4 Credit Cards That Can Help You Save for a Car

Saving for a car can be much easier when you've got credit cards with major rewards and perks.

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

The more you save up for a down payment on your next car, the better off you’ll be financially when you drive off the lot. A bigger down payment can reduce the amount you need to borrow,  increase the range of cars you can afford and even lower your monthly payments. But saving up for a car can be difficult when you’ve got many other expenses.

Cash back credit cards can help you save by earning money back on your purchases, putting cash back in your pocket.

These four credit cards can earn you cash back and that you can use to help you pay for your next ride.

1. Discover it Card

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating bonus categories, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: Discover will match the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for six months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Long-term planners can use Discover’s cash back match for down payment assistance.
For Your New Car: This card earns 5% cash back on bonus categories, such as restaurants and home improvement stores, that rotate every quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn in the first year. If you have a year or more to save up for your new ride, that bonus can help you make a final push to boost your down payment.
Drawbacks: To get the most out of this card, you’ll have to do the work of tracking and activating spending categories each quarter.

2. Chase Freedom

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating bonus categories, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 15.74% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: The 5% cash back bonus categories and signup bonus can help you quickly save.
For Your New Car: With 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories like gas stations and grocery stores, you’ll have plenty of ways to save. There’s also a $150 bonus when you spend $500 in three months, which shouldn’t be too difficult.
Drawbacks: Like Discover it, this card requires a bit more maintenance.

3. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in yearly spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Multiple ways to earn special cash back rates means you’ll have many ways to save for your car.
For Your New Car: With 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and certain department stores and 1% cash back elsewhere, there’s no shortage of opportunities for saving. Plus, $150 bonus cash can go right toward that down payment.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee, which slightly reduces the potential profitability of your card.

4. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% upon payment
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 18 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: If you religiously pay off your balance each month, you’ll consistently earn 2% cash back on all purchases. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your New Car: With all purchases earning 2% cash back by the time you pay, you can earn a solid cash back rate no matter what you’re buying.
Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait until you pay to earn the full cash back rate.

Choosing a Credit Card to Help Save for a Car

Cash back is the primary way credit cards can help you save for a car. When picking a credit card to help you afford your next ride, you’ll want to choose a card that rewards the way you spend. You can try to find a card that offers special cash back rates on the purchase types you make most frequently. Or, if you tend to spread your purchases around at many types of merchants, a card with quarterly rotating purchase categories or a flat cash back rate on all purchases might be a good fit.

Be sure to check the cash back redemption options on any card you’re evaluating. Some cards will let you redeem your cash back as a deposit to your bank account, while others may only provide a credit to your credit card statement. The latter method can still help you save for a down payment as you’ll have a smaller credit card bill, but it’s something you should keep in mind.

It’s also important to remember that a cash back card works best when you pay off your balance in full each month, especially once any 0% APR period expires. That’s because interest charges will eat into the cash back you’ve earned.

What Credit Is Required for a Card That Helps You Afford a Car?

Cards with strong cash back offers and signup bonuses usually require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you’ll want to be reasonably sure you can get approved, as a hard credit inquiry resulting from a credit card application can slightly hurt your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores completely free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Discover it, Chase Freedom, Blue Cash Preferred by American Express, and Citi Double Cash credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for 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 prices for products and services frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms cited in this article may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with the company directly.

Image: BraunS

The post 4 Credit Cards That Can Help You Save for a Car appeared first on Credit.com.

If You’re a Tech Nerd, You’ll Love These 4 Credit Cards

Whether you’re building a top-notch gaming PC or itching for the latest smartphone, there are credit cards that can help tech nerds.

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

It’s easy to love technology these days, as gadgets and tech are ubiquitous. There’s an app for nearly everything. According to Pew Research, more than three-quarters of Americans have smartphones. But true tech enthusiasts take it up a notch, following the industry to learn the latest developments and to hunt down the best hardware and software.

Whether you’re building a top-notch gaming PC or itching for the latest smartphone, there are credit cards that can help tech fanatics.

1. My Best Buy Visa Card

Rewards: 5% back on Best Buy purchases (6% for Elite Plus members), 3% back on gas, air travel and ground transportation through September 2017, 2% back on dining and grocery purchases, 1% back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 26.24%
Why We Picked It: This card earns rewards for Best Buy purchases.
Tech Benefits: All purchases earn rewards, with strong extra incentives for Best Buy purchases and other spending types. Earned rewards can be used toward future Best Buy purchases.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend a lot at Best Buy, this card isn’t a good fit. The APR is high.

2. Discover it Card

Rewards: 5% cash back on rotating purchase categories, 1% cash back on other purchases
Signup Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: The upcoming spending category can help you save big on gadgets, and you can link your card to mobile pay.
Tech Benefits: Discover offers 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate each quarter. From October to December this year, the spending category is Amazon.com purchases, which means you’ll save big on any gadgets ordered with the online retail giant. Plus, if you prefer to pay by mobile wallet, you can link your Discover card and earn cash back that way.
Drawbacks: Spending categories won’t always be tech-friendly, and purchases outside those categories only earn 1% cash back.

3. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: $200 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 25.99%
Why We Picked It: There’s a strong incentive for mobile pay and you get great cell phone protection.
Tech Benefits: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. For one year, you’ll get a special 1.8% cash back rate on mobile wallet purchases when you link your card to an Android Pay or Apple Pay account. Plus, the card comes with cell phone protection on up to four lines, for up to $600 per occurrence and $1,200 in total coverage each year.
Drawbacks: Cell phone protection is only available if you use your credit card to pay your cellular bill.

4. AT&T Access Card From Citi

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent online at retail and travel websites, two points per dollar spent on products and services purchased from AT&T, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 14.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: If you’re constantly shopping online or updating your gadgets and smartphones with AT&T, you can easily rack up rewards points. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Tech Benefits: You’ll earn two points per dollar for online retail and travel purchases and AT&T purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points are redeemable for electronics, gift cards, travel and more. Plus, with Citi Price Rewind, Citi will automatically search for lower prices on registered purchases. If they find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, you can receive a reimbursement on the difference.
Drawbacks: If you aren’t an AT&T customer, this card won’t offer as much value.

How to Choose a Card for Your Tech Spending

Many credit cards have features with obvious ties to tech, including strong purchase protections, extended warranties or cash back at specific retailers. You should consider your specific tech needs before choosing a card. If you’re hard on your gadgets, you may want a credit card with strong product protection policies. If you tend to buy electronics as soon as they come out, price protection can help you save cash if the item in question goes on sale.

You’ll also want to consider where you tend to make your tech purchases. If you’re loyal to one store, you may want to see if they have a branded credit card. If you’re agnostic, you’ll want a card that can reward you no matter where you get your gadgets.

However, if you need a card for more than just tech, you may want one that rewards your overall spending habits. For instance, a card with a strong flat cash back rate on all purchases can help you earn cash at the electronics store and at the supermarket.

What Is Required to Get a Credit Card for Tech Purchases?

Cards that provide spending rewards and strong purchase protection policies usually require good to excellent credit. You should be confident in your credit before you apply, because a hard credit inquiry initiated by a credit card application can lower your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: Peopleimages

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

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

The post If You’re a Tech Nerd, You’ll Love These 4 Credit Cards appeared first on Credit.com.