Banks have been competing to grow they credit card holders by getting more aggressive with reward programs. This is good news for you, especially if you have not shopped for a credit card in a while. So whether you are looking to get more out of your credit card spending for travel, or cash back, or finding the best card to rebuild your credit, it’s worth your time to shop around. Start now.
If you are like many seniors, your mailbox or inbox may be flooded with credit card offers for “0% APR for 24 months!” or “Earn Cash Back with Every Purchase!” Or perhaps your credit score is shot due to unemployment, medical expenses or divorce and you are wondering if you could qualify for any card. Trying to navigate the myriad of credit card offers to figure out the best one for you can be tricky but this guide will give you a few options that will help you actually earn on your spending, with excellent or poor credit.
Best Credit Cards for Travel
If you fly frequently with one carrier, an airline credit card may offer the best deal. American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card issued by Citi allows you to earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on groceries and/or American Airline purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. The MileUp℠, with no annual fee, also allows you to earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. If you are willing to handle a fee ($95 after the first year), the Citi® / AAdvantage®Platinum Select® World Elite™Mastercard® has the added perk of a first checked bag free for cardholder. For those whose travels take them primarily on the West Coast, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card has the popular perk of an annual $99 companion fare and no blackout dates with $2000 in purchases within 90 days after account opening.
If you are looking at a non-airline specific card, you can’t beat the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which offers 2 miles for every dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases along with 60,000 introductory points for spending $4,000 during the first three months. With points worth 1.25 cents when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can earn up to $750 for travel. Another cool perk with the Chase Sapphire card is the ability for cardholders in the same household to transfer points to each other’s accounts to maximize rewards. Shop the best travel cards at Lending Tree.
Best Credit Card for Rewards
Rewards cards help you earn cash, points or miles from your everyday purchases. One of the most popular is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card which offer two miles for every dollar purchased, no restrictions or need to keep track of categories, making it desirable if you are wanting to use only one card for spending. One of the best perks with the Venture® Rewards card is that you earn ten miles per every dollar spent on bookings through hotels.com/venture. This card also comes with 50,000 miles at sign-up with a $3,000 spend over three months and a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year).
Best Credit Cards for Cash Back
If you pay at least the minimum monthly balance, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on purchases with an additional 1% back if you pay your bill on time. The Double Cash card also offers no annual fees, 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months and the CITI “Private Pass” with access to presale concert tickets, VIP admission to attractions and a concierge that can assist with travel, shopping and more.
One of the best credit cards for cash back is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® which offers a very generous 3% cash back on ALL purchases during the first year (up to $20,000) and 1.5% thereafter, higher than the standard 1%. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, a deposit into most checking and savings accounts, or for gift cards, travel and merchandise on Amazon.com. There is no annual fee and, if you own a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for travel, you can transfer points.