Don’t Have Good Credit? These Credit Cards Still Earn You Rewards

All credit cards are not created equal, particularly those for people with bad credit.

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

Credit cards with the best luxury perks and most valuable rewards require good or excellent credit. But if your credit doesn’t measure up, there are still plenty of options, and some credit cards still offer valuable rewards to people without good credit.

Here are four of our favorite rewards credit cards that don’t require good credit.

1. The Discover it Secured Card

Rewards: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in spending per quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 23.99% APR on purchases; 10.99% APR for six months on balance transfers, then variable 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: If you need a secured card with cash back, this is one of your best options. Plus, this card is available to consumers with poor, bad, or nonexistent credit.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: To open this secured card, you’ll need a security deposit of at least $200, and your initial credit limit will equal your initial deposit. After eight months, Discover will start reviewing your account and may refund your deposit. You’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% cash back everywhere else, and Discover will match your first year’s cash back earnings dollar for dollar.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much at gas stations and restaurants, this card isn’t as valuable.

2. SKYPASS Visa Secured Card

Rewards: One airline mile for every dollar spent on eligible purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus miles after your first purchase.
Annual Fee: $50
APR:
Variable 17.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Cardholders earn miles with participating airlines.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: You’ll need a minimum $300 security deposit to open this secured card. Every purchase earns one SKYPASS mile per dollar. You’re awarded 5,000 bonus miles upon your first purchase and 1,000 bonus miles every year you renew. Points are good for tickets and upgrades with SkyTeam partners, including AirFrance, Czech Airlines, Delta, and China Eastern.
Drawbacks: There’s a $50 annual fee, and the miles you earn can only be redeemed at 20 participating airlines.

3. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $39
APR: Variable 24.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: A solid cash back rate on every purchase awaits consumers with fair credit.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: If your credit lands in the “fair” category, you can use this card to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Drawbacks: There’s a $39 annual fee.

4. Discover it Miles Credit Card

Rewards: 1.5 miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match the miles you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR; 10.99% APR for 14 months on balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: If you have fair credit and love to travel, this card might be a good fit.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: The Discover it Miles card is available to those with fair credit and earns 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. Discover will match the miles you earn in your first year dollar for dollar. Miles can be used for any travel purchase, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.
Drawbacks: If you don’t travel much, keep looking.

How to Choose a Rewards Card When You Don’t Have Good Credit 

When you don’t have good credit, your primary goal should be to improve it. To build your credit using a credit card, you should maintain a low balance, make payments on time, and keep your account open.

You’ll need to choose between a secured or unsecured card. Secured cards do require an upfront security deposit, but they are available through major credit card companies and are usually designed to help build credit. If you have bad credit, it’s more difficult to find an unsecured rewards card through a nationally known credit card issuer.

Make sure to choose a card that rewards the types of purchases you tend to make and provides rewards that you’ll actually use.

Be careful, though: some cards for people with bad credit have predatory policies, which can make it more difficult for you to rebuild your credit. Check out our list of warning signs so you know what to avoid.

What Credit Score Will I Need?

Credit cards for people without good credit don’t have the strictest credit requirements and are available to people with credit scores below 700. However, your approval is still not guaranteed and your application could still be rejected. Before you apply, you can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Discover it Secured Card, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Card, and the Discover it Miles Credit Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for either of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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

Image: AntonioGuillem

The post Don’t Have Good Credit? These Credit Cards Still Earn You Rewards appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards to Make Your Commute Easier

bike_commute

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

A rough commute can really add to the stress of a long workday. Crowded trains and buses, stop-and-go traffic, and the cost of gas can all contribute to daily frustration, but might be unavoidable depending on where you live and work.

Some credit cards can help take the sting out of a bad commute and earn you rewards as you travel to and from your job.

Here are four credit cards that can make your tough commute better.

1. 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 other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):
Variable 15.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: You can earn triple points on all your commuting expenses.
For Your Commute: You’ll earn three points for every dollar spent on travel, including public transportation, tolls, taxis, and gas. Points are redeemable for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
Drawbacks: There is no sign-up bonus.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$0 the first year, then $95.
APR: Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Qualifying commuting purchases earn you points for future travel redemptions.
For Your Commute: Travel purchases such as public transportation, taxis, and trains will earn two points per dollar spent. You can redeem points for many things, but you’ll receive an extra 25% redemption value when booking travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Drawbacks: Gas purchases are not included in the travel category.

3. Blue Cash Everyday from American Express 

Rewards: 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases; 2% cash back at US gas stations and participating department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$150 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:
$0
APR:
0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: This is a solid cash back card for gas rewards.
For Your Commute: This card earns 2% cash back at US gas stations, which can really add up if you drive to work every day.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much at supermarkets, you won’t see as much value.

4. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for up to $2,500 in combined purchases every quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn an impressive 3% cash back on gas purchases at the pump. 
For Your Commute:
With 3% cash back at gas stations, your gas rewards will add up quickly. Plus, if you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ll earn an extra 10% cash back every time you redeem your points for a bank deposit.
Drawbacks:
If you don’t bank with Bank of America, you can’t earn the extra 10% cash back.

Choosing a Card for Your Commute

To take the sting out of your commute, you should choose a card that earns rewards on your specific commuting expenses. If you take the train or bus, you might want a card that rewards public transportation expenses. If you drive, a card that rewards gas purchases might be a better fit.

You’ll also need to choose the type of rewards you want. Miles, points, and cash back all have specific advantages and disadvantages, so it really comes down to choosing the rewards that work for your lifestyle.

If you plan to use your card beyond commuting expenses, you should analyze the other types of purchases you tend to make. Take your overall spending habits into account when you’re evaluating cards.

What Credit Is Required to Get a Card for Your Commute?

Cards with gas and travel rewards generally require good to excellent credit. You should make sure your credit is good enough before you apply, as a hard inquiry from a credit card application can ding your score a bit. If you aren’t sure about your credit score, check it for free at Credit.com.

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

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

Image: istock

The post 4 Credit Cards to Make Your Commute Easier appeared first on Credit.com.

Best Travel Credit Cards

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Looking over the sheer number of travel credit cards available is enough to overwhelm anyone. With so many cards offering points, miles or cash back, what should you look for in a new travel rewards credit card?

While having options is a good thing, trying to decide on the best travel rewards credit cards available can give you a difficult decision. When considering a new card, there are four factors you should consider before you hit the “apply now” button:

  • No foreign transaction feesWhile up to 3% in foreign transaction fees may not sound like much, it can add over a quarter to every $10 you spend abroad. The best travel credit cards may not have foreign transaction fees.
  • Good rewards for spendingFor every dollar you spend, you should earn rewards you can apply directly to your next trip: either flights, hotel rooms or other experiences.
  • Sign-up bonusesMost cards offer a sign-up bonus after a required minimum spend to encourage people to apply for their card. The sign-up bonus should offer a substantial award that justifies the spending.
  • Annual feeAlthough most cards come with an annual fee, the points or cash back you could earn should outweigh the cost.

Instead of getting lost looking for the perfect travel rewards card, start with this guide. We found the best travel cards for every lifestyle, each of which offer you some of the best rewards now and over time. If you want good travel rewards for the money you spend, consider adding these credit cards to your wallet.

Best premium travel cards

Premium travel cards come with the highest annual fees but also offer the highest level of rewards. From flexible points that can be transferred to travel partners, to elite hotel and lounge offers, your annual fee can be recovered through the luxury benefits on these cards. If you travel frequently and want to get the best experiences, these are the cards you’ll want.

Chase Sapphire ReserveSM

Why we like it: Because you automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year, the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM offers solid rewards for what effectively turns into a $150 annual fee ($450 annual fee minus up to $300 in statement credits for travel purchases). Cardholders also receive up to a $100 application fee credit towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. In addition, you will earn three Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide, and one point per dollar spent everywhere else. If you make this your primary card, you could earn rewards which value more than the annual fee every year.

Fees and terms: The Chase Sapphire ReserveSM card comes with a $450 annual fee, with an additional $75 for each authorized user per year. Your APR would range from 16.99% to 23.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness.

Rewards program: Purchases earn points in Chase Ultimate Rewards®, a flexible point program that can be used for travel rewards. One point has a value of 1 cent, but when redeeming for travel through the Chase travel portal, points have a fixed value of 1.5 cents. You can get an even greater value by transferring points to one of Ultimate Rewards® nine airline partners or four hotel partners.

Pros:

  • Flexible points that offer good valueChase Ultimate Rewards® are among the most flexible in the travel space, with nine airline and four hotel rewards transfer partners – giving you many different ways to use your points. You can also use points through the Chase travel portal at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents each towards airfare and hotels of your choice.
  • Exceptional rewards for travel and diningOf all the premium credit cards, the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM offers the most points per dollar spent for both travel and dining. If you primarily use this card when you travel, you would earn unlimited triple points on most of your big expenses.
  • Great travel insurance optionsIn addition to points earning opportunities and flexible points, this card also offers one of the best travel insurance plans available. When you use your card or Ultimate Rewards® points to pay for your trip, you are automatically covered with baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, emergency evacuation insurance and roadside assistance.

Cons:

  • $450 annual feeOne of the biggest cons of this card is the $450 annual fee, due immediately in the first year. Even though $300 can be recovered from the annual travel credit, you still pay the $450 out of pocket. If you do not travel often, this card may not be right for you.
  • Limited travel lounge accessFor the high price tag, this card only offers lounge benefits through Priority Pass, a network of lounges around the world. It does not allow entry into any carrier’s lounges and comes with some surprising rules, including limited accommodation during busy times.
  • No elite status with travel partnersUnlike its nearest competitor, the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM does not come with any elite status with partner brands. If you get accepted for this card, don’t expect to get to the front of the line at any hotels or car rental locations.

Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM

 Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>SM</sup>

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on Chase’s secure website

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Why we like it: Considered one of the oldest and most prestigious awards cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers the most elite status, luxury experiences and credits for your spending. When you book trips directly with airlines or American Express Travel, you can also earn five Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent, allowing your rewards to rack up quickly. All other purchases earn one point per dollar. If you value luxury experiences and airline lounge access, this card could be a better choice.

Terms and fees
Because The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, there is no APR on balances — you will be required to pay off the entire balance every month. The annual membership fee is $550, while the annual fee for additional cards is $175 for up to three additional cards. The annual fee for the fourth or more additional cards is $175 for each card.

Rewards program: Your purchases will earn Membership Rewards® points, which can be used with American Express or transferred to their travel partners. When using Membership Rewards® points at American Express Travel, your points are valued at 1 cent each, so your best use of points is through transferring to their airline or hotel partners. Points transfer to 16 airlines and three hotels, offering the most choices for award travel.

Pros:

  • Best lounge access programsThe Platinum Card® from American Express offers you the most ways to get into lounges when you travel around the world. In addition to Priority Pass, you can also enter Centurion Lounges and the International American Express lounges on arrival or departure at select airports, as well as Delta Sky Clubs when you are flying on Delta.
  • Elite status for holding the cardThe Platinum Card® from American Express also comes with elite status at three car rental and two hotel loyalty programs: Avis Preferred, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, National Car Emerald Club, Hilton Honors Gold Elite and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
  • Credits for Boingo Wi-Fi, Global Entry, Shoprunner and UberEven with the high annual fee, this premium card also comes with several credits and free services for frequent travelers. Cardholders get free Boingo Preferred Plan membership, free Shoprunner two-day delivery, along with monthly credits for Uber rides and one Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee waiver every five years.

Cons:

  • Highest annual feesWhile the card may offer the most status and immediate benefits, it also comes with the highest fee. At $550 for the annual fee, you will be pay for all your benefits in the first month, before you can get any value from them.
  • Only one bonus categoryAnother major downside of this card is that there is only one bonus category: five points per dollar spent directly with airlines or travel booked through Amex Travel. If you do not spend much on prepaid hotel reservations or airfare, you can’t maximize this bonus category effectively.
  • Limited airline fee creditFor years, The Platinum Card® from American Express was the only card to offer an airline fee credit. Today, it is one of the most limited: $200 only usable towards airline fees, available for only one airline you choose at the beginning of the year.
The Platinum Card® from American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Best travel cards for simple rewards

While earning points and miles can be rewarding, some of the best programs are simple and straightforward. When we looked for the best simple rewards credit cards, we looked for those that not only offered cash back, but also bonuses for spending and redeeming, along with a low annual fee. After considering all our options, these are the best travel rewards cards for simple rewards.

Best cashback travel rewards card

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Why we like it: If you don’t want to chase rotating categories or juggle which card is best for whatever spending you do, The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
offers simple travel rewards. You will earn two miles per dollar spent on all purchases, with full chip and PIN capability outside the United States. Choose the flights, hotels and rental cars that work for you and pay for the charges to your card by redeeming miles. And when you redeem, you automatically get 5% back to use toward your next redemption.

Fees and terms
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® comes with an $89 annual fee, waived in the first year. Your variable APR for purchases will be 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

Rewards program
Instead of earning traditional airline miles, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® earns miles that can be applied as cash back to your travel expenses. Qualifying travel purchases include those made at airlines, hotels, campgrounds, car rental companies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites and more. Miles are worth one cent each.

Pros:

  • Easy to use rewardsThe Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has one of the most easy-to-understand rewards programs available, with every point counting for one cent each. Instead of trying to figure out how many points you need for a flight, your available cash balance is always available and easy to understand.
  • 5% miles back every time you redeemThe best part about using miles on this card is that you’ll always get 5% back. For example: if you were to redeem 50,000 points for a $500 airline ticket, you would get 2,500 points back (worth $25).
  • Partial payment with miles allowedWhile some programs force you to either pay for your entire award with miles (or purchase more miles to cover your award), this card allows you to use your miles to pay off a portion of your travel expenses. How many miles you want to use is up to you.

Cons:

  • Annual fee for a cashback cardThe card is rather expensive for earning two miles per dollar toward travel. If you don’t travel abroad often, there are other cards that offer the same cash back with no annual fee.
  • High redemption thresholds and miles won’t transfer to other programsIf you would rather travel in first class using airline loyalty program miles, you will be out of luck with this card. While most rewards programs offer transfers after 1,000 points and cash-equivalent rewards at 2,500 points, you have to have at least 10,000 miles to use them for a $100 reward. Furthermore, miles can only be used to pay for travel expenses on the card, and can’t be transferred to other airline partners.
  • Poor value for everything not travel relatedWhile the earning two miles per dollar on all purchases is good when redeeming for travel, you shouldn’t use them to get gift cards or cash back. When using your miles for those options, you will lose 50% of your value in translation.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

APPLY NOW Secured

on Barclaycard’s secure website

Best travel card for millennials

Uber Visa Card

Why we like it: The Uber Visa Card offers high cash back rewards at the places millennials spend the most — all restaurants (including UberEATS), travel, online shopping and streaming services — along with no foreign transaction fees and up to $600 in mobile phone protection with no annual fee. Plus, some of the bonus categories are the biggest in their category: no other credit card offers 4% cash back on all dining purchases. Conditions apply.

Fees and terms
This card has no annual fee, and your APR for purchases would be 15.99%, 21.74% or 24.74%, variable based on your creditworthiness.

Rewards program
The card offers cash back rewards for spending in four different categories:

  • 4% cash back on restaurants, takeout, and bars, including UberEATS
  • 3% cash back on airfare, hotels and vacation home rentals
  • 2% cash back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping, video and music streaming services
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Cash back can be used as statement credits, credits towards Uber rides, redeemed for gift cards or transferred to a bank account with a limit of $500 in transfers per day. Conditions apply.

Pros:

  • Big cash back categoriesOf all the cash back cards we have reviewed, the Uber Visa Card has the biggest rewards for both dining and online purchases. Using this card as your primary option for restaurants and digital shopping could help your rewards add up quickly.
  • Up to $600 in mobile phone protectionWhile many cards offer travel insurance, not many offer cellphone insurance. If you pay your cellphone bill with your Uber Visa Card, you could qualify for $600 in protection for accidental damage or theft. Conditions apply.
  • $50 online subscription service creditWho doesn’t have at least one online subscription service anymore? If you spend at least $5,000 in your cardmembership year, you automatically get a $50 credit for an online subscription you pay with your card.

Cons:

  • Limited transfer optionsWhile the cash back is good, The Uber Visa only has one transfer partner for their points right now: Uber. You can’t turn over your points into any other loyalty program, limiting their overall usage.
  • Limited definition of “online purchases”The Uber Visa Card also comes with a very narrow definition of “online purchase” that qualifies for 2% cash back. If you make an online purchase through a mobile service (like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay) or a third party (like PayPal), it won’t count for bonus rewards.
  • No travel insuranceAlthough you may get up to $600 in mobile phone protection, you won’t get any travel insurance benefits when paying for your next trip with this card. If your flight gets delayed or your luggage gets lost, your card won’t reimburse any of your expenses.

Read our review of the Uber Visa Card

Best travel card with no annual fee

Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card

Why we like it: While the Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card compares closely to other cards with no annual fee, the details make this card a real winner. At the end of your first year, Discover automatically matches all of your earned miles, giving you double the travel purchasing power. The card also comes with strong back-end features, including free Social Security number alerts and FICO score checks.

Fees and terms
If you qualify for the promotion, your introductory purchase APR would be 0% for 14 months. Afterwards, your APR would range between 11.99% to 23.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness. There is no annual fee with this card.

Rewards program
The Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card offers miles that can be used as cash back to pay for travel experiences. When you book trips using the Discover it® Miles card, you can redeem your miles towards statement credits on the trips, with no blackout dates. Your miles never expire as long as your card is active.

Pros:

  • Good credit security tools and customer serviceIn addition to having call centers based in the United States, this card also comes with solid credit security tools. These include free FICO credit scores, Social Security number alerts, Experian® credit report monitoring and the ability to freeze your credit card from the Discover mobile app or website.
  • Wide acceptance in China and JapanIf you travel to Asia often, the Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card may be your best bet for secure spending. Discover is accepted by China’s largest credit card network, UnionPay, and one of Japan’s largest payment processors, JCB.
  • Matched miles in the first yearCurrently, no other company offers matched points or miles for your first cardholding year, effectively doubling your rewards. If you use this as your primary spending card, you could earn a lot of cash back towards travel.

Cons:

  • No transfer partnersAlthough doubled miles in the first cardholding year and unlimited rewards are great, you may not get to fly first class with them. Miles do not transfer to any airline partners – they can only be applied as cash back for travel expenses.
  • No bonus categories for earning milesWhile other Discover cards offer rotating 5% cashback bonus categories quarterly, the Discover it® Miles Travel Credit Card offers no bonus categories. This means no matter where you use your card, you will always earn 1.5 points per dollar.
  • Low miles earning after first yearWith no bonus categories, this means you may not earn very many miles after the first year. If you don’t travel to Asia often or don’t want to use your cash back for travel only, you could find more value out of other credit cards.

Best credit union travel card

First Tech FCU Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard®

Why we like it: We searched over 50 credit unions with few membership restrictions for the best travel rewards credit cards, and found it at First Tech Federal Credit Union. The Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® offers competitive bonus categories (three Rewards Points for every dollar spent on travel; two Rewards Points for every dollar spent on dining; one Reward Point for every dollar spent on all other purchases), but comes with a lower annual fee and interest rate than its competitors.

Fees and terms
The card comes with a $75 annual fee, which is waived in the first year. Your APR will be between 11.99% and 18.00% variable when you open your account, based on your creditworthiness. There are no international transaction fees, cash advance fees or balance transfer fees.

To apply for the card, you must be a member of First Tech Federal Credit Union, which requires you to work for a sponsor company, live in Lane County, Ore., or become a member of the Financial Fitness Association or the Computer History Museum. A membership share in the credit union is $5 (held in a membership savings account), a membership in the Financial Fitness Association is $8, and a membership to the Computer History Museum is $15.

Rewards program
Points earned with the card go towards the Scorecard Rewards program, which fulfills rewards. Your points can be used towards travel experiences including cruises, hotels, or car rental certificates, merchandise available in their catalog, or can be redeemed for cash back. While your points value may vary for awards, cash back rewards are valued at one cent per point.

Pros:

  • Strong bonus categoriesThe bonus categories offered by the Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® are comparable to other major rewards cards, because it offers three points per dollar spent on travel and two points pers dollar spent on dining. This gives it strong value with better terms for the cardholder.
  • Flexible rewards optionsLike other programs, points earned on the Odyssey™ Rewards card can be used toward several different awards. Airfare, cruises, hotel certificates and car rental certificates are all available when you use your points and miles.
  • Lower annual fee and APR than other cardsCredit unions often offer better terms to cardholders than banks, and this card is no exception. The APR may be lower on balances held on the card, and the annual fee is at least $20 less than other comparable cards.

Cons:

  • Points vary in valueThe two downsides about Odyssey™ Rewards points are that points vary in value, and they can’t be transferred to other airline partners. Because of this, using them for non-travel rewards may value them under one cent per point.
  • Credit union membership requiredWhile the card is a good deal, you must be a member of the credit union to get the card. If you decide to take your money out of the credit union, your card could be canceled as well.
  • Upfront membership feesThis card is subject to membership in the credit union and an associated organization. Before you can apply for this card, you have to pay $13 in fees.

The post Best Travel Credit Cards appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

10 Things to Know Before Getting a Credit Card

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If you’re thinking of getting one of the zillions of credit cards out there, make sure you know these 10 nuggets of credit card wisdom before signing up.

A credit card is not a debit card

If someone asked you to explain the difference between a credit card and a debit card, what would you say? We hope you’d tell that someone that using a credit card is like taking out a short-term loan for a purchase. Also, despite appearances, a credit card doesn’t work like a debit card, which takes money directly from your checking account.

You get extra points if you mention that a credit card carries interest, which you can avoid if you pay your credit card bill in full before the end of the billing cycle.

The real reason to get a credit card

People will say you need a credit card to build credit, but “need” is too strong a word. A credit card can help you build credit, and a good credit score can help you save money on loans down the road (mortgages, auto loans, etc.).

Some might argue that cash back rewards are the real reason to get a card, but that’s not nearly as important as maintaining and building your credit score.

The two types of credit cards

Credit cards come in two types: secured and unsecured. Secured means you’ll have to put down a cash deposit. A secured credit card is a good type of credit card for those with low or no credit. The downside is your card limit is likely the same amount as your cash deposit. An unsecured credit card also has a card limit, but instead it’s determined by your credit history and income.

All about that APR

The APR you see thrown around in commercials and ads refers to an annual percentage rate. It’s okay if you don’t remember what APR stands for, but you’ll always want to check the actual percentage of an APR before applying for a credit card. After all, the APR is what you’ll be charged if you don’t pay off your full balance when payment is due, and some APRs can be as high as 30%.

Watch out for nonstandard fees

Some credit cards have nonstandard fees—which, as you may have guessed by the name, are atypical. Good credit cards don’t deal with nonstandard fees, such as an audit fee, conversion fee, quarterly technology fee, and security fee.

Plan on paying more than the minimum payment

If you were to pay only the minimum required payment on your credit bill each month, you just might never pay off your credit card. As a best practice, try to pay off your credit card in full each month—in other words, don’t spend money you don’t have.

Watch out for an annual fee

If you’re not going to use a credit card frequently, you’re likely better off getting a credit card without an annual fee. These fees can cost as much as $100 to $300 per year. However, not all credit cards with annual fees are bad, and there are plenty of cards without them.

Understand credit card benefits

Credit card benefits come with their own terms and conditions. For example, you may be enticed by cash back rewards only to find that said rewards are limited to qualified purchases or change from quarter to quarter. If you don’t understand the ins and outs of a credit card’s benefits, you likely won’t get the most out of your credit card.

A credit card agreement is binding

Signing up for a credit card means you’re entering a legal contract. Make sure you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions set forth by the issuer, such as APR, fees, and credit limits.

Be sure to shop around

There are countless credit cards out there, so do some comparison shopping before you sign up. Don’t let yourself feel pressured to sign up for a store credit card when you’re at checkout. Taking a few minutes to look at what other credit cards are out there can save you some serious dough in the future.

 

Image: Adobe Stock

The post 10 Things to Know Before Getting a Credit Card appeared first on Credit.com.

6 Credit Cards with 0% Balance Transfer APRs

credit cards with no balance transfer fees

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

One way to save some money if you’re carrying credit card balances is to transfer the balance on one credit card with a high interest rate to another card with a lower rate. Some cards even offer 0% APRs for the first few months—potentially saving you a bunch of money in interest over the long run.

We found six cards that let you transfer a balance with no up-front APR, and many of these come with extra perks.

1. Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Card

An introductory 18-month 0% APR on balance transfers and availability to those with lower credit scores makes the Discover it credit card a good option for those trying to rebuild their credit.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for first 18 months
  • Purchase APR: 0% for first 6 months
  • APR after Introductory Period: 11.99% to 23.99% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Excellent, Good, or Fair

If you have a fair credit score, you may have a hard time getting approved for a new card to use for balance transfers. Fortunately, the Discover it credit card offers those with fair scores a chance to transfer balances with 0% APR for the first 18 months. When you activate this card, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of purchases in qualifying categories that rotate each quarter—for example, at Target and Amazon.com through the end of December. You can earn an additional 1% cash back on other purchases. You’ll also get free Social Security number monitoring that alerts you if your information is used on shady websites.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

Get 0% APR on balances transfers and purchases for 15 months plus unlimited cash back rewards with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for first 15 months
  • Purchase APR: 0% for first 15 months
  • APR after Introductory Period: 15.99% to 24.74% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Excellent or Good

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card combines 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. The “unlimited” 1.5% cash back program applies to all purchases and doesn’t require you to activate it or meet a minimum purchase amount—the cash is awarded automatically. In addition, the card has no annual fee and is available to people with excellent or good credit.

3. Citi Simplicity Card

A full 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases makes the Citi Simplicity Card an attractive option for people looking to move debt.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for first 21 months
  • Purchase APR: 0% for first 21 months
  • APR after Introductory Period: 14.99% to 24.99% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Excellent or Good

This card has the longest 0% introductory APR of any card on this list, so if you’re looking to carry your balance transfer for an extended time, the Citi Simplicity Card is a good option. You also pay no annual fee, no late fees, and no penalty rates. The major caveat: you pay either a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee—so be wary of transferring large balances with this card.

4. Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card is another no-annual-fee, 0% APR balance transfer card you can use to save money on high-interest balances.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for first 18 months
  • APR after Introductory Period: 14.49% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Excellent or Good

The Double Cash Card from Citi has an introductory rate that lasts for 18 months, and then you’ll move to a 14.49% to 24.49% variable APR, depending on your credit. Citi Double Cash Card also gives you twice the cash back rewards: 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay off the purchase.

5. Mastercard Black Card

For pristine credit holders, the Mastercard Black Card offers 0% APR balance transfers for 15-months plus lots of fancy perks.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for first 15 months
  • APR after Introductory Period: 15.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual Fee: $495 for primary cardmember and $195 for each extra authorized user
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

If you have a stellar credit score, you might be approved for the prestigious, stainless steel Mastercard Black Card. You won’t pay any annual interest for the first 15 months on balance transfers, but you will have to pay a hefty $495 annual fee. That fee gets you access to Mastercard’s luxury gifts, rewards, travel, and 24/7 concierge benefits and services.

6. Mastercard Gold Card

A luxury card for luxury shoppers, the Mastercard Gold Card is a precious metal-plated option that Donald Trump would be proud of.

  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for first 15 months
  • APR after Introductory Period: 15.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
  • Annual Fee: $995 for primary cardmember and $295 for each extra authorized user
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

Want a truly luxurious credit card experience? The Mastercard Gold Card—which is literally plated with 24-karat gold—offers the same high-end benefits of the Mastercard Black Card plus even more luxurious advantages. Like Mastercard Black Card users, you can transfer balances and carry them for up to 15-months with 0% APR. In addition, you get a $200 airline credit each year. The catch: you’ve got to have supremely excellent credit and pay the $995 annual fee.

Before you apply for any credit card, learn your credit score so you can shop for cards that you’re likely to qualify for. And you can start today—get your credit report for free from Credit.com.

The Discover it Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, Citi Simplicity Card, Citi Double Cash Card, Mastercard Black Card, and Mastercard Gold Card may be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if users apply for or enroll in any of these cards. 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.

More on Credit Cards:

Image: iStock

The post 6 Credit Cards with 0% Balance Transfer APRs appeared first on Credit.com.

Dress to Impress with These 3 Credit Cards

office

Office jobs often require you to maintain a professional image. And while dress codes aren’t as strict as they used to be, it never hurts to look sharp. If you’re interviewing for jobs or about to start with a new employer, you may need to upgrade your wardrobe.

Some credit cards can save you money at clothing retailers. Here are three credit cards to help you dress for the office.

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at US supermarkets; 3% cash back at US gas stations and eligible department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $200 bonus statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You can earn fantastic cash back rates at the right department stores.
For Office Clothes: With 3% cash back at 16 department stores, you have plenty of shopping options. Participating stores include Dillard’s, Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus.
Drawbacks: You’ll pay a $95 annual fee.

2. Chase Freedom

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter on rotating spending categories; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.
Why We Picked It:
For the rest of 2017, you’ll earn a whopping 5% cash back on eligible clothing purchases.
For Office Clothes: Through the end of this quarter, Chase’s bonus category is Walmart and department store purchases. You’ll earn 5% cash back when you stock your wardrobe at these retailers.
Drawbacks: You don’t have much time before the spending category changes.

3. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 5% back at Amazon.com; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$70 Amazon.com gift card.
Annual Fee:
$0 with paid Amazon Prime membership.
APR:
Variable 15.24% to 23.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It:
Any clothes and accessories you order from Amazon.com will earn up to 5% back.
For Office Clothes: Amazon.com stocks clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, and everything in between. Amazon Prime members will earn 5% back on all eligible orders placed with Amazon.com—and rewards can be redeemed for future purchases, so you can continue to update your look.
Drawbacks: If you prefer to try your clothes on in the store, this card isn’t a good fit. 

How to Choose a Credit Card for Office Clothes  

You should pick a card that rewards how you spend. Some cards reward department store purchases while others focus on big-box stores like Walmart. If you aren’t loyal to one type of store, a card with a flat cash back rate on all purchases might be the best choice.

Some credit card companies partner with leading retailers and brands to offer online rewards marketplaces, where shoppers can access additional savings or rewards. Look out for any cards that offer additional deals at your favorite brands.

Beware store credit cards. They often have a higher APR, they can’t be used at other stores, and their discounts aren’t always as competitive as you’d expect. 

What Credit Is Required for a Clothes-Centered Card? 

Top rewards credit cards will usually require good or excellent credit. To protect your credit, you should check your credit score before you apply and only submit an application if your credit is sufficient. You can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.

Image: istock

The post Dress to Impress with These 3 Credit Cards appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Personal Credit Cards to Help Fund Your Side Hustle

Man use smart phone and holding credit card with shopping online. Online payment concept.

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

If you work a side hustle to earn extra cash outside of your full-time job, you should consider getting a credit card solely for your business expenses. This helps keep your business and personal life separate and makes it easier to report your business activity for federal and state taxes.

For most freelancers and sole proprietors, a regular business credit card is overkill. A personal credit card can meet your professional spending requirements and earn cash back to help you afford your side business.

Here are four personal credit cards to help fund your side gig.

1. Discover it – Cashback Match

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases for rotating bonus categories; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: This Discover it card matches all cash back earned in the first 12 months.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: Get your supplies from the right merchants and you’ll earn 5% cash back.
For Your Side Hustle: No matter what you do to earn extra cash, Target and Amazon.com should stock something you need. Through the end of this year, you’ll earn 5% cash back on all purchases from these two giants of retail.
Drawbacks:
Bonus categories change every quarter and may not always be ideal for business spending.

2. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi 

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year; 3% cash back at restaurants and on eligible travel; 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 with a paid Costco membership.
APR: 0% APR for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24% APR; variable 16.24% APR on balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: There are many ways to earn great cash back rewards.
For Your Side Hustle:
Whether you’re driving, traveling, or dining out with clients on a regular basis, this card has a special cash back rate for you. All Costco and Costo.com purchases earn 2% cash back, and Costco stocks a virtually unlimited variety of goods for your side business.
Drawbacks: You need a Costco membership to get this card.

3. Citi Double Cash – 18 Month BT offer

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases; an additional 1% upon payment.
Sign-Up Bonus:
None
Annual Fee:
$0
APR:
Variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR.
Why We Picked It: If you want a solid cash back rate no matter what you’re buying, this card is for you.
For Your Side Hustle: Regardless of what you purchase, this card will earn 2% cash back by the time your purchases are paid off.
Drawbacks:
If you tend to carry a balance every month, you won’t earn rewards as fast.

4. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

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 other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee:
$0
APR:
0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: Gas, groceries, and wholesale club purchases can help you keep your business running.
For Your Side Hustle:
Driving a cab, selling baked goods, or stocking up on office supplies? This card can meet your needs, thanks to its special cash back rates at gas stations, grocery stores, and wholesale clubs. Bank of America banking customers get extra 10% cash back when they redeem their rewards for a bank account deposit.
Drawbacks: If you don’t bank at Bank of America, you’ll lose out on extra cash rewards.

How to Choose a Card for Your Side Hustle

The best credit card for your side hustle depends on the nature of your work. If you’re driving a cab, a card with gas rewards makes sense. A card with restaurant rewards might be more suitable if you take clients out to dinner. And if you’re running your business from a home office, you might want a card that can help you afford office supplies.

If you’re just launching your side hustle and you need to make a lot of purchases to get it off the ground, you should consider a card with a 0% intro APR offer. These cards avoid interest on purchases for a limited amount of time, helping you afford your startup costs.

Remember, maintaining a separate credit card for your side gig can help you in the long run by keeping your business and personal expenses divided. This can help you file your taxes and could be a lifesaver if the IRS ever audits you.

What Credit Is Required for a Side Hustle Card?

Depending on your needs, the credit requirements for your card of choice may vary. Either way, you need to be confident in your chances of approval before you apply. You can check your credit report free at Credit.com.

Image: wutwhanfoto

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

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

The post 4 Personal Credit Cards to Help Fund Your Side Hustle appeared first on Credit.com.

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 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

APPLY NOW Secured

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

APPLY NOW Secured

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

APPLY NOW Secured

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

APPLY NOW Secured

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

APPLY NOW Secured

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>

APPLY NOW Secured

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

APPLY NOW Secured

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.

U.S. Bank Introduces Mobile Location Services as Customers Gear Up for Holiday Travel

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

Earlier this month, U.S. Bank launched Location Services for their mobile app, providing additional security and convenience to customers as they travel and shop for the holidays.

We spoke with Jason Tinurelli, Senior Vice President of Retail Payment Solutions at U.S. Bank, to learn how the feature works and how it can help U.S. Bank customers this holiday season. Tinurelli is responsible for the digital marketing, acquisition, and strategy for U.S. Bank’s credit, debit, and prepaid cards.

How Location Services Works

All U.S. Bank credit and debit card customers can opt in for Location Services using the U.S. Bank Mobile App. Once the service is turned on, U.S. Bank Location Services can help determine if card transactions are legitimate by verifying that customer devices and their credit or debit cards are in the same location.

“What we’re using is the built-in Location Services available on your phone,” explains Tinurelli. “If the customer opts in, . . . we pull the phone a couple times a day, looking to see where the phone is.”

Using the mobile devices’ location as a guide, Location Services looks for transactions made outside the customer’s area. If a purchase takes place elsewhere, U.S. Bank is alerted and can reach out to the customer to verify the transaction.

Of course, this service works best for customers who keep their mobile phones with them as they shop.

The feature is available for both Android and Apple devices.

How Location Services Can Help You

U.S. Bank already monitors their customers’ transactions for fraudulent activity, and they flag suspicious transactions for review and customer verification. Location Services adds another layer of security and give transactions an additional hurdle to clear.

But the feature also adds convenience for holiday trips. Holiday travelers frequently make large purchases out of town, and this feature reduces the odds of getting declined or having to verify transactions.

Tinurelli says that whether customers stay home or travel, they can have more security and peace of mind—because if your card is used when you’re not near it, you’ll be covered.

Why Location Services Was Introduced

According to TInurelli, this new use of Location Services is a direct response to consumer feedback.

“One thing that you often hear from people,” says TInurelli, “is ‘I went away on vacation and the card company declined me.’ We took the feedback from our customers.”

The Location Services feature was initially tested with U.S. Bank employees and then introduced in a small customer rollout program. Following positive feedback, U.S. Bank decided to launch the service to their entire credit and debit card customer base.

“The holiday season is a busy time for everyone,” Tinurelli notes. “The U.S. Bank Mobile App offers consumers the convenience of being on-the-go while offering opt-in Location Services to help keep credit and debit cards secure while traveling here in the US and abroad.”

Credit card fraud and identity theft are more common today than ever. If you’re interested in learning how to protect yourself or in other credit cards with security features, you can find more information at Credit.com.

Image: jacoblund

The post U.S. Bank Introduces Mobile Location Services as Customers Gear Up for Holiday Travel appeared first on Credit.com.