NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for February 2023

From football to furniture sales, February is filled with potential spending festivities. Follow these credit card tips to stick to your financial goals.
Jaime Hanson
By Jaime Hanson 
Edited by Erin Hurd

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Whether you’re a die-hard football fan, showing your love to a special someone or hyped for a three-day holiday weekend, the shortest month of the year packs plenty of opportunities to spend on days like Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday and Presidents Day.

That said, if you’re still recovering from December’s holiday spending, now is probably not the time to derail your financial New Year's resolutions. Here’s a look at the best credit card offers available this month to help you enjoy a fun, yet frugal, February.

Snack in style on Super Bowl Sunday

When Super Bowl Sunday arrives on Feb. 12, will you be cheering Patrick Mahomes II to a Chiefs victory, singing "Fly, Eagles, Fly" from your living room, or simply waiting for Rihanna to put on the real show? Either way, there are deals to be had to help you save big while snacking in style.

Currently, new Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders who apply directly through Chase can earn 5% cash back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is also offering a stellar 5% back on up to $1,500 spent for select categories that rotate each quarter (activation required). In the first quarter of 2023, grocery stores are one of the eligible bonus categories (along with Target and fitness clubs/gym memberships). And those earnings can stack together.

For new cardholders, that means grocery purchases can earn 9% back all quarter. (Note: This isn't 10% back since the bonus is 4% on top of the baseline 1% back. So, you earn 5% for the year, plus an extra 4% for the quarter.) That's all in addition to an impressive sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases during the first three months from account opening.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Chase's introductory offer of 5% back on groceries on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year is available only when you apply directly with Chase. NerdWallet features a different offer.

Make it an entertaining Valentine's Day

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Whether you’re showing your love for a significant other, your best friends or even your pets this Valentine’s Day, the cost of showing you care can really add up. In an annual survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 52% of consumers said they plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2023, spending an average of $192.90.

Along with the traditional gifts of flowers, candy and greeting cards, about one-third of survey respondents (32%) planned to gift an experience or an evening out.

If a dynamic date night is on your Valentine’s Day menu, look no further than the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which is NerdWallet's Best-Of Awards winner for entertainment in 2023.

It offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, popular streaming services and for purchases at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), plus 1% on all other purchases, all for a $0-annual fee.

Prefer to skip Valentine’s Day altogether, or celebrate with a cozy night in? The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card still has you covered, offering an eye-popping 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber and Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through Nov. 14, 2024.

Plan ahead for Presidents Day savings

If you’ve been anticipating a large purchase, particularly on big-ticket household items like furniture, mattresses, TVs and appliances, Presidents Day (Feb. 20), could be your prime opportunity to score a great deal.

These big-ticket items are almost always advertised alongside financing options directly from the retailer, so you can expect to be presented with a store credit card offer while you shop.

Retail financing offers can be tempting, whether because of an accompanying store discount or as a way to help you pay off the purchase over time. But note that store clerks aren’t financial advisors, and the moment you’re standing in line at checkout isn’t the best time to make a financing decision. 

Make sure you’ve read and understand the terms of any store credit card product before you walk into the store. Is that 0% interest offer truly 0% APR, or is it (much more likely) a deferred interest offer? How does the discount available with the store’s credit card compare with rewards you could obtain with a different card in your wallet?

Empower yourself with research and a spending plan before Presidents Day arrives to avoid making spur-of-the-moment spending decisions you may later regret.

Save points for your next tropical vacation

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
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Do the cold winter months have you dreaming of a getaway? If so, you won't want to miss this limited-time offer available to new IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card cardholders: Earn 175,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The card carries an annual fee of $99, but that price is more than covered with a free hotel night worth up to 40,000 points after your card anniversary each year. 

Find interest relief on your debt-free journey

Though the short month of February brings many opportunities for spending, many Americans are still focusing on financial New Year’s resolutions, like saving money and paying down credit card debt. 

In fact, NerdWallet’s newly-released 2022 American Household Credit Card Debt Study saw a 28.73% increase in credit card balances carried from month to month over the past 12 months, with a total of almost $460 billion owed across the U.S. as of September 2022.

If you have good credit (around a score of 690 or higher), consider a low-interest balance transfer card to help you save money on accrued interest while you pay down your credit card balances. » MORE: What is a balance transfer, and should I do one?

BankAmericard® Credit Card
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For example, the BankAmericard® credit card (NerdWallet’s Best-Of Awards winner for 2023) offers 0% intro APR on Purchases for 21 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 21 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-26.24% Variable APR.

All balance transfers carry a fee of $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Even so, this one-time fee may be worth paying if it saves you money on interest charges over time.

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