Credit Card Guide
As long as you are paying your bills every month, it can pay off to diversify your credit card portfolio, in order to really hack your rewards. I am averaging about 4% on everything I normally buy (groceries, gas, travel, etc.), due to clever rewards card hacking. This page is meant to be a guide to help you achieve similar results.
Look for Credit Cards by Category
- 0% APR Cards: don’t want to pay interest for an introductory period? These cards have an introductory 0% APR.
- Balance Transfer Cards: looking to get away from a high interest card payments? These cards offer long 0% introductory APR periods so you can avoid 15-20%+ APR on your existing cards.
- Bonus Incentive Promotion Cards: cards with a significant bonus cash/rewards offer associated with signing up.
- Business Credit Cards: These are cards that are geared to those who charge a high volume on credit cards.
- Cash Back Cards: the best all-purpose cash back rewards cards.
- Gas Rewards Cards: have a heavy commute? 3-5% cash back is attainable.
- Grocery Rewards Cards: outside of mortgages/rent, groceries are the #1 monthly expense for Americans, and we all buy them. I get 6% cash back on mine ($360/year).
- Restaurant Rewards Cards: dine out a lot for travel or otherwise? These are the best restaurant rewards cards, with some paying up to 5%.
- Travel/Miles Rewards Cards: these cards are geared to travel die-hards & offer big hotel, airline, or other rewards.
In-Depth Credit Card Reviews:
I’ve previously reviewed a few of my favorite credit cards that can be a good fit for readers, if used properly:
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: My card of choice as the best rewards card for supermarket purchases. It offers 6% cash back at US supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases. You can also earn 100 reward dollars, redeemable for a $100 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months. Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period. My favorite card!
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Sister card to the above, it offers 3% cash back at US supermarkets, up to $6000 per year in purchases, 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases. You can also earn 50 reward dollars, redeemable for a $50 statement credit, after you make $1,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months. Plus, get one year of Amazon Prime after you sign up for a new membership with your card and meet the spending requirement in the same time period. Why are the cash back percentages less than the Preferred? No annual fee. It may be a better option for those who are single.
- Upromise World MasterCard® is the best rewards hacking card at the moment and best card for online shopping that I’ve seen. You can earn 10% or more cash back on eligible online purchases through Upromise, 4% cash back at thousands of participating Upromise dining restaurants, 3% cash back on eligible gas purchases at Exxon or Mobil locations, 2% cash back on eligible movie theater locations, 1% cash back on all other purchases, you start with a $50 cash back bonus after first purchase, there is no annual fee, and there is a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
- TrueEarnings® Card from Costco & American Express: Earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1%. Also, 2% cash back at US restaurants; 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco; and 1% cash back on other purchases, including at Costco.
- Discover it®: The best card out there for balance transfers at the moment. It also has flexible cash back rewards, a host of customer friendly features, and even a free FICO® credit score on your monthly statement.
Informative Credit Card Articles:
- 6% Cash Back on Groceries Again? Year 2 Results are in
- How I Got $385 Cash Back Last Year Just for Buying my Regular Groceries
- Does Opening or Cancelling a Credit Card Impact your Credit Score?
- How to Get Free Credit Monitoring
- Using 0% APR Balance Transfer Cards to Pay Off Debt
- How to Get 3 Free Credit Reports Annually
- Denied Credit? Now you will Get a Free Credit Score
- Hard Credit Inquiry Vs. Soft Credit Inquiry & Their Impact on your Credit Score
- How to Wipe Out Credit Card Late Fees
- Does Closing a Check Account Hurt your Credit Score?
- American Express’s Purchase Protection Plan
Here’s a full list of credit card articles.