What is the best reward credit card to use? That’s a trick question because it’s not one card, but two cards!
Consumer Reports says for most people in most cases, two reward credit cards are better than one. You get the greatest total amount of rewards by using two for different kinds of purchases.
Read more: Clark’s 5 favorite credit cards
Here are the top credit card picks of the year
Money magazine has a new shortlist of the best credit cards:
For ease of use, try the Citi Double Cash Card.
- APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 13% to 23% after that, depending on creditworthiness
- Annual fee: $0
- Rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limit
If you like to maximize your rewards, try the American Express Blue Cash Preferred.
- APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 13% to 22% thereafter
- Annual fee: $75
- Sign-up bonus: $150 after spending $1,000 in 90 days
- 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at supermarkets annually; 1% cash back after that
- 3% at gas stations and certain department stores
- 1% everywhere else
And finally, if you’re looking for a good card for online purchases, try the Discover It.
- APR: 0% on purchases and transfers for the first 12 months, then 11% to 23%
- Annual fee: $0
- 5% cash back in categories that change every quarter, online and off, up to $1,500 per quarter
- 1% back on all other purchases
- Extra cash back on purchases made via Discover’s online portal
How to find the best reward card specifically for you
Looking for the best credit card for your individual spending patterns? There are several ways you can find the right card.
In the past, I’ve talked about a site called CreditCardTuneUp.com that analyzes your charging and payment patterns, based on the info you supply, and offers you a list of the cards that have the best rewards for you.
You simply put in info about your overall spending, along with estimates of spending in certain categories (gas, grocery/drugstore, dining) to see if you are eligible for booster shot rewards. Additional questions require you to assess if your card will be for personal or business use; whether or not you plan to pay the bill in full each month; how long you expect to keep the card; if you’re willing to pay an annual fee and on and on. Basically, all kind of things to narrow down the choices.
Reward cards should only be used by those who pay their balances in full each month. The interest rates they charge are very high, so if you’re used to carrying a balance, you’re better off with a low-interest credit card from your local credit union.
Finally, be sure to check your credit card benefits closely this time of year. We’re seeing a lot of add-on benefits like the extension of a manufacturer’s warranty and car rental protection either diminishing or going away completely!
Read more: Credit card perks: Are they worth it?
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