Loan terms are 3 and 5 years[/ProsperTerm]. [ProsperOrgFee]Prosper loans have a 1% to 5% origination fee[/ProsperOrgFee], but [ProsperPrepayFee]no prepayment penalties[/ProsperPrepayFee].

At a minimum, [ProsperCreditScore]you must have a 640 FICO score to qualify for Prosper[/ProsperCreditScore]. You also need to have a debt-to-income ratio less than 50%. Shopping for rates with Prosper won’t impact your credit score either.

Honorable Mention – LendingKarma

LendingKarma isn’t a lender. Instead, it’s a site that manages loans between people who know each other. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid borrowing or lending money to friends and family since involving money in relationships tends to cause drama.

But, if someone you know agrees to help out and you’re both on the same page, LendingKarma can make your life easier. LendingKarma takes care of the logistics of borrowing including the contract, payment schedule and friendly reminders. The fee for contract administration is paid one time and $50 to $100 per loan.

Final Thought

Financing an engagement ring is not something we recommend. It’s just not worth going into debt over. Explore all of your options instead. Here are a few:

  • Get what you can afford in cash now and upgrade when you have more money.
  • Try unclaimed diamond and discount jewelry stores to get a deal.
  • Skip the diamond altogether for gems that are a little more affordable like amethyst or sapphire. These gems are popular now anyway.
  • Buy a stone similar to a diamond like moissanite or a replica until you can get a real one. If you choose a “fake” starter ring, make the decision as a couple. You don’t want her to find out from another source that her ring isn’t a true diamond.

At the end of the day, an engagement ring is supposed to symbolize commitment. Sadly in some ways it’s morphed into a symbol of status. That doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to get a ring (or ask for a ring) you can’t afford. Do what’s best for you.

The post Top 4 Personal Loans for an Engagement Ring appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

The Best Business Savings Account Rates in 2017

Are you looking to start or grow a business? Opening a business savings account can offer federal protection for the funds you deposit (up to $250,000) and provide a source of liquidity should inevitable expenses arise. You can earn interest while setting aside money for capital improvement or income taxes. A commercial savings account can add credibility to your business, arm you with a business debit card and help your cash flow.

The best way to choose an account that fits your needs is to start by comparing the annual percentage yield offered by banks and credit unions. Then look for benefits that might make the account attractive based on your needs. Is there a monthly maintenance fee or a minimum deposit to open? Does the bank provide ample access to ATM and online account services?

Deciding which business savings account is best for your needs can be a difficult process, but hopefully this roundup of our picks for best savings accounts will help give you a head-start.

The best business savings account rates — December 2017



Minimum balance amount

Live Oak Bank



BofI Federal Bank



First Internet Bank of Indiana



Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)



Community Bank of Pleasant Hill



Community Bank of Raymore



Presidential Bank (Maryland)






Andrews Federal Credit Union






Source: Deposit Accounts, Dec. 1, 2017

1. Live Oak Bank, 1.05% APY, No minimum balance

Live Oak Bank claims the 1.05% APY rates on its business accounts are eight times the national average. There is no minimum opening balance or deposit required to open a business savings account.

The business savings account is open to deposits of up to $5 million and is free of monthly maintenance fees. You may make up to 6 withdrawals from your Live Oak Bank Savings account per statement cycle, including preauthorized, automatic and telephone transfers. After that there’s a $10 fee per withdrawal. Live Oak Bank, established in 2008, holds assets of $2.12 billion.

The bank is in Wilmington, N.C., and is a member of the FDIC. Learn more about business savings at Live Oak Bank.

Small Print: The bank may verify credit and employment history at its discretion, meaning you may receive a pull against your credit report.

Restrictions on joining: none.


on Live Oak Bank’s secure website

2. BofI Federal Bank: 1.01% APY, $25,000 minimum balance, ATM access

BoFI Federal Bank offers the top APY rate in the DepositAccounts nationwide survey of business savings accounts. The bank’s Business Premium Savings Account with a high-yield 1.01% APY can be opened with a $25,000 minimum deposit.

There is no monthly maintenance fee for the account and no average daily balance requirement.

BoFI also makes it easy to access your funds when you need it. Customers have ATM access to their accounts along with free online banking. However, ATM withdrawal limits are $1,010 per day and there’s a daily purchase limit of $5,000. BofI is an FDIC-insured bank based in San Diego and publicly traded online. Other products include Business Interest Checking and Business Money Market accounts.


on BofI Federal Bank’s secure website

3. First Internet Bank of Indiana, 1.00% APY up to $250,000, ATM services

First Internet Bank offers an FDIC-insured savings option for businesses with a relatively good 1.00% APY. However, if you have more than $250,000 to put in their business savings account, they’ll award you with a 1.26% APY. Unfortunately, the FDIC only insures up to $250,000. So, if you deposit more than $250,000 into the savings account, the excess deposit amount will not be insured by the FDIC.

It costs $100 to open your business account and you must maintain an average daily balance of $1,000 to avoid a $2 monthly maintenance fee.

There is no minimum balance to open or maintain the account. Unlimited deposits can be made each month and six transfers or withdrawals are allowed without charge.

The First IB ATM cards are offered to sole proprietors only. There is no charge for ATM transactions or electronic statements. Founded in 1999 by the First Internet Bancorp, First IB offers remote banking in all 50 states.

Fine print: Only six preauthorized, automatic, PC, or telephonic transfers are allowed each month. This restriction is common among most of these institutions, however, First Internet Bank will charge you $5 per item if you go beyond the allotted six.

Restrictions on joining: none.


on First Internet Bank Of Indiana’s secure website

4. Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), 1.00% APY, $25,000 minimum balance

Digital Federal Credit Union offers a solid 1.00% APY rate through its Business DCU Ltd Savings Account with a minimum $25,000 balance.

Businesses participating in the DCU Ltd Savings Account receive 24/7 online banking, mobile banking through the DCU Mobile Banking App, access to DCU ATMs, deposits, transfers or balance verification. Watch out for their ATM fees, though. They charge $0.75 per withdrawal from a non-DCU ATM, which will surely add up if you make regular withdrawals. Created by the Digital Equipment Corporation in 1979, DCU is the largest credit union in Massachusetts by assets. Federally insured by NCUA, DCU is based in Marlborough, Mass.

Restrictions on joining: To join, you must meet eligibility requirements within the field of membership for employers, organizations, participating communities or condominium associations.


on DCU Banking’s secure website

5. Community Bank of Pleasant Hill, 0.98% APY, No minimum balance

With its 0.98% APY, the Business Premier Money Management Account at Community Bank of Pleasant Hill offers highly competitive rates to explore. You need only put down $25 to open the account and maintain a minimum balance of $10,000 to avoid a $10 monthly service charge and $4 paper statement fee.

ATM access is offered surcharge-free when using ATMs in the MoneyPass® network. Community Bank began operations on Dec. 6, 2006, and is a member of the FDIC. Members can search for partner ATMs online or through mobile access.

Fine print: Just watch out for hefty withdrawal fees. You can make free withdrawals on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month; on other days, there’s a $25 withdrawal fee. If you plan to make regular in-person withdrawals, this probably isn’t the best account for your needs.

Restrictions on joining: none.


on Community Bank Of Pleasant Hill’s secure website

6. Community Bank of Raymore, 0.98% APY, $25 minimum deposit to open

The Community Bank of Raymore created its Premier Money Management Account specifically for business customers who carry high balances and are looking for security. It costs $25 to open your account but you’ll earn a solid 0.98% APY.

You must maintain a balance of at least $10,000 or you’ll be assessed a monthly $10 charge. You may only make free withdrawals on the second and fourth Wednesdays or face a $25 fee.
Electronic statements are free of charge. Nationwide ATM service without charge is available through the MoneyPass® network.

The Community Bank of Raymore was chartered in Missouri in May 15, 1979. According to the bank website, the idea of the bank originated at a community meeting at Raymore Elementary School in 1976.

Fine print: You’ll be restricted to two days a week for making free withdrawals in Raymar, too, on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Other days, you’ll have to cough up $25.

Restrictions on joining: none.


on Community Bank Of Raymore’s secure website

7. Presidential Bank (Maryland), 0.50% APY, $5,000 to open, ATM services

Presidential Bank’s Commercial Premier Savings account offers a 0.50% APY, making it a decent — if not extraordinary — bet for business owners.

Business customers are not required to maintain a minimum balance on the account in order to receive all ATM privileges. So long as you use one of their ATMs you won’t incur fees, but there is a $0.75 ATM fee for non-network ATMs. Free online banking, mobile banking and ATM card come with the account.

Established in 1985, Presidential Online Bank was one of the first lenders to offer online banking. Located in Bethesda, Md., it currently lists assets in excess of $550 million.

Restrictions on joining: none.


on Presidential Bank’s secure website

8. UniBank, 0.35% AYP, $25,000 minimum balance, $500 to open, ATM services

The Business Regular Savings account at UniBank currently pays out 0.35% AYP for all accounts starting at $2,500. It costs $500 to open your business account and the monthly service fee is $12.

You can have that service fee waived by maintaining a $2,500 minimum daily balance. Customers have online, telephone and ATM access to their business accounts. There are more than 25,000 surcharge-free UniBank ATMs available through the MoneyPass® network.

Established in 2006, the bank is located in Lynnwood, Wash. While its business savings account rates leave much to be desired, the bank’s strength may lie in its current money market rates, which Deposit Accounts says are 70 percent higher than the national average.

Restrictions on joining: none.


on UniBank’s secure website

9. Andrews Federal Credit Union, 0.31% APY, ATM banking

The Business Base Share Savings account at Andrews Federal Credit Union offers a 0.31% APY. You can open the account with as little as $5 and there is a $100 minimum balance requirement to earn the APY.

The account comes with free online banking, free eStatements and a debit card. Transactions are free at Andrews Federal & CO-OP ATMs. However, there is a $25 charge for withdrawals that result in overdrafts.

Founded in 1948 in Suitland, Md., Andrews Federal Credit Union has assets over $1.5 billion and offers a range of banking services to 120,000 members worldwide.

Restrictions on joining: $5 fee to join the credit union. Open to field of membership including nationwide membership eligibility through the American Consumer Council.


on Andrews Federal Credit Union’s secure website

10. SaviBank, 0.30% APY, $250 minimum daily balance, $100 to open, ATM services

Rounding out the top 10, the business savings accounts at SaviBank offer a decent 0.30% APY. It costs $100 to open the account. If you keep a minimum daily balance of $250, the bank dismisses a $5 monthly service charge.

Checks and third-party withdrawals are limited to six for each calendar month.

Established in Burlington, Wash., in 2005 as Business Bank, SaviBank offers 24-hour access to accounts through online banking and surcharge-free ATM locations nationwide over the MoneyPass® network.

Restrictions on joining: none


on SaviBank’s secure website

Learn more about business savings accounts

How we ranked the best business savings accounts

To come up with this list, we first used data from DepositAccounts.com, which tracks rates on a range of deposit accounts across thousands of banks in the U.S. Note: DepositAccounts is also owned by MagnifyMoney’s parent company LendingTree.com.

We eliminated any institutions that were given a health rating below a B by DepositAccounts. We also weeded out any credit unions that have very restrictive membership requirements. From there, we chose the top 10 business savings accounts with the highest APY. And lastly, all the banks on our list offer FDIC or NCUA insurance.

Business savings accounts vs personal savings accounts

Business and regular savings accounts may offer many of the same features ,such as 24/7 online banking, free electronic reporting, debit cards, fund transfers and ATM machines.

The trade-off in choosing a business account is that you’ll get services focused on business planning and spending in exchange for a less-desirable APY.

When you compare the interest earned on a business savings account with the best APY rates offered on savings accounts, it may not look like opening a business account is a wise strategy. The top business savings account APY right now is 1.05%. The top APY among personal savings accounts is 1.50% with no minimum deposit and ATM access. You can weigh the services, charges and minimum account fees between the top business and top personal savings accounts to decide which is best for you.

There are other benefits to offset any differences in earnings, particularly if your business is incorporated. It’s considered sound business practice to separate your personal saving and checking accounts from your business saving and checking accounts. A business account can help you manage cash flow, accounting, recordkeeping and working capital. At income tax time, separate accounts can help you differentiate business from personal expenses.

Paired with a business checking account, your business savings account can add professional branding, since all payments and correspondence with clients will bear your business name.

Or you can create savings in your business account to pay quarterly income taxes or purchase equipment.

Finally, business savings accounts are secure when you open accounts with banks and credit unions that are insured up to $250,000 per account by the FDIC or the NCUA.

North Shore Bank of Brookfield, Wis., says that a business savings account can boost your credit ratings and make it easier to obtain a business loan, since the lender can see you have an account dedicated to your company.

Choosing the right business savings account

When evaluating a financial institution for your business, there’s more than just finding a good APY.

Many of the banks on our Top 10 list look great on the APY front but carry fees that can eat into any of the returns you might make. Particularly, watch out for fees for ATM or bank withdrawals, monthly service fees and ATM fees.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has identified the key factors to consider when searching for the right bank or credit union. These include:

  • Customer service reputation
  • Access to branches or no-surcharge ATMs
  • Benchmarks to have fees waived
  • Automatic FDIC insurance

The post The Best Business Savings Account Rates in 2017 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Best Options for a No Fee Personal Loan

Best Options for a No Fee Personal Loan

Updated November 06, 2017

Interest isn’t the only cost to consider when shopping for loans. Fees can also eat away at your money. Many lenders increase profits by charging all sorts of fees – application fees, origination fees and even prepayment fees! So it’s important you do your homework and find a no fee personal loan.

Below, we help get your research started by rounding up personal loan providers that respect their customers enough not to charge insane fees. This post also lists other lending companies you may already be familiar with, which offer no origination fees and no prepayment fees but do include steeper late fees.


[LightStreamPL]LightStream[/LightStreamPL] may be an unfamiliar name, however it’s operated by one of the largest banks in America. [LightStreamPL]LightStream[/LightStreamPL] is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank, the 12th largest bank (in terms of total assets) in the United States. [LightStreamPL]LightStream[/LightStreamPL] offers [LightStreamLoanAmt]up to $100,000[/LightStreamLoanAmt] in personal loans for a [LightStreamTerm]maximum term of 84 months[/LightStreamTerm] with [LightStreamAPR]2.49% to 17.49%[/LightStreamAPR]. It is so confident in its application experience, that any dissatisfied customer will receive a $100 credit towards their personal loan. [LightStreamPL]LightStream[/LightStreamPL] also offers a very competitive home improvement loan.

[LightStreamPL]LightStream[/LightStreamPL] Personal Loan Fees

  • [LightStreamOrgFee]No origination fee[/LightStreamOrgFee]
  • [LightStreamPrepayFee]No prepayment fee[/LightStreamPrepayFee]
  • [LightStreamLateFee]No late fee[/LightStreamLateFee]

What [LightStreamPL]LightStream[/LightStreamPL] Wants to See in Its Personal Loan Applicants

  • A [LightStreamCreditScore]720+ credit score[/LightStreamCreditScore]
  • 5 years or more of significant credit history is preferred
  • No delinquencies
  • Money saved in a bank
  • Some variation of credit lines
  • Proof of stable and sufficient income

*referral link


[SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] offers [SoFiLoanAmt]personal loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000[/SoFiLoanAmt]. [SoFiTerm]Terms are 3, 5, or 7 years[/SoFiTerm] with [SoFiAPR]fixed APR ranges of 5.49% – 14.24%[/SoFiAPR] if enrolled in autopay. Borrowers can use [SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] personal loans for reaching nearly any goal: home renovation, credit card payoff, and more.

Something that makes [SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] stand apart from other lenders is that the company offers unemployment insurance. That means an eligible borrowers who have lost their jobs person can go 3 months in a row (12 months total) without making a loan payment. [SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] also offers job placement services.

[SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] Personal Loan Fees

  • [SoFiOrgFee]No origination fee[/SoFiOrgFee]
  • [SoFiPrepayFee]No prepayment fee[/SoFiPrepayFee]
  • A [SoFiLateFee]late fee applies if a payment is more than 15 days late. The late fee is the lesser of 4% of the payment due or $5[/SoFiLateFee].

Getting Approved for a Personal Loan by [SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL]

  • You must be age of majority in your state (18, 19, or 21 – depending on your state)
  • You must be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • You must have graduated from a [SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] approved school
  • [SoFiPL]SoFi[/SoFiPL] does not use FICO, but the product is for prime and super-prime consumers. You must be current on all of your accounts and have no previous bankruptcies.


on SoFi’s secure website

*referral link


Besides being a no-fee lender, [EarnestPL]Earnest[/EarnestPL] is appealing because the company is far from a traditional lender. Instead of focusing on credit scores, [EarnestPL]Earnest[/EarnestPL] uses a merit-based lending system. [EarnestPL]Earnest[/EarnestPL] aims to analyze a person’s trustworthiness instead of relying on a [EarnestCreditScore]credit score[/EarnestCreditScore]. This is good for people with a ‘thin’ credit file – young college students, for instance. However, the application process isn’t nearly as brief as with other lenders.

[EarnestPL]Earnest[/EarnestPL] Personal Loan Fees

  • [EarnestOrgFee]No origination fee[/EarnestOrgFee]
  • [EarnestCreditScore]No prepayment fee[/EarnestCreditScore]
  • [EarnestLoanAmt]No late fee[/EarnestLoanAmt] – customers are directed to call into support if they are having trouble paying. They can get their payment amounts readjusted.

Getting Approved for a Personal Loan by [EarnestPL]Earnest[/EarnestPL]

Firstly, it’s only available in 36 states: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

As mentioned earlier, it’s not a quick process. Potential borrowers must be at least 18 years of age and have a good education. Ideally, applicants will have a college degree and a steady job. An applicant’s debt to income ratio will also be analyzed. With this lender, it’s not just a matter of checking off boxes as one goes through the application process. [EarnestPL]Earnest[/EarnestPL] really likes to get to know its potential borrowers.

*referral link

Other No Origination Fee/No Prepayment Penalty Loans

The following are also lenders that don’t have origination fees or a prepayment fee. However, it’s important to be aware of the high late fees associated with these lenders. If paying the loan is already hard, late fees with just add to the pain. But still keep these other lenders in mind when shopping for a loan.


The most unique aspect of the Discover (yes, like the credit card) is that the loan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If a borrower discovers a better loan within 30 days, they can just send Discover back the money with no interest charged.

Discover offers [DiscoverLoanAmt]loans up to $35,000[/DiscoverLoanAmt] with [DiscoverAPR]APR ranging from 6.99% to 24.99%[/DiscoverAPR]. Loan duration is anywhere [DiscoverTerm]from 36 to 84 months[/DiscoverTerm]. That’s much longer than most lenders offer.

For a Discover personal loan, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and a [DiscoverCreditScore]credit score of at least 660[/DiscoverCreditScore].


Santander is only available in certain states: NH, CT, DE, DC, RI, MA, ME, NY, NJ, PA, MD, or VT. The Santander personal loan boasts [SantanderOrgFee]no origination fee[/SantanderOrgFee] and [SantanderPrepayFee]no prepayment penalty[/SantanderPrepayFee]. The late payment fee is an even $20. A personal loan can range anywhere [SantanderLoanAmt]from $5,000 to $25,000[/SantanderLoanAmt]. A successful applicant will have [SantanderCreditScore]at least a 680 credit score.[/SantanderCreditScore]


PenFed is another possibility if late fees aren’t a concern. PenFed is short for Pentagon Federal Credit Union. As intimidating as that may seem, military service is not required. In fact, anyone can join PenFed by making a one-time charitable contribution to one of its military-based charities. Tax-deductible donations can be as low as $14. That would more than pay for itself if a great personal loan is secured. A [PenfedOrgFee]PenFed personal loan has no origination fee[/PenfedOrgFee], [PenfedPrepayFee]no prepayment penalty[/PenfedPrepayFee] but it does have a late fee of up to $25. You need a [PenfedCreditScore]minimum 700 credit scores[/PenfedCreditScore].The APR is as low as [PenfedAPR]9.99%[/PenfedAPR] on a [PenfedLoanAmt]maximum loan of $25,000.[/PenfedLoanAmt]


USAA boasts [USAAOrgFee]no origination fee[/USAAOrgFee] and [USAAPrepayFee]no prepayment fee[/USAAPrepayFee]. But USAA personal loans come with a late fee of 5% of the remaining balance of the loan. No wonder that fee isn’t advertised anywhere online. That’s the highest late fee (by far!) of any of the loans on this page.

The application process is very similar to that of PenFed. Successful applicants will have a [USAACreditScore]credit score of at least 700[/USAACreditScore]. The [USAALoanAmt]maximum $20,000 loan[/USAALoanAmt] can be set for a term [USAATerm]as high as 72-months[/USAATerm] at [USAAAPR]8.99% to 10.99%[/USAAAPR]. One neat aspect of applying with USAA is most applications result in instant approval.

Next Steps Towards a No Fee or Low Fee Loan

It’s important to assess all aspects of a loan before signing and avoiding fees is an excellent start. You also need to shop around for the best option. If you do all your shopping within a 30-day window it will minimize the impact on your credit score. There are many personal loans available; it’s just a matter of finding one to fit your wants and needs.

* We’ll receive a referral fee if you click on the “Apply Now” buttons in this post. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations You can learn more about how our site is financed here.

The post Best Options for a No Fee Personal Loan appeared first on MagnifyMoney.