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What’s the Best Credit Card for Outdoor Enthusiasts?

Oct. 7, 2014
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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  • Rei Mastercard
  • Chase Freedom®

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If communing with nature is your favorite way to spend the weekend, you’re in luck. Not only is fall the perfect time of year to get outdoors, the Nerds have a few credit card suggestions that will reward you handsomely for the things you need to enjoy your favorite hobby.

Take a look at our top picks below:

If you need a lot of outdoor gear: Rei Mastercard

The Nerds rarely recommend retail credit cards, but if you spend a lot on outdoor gear and want to take advantage of REI’s legendary, no-questions-asked return policy, opting for the Rei Mastercard might be a good choice.

With this card, you’ll earn 5% back on all your purchases made at REI and 1% back on purchases made elsewhere. That’s a very high rewards rate for your REI spending, and nothing to sneeze at for your non-REI purchases, too. Plus, the card’s $0.

You must be a member of REI’s rewards program to get the card, which requires a one-time $20 donation, but the rewards you earn with the card are on top of the bonus you’re already getting as a member. Usually, this is 10% of your eligible purchases, paid out as an annual dividend.

That brings us to the one big drawback of the card: You can only redeem your rewards (those earned with the card and those you’ve built up as a rewards program member) once per year. But this could make for a pretty killer annual shopping spree to upgrade your gear, or replace items that you’ve lost to wear and tear. All in all, if you’re an REI devotee, this might be a good card to add to your portfolio.

>>More: NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Offers For Entertainment

If your adventures keep you on the road a lot: Chase Freedom®

If you’re a city person who craves outdoor adventures to get away from the hustle and bustle, you probably have to drive a fair distance to find a spot remote enough to truly unwind. In this case, you’ll want a card that provides good rewards on gas, and the Chase Freedom® definitely fits the bill.

With it, you’ll earn 5% back in rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. Plus, you’ll get unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Gas stations have historically been featured as a 5% bonus category at least one quarter per year. This will go far toward getting you on the road faster for your next biking, hiking or backpacking trip.

The Chase Freedom® charges an annual fee of $0 and even provides a small sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. All in all, there’s a lot to love about this card. Keep it in mind for the drive to all your outdoor excursions.

Hiking image via Shutterstock.