So how would you like to earn up to 5% cash back on purchases you are already making?
Many credit cards offer rotating category offers and others offer a set percentage for the entire time. There are way too many credit cards to analyze, but I will go over a handful that have fairly nice perks with no annual fee.
Many people may be against credit cards, but I find them to be a useful tool in protecting your money as long as you use them wisely. If you do not feel responsible enough to pay off the card each month, pay off the card after each purchase so you always have a $0 balance while still raking in the benefits of the card.
Target Red Debit or Credit Card
The Target card offers 5% off everything in the store (including non-Target gift cards), an extra 30 days return policy, and free shipping on Target.com. This card is a no-brainer if you shop a decent amount at Target. You can stack your savings on top of already existing sale prices, coupons, and Cartwheel. If you don’t shop that Much at Target but eat out a lot, use the Target Red Debit or Credit card to buy restaurant gift cards and save 5% each time. If you want the benefit without the credit, bring in a check and Target can issue you a debit card with all the Target benefits. If you want to build credit or don’t trust Target with directly debiting your bank account, get the credit card.
Golden 1 Platinum Rewards Visa
The Golden 1 Visa is a great choice for people who are already Golden 1 Members. This card is a great overall card that offers 1% cash back everywhere, but offers 3% cash back on restaurants, groceries, and gas. There are many cards that offer 3% on gas, but not many that offer a consistent 3% on groceries. If you do a lot of grocery shopping or eating out, then this card is for you. The caveat of this card is that you must be a Golden 1 member, so you will need to open other accounts with them. The lowest APR offered is 7.79%.
The Chase Freedom is an extremely popular card known for a rotating quarterly 5% rewards calendar with 1% for everything else. This card is notorious for offering sign up bonuses all the time if you make a certain amount of purchases within the first few months, as well as a short-term 0% APR offer. Instead of going into details about the card, I focus on the 5% categories. The categories change every quarter and tend to differ every year. From July – September 2015, the 5% category is gas stations and Kohls. Since the Chase Freedom gets 5% for gas, people who also have the Golden 1 Visa would use the Chase Freedom for gas from July – September.
The Citi Dividend card is unfortunately no longer available for new applicants. Due to that fact, I will only say that the card is similar to Chase Freedom’s rotating quarterly 5% offers with 1% on everything else, but the categories do not seem as popular. For July – September, the 5% category consists of the Hilton Portfolio and Airlines. Citi also offered free FICO credit scores. The card has since been replaced with the Citi Double Cash card that gives 1% on all purchases, and another 1% when you pay your bill, effectively giving you a 2% cash back on everything, which is pretty good too.
The Discover card offers a rotating quarterly calendar of 5% offers with July – September including Home Improvement, Department Stores, and Amazon.com. Although not all stores take Discover, the majority of home improvement and department stores will, and of course Amazon will. Discover also offered free FICO credit scores like Citi.
If you have all of the above credit cards, you can easily rotate and use the different cards for different spending categories to milk the 2-5% cash back. Credit cards also offer better protection for purchases, protects you from fraudulent charges, separates your bank account from the seller, and provide other features like price protection and concierge. If you are looking for some money on the table, then these reward credit cards are it!