Credit cards are the source of all evil!? Wicked banks want you to overspend and owe them forever, right? While I have to agree with this statement to some point – credit card power requires a lot of self-control, but it isn’t all bad. That’s why I am sharing My Favorite Credit Cards with you to help your credit concerns.
The credit concept is excellent as the bank loans you the money for 30 days that you pay back with zero interest. However, it also makes it very easy to go overboard and spend more than you can afford.
If you consider yourself a shopaholic and no that a credit card in your hands is just not a good idea – freeze it, cut it in pieces and forget you even saw the title of this post. What I am about to talk about is not for you, and that is perfectly fine because I do not want to spend more than you can be responsible for.
My Favorite Credit Cards and Why I Love Them
I love my credit cards! I tried going on cash only budget, but it doesn’t work all that well if you need to buy something on Amazon and let’s face it – online shopping offers way too many competitive pricing options, and I do love me the best price as much as I don’t fancy trips to the stores.
How do I use my credit cards?
I got in the habit of keeping a very close look on my expenses for one simple reason – I hate getting a monthly credit card bill (or the scary number it comes with – did I spend that much?). I review my credit card expenses and pay my bills weekly. It helps stay on top of my budget, and as an added benefit I never miss my minimum payment due date.
Credit cards also help me categorize my purchases. I have a credit card for grocery shopping, another card for gas, one for Amazon purchases (there is an excellent reason why I do that), and one for everything else! Once a week I sit down to review my expenses and can easily see my spending categorized based on the cards I use.
However, the real reason I love my credit cards is the rewards. Have you ever considered finding the cards that give you the most significant bonus? For years I had credit cards that had no rewards or gave me rewards I knew I would never use. However, last year I sat down and did extensive research to find the cards that would give me the best of rewards. Here they are:
American Express Blue Cash
This card has no annual fee, and as long as all merchants you use accept AMEX, you are in business. This card gives you 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases a year, 2% cash again on at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.
As you can imagine this is the card I take to the grocery stores. Keep in mind; the card doesn’t consider stores like Walmart and Target as grocery stores, so choose where you shop wisely.
The Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Not only this card gives you 2% cashback on anything you buy at Costco, but it also gives you 4% cashback on eligible gas worldwide (including Costco gas) for the first $7000 a year (1% after that). You can also get 3% back on travel purchase and restaurants and 1% on everything else. I use this card only for gas and Costco purchases.
Who doesn’t have a prime account these days? How would you like to get 5% of anything you buy on Amazon? The Amazon store card gives you just that. The cash back can either be used as a credit to your monthly bill, or you can use it as a credit when making a new purchase. Ca-ching!
Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa Signature card
That could be any other card as it covers all my “OTHER” categories. Yes, it does give $150 online cash rewards bonus offer after spending at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days. It does also give you 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs as well as 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. It is not an overall bad card, but since I use it for my other category, I am happy to get my 1% cash back for all other purchases.
My sister has her favorite credit cards. Her all-time fave are the credit cards that give you different rewards for a short period – I am sure you can save a bundle by picking the best reward for the month, but since I have a job, side hassle, three children, a husband, and a dog, I don’t have the time to keep track of one more thing.
A few more cards to mention:
These cards are unique in their way and do give some cool things to offer. However, they just don’t fit my lifestyle at the moment, but you might think they are awesome
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
This card earns you 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You will get $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first three months. This card does come with a $95 annual fee.
As you can see, the annual fee will pay for itself quickly, and I have considered this card more than once. However, I just wasn’t comfortable with committing to spend more money to get more significant cashback. I might still do it at some point.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Perfect card for travelers it earns you 2 miles per $1 spent, for a full 2% rewards rate — one of the best in the business. It pays out in miles that are useful, unlike some other rewards programs and it has no foreign transaction fee. The annual cost is $0 for the first year, then $95. There is also a generous signup bonus: 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening (that is $500 in travel spendings).
I might consider this one before traveling abroad (whenever that happens).
Citi® Double Cash Card
The most uncomplicated card if you only want to have one – you will earn 1% cash back on every dollar spent, and an additional 1% back for every dollar paid off. No tricks, nothing to remember – 2% back on everything.
Here comes the big question – how do you use your rewards? I use my credit card rewards as a Christmas fund to make sure I don’t go broke buying presents for family and friends. Do you save them to pamper yourself, buy toys with them or save them for travel? Tell us here in the comments!