6 Credit Cards for College Commuters

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

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

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

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

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 on your new card within the first 3 months.
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then a $95 annual fee.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 13.99% to 24.99%.
Why We Picked It: The rewards are focused on gas and groceries, plus the APR can be low depending on your credit.
For College Commuters: You’ll save on gas in the long run, and buying snacks for your afternoon commute is more appetizing when you realize how much cash back you earn.
Drawbacks: If you constantly frequent gas stations, you may prefer a card with slightly better rewards on gas.

2. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

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

3. BankAmericard Cash Rewards

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

4. Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

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

5. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

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

6. Marathon Credit Card by Visa

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

Image: Georgijevic

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Costco Anywhere Visa® Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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

The post 6 Credit Cards for College Commuters appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards to Help You Throw Parties

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

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

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

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

1. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year, 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (you will need a paid Costco membership)
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24%; variable 16.24% on balance transfers
Why We Picked It: Costco members earn double cash back as they stock up on party supplies. For Your Party: For Costco members, this card earns 2% cash back on all Costco purchases, which can help you feed a small army. Some Costco locations even sell their own generic brands of beer, wine and liquor. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Drawbacks: You’ll have to be a Costco member to access this card.

2. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

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

3. Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One

Rewards: 3% cash back on dining purchases, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 15.49% – 24.49%
Why We Picked It: The card offers solid cash back rates on dining and groceries.
For Your Party: With 3% cash back on dining and 2% cash back on groceries, you’re covered whether you’re meeting a big group for dinner or hosting friends at home.
Drawbacks: If you don’t dine out a lot, you should keep looking.

4. BankAmericard Cash Rewards 

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

5. Citi Double Cash 

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% upon payment
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: All purchases earn double cash back once you’ve paid them off.
For Your Party: There are no special incentives for groceries, but all purchases will earn 2% cash back by the time they’re paid off. That means you can earn double cash back on decorations, booze, groceries and everything else.
Drawbacks: There are no special cash back rates for groceries.

How to Choose a Credit Card for Party Expenses

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

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

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

What Credit Is Required for a Card That Funds Parties?

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

Image: svetikd

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

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

The post 5 Credit Cards to Help You Throw Parties appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards for At-Home Gourmet Chefs

Gourmet chefs who love cooking elevated cuisine at home should consider these money-saving credit cards that offer great food-related rewards.

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

Cooking at home is a way to hone your skills and try new dishes without having to shell out big bucks at a fancy restaurant. When making gourmet cuisine from the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of ways to save money on quality ingredients. Cooking every day can end up being expensive, especially if you’re making food that’s organic or exotic.

All of your grocery shopping and driving expenses can add up, so if you’re someone who loves to cook elevated food at home, you’ll want a credit card that rewards you for your spending. Read on for our picks for the best credit cards for at-home gourmet chefs. (If you plan to apply, be sure your credit score is high enough to qualify. You can check two of your scores for free on Credit.com.)

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back at the supermarket on up to $6,000 of purchases per year. Any purchases over your $6,000 limit will still earn you 1% cash back. Additionally, there are 3% cash back rewards on gas.
Signup Bonus: $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 on your new card within the first three months.
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for a year, and then variable 13.99% to 24.99%.
Why We Picked It: The rewards are excellent and the APR can be relatively low, depending on your creditworthiness.
For Gourmet Chefs: This card is perfect for someone who spends ample time grocery shopping and cooking to their heart’s desire. The gas rewards are great if you’re someone who loves to scour faraway, specialty markets for the most authentic tahini paste.
Drawbacks: If you prefer to shop for ingredients online instead of spending at supermarkets and gas stations, this card won’t hold as much value for you.

2. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: You’ll get 3% back on all supermarket purchases, 5% back on gas purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.
Signup Bonus: $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% intro APR on balance transfers for a year, and then variable 9.74% to 17.99%. 9.74% to 19.99% on purchases.
Why We Picked It: The intro APR (for balance transfers) period is long and the rewards are extremely good, plus there’s no annual fee.
For Gourmet Chefs: With all the points you earn, you can redeem rewards like dining gift cards and trips to food destinations, so this card is perfect for any foodie looking to spend on food in order to receive amazing food-related rewards.
Drawbacks: You have to become a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

3. Chase Freedom

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of purchases per quarter for rotating spending categories, unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in your first three months from account opening. Also earn a $25 bonus after adding an authorized user and making your first purchase within the same three month period.
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months. Then, variable 15.99% to 24.74%.
Why We Picked It: There’s no annual fee and the rotating reward categories are beneficial for those who like to spread out their rewards.
For Gourmet Chefs: The rewards categories vary from gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants so this card is perfect for a chef who likes to explore and try new foods. You’ll get 1% back on cookware and cookbooks, too.
Drawbacks: The APR is relatively high, and you don’t get to pick your own rewards categories. They’re selected each quarter by Chase.

4. Golden 1 Platinum Rewards

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas, grocery and restaurant spending, plus 1% cash back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 7.79% to 13.79%.
Why We Picked It: There are solid rewards and low rates, and no annual fee.
For Gourmet Chefs: Considering all the groceries you’ll be buying, you might as well save money while you expand your culinary repertoire at home. Plus, California is a large state — if you find yourself driving great lengths for food then this card is for you.
Drawbacks: You have to live in California to apply for this credit card, and there’s also no introductory APR period.

Image: Peopleimages

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

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

The post 4 Credit Cards for At-Home Gourmet Chefs appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards to Help Prepare for Your New Baby

There are several cards that can help you afford the various expenses that go along with parenthood.

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

Expecting parents have a lot to do in a short time frame. They’ve got to prepare their home for a new arrival, coordinate doctor’s visits, put together a birth plan and more.

If you’re expecting a child, you may want to add choosing a new credit card to your to-do list. Your current credit card may be not be enough to reward the types of purchases you’ll be making for the foreseeable future. There are several cards that can help you afford the various expenses that go along with parenthood.

Here are four cards for expecting parents.

1. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back on purchases and an additional 1% back upon payment
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 14.24% to 24.24% for purchases, 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.24% to 24.24%
Why We Picked It: Parents get extra motivation to pay off their baby-related purchases. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Benefits: All purchases earn 1% cash back and another 1% upon payment, for a total of 2% cash back on everything.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait until you pay to earn your full cash back.

2. Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back at on up to $6,000 in yearly spending supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: New parents may be spending a lot at supermarkets, department stores and gas stations. This card provides cash-back incentives for all three.
Benefits: You’ll earn 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and certain department stores and 1% cash back everywhere else. Plus, there’s a nice $150 signup bonus and a 12-month 0% intro APR period.
Drawbacks: The card has a $95 annual fee.

3. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 13.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: If you plan to chauffeur your kid to and from daycare, and in a few years, team practices and sleepovers, this card can save on gas.
Benefits: With 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, you’ll get plenty of ways to put some money back in your wallet. Bank of America customers get an additional 10% redemption value when they deposit their cash back into a Bank of America account.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to be a Bank of America account holder to unlock this card’s full value.

4. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 21 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: If your current card’s interest is too high, you can use this card for 21 months of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Benefits: The 21-month intro 0% APR offer gives you a chance to pay down purchases and balance transfers. Whether you’re buying diapers or setting up your nursery, this card can help you avoid interest.
Drawbacks: Once the 21-month intro period expires, the card’s value tanks.

Choosing a Credit Card for Your Growing Family

Choosing a card for family expenses is a personal decision, and depends on your parental spending habits.

Cash-back card rates vary, so you’ll want to look at the cards that best reward the way you spend. If you’ll be spending at many different types of stores, a card with a flat cash-back rate on all purchases might be the best move. If your purchases will be concentrated at a few merchant types, you may want to find a card that best rewards those purchases.

However, a card with a strong balance transfer offer might be the best option if you’ve put a lot of upfront expenses on a high-interest card.

In short, the best credit card for your family will depend on your specific needs and goals.

What Is Required to Get a Credit Card for Family Expenses?

Cards with cash back rewards or strong 0% APR offers often require good to excellent credit. You should know your credit score before you apply, because a hard credit inquiry can lower your credit score a few points. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: monkeybusinessimages

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

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

The post 4 Credit Cards to Help Prepare for Your New Baby appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards That Reward You for Putting Dinner on the Table

Cash-back credit cards can help earn money back when you spend at the grocery store.

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

Whether you’re feeding a family of five or trying to craft the perfect Bolognese sauce, it can be easy to drop serious cash at the grocery store. (Although every meal doesn’t have to be pricey. Just take a look at this satisfying 16-cent breakfast.) But putting that expense on your credit card may actually help you save on this necessary expense.

Cash back credit cards can help by earning back money as you spend at the grocery store and put meals on the table. If this is something you’re interested in, you’ll want to consider your options before signing up for a new card so you can find the one that’s right for you. To help you get started, here are four options worth considering.

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express

Cash Back Rewards: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then it drops to 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and certain department stores, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: The 6% cash back on groceries is the highest cash back rate we’ve seen, and 3% cash back on gas makes trips to and from the grocery store more rewarding.
Benefits: Grocery purchases earn 6% cash back, gas stations and select department stores earn 3% cash back and everything else earns 1% cash back. Considering the dent gas, groceries and clothing can put in a family’s budget, this is a fantastic way to supercharge your cash rewards. Plus, you get a $150 cash bonus for spending $1,000 in three months and a year of interest-free purchases and balance transfers.
Drawbacks: There’s an annual fee of $95, which can eat into your cash back earnings a little bit.

2. Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One

Cash Back Rewards: 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 15.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%
Why We Picked It: The card earns 2% cash back on groceries and 3% cash back on dining for those nights you want to order a pizza.
Benefits: There’s 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on all purchases, which is a healthy mix of ways to earn cash if you tend to cook and dine or order out a lot. Cardholders get a $100 bonus when they spend $500 in the first three months. Plus, you’ll get a range of other benefits, including concierge services, price protection, travel protection and travel upgrades and savings.
Drawbacks: If you don’t dine out a lot, you’ll be better off with a card that offers a better grocery rate.

3. Citi Double Cash

Cash Back Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and 1% cash once you pay, for a total of 2% cash back on everything
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 14.49% to 24.49% on purchases, 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: This card provides simple cash back earnings with no purchase types to track. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Benefits: All purchases can earn 2% cash back by the time they’re paid off. You get 18 months of no interest on balance transfers. Plus, Citi has several travel and purchase protection policies that come standard with the card.
Drawbacks: If you want supercharged cash back categories, this probably isn’t the card for you. It’s a simple card that earns the same percentage of cash back on everything.

4. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Cash Back Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases (then 1%), 3% cash back on dining and travel, 2% cash on Costco purchases, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None (Note: This card does require a paid Costco membership)
APR: 0% intro APR for purchases for seven months, then 16.24%
Why We Picked It: For people who spread their credit card purchases around, this card offers a range of ways to earn cash back, with 2% cash back on all Costco purchases.
Benefits: The card earns cash back on all purchases, with special cash back rates on gas, dining, travel and Costco purchases. Purchases are interest-free for the first seven months. Plus, travel and purchase protections come standard with Citi cards.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to be a Costco member to get this card. Cash back is awarded on an annual basis, so you must wait a year for rewards.

How to Choose a Card That Rewards Your Grocery Purchases

If you only use your credit card to buy groceries, picking a card to put dinner on your table is simple: Choose the card with the best cash back rate on groceries.

If you put other purchases on your card, such as dining, travel, gas and more, you’ll want to closely examine the other cash back rates to pick the right card. Look at your current purchasing behavior to see what you tend to spend the most on, and pick a cash back card that provides the best return.

Of course, if you crave simplicity and don’t want to track purchase types, you may want to find the card with the best flat cash back rate on all purchases.

What Is Required to Get a Card That Rewards Grocery Purchases?

More often than not, the cash back rewards cards with the highest rewards require good or excellent credit. Make sure to check your credit score before you apply for a rewards card. You can check two of your scores on Credit.com. A hard inquiry into your credit will lower your score a few points, so you’ll want to be reasonably sure you can qualify for the card before you apply.

Image: franckreporter 

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

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

The post 4 Credit Cards That Reward You for Putting Dinner on the Table appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards That Take the Bite out of Pricey Pet Bills

The cost of pet supplies can add up, but these cards can help you save.

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

Your pets are more than just cute — they’re members of the family. Like any family member, you want to keep them happy and healthy. But the cost of pet food, veterinarian visits, medication and other supplies can add up.

Some credit cards make spending on your pet a walk in the park using cash back, rewards points or 0% interest offers.

The best cards for pet lovers make it easier to afford your animal friends. These credit cards do the trick.

1. American Kennel Club Visa

The Draw: Three points per dollar spent at pet stores, vets and the AKC, two points per dollar spent on gas and groceries and one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 12.98%, 18.99% or 22.99%
Why We Picked It: This card rewards pet purchases, helps with gas and groceries and supports the AKC.
Benefits: All purchases made on this card earn rewards points, with special value put on pet, fuel and grocery expenses. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards and more. Plus, a percentage of sales made on the card goes to benefit the AKC, an organization that supports dog breeders and canine health. You can get your card customized to include your pet’s photo.
Drawbacks: If you’re not a fan of dog breeding, keep looking.

2. Chase Freedom

The Draw: 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% unlimited cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 15.74% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: The card earns 5% cash back on rotating categories, but Shop through Chase can help you save on pet purchases.
Benefits: Cardholders earn 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories such as grocery stores and gas. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. You’ll also get access to Shop through Chase, which offers 1% to 15% extra cash back rewards at select online retailers, including PetSmart. Plus, there’s a $150 signup bonus.
Drawbacks: If you don’t want to track and activate cash-back categories on a quarterly basis, this card will be a headache.

3. Amazon Rewards Visa Card

The Draw: 3% cash back at Amazon.com (5% if you have Amazon Prime), 2% cash back at restaurants and drugstores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 14.99% to 22.99%
Why We Picked It: If you prefer to shop for your furry friends online, the Amazon card can help you earn back some money.
Benefits: Your earnings can be redeemed for cash back, Amazon purchases and more. With cash back ranging from 3% to 5% on Amazon.com purchases, you can save on those bulk bags of dog food.
Drawbacks: This card won’t deliver as much value if you prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar locations.

4. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

The Draw: 6% cash back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.74% to 24.74%
Why We Picked It: This card is a no-brainer if you make pet purchases at the grocery store.
Benefits: With 6% cash back at supermarkets, this card can earn cash quick if you make pet purchases at the grocery store. Plus, that $150 bonus boosts the first-year value of the card.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to pay an annual fee of $95.

5. Citi Simplicity

The Draw: A 0% intro APR period that’s perfect for big balances
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% for 21 months, then variable 14.24% to 24.24%
Why We Picked It: For large vet bills, this card offers plenty of time to pay down your balance interest-free. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Benefits: The card’s greatest asset is the 21-month intro 0% APR offer. If you have a large vet bill coming due, charging it to this card (or initiating a balance transfer) would give you nearly two years to pay it off with no interest.
Drawbacks: There are no rewards points or cash-back offers, so the card isn’t as valuable for everyday spending.

How to Choose a Card for Pet Expenses

If you’re looking for a card solely for pet expenses, choose a card that most rewards your supplier of choice. For instance, if you buy all your pet supplies online, the Amazon.com credit card might be best. If you buy all your supplies at grocery stores, a card with a high grocery store cash-back rate would be appropriate. If you need to transfer a hefty vet bill from an existing card to a new one, a card with a long intro 0% APR period would be suitable.

However, if you also plan to use your card for everyday spending, you’ll probably want to look at your spending activity and choose a card that will reward your overall behavior. This way, you’ll get rewarded on everything you buy.

Consider your goals, spending habits and the needs of your animal companions before you choose a card.

What Is Required to Get a Credit Card for My Pet Spending?

Cards with cash back, spending rewards and other enticing offers usually require good to excellent credit. You should know where your credit stands before you apply for a credit card, as a hard inquiry into your credit can lower your score a few points. You can check your score for free on Credit.com before you apply to reduce the risk of a rejected application.

Image: bluecinema 

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

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

The post 5 Credit Cards That Take the Bite out of Pricey Pet Bills appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards to Help Fund Your Wedding

With benefits like cash back rewards and 0% interest periods, these cards can help you make getting hitched a little easier on your wallet.

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

Your wedding is the event that launches you and your partner into your future as a married couple. It’s also an excuse to throw a great party and bring together friends and loved ones to celebrate your relationship.
Of course, paying for a wedding is not an easy thing. Whether you’re throwing a backyard barbecue or an elegant affair, expenses can pile up fast, and racking up debt isn’t the greatest beginning for a long-term commitment.

Fortunately, there are some credit cards that can help you curb costs as you plan your wedding. Here are four of our favorites.

1. Citi Double Cash

The Draw: Unlimited 1% cash back on purchases and an additional 1% back upon payments (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

Signup Bonus: None

Annual Fee: None

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% introductory APR for 18 months, then variable 14.24% to 24.24%.

Why We Picked It: This card provides extra motivation for paying off your balance fast.

Benefits: All purchases earn 1% cash back and an extra 1% upon payment for a total of 2% cash back.

Drawbacks: You won’t earn your full cash back until you’ve paid off your purchases.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Draw: 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Signup Bonus: $150 cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months

Annual Fee: None

APR: 0% introductory APR for 15 months, then variable 15.74% to 24.49%

Why We Picked It: This is a well-rounded cash back card with a decent rate of return, a signup bonus and a long introductory APR period.

Benefits: All purchases earn a flat 1.5% cash back. There’s a $150 signup bonus, and purchases and balance transfers are interest-free for the first 15 months.

Drawbacks: There are higher cash back rates available if you’re willing to meet slightly more restrictive requirements.

3. Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express

The Draw: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, 1% cash back on everything else

Signup Bonus: $250 cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months, then variable 13.74% to 24.74%

Why We Picked It: Through a gift-card hack, you could earn 6% cash back on many of your DIY wedding crafts.

Benefits: If your wedding is a DIY affair, you could earn 6% cash back at retailers by purchasing gift cards and using them elsewhere. There’s also a nice $250 signup bonus and a year of interest-free APR.

Drawbacks: Due to fraud concerns, some grocery stores won’t let customers use plastic to buy gift cards, so check your supermarket’s policy before you apply.

4. Chase Slate

The Draw: No balance transfer fees

Signup Bonus: None

Annual Fee: None

APR: 0% introductory APR for 15 months, then variable 15.74% to 24.49%

Why We Picked It: This card is perfect for balance transfers.

Benefits: This card offers 0% intro APR for 15 months with no balance transfer fees, so if you want to transfer your wedding expenses onto a card with good terms, this is the one for you.

Drawbacks: This basic credit card doesn’t offer rewards.

How to Choose a Card for Wedding Expenses

The best card to finance your wedding will depend on your goals. If you’re looking to save money, a cash back card may be the best fit. If you want to transfer a balance or take some time to pay down your debt, a card with an introductory APR period and minimal fees may be best.

We recommend analyzing your wedding budget to determine what types of purchases you’re likely to make, and then picking a card that will best reward that type of spending. Also keep in mind, signup bonuses are a great incentive if you can realistically meet the spending requirements. Just make sure they won’t require you to stretch your budget.

What Credit You Need to Get a Card to Pay for Your Wedding

Most cards with cash back rewards or introductory APR offers require good-to-excellent credit. If that describes you, acquiring a new card should not be a problem. Not sure of your standing? You’ll want to check your credit score before you apply. You can view two of your scores for free on Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Chase Slate, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Blue Cash Card from American Express and Citi Double Cash credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do 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: aldomurillo

The post 4 Credit Cards to Help Fund Your Wedding appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards That Can Help You Save on Your Summer Road Trip

Gas can make summer road trips expensive, but the right credit card can earn some of that spending back.

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

Road trips offer distinct advantages over other means of travel. You can change your itinerary at a moment’s notice, you can take in unexpected sights on the way to your destination and you don’t have to deal with airline security.

But while a road trip might seem like a budget vacation, gas purchases can make your costs skyrocket. With a credit card that rewards gas purchases, you can recoup some of that cost, making your trip more affordable.

The best cards for road trips earn rewards as you fill up at the pump, lessening the burden on your wallet. As a bonus, they may provide other road-centric perks. And because you can’t guarantee your gas station of choice will always be within reach, the best road trip cards we highlight here aren’t tied to specific gas stations.

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back on gas and select department store purchases and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 13.74% to 24.74%
Why We Picked It: The 3% cash back rate on gas is solid, there are plenty of other ways to earn cash back rewards and as a bonus, the card provides protection policies to keep you safe on the road.
Benefits: Cardholders have a wide range of ways to earn cash back, with 3% cash back on gas. The $150 signup bonus is a nice perk. The card also includes emergency roadside assistance, additional car rental insurance and a global assistance hotline to help when you need medical, legal or financial assistance.
Drawbacks: Cardholders pay an annual fee of $95.

2. Bank Americard Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases, on up to $2,500 per quarter
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 13.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: Cardholders earn 3% cash back on gas and Bank of America customers get extra cash-back redemption value.
Benefits: There’s a nice mix of ways to earn cash back, with 3% earnings on gas purchases. Bank of America customers get an additional 10% value when they deposit their cash back into a Bank of America account. There’s also a $100 signup bonus, and no annual fee.
Drawbacks: If you aren’t a Bank of America customer, you won’t earn the full cash back potential.

3. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: Five points for every dollar spent on gas purchases, three points for every dollar spent at supermarkets, and one point on all other purchases
Signup Bonus: $100 in statement credits when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 9.49% to 17.99% on purchases, 0% intro APR for 12 months for balance transfers made through June 30, then variable 9.49% to 17.99%
Why We Picked It: As you spend, your card earns points that can be redeemed toward travel purchases. Gas purchases earn five points per dollar.
Benefits: Points can be redeemed for your road trip expenses, including lodging and car rentals, and gas purchases earn the highest number of points. If you can qualify for the lower APR, you’ll get a fantastic interest rate. You’ll also get special savings and discount offers from select retailers.
Drawbacks: The card is only available to PenFed members, who include active duty military, educators, government employees and the families of members. If you can’t qualify for PenFed membership, you can’t get this card.

4. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on eligible gas (up to $7,000 annually, then 1% thereafter), 3% cash back on restaurants and travel purchases, 2% cash back on Costco purchases and 1% cash back on other purchases
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None (you will need a paid Costco membership)
APR: 0% intro APR for seven months, then 15.99%
Why We Picked It: The year-round 4% cash back on gas purchases is fantastic, and you can also get 3% back at car rental agencies and the diners or greasy spoons you hit on your road trip. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Benefits: The range of ways to earn cash back make this a well-rounded card. Plus, you get car rental insurance, travel accident insurance and 24/7 emergency assistance.
Drawbacks: You need a paid Costco membership to get this card.

Choosing a Card for Your Road Trip

There’s one of two ways you can use a credit card to make your road trip more affordable. You can select a points rewards card that earns points that can be redeemed for travel purchases, such as lodging and car rentals. Or, you can choose a card that earns you cash back as you spend on gas and other purchases. Either way, you’ll want a card that drives down the cost of your road trip.

If you plan to use your card outside of your road trip, you’ll probably want to pick a card that fits your spending the rest of the year. You can look at the rewards and purchase categories for each card, and choose one that will best reward your overall lifestyle outside of your road trip.

Finally, examine the additional travel benefits. Gas rewards are great, but emergency roadside assistance or additional car rental insurance can provide additional peace of mind while you’re on the road.

What Is Required to Get a Gas Rewards Card?

Cards that reward gas purchases often require good to excellent credit. If your credit doesn’t measure up, you may be better off hunting down a card with lower credit requirements. If you aren’t sure where your credit stands, you can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

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

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

Image: monkeybusinessimages 

The post 4 Credit Cards That Can Help You Save on Your Summer Road Trip appeared first on Credit.com.