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Michael Pruser

Do you spend at least $350 per month on groceries? Chances are you spend more, which means you’d be able to take advantage of the welcome bonus from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Even with an annual fee, this card is a great option for shoppers. We’ll tell you why in our review below.

blue cash preferred card review
AMEX Blue Cash Preferred

When the Credit Card Act was passed years ago, many thought it would be the end of credit card rewards programs. Despite increased costs of operations, credit card issuers continue to beef up their attempts to attract new customers, with bonuses for signing up and growing perks.

The best cards you’ll find today seem to include the same 1% cash back on most purchases with 5% cash back for select spending categories that change every three months. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a nice surprise, offering a welcome bonus and up to 6% cash back on everyday purchases. It’s simple and straightforward with no rotating reward categories and no enrollment required.

American Express offers new cardholders of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express a welcome bonus. They’ll give you 200 Reward Dollars after you use your card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. The welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months, or any other consumer Blue Cash® Card account within the last 90 days.

Learn More: Compare this and other rewards cards, and apply online HERE.

Also included with this offer is a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. Once that introductory period has expired, the purchase APR will vary with the market based on the prime rate. It is currently at 14.49% to 25.49% variable, based on your creditworthiness.

The best feature of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is its cash back rewards program. This is truly unmatched right now, and every eligible purchase earns cash back in the following amounts:

  • 6 percent cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases
  • 3 percent cash back on gasoline at US gas stations
  • 3 percent cash back at select US department stores
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases
  • Terms and limitations apply.

Your cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit and is earned only on eligible purchases. Unlike previous versions of the Blue Cash Card, where rewards could be redeemed only once a year, cardholders can redeem rewards as soon as they’ve accumulated $25 or more.

Unfortunately, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is not free. It comes with a $95 annual fee. However, considering the savings at the grocery store and gas pump, this card can potentially save you hundreds of dollars every year, even with the annual fee.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — when you add up the 200 Reward Dollars and the cash back program — might be one of the most rewarding credit cards offered by American Express. Be sure to review the terms and conditions for restrictions that apply to this offer. Terms and restrictions apply.

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Disclaimer: 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.

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Chase credit cards offers some of the best cash back and travel rewards. And Chase offers one of the few 0% balance transfer cards with no transfer fee. Here are the details.

Chase credit cards
Chase is offering a number of popular credit cards, notably the Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire and Chase, which now include a set of features the company calls “Blueprint.” The Blueprint features give the credit cardholder some flexibility in organizing and paying off the various expenses he or she charges to the card. Customers can visit the website to customize their experience as they pay back what they have spent, and possibly avoid paying interest at the same time.

Here are some of the configurable options in the Blueprint program.

  • You can choose categories, like gasoline or groceries, and Chase will separate those items from the rest of the statement. The payment you send will go to these expenses first, so as long as you pay more than you spend each month, you will not pay any interest in the categories you choose.
  • For larger purchases, you can decide how may monthly payments you’d like to make. Chase will calculate the portion of the monthly payment.
  • If you want to pay your credit card off in full — and everyone should — you can set the target date and Chase’s statements will tell you how much you need to pay each month in order to make your goal.
  • Your expenses are categorized immediately, and you have access to view your data at any time. Many other cards, if they share your categorized data at all, send a summary only at the end of the year.

Chase Credit Cards

Chase Freedom

The most recognizable product Chase offers is the Chase Freedom.  This is classified as a cashback credit card but it’s also a solid balance transfer credit card as well.  Currently, new cardholders can earn a $150 bonus after spending just $500 in the first three months of card ownership.  That spend hurdle is the lowest of any credit card that offers a $100 bonus or more.

The biggest selling point on the Chase Freedom is it’s rewards program.  Every quarter, this card offers 5% cash back categories which are typically pretty popular.  Things like Gas, Restaurants and Amazon.com are purchases that most every American makes, so it’s easy to rack up the rewards.  The only caveat is that every quarter, the maximum amount of cash back you can earn from the 5% categories is $75.  All other purchases, including ones made when you’ve exhausted your 5% cash back earns 1% cash back.

The Chase Freedom also includes a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  Once this intro rate expires, the APR becomes 16.49% – 25.24% variable.  There is no annual fee to keep this card and no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

  • Learn more about this credit card HERE

Chase Freedom Unlimited

A variation of the Chase Freedom is the Chase Freedom Unlimited.  A lot of the benefits are the same, with one major difference.  First, new cardholders can earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.  So far = same.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited also opens with a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  Once this intro rate expires, the ongoing APR becomes 16.49% – 25.24% variable.  This card has no limit to cash back earned and there is no annual fee.  Again = same.

The rewards program is as simple as it gets.  All purchases earn 1.5% cash back.  Categories don’t matter, and the amount you spend monthly, quarterly or annually doesn’t matter.  So whether $5 on gas in March, or $40,000 in July on a new boat; you’ll earn 1.5% cash back.  This is really the only difference between Chase Freedom products; a little more cash back all the time vs. less cash back on select categories every year.

  • Learn more about this credit card HERE

Chase Slate

Chase has received plenty of attention for the balance transfer offer that comes with the Chase Slate.

  • $0 introductory balance transfer fee
  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • $0 annual fee

Plus, they receive their monthly FICO® score for free.

The balance transfer transaction must be made within the first 60 days your account is open. Balances transferred after the 60-day period will be charged $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. That’s one of the best offers currently in the credit card industry. After your 0% introductory APR expires, you’ll see a variable APR of 16.49% – 25.24% based on your creditworthiness.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has an introductory offer is 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card ownership. These points can be redeemed for travel worth up to $625 when booked through Ultimate Rewards as points are worth 25% more when you use them to book travel through Chase.

The ongoing rewards program is fairly straightforward.  Double points for every $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants and single points per $1 spent on all other purchases.  As an additional bonus, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points after you add an authorized user to your credit card and they make a purchase inside of the first three months.

Each cardholder can get direct access to a dedicated phone number where live agents are available. There is an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year then the annual fee is $95.

  • Learn more about this credit card HERE

Ink Business Cash

The Ink Business Cash for new cardholders has an introductory bonus of $500 cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in three months from account opening. This card offers all small business owners the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular/landline phone service, Internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.

In addition, you can earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other card purchases (with no limit to the amount you can earn).

The Ink Business Cash comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. Plus, it does not have an annual fee. So as a small business owner, there is no cost for making fast, secure purchases using your credit card.

  • Learn more about this credit card HERE

Ink Business Preferred

The Ink Business Preferred has the potential to earn you thousands of points every year on eligible business purchases. With this card, new cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. (That equates to $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.)  When you use your points to book travel through Chase, they’re worth 25% more.

The rewards program on the Ink Business Preferred is a little different than most small business credit cards.  Cardholders will earn three points per dollar spent on select categories each account anniversary year and single points per dollar spent on everything else.  The categories that earn three points per dollar spent are as follows:

  • Travel
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases with social media and search engine sites

There are no foreign transaction fees, and employee cards can be added at no additional cost. There is a $95 annual fee for the Ink Business Preferred.

  • Learn more about this credit card HERE

With or without Blueprint, these Chase cards are among the best deals out there for those who use credit cards responsibly. Have you had any experiences with these credit cards from Chase? Whether good or bad, please share your thoughts.

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This list of the best balance transfer credit cards includes offers that have no balance transfer fee and cards that offer 0% interest well into 2019.

best balance transfer credit cards

Credit card debt is never fun. Developing a plan to get yourself out of the debt can be exhausting. Credit cards commonly charge interest rates of 20% or more. If you miss a few payments the default rate can be even worse.

Fortunately, if your credit is still decent, there is a way to make payments on your credit card without paying any interest interest. That’s through one or more of the best balance transfer credit cards available today.

Low and zero percent APR balance transfer offers are commonly provided by credit card issuers to attract new customers. Credit card issuers rightfully assume that if they can attract you to their product by offering to house your debt for no interest, you’re likely to generate new debt after you’ve paid off the old debt. The trick in taking advantage of a balance transfer offer is to pay off the entire debt during the 0% introductory offer, then pledging never again to get deep into credit card debt. It’s easier said than done for many.

Many top credit cards offers now have balance transfer fees, but even with a fee, you could save thousands of dollars of interest charges by taking advantage of low or zero percent APR balance transfer offers. Below you will find excellent choices for credit cards available for balance transfers. If you have a favorite balance transfer offer not included on this list, let me know and I’ll add it.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2018

The Amex Everyday® Credit Card from American Express

Our second no fee balance transfer credit card, the The Amex Everyday® Credit Card from American Express offers new cardholders A LOT.  First, a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months is provided.  There is no balance transfer fee if the transfer is made within the first 0 days of account ownership.  When the intro APR expires, the APR becomes 14.49% – 25.49% variable.

In addition to the pricing details offer, this card also offers 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.  You’ll also receive rewards points for every dollar spent in the following amounts:

  • 2x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent annually
  • 1x points on all other purchases

And as a bonus, every month you use your card at least 20 times, you’ll receive a 20% bump in rewards points on those purchases.  This means a 2.4 and 1.2 points per dollar spent respectively.

The The Amex Everyday® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee

Learn how to apply HERE

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers the shortest 0% balance transfer on our list at 9 months. We’ve included it however, because of the excellent cash back rewards–1.5% on every purchase + a $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees to speak of.

There is a balance transfer fee of 3% and when the intro APR expires, the standard APR becomes 14.24% – 24.24% variable.  As an added bonus, when you use your Quicksilver card to sign up for a Spotify premium subscription, you’ll earn 50% back in the form of a statement credit (Expires 4/2018),

Learn how to apply HERE.

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Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card offers a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  The balance transfer fee is $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.   When the intro 0% APR expires, the ongoing APR becomes 16.65% – 26.49% variable.  There is no annual fee.

One interesting feature of this card is that you can get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Credit Card.

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card also includes free access to your FICO credit score.

Learn how to apply HERE

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express opens up with a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. When the intro rate expires, the standard APR becomes 14.49% – 25.49% variable.  Where this card really kicks butt is with it’s welcome bonus and ongoing rewards program.

New cardholders will earn a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchase within the first three months.  And the killer rewards program reads as follows:

  • 6% cash back at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent annually
  • 3% cash back at US gas stations and select department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

I save hundreds of dollars every year just at the grocery store alone, and when the other cash back rates kick in, I can get it over $500 annually.  The one negative is that there is a $95 fee associated with the card (the only card with an annual fee on our list)

This is my primary go-to credit card for all things grocery and gas related and it offers a solid balance transfer offer as well.

Learn how to apply HERE

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Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card combines a 0% balance transfer with excellent cash back rewards. The card offers an intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months with a 3% balance transfer fee. While that’s not the longest balance transfer offer on our list, the card also combines excellent cash back rewards:

  • Earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $1,000 in net purchases in the first 3 months
  • Up to $600 in cell phone purchase protection with a $25 deductible
  • Earn 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on Android Pay™ or Apple Pay™ mobile wallet net purchases during the first 12 months from account opening

Learn how to apply HERE

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If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, check out this list of balance transfer credit cards.

For diligent credit card users, balance transfer cards can be efficient tools for keeping your bank account balance intact, making better use of your cash than spending your own money for a large purchase. In great economic environments, you could earn interest on your money while paying off your expenses with a low or zero percent interest rate. The proliferation of balance transfer fees makes this type of arbitrage more difficult, but with a few fee-free offers being available today, you might be able to earn interest on your card issuer’s money if you don’t fall into any traps.

Important Note! 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 or charge card prior to applying.

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The best money market rates today pay interest in the top 5% of all deposit accounts. These rates come from online banks. Here’s our list of the top 5.

best money market rates

I’ve never been a big saver. And that’s especially when it comes to putting money into an online savings account or money market. During the adult period of my life, where I had disposable income, rates have been terrible. Over the last 18 months, however, rates have steadily been on the rise. And today there’s good reason to put money away in an online money market account.

Why should you open a money market account?

  1. All money is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank. This means that the federal government has insured your money should anything happen to the bank holding your funds.
  2. Your portfolio is diversified. A strong financial balance sheet typically consists of investments from across the spectrum. Funds, stocks, deposit accounts etc. Owning a great money market account is important to achieve that portfolio.
  3. Emergency funds are available. When you have savings in a money market account, you can draw from it immediately or transfer it to another account in a business day or two. Having funds on hand for a “worst case scenario” is always a smart financial decision.

Below you’ll find a list of the best money market accounts the internet has to offer. If you think there’s a bank out there that can compete with the offers you see below, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll see if they deserve to be added.

Best Money Market Accounts

CIT Bank: We start with the very new CIT Bank Money Market account. It’s a little different and more restrictive than most money market accounts. But it still packs a big punch. Starting May 24th, 2018, the CIT Money Market account offers a 1.85% APY, which is far and away the best of any savings or MMA on the market today.

But I did say it’s a little restrictive. Currently, there is no debit card associated with the account (although they are coming in the future). Also, there is no check writing available (and it will not become available). To access your funds, you can send an electronic transfer to another bank or send a wire transfer. You can also use PeoplePay to send money to anyone with a bank account or PayPal account or request a check through the mail.

Six withdrawals are allowed per month and additional withdrawals cost $10.

  • Minimum deposit to open an account is $100

UFB Direct: UFB is a bank that isn’t well know, but it offers a top notch interest rate. All balances earn a 1.60% APY. In order to stay fee free on the account, you must maintain an average daily balance of $5,000. This is also the minimum deposit requirement, so it prices out a fair amount of potential customers.

For that high dollar requirement, you are provided quality account features. UFB offers free mobile deposit, free “myDeposit”, an app that allows you to deposit checks and free postage paid envelops to mail checks if you need to. Also, a free Visa debit card is included, to make your withdrawals or pay for things from your Money Market account.

  • Minimum deposit to open an account is $5,000

EverBank : The Yield Pledge Money Market account from EverBank requires a $5,000 minimum deposit to open. When you meet this requirement, Everbank refunds all ATM fees refunded (if you use a foreign ATM for example). EverBank offers a first year APY of 1.50% for balances up to $250,000. After the first year, the APY shifts lower to a tiered structure between 1.05% – 1.25%.

The excessive transfer fee is $10, cashiers check fee is $10 and the returned deposit fee is $10. EverBank provides you with a debit card that can be used for any purchase or cash withdrawal. EverBank has a wide variety of other deposit products that include the Yield Pledge guarantee. There is a mobile app that allows you to make check deposits and if you live in the Jacksonville area, you can go to a branch if needed.

  • Minimum deposit to open an account is $5,000

Cap One 360: Cap One 360 offers an APY of 1.60% on their Money Market account for customers who keep a balance of over $10,000. For balances with less, the APY drops to a poor 0.85%. Perhaps the biggest benefit of the Cap One 360 MMA account is that there is no requirement to avoid a monthly fee. There is no minimum deposit required to open this Money Market account.

Cap One will issue a debit card for purchases and withdrawals and provide access to their mobile app. While I personally do not have an account with Cap One 360, my wife does. I have to say the mobile app is far and away the best of any bank. Easy to use, fast, and it allows you to move your money in a variety of ways. Depositing checks with their mobile check deposit feature is also a snap.

Minimum deposit to open an account is $1

Discover Bank: Cracking the top five is Discover Bank, and their High Yield MMA account. This account currently offers a 1.50% APY on balances less than $100,000 and a 1.55% APY on balances greater than $100,000. Included with this account is a debit card that allows for unlimited cash withdrawals. The same six per month withdrawal threshold must be adhered to for transfers however.

Discover is straight forward about their fee structure. No ATM fees, no check fees, no account closure fees but there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee for balances of less than $2,500. There’s also a $15 excessive withdrawal fee and a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers (but nothing to make ACH transfers).

  • Minimum deposit to open an account is $2,500

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Best Credit Card Signup Bonuses (Up to $625)

by Michael Pruser

Credit cards now offer cash promotions for new card members. We’ve assembled the best credit card signup bonuses for 2018. One pays up to $625! Credit card signup bonuses. There’s no greater allure to owning a credit card than the free things you can get right away. When I signed up for my first credit […]

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The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards of 2018

by Michael Pruser

Enjoy free travel with this list of the best travel rewards credit cards of 2018. I’ve personally used several of these credit cards for free flights and hotel stays. It’s time to plan your holiday travel. That may mean cashing in the travel rewards you’ve accumulated on credit cards–or it may mean starting to use […]

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review

by Michael Pruser

In our 2018 Capital One Venture Rewards credit card review, we look at its 50,000 mile bonus and 2x rewards structure. Is it too good to be true? I use four primary credit cards to buy just about everything. One for my purchases at the grocery store. One for purchases at the pump. Another to […]

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Capital One Quicksilver Review – Get a $150 Bonus

by Michael Pruser

The Capital One Quicksilver card combines a $150 signup bonus with 1.5 percent cash back rewards on every purchase. Oh, and no annual fee. Here are the details. One of the most important rules of sound personal finance is using credit cards wisely. A good cash back credit card, when used for everyday purchases and paid […]

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A Review of Betterment – Robo Advisor

by Michael Pruser

Is Betterment a smart way to invest your money? Our detailed Betterment review gives you everything you need to make a sound investing decision. Betterment is a different type of brokerage. Most discount brokerages want to get customers to trade as frequently as possible. But Betterment is looking to be your asset manager. Currently, the […]

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Discover it® Miles – 3% Cash Back for the First Year

by Michael Pruser

It’s the only card that pays you 3 percent cash back on every purchase the first year. And with no annual fee. The details are in our Discover it Miles review. Some time ago, Discover made the conscious decision to re-brand its entire line of credit cards. Previously known as “More” credit cards, Discover decided to […]

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