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NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for February 2020

Feb. 3, 2020
Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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The shortest month is jam-packed with celebratory occasions and noteworthy observances. From the dubious (Galentine’s Day, National Snack Food Month) to the distinguished (President’s Day, Black History Month), there’s something to celebrate on every one of February’s 29 days.

Doing revelry right often means spending some money, and having the right credit card can take some of the financial sting out of your holiday merriment.

Here are some tips for taking along the right card for your high-spirited fun.

» MORE: See our archive of monthly credit card tips

Valentine’s Day victories

If you’re part of a couple on Feb. 14, the pressure can be intense to go big for Valentine’s Day. According to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation, consumers who celebrate Valentine’s say they plan to spend an average of $196.31 to show how much they care.

Whether you want to lavish love on your significant other, friends, your kids, other family members or your pets (or all of the above), get a little something back for the money you spend. Using a cash-back card for your Heart-Day-related spending and beyond is like getting a discount every time you shop. If you carry the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for example — one of NerdWallet’s picks for the best credit cards of 2020 — you’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you make it and another 1% when you pay the bill. There’s no annual fee and no categories to track. That’s a win-win.

Fatten-your-wallet Tuesday

For those who like an all-out bacchanal, Mardi Gras is practically calling your name. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” and the name originated from the practice of gorging on heavy foods the night before the start of fasting for the observance of Lent.

But for some, Mardi Gras means a raucous celebration and overindulgence of all kinds — food and drink, parties and parades. If you partake in that kind of fun, a card that earns elevated rewards on dining — including restaurants and drinking establishments — might save you from financial regrets when the party is over. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (another 2020 award winner) earns an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases. It has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, but it comes with a, well, fat sign-up bonus for a cash-back card: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

» MORE: Dining out? Don’t leave credit card rewards on the table

Leap into lowering your interest

Every four years, you get an entire extra day at the end of February to do with as you please. You could spend it getting pics of yourself in midair and thinking of clever hashtags to go with #LeapDay, or you could use some of the extra time to look over your finances and make sure you’re on track for the year ahead.

If one thing you wish you could leap over is a big pile of debt, maybe it’s time to look into a balance transfer card.  The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card (still another best card of 2020) offers the rare “triple-zero” of features that can help you get out of debt faster: an annual fee of $0, an introductory 0% APR period and a $0 fee for balance transfers requested within 60 days of opening the account (terms apply). Wipe out your debt before the promotional period ends, and you’ll really have a reason to jump for joy.

» MORE: How to choose a balance transfer card

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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