NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for March 2023
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Whether you’re focused on building a winning bracket, celebrating Saint Patrick, tackling your taxes, or spring cleaning your credit card debt, March brings a fresh opportunity to manage your finances well.
Fortunately, you don’t need a four leaf clover to find great savings this month. Here are four ways you can march into spring and make the most of current credit card offers.
Score big savings on March celebrations
Your chance of winning your office’s March Madness bracket pool may be almost as low as finding a pot of gold, but you can still score savings on fun events this month. However you’re celebrating, you’ll quickly see why the $0 annual fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card reigns as NerdWallet’s 2023 Best-Of Awards champion in the Entertainment category.
Planning to guzzle green beers this St. Patrick’s Day at your favorite Irish pub? The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, including bars.
Want to try your hand at making corned beef and cabbage at home? This card also earns 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target).
Hosting friends and family at home to watch The Big Dance? You’ll earn 3% cash back on popular streaming services, including DirecTV Stream, Hulu, and Sling TV.
And when you’re ready to order in pizza and wings for your crew, you’ll earn an eye-popping 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through Nov. 14, 2024.
That’s all in addition to the card's impressive sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Talk about a Cinderella story.
Spring-clean your credit card debt
While you’re tidying up the house this month, consider a new debt management plan to give your finances a fresh start. For consumers with good credit (a FICO score of 690 or higher), a low-interest balance transfer card can help clear the clutter of accrued interest as you pay down your credit card balance.
For example, the BankAmericard® credit card (another NerdWallet 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 15.49%-25.49% Variable APR.
All balance transfers carry a fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction. Even so, this one-time fee may be worth paying if it saves you money on interest charges over time.
Take the stress out of tax prep
Tax Day isn’t until April 18 (you'll get a few extra days this year since April 15 is a Saturday), but W-2s, 1099s and other tax forms have already trickled into your mailbox. That means it’s time to assemble the necessary information to do your taxes, and your credit card can help keep you organized.
If you itemize your deductions, most credit card issuers provide a year-end summary of your spending if you look in your account. This not only helps you see where you spend the most, but it also helps you quickly identify any tax-deductible items like medical expenses and charitable contributions.
And if you’re a small-business owner, side hustler or solopreneur, don’t forget that you can deduct business credit card fees and interest payments, along with many other business-related expenses. The year-end summary for your business credit card is a great resource to help identify deductions.
Max out your Q1 rotating bonus categories
It’s the last month of the quarter, meaning now is the time to earn those bonus rewards on any rotating category cards in your wallet. Can’t remember what those bonus categories are for this quarter? Here’s a quick refresher:
Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Student Cash Back
Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 (up to the quarterly maximum) spent at grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target), drugstores and select streaming services in Q2 2023. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
Activation is required before earning at the elevated rate, so hopefully, you took that step earlier this quarter. If not, you can still do so by logging into your account on the Discover website or mobile app. The 5% earnings rate isn’t retroactive on previous purchases, but you can still rack up some decent rewards on this month’s purchases.
Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Flex℠
Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent at Target, grocery stores (excluding Walmart), fitness clubs and on gym memberships.
If you haven’t already, activate the bonus categories online or in the Chase mobile app by March 14 to receive your 5% rewards for all eligible purchases during the quarter. That includes purchases made before activating.
Earn 5% back at Amazon and on select streaming services.
Enrollment is required before the elevated earnings rate takes effect.
Citi Dividend holds a total annual cash-back cap of $300, including both elevated earnings and the card’s regular rate of 1% back on all purchases.
Both the Chase Freedom® and the Citi Dividend are no longer available to new applicants. However, existing users are still eligible to earn the 5% back in bonus categories after activation.
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