NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for March 2021

Whether you're filing taxes or tuning in for March Madness, get tips on how to get the most value with your credit card this month.

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This time last year, many events were canceled because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. This March, those events are back — in one form or another. March Madness is making a comeback, for instance. Tax season is in high gear. And, by now, you're probably a pro at planning holiday gatherings for St. Patrick’s Day or Passover via video conference.

Whether you’re streaming games through a subscription service or getting your taxes in under the wire, your credit card may offer more value. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your credit cards this month.

Save on tax-preparation services

Waiting to file your taxes may have its perks if it gives you time to shop around for the best service. While you’re getting yourself organized for tax time, explore whether your credit card issuers are offering discounts or incentives on tax-preparation services. Here are a few to consider:

  • Citi offers: Through April 15, 2021, Citi is offering select cardholders discounts of up to $20 off several versions of TurboTax's tax-preparation software. You can also cover the cost of the software with Citi ThankYou points if you pay through PayPal’s “Pay with Rewards” program, but they’ll redeem at a lower value. ThankYou points are worth just 0.8 cent each when redeemed through PayPal. That's lower than the 1 cent per point you'd get if you redeemed for some gift cards.

  • AmEx Offers: There are currently two deals featured in the AmEx mobile app: No. 1 is $5 back when you spend $50 or more on TurboTax’s website with your AmEx card. No. 2 is 30% back (on up to $60 spent) on TaxAct online tax preparation services. Both offers require activation to qualify. Terms apply.

  • Chase Offers: Get 10% back on your TurboTax purchases (with an $8 back minimum) when you activate the offer and pay with a Chase credit card. Plus, get up to $15 in additional savings at checkout on TurboTax federal products when you purchase them from the link provided in the Chase Offer. Terms apply.

Prep for upcoming holidays

Whether you’re spending some green for St. Patrick’s Day, shopping for your Passover Seder or preparing for Easter, you may be able to get some value back with your credit card. Chase or AmEx Offers may also have some delicious deals on food, so be sure to check your mobile app if you have a card with one of these issuers.

Treat yourself to rewards when dining out

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
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If you have a rewards credit card that offers incentives at restaurants, you can earn points or cash back on dinner and drinks.

Rewards from a credit card like the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, for example, can add up if you frequently order out. It earns 4 points per dollar spent on takeout, food deliveries and dining; 2 points per dollar spent at grocery stores (including delivery), gas stations and on eligible streaming services; and 1 point per dollar on everything else. It has a $0* annual fee.

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card
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Cook up rewards with your dinner

Looking to stay home and cook instead? Use the credit card that best rewards grocery store purchases. A card like the $0-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express can get you 3% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets, 2% at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores, and 1% on everything else. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Nerdy tip: Online shopping portals may also offer incentives for purchases with certain supermarkets, restaurant delivery services or meal subscription plans. For instance, Rakuten offers cash-back rewards for purchases at eligible restaurants and grocery stores. Combine these incentives with credit card rewards for more value.

Get rewards back on streaming services during March Madness

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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If you’re tuning in for the NCAA basketball tournament, your credit card may help you defray the cost of your streaming subscription and game-day noshing. Some cards offer rewards in these categories and redemptions, too.

For instance, through April 30, 2021, the $95-annual-fee Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card lets you redeem points for eligible restaurant purchases (including takeout and delivery) and qualifying streaming services. Since all purchases earn 2 points per dollar spent, you’ll also collect rewards when you use your credit card to pay for these services.

Chase Freedom Flex
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You can earn even more value with a card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠. This month, it can help you earn rewards on those game-day snacks and beverages. It offers 5% cash back on streaming services, internet, cable and phone services, and wholesale club purchases in Q1 of 2021 when you activate by March 14, 2021. The card also earns rewards in other categories like travel, dining and drugstores. It has a $0 annual fee.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.

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