For every dollar you spend on a credit car, you should be getting something back from your rewards cards program. From travel bonuses to cash rewards, credit card perks can save you hundreds — and even thousands — of dollars annually, and learning what options are available, and what’s best for you, can have a big pay off.
With so many millennials unfamiliar with the top picks for rewards cards that pull their weight, from scoring you elite status at hotels, upgrading your airplane seat, or just making your bank account look that much healthier at the end of the year, we’re here to help. Remember that, generally speaking, all the cards on this list require a credit score of at least around 700 to apply.
MONEY Magazine’s “Best Travel Credit Card” in 2016-2017, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is all about the benefits. At $95 a year — waived the first year — the card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points when $4,000 are spent within the first 90 days.
Each point is worth $0.0125 towards travel booked by Chase, which can be transferred to frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. Dining and travel will earn double the points. Even better? No foreign transaction fees, no blackout dates or travel restrictions and a one-to-one point transfer to hotel and airline loyalty programs.
The Quicksilver card is for the person looking for something simple and hassle-free. There’s no annual fee. You’ll receive 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, all the time. There are no foreign transaction fees. There are no minimum redemption thresholds and no caps on how many rewards you can earn. If you spent $500 on purchases within the first 90 days, you will also receive a sign-up bonus of $150.
For all of its benefits, its flat-rate structure might not be the best for everyone. Other cards can offer up to 2-to-3 percent cash back for gas and groceries, and, if you’re willing to put in more effort, those with rotating reward categories — like the Chase Freedom — can, sometimes, net you up to 5 percent cash back on different essentials each quarter.
There’s a lot to love about the Chase Freedom card; from the no annual fee to the cash back rewards. Customers receive 5 percent cash back on rotating spending categories on up to $1,500 per quarter — categories include grocery stories, utilities and gas stations. They receive 1 percent cash back on everything else.
The Citi Double Cash credit card is best for those who are less interested in frequent flyer points and more on optimizing their rewards for every-day spending. You’ll receive 1 percent cash back on all purchases, along with an additional 1 percent cash back when you pay off the purchase. This 2 percent cash back can make it even more lucrative than something like the Chase Sapphire Preferred — and it’s much more affordable, with no annual fee and no requirements to sign up for a checking, savings or investment account with Citi.
Hey, big spenders, American Express’ rewards card for the well-heeled and well-traveled includes lots of amazing benefits.
The numerous perks include elite status at hotels like Hilton, Starwood and Marriot — benefits include room upgrades, complimentary Wi-Fi, and late checkout — along with access to airport lounges. You’ll get five times the rewards points when the card is used to book eligible flights and hotels, and 60,000 Membership Rewards points are available to new users if $5,000 worth of purchases is made within the first 90 days.
However, the high life comes with an annual fee of $550.
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