It’s true – credit card companies compete with each other in an effort to gain loyal new customers. They do this in any number of ways; from rewards points for air travel and merchandise to cash back to complimentary hotel stays. Competition is fierce, too, which is good for the American consumer. It means big savings and more than a few impressive ways to take advantage of those programs.
Still, it can be a bit overwhelming as you move through the various offers. Which ones will continue to serve your interests in the long run? How much is going to cost to use the credit card? At what point do the perks not matter because of the interest rates and annual fees? This week, we take a look at a few of the many rewards credit card offers on the market. Your goal is to simply decide which one fits your particular financial needs – and which ones won’t serve a purpose after that free flight.
It should come as little surprise that Discover ranks high in both its offerings and consumer satisfaction. It’s been ranked number one in loyalty for more than fifteen years. We like it for this list because of the 15 month 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers. Plus, four times a year, you’ll find yourself enjoying 5% cash back bonuses in rotating categories. Topping this offer off is a no annual fee, no fees for redeeming your rewards and no fees associated with additional cards. Indeed, it’s a well rounded and impressive offer that keeps the satisfaction flowing long after the “honeymoon” phase. An excellent credit rating ensures your approval.
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus
Typically, a credit card offer that includes a free flight after the first purchase would have many of us scrambling to the fine print. It seems almost too good to be true, but rest assured, this co-branded credit card offer maintains its generous program after the “new” has worn off. Among many of its perks, you’ll enjoy an additional 3,000 points on your anniversary, which are redeemable for even international travel and hotels if you wish and your blags always fly free. No worries over change fees, blackout dates or expiration dates for your points, either. Visa and Southwestern have these benefits built in for the life of the account. The $69.00 annual fee is worth the many perks you’ll discover with this credit card. You’ll need excellent credit to qualify.
Chase Freedom Visa with $200 Cash Back Bonus
We wanted to include this offer for a few reasons. First, once you spend $500 in purchases during the first ninety days of opening your account, you’ll enjoy a $200 cash back bonus. Plus, like the Discover More card, the Chase Freedom also has bonus categories each quarter that earn you 5% cash back. You can save on groceries, fuel and even that home improvement project you’ve been putting off. Finally, shop the online mall through the Chase network and you’ll earn a whopping 10% cash back. There are no annual fees with the Chase Freedom, either. This is a smart choice for those who appreciate a full service credit card.
Generally, you might not expect a prepaid card to make a list such as this one, but for those who like the model of a prepaid, you’ll want to consider what this co-branded card offers. First, because it is a prepaid, there are never any finance charges. That alone saves money each year. You can use it to have your tax refunds applied as soon as it’s been processed, there are no credit checks and a bank account is not required. Here’s what the Wal Mart prepaid card offers that others don’t: 1% cash back on gas purchases. If you’ve watched gas prices steadily climb once again in recent months, you know how important a 1% discount can be. Issued by GE Money Bank and no issuance fees at all online make this an offer certainly worth your consideration.
Credit card companies will always compete for our business; it’s what the country is built on. That doesn’t mean a little research on your part isn’t necessary because it is. It’s important you become your biggest advocate to ensure you’re getting the best deals.