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. There is no cash back enrollment required, and the same great reward categories year-round. You can also get $150 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and you will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit. 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 also can get $100 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit. 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.com, 4% cash back at thousands of participating Upromise dining restaurants, up to 3% cash back on eligible gas purchases at Exxon or Mobil locations, 2% cash back at 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. This card also allows for massive discounts on appliances purchased online at Best Buy (4%), Sears (5%, sometimes higher), Lowe’s (5%), and other stores – no need for multiple store credit cards! This makes the Upromise card the best credit card for appliances, by far.
- 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.
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.