Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

10 Easiest Signup Bonuses to Earn (7 Under $500, 3 With a Single Purchase!)

This one’s for peeps who think they can’t earn signup bonuses because the minimum spending requirements are too dang high.

When you think about, spending $3,000 (the usual spending requirement) is, of course, $1,000 per month for 3 months – or $250 per week. These cards tend to have the highest bonuses.

The problem with bank marketing is they throw out huge numbers and scare people off. But when you break it down, it appears way more manageable.

In any regard, there are plenty of cards with much lower minimum spending requirements. And some of them are genuine keepers!

cards with low spending requirements

Or rather, they look high – but most of them aren’t that bad once you break it down

Let’s look at 10 of the easiest signup bonuses you can earn.

10 cards with low spending requirements

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10 Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards – All With a 2% or Better Return

Everyone should have at least 1 credit card without an annual fee. When a card is free to keep forever, you never have to second-guess it. And the card works its powers on your credit report to increase available limits, decrease utilization, and help boost the average age of all your accounts.

My oldest credit card is from 2002 and has no annual fee. No matter how many new cards I open, I’ll always have a 16-year-old card to raise the average age of my accounts higher and therefore, my credit score.

When a card has a fee, it’s harder to justify keeping it – unless you get outsized value.

But having a card without an annual fee doesn’t mean you have to give up solid returns. All of the cards on this list can get you 2% back or better.

best no annual fee credit cards

Discover It is one of the best no annual fee cards – up to 10% cashback the first year. I’ll share my top 10 faves!

Here’s my list.

10 best no annual fee credit cards

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Yes! Just Picked up a New Alaska Visa for 40K Miles – How to Get the Offer

The typical signup offer on the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa is 30,000 Alaska miles after meeting the minimum spending requirements (usually $1,000 in the first 90 days).

We’ve seen offers for $0 companion fares, a $100 statement credit (tantamount to a 10% discount on the minimum spending), and a few highly targeted offers.

This latest deal is for 40,000 Alaska miles and a $0 companion fare after spending $2,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. There are a few steps to get the offer to show – but it’s worth it for 10,000 extra Alaska miles.

alaska visa 40000

Best public deal there’s been for the Alaska Visa – 40K miles and a $0 companion ticket

I was just instantly approved with a $17,000 credit line and I’m LOL/24. It’s clear by now I’ll never open another Chase card – so I went for it. Alaska miles are among the most valuable out there – and you can use the $0 companion ticket to anywhere Alaska flies, including Hawaii!

Here’s how to get the offer.

Alaska Visa 40K offer with a little massaging

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3 Chase Ink Small Business Cards: Which Is Right for You? (One Bonus Is Worth $1,000)

Chase has 3 Ink cards targeted at small business owners:

  • Preferred
  • Cash
  • Unlimited

Each accomplishes a different business goals by way of awarding bonus points in certain categories. And they all earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points – one of, if not the, most valuable rewards currency.

But only 1 of them gives you direct access to Chase’s travel transfer partners (it’s also the only one with an annual fee – the Ink Preferred).

chase ink business cards

The Chase Ink Preferred (formerly called the Plus) is the only Ink card with transfer partners

Let’s look at what makes these cards compelling.

Chase Ink Business Cards – What’s Alike and Different

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Free Money: Why Even Frugal Folks Should Have a Credit Card

Just got back from FinCon. Of course I told everyone how I like to travel using credit card points & miles. Within the personal finance/FI/RE community, I was shocked how many people still don’t have credit cards.

And these are people who delight in number-crunching!

I understand the concerns about mismanagement, overspending, or accidentally missing a payment. But fact is, credit cards are part of adulting because your credit score is part of adulting.

Responsibly using credit is a sign to lenders that you qualify for lower rates and higher lines of credit. You can’t even rent an apartment without a credit check these days.

no annual fee credit cards

I’ve literally earned $1000s for free with no annual fee credit cards – everyone should!

And if you’re counting every penny, you definitely want a credit card. Because you can get back 2% of everything you spend. For completely free. Why wouldn’t anyone want that?

No annual fee credit cards are a no-brainer

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USAA Cards Not Earning Reward Points (Cashback) for Plastiq Payments

I opened a new USAA card to take advantage of a 0% APR rate until February 2020 (but gosh how I wish the Limitless card with 2.5% cashback everywhere would come back). I previously got a new card to make a student loan payment.

So the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards card earns 1.5% cashback on purchases. I was hoping Plastiq payments would code as “miscellaneous services” (or similar), but nope, they post as a “quasi-cash merchant” and do not earn any reward points.

So don’t use your USAA card with Plastiq!

More importantly, I hope this doesn’t signal a trend of Plastiq coding as cash-like purchases.

usaa plastiq payments

Don’t mix USAA cards with Plastiq payments, cuz you won’t earn rewards

Even still, I was not charged a cash advance fee per Plastiq’s advising.

Tread carefully with USAA Plastiq payments

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Get 4% Cashback for Sporting Events, Theme Parks, & More With This Card’s Unusual Category Bonus

Let’s talk about this new Capital One Savor card. It has:

  • A $500 cash sign-up bonus after meeting spending requirements
  • 4% cashback on dining and entertainment
  • 2% cashback at grocery stores
  • 1% cashback everywhere else
  • Learn more here

I dug into that entertainment category and realized how surprisingly broad it really is. It includes:

Buying tickets to a movie, play, concert, sporting event, tourist attraction, theme park, aquarium, zoo, dance club, pool hall or bowling alley. Also, making purchases at record store and video rental locations.

Some of those things are pricey! And saving 4% could add up quick.

capital one savor review

I freaking love Sleigh Bells (look them up!). You can earn 4% on a HUGE number of activities with Capital One Savor

The dining category is wide, too – it includes nearly any place you can get a meal, snack, or drink. But I’ll keep my Chase Sapphire Reserve for those purchases.

If you’re LOL/24, looking for a nice sign-up offer, or spend a lot on entertainment the card easily pays for itself. And could be worth keeping long-term.

Let’s look at some numbers.

Capital One Savor review

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Get a Year + 3 Months of 0% Interest (Including $0 Balance Transfers!) With This Amex Card

0% APR intro offers are common, especially for purchases. And you can usually transfer a balance from another card – but you’ll pay fees in the form of a percentage of the amount you transfer. The more you transfer = higher fee.

So when I saw a deal for 15 months of 0% interest on purchases including NO fees on balance transfers, that caught my attention. Then I realized it was with an actually useful Amex card – with a decent welcome bonus. It’s the Amex EveryDay card – learn more here.

Offers like these aren’t as exciting as getting tens of thousands of bonus points. But they can give you a lot of breathing room – especially if you need to plan for a big purchase, or catch up to avoid paying hundreds in interest fees. In this case, for well over a year.

amex everyday balance transfer

I know I’m gonna need a new HVAC system – to the tune of $6,000 – in the next couple of years

I’ve taken advantage of similar offers in the past. And this one would be a great way to consolidate some balances. Especially if you’re over 5/24.

Amex EveryDay balance transfer offer

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For Advanced Players: The Citi ThankYou Premier 60,000 Point Offer Is Easily Worth $900

Dang, I just checked my credit file, and it looks like I closed my last Citi ThankYou Premier card in June 2017. I still have my Citi Prestige card open (and can’t wait to see how they refresh it this month).

According to Citi’s rules, I’m not eligible to earn another bonus on a ThankYou card because I’ve opened OR closed a ThankYou card within the last 24 months. But man, if you’re eligible to apply for this offer, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t hop all over it – especially if you’re over 5/24.

I have some FOMO about this offer. Because this offer is an easy $900 toward travel.

citi thankyou premier 60000

I use Citi ThankYou points all the time – including for flights to Belgium to stroll the gorgeous river that runs through Bruges

Here’s my expert analysis. 🧐

Dat Citi ThankYou Premier 60,000 point offer tho

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Is It Worth Getting (or Converting to) the Chase Ink Business Preferred Just for 3X Plastiq Payments?

Update 8/19/18: 3X on Plastiq payments with the Chase Ink  Business Preferred stopped working on 8/16/18. So the method below doesn’t work any more. I’m glad I kept my trusty Chase Ink Plus after all!

There’s a bit of a known secret about the Chase Ink Business Preferred card – you earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on ALL Plastiq payments (that is, the ones you can use a Visa card for).

I currently have the old Chase Ink Plus card (no longer available) that earns 5X at office supply stores, and on cable, internet, and phone service.

But month after month, I find myself spending way more on Plastiq payments than on “office supplies” or my internet bills. I’m heavily considering converting to the Ink Business Preferred to get that sweet 3X. When I run the numbers, I know I can earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards points this way. But, I’m afraid:

  • Chase will change the 3X any second now
  • Of losing the Chase Ink Plus card – once I convert, I can never go back

Is it worth a risk long-term for a short-term gain? Ah, isn’t that always top of mind with this hobby (and everything, really)?

chase 3x plastiq

I’ve had the Chase Ink Plus since it was a MasterCard… but if I convert, it’ll go the way of my Blockbuster card: SO TOTALLY OVER

Along the same thinking, would it be worth opening the Chase Ink Preferred to earn 3X on Plastiq payments… for as long as the gettin’s good?

Chase 3X Plastiq payments

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8 Easy Tricks to Earn & Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

This one’s for my friends who say, “I never earn enough points to get a travel reward,” or, “Points are useless once you have them.”

The truth is you don’t have to invest a ton of time into learning how to use your points. You can do well by using 1 or 2 tricks to earn and redeem for travel.

And if you do that, you will still come out way ahead of most people.

I used Chase Ultimate Rewards points to stay in San Francisco this April

These “tricks” require very little finesse – just that you pay attention. Perhaps now is a good time to form a habit loop?

Even if these methods are ALL you ever learn, they’re an incredible place to begin. And once you’re comfortable, you can build from there – baby steps.

4 ways to EARN Chase points

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Yay! A Huge 89-Point Jump for an Authorized User’s Credit Score!

Or, Lightning Strikes Twice!

I shared how my brother’s credit score jumped 100+ points in a month after I added him to one of my credit cards. He had literally nothing on his credit report.

Last month, I added an authorized user to a 5-year old (no annual fee!) credit card with a $13,000 credit limit. The statement closed on July 3rd. And on July 11th (a week later), we pulled his credit report.

add authorized user

My AU’s credit score went up 89 points in under a month

His new score (according to Credit Sesame) is now 732 – 89 points more than it was this time last month! (FWIW, it was the same on Credit Karma, too.)

After adding my brother, and now with this new experience, I’m convinced how beneficial it can be to add authorized users to old cards with a high limit. And why it’s so important to have a couple of cards with NO annual fees in your wallet.

This AU had one negative mark, but all my info transferred

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