While credit cards can tempt you to spend more, they can also make your life easier with useful benefits and perks. In fact, finding an appropriate credit card for your specific financial situation, spending habits and lifestyle can actually help you save money over time. With this in mind, it is important to regularly evaluate credit card options you are eligible for to ensure you ultimately get the best deals available when it comes to a host of different financially beneficial card features.
Although there is no single credit card ideal for everyone, the best cards in general have rewards you can actually use, such as travel rewards and cash back rewards on purchases; low interest rates; competitive balance transfer rates; and minimal annual fees. Some of these top-rated cards are only available to individuals with excellent credit history, while others are more accepting of less-than-perfect credit. Whatever your situation, there is a credit card out there that meets your particular needs. Here are five of the best perk-laden cards currently available on the market:
Chase Freedom® Visa
Annual Fees: None
The Chase Freedom® Visa card delivers huge cash back rewards for individuals with good to excellent credit history and no seriously delinquent accounts, and these rewards never expire. With the card you can earn a $100 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months after opening your account, plus get 5 percent cash back on purchases up to $1,500 from July 1 until September 30, 2013 at theme parks, gas stations and Kohl’s department stores.
Activate your free quarterly bonuses to enjoy an additional 5 percent cash back on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and other locations. Finally, earn unlimited 1 percent cash back year-round on all other purchases. Chase Freedom® Visa is for people who want maximum cash back rewards with 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers (for 15 months).
Annual Fees: None
Designed with customer satisfaction in mind, the Discover it® credit card offers generous rewards, top-notch customer service, and fraud protection. Cardholders receive 5 percent cash back on gas station purchases up to $1,500 and unlimited 1 percent cash back on everything else. Discover it® customer service is always provided by real live human beings based in the United States and is available anytime for your convenience. And the card comes with a $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee to ensure you are never held accountable for unauthorized charges.
Unlike many credit cards, Discover it® doesn’t charge you for everything — not even for your first late payment! Plus, a late payment won’t raise your annual percentage rate. Plainly put, this credit card has got it all.
Citi Simplicity® Card
Annual Fees: None
Citi Simplicity® is known for its low interest rates and zero payment fees. You will never get charged a late fee or penalty rate for accidentally missing a payment with this card. Furthermore, as a cardholder you can quickly access customer service anytime you need assistance. Although the card doesn’t provide cash back rewards, it does offer identity theft and retail purchase protection, flexible payment options, and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.
You can also expect 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfer for 18 months after opening your account. Your variable APR will then increase to 12.99–21.99 percent, depending on your credit history and score. Citi Simplicity® is for people for just want low interest rates and basic protection without all the frills.
Capital One® Venture Rewards Credit Card
Annual Fees: $59 after first year
The Capital One® Venture Rewards Credit Card is the leader in travel rewards. With this card, you can expect to receive two airline miles per dollar every day, on every single purchase you make. You can fly on any airline you choose, anytime, without blackout dates or restrictions on miles. Plus, your miles never expire and you can redeem them for travel expenses. Spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account to earn 10,000 bonus miles, which is equivalent to $100 in flight costs.
One more important note about this card: with it, there are no foreign transaction fees. The Capital One® Venture Rewards Credit Card is perfect for individuals who travel often and don’t want to be saddled with a lot of constraints related to their traveling.
Capital One® Secured MasterCard
Annual Fees: $29
Designed for consumers with poor credit, the Capital One® Secured MasterCard helps people build their credit rating; it does this by regularly reporting cardholder activity to the major credit bureaus. Individuals who provide a security deposit can acquire up to $3,000 in credit on their card, depending on their credit history. You can also qualify for an increase in credit by making your payments on time and using your card responsibly. The card also provides access to tools that help you monitor your credit.
Fortunately, there are no application or processing fees associated with this card. The bottom line is that the Capital One® Secured MasterCard is the best card for rebuilding below-average credit.
Sometimes there is no money to pay off the credit card debt, and this can affect the credit rating. To prevent this, you can take a loan before the payday.