NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for September 2021

As you're navigating expenses this month, some credit card strategies may offer additional savings.

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September is one of the last chances you’ll get to take care of any unfinished business before the holiday season. It’s a time to prep your home for the coming winter, plan holiday travel and tune in to some football. You might even fit in a Labor Day weekend barbecue.

For all of these activities, your credit card may offer additional savings. Here are some ways they can get you more value for your purchases.

You can earn rewards on your Labor Day spread if you have a credit card that offers incentives at supermarkets. The -annual-fee , for instance, earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year in spending, among other rewards categories. Terms apply (see ). That’s a hefty side of rewards on the side of Labor Day burgers or hot dogs.

You can also earn rewards on game-day snacks whether you’re watching football from home or the local bar or restaurant. A credit card that earns rewards on dining, groceries or both can help make up some of the cost.

The , for example, helps you score on all of these fronts. It earns 3% back on dining, eligible streaming services, grocery stores and entertainment. All other purchases earn 1% back. It has a annual fee.

Whether you need to replace the windows, add insulation, install storm doors or other tasks required to stay warm and safe this winter, a 0% intro APR credit card can offer some breathing room on interest.

Prioritize the length of the promotional window according to how long it might take you to pay off a purchase. With one of the longer interest-free windows available, the -annual-fee  offers a .

If you value rewards and a 0% intro APR, the offers both. It has a lengthy introductory offer: Get a . It also earns a high rate of 5% cash back on up to $500 spent in your highest spend category per billing cycle (from a list of eligible options, including home improvement stores). Other purchases earn 1% back.

If you have a big project that exceeds the card's $500 threshold, you could split up your purchases between one billing cycle and the next to maximize rewards. The sign-up bonus may also help you defray some costs.

September is a great month to start planning your holiday travel. It can offer enough time to shop around for the best deals or earn introductory offers to apply toward next year's travel.

If you’ve been sitting on a pile of rewards, explore which redemption options get the best deal among airfare and hotels. If your card has any transfer partners that allow you to redeem rewards to a loyalty program, you may also get more value. The , for example, allows you to transfer rewards to partners at a 1:1 ratio. It has a annual fee.

You can also use the months ahead to build a travel rewards fund for a trip next year. The currently offers rich incentives and healthy ongoing rewards. It has a sign-up bonus, too: That's enough to cover all or a huge portion of future vacation costs, depending on the destination.

It earns 5 points per dollar spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases; 2 points per dollar spent on travel booked outside of Chase Ultimate Rewards®; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

When booking any trip, remember to look for pandemic-friendly, flexible cancellation policies whenever possible. This way, you’re covered if unforeseen circumstances derail your plans. , if offered on your credit card, can also provide a backup plan when the unexpected happens. As long as you book travel with the credit card that offers the benefit, you may be eligible for coverage. Terms apply, so read through them carefully to understand what your card covers.

To view rates and fees of the , see .

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