4 Credit Cards to Help You Bar Hop Responsibly

These cards help you go out for drinks and get home safely.

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

If your evening plans often include multiple bars and clubs, you may need sober rides to ferry you and your friends between party spots or take you home after last call. But cabs, ride services and public transportation costs can get expensive, especially when combined with a bar tab. (Check out what happened when one Seattle bar went completely cashless.)

Some credit cards can help you go out for drinks and get home responsibly. These credit cards can earn you rewards at your neighborhood party spots and on your ride home or help pay for cab fare.

Here are four credit cards to help you barhop responsibly.

1. The Platinum Card From American Express

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent on flights booked with the airline or American Express Travel and on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
Signup Bonus: 60,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $550
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): None. You must pay the balance in full each month.
Why We Picked It: Automatic Uber credits can help pay to get you home.
For Your Night Out: When you link this card to your Uber account, you’ll automatically get $15 in monthly Uber credits and a bonus $20 in December, for a total of up to $200 in annual credits.
Drawbacks: The card offers a wide range of benefits, but there’s a steep $550 annual fee.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: With this card, your night out earns you points for travel redemptions.
For Your Night Out: You’ll earn double points on travel spending, which includes passenger trains, buses, taxis, limos and more. Plus, you can earn double points at restaurants and some bars.
Drawbacks: Some bars that don’t serve food may not earn double points if they don’t use the right merchant category.

3. Discover it Miles Travel Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases
Signup Bonus: Discover will match all miles you earn in the first year
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases, then variable 11.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: The miles matching policy boosts the first-year value of this card.
For Your Night Out: You’ll earn 1.5 miles on all spending, including drinks and transportation, and Discover will match all miles you earn after one year. Since miles can be redeemed for cab fare, that first year bonus can pay for many sober rides.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait a year for your signup bonus.

4. Citi ThankYou Premier

Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on travel, two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
APR: Variable 15.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: There are many ways to rack up points while you party. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your Night Out: You’ll earn three points per dollar spent on transportation, including ferries, commuter railways, subways, taxis, limos and more. Plus, you’ll get two points per dollar spent at bars, restaurants and lounges and on live entertainment.
Drawbacks: The signup bonus is smaller than some other rewards cards.

How to Pick a Card for Your Night Out

The best card for responsible barhopping depends on how you spend. If you frequently need a cab because you’ve been hitting the bars, you’ll likely want to pick a card that rewards you for racking up bar tabs and catching a ride home. With any card, pay special attention to the merchant categories that earn the most rewards.

Beyond that, the right card for you depends on your goals and spending habits. If you simply want a card to take to the club, a card with strong rewards at restaurants and bars might suffice. But if you want a card to use for everyday spending, you might want to expand your search to include cash back cards and other types of rewards.

What Credit Is Required to Get a Card for Barhopping?

Cards that reward travel expenses and bar tabs often require good to excellent credit. If you aren’t sure where your credit stands, you should check your credit report and credit score before you apply. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: jacoblund

At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Discover it Miles and Citi ThankYou Premier 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.

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3 Credit Cards That Help Music Fans See the Coolest Shows

These cards can help you see shows from your favorite artists and earn rewards for everyday spending.

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

Concerts let you experience your favorite musical artists with a community of like-minded fans in a live setting. Live music fanatics know the thrill of the concert experience, and they’re constantly watching to secure tickets for the best shows.

Whether you prefer bombastic arena events or intimate venues, you could benefit from a credit card that helps connect you with tickets. Some cards can help you hit shows from your favorite artists and earn rewards for everyday spending.

1. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 14.24% to 24.24%
Why We Picked It: Dining and entertainment purchases earn double points, and cardholders get access to presale tickets and VIP concert packages.
Benefits: This card earns two points for every dollar spent on dining and entertainment, which includes live concerts, record store purchases and music streaming services. Other purchases earn one point per dollar. Points can be redeemed for dining, entertainment, retail goods and more. Plus, with Citi Private Pass, cardholders get access to tickets for thousands of annual events, including concert presales and VIP packages.
Drawbacks: If you tend to prefer cheaper shows and don’t dine out often, you won’t be taking full advantage of the double points. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
APR: Variable 16.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: Cardholders can get presale tickets and exclusive access to many live music events in New York City.
Benefits: Cardholders earn double points for every dollar spent on dining and travel and one point per dollar spent on everything else. Points can be redeemed in many ways, but the greatest value is reserved for travel redemptions made through Chase’s booking platform. Chase Inside Access grants VIP access and presales to exclusive events at venues including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater.
Drawbacks: When it comes to concerts, Chase is primarily focused on New York City venues, so if you aren’t an NYC local (or reasonably nearby) you may want to look elsewhere. The card’s greatest value is also reserved for frequent travelers.

3. Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express

Rewards: Two points per dollar on up to $6,000 a year spent at U.S. supermarkets, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months, then variable 13.74% to 23.74%
Why We Picked It: Redeeming points for concert tickets is simple with this card.
Benefits: Cardholders earn double points for U.S. supermarket purchases and one point on the dollar everywhere else. American Express customers often get access to presale tickets and special events when buying tickets through the Membership Experiences website. Plus, points can easily be redeemed directly with Ticketmaster for ticket purchases.
Drawbacks: The card’s points system is only valuable to those who spend a lot on groceries.

How to Choose a Card for Live Music

Credit cards for music lovers should reward cardholders as they spend and grant special access to tickets and events.

When evaluating cards for your live music habit, look at the purchase types that earn the most rewards. You’ll want to choose a card that incentivizes the type of purchases you already make.

You’ll also want to look at the types of events and tickets your card can help you access before you take the plunge and apply. The events should reflect your live music preferences. If they don’t, you probably won’t get much use out of them.

One last thing to keep in mind is that most “exclusive” ticket programs are available through all or many of the credit cards offered by the issuer. If the main appeal is access to these programs, look at all available cards from the issuer. Chances are, they’ll have a card that fits your lifestyle.

What Is Required to Get a Card for Concerts?

Cards that provide live music rewards often require good to excellent credit. You should be aware of where your credit stands before you apply. A hard inquiry from a credit card application can cause your credit score to dip a few points. If you aren’t sure where your credit stands, you can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: PeopleImages 

At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card and Amex EveryDay credit card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for 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 3 Credit Cards That Help Music Fans See the Coolest Shows appeared first on Credit.com.

12 Places You Could Visit for Free This Summer (With the Right Credit Card)

Because who wouldn't want to travel for free?

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

Vacations can be expensive, but that doesn’t stop us from taking them. A 2017 AAA survey found that 42% of Americans plan to take a vacation this year, and about 30% said they are more likely to go on vacation this year than they were in 2016. Most participants said those trips would be to warm locales throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Paying for These Vacations

Getaways usually require advance planning and saving, but you may be able to fund these trips with something other than a cut of each paycheck, thanks to rewards you gather from credit cards.

Some travel rewards credit cards offer sizable signup bonuses that can help pay for a large portion of your trip. Take the ever-popular Chase Sapphire Reserve. This card rewards you with 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That’s equal to $750 toward travel, when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Plus, you’ll get a $300 annual statement credit for travel purchases every year.

Add in rewards for purchases you make with the card (three points on travel and restaurants, one point everywhere else), and you’ll be on your way to funding your next vacation.

Before You Sign Up …

You should read the fine print for any card you’re considering to make sure you know what you’ll be getting. To earn high bonuses or other perks, you have to reach a certain spending threshold in a set amount of time (like $4,000 in three months, as we mentioned). You’ll want to make sure your budget allows for this kind of spending.

There’s often a price tag tied to these cards in the form of an annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is $450 each year, so you’ll want to account for that in your budget. There are rewards cards that don’t come with such a hefty annual fee that you may consider. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has no annual fee for the first year and is $95 thereafter.

You also want to think about your spending habits. Do you tend to carry a balance? A rewards card may not be right for you. Not paying in full each month with these cards means you’ll just lose all those rewards to interest charges. Are you easily motivated by rewards? If collecting points or miles causes you to spend more than you can afford, you may want to steer clear of these kinds of cards.

Rewards credit cards tend to require high credit scores, so it’s a good idea to take a look at yours before applying to see if you’ll qualify. (You can see a free credit report summary, which includes two of your credit scores, for free on Credit.com.)

With that in mind, where can these plastic perks get you? Here are a dozen possible destinations.

1. Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Strip may be your perfect getaway if you’re looking for never-ending energy, sunshine and good eats. (Pro tip: Mon Ami Gabi is a must try.) Try to visit during the week when hotel rooms tend to go for a lower rate.

2. Nassau, Bahamas

Pull up a beach chair on one of the pristine beaches in the capital city of the Bahamas and enjoy the sunshine. If you’d rather be out in the water, get your snorkel gear and enjoy some of the most beautiful coral reefs around.

3. Rome

From the art and architecture to the wine and pasta, Rome has it all. Enjoy seeing iconic sites like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, then kick back with a cappuccino at one of the cafes.

4. Puerto Rico

The bright and colorful buildings in Old San Juan, as well as the fortresses, are must-sees if you’re coming to Puerto Rico. Your taste buds are sure to thank you for enjoying the local cuisines, like plantain burritos and arroz con dulce.

5. Key West

The southernmost point of the U.S. has great fishing and diving opportunities. Plus, you can see the famous six- and seven-toed cats at the Ernest Hemingway Home.

6. New York City

Once you’ve seen the tourist spots, you can check out the architecture and boutiques in NoHo or wrap up the day enjoying the nightlife in Greenwich Village.

7. Seattle

Enjoy the breathtaking views of Puget Sound from the Space Needle or take a ferry to Bainbridge Island and visit the local wineries.

8. Bermuda

Enjoy pink sandy beaches on the main island, like those at Astwood Park. There are also several shipwrecks and reefs that are perfect for scuba divers to explore.

9. Sedona, Arizona

If your idea of warm weather destinations doesn’t include beaches, this desert town in Arizona may be perfect for you. The beautiful red rock cliffs, accompanied by trails leading to some of the most alluring picnicking spots, will have you admiring the West.

10. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Kick back or enjoy the waves at the Playa del Amor and then grab dinner and drinks at one of the many outdoor bars and restaurants along the water. If you want to bring your clubs, there are many gorgeous golf courses in town you won’t want to miss.

11. Hawaii

While here, you can explore volcanoes like Mauna Loa or historic sites like the USS Arizona Memorial or Pearl Harbor. And there are the beautiful beaches and the ocean that are great for surfing or sailing.

12. San Diego

With seemingly perfect weather year-round, there’s never a bad time to visit this California city. Carlsbad, in northern San Diego, boasts some of the most stunning beaches. And the Victorian-style Hotel del Coronado is worth visiting, both for the view and for brunch at the Crown Room.

Want more ideas on where to travel using your credit card rewards? Check out these 50 places to visit before you turn 50.

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

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: Soft_Light

The post 12 Places You Could Visit for Free This Summer (With the Right Credit Card) appeared first on Credit.com.

100K Credit Card Points When You Get a Mortgage? Here’s a Look at Chase’s Latest Offer

Chase_mortgage_offer

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

Credit card signup bonuses usually come with, well, credit cards. But a new offer from Chase touts beacoup points for (wait for it) … getting a mortgage.

Yup, you’re reading that right: Now through Aug. 6, the bank will award 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points to existing Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve credit cardholders who finance a new home with Chase.

What’s behind the offer? Chase’s being pretty upfront about the fact that it’s courting millennials, who, despite a reported reluctance to sign up for credit cards, displayed a significant interest in the premium Sapphire Reserve Card the bank launched last summer.

“Half of Chase Sapphire customers are millennials, many of whom are looking to buy their first home now or in the near future,” Pam Codispoti, president of Chase Branded Cards, said in a press release.

A Mortgage for Credit Card Points?

Chase’s offer is eye-popping, but right off the bat, it’s important to note that you don’t want to rush into a mortgage just to score credit card rewards points, no matter how lucrative that part of the deal might seem. Home loans are an expensive proposition on the front-end — where you’ll have to cover a down payment, closing costs, possible points and other expenses — and the backend — where you’ll locked into a monthly mortgage payment and paying plenty of interest most likely for the next 15 to 30 years. (Plus, you know, you’ll have a house to take care of and maintenance isn’t exactly cheap.)

Even if you were already looking into home loans, remember, the rate’s really the thing. The allure of credit card rewards points shouldn’t dissuade you for shopping around for the best mortgage deal you can net. (You can get an idea of where your credit might land you by viewing two of your scores for free on Credit.com.)

Per Chase’s website, the annual percentage rate on its 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.094%. That’s competitive. Chase’s big bank counterparts Wells Fargo and Citi quote APRs on comparable 30-year fixed-rate mortgage products as 4.275% and 4.086%, respectively, on their websites. (Note: Rates are subject to change and the points you may be required to pay will vary.) But that’s not to say someone with good credit couldn’t score a lower rate or better overall deal at another financial institution, smaller bank or local credit union. It’s still wise to do your research and crunch the numbers to be sure you’re getting the best mortgage. The prospect of credit card rewards should be, at best, an afterthought.

The Nitty Gritty

That being said, if you do have good credit, are looking for a mortgage on a new home and have a Sapphire credit card in your wallet, Chase’s offer could be worth looking into. The exact value of the points will vary, depending on what card is in your wallet and how you ultimately choose to redeem them, but 100,000 points can translate to some significant dollars.

You may recall that when the Chase Sapphire Reserve (full review here) launched last summer, it touted a 100,000 bonus point offer equivalent to $1,500 when redeemed for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards. The card, which also comes with a hefty $450 annual fee, currently carries a 50,000-point signup bonus (equivalent to $750 in travel) if cardholders spend $4,000 in the first three months.

As far as the new mortgage offer details go, it applies only to residential first mortgage purchase loans submitted directly to Chase. You’ll have to have had a Sapphire card prior to May, 7, 2017 launch date to be eligible, so no need to rush out and apply for any new plastic.

Cardholders only get the bonus points if their loan is fully approved and they close on the home. (Points will get automatically posted to the primary cardholder’s account within 10 weeks of closing.) The offer is not transferable, limited to one per property at a time, and could be discontinued without notice, the bank says on its website, where you can find more offer details.

Meanwhile, if you are currently looking for a new home, we’ve got 50 things house hunters should do ahead of their search right here

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.

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4 Credit Cards That Will Make It Right If You Get Ripped Off

credit-card-purchase-protection

If your credit card has been stolen or used without your consent to make purchases, you’re usually protected. Under federal law, consumers who report credit card fraud or theft cannot be held liable for more than $50 (and often aren’t even faced with paying that penalty, depending on the circumstances). If the credit card isn’t present at the point of sale of the purchase(s) in question, the cardholder cannot be held liable for any damages. When it comes to credit card theft or fraud, you should be covered in most cases as long as you catch the activity fairly quickly.

But what if you’ve been ripped off or incurred property loss in other ways?  What if your property was damaged or stolen, or a retailer sold you faulty goods or won’t honor a return? In short, what if you suffer losses after the point of an intentional purchase?

In these situations, purchase protection that comes with many credit cards may be able to help. Purchase protection plans can cover your purchases against accidental damage, theft or even price gouging.

Here are four of the best purchase protection cards on the market. (Note: These plans only apply when you use that card to make the purchase.)

1. Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige card (which you can read our review of here) comes with a long list of benefits, and an advanced purchase protection policy is one of them. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as American Express and Chase, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) It offers damage and theft protection for all purchases up to $10,000 per item, with total coverage at $50,000 per year. It even extends manufacturer warranties for 24 months on qualifying items. If you try to return an item within 90 days and the merchant won’t accept the return, you could even be reimbursed the purchase price.

Citi Prestige even offers a search feature that looks for lower online prices for certain registered items you buy. If they find the same item within 60 days of the purchase date, you could be reimbursed the difference. And, if you can’t attend a sports or entertainment event you purchased tickets to using your Citi Prestige credit card for a number of reasons — including your ticket being stolen or the event being cancelled with no refund — the plan could have you covered.

2. American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card 

With the American Express Premier Rewards Gold credit card (which you can read a review of here), you’ll be protected if any of your purchases are accidentally damaged or stolen for up to 90 days from when you bought them, for $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per year. Unlike the Citi card, American Express also covers jewelry. American Express has a few purchase protection policies, so if you have a different American Express card, you may want to consider looking at your terms and conditions to see if you have any purchase protection coverage.

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card (which you can read a review of here) has excellent travel rewards and comes with purchase protection.

With this card, you may be able to receive a replacement (or be reimbursed) for lost or damaged items for up to 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account annually. They may also reimburse you if a product your purchased is advertised for less, in print or online, up to $500 per item and $2,500 total per year.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also extends eligible warranties by an additional year. If a merchant won’t accept a return within 90 days of purchase, Chase may reimburse you for the purchase, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.

4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card From Chase

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card (which you can read a full review of here) is another credit card option for travelers. You can be reimbursed for certain items if a retailer won’t accept returns, within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year. The card may also reimburse you for stolen or damaged purchases for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.

This card offers extended warranties for an additional year and offers price protection up to $500 per item and up to $2,500 per year.

Most of these credit cards have a long list of excluded items and scenarios covered by the purchase protection policy. If you ever do need to file a claim, most cards will require you provide specific paperwork, including original receipts, insurance claims and even police reports in the case of theft. You may want to carefully review the details of any purchase protection plan before you choose a credit card.

Applying for a New Credit Card

If you’re looking to add a new piece of plastic to your wallet, there’s a lot to consider, like what you want your card to offer you and if you can afford an annual fee. To start the process, you may want to get an idea of what types of cards you can qualify for. To do this, you can take a look at your credit scores, as many premier credit cards are only available to those with good or excellent credit. (You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) If, after you review your credit, you discover your scores aren’t quite where you’d like them to be, you may want to consider doing what you can to repair them. This includes things like paying down debts, disputing any errors you discover on your credit reports and limiting the number of inquiries on your credit until your score rebounds.

At publishing time, the Citi Prestige and American Express Premier Rewards Gold 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, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

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.

 

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