Top Cash Back Credit Cards
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Enjoy 2% cash back on purchases, plus a great bonus offer and intro APR period. Read our review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.
Citi Custom Cash Card: Bonus rewards that adjust automatically, making sure you earn the highest cash-back rate in the category where you spend the most money. Read our review of the Citi Custom Cash Card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Bonus cash back in popular categories and a solid 1.5% back on everything else. Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
Citi® Double Cash Card 18 month BT offer: Earn 2% cash back on every purchase 1% when you buy it and another 1% when you pay it off. Read our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card 18 month BT offer
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Perhaps the ultimate family card, with outstanding cash back on a lot of the necessities of modern life. Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95. Read our review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
Why We Like This Card
If youre a frequent traveler looking for top drawer perks, trip protections, and valuable credits, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a strong choice. The $695 annual fee is high but jetsetters will have no trouble recouping that in a few trips. Cardmembers earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel , as well as 5X points on eligible hotels booked through American Express Travel. All other eligible purchases earn 1X points.
What To Look For In A Second Credit Card
So, youve analyzed your situation, made up your mind and decided that youre still interested in that second card. Here are some points to consider before applying for an additional card:
- Make sure it matches your lifestyle. Do you want travel rewards points? Cash back? A card for emergencies? If a higher credit limit is all youre after, the best option is to go to your original creditor and ask for one, said Bruce McClary, spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling in Washington, D.C. Looking for a better interest rate? Fine, but dont take that as a license to rack up new debt, he said.
- Note the annual fee. Annual fees can range from $0 to over $500. Make sure that the fee on the card you like is worth it to you. Youve got to look at your spending style, Harzog said. Are you going to be able to maximize the benefits from the rewards? If not, youre better off sticking to a no-annual-fee card.
- Read the fine print. Interest rates matter and can vary from card to card. The Federal Reserve is in a rate-hiking cycle. Plus, most cards advertise a range of APRs and you wont know what your APR will be until you are approved, so know that any balance you carry on the card could become very expensive if you dont pay it off every month.
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Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Balance transfer credit cards are similar to low interest credit cards, and many cards even fit into both categories. These cards allow you to move debt from another credit card via a balance transfer and pay it off with an intro 0% APR for six to 21 months, depending on the card.
This arrangement isn’t always completely free, though. Many balance transfer credit cards charge an upfront feethis balance transfer fee typically ranges from 3% to 5% of the transfer amountto process the transaction. But depending on how much debt you have and how much you stand to gain in interest savings, it could be well worth it to pay the fee.
Low Interest Credit Cards
Low interest credit cards generally can be categorized into two groups: cards that offer a low ongoing annual percentage rate and cards that offer an introductory 0% APR promotion.
True low interest credit cards aren’t very common. If you’re looking for one that has an APR in the low teens or even single digits, your best bet is to check with your local credit unions. Just keep in mind that these cards typically don’t offer much in the way of other perks. Also, if you’re planning to pay off your balance in full each month, it may not matter if your APR is low.
However, these cards can still be a good fit if you’re just looking for one to use in case of an emergency and don’t have enough cash on hand to cover your expenses.
As long as you pay the balance in full by the end of the promotional period, you won’t pay any interest. However, if you have a remaining balance or make purchases and don’t pay them off the same month after the promotional period is over, your leftover balance will be assessed interest based on the card’s standard APR.
Unlike credit cards with a low ongoing interest rate, many credit cards with 0% APR intro offers also provide rewards, welcome offers and other valuable benefits.
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Is The Platinum Card From American Express Worth It
There’s no doubt that the Platinum Card from American Express comes with a steep annual fee that might immediately turn some people away. But with all of the benefits that come with it, the card is more than worth it — but only if you’re able to take advantage of all the card perks.
First, the card’s welcome bonus alone can be worth nearly twice the high annual fee if you use it on travel expenses, either directly through the airline or hotel or by booking your travel through American Express Travel.
Many of the other card benefits combined can equal significantly more than the annual fee — those benefits include the $200 hotel credit, $200 airline credit, $300 Equinox credit, $200 Uber Cash, $240 digital entertainment credit, $100 Saks statement credits, and more.
That being said, if you don’t find yourself taking advantage of many of the card perks, then the $695 annual fee isn’t worth the Membership Rewards you might earn with the card. And since some of the card benefits require you to spend money to earn the reward, it may not be worth it if you end up having to spend money you otherwise wouldn’t have to earn the rewards.
Obtaining A Second Credit Card: Pros And Cons
Before reaching a final decision about obtaining a second credit card, you should first consider the pros and cons of getting one.
- Helps build a better score: Each credit card that you make regular payments to improves your credit score.
- Increase credit limit: Each card has a predetermined credit limit. The more cards you have, the more considerable sum of money at your disposal.
- More cash-back benefits: Each credit card comes with certain benefits, and many providers offer cash-back as a reward.
- Difficult to manage: There are advantages and disadvantages of a credit card. One of the disadvantages is that two cards are more challenging to manage than one because you need to keep track of the billing cycle and credit limits and make on-time payments.
- Can cause debt: A second card might cause you to relax with your finances and start spending recklessly. If youre not careful, this can lead to the accumulation of credit card debt.
|NOTE:A credit card has no actual expiration date. The date on your card serves only as a reminder for the card issuer to send you a new card. You can continue making payments with your card even if its expired.|
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How Credit Card Rewards Work
Types of rewards
Many of the best credit cards give you rewards for your spending. Rewards come in two basic flavors:
Cash back. You can use cash back to directly reduce your balance. In some cases, you can have your cash back deposited in a bank account or sent to you as a check.
Points or miles. Points and miles can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise or other things. You may also have the option of redeeming points for credit on your statement, just like cash back.
The card issuer sets the rewards rate that applies on your card. There are two basic kinds of rewards structures:
Flat rate. You get the same rewards rate on all spending done with the card, regardless of what you spend money on. You might get 2 points per dollar on all purchases, or 1.5% cash back on everything.
Bonus rewards. You earn a base rate on all spending and then higher rates in certain categories 5% cash back at gas stations, for example, or 3 points per dollar spent on travel. Bonus rewards are awarded based on where you buy something, not what you buy. Every merchant is assigned a category code if your card pays bonus rewards at grocery stores, for instance, you’ll earn those rewards any time you pay at a merchant with a category code that identifies it as a supermarket or grocery store.
Tracking your rewards
The rewards process
The rewards process works like this:
You make a purchase with your credit card.
Theres No Credit Limit
The American Express Black Card doesnt have a pre-set spending limit, so cardholders can spend as much as they want every month.
But thats only the case if they can afford it. The Centurion® Card from American Express is a charge card, so cardholders cant carry a balance. Whatever they spend must be paid back in full each month.
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Best For Luxury Travelers Best Bonus For New Cardholders: American Express Blue Business Cash Card
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first 3 months. Terms Apply.
|Rewards Earning Rate||Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1% cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.|
|INTRO PURCHASE APR|
If you’re a small-business owner looking to keep your monthly expenses to a minimum, you may appreciate this a low-maintenance card that offers automatic cash back without an annual fee. You’ll earn a solid 2% back on all purchases for the first $50,000 spent each year, and then 1% back after that. If you need to finance a large purchase, the year-long 0% intro APR offer can help make that happen, too.
Read the full review of American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
Single cash-back rate is competitive and keeps rewards simple
Cash back is automatically credited to your card account
New accounts get a 0% APR on purchases for 12 monthsas long or longer than competing business cards
Cap on 2% cash-back earnings limits rewards potential for big spenders
Foreign transaction fee
What Credit Score Do You Need For An American Express Credit Card
In general, American Express cards are marketed towards cardholders with good to excellent credit. The no annual fee cards are often the easiest to get, and a good credit score of 670 or above may allow you to qualify. However, if you want one of American Express’s luxury travel credit cards, you’ll need an excellent credit score — the higher, the better — and solid income. Of course, American Express looks at more than just your credit score when evaluating applications, so your mileage may vary.
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People Targeted For A 75000
The public welcome offer on the Amex Gold is currently 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months, but theres now a higher 75,000-point offer through CardMatch after meeting minimum spend requirements. Note: The targeted offer is subject to change at any time.
Since Amex has a once per lifetime policy with welcome offers, it always makes sense to see if you can get a higher offer. If you get the full 75,000 bonus points, they would be worth $1,500, according to TPG valuations.
How To Apply For An American Express Card With International Credit History
American Express partnered with Nova Credit to let newcomers to the U.S. apply with their credit history they’ve built at home. Newcomers from Australia, Canada, Mexico, India and the UK can use their hard earned credit history to apply for American Express Personal Cards. You can learn more at americanexpress.com/newcomers and read instructions on how and when to apply in our step-by-step instructions guide on how to apply. You can also send us an email anytime.
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How Do American Express Membership Rewards Work
Depending on which card you have, you may earn rewards in three different ways:
- Cash back
- Points or miles in a co-branded loyalty program
- Travel rewards in Amexs own loyalty program, Membership Rewards
You can redeem Membership Rewards points in many ways, but theyre really meant for travel. Most cards allow you to use your points to book flights, hotels, rental cars, or cruises through American Express Travel.
Best Luxury Credit Cards
No, the Visa Black Card doesn’t exist anymore. The offer changed card networks and rebranded from Visa to Mastercard back in 2016. Only the rebranded version of the card now the Mastercard® Black Card is available to new applicants. It’s offered through a partnership between Barclays and the so-called Luxury Card brand same as the Visa Black Card. The Mastercard® Black Card also offers many of the same features as the Visa Black Card. For example, the Mastercard® Black Card has the same annual fee as the old Visa: $495 . And it’s the mid-priced option in a 3-card lineup, which now includes the Mastercard® Gold Card and the Mastercard® Titanium Card.
The Visa Black Card was touted as a luxury status symbol-type credit card, and so is the newer Mastercard® Black Card – though neither is the invitation-only Centurion® Card from American Express, also known as the black card. You won’t need an invitation to apply for the Mastercard® Black Card. All you need is good credit, and you can apply through the Luxury Card website.
The new Mastercard® Black Card offers a few more perks than the Visa version did. They include a $100 annual airline credit, a $100 Global Entry credit once every 5 years, and a carbon/stainless steel card. It also added promotional APR period of 0% for 15 months on balance transfers. And the new card has more valuable points 50,000 points will get you a $750 plane ticket, for example.
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Small Business Credit Cards
If you own a small business, you may want to choose a business credit card over a consumer card.
Business credit cards often provide higher credit limits than consumer credit cards and offer business-specific rewards categories and other benefits. You can find business credit cards with cash back or travel rewards, intro 0% APRs on purchases and balance transfers, and even credit-building features.
If you’re considering a business credit card, make sure you do your research and choose one based on your company’s typical expenses and the features it needs most.
Best American Express Credit Card For Rewards
- Introductory offer: 20,000 bonus membership rewards points when you spend £3,000 in your first three months
- Interest-free period: 56 days on purchases
- Fees: £140
- Pro: There is a range of perks and rewards you could enjoy, including two complimentary airport lounge visits per year, personalised offers from a range of shops and restaurants, access to events through American Express Experiences, the ability to transfer your points to a variety of airline loyalty programmes and being able to use your points to pay with merchants including Amazon and Ticketmaster
- Con: The annual fee, although this is waived in the first year
- Summary: An excellent range of rewards and benefits including access to events. The card is free for the first year but after that, you’ll pay annual fees of £140
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Examine Your Existing Budget And Spending Habits
As you probably surmised from my mini-lecture above, the first step in determining if an Amex is right for you is to get a clearer picture of your existing spending habits.
If you use a budgeting tool, take a look at your spending summary for the past few months. If you prefer to budget more manually, pull up your current credit card statement as a substitute.
Now, what common are you spending the most in?
- Amazon purchases?
Making a list of your top three spending categories will help you choose the right Amex card in the next step.
Exciting Offers And Reward Benefits
Having an American Express Credit Card is a perfect way to reap the benefits of a luxury lifestyle. Purchasing an American Express Credit Card enables you to cherish premium benefits such as curated dining experiences, amazing retail offers, travel offers, complimentary airport lounge access, and more. You can also explore customized deals using your American Express Credit Card with Amex Offers. All you need to do is sign in to your net banking account with a single click and grab the deal you need.
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