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The Best Credit Cards, April 2014

This article was written by in Credit. 51 comments.



As the new year begins, it’s a good opportunity to review the best credit card offers available and see which — if any — make sense for you. The best credit cards of 2014 offer a combination of sign-up bonuses, reward programs, low-APR promotional periods, and other benefits that can be used to your advantage if you pay attention.

When used properly, credit cards can be an effective tool for managing your finances, earning rewards on everyday spending, building a solid credit history, and maintaining your cash flow, but these tools can be also used incorrectly, damaging your finances in the process.

Consider the following offers if you plan to open a new credit card or if you’re looking to make the most out of your everyday spending. But if you are a “Type A” credit card user — if you use credit cards to spend more than you can afford and have difficulty making payments — consider improving your finances and getting out of debt before applying for a new credit card.

The best card for balance transfers

Slate® from Chase. Right now, the best credit card offer for balance transfers is Slate from Chase. Open a card with an offer like this when you have a balance on a card with a high interest rate that you’d like to pay off without owing additional interest. For example, if you have a $15,000 balance on a card with an ongoing APR of 15%, you could save $2,250 by moving that balance to Slate from Chase and paying the remainder of the $15,000 before the introductory period ends.

The introductory period is fifteen months, during which time you’ll be able to pay your transferred balances off without any interest. While Slate from Chase and other cards generally charge a balance transfer fee, in the 60 days after being approved for Slate from Chase, as an introductory offer you’ll be able to transfer your balance without a fee. After those 60 days have passed, the balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount of each transfer, with a $5 minimum.

You can transfer up to $15,000, but if Chase determines your credit limit should be lower, you will be limited to the lower amount.

The 0% introductory APR also applies to purchases, making this card a good option for buying a larger item. If you’ve saved up to purchase some furniture, for example, you can use the introductory purchase APR of 0% to use the credit card issuer’s money to improve your cash flow. This leverage technique is risky. If you end up using the credit card for an emergency, you can make it more difficult to repay your balance before the introductory period is complete. On the other hand, it leaves you with more cash in your bank account.

After the introductory period of fifteen months is complete, Chase will assign a variable APR to your purchases and balance transfers, currently ranging from 12.99% to 22.99%. You will need good to excellent credit to qualify for this Slate from Chase offer.

If you have good to excellent credit, Slate from Chase offers a 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for fifteen months, without charging the dreaded balance transfer fee on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. All other transfers will be charged 3% of the amount of each transfer, with a $5 minimum. After the introductory period, purchase and balance transfer APR’s will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate and the APR is currently between 12.99% to 22.99% variable, depending on your credit history. Utilize the free Blueprint® features to avoid interest and to help pay down the balances faster. In addition Slate from Chase comes with Patented Fraud Protection and zero liability on unauthorized purchases.

The best credit card for airline miles

Most often, the best way to make the most out of your credit card spending for your travel needs is to use the credit card that is tied directly to the airline you travel most frequently. For better or worse, United Airlines flies the routes I generally travel for the best prices, so I use a credit card where I earn rewards in the form of United MileagePlus points. There are cards that are more flexible for travelers who use multiple airlines or don’t have one such frequently-traveled route.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is arguable the best option for earning flexible travel rewards. You will earn one point for every dollar spent on purchases with the card. Your travel expenses as well as your restaurant dining expenses earn double. Each year, Chase will credit a 7% Annual Points Dividend on every point you earned during the prior 12 months, even if you’ve already redeemed the points.

Chase is encouraging its cardholders to book travel through their own online agency. When you do, your points are worth 20% more. For example, a $500 flight normally requires 50,000 points; booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards reduces that requirement to 40,000 points. If you’d rather book directly with your airline, you can transfer your points to leading frequent travel programs on a one-to-one basis.

New cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases by the end of the first three months from account opening. That’s enough for $500 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or you can transfer your points to a participating frequent flyer program. Another benefit for travelers is no foreign transaction fee.

There is a downside to owning this card. Chase charges a $95 annual fee, however the first year there is an introductory annual fee of $0, after that the annual fee is $95. If you make heavy use of travel rewards, it might be worth the $95. If the benefits outweigh the cost, apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

For a less expensive travel rewards card American Express charges an annual fee of $75 for the Blue Sky Preferred® from American Express. Currently there is a 15,000 bonus point sign-up bonus (after spending $1,000 in the first three months of cardmembership). 15,000 points are worth a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases, so the ratio of rewards to points is more favorable.

The best credit card sign-up bonus

Ink Cash® Business Credit Card. Although it’s a card for business owners, I like the bonus Chase is offering. For new cardholders that spend $3,000 in the first three months of owning the card, the Ink Cash Business Credit Card offers a $200 cash back bonus.

The card also offers a generous rewards program. In addition to the standard 1% cash back on purchases, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year with office supply stores, mobile phone carriers, and internet and cable television services. Equipment purchases aren’t included in that category, unfortunately. Cardholders can also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants. Take note that introductory offers and APRs change often, so be sure to review the application and the terms and conditions carefully when you apply for the Ink Cash Business Card.

I’ve mentioned some good sign-up bonuses earlier in this article, but also worth noting is the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card. With this card from Citibank, new members can earn a $100 cash back after making only $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening, the low threshold, makes the $100 cash back easier to attain. The ongoing cash back rewards include 1 percent cash back on every purchase as well as categories earning 5 percent cash back every quarter in must-have categories when you enroll each quarter, enrollment each quarter is quick and easy. Right now, the 5 percent categories are on purchases at The Home Depot®, home furnishing and home and garden stores from 4/1/14 through 6/30/14. You can earn a total cash back, with this card, of $300 per calendar year, excluding the $100 cash back with this offer. For additional information see Citi Dividend Card Reward Program Information. Click the card name link to see pricing details.

Other cards worth noting

Citi® Diamond Preferred® CardCiti® Diamond Preferred® Card. While the Citi Diamond Preferred Card does not include a rewards program, there is a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for a full 18 months. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer. After the introductory period the variable APR will be 11.99% – 21.99%, depending on your credit worthiness, and this card includes no annual fee. The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers cardholders a concierge service, which can be used for booking hotel rooms and flights and more. Take advantage of Citi® Easy Deals℠ get what you want for less. You can earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card. Redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals. There is also $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.

Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card. Consistently a reader favorite, the Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card offers a unique reward program. Earn 1.5 points for each $1 spent on the first $15,000 in purchases per year, and if you spend more than $15,000 annually that reward is increased to 2 points per $1 in purchases. When you reach 5,000 points they can be converted into deposits into your eligible Fidelity investment account. The card also participates in the WorldPoints program, so if you do not want cash back in your Fidelity account or if you don’t have an investment account, you can redeem for travel on major U.S. airlines with no blackout dates or for purchases from a selection of available merchandise.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card  – Earn 20,000 Bonus PointsCiti ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points. After you spend $1,500 in card purchases within the first three months of account opening you can earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou® points redeemable for $200 in gift cards or other great rewards. You can earn two ThankYou Points for each dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment and one ThankYou Point for each dollar spent on other purchases. Currently there is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99% based upon your creditworthiness.* Don’t forget there is a balance transfer fee which is three percent of each balance transfer or five dollars, whichever is greater.* The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card – Earn 20,000 Bonus Points offer has Chip Technology and does not carry an annual fee.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. One of the leading credit cards for travel rewards, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card offers Starpoints® bonus of up to 25,000 bonus points. Consumers earn those 25,000 bonus points as follows – 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first six months as a cardholder. The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65. At a recent Financial Blogger Conference, there was a significant consensus at my dinner with a number of top bloggers that the rewards offered on this card and its business counterpart are the best. And your Starpoints can be redeemed for nearly any travel expense. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is as straightforward as it gets. Earn two miles for every dollar you spend and an additional one-time bonus of 10,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in your first three months. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year; $59 after that. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a Visa Signature card, so the card offers the Signature set of extended benefits such as complimentary concierge services and travel upgrades.

BOA-card-1BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Card. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Card offers 2% on groceries and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined gas and grocery purchases each quarter and 1% on all purchases thereafter. Cardholders have the opportunity to earn an additional 10% cash back if they redeem into a Bank of America checking or savings account. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card offers an introductory rate of 0% APR on purchases for the first twelve billing cycles following the opening of the account. This card does not carry an annual fee.

Visa Platinum RewardsSimmons First Visa Platinum Rewards. The Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards Card made the list because of its low standard purchase APR. At 9.25% variable, the only card with a lower standard purchase APR we could find was the Simmons First Visa card but that card didn’t have a rewards program. With the Simmons First Visa Platinum Rewards Card, you earn one point for every net dollar you spend, and the card carries no annual fee. If you’re planning to make a balance transfer onto this card, you’ll be happy to know there is no balance transfer fee either.

Note: If you use credit cards as a tool for convenience, pay your bills in full every month, and are otherwise financially self-aware, consider some of these credit cards. If you use credit cards to pay for things you can’t afford, paying interest every month, then start thinking about paying off debt.

The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying. This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

Updated April 14, 2014 and originally published December 28, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Eric

I believe with the Amex Zync card, you are awarded Membership Express points, which are different and less valuable than regular membership points?

As for Citi, rather than the Diamond card, I think the Citi Forward card is a bit better because you continually receive 5 TY points even after the first year for certain categories (like Amazon). Also the Citi PremierPass card is good for those who like travel as you can rack up points quickly.

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avatar David C

If you have “excellent” credit, the Capital One No Hassle Cash card doesn’t have an annual fee (the $39 fee is for “average” credit cardholders).

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avatar David C

Never mind, they’ve added a twist to the “excellent” credit version. You get 1% for the first 6k, and then you get 3% on gas & groceries past the first 6k. That must be a relatively recent change.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,380 (Platinum)

Thanks for sharing the update!

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avatar Greg

I’m still not sure why people like the AmEx Zync card. I don’t see what it offers at all above the no annual fee AmEx Blue Card. Other than that I agree with your suggestions.

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avatar Anthony

Unless you’re spending THOUSANDS of dollars, the annual fees on these cards kill any of the rewards. You have to spend $1950 in order to re-coup a $39 annual fee (assuming 2% cash back). After this $1950, you start earning rewards.

This post is actually very timely; I’ve been researching good rewards credit cards recently. I finally picked a Shell MasterCard that gives me 5% cash back on Shell gas and 1% on everything else. There is a $29 annual fee that is waived if you have 9 Shell gas purchases in the prior year. This is a GREAT card for me, as I only plan on using the card for Shell gas (which is the only gas I use). If I can find a separately good grocery/drugstore card, then I’d be all set.

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avatar Oscar

Well try this American Express Blue cash back.

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avatar Arthur P

A friend of mine has had the Shell card for some time and he just mentioned that they are changing the program drastically. You have to spend a certain sum on non-gas purchases and then you get something like 10 cents a gallon rebate and if you spend an even larger amount on non-gas items then you get 20 cents back. Don’t remember the exact details but it greatly reduced the value of the card.

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avatar Meg

A warning with this card – I had one for 8 years and just had to cancel it. They just drastically changed the terms. You have to spend at least $500 a month to get any rewards. I can’t buy that much gas in a month. Also, I had paperless statements and they discontinued autopay as well as the previous terms (I think it’s a rotating reward program now) and notified me only through the mail, and not electronically. I got a late fee (first in 8 years) because I never received the letter. I called and asked to get it taken off because I never received the notice and they refused. At that point, I canceled the card.

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avatar Mike

The best gas card is the PenFed “platinum cash rewards” Visa card. They give 5% on ALL gas. It was a little hassle to join as I am not in the military. I had to make a one time $25 (tax deductible) donation to a military charity. That only took me a month to recover.
The best part is that they deduct the 5% every month from the bill automatically!

For Home Improvement, get the Lowes card. 5% off everything. If you get the Home Depot card and show them your Lowes card, they will also give you 5% off.

Now someone tell me a good one for groceries!!!!

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avatar SavingEverything

Any possible way you can include which cards are considered a NPSL card, or signature visa, or a credit card that does not report your normal credit limit *but instead reports your current revolving balance only. e.g.Capital one.. And, also, people should know SImmonsfirst bank, the card issuer, requires documentation evidence of income (e.g. w2, or your 1040) to get aproved.

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avatar David C

Capital One has been reporting credit limits for non-NPSL cards for several years (2+) now. My C1 Visa Platinum clearly shows my credit limit on all three credit reports.

My Chase Freedom in contrast, like Bonnie’s below, shows my highest balance since it is a Visa Signature. :-(

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avatar Bonnie

I just found out that my Chase Freedom is an NPSL card, although I don’t think they all are. I’m going to have to have that changed, though, for the sake of my FICO score. I’m surprised the PenFed cards weren’t listed, though, esp. the Promise VISA, w/ no fees and a flat 7.49% APR. Be cautious when applying for the PenFed cards b/c they’re ultra-conservative in accepting card-holders. I’d recommend reading some of the threads on the MyFICO forums that discuss applying for PenFed VISAs before trying to get approved.

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avatar Shawn

A little note about the Citi American Airlines credit cards….they report your credit limit as $0. Consequently, you will be over your limit with every purchase. I learned this lesson recently when trying to refinance some investment property. Citi’s response about not reporting the limit: “Well, you can just not use it if you do not like it.” Nice. :-(

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avatar Andrew

“Well, you can just not use it if you do not like it.”
I’ve received that level of concern and care each time I’ve called Citi. That is why my card has been relegated to a sock drawer and replaced by Amex SPG who has been nothing short of phenomenal. No hassle CLIs, no hassle charge dispute, extremely friendly customer service.

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avatar Robert

I learned of the Citi database debacle last night when I called a rep about an unrelated problem. Seems their databases was breached and the following was purged: Your name, credit card # and personal contact (email address). They swear your SS#, DOB , card expiration date and three digit security code on the card back were not comprised, nevertheless they are replacing all cards. I insisted to keep the same card number and they agreed as w/o the exp. date and digit code, no merchant can get an approval and THEY are liable. The rep was authorized to give compensation – miles and cash. Negotiate with them. And this month on all three credit bureaus my AA Citi credit limit (7500.00) was listed for the first time. My scores went up to an avg. of 740 from 703. It’s all a game and I basically look for huge bonus mile/point offers to join (50K from Amex Premier Rewards i.e.) with a 20% bump when points were converted into Delta miles. I’ve managed to get about 400K miles in 3 years without including miles for actual flight. Insofar as FICO is concerned – you must fight these people if you are legitimately in the right and they will eventually acquiesce, although after some excruciating amount of time has passed.

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avatar Investor Junkie

I’ve gone for points instead of best intro rate. For me the best card is the Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card.

http://personal.fidelity.com/products/checking/content/investment_rewards_card.shtml.cvsr

1.5 points per $1 purchased on the first $15k
2 points per $1 purchased after that.

I know there are slightly better cards (including Fidelity Rewards AMEX) but this one was the best suited for me. It deposits the cash directly into my fidelity account.

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avatar guest

Noone has mentioned Iberia Bank’s Visa. You have to have excellent credit, and the application process is a little longer, meaning that you have to send them a copy of your utility bill and proof of employment, but it is the best card by far, and it’s worth the extra effort to get it.

http://creditcards.iberiabank.com/

They recently took over Pulaski Bank out of Arkansas, which has anti-usury laws, and they’ve changed the terms of the credit card slightly, which I hated to see happen. Under Pulaski, cash advances carried the same interest rate as purchases. And I think they still the same terms now, the last time I checked they did, but if you make a late payment, the interest rate would go up to 15% for that month, and after you make your payment, it goes back down to the original interest rate, it doesn’t get jacked up and stay there. I wish there were more banks that operated like this.

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avatar Don

Discover Card is a sham. Don’t count on collecting your cashback reward points. They have more excuses than a crooked politician. They should call their card the AGGRAVATION CARD!

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avatar Janine

I have never had a problem with getting my cash back from Discover. Can you be a little more specific with what the problem was?

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avatar mz

I will never do business with Discover, like ever. They sent me the pre-approved offers 27 times in one year, literally as I counted them. When I opened the account, they gave me a credit line which was a couple of grands less than what I make in a WEEK. The reason they gave me, “it is Discover’s policy.” I told them keep your policy with you. I canceled the sham they sent me even before activating it. My credit score took a hit for immediately opening and closing the credit card but I dont give a damn. Immediately applied for American Express which didn’t even send me a pre-approved offer and got a 10 thousand limit with an excellent reward program. Next time if I ever hear from discover, I am going to shove up the offer in their – - -. Mind my french and have a good day. I cant even imagine what these robbers do to folks who have bad credit scores.

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avatar qixx ♦1,819 (Half-Dollar)

Discover does the best when using their online shopping portal for the bonus rewards credits. I have never had a problem getting my rewards. They have even partnered with Amazon so you can pay for your Amazon purchases with your rewards points. No more waiting for them to build up to get your cash back.

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avatar faithfueledbennetts ♦264 (Nickel)

I saw that you noted some cards here need excellent credit. Which credit card would be best for someone with bad credit history who wants to start gaining good credit? We are looking to get a card just to put gas on and pay off immediately every month to boost our credit score. Any recommendations?

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avatar Hopethishelps

i am using the Captial One’s No hassle Credit Card. I have fair credit and was approved. I am using it primarily for gas because you get the 1-2% back. Plus it is helping me raise me credit score….hope this helps1

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avatar jam

hii can anyone tell me about the blue cash from american express is this a good credit card or what is the best one american express has ! ?

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avatar Bobka ♦13 (Newbie)

The Costco Amex card shown above is excellent if you happen to live near a Costco store. In addition to gas prices that are usually the best in the area, you will receive 3% back. That’s not too shabby. Do be aware that your annual Costco membership renewal will be automatically charged to your card each year. I also have an Amex Blue card that is gathering dust most of the time. It’s OK but I like the annual Costco cash reward better than the membership rewards points.

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avatar Marie

I love my AmEx Blue Cash back, it is easy to redeem points and sometimes I’ve spent over my limit and have never been charged a fee for doing so…the only draw back about my AmEx is that many businesses do not accept it as a form of payment where I live but other than that I love it and the card looks pretty cool!

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avatar Aly

I have one credit card and I would like to get a second to use for all my work expenses. This way I can keep my personal separate from work expenses. I travel for a living, usually staying in Marriott properties or similar, often I travel on United Airlines, I shop for catering at Whole Foods or similar, and I often buy items from Target and Best Buy for work as well. I spend anywhere from $2k to $6k a month. I have good credit, 740ish, which rewards card is best for me?

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avatar Melissa

Any suggestions??

I had good, Im not sure Id call it ‘great’ but definitely on the positive side of credit and was and have gone through identity theft issues in the past couple of years which are slowly but surely ironing out. As of now, i think im in the clear but god knows. My new job has me traveling a lot(hotel, gas and restaurant charges galore!) and I feel i should upgrade from my Bank of America Preferred Plus Worldpoints Visa to something that may be more beneficial whether it be cashback or rewards of miles, giftcards, etc. I dont know much about cred.cards but I feel like there must be better than what I have. I have a decent amount of money behind my name in bank accounts; money market, savings and checking as well as investments with mutual funds where I feel confident I should be able to get approved for something decent. Any suggestions on a card? Any feedback is appreciated. thanks

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avatar Dan - BankVibe

@InvestorJunkie – I like the Fidelity Amex card too, but you have to open a fidelity account to really take advantage of the point structure. The best card on the market right now is easily the british airways/chase card. Two free transatlantic flights once you open the card and spend $2500 in 3 months. Pretty low acceptance rate though…

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avatar Mark Galanty

Citi use to have a Home rebate Card (Paid your mortgage from the dollars earned), but recently discontinued it. It was a great rewards program because not only did you get the reward dollars but then the reduction in mortage interest and quicker principle paydown.

Does anyone know if anyone else has this type card?

Thanks,

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avatar Christine

I just found out that my credit union VISA points weren’t accumulating because I didn’t pay the annual fee upfront that no one told me about. I’m looking for a new card, credit score 738, I spend around $1,400 a month, $700 of that in travel, usually United or American, a hotel, and rental car, and I pay the balance off each month. Cash back is fine, and airline miles is fine, as long as they are usable. I usually can’t be flexible with my travel, as its for child visitation and I have a schedule to follow. Any recommendations? Thank you!

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avatar suanne

I love Amex blue, for each 7500 you spend, you get $100 to spend on travel. The travel item must be charged on the card and has to be $100 or more or you’ll lose some. It doesn’t expire and you can accumulate the credits. I have had this one several years and they have always treated me first class. Only problem is a few smaller businesses don’t take it, so I have a back up from Bank of America which I am looking to replace.

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avatar Rahul

You have not mentioned that there is no foreign transaction fee involved in capital one, only low cost card to offer this service for free. Best for world travelers.

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avatar Michael

Is there any card i can get if i’m a 21 year old & i have no credit score/no co signer ?

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avatar Beth

Capital One does have decent rewards, but their customer support is horrible. The recent issue we have experienced with them is pulling double payments from our checking account (which resulted in overdraft fees). I’ve gotten to the point of closing the account.

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avatar Ceecee ♦796 (Dime)

I guess Citi had to add that $20 checking account fee so they could afford to give away all those credit card reward points!

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avatar YourFinancesSimplified

Whoo hoo my good old capital one venture card mad the list. I use that card for everything.

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avatar Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

The interest rates, the bonus points and the rewards are tempting. But sorry, I say pass for now. I would rather stick to my current credit card. One credit card is good enough at the moment.

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avatar Jeremy @ ASAP Credit Card

I’m surprised that the ‘Capital One Platinum Prestige Card’ isn’t listed. It lacks rewards, but it offers a competitive 10.9% APR and 0% for 15 months. Great for carrying a balance…

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avatar jazzafrat

Well, I thought the Bank of America Signature Visa sounded like a good idea. I have been a good customer of BOA for over 20 years, but after their merger with Meryl Lynch, things just haven’t gone very well. I was an devoted AMX credit card user because of their cash rewards. I decided to take BOA up on their offer Visa signature 3-2-1% bonus plus a 25% bonus if I had the bonus points swept into my BOA checking account. I thought how could I pass this up! well the first month’s statement, I did not get my 25%, the second months statement I did not get anything swept into my BOA account and the 3rd month statement I did not get the 3-2-1%bonuses done correctly. I have called customer service after receiving each of my 3 months statements. The first month after 2 weeks they credited my account the 25% bonus. As of today the 2nd month mistake and the third month mistakes have not been corrected. BUT i had their word as a customer service account manager that they will look into it and it SHOULD get resolved. Now why should this take 3 months to get their act together. I think AMX will be seeing me again real soon!!!!

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avatar Ceecee ♦796 (Dime)

I like my Chase Freedom card—and they have already announced the categories for 2013. The first quarter bonus categories are gas stations, drugstores, and Starbucks. All four quarters are outlined on the Chase site……including Amazon next year right before the holidays!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,380 (Platinum)

I saw that but thought that was still the 2012 calendar. Thanks for the info!

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avatar Jacob

If you’re into churning, just drop the cards before the annual fee kicks in! I’ve got the CSP and SPG cards, and plan on churning them for rewards. My wife will get them as well. Then moving onto BOA and BOH Hawaiian Airlines cards, which gives me 70,000 pts, which transfer 2:1 to Hilton HHonors pts. So that’s 280,000 pts once my wife and I finish churning.

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avatar cathy spencer

Is there any place I can go and get the dates of specific offers that Citibank was making on the AA Advantage rewards card? I applied in December 2012 for one bonus program and they enrolled me in a different program than the offer.

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avatar Michael

All please note:
American Express. Amex charges a higher % to retailers than any other card, like Visa or Master Card.
Here is the latest for scalping retailers.

And ripping off consumers.

I stopped using them. Be informed because how your retailer is treated and charged determines the actual price you pay. That is why many established businesses refuse to take Amex cards.
Your money choices count big in this banking game.

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avatar Tami

If you read the very fine print below you will notice all of these cards paid this site to post. This is not a true comparison site…just another advertising site. Bet you won’t post this.

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avatar Susan

I made a mistake getting the Fidelity American Express Card. Fidelity stands for fair, faster service. This card has the worst customer service. It’s not fast, its not fair and the customer reps act like they are beaten daily with a stick on a daily basis by FIA Card Services.

Fidelity would do well to drop FIA Card Services. It dilutes the Fidelity brand.

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avatar T Nora

I would like to know what is the best credit card or gas card to carry and receive gas discounts. I use only shell gas but there are times when I have forgotten to get gas and go to the nearest gas station.

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avatar Roy

As consumers we are all seduced by glossy ads and promises. Credit card companies are just as adept at preying on us.

When you sign up for a credit card, you need to understand the terms and you need to know that some companies are exercising the fine print with incredible bullying.

Specifically, American Express has demonstrated a rather unique business model that changes the relationship from a partnership to one that can be likened to an owner staring at the wide eyed gold fish in a bowl.

After you have adjusted to using the card and begin to depend on it along with using it to pay recurring charges….they suspend the card and it stops working.

American Express calls it a ‘financial review’. During the financial review, you will be bullied into sending them the last 3 to 6 months of your bank statements. You will be forced to sign IRS documents authorizing them to pull the last several years of tax returns. (yes–they want copies of you tax returns!!). This is just the beginning of a probe into your life. The insidious credit score that you strive to keep up is only valued as 20% of the American Express evaluation. When American Express is done, they will have a trove of information about you that exceeds the databases of the credit bureaus, the IRS, your accountant and your lawyer combined.

To validate what is being reported here, Google American Express Financial Review to read about some real traumatic experiences. Families have become stranded while traveling. Cell phone bills not getting paid because the card was turned off. The cell phones report your delinquency to the ‘credit bureau’s', so your credit score starts getting trashed.

Hidden in the fine print of the terms and conditions of the Amex card, it reads that they can ask for some financial documents at any time. The fine print also says that American Express can share information they collect on you with the various consumer reporting agencies….in other words the credit bureaus. You see where this is going. Privacy went out the window with the invention of the FICO score along with the social insecurity card. Plan to drop your drawers if you get to the Amex card.

For me personally, the conversation with the representative started off nice enough and she professed that this review can be completed in a few minutes. Please understand, I am in business and I understand the need to protect your interests. I really do not object to Amex protecting its interests. I have had the card for over 20 years. I paid the bill every month. Customer service always referred to me as a good customer.

The gal said she needed the last few months of bank statements. I cheerfully sent over the bank statements. I had not Googled American Express Financial Review yet cuz it was new to me. But it did not end there. A bunch days later, the invasion began. They wanted more and more documents.

I tried taking the high side of the matter and simply said lets cut to the chase. I offered that we were both busy and that it was OK with me that they just set a credit limit on the card. They did not accept that. Then I suggested that I simply put 10000 on deposit. They did not accept that. The gal explained that once the financial review was started, they need to collect all information, then they would decide if they wanted to keep me as a customer or establish a credit limit. So now I find out that I can be doing all this work, and spend all this time and their was no guarantee of success. Further, Amex would not give me the formula for assuring success. I was led to believe that success was ‘subjective’.

All in all I decided that I was not going to continue with Amex. I had proved myself over 20 years. Since I offered to make the card secured with 10000 and they refused, they demonstrated a total lack of commitment to our relationship.

I let them know that I wanted to just cancel my account. Amex reported that the credit was canceled by the issuer to those loving credit bureaus. Because they reported that ‘the issuer’ canceled the credit, that loving credit report was dinged again.

My company does not now accept Amex. I have explained the situation to my employees and they all support terminating contact with Amex. Everyone has agreed to not use Amex for company expense reports and many have canceled their accounts.

Let us be clear, before this fiasco, the credit bureau’s reported me with a score of 815 and I always paid the card on time and the account that paid the bill had cash flow and always had the money from legitimate sources. I am a boring old man in my 50′s. I have no criminal record. I have no bankruptcy. I have no DWI. I own real estate free and clear from the bank and the house we live in now is ahead on the repayment (I pay more to the bank than required for the mortgage). I own two cars outright.

In summary, you are urged to not get an American Express card. If you have a card, you need to think about canceling the account. Where do we draw the line to corporate intrusion. If I sound disgruntled, simply Google American Express Financial review and judge for yourself.

PS. the fine print also says you lose any points you have accumulated! The internet is full of stories about the victims of financial review losing their points

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avatar Scott

I just got a snail-mail solicitation for the Fidelity Investment Rewards card. It screamed “2% cash back on all purchase” plus 5,000 bonus points. Sounded great, but then I read the fine print…

It said you earn 2 points per dollar spent and points are valid for 5 years (what happens after 5 years?). It also said points are forfeited upon account closure. Which account – the AMEX card or the Fidelity account receiving the cash back?

But here’s what really confused me:

“…if you have at least 5,000 points available…[we will] initiate an electronic transfer…to your Fidelity account at the end of each calendar month. The deposit will be made in US dollars in an amount equal to the points balance multiplied by 1% ($0.01 USD)…”

So it sounds like you get only 1% of your points balance each month (only 12% per year) deposited in the Fidelity account. It also sounds like you can never get the “base” 5,000 points deposited into the Fidelity account because you need “at least 5,000 points available” for them to initiate a monthly deposit.

While you may *earn* 2 points per dollar / 2%, I don’t see any way, given the legalese, to actually *get* 2% back. I tried calling the number on the solicitation to ask about this, but they were closed on the weekend. Guess they don’t want me to sign up for the card too badly!

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