Set a big goal for 2015? It might seem daunting now, but the right credit card could play a big role in helping you get what you’re after.
Here are the Nerds’ top plastic picks for accomplishing common New Year’s resolutions:
If you’re trying to pay off debt: Chase Slate®transferring your balance to the Chase Slate®. With this card, you’ll get an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR. That’s over a year without interest, which means that every dollar you throw at your debt will go further toward paying it off.
What’s more, the Chase Slate® also waives its balance transfer fee if you transfer your debt within 60 days of opening your account. Since most other cards charge 3-5% of the balance you’re moving onto their card, this represents a huge savings.
And, of course, the Chase Slate® charges an annual fee of $0, so you won’t be spending any money to save money. What more could you ask for?
If you’re trying to eat healthier: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
With this card, you’ll earn 6% cash back on every dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 spent annually (then 1%). You’ll also get 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. We can’t think of another card with this kind of rewards rate on supermarket spending, so if you’re stocking up on fruits and veggies, this is the one to use.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers a sign-up bonus: $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. There is an annual fee of $95, but with all the extra spending you’ll be doing at the supermarket this year, you’ll likely come out ahead because of the high rewards rate.
If you’re trying to travel more: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®Speaking of redeeming, one of the best things about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is that you can cash in your miles for nearly any travel purchase. You’ll simply book your trip as you normally would, then pay yourself back with your miles in the form of a statement credit. This means you’re not restricted to one airline or hotel chain, and can even use your rewards for train tickets, bus fare, campgrounds and cruises.
If your wanderlust takes you overseas, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is a great card to have on hand. It comes chip-enabled with PIN capability and charges no foreign transaction fees.
To get your travels started, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® provides a good sign-up bonus: Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase. Its annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $89.
If you’re trying to get fit: Any card you’re trying to keep open
Joining a gym this January will likely mean handing over a credit card so that the facility can automatically charge your account each month. If there’s a card you’re holding onto because you’re trying to keep your credit score intact, using it for your monthly membership fee is a smart idea. This way, your issuer won’t close it due to inactivity.
This strategy is a win-win for your finances and your physique.
Updated on Aug. 11, 2017
Goal setting image via Shutterstock