Discover It Student Cash Back: Best Student Credit Card
Why we picked it: Students will be hard-pressed to find a starter credit card that offers more rewards than the Discover it Student Cash Back. Theyll enjoy 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1% , along with a cash back match at the end of their first year.
Pros: The card touts a number of student-friendly benefits, including a $20 statement credit every year you earn a 3.0 GPA or higher for up to five years, a skipped late fee the first time you miss a payment , and a free FICO score so you can track your progress building credit. Theres also a 6-month 0% introductory APR on purchases .
Cons: Youll have to keep track and enroll in quarterly rotating bonus categories, which might be more maintenance than a first-time rewards cardholder is looking for.
Who should apply? Students who want to earn rewards and enjoy beginner-friendly benefits are a great match for this well-rounded cash back credit card.
Who should skip? Rewards credit cards arent for everyone. If you suspect youll overspend in an attempt to earn cash back, you might want to opt for a non-rewards entry-level credit card, like the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.
Read our full Discover it Student Cash Back review or jump back to this cards offer details.
American Express Blue Business Cash Card: Best Business Credit Card
Why we picked it: The Amex Blue Business Cash Card is arguably the best business credit card on the market: It offers a generous 2% cash back on your first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year and you can earn a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases in your first three months for no annual fee.
Pros: The card also offers a number of cash-flow solutions. Cardholders enjoy a 0% introductory APR on new purchases for their first 12 months of card membership . They also get access to Expanded Buying Power, an Amex feature that lets you spend beyond your credit limit based on certain factors , along with Working Capital Terms, which helps with vendor payment management, after six months of card membership .
Cons: As we mentioned, theres that $50,000-in-purchases cap on the 2% cash back rate . As such, you can conceivably earn more, at least in the short term, with the Capital One Spark Cash for Business , which offers 2% cash back on all purchases and a generous sign-up bonus , albeit for a $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
Who should apply? Business owners looking for cash flow solutions, along with business owners who spend less than $50,000 each year, should consider this card a top option.
Read our full American Express Blue Business Cash Card review or jump back to this cards offer details.
How To Build Credit Without A Credit Card
Revolving credit isnt the only factor that impacts your score. Have student or car loans, or another type of installment loan? The lender likely reports your payments to the major credit bureaus, which impacts your score.
Consider taking out a credit-builder loan with a small bank or credit union. This type of installment loan will add to your credit mixone factor that affects scoresand making on-time payments gives it a boost, too.
Even though your credit score can affect your utilities, your utility payments are not reported to credit bureaus. We dont make the rules! There are some services, such as LevelCredit and RentTrack, that will report your utility and rent payments to the credit bureau to give you credit for your timeliness.
There are other tools, like Experian Boost, that may make sense for you. It taps your phone and utility paymentsand even your Netflix subscriptionto nudge your score a bit. According to the credit bureau, users who sign up for the service see an average jump of 13 points in their FICO scores.
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Best Credit Cards For Average/fair Credit
No annual fee credit cards are cards with $0 yearly membership fees and no monthly maintenance fees. Roughly 9 in 10 credit cards have no annual fee, including cards with rewards, 0% APR, no foreign transaction fee, etc. No annual fee credit card offers are also available to people of all credit levels from bad credit to excellent credit . Below, you can compare WalletHubs favorite $0 annual fee credit card offers, which were selected from 1,500+ cards because they stand out in popular categories, from the most rewarding to the easiest to get.
The fact that so many credit cards with no annual fee are available helps to explain why the average annual fee among all credit cards is just $18, despite many cards charging $100+ per year. Even more importantly, the best $0 annual fee credit cards are capable of saving the average credit card user hundreds of dollars per year.
In addition to $0 annual fees, the best no annual fee credit cards for 2021 have stand-out rewards, low APR promotions and more. In other words, there are many reasons to get a credit card with no annual fee. Paying an annual fee just might not be worth it if you dont plan to use your card often or cant qualify for good enough rewards. Similarly, if youre trying to avoid interest on a balance, you probably dont want to waste money on fees.
Which One Is Better Visa Or Mastercard
Wondering whether its better to get a Visa card or Mastercard?
Visa and Mastercard are the two biggest credit card networks, and their cards are widely accepted worldwide. But if youre looking for the best credit card, its less about which network you use and more about the features your issuer offers.
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What To Consider When Applying For A Credit Card Your Credit Score
One of the most important things to consider when applying is your credit score. If you have a bill in collection or carry a balance on your credit card the chances are you will not be approved for some of our #1 rated cards such as the Scotiabank Amex Gold. In this case, a good alternative is going with a brand of credit card you already have a relationship with. If you already use a Scotiabank credit card it would be wise to apply for a better card from Scotia that we offer in the list below. If you carry a balance and have credit card debt youre best choice will be one of the Credit Cards for Carrying a Balance.
A word on annual fees. If the annual fee is stopping you from getting one of the elite tier credit cards, this could potentially be a great mistake. If youre using it as your main spender or the main spender for gas purchases its likely you will earn much more rewards than with a standard no fee card.
For travel rewards, its recommended you start with the Fixed Points Rewards Credit Cards, as a beginner you wont have to worry about the tricks to booking with different types of miles. More experienced flyers will already know they want to look at the Travel Points Credit Cards since they will be able to exploit transfer bonuses and special awards for destinations they already know they will be going to in the future.
The top Canadian credit cards for 2014 have been compiled.
Customer Satisfaction Ratings Methodology
In December 2020, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on credit cards. 1,861 people responded and gave us their opinion on their current credit card provider.
The survey asked respondents how satisfied they are with their credit card and whether they would recommend the brand to a friend. We converted the responses into star ratings and produced a shortlist of the top-performing companies based on customer satisfaction. When there was a draw, we used the recommendation score as a tie-breaker.
You can get a full breakdown of our ratings methodology for credit cards here.
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A Brief History Of Visa
What if money became fully electronic? Well, it would become nothing but electrons and photons, that move around this world at the speed of light at minuscule cost.
These are the words of Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus of Visa. His vision took hold, and the world has been permanently changed as digital financial services expanded and superseded traditional cash payment systems.
Visa was founded in 1958 in the U.S., with the launch of the original bank credit card: the BankAmericard, created by Bank of America .
The BankAmericard gained traction thanks to what has become known as the drop, a massive, unsolicited mailing of 60,000 BankAmericards to residents in Fresno, California. These were actual credit cards, made of paper, with credit limits of $300 each imagine getting something like that in the mail today, out of the blue?
Elvis Presleys BankAmericard. Good luck with this one, identity thieves. Image credit: Graceland Auctions
Other banks wanted in on the action too, and they began taking part in the new program, but it wasnt until 1976 that the BankAmericard system was rebranded by Dee Hock as Visa, a simple name that sounds the same in every language. The year before that, in 1975, Visa produced the worlds first debit card. From its not-so-humble origins in California, Visa has matured to develop global ambitions that are still reshaping how we think about finance and currency.
Team Visa. Image credit: BusinessWire
What Are Cash Back Credit Cards
Cash back credit cards are a type of rewards credit card. Unlike other rewards credit cards, which offer redeemable points or miles on purchases, cash back credit cards give a particular dollar amount of each eligible purchase back to the cardholder. Cash back essentially works like a rebate. Because reward points often come with a lot of restrictions in terms of how they can be redeemed, some people may prefer the simplicity of a cash back rewards card.
Exactly how much cash you earn back per purchase will vary depending on the terms of your card and the type of purchase you make. Lets say you spend $500 each month in a category with a cash back rate of 5%. That means you earn $25 a month, just for card loyalty . Sometimes there are spending limits, which is why its important to read through a cards terms before applying.
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Disadvantages To Having Multiple Credit Cards
Too many credit cards can entice you to overspend and take on more debt than you can handle. And if youre considering adding more credit cards to your portfolio, keep in mind that every time you apply for a credit card, the issuer will run a credit check to determine whether or not to approve you. This can ding your score. And, some issuers will turn you down if you apply for too many cards in too short a period of time.
But for someone who can pay their bills in full and on time, and doesnt mind the effort of juggling multiple cards, owning several cards can be part of a plan that works for them.
Bank Of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best For Preferred Rewards Boost + Sign
Why we picked it: This new rewards card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and provides existing Bank of America customers with the opportunity to boost their earnings even more . The card also has a generous sign-up bonus of $200 online cash rewards after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Pros: Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can boost their rewards , meaning you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase. The card also boasts a lengthy 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 60 days and purchases for 15 billing cycles and requires no annual fee.
Cons: In order to be eligible for any Preferred Rewards boost, youll need at least $20,000 across Bank of America and/or eligible Merrill accounts. Without the boost, this card is quite similar to existing flat-rate cash back credit cards on the market.
Who should apply? Existing Bank of America customers looking to maximize earnings may want to take advantage of the rewards boost the bank offers over this cards flat rate cash back competitors.
Who should skip? People that do not bank with Bank of America will not be able to take advantage of the potential rewards boost through the Preferred Rewards program.
Read our Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card review or jump back to this cards offer details.
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What Benefits Do Visa Cards Provide
Most Visa cards provide benefits, but those benefits depend on factors that can change, including the card issuer and the Visa tier at which the card is issued.
Perhaps most notably, many Visa credit cards offer rewards in the form of cash back, points, or miles for certain purchases. Some provide more rewards for specific categories, like gas, while others offer the same reward rate for every purchase.
Some Visa cards are known for their fees, or lack thereof. There are plenty of cards that charge no annual fee, and some cards may go further by removing things like foreign transaction fees and balance transfer fees.
On a related note, another popular benefit is the introductory APR offer. Some cards will allow you to pay off purchases or balance transfers over a set period of time without accumulating any interest charges, which can be helpful if youre looking to buy something pricey or struggling to pay off debt.
Additionally, Visa cards are issued at several tiers: Basic Visa/Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, and Visa Infinite . The higher the tier, the more valuable the additional perks youll typically receive.
Visa benefits often include insurance perks, like auto collision damage waivers and travel accident insurance, as well as things like concierge services, hotel upgrades, and more.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best Travel Credit Card
Why we picked it: Offering 2X miles on all purchases for a $95 annual fee, this Capital One card offers a ton of value to average spenders looking for a travel rewards credit card.
Pros: The Venture Rewards credit card currently touts a sweet sign-up bonus. Cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles if they spend $3,000 in their first three months of account opening. The card also touts a number of ancillary travel benefits, including no foreign transaction fees, an up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, travel accident insurance and car rental insurance.
Cons: The biggest drawback is Capital Ones relatively thin list of transfer partners, which, most notably, doesnt include a major U.S. airline.
Who should apply? Frequent travelers looking to avoid the pricey $150 to $550 annual fees associated with other standout cards in the travel category can consider the Venture Rewards a great match.
Who should skip? Strategic spenders and luxury travelers are likely better served by a premium travel card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express. If your credit is fair, your Venture approval odds are low, but you can consider the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, which offers lower rewards , but has a lower barrier to entry.
Read our full Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review or jump back to this cards offer details.
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Mbna Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard*
The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard offers a strong sign-up bonus for a no-fee card, and the 10,000 points on offer are easy to earn. All you need to do is spend $500 in grocery and restaurant purchases within 90 days of getting your card to receive the first 5,000 points. Sign up for paperless e-statements to receive the rest. MBNA Points are flexible and easy to redeem for a variety of things including travel, where you get the most bang for your buck at 100 points to claim $1 in travel. For reference, it takes 200 points to claim $1 in cash back.
- Annual fee: $0
- Welcome offer: For the first 90 days, you can get up to 10,000 points : 5,000 for registering for paperless e-statements, 5,000 for spending $500 in purchases with the card. Plus, earn 4 points for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership and household utility purchases.
- Earn rate:Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible groceries and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on everything else.
- Additional benefits: Purchase assurance and extended warranty
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card: Best Premium Travel Credit Card
Why we picked it: This premium Chase credit card comes loaded with luxury travel benefits, including lounge access, a $300 annual credit for travel purchases , and up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You can also earn 10X total points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5X points on air travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3X points on other travel purchases . Plus, earn 3X points on dining purchases.
Pros: The cards $300 travel credit is uber-easy to redeem. When you make a qualifying purchase, you will be automatically awarded a statement credit until youve reached that $300 limit. The card currently touts its highest sign-up bonus since launching in 2017: 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first three months, which is worth about $900 when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Cons: Youll pay a $550 annual fee for all those benefits, which isnt so easily recouped if you dont travel frequently.
Who should apply? Even moderate spenders can reap a lot of value from the Chase Sapphire Reserve if they spend at least $300 on travel purchases each year, as the main travel credit goes a long way toward justifying the cards $550 annual fee.
Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve Card review or jump back to this cards offer details.
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