Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Once you accumulate a debt load on an existing credit card, the interest will compoundrapidly. Your best bet is to transfer the debt to a balance transfer credit card, which lets you move debt from a high-interest card to one with a lower rate. These cards often offer promotional interest rates for a specific period0% interest for the first 10 months, for examplewhich can buy you time to pay down your balance with little or no interest. Sometimes, even the regular interest rate on a balance transfer card is lower than usual.
Should You Get An Auto Loan From A Bank Or Dealership
It’s worth shopping at both banks and dealerships for an auto loan. New car dealers and manufacturers, just like banks, can have attractive loan products. Depending on the borrower’s credit score and market-driven circumstances, the interest rate offered by a car dealer can be as low as zero percent or under the going rates offered by banks.
It’s important to keep dealership financing as a possibility, but make sure to look for auto financing before deciding where to buy a car. Know your credit score and search online for bank and other lender rates. This should give you a range of what you can expect in the open market and help you determine if seller financing is a better deal for you.
Rewards Rates Are Decent But Redemption Is Clunky
Carrying any of these credit cards means joining the My Best Buy shopper loyalty program, as rewards are earned as points in that program. You then turn those points into Best Buy rewards certificates: Every 250 points earns you a $5 reward certificate, giving the points an effective value of 2 cents apiece.
For shopping at Best Buy, the rewards offerings are the same on either card version. You’ll get:
5% back on all purchases at Best Buy .
Flexible financing options .
But the Visa version of the card goes a lot further. Beyond 5% back at Best Buy, you’ll also earn:
3% back on gas purchases .
2% back on dining and grocery purchases .
1% back on other everyday purchases .
Again, every 250 points will earn you a $5 reward certificate. Youll receive a certificate automatically to your inbox every time you reach 250 points, unless you choose to manually change this setting.
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How Much You Can Save With A Low Interest Card
Seeing that a credit card has a low APR might not make it immediately clear just how much you could stand to save. After all, when it comes to credit card bills, you dont deal with percentages but real dollars.
With that in mind, weve run through a real-world scenario using two different credit cards: The first is a typical rewards credit card and the other is the MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard, which weve ranked as the best low interest credit card in Canada.
Heres the scenario:
This makes it abundantly clear just how much a low interest credit card can help your bottom line. Youd save $286 in interest and pay off your balance two months faster with the MBNA True Line Gold compared to a typical rewards credit card.
Even if we were to assume the rewards credit card in this example has no annual fee, you would still save a whole lot more on interest with the MBNA True Line Gold even when accounting for the fact it has an annual fee of $39. This makes it obvious why you shouldnt dismiss a credit card just because theres an upfront annual fee the cost of admission can be well worth it and help you save in the bigger picture.
Foreign Currency Conversion Charges
Financial institutions calculate foreign currency charges in different ways. Some transactions are converted directly into Canadian dollars. Others may be first converted to U.S. dollars and then to Canadian dollars. The foreign currency conversion charge is applied after the purchase is converted to Canadian dollars.
Example: Foreign currency conversion charge calculation
Suppose you made a 1,000 purchase with your credit card. The exchange rate is 1.42 to convert euros directly to Canadian dollars. Your credit card agreement shows a conversion charge of 2.5%.
After your financial institution converts your 1,000 purchase to Canadian dollars, it will cost $1,420. The 2.5% foreign currency conversion charge is applied to the $1,420 for a fee of $35.50. The total amount of your purchase is $1,455.50 in Canadian dollars.
Read the terms of your credit card agreement for the total foreign currency conversion charge. Ask your financial institution about anything you dont understand.
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Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Best balance transfer card for excellent credit
- This card is best for: Someone with good credit looking for an exceptionally long balance transfer offer.
- This card is not a great choice for: Someone looking for long-term value. The 18-month 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers can save you a lot of money, but after that, the variable APR is 13.74% 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Without a rewards system, the card loses its luster after the intro APR period ends.
- What makes this card unique? The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Cards introductory balance transfer offer is one of the longest available on the credit card market.
- Is the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card worth it? If your goal is to maximize the time you have to pay down a balance without racking up interest charges, the Citi Diamond Preferred has a top-tier offer.
For Dining And Transit: Bmo Eclipse Visa Infinite*
While the TD First Class Visa Infinite covered above earns a solid flat reward on your everyday spending, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite offers a strong boost in particular categories, which are broadly defined, too. Youll earn 5 BMO Rewards points on food and transit spending. That means in these categories youre getting a return of 3.5% per $1 when redeemed for travel . Other categories earn at a rate of 1 point per $1, which is just 0.71% in travel rewards. But theres a unique perk to make up for that: Youll receive an annual lifestyle credit of $50 to spend as you please. Also, travel insurance and new mobile device coverage are included.
- Annual fee: $120
- Welcome offer: Earn up to 60,000 points and a $50 lifestyle credit on the account.
- Earn rate: 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 on food purchases, including groceries, restaurants and delivery, as well as gas and transit purchases including taxis and rideshares 1 point per $1 on everything else Income requirement: $60,000 personal or $100,000 household
- Additional benefits: Travel insurance up to $1,000 in new mobile device coverage Visa Infinite privileges
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American Express Cobalt Card*
With a high earn rate, a generous welcome bonus and easy-to-use points, the American Express Cobalt Card is our top pick as the best travel credit card for everyday spending.
The points you earn can be redeemed for travel at a rate of 1,000 points for $10 for any flight on any airline with no blackout dates, or they can be used toward the American Express Fixed Points Travel Program, which lets you unlock even better value on round-trip flights. If you prefer to use your rewards for accommodations, you can transfer your points to one of the American Express Hotel partners, including Marriott Bonvoy.
- Annual fee: $155.88
- Earn rate: 5 points per $1 spent on dining out and groceries 2 points per $1 spent on travel 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: Up to 30,000 bonus points , plus, earn a bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $3,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of having the card
- Income requirement: $12,000
Choosing A Credit Card
If you’re a beginner to credit cards, see our step-by-step guide to choosing a credit card. It starts by helping you figure out what cards you can qualify for, then walks you through deciding what kind of card best fits your needs. The process in short:
Check your credit. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for the best cards. NerdWallet offers free access to credit scores.
Narrow your choices. If you want a rewards card, do you prefer cash back or points, and how much effort are you willing to put into managing your rewards? If you’re looking to save money on interest, do you need a 0% introductory period, or a low ongoing rate? Do you need to do a balance transfer? Are you a student or a business owner who could benefit from a specialized card?
Apply for a card that gives you the best overall value.
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How Many Credit Cards Should You Have
Just as there is no single best credit card for everyone, there is no perfect number of credit cards to have. It depends on your needs and how much effort you want to put into managing your credit cards. Some people carry one card and put everything on it. Others have literally dozens of cards, and for each purchase they use the card best suited for that transaction. When deciding how many is right for you, keep in mind:
There’s no limit to how many cards you can have. Each lender evaluates your credit on its own term, but there’s no hard limit where you have “too many cards.”
You don’t need to have multiple cards to maintain good credit score. Credit scoring formulas tend to reward you for having different types of accounts â credit cards, mortgages, loans, etc. â but it’s not necessary to have multiple accounts of each type. One credit card, responsibly managed, is enough.
Advantages of carrying multiple cards
RISKS OF CARRYING MULTIPLE CARDS
Losing track of spending: The more cards you have, the harder it is to remember how much youâve spent on which card.
Missing a payment: Multiple due dates increase the risk of missing a payment, which can trigger a late fee or even damage your credit.
Full Review Of My Best Buy Visa Card
At least 5% back in rewards on Best Buy purchases, or flexible financing
10% back on your first day of Best Buy purchases
Other bonus categories sometimes available
Confusing application process considers you for several cards
Potentially misleading rewards rates
Many limited-time offers add unpredictability
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Foreign Cash Advance Fees
The fee for a cash advance outside of Canada is typically higher than it is in Canada. A foreign currency conversion charge may also apply to a foreign cash advance. Like a cash advance in Canada, youll need to pay interest charges from the date you take out the money until you pay back the full amount.
For Bonus Categories: Cibc Dividend Visa Infinite
On top of its standard 1% earn rate, the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite card earns accelerated cash back rates in a diverse range of five common spending categories. It earns 4% cash back on both groceries and gas , and you can earn twice the cash back on dining , daily transit , and 2% on recurring bills . And its a standout compared to other cash back cards, as you can redeem whenever you like, as opposed to just once a year. Cash back redemption is done in increments of $25.
- Annual fee: $120
- Welcome bonus: 10% cash back for all purchases for first four statement periods
- Earn rate: 4% cash back on gas and groceries 2% on transportation, dining and recurring bills and 1% on everything else
- Income requirement: $60,000 or $100 as a household
- Additional benefits: Mobile device insurance emergency travel insurance concierge service Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country program, save up to $0.10 per litre at participating Chevron, Ultramar and Pioneer gas stations when you link your card with Journie Rewards.
On The Topic Of Rewards
If you cant regularly pay off your credit card in full, theres really no point in chasing points or cash back on a rewards credit card. Thats because most rewards credit cards have an Annual Percentage Rate of 19.99%, and the interest youd rack up would devalue any rewards you earn.
Simply put: A rewards credit card is only worth it if you pay off your statement in full each and every month.
While virtually all low interest credit cards dont offer rewards, the fact they charge a fraction of the interest of rewards cards will help you come out ahead financially when you do carry a balance.
What’s The Best Credit Card Company
Just as there is no single best credit card for everyone, consumers have widely different opinions about the best credit card issuers. One person could get the runaround from customer service rep and rate a bank zero stars as a result, while another has nothing but positive experiences and gives it five stars across the board. Still, some trends emerge in customer satisfaction surveys.
J.D. Power conducts an annual study of satisfaction among major national and regional credit card issuers. It regularly rates Discover and American Express at the top among mass-market issuers. In the most recent study, USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union had the highest ratings of all, but keep in mind that only people affiliated with the military are eligible for USAA or Navy Federal products.
J.D. Power 202o Credit Card Satisfaction Study
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Does Best Buy Let Finance
The Best Buy Credit Cards offer customers flexible financing options.
The store provides credit card offers that allow deferment of interest for a set period of time.
According to theBest Buy financing options, you can avoid paying interest by paying off the full purchase balance before the end of the promotional financing term.
However, suppose you do not pay the purchase balance fully before the end of the promotional financing term?
In that case, interest is applicable on each months balance at your Annual Percentage Rate for regular purchases.
Earning Points & Rewards
The currency for the rewards on this card is points, but the earning rate is expressed in percentages, just like cash back. For qualifying purchases at Best Buy, youll earn 5% back in points. Youll get 3% back at gas stations, 2% back on dining, and takeout, and 1% everywhere else.
Keep watch for the rotating rewards categories that change periodically, as you will have to activate them on your account. Best Buys most recent rotating rewards category is for 10% back on utility bills through March 2021.
Keep in mind that you can boost your rewards to 6% by earning Elite Plus status in the My Best Buy loyalty program: 1% base rate for rewards members, 4% for having the My Best Buy Visa and 1% for being an Elite Plus member. You earn Elite Plus status by spending at least $3,500 on Best Buy and non-Best Buy purchases in a calendar year.
The points system may be confusing at first glance because earning 5% back in points translates to 2.5 points per $1 spent, rather than 5 points per $1 spent. Each point is worth 2 cents, though, so 5% back in points is just like 5% cash back, except that youll get a coupon instead of cash. Heres the simplest way to think about it: For every 250 points you earn, youll earn a $5 coupon toward future Best Buy purchases.
As a cardholder, youll get various promotional financing offers lasting months to years. If you choose promotional financing, you wont earn any points for the purchase.
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Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Best for 2% cash rewards
- This card is best for: Those who want to earn unlimited cash rewards on purchases at twice the rate of the typical 1%.
- This card is not a great choice for: Anyone whos opened another Wells Fargo credit card in the last six months. Youll have to wait until six months have passed to apply for the Active Cash card.
- What makes this card unique? Most cards that earn 2% cash rewards or more reserve that rate for particular purchase categories and have a limit on how much you can earn in a quarter before the rate drops to 1%. With this card, earnings are unlimited on eligible purchases.
- Is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card worth it? If youre looking for generous rewards without categories or caps or an annual fee, this card could be a game-changer.
Best Bank For Auto Loans: Bank Of America
Bank of America
- As low as 2.39%
- Minimum loan amount: $7,500
Bank of America auto loans come with the backing of a major financial institution. Low rates and a big selection of loan options make it a major competitor in the auto loan landscape. In J.D. Power’s 2020 Consumer Financing Satisfaction Study, which deals with auto loans, Bank of America ranked seventh out of 12 in its segment and scored equal to the average.
Offers new, used, and refinance auto loans
Transparent rates and terms online
Well-known financial institution
Restrictions on which vehicles it will finance
High minimum loan amount
Bank of America is a large financial institution offering a number of auto loan options, including new, used, refinance, lease buyout, and private party loans.
For the most creditworthy borrowers, APRs start at 2.39% for new vehicles. Used vehicle loans start at 2.59% APR, while refinances start at 3.39% APR. Customers of the bank who are Preferred Rewards members can get up to a 0.5% discount on their rate.
BofA provides a no-fee online application that it claims can offer a decision within 60 seconds. You can choose from a 48-, 60-, or 72-month term online, but there are additional options ranging from 12 to 75 months if you complete the application process at a branch or over the phone.
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