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Top 5 Credit Cards With Rewards and Other Perks

Maxwell22 391 September 17, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Paul Hermann is an avid deal hunter who enjoys writing and sharing his best frugal shopping tips online.

When it comes to choosing the right credit card [moneycrashers.com], you've certainly got options. The market is flooded with travel rewards cards, cash-back cards, student-targeted cards, and more. If you simply sign up for the first one you see, however, you could be missing out on some great opportunities to save. For a brief rundown of some of the top credit cards with no annual fee and a variety of rewards and benefits, read on.

1. Citi Forward Card

If you like to dine out at restaurants, this is the card for you. The Citi Forward card offers five Thank You points for every dollar you spend on restaurants and entertainment, plus one Thank You point for everything else. You also get bonus points (as much as 1,200) for simply staying under your credit limit and paying your bill on time. As an added benefit, the card also comes with free cell phone protection.


2. US Bank Cash+ Card

This card offers general cash-back rewards, and it also allows you to choose certain consumer categories that get you the most cash back, which you can change from time to time. Each quarter, you select two categories, such as restaurants and department stores, that earn 5% cash back. In addition, you choose one more category which gets you 2% cash back, such as groceries or gas. You receive 1% cash back on everything else. Once per year when you redeem $100 or more in a single transaction, you get a bonus $25 cash back. If you can organize your spending and keep up with these categories, you can make some serious money.


3. PenFed Cash Rewards Card

Some cards are designed for people on the go. If you drive a lot, the PenFed card rewards you 5% cash back on all gas purchases and 0.24% cash back on everything else. It also has free automobile rental insurance and $100,000 worth of travel accident insurance.


4. Discover It Card

The Discover IT card is similar to the US Bank card in that it features rotating cash-back categories, such as movies, restaurants, and home improvement stores. The good news is that the reward is 5%; the bad news is that you can't rotate the categories at will. You get 5% cash back on gas until the end of September (2013), and 5% on holiday online shopping for the fourth quarter (2013).


5. Slate by Chase

The Slate card by Chase [chase.com] doesn't have any significant cash-back benefits, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider it. If you have significant credit card debt, you can save even beyond the cash-back rewards of other cards by transferring your balance. When you do so, you won't pay any interest on your Slate card for 15 months. There is also no balance transfer fee, which can be as high as 5% with other cards. Slate offers a 0% APR on purchases, as well.


Credit card benefits are great, but it's important to pay off your balances. Even if you're getting 5% cash back on a particular purchase category, that pales in comparison to the interest rate you're paying by letting your debt rack up. Take some time and do the necessary research to find the rewards card best suited to your spending habits. Then, get a game plan in place to put those debts in the rear view mirror for good. Once that's done, your cash back and other perks are going to be that much sweeter.

Do you have experience with any of these credit cards?

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29 Comments

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#2
On a related note, Chase Freedom is offering 5% back on all Amazon purchases (and department stores too) from Oct-Dec 2013: https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/activate

EDIT: Here's the SD thread http://slickdeals.net/f/6277622-signup-for-5-cb-on-amazon-com-and-dept-stores-purchase-with-chase-freedom-ultimate-rewards-starts-tonite-12am-est?v=1
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#3
PenFed Cash Rewards Card charges $25 year, unless you have a CD or some other service with it
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#4
Does anyone have experience with US Bank Cash+ Card? It looks like a sweet deal
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#5
Quote from chenneth View Post :
Does anyone have experience with US Bank Cash+ Card? It looks like a sweet deal
It's a good card, I recommend it. It used to be unlimited $25 bonuses after you redeem $100 cash back. The categories you can choose 5% on are pretty standard - restaurants, fast food, dept stores, electronic stores, hotels, charities, to name a few. I've never seen them change. For the 2%, I've only ever seen drug stores, grocery stores, and gas. If you have a repertoire with this card, Discover it, Chase Freedom, and the Citi Forward, you can maximize your cash back via CC's.

The US Bank is also a Visa signature card, so you can use it to get the BOGO movie tickets from Fandango over the summer and other Visa Signature perks.
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#6
Quote from alchan View Post :
It's a good card, I recommend it. It used to be unlimited $25 bonuses after you redeem $100 cash back. The categories you can choose 5% on are pretty standard - restaurants, fast food, dept stores, electronic stores, hotels, charities, to name a few. I've never seen them change. For the 2%, I've only ever seen drug stores, grocery stores, and gas. If you have a repertoire with this card, Discover it, Chase Freedom, and the Citi Forward, you can maximize your cash back via CC's.

The US Bank is also a Visa signature card, so you can use it to get the BOGO movie tickets from Fandango over the summer and other Visa Signature perks.
Are you forced to change the 5% cash back categories every quarter, or can you keep the same 2 categories the same all the time?
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#7
You can keep the categories and the $25 dollar bonus for every $100 redeemed has been working great so far.
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#8
Quote from chenneth View Post :
Does anyone have experience with US Bank Cash+ Card? It looks like a sweet deal

I own the cash + card with US Bank. I have made approximately 100 dollars this year (2013) on cash rewards, and me and my wife are VERY frugal with our purchases ( since our combined income is less than 15,000).

Highly recommend, I did a lot of research and - it is honestly the best card you can get. Unless you make a lot of fuel purchases (which the cash+ card only gives you 2% back on) this is definitely the card to get!
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#9
I don't think the Citi Forward card is offered anymore. If you go to their website their only option for that card is for college students, which they would have to verify the school you attend, plus they usually have lower limits and higher APR's than standard cards. Sometimes Citi does conversions from one rewards plan to anther. I called to see if I could change mine to the Forward card but was told that they could not. They offered a cash back reward that I accepted.
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#10
Priceline Rewards Visa gives 2% cashback on everything.

And no annual fee.
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#12
Is there a reason that you didn't include any card with crazy sign up bonuses?
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#13
It's a good card, I recommend it.
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#14
Quote from stevenl View Post :
Priceline Rewards Visa gives 2% cashback on everything.
Where do you see this? All I see is 1%, just like every other rewards card.

*EDIT: appears this was a deal before, but it is now dead to new customers.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#15
Quote from pennypound View Post :
Researching a new card right now.
Here are the top ranked, current credit card SDs to stimulate some conversation:

http://slickdeals.net/f/5853028-american-express-blue-cash-everyday-preferred-offers-150-250-signup-bonus-ymmv?v=1
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is a hidden gem in my opinion, even with its $75 annual fee. You get a whopping 6% at grocery stores up to $360/year (by spending $6000). That's about $115/week you'd need to spend to reach that cap. If you spend roughly $50/week, it makes more sense to get the Preferred card over the Everyday card. Plus the $250 signing bonus available right now. Plus 3% on gas (to use for the months that don't have 5% rewards on other cards). Also, since grocery stores didn't show up in the rotating categories for the Chase Freedom or Discover IT cards this year, this card was even more valuable.
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