How the Discover it Miles Card Can Help You Afford Next Year’s Vacation

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

If you’re already daydreaming about next year’s vacation, take notice: the Discover it Miles credit card could help you make it happen. Discover’s flexible rewards program and impressive sign-up bonus can take a big bite out of your travel expenses.

Here’s how you can use the Discover it Miles card to splurge on an epic vacation next year.

All Purchases Earn Miles

To save on your trip, you’ll need to earn miles, which can be redeemed for travel expenses.

All purchases automatically earn 1.5 miles per dollar, with no confusing restrictions or spending categories to keep tabs on. You also have the opportunity to earn additional miles when shopping at more than 100 merchants on the Discover Deals platform.

Miles are unlimited and don’t expire as long as your account stays open. You can even earn miles using mobile wallets, as the card is compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.

If you begin earning miles now, you’ll have a head start saving up for your vacation.

The First-Year Matching Bonus

Here’s how Discover can really make a big difference on your next trip.

After the first 12 consecutive billing periods, Discover will match all the miles you’ve accrued, posting them to your account within a month or two. This automatically doubles the miles you earn. Essentially, you’ll be earning three miles per dollar (rather than 1.5) for a full year.

After you make a year’s worth of purchases and receive your first-year matching bonus, you should have a sizeable stockpile of miles to redeem for your trip.

Redeeming Miles for Your Vacation

Redeeming miles is simple and flexible. You won’t have to deal with special travel booking platforms, and you aren’t limited to certain travel providers.

You can redeem miles at any time for travel purchases made on your card within the past 180 days. Simply select the desired purchase(s) you wish to redeem for, and your miles will be posted in the form of a statement credit.

Qualifying travel purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, cruises, local and public transportation, and more. There are no blackout dates.

One mile has a cash value of one cent, so every 100 miles is worth $1 in travel redemption.

The Costs

The card has no annual fee. There’s an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases for 14 months, and then a variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR applies. Balance transfers get an introductory 10.99% APR for 14 months for transfers that post to the account by January 10 in 2018, after which the standard purchase APR applies.

Balance transfer fees are 3% of the transfer amount, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

How to Use the Card to Your Advantage

The quickest way to earn miles is to use your card for all your everyday purchases. That way, you’ll earn miles as you spend and get rewarded with a big sign-up bonus after a year.

Of course, you should always try to pay down your balance in full each month. Miles are great, but they aren’t much help if you can’t afford to make timely payments. And even though you won’t incur interest on purchases for 14 months, you don’t want your balance to become unmanageable.

When booking your next vacation, timing is important. You don’t want to make travel purchases too early, as your miles can only be redeemed for purchases made in the last 180 days. If you plan on making travel purchases ahead of time and redeeming miles later, make sure to check your calendar first. Keep in mind that the first-year matching bonus may take a month or two to show up.

Discover also provides up to $500,000 in flight accident insurance and up to $25,000 in auto rental insurance. So feel free to decline the extra insurance offered at the car rental agency.

If the Discover it Miles card isn’t right for you, review our other featured travel rewards credit cards. But before you apply for any credit card, you should be reasonably confident that you will be approved, as hard inquiries can lower your credit score. Review your credit report for free on Credit.com for the best chance of successful approvals.

Image: istock

At publishing time, the Discover it Miles card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of 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 How the Discover it Miles Card Can Help You Afford Next Year’s Vacation appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards That Help Grandparents Spoil Their Grandkids

Will Your Grandchildren Ruin Your Retirement?

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

Spoiling your grandkids can get expensive, especially if you’re on a fixed income. But some credit cards can help out financially, earning rewards as you treat your grandchildren to ice cream or take them out on adventures.

Here are four credit cards that can help you spoil your grandchildren.

1. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases (1% cash back on purchases beyond that threshold); 3% cash back at US gas stations and select department stores; and 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: This card offers a well-rounded variety of ways to earn cash back as you spend.
For Your Grandkids:
There are special cash back rates at supermarkets, gas stations, and eligible department stores. That means you’ll earn a lot of cash back whether you’re stocking up for a family dinner, driving your grandkids around town, or picking up some cute kids’ outfits.
Drawbacks: There is a $95 annual fee.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.
Why We Picked It: Every purchase earns the same dependable cash back rate.
For Your Grandkids: 
Every purchase you make (including grandchild-related expenses) earns 1.5% cash back.
Drawbacks: There are higher cash back rates available, especially if you’re willing to keep track of spending categories.

3. Citi Thank You Premier

Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on travel, including at gas stations; two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95.
APR: 
Variable 15.49% to 24.49% APR.
Why We Picked It: You can earn rewards as you take your grandkids on adventures.
For Your Grandkids: 
You’ll earn triple points on travel expenses (including gas), double points on dining and entertainment (including movie theaters, amusement parks, museums, and sporting events), and single points on everything else. If you’re out on the town with your grandkids, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to earn points, which can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, and more.
Drawbacks: If you tend to entertain your grandkids at home, this card won’t offer as much value.

4. US Bank Cash Plus Visa

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in quarterly purchases for two categories of your choosing; 2% cash back on one category of your choosing; and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: For one year, eligible purchases earn an additional 0.5% cash back.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 
Variable 14.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases; 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening, then variable 14.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: This card gives you the power to choose how you’ll be rewarded for purchases.
For Your Grandkids:
Every quarter, you have the option to pick one 2% cash back category (current options are gas, dining, or grocery stores) and two 5% cash back categories (including sporting goods stores, movie theaters, electronics stores, bookstores, and more). This means you can tailor your cash back rewards to your grandchild’s hobbies or your favorite family activities. You can also switch categories each quarter, which means you can adjust as your grandkids grow.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to remember to choose your special cash back categories every quarter.

How to Choose a Card to Spoil Your Grandkids

Ultimately, the best card for spoiling your grandkids depends on how you spend on them. If you like to pick up random gifts here and there, a basic cash back card might be a good choice. If you take your grandkids on road trips or out on the town, a card that specifically rewards gas or entertainment might be a better fit.

If you plan to use your card for purchases unrelated to your grandkids, make sure to choose a card that will also reward those spending habits—especially if your “grandchildren budget” adds up to only a fraction of your total spending. 

What Credit Is Required for a Credit Card for Grandparents?

The best cash back and rewards cards will require good or excellent credit. You should check your credit before you apply, and submit an application only if you have a good chance of approval. That’s because a hard inquiry from a credit card application can ding your score a few points. You can check your credit report free at Credit.com. 

Image: istock

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards 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 Credit Cards That Help Grandparents Spoil Their Grandkids appeared first on Credit.com.

Our Top 5 Credit Card Picks for Fall Landscaping Projects

A summer garden can be a wonderful hobby and investment when you follow these money saving tips!

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

With cooler weather and better planting conditions, fall is the perfect time of year for a landscaping project. But whether you’re sprucing up your garden or aiming to improve your home’s curb appeal, the expense of a large outdoor project can be daunting.

Some credit cards can help, offering you ways to earn cash back or avoid paying interest on your purchases.

Here are five credit cards for your fall landscaping project.

1. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: Citi offers the lengthiest 0% intro APR period we’ve seen.
For Your Outdoor Project: 
You can avoid paying interest on your landscaping purchases for almost two years. That’s a long time to pay off your project.
Drawbacks: 
There are no rewards offered with this card.

2. Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

Rewards: None
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% intro APR for up to 24 months on qualifying purchase types, then variable 17.99% to 26.99% APR based on your credit.
Why We Picked It: Home Depot offers both the supplies you need and the card (reviewed here) that can help you afford them.
For Your Outdoor Project: 
Home Depot purchases of $299 or more get six months of 0% APR. Various purchase types, including pergolas, snow blowers, and siding, can qualify for up to 24 months of 0% APR. Cardholders can also access special discounts and have one year to make returns, which is nine months longer than Home Depot’s standard policy.
Drawbacks: 
If you don’t shop at Home Depot, this card isn’t right for you.

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus 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: This well-rounded card offers a solid cash back rate on every purchase, a nice little sign-up bonus, and a long period of interest-free purchases.
For Your Outdoor Project: 
All of your landscaping purchases will automatically earn 1.5% cash back automatically, and you get 15 months to avoid interest as you pay off your project. It should also be easy to meet the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus.
Drawbacks: There are higher cash back rates available with other cards.

4. Lowe’s Advantage Card 

Rewards: None
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% intro APR for qualifying purchase types, then variable 26.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: Loyal Lowe’s shoppers have many ways to save on their landscaping projects.
For Your Outdoor Project: 
When you apply for a Lowe’s credit card, you can choose to receive 5% off all qualifying Lowe’s purchases or six months of 0% APR on purchases of $299 or more. Lowe’s also offers up to 36 months of low-interest financing on certain purchases; for instance, riding lawn mowers currently get 1.99% APR for 36 months.
Drawbacks: You have to choose between saving on every purchase or avoiding interest. 

5. Discover it – Cashback Match

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of purchases in quarterly bonus categories; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You can earn 5% cash back on your landscaping supplies if you get them from the right merchants.
For Your Outdoor Project: For October through December this year, the card’s 5% cash back bonus category is Target and Amazon.com purchases. You should be able to get at least some of your landscaping needs from these merchants, earning a great cash back rate as you spend.
Drawbacks: 
The card’s “home improvement store” bonus category, which would have been ideal, has already passed by this year.

Choosing a Card for Your Landscaping Project

General cash back cards without merchant restrictions will be suitable for a project that involves purchases at many different stores (or if you want a card you can also use for everyday spending). But if you’re sourcing your project at one type of store, you may want to look for a card that offers a special cash back rate at that merchant type.

If you’re after a 0% intro APR offer, you should start by estimating the cost of your project. Choose a card with a payback period that gives you enough time to pay off your estimated project cost in full before it expires. Otherwise, you’ll be hit with interest when the intro period is up.  

What Credit Is Required to Get a Card for My Landscaping Project?

Credit cards with cash back rewards and 0% intro APR offers often require good to excellent credit. Store-specific credit cards might be easier to qualify for, but they generally don’t hold as much long-term value. Before you apply for a card, you should be confident in your chances of approval. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

Image: AleksandarNakic

At publishing time, the Citi Simplicity, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Discover it cards 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 Our Top 5 Credit Card Picks for Fall Landscaping Projects appeared first on Credit.com.

Should You Get Another Credit Card? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions First

favorite credit cards

Credit cards play a significant role in your financial life—from establishing credit to determining your buying power and more. While credit cards have become an integral part of society and even have their perks, you may be wondering how many credit cards you should keep and if it would be wise to get another one.

Before you decide to add another credit card to your wallet, there are some things that you will want to consider. Find out if applying for additional credit cards makes sense by asking yourself these five questions first. 

How Long Have You Been a Credit Card Holder?

If you are a new credit card holder, it can take six months to a year to see an effect on your credit score. Without an established credit history, it may be difficult for lenders to decide whether to extend credit to you. A short credit history can also impact your interest rates, keeping them higher than desirable. If you have had your credit card for less than a year, getting a new one may not be the best choice right now.

What to do: Be patient. When using the credit cards you already have, pay on time and in full each month so that future credit card companies will see how responsible you are and will be more likely to extend you credit with a good interest rate. If you are a new credit card holder, try holding off for one year before applying for another credit card.

How Are You Managing Your Current Credit Cards?

It may be tempting to have more spending power at your disposal, but before you apply for another credit card, make sure you can financially handle it. Examine how you are currently managing your credit cards. Are you struggling to pay the minimum each month? Are you unable to make payments on time? If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, it’s probably not a good idea to apply for another credit card right now.

What to do: If you are already struggling, ask yourself why you need to get another credit card. Is it because you don’t have enough cash flow or you have an emergency situation? Instead of making any hasty decisions by opening another line of credit, develop a plan to lower your current credit card balances and create a budget that will help you organize and control your spending.

How Are You Going to Use Your New Credit Card?

When considering a new credit card, it’s important to know what your intentions are and how you are planning to use it. Some reasons for opening a new credit card account may be more impulsive than practical, so think carefully before signing that credit card application. If you plan to use the new card as a backup, most likely you won’t use it often. Some credit card companies have a policy of canceling credit cards due to inactivity, and a canceled credit card can cause your credit score to take a dip.

What to do: Before you decide to apply for a new card that you may not use, use your current cards effectively. Pay your balance on time and in full to build your credit. Some cards even offer cash back rewards that reward smart spending.

What Types of Perks and Rewards Does the Credit Card Offer?

If you have established excellent credit, you may be receiving offers from many different credit card companies claiming perks and rewards galore. If you know that you can financially handle another credit card and are looking to take advantage of some perks that your current credit cards do not offer, you may want to consider another credit card. Before you move forward, do your research on each one.

What to do: Don’t get sucked in by flashy offers that won’t benefit you in the long run. Cash back rewards and frequent flier miles won’t help if you aren’t able to pay your balance or if the cards don’t offer rewards that you can take advantage of. It’s important to make sure that the credit card you choose is the right fit for your needs. Decide which perks are most important to you and would give you the most bang for your buck. 

What Is the Interest Rate?

While you may have every intention of paying off your credit card balance in full every month, sometimes life happens and the only option in the moment is to make minimum payments. Whether it’s the loss of a job or a divorce, many situations can throw you off track financially. High interest rates on credit cards can compound an already stressful situation.

What to do: While some credit cards may hit everything on your perk and benefit checklist, if the interest rate is too high, skip it. Hefty amounts added to your credit card bill every month will only make it that much harder to get out of a tight financial situation should life throw you a curveball. Look for credit cards with low interest rates that will be sustainable for long term use.

Once you’ve examined your reasons for wanting another credit card, you can determine which one is best for you—if any at all! Depending on your needs, you can use Credit.com’s Credit Card Finder to find the right card for you.

Image: istock

The post Should You Get Another Credit Card? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions First appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Ways to Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company

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

Even if you are paying your credit card bills on time, you may still be looking at your statements each month in distress. It’s all there in black and white: the interest rate, the annual fees, and maybe even the occasional-but-hefty late charge.

If you feel stressed when opening your credit card statements, it may be time for you to fight for a better deal. Luckily, negotiating with credit card companies isn’t as hard as you think. If you are persistent and determined, you’ll be surprised at how eager some banks and other credit card issuers are willing to work with you.

Here are five ways you can negotiate with credit card companies—and keep it on your terms.

1. Go Right to the Top

There’s no sense in wasting any time. When calling your credit card company to negotiate a better deal, it’s best to ask to speak to a manager right away. It’s crucial, however, to always be polite and assure the representative who answered the call that there isn’t a problem.

The representative may ask you if there is a way for them to help you before they send you to their supervisor. At this point, explain to your representative what you are trying to accomplish and what you would like to change about your credit card bill—they may be able to help on their level. If they are unable to assist you, however, speaking to a supervisor is more likely to get you the result you are looking for.

2. Request a Due Date Change

If your credit card payment due dates are putting you in a compromising financial position and are not aligning with your budget or pay schedule, request a due date change. Many credit card companies are willing to move the date to help increase timely payments.

If you are consistently making late payments, it would be in your best interest to request a more suitable date. Not only are you incurring late fees and interest, but you’re also causing your credit score to take a dip. A due date change can make all the difference in keeping you financially healthy.

3. Bargain for a Better Interest Rate

Your interest rate might be good—but is it good enough? Perhaps you have been getting some competitive offers from other credit card companies but choose to ignore them because you are content with your current credit card company. If so, you may be missing out on a better deal.

Take those other offers and use them as a bargaining chip instead. Come to the table prepared with all the perks, interest rates, and other benefits that you would be getting if you switched cards. More than likely, your credit card company won’t want to lose you as a customer and will be willing to beat or at least match the offers you are getting.

4. Ask for a Late Payment Fee Waiver

Credit card companies may be willing to let a little hiccup of a late payment slide for customers with long and responsible payment histories. If you have consistently been late with your payments, however, they probably will not give you credit for all your late fees—but they may be willing to negotiate with you if you offer to sign up for automatic payments. If you show good faith in trying to improve your payment record, you may be able to get in their good graces and be accommodated.

5. Haggle to Get That Annual Fee Removed

While there are many credit cards out there that offer perks without an annual fee, many others charge as much as $95 per year in exchange for a few extra perks. When you first signed up for your credit card, the annual fee you were paying may have worked in your favor because you were taking advantage of the benefits as a cardholder.

Take a look at your monthly spending. Are your cash back rewards and other benefits outweighing the annual fee? If your answer is no, then it’s possible you are holding a card that isn’t the right fit for you anymore. While it’s not recommended that you close your credit card account (doing so can also lower your credit score), try haggling to get the annual fee removed or consider downgrading to a no-annual-fee option.

Before you apply for any credit card, review your credit report for free at Credit.com and make sure your credit score is healthy enough to get you approved. A hard inquiry into your credit can drop your credit score, so make sure you’re prepared. Visit Credit.com’s Personal Finance Learning Center for more information.

Image: wutwhanfoto

The post 5 Ways to Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Credit Cards for Food Delivery Drivers

teen-drivers-2

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

With the rise of food delivery apps and casual dining restaurants, there are more ways than ever to make a living in food delivery. But one major drawback of delivery driving—the cost of fuel—prevails.

Some credit cards can help delivery drivers put cash back in their pockets every time they stop at the gas pump, making their delivery gig more profitable.

Here are our top four picks for credit cards for food delivery drivers.

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 select department stores; and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $200 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: Delivery drivers earn great cash back rates at gas stations and beyond.
For Delivery Drivers: 
You’ll earn 3% cash back at all US gas stations (excluding merchants that don’t primarily sell gas, like supermarkets and wholesale clubs). If your vehicle breaks down, there’s a Roadside Assistance Hotline to bail you out.
Drawbacks: 
You must pay a $95 annual fee.

2. Discover it Chrome

Rewards: 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn double cash back on gas and dining expenses.
For Delivery Drivers: 
With 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, you’ll earn great rewards at the pump and when you pick up dinner on the way home. Plus, Discover’s first-year cash back match doubles the early value of this card.
Drawbacks: 
Your double cash back rate is limited to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.

3. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases each year (1% cash back on purchases beyond that threshold); 3% cash back on dining and qualifying travel purchases; 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com; and 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: Costco members will earn a strong cash back rate on gas.
For Delivery Drivers: 
You’ll get 4% cash back at eligible gas stations, which is pretty tough to beat. Costco and Costco.com purchases earn 2% cash back, so you can also save on Costco’s auto goods and services to keep your car in tip-top shape.
Drawbacks: 
You must be a Costco member to get this card.

4. Bank of America Cash Rewards 

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas purchases and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 online cash reward bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for twelve months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR. Balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening.
Why We Picked It: This card earns a very competitive cash back rate at the pump.
For Delivery Drivers: You’ll earn 3% cash back on gas purchases, and the sign-up bonus has a fairly low spending limit. If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you get a 10% cash back bonus every time you redeem your rewards for an account deposit.
Drawbacks: 
To get the best value, you must be a Bank of America banking customer.

Choosing a Credit Card for Delivery Driving

If you always fill up at the same gas station chain, check to see if that brand offers its own rewards credit card. But if you aren’t loyal to one company, you’ll want a card that provides the same cash back rate at every gas station.

Many card providers also offer emergency roadside assistance with their cards, which can help you out in case of a vehicle breakdown. If you’re worried about a roadside emergency, look for a card that can offer roadside services.

If your primary focus is gas, you’ll want a card that provides the strongest fuel rewards. But if you spend a lot at many other merchant types, you may be better off with a card that rewards general spending.

What Credit Is Required for a Fuel Rewards Card?

Cards with great gas rewards usually require good to excellent credit. To increase your chances of approval, you should be reasonably confident in your credit qualifications before you apply. If you aren’t sure about your credit, you can check your credit report free at Credit.com.

Image: Sakkawokkie 

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, Discover it Chrome, and Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi 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 Credit Cards for Food Delivery Drivers appeared first on Credit.com.

How New Discover it Card Customers Can Supercharge Their Cash Back This Quarter

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

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

If you have the Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Card in your wallet, you already know you can earn great cash back rates with a rotating carousel of merchants all year round. But this quarter, Discover is offering new cardholders the opportunity to close out the year with a cash back bang.

Discover’s fourth-quarter bonus category, combined with its cash back matching offer, significantly boosts the card’s value for anyone who’s held the card for under a year. First-year customers can save on goods, earn rewards, and even double their cash back value as they shop.

Here’s how new cardholders can take advantage of the Q4 bonus category and cash back match to supercharge the Discover it Card’s value.

The Q4 Cash Back Bonus Category

Discover offers 5% cash back in bonus spending categories that rotate every quarter. For instance, 2017’s first quarter offered 5% cash back at gas stations, for ground transportation, and at wholesale clubs. Even if you aren’t excited about a quarter’s bonus category, you can ride it out for three months and earn 1% cash back on all other purchases in the meantime.

Cash back can be redeemed for bank account deposits, statement credits, gift cards, charitable donations, and more.

For 2017’s last quarter (October through December), cardholders will earn 5% cash back on all eligible Amazon.com and Target purchases. This bonus category is especially valuable for a few reasons:

  • Holiday shoppers can earn 5% cash back when gift shopping at Amazon.com and Target.
  • com and Target carry an enormous variety of goods, so qualifying purchases abound.
  • Eligible Amazon.com purchases include its inventory of physical products, downloads, Amazon gift cards, Amazon Prime subscriptions, and goods sold by third-party merchants on Amazon.com.
  • Online Target purchases qualify, so you don’t even need a nearby Target to benefit.

This bonus category is solid on its own, but new cardholders can see even greater value with Discover’s first-year cash back match.

The First-Year Cash Back Match

Discover currently matches all cash back earned in the first year of the card, with no cap on the potential earnings. After your account is open 12 consecutive billing periods, Discover will match the cash back you’ve earned up to that point and apply the bonus to your account in a month or two.

This essentially doubles the cash back you earn, giving new customers a potential 10% cash back in bonus categories (with limitations) and 2% cash back on all other purchases for a full year.

The Limitations

There are a few limitations. The 5% cash back category applies only to the first $1,500 in purchases per quarter—any bonus category purchases beyond the cap will earn 1% cash back. You must also remember to activate your bonus category each quarter, and any purchases made before activation won’t earn the 5% cash back rate.

The cash back matching offer is available only to new Discover customers.

Taking Advantage of the Q4 Bonus Category

If you’re a first-year cardholder, you should take advantage of this bonus category while it lasts.

Make sure to activate your bonus category immediately if you haven’t already (bonus categories can be activated online). To get your 5% cash back, try to prioritize purchases at Amazon.com and Target—any time you need to make a purchase, it can pay off to check with those merchants first.

Remember, 5% to 10% cash back won’t make up for large price discrepancies. If a competitor offers an identical good much cheaper, it may be better to go for the savings. Your 5% cash back is good for only $1,500 in purchases each quarter, so feel free to shop around once you hit that limit.

Before you apply for any credit card, you should check your credit score and submit an application only if you feel reasonably confident that you will be approved—a hard credit inquiry can negatively affect your credit score. Review your credit report for free at Credit.com.

Image: Peopleimages

At publishing time, the Discover it card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for 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 How New Discover it Card Customers Can Supercharge Their Cash Back This Quarter appeared first on Credit.com.

HSBC Gold Mastercard and HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard: Credit Cards for World Travelers

Man in a cafe using credit card

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace.]

Picking a credit card that’s right for you can be tricky: companies and cards offer so many different incentives and rewards, it can be hard to keep them all straight and decipher which is the best for you. This is especially true if you often travel abroad and face the possibility of foreign transaction fees. And if you were looking for no fees and cash back, forget about it.

Until now, that is.

HSBC Bank is now offering two credit cards that have no fees, which makes them especially useful for traveling worldwide. Up until recently, you had to bank with HSBC in order to apply for one of its credit cards, but these new cards are available to anyone who qualifies. HSBC also has many international locations, so using your HSBC card abroad is easy.

Here’s why we think the HSBC Gold Mastercard and the HSBC Cash Rewards cards are ideal for frequent travelers.

HSBC Gold Mastercard

Why We Love It: This card has one of the lowest APRs on the market: variable 11.99% to 19.99% APR after an 18-month introductory offer of 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers. This is a useful option if you’re trying to consolidate or pay off credit card debt.

The HSBC Gold Mastercard also offers a more flexible late fee policy than most. If you’re ever late making a payment, you have the option of waiving the late fee once a year. As if that weren’t enough, there is also no penalty APR for late payments—something almost unheard of in the credit card industry. On top of that, this card has no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. It also comes with purchase, price, and return protection, as well as travel protection for cardholders and their families.

The main drawback to this card is that it does not have a rewards program. If rewards are a must-have for your credit cards, you will want to look elsewhere.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard

Why We Love It: Like the HSBC Gold Mastercard, the Cash Rewards Mastercard has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Unlike the Gold, you get cash back with the Cash Rewards card—which is rare for a card that has no fees.

Cardholders receive 2% cash back on all purchases for the first six months that the account is open and 1.5% cash back on purchases after that. While 1.5% may not seem like much, it’s a higher rate of return than the usual 1% that cards with no annual fees usually offer. The Cash Rewards card offers a 10% anniversary loyalty bonus on all rewards that you earn for the year and has a special offer when you sign up: you can earn $150 cash back after spending $500 within the first three months. Rewards can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, and gift cards. There is an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months that the account is open. The purchase APR is 13.99% to 23.99%, which is slightly higher than the Gold card but still competitive.

Like the HSBC Gold Mastercard, the Cash Rewards card comes with travel, purchase, price, and return protection for cardholders. It does have a higher interest rate, and the introductory 0% APR period isn’t as long, but if you’re more focused on being part of a rewards program, then this may be the card for you.

Who Are These Cards For?

These cards are good picks for people who often travel and shop overseas. And with their special 0% introductory offers on balance transfers, they are also both helpful if you’re looking to pay off card debt—although the HSBC Gold Mastercard has a longer introductory period.

Finally, if you want basic credit cards with straightforward benefits, these cards are definitely a good option, especially since there are no spending categories to keep track of for the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard.

If you’re looking for a broader rewards base, you may want to consider something else, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, although this card does charge an annual fee. To qualify for one of these cards, you need to have fair to excellent credit. You can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.

Image: istock

At publishing time, the HSBC Gold Mastercard, HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard, and Chase Sapphire Preferred are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for 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 HSBC Gold Mastercard and HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard: Credit Cards for World Travelers appeared first on Credit.com.

Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card?

Female buying something on internet with computer and credit card. Garden blur background

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Store credit cards from retailers like Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Target can be enticing to sign up for. Once you are approved, the cashier is often empowered to offer you an immediate discount on the merchandise you’re buying.

There are additional bonuses as you continue to use the card, like special introductory offers 0% APR for a limited time, advance intel on in-store deals, extra discounts, and—with certain cards like the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card—the ability to use the card anywhere and earn cash back almost everywhere you shop.

While there are a lot of upsides, the downside of using store credit cards is the high annual percentage rate (APR), which can be as high as 26.99% in the case of the Lowe’s credit card and 26.24% for the Best Buy credit card. If you get a card that has a substantial APR, you could end up owing a lot of interest on top of your existing debt.

Ideally, these cards should be paid in full every month. But what if you can’t make that happen, or you get carried away and are now sitting on a pile of debt? What can you do to pay down the balance of your high-APR card and avoid accruing interest? You may be tempted to pay off your debt with another credit card, but there are a few things you need to know first.

Can I Pay My Credit Card with Another Credit Card?

Unfortunately, none of the major card issuers we queried (including those offering store credit cards) will let you pay your bill directly by credit card.

As a consumer, you may think that it would make sense to pay off one credit card bill with another credit card, thereby maximizing the benefits of one while paying the other. But it’s actually not that surprising that credit card companies won’t allow you to do so. If your card issuer accepted another credit card for payment, it would have to pay the merchant fee—which could be 2% to 2.5% or more of the payment amount. That means, essentially, it wouldn’t get the full payment from you.

In addition, card associations may impose other restrictions on this practice. Andrew Gerlt, director of Global Brand & Product Communications for Visa, noted in an email that “Visa rules do not allow the payment of credit card debt with a credit card. We do allow for debt repayment with a debit card, however.”

6 Other Ways to Pay Your Credit Card Bill   

If you really need to “charge” your next payment, there are workarounds. Here are six other ways to pay your credit card bill without charging it to another credit card.

1. Pay Your Credit Card Using a Personal Loan

A personal loan is a good option for managing your high-interest credit card debt and for consolidating debt as well. Personal finance expert Andrea Woroch, who is working with Marcus by Goldman Sachs, says, “Instead of paying separate credit card bills, people should consider a loan that offers lower interest rates. One loan can make payments easier to manage as well.”

For more information on personal loans, visit our Personal Loan Learning Center.

2. Pay Your Credit Card with a Cash Advance

As long as you have enough available credit, you should be able to use a credit card to get a cash advance and then use that money to pay another credit card bill. You can obtain a cash advance at most banks or credit unions, or at an ATM if you have a PIN for your card.

But do your homework before you take this option. The interest rate on cash advances is often higher than the rate for purchases. David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, says, “Advances generally start accruing interest immediately, and, depending on your credit card terms and conditions, could be at a rate higher than you think. Call your credit card company and ask before advancing cash, or, if willing and able, read your terms and conditions.”

Before you decide to use a credit card cash advance, review what that entails.

3. Transfer Your Balance

If one of your card issuers offers a balance transfer, you can use that to pay down or pay off your other card. If you have already received convenience checks in the mail, you can use one of those to make a payment on another card (though you can’t use a convenience check to make a payment on the same account). Or you can deposit that check into your checking account and use those funds to make a payment. If you haven’t received one of these offers in the mail, check with your card issuer online or by phone to see if you are eligible.

If your credit scores are strong, you may be eligible for a low-rate balance transfer card. Just keep in mind that these offers almost always charge fees ranging from 2% to 4% of the amount transferred. It’s hard to find a credit card that offers a 0% APR balance transfer with no fee, but they do exist.

For more information, review our expert guide on credit cards with balance transfers.

4. Pay Your Credit Card with a Home Equity Loan

If you own a home, you may be able to use equity to help pay your credit card bills. Bobbi Rebell, financial expert and author of How to Be a Financial Grownup, says, “If you have credit card debt, you can often shift that debt to a home equity line of credit and get a double benefit. First, you will get a much lower interest rate. Credit cards often charge upwards of 20%! A home equity line of credit could be a quarter of that or less. The other big bonus is that in many cases, home equity debt can be deductible on your tax return.”

To learn more about home loans, review our guide to finding the right loan.

5. Sell Your Stuff to Pay Your Credit Card

Rebell also suggests selling off things that you don’t need. “Raise money to pay the debt,” she says. “Go through and actually sell stuff you don’t use—or can do without. Do you need the second car? Do you need the gym equipment sitting in the garage? What about that baby stroller? You’d be surprised how much value you can discover in your home.”

For more tips and tricks on getting your personal finances in order, visit our Personal Finance Learning Center and review other ways to make more money.

6. Use the RPTPP Method to Pay Your Credit Card

If cash flow is the main reason you want to use a credit card to pay another credit card, try the “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul” method. Use your credit card for everyday spending in order to free up as much cash as you can to pay your credit card bill. It’s not ideal, or even recommended, but it can be an option in a cash crunch.

If you’re finding it necessary to use the RPTPP method, it’s probably time to review your finances and budgets.

Proceed with Caution

None of these approaches will help you earn reward points, so that option is likely off the table. And if your cash flow problems are anything but truly temporary, these methods may simply help you dig a deeper hole.

In addition, moving your debt around may not help your credit scores in the long run. Debt is one of the main factors most scoring models consider when calculating credit scores. If your debt is bringing down your scores (you can find out if that’s the case by getting your credit report for free at Credit.com), then paying it down is one of the best ways to build stronger credit.

Image: Ingram Publishing

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 Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card? appeared first on Credit.com.

Boost Your Blockbuster Budget: 3 Credit Cards for Movie Lovers

Being on a budget doesn't mean having to give up the signature movie theater popcorn.

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

Movie lovers know there are few greater pleasures than watching a good cinematic adventure unfold on screen. No matter your favorite genre or preferred viewing venue, some credit cards can further enhance that experience.

These cards reward movie purchases or provide access to unique film experiences, giving you extra motivation to watch those big blockbusters.

Here are three credit cards for movie lovers. 

1. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR.

Why We Picked It: Select movie purchases earn double points.

For Movie Purchases: This card earns two points on the dollar for entertainment, which includes movie theater purchases, video rentals, and on-demand streaming services. And for dinner-and-a-movie date nights, you’ll also earn double points on dining purchases. Points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or even gift cards—to buy more movies, of course.

Drawbacks: There’s no sign-up bonus.

2. Sony Card from Capital One

Rewards: Five points per dollar spent on Sony purchases at authorized retailers; three points per dollar spent on music and video downloads, movie rentals, theater purchases, and digital streaming and subscription services; and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus points if you make your first purchase within 90 days.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% intro APR until March 2018 on purchases, then variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR; variable 14.99% to 24.99% APR on balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: This card is built to reward media consumption.

For Movie Purchases: You’ll earn triple points per dollar on your movie purchases, including movie theater purchases, movie rentals, downloads, or movie subscription services. And if you want to build out your home theater system, you’ll get five points per dollar spent on Sony electronics at authorized retailers. Those points can then be redeemed for Sony merchandise, movies, music, games, and more.

Drawbacks: This card is locked into Sony’s rewards program, which may not include all the redemption options you want.

3. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and travel; 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: Hardcore film festival buffs can enjoy impressive ticket package rewards.

For Movie Purchases: Chase’s travel-focused card helps users earn dining and travel rewards, but it doesn’t stop there. It also provides access to unique experiences, including the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with an exclusive ticket package.

Drawbacks: This card doesn’t provide as much value to infrequent travelers. 

How to Choose a Credit Card for Movies

If you’re looking for a card that rewards your movie habit, try to find one that incentivizes spending at movie theaters, on-demand rental services, or whatever method you prefer for movie watching.

If you don’t spend a ton of money on movies but you still want movie-related rewards, there are cards for that too. Plenty of credit cards offer cash back or rewards points on every purchase, and you might be able to redeem those points for film-based perks. Just make sure you read through reward offerings carefully to verify that the card you pick will get you the benefits you want.

What Credit Is Required for a Credit Card for Movie Spending?

The best rewards cards require good to excellent credit. You should always check your credit before you apply, and submit an application only if you meet the card’s credit requirements. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

Image: gilaxia 

At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, Sony Card from Capital One, and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 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.

The post Boost Your Blockbuster Budget: 3 Credit Cards for Movie Lovers appeared first on Credit.com.