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NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for March 2020

March 3, 2020
Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
NerdWallet's Best Credit Card Tips for March 2020
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March brings festivities, but also responsibilities.

You can look forward to your St. Patrick’s Day meals and wardrobe, but you also may want to start getting documents in order for tax time and potentially even spring-cleaning your house.

Here’s how to get the most out of your credit cards as you tackle such tasks.

» MORE: See our archive of monthly credit card tips

Tax preparation

Tax Day isn’t until April, but if you haven’t started preparing yet, now is probably the time.

Paying your actual tax bill to Uncle Sam using a credit card is typically a bad idea, unless the rewards offset the cost of the processing fee. However, it may make sense to pay for your tax preparation or software with a credit card to earn rewards, as these kinds of services typically don’t charge such a convenience fee.

A flat-rate credit card is likely to be your best choice in this kind of category. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for example, earns 2% back on purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off. It has a $0 annual fee.

Also keep in mind that many credit cards — both personal and business products — offer year-end spending summaries, which can be helpful with bookkeeping.

Easter and Passover preparation

With Easter and Passover around the corner, you can prepare your baskets or plan your Seder by buying the makings at your local grocery store. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores; and 1% back on all other purchases. It has a $0 annual fee. Terms apply.

If you have an eligible Discover card like the Discover it® Cash Back, this is also the last month to maximize your first-quarter bonus categories before Q2 categories take effect. For Q1 2020, the $0-annual-fee card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent at grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS (activation is required). It earns 1% everywhere else.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit cards for groceries

Spring-clean your credit card debt

While you’re tidying up the house, take a moment to dust off any lingering holiday credit card debt. A balance transfer credit card lets you move your high-interest debt to a product with a lower annual percentage rate, providing some breathing room as you pay it down.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has the three ideal features you want in a balance transfer credit card: a $0 annual fee, no balance transfer fees for amounts transferred within a certain period, and a 0% introductory offer. It charges a 0% Intro on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 25.49% Variable APR. Terms apply.

Typically you need good credit (FICO scores of at least 690) to qualify for a balance transfer credit card, but the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is the exception if you have only fair credit (FICO scores of at least 630) It has a $0 annual fee, plus an introductory offer: 0% on Purchases for 12 months and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.40% - 24.40% Variable APR. (There is a balance transfer fee of 3%.)

One big plus for each of these cards? They also earn ongoing rewards, giving you a reason to keep using them long after you pay off your debt. Terms apply.

» MORE: 3 steps to spring-clean your credit card debt

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer of this card.

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