PERSONAL FINANCE

TOOLS & TIPS

4. MAXIMIZE CREDIT CARD REWARDS

 

Looking to get your first/ a new credit card? Read this!

from Reddit

Please use credit responsibly.

General advice for people looking for a first credit card in the USA:

Since you probably have limited history, find a family member (such as a parent) who has good credit, and ask them to add you as an "authorized user" to one of their cards. You want a card that's been open for several years and has never missed a payment. Wait a couple of months for the card to appear on your credit report. Its history will help you. (There has been mixed reports of this still working, for best results make sure you have the same last name and address of the account holder.)

After the card appears on your report (could take up to 3 months), and it's showing more than 6 months of history (some banks immediately show all the history for the card, and some only show since you were added as an AU), then you can start applying again.

You can see your credit report for free at Credit Karma (not FICO), and a more official score at CreditScorecard.com (FICO). You can also order an official credit report for free once a year at annualcreditreport.com. If you are willing to pay to see all 3 FICO scores I would suggest MyFico.

Different Types of Credit Cards

  • Some credit cards are made for young people, students, and people with little credit history

  • Some credit cards offer rewards points, free travel, and other perks

  • Some credit cards are balance transfer cards that are used to extend a period of low interest, great debt tool

  • The best cards have a low interest rate or no interest rate for XX months

 

Primary Goal: pay no interest!

Secondary goal: earn rewards points.

Never sacrifice the primary goal.

Here are some of the best credit cards you can have in your wallet.

Score of 700 or more

I recommend that you plug in your expected monthly spending into these sites, which will help you decide on a card:

Score below 700

Try to avoid cards with annual fees in this score range.

Students should apply for student cards before resorting to other cards. such as:

Non-students should be looking at these cards:

If you cannot get any of the above you will need to get a secured card. These cards make you put down a certain amount as collateral, and generally have annual fees as well, though a couple are free. Virtually all major banks have secured card options, check with your bank to see what they can offer you.

 

Final notes

  • Don't spend more than you can afford. You don't need to pay interest or carry a balance to build your credit. And don't use your card in an ATM or to get cash, or you'll pay large fees.

  • Always pay the Statement Balance by the Due Date each month, and you'll never pay interest.

  • Finally, avoid the following credit card companies: Credit One, First Premiere, Milestone, Indigo, Fingerhut.

  • A good rule of thumb is if they have a range for the annual fee, avoid them. These banks prey on low scores by charging fees for nearly everything, holding payments for 5+ days, or even an "application processing" or "account opening" fee.

Please do your own research, and use credit responsibly. Offers are subject to change without notice.

 

Good simple no-fee cash back cards to use as your main card:

 

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For the person that loves to travel.

July 04, 2017

$450 annual fee

The sign-up bonus covers the first year-plus of card membership. Chase describes it this way: Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Beyond the bonus, it really does depend on how much you spend. The card gives you 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. That means you need to spend about $3,333 on travel and dining per year to wipe out the rest of that annual fee. 

 

Other perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve:

Aside from the rewards you get from making purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a few other ways to recoup the annual fee.

  • Up to $300 a year in credits for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card. This credit can apply to any travel spending, not just airlines.

  • Access to more than 900 airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.

  • Credit of up to $100 for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This credit is available once every four years.

Solid day-to-day credit card.

July 04, 2017

FREE

Chase Freedom Unlimited: The Basics

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a straightforward cash-back card, with no caps on rewards earnings and a handsome sign-up bonus. Here’s what you should know before applying:

 

Earn rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening..

Annual fee: $0.

0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open.

Balance Transfer Fee - Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Earn a $150 bonus with Chase Freedom Unlimited.  Learn More at Chase.

Review: NerdWallet

Save on interest to help pay down your balance faster.

July 04, 2017

FREE

Details:

No annual fee - Enjoy no annual fee with the perfect card if you want to save on interest and pay down balances faster

Low Introductory APR Offer - Introductory 0% APR for your first 15 months and for any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. 

Save on interest - Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. BankAmericard Platinum Plus Mastercard. Save on interest to help pay down your balance faster. Stop paying those high interest rates on other credit cards and save. It's that simple.

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