So many credit cards today offer cardholders travel rewards. Airline-branded cards focus on earning and redeeming miles with individual carriers. Hotel credit cards do the same with individual hotel chains. But what if travel isn’t your thing? If that’s the case, having a card for earning and redeeming points on travel is, well, kind of pointless.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to get a rewards credit card that offers the most bang for your buck in a category you tend to spend a lot on already. And if you don’t pay your balances off in full each month, you’re probably better off foregoing a rewards credit card completely since those points, miles and cash back will just get lost to interest. (You can see how your credit card balances are affecting your credit by viewing your free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.)
Having said that, here are four rewards credit cards for non-travelers to consider.
For the Constant Commuter
1. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card
If you find yourself in the car a lot during the week, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card would be a good fit for your wallet. Whether you’re driving to and from work or just shuttling the kids to all their activities, this card rewards you for filling up the tank. You’ll get 3% cash back on gas purchases and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. There’s a $2,500 limit on those bonus categories each quarter, but you’ll get 1% cash back everywhere else. (Not bad for a card without an annual fee.)
Plus, you can receive a $100 cash back bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days. If you’re a Bank of America customer, the earnings are even higher. Depending on the assets you have with the bank, you can earn a 10% to 75% bonus when you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account. (That 75% bonus is for Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients.)
As a new cardholder, you’ll receive an introductory 0% annual percentage rate (APR) for 12 months on purchases and any balance transfer you make within 60 days. Once the introductory period has ended, the APR will change to a variable 13.49% to 23.49%, depending on your creditworthiness.
For Whoever Does the Grocery Shopping
When it comes to earning rewards on groceries, there is no better card than the Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express (we’ve got a full review here). With this card, you receive 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year. When you use this card at gas stations, you receive 3% back. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
When you apply before May 3, 2017, you can earn 10% cash back at restaurants (a $200 cash back max) for the first six months, and you’re eligible for a $150 cash back bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, but it also offers an introductory 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period has ended, the APR will become a variable 13.49% to 23.49%.
3. AARP Credit Card From Chase
Chase’s AARP credit card is designed for members of the organization, though anyone can apply and it touts some solid rewards for foodies. Cardholders receive 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% cash back everywhere else. Plus, when you sign up for this no-annual-fee card, you’re eligible for a $100 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.
The card also has a charitable component: For every dollar you spend with your card at restaurants, 10 cents will be donated to the AARP foundation in support of Drive to End Hunger, up to $1 million in 2017. (You can find a few more credit cards that make giving easy here.)
The AARP credit card comes with an introductory 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period has ended, the APR will change to a variable 16.74% to 23.49%.
For the Fickle Spender
The Citi Double Cash card doesn’t have a flashy signup bonus, but it does give you the ability to earn cash back on every purchase without any hassle. There are no bonus or rotating categories, just an attractive flat rate. You will have the opportunity to earn 2% cash back on every purchase: The first 1% will come when you make the purchase. You will then earn another 1% back when you pay it off. This is a pretty attractive offer considering the card comes with no annual fee. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
The Citi Double Cash card (full review here) is also a great card if you need to transfer a balance from a high-interest credit card. You can receive an introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. The balance transfer fee is 3%. Once the introductory period has ended, the rate will change to a variable 13.99% to 23.99%.
At publishing time, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred and Citi Double Cash credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuers. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.
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