Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
- 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
The best credit cards can help you get back some of your hard-earned money. With the heyday of rewards debit cards behind us, credit cards are the best way to get monthly bills and expenses to give something back to you. With the plethora of cards available, it is a no-brainer that you would want one that earns rewards. Credit cards have been and continue to be a great tool for financial management, and earning rewards is the icing on the cake.
Sign-up bonuses have gone higher recently than I have ever seen them, with chart-topping bonuses of over 100,000 points. Plus, rewards nowadays can often rake in a nickel per dollar spent. Get in on the craze as these rewards and bonuses may not last forever. But remember to always spend responsibly because paying interest on card balances takes away from your rewards.
Rewards are all the rage. Banks are competing for your business. But with all the options out there you may be asking: Should I be earning points or miles? Should I earn rewards with a fixed value or that are transferable? Should I be focusing on cash back or travel rewards? The answers to these questions will mainly depend on how you spend your money and what you want to do with your rewards.
All rewards are beneficial and useful, but they may not be created equal. One thing to know about fixed-value rewards is that it usually won’t make a difference whether you are collecting points or miles. A point or a mile will usually be worth one cent each. However, if points are transferable, values can change depending on how you redeem them. The most important thing is not what kind of rewards you get, but how you earn and use them.
Unlimited 1.5X rewards on every purchase
The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.
The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.
$100 cash back bonus after $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Double Cash mostly makes sense under two circumstances. The first is for someone who is seeking simplicity. Since the Double Cash card doesn’t have rotating or any other type of bonus categories to worry about, all you have to do is swipe, pay off your card and reap the benefits!
The second type of person that the Double Cash makes sense for is someone who has a few other rewards cards that cover popular purchase categories, like groceries, gas and travel, but they’re looking for a card for other purchases that otherwise would not earn a bonus. The Double Cash is a great option for that!
When looking for cards that have 0% introductory interest rates for purchases or balance transfers, there are several key details to consider. First, let's make it clear that credit cards that offer 0% promotional rates on purchases will also come with 0% rates on balance transfers. However, this does not work the other way around. Credit cards that offer 0% rates on balance transfers do not always extend those rates to purchases.
If you are going to make a large purchase or need to finance an item, you will want a card with a 0% interest rate on purchases. These pose a much better financing option than store credit cards that offer special financing because they have deferred interest. It is a much better feeling to get a lump sum of rewards after making a large purchase instead of worrying about being slapped with a lump sum of interest from a store credit card with a special financing agreement.
When comparing cards with no interest on balance transfers, your top factors should be the balance transfer fee and the terms. How much will it cost and how long is the interest free period? The only time it may be worth it to sacrifice earning rewards is to avoid interest. Paying interest will easily devalue your rewards.
The Citi Simplicity card is consumer friendly, offering benefits not commonly found with other credit cards. Once approved, all your purchases for the first 21 billing cycles will not accrue any interest charges. Additionally, if you make a balance transfer within the first four months of opening your account, that balance will also get up to 21 months of no interest. Both are amazing offers!
How does this work? Your interest rate for those 21 months is set at 0% as opposed to a low or standard credit card interest rate. Don’t get carried away, though, because you still have a credit limit, and after those 21 months are up, you have to start paying interest on any remaining balance.
The primary benefit of the Citi Diamond Preferred card is the 21-month introductory 0% APR. This benefit is very useful for people trying to get out of debt or for people anticipating a large purchase which they would like to pay off over time without incurring interest charges.
If you are currently paying a high interest rate on another credit card and have a considerable balance, transferring that balance to the Citi Diamond Preferred card could result in significant savings. If you are in debt, interest payments and late fees can make paying off your credit card balance seem difficult because these fees offset any potential reduction in the principal. However, making a balance transfer to a credit card with a 0% intro APR can be a successful strategy for reducing your debt.
Since the Citi Diamond Preferred card has a 21-month 0% APR period, you can essentially take your current balance and divide by 21 to determine how much you will have to pay each month in order to pay the debt off completely before interest charges begin.
Business owners have some of the biggest needs for credit. Having the proper credit limit can make or break a business. Be aware that business credit cards are not only for corporations and large operations but also for everyday businessmen and women as well. The sign-up bonuses on these cards make it worth turning one of your hobbies into a small business just to get them.
You can apply for a small business credit card with your personal social security number. Keep in mind that you do not need a large operation to be eligible for a business credit card. If you craft and sell on Etsy, that’s a business. If you buy things to sell on eBay, that is also a business. No matter how small your business is, if you have good personal credit, obtaining a business credit card should be easy.
Although you may already be using your personal credit to finance your business, establishing and building your business credit can be important to the success of your business as well. Business credit cards are one of the best ways to begin to separate your personal life from your business, all while obtaining an identity with a credit score for your business.
Business cards have higher limits than consumer credit cards. By the same token, business owners usually have more costs and higher financing needs than the average Joe. These cards can be especially crucial in times of economic instability, unforeseen circumstances or even keeping business afloat during seasonal changes. You can get all this and access to a whole new line of welcome bonuses.
50,000 miles—equal to $500 in travel—once you spend $4,500 within the first 3 months
Capital One’s Spark Miles card is a great way to manage day-to-day business expenses and earn solid rewards at the same time. Unlike other travel cards, you have ultimate flexibility to redeem your rewards however and whenever you see fit.
With no annual fee the first year, this card is a no-brainer. And because every purchase earns double miles, that’s like getting 2 percent back toward travel every time you use the card. If you travel for business and use multiple air carriers, various hotel chains and whatever car agency has the best deal, you’re all set because your miles are good for just about any type of travel. You’re not committed to just one airline or hotel group.
Plus, with the backing of Capital One and great built-in benefits offered through Visa, you can shop with the confidence of knowing that you’ll have the necessary protections.
$500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
If you’re looking for a business credit card that earns cash back, the Spark Cash for Business is hard to beat. Getting 2.0 percent back on every purchase is a fantastic rate of return, and knowing you don’t have to juggle multiple cards or keep track of where to use your card is a big plus. And at just $95 per year after the first year, this card has a very reasonable annual fee.
Small business owners that are trying to decide if this card makes sense for them should carefully consider how much they spend on their business cards each year. Although there are some cards (see below) that earn cash back without charging a fee, the additional cash back you can get with this card will likely be well worth the added cost. Don’t forget, the annual fee is waived the first year, so you can try the card out and see if it works for you. Not only that, you’ll get a great sign-up bonus, which is among the highest for a cashback business card.
While this card doesn’t come with a ton of travel benefits, and the rewards can’t be used in conjunction with other travel loyalty programs, you do have the flexibility to use these rewards as you see fit. If this sounds like a good fit for your business needs, you should seriously consider the Spark Cash card.
Avoiding fees on a credit card is one of the easiest ways to keep your out of pocket costs down to nothing. No annual fee cards are a must-have for your credit arsenal as they can benefit you in many ways. They may not have the highest sign-up bonuses or the fanciest benefits, but they are easy to keep open for the long term, which can help you keep your credit score optimal. They are also good for those who are looking to increase the number of revolving accounts in their credit portfolio. Plus, they usually have low spending requirements for welcome bonuses.
Some other fees to avoid are balance transfer fees and foreign transaction fees, which are both usually around 3 percent. Of course, these fees are only relevant if you plan on transferring a balance, traveling abroad or making purchases from a foreign entity. However, everyone should have at least one credit card with no foreign transaction fees as they are offered so widely nowadays by so many banks. One should have several no annual fee cards as well because they make for a good foundation for your credit and help keep your credit healthy.
$150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months
The short answer is yes! With no annual fee and impressive earning potential, this card is really a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, the Chase Freedom is still an excellent cashback card.
The only drawback is that it takes a little bit of work to get the most out of this card. You have to register every quarter for the bonus categories, and you have to remember what they are when you’re making purchases. You don’t want to use this card for all of your spending because it earns only one point per dollar in non-bonus categories.
Up to 5% cash back
Discover it is a solid credit card that should be in just about everybody’s wallet. The card offers a great five percent return on categories that rotate quarterly, and one percent back on all other purchases. The first year as a cardholder can be really good for your bank account because all the rewards you earn will be doubled by Discover, with no limit!
In addition to being a great everyday earner, the Discover it card doesn’t have an annual fee and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees if you want to use the card abroad. Redeeming cash back is super simple with no minimum redemption amount and no restrictions about what you can use the cash back for.
Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.
Before applying for a credit card, there are a couple of things you can do to increase your odds of getting approved. Many of these things you should be familiar with, even if you are not applying for a credit card and are just interested in maintaining general financial health.
Developing a skill or trade is many times about learning to use the tools and not just having the degree or certificate. You can look at your financial health as the skill and credit cards as tools. Once you have learned how to use your tools, the goals you can accomplish become larger and the rewards greater.
Before you begin applying for credit cards, know your credit score. This is one of the biggest factors a lender will use to decide whether you will be approved for their card. Credit scores generally range from 300 to 850.
To be eligible for the best credit cards you should have a score of at least 700, which is considered to be good credit. A score of 750 and above is considered excellent credit, which would make you eligible for top rewards credit cards and afford you the most pickings. Scores between 650 and 699 is fair credit. There are still many offers available if you have fair credit, but you should be careful how you use your credit and begin taking steps to improve your score.
If you have a score of 649 or below, you need to immediately work on improving your credit. Don’t even think about playing the points and miles game if you have bad credit, it will not work. First, work on improving your credit.
One in five Americans find errors on their credit report. Did you know things like a wrong address or misspelling of your name could be a cause for denial? You also want to make sure all you current accounts are correct. Then check the status of balances. Most cards report monthly but some don’t.
Depending on the time of their reporting, even if you pay your balances in full each month, it may sometimes look like you are carrying some debt. For instance, if they issue their report the day after the statement comes out but you make your payment two weeks after that, there may seem to be a balance when there really is no balance at all. If this is the case, consider adjusting the date of your payment.
This can be a red flag for lenders. If you think filling out several applications will broaden your chances of acceptance, you are wrong. If lenders think you are desperate for credit, this can be a cause for denial.
Not to mention, you don’t want to obtain a new credit card before you have completed any required spending it may take to earn a bonus on the previous card. Trying to meet the spending requirements of several cards at one time can cause you to spend beyond your means. If that happens, you may incur interest which will negate the value of the rewards you earned.
Make sure you are familiar with the card you are applying for. Don’t apply for cards that require excellent credit if you only have good credit; don’t apply for cards that require good credit if you have fair credit; and so forth and so on.
Your credit utilization determines about 30 percent of your credit score. Your credit utilization is how much of the limit are you using on a particular card. You never want to use more than 30 percent of the credit limit you have been given. The higher you go above 30 percent, the more of a negative impact it will have on your score. If you have a $1,000 limit, anytime you carry a balance of more than $300, it can negatively impact your credit score.
Don’t apply for just any card that comes in the mail. Being pre-approved does not mean you are guaranteed to get the card. Do your research. Sites like ours make it easy to find a plethora of information on credit cards and make informed decisions.
Be sure to include all the income of your household. You do not need to be married to consider the income of your significant other. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made an amendment to the CARD Act of 2009 that allows applicants to use any household income that they have access to. Be sure to also include investment income, alimony, child support and disability benefits.
Several major banks have set some rules and parameters in order to cut down on credit card churning, which is the practice of opening up new credit cards just for the sign-up bonuses.
Chase has the 5/24 rule, which means that if you have opened more than five credit cards in the past 24 months you may be denied. This is not only relevant to Chase accounts but refers to all credit card accounts opened in the past 24 months. This rule mostly applies to their cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
With Citibank, you can’t apply for more than two personal cards in a 65-day period, but you can earn multiple bonuses on the same card. However, there is a waiting period before you can apply for the card again and get a second bonus. For instance, for the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card, you must wait 18 months from the time you last closed the account.
American Express is among the strictest with their bonuses and only allows one bonus per personal card per lifetime. They also allow cardholders to carry only four of their credit cards at any one time.
Some issuers will have limits on how much credit they will extend to you. Whereas American Express limits the number of cards they will issue a particular patron, Chase and Citibank usually limit the overall amount they wish to lend any one person.
For instance, if Chase deems that you are eligible for up to $50,000 in credit, and you already have four cards each with limits of $12,500, you will end up being denied if you apply for a fifth card. However, after a call to the reconsideration line, you could shift some credit between cards and still obtain the new card.
In the event that your application is denied, try calling the reconsideration line. It is not rare to be approved by the reconsideration line after an initial rejection. Some bank-specific restrictions trigger automatic denials, but there may be ways around them. If you still don’t get approved, at least you will find out why you were denied. That can ultimately help increase your odds in the future.