Chase

The First Credit Card To Apply For If You’re New To Miles & Points

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I don’t think there’s a single “one size fits all” credit card. It all depends on what categories you spend most in, how much you spend, and what kind of rewards you’re looking for.

There are certainly cards that offer a compelling return for a vast majority of consumers, like The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, which offers triple points on U.S. groceries (on up to $6,000 of spend per year), double points on U.S. gas, and a 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle. Cards like that help points add up quickly for the average household.

Then there are cards that offer perks that more than justify the annual fee for a vast majority of consumers. For example, the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers an annual free night certificate valid at any of IHG’s 5,000+ hotels, which more than justifies the card’s $49 annual fee, in my opinion. You’d be hard pressed to not get $49 of value out of that.

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5 Of The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards For 2017

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Understandably a lot of people want to avoid credit cards with annual fees. Many people make the assumption that cards with annual fees aren’t worth it. Personally I don’t agree with that sentiment, as someone who spends over $2,000 per year in credit card annual fees (yet I think I’m getting great value).

In this post I wanted to look at five of the hottest and all around most rewarding no annual fee credit cards in the market today — three of them are personal cards, and two of them are business cards.

Here are they are, in no particular order:

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My 2017 Chase Credit Card Strategy

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While I write quite a bit about credit card sign-up bonuses, that’s only one aspect of maximizing the rewards you can get from credit cards. So I’m writing a brief series about my credit card spend strategy with the major issuers. Over the past several days I’ve shard my American Express card strategy and Citi card strategy, and in this post I’ll share my Chase card strategy. Which cards do I have, why do I have them, etc.?

Chase has some of the best points earning credit cards out there, though is also among the strictest when it comes to approving people. Here’s what you need to know:

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5 Sets Of Credit Cards That May Appear To Be Substitutes, But Aren’t

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Many times credit card issuers introduce multiple versions of a card, in hopes of going after as many types of consumers as possible. Sometimes the benefits on the cards overlap, while other times they don’t. For example:

— The $99 annual fee JetBlue Plus Card comes with all the same benefits (and much more!) as the no annual fee JetBlue Card, so there’s not much benefit to having the no annual fee version if you have the premium version
— There’s not a ton of value in having the $95 annual fee Citi ThankYou® Premier Card when you have the $450 annual fee Citi Prestige® Card, since the benefits mostly overlap (though not completely)

However, in this post I figured I’d look at five sets of cards that may on the surface appear to be substitutes, but are actually complementary to one another, in my opinion. In no particular order:

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50,000 Bonus Miles With The United MileagePlus Explorer Card

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For a limited time, Chase is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 United MileagePlus miles on the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can also earn an additional 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first three months.

That’s potentially a total of 55,000 MileagePlus miles, which is the best publicly available offer I’ve seen on the card in a long time (though we’ve also seen some bigger targeted offers in the past).

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card is also offering 50,000 United MileagePlus miles after spending $2,000 in the the first three months, though there isn’t a bonus for adding authorized users.

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How Much Do I Spend Per Year On Credit Card Annual Fees?

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Understandably, a lot of consumers try to avoid credit cards with annual fees. Nobody wants to pay unnecessary fees, though I think a lot of people are under the wrong impression that credit cards with annual fees aren’t worth it. While that’s sometimes true, paying an annual fee can be a small and worthwhile investment that can get you a big return. You just have to understand the benefits and know what you’re doing.

For example, I spend over $2,000 per year in credit card annual fees, and think it’s more than worthwhile. In this post I’ll share the cards with annual fees I hold onto long term, and why I do so. To keep things simple I’ll share the core of why I hold onto each card, rather than all the reasons.

Here are the cards, from the highest annual fee to the lowest:

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10 Best Credit Card Offers For January

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Every month I make a post with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month.

While there are several excellent long standing credit card offers, the specifics of the best offers are constantly changing (be it the annual fee, minimum spend requirement, or even amount of the sign-up bonus).

If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but for me it’s a useful, “current” place to refer people who ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get on a daily basis.

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7 Hot Limited Time Credit Card Bonuses Available Right Now

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The past few months we’ve seen a lot of increased credit card sign-up bonuses. The card issuers are really getting competitive, both in terms of sign-up bonuses and in terms of perks. So I figured I’d use this post to recap some of the increased card sign-up bonuses we’re seeing, some of which are expiring soon. In no particular order, here are some of them:

This amazing sign-up bonus ends tomorrow.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is offering a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points — you earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within three months, plus an additional 50,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 within three months.

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Chase Ink Cash & Chase Ink Preferred — Which Is Better?

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Chase has recently switched up their business card portfolio, and right now they have two primary business credit cards — the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

The cards are both fantastic, though are quite different in terms of benefits, return on spend, etc. Therefore in this post I figured I’d do a side-by-side comparison of the two cards.

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The 7 Best Hotel Perks Offered By Credit Cards

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There are many reasons to pick up a credit card — some are worth picking up for the sign-up bonus, some are worth picking up for the return they offer on everyday spend, and some are worth picking up for the long-term perks they offer.

While there are all kinds of perks offered on cards, in this post I figured I’d look at the best hotel perks you can get with credit cards. Here are my favorites, roughly in order:

The Citi Prestige® Card has my single favorite perk offered by any credit card. While a lot of credit cards offer some type of “free night” hotel benefit, there are usually major strings attached. Citi Prestige’s fourth night free benefit is the most straightforward out there. To sum up the basics:

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Comparing Credit Card Priority Pass Benefits

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Nowadays there are several premium cards that get you access to Priority Pass lounges. I remember going back a few years, the only card I had that would get me Priority Pass access was The Platinum Card® from American Express. Nowadays I have so many Priority Pass cards in my wallet that I forget which is which (and that can be a problem sometimes).

Anyway, for those of you not familiar with Priority Pass, it’s the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges, with over 1,000 lounges around the world. Even though I often have lounge access through my elite status or through the type of ticket I’m booking, I still use Priority Pass lounges all the time:

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How Long Is The IHG Annual Free Night Certificate Valid For?

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A couple of days ago I wrote about the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which I consider to be a “no brainer” for a vast majority of consumers. The card has just a $49 annual fee (which is waived the first year), and offers three huge perks:

— You get an anniversary free night certificate every year, which is valid at any IHG property worldwide, pending availability; given IHG’s global footprint, that should justify the card for just about anyone
— You get IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points, room upgrades, etc.
— You get a 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year

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Is The Chase Sapphire Preferred Or Reserve Better For You?

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For the past several months, one of the hottest new cards on the market has been the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card. The card has offered a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points upon completing minimum spend, and in many ways has overshadowed the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which I consider to be the all around best mid-range credit card in the market.

The online increased sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Reserve has finally been changed, so I figured I’d take a look at which card is better in light of that.

The Sapphire Preferred is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user to the card that makes a purchase within three months.

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50,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus On The Southwest Plus Card

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There’s presently an increased bonus of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. While we often see increased bonuses on the Premier Card, seeing an increased bonus on the Plus Card is rarer.

The card has a $69 annual fee, which is lower than the $99 annual fee on the Premier Card.

There are a few reasons to consider this sign-up bonus:

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