Getting hit with extra costs is the pits, especially when it comes to your credit card. Thankfully, there are several great credit card offers on the market that will help you dodge common, plastic-related expenses.
Here are the Nerds’ top picks for:
Avoiding finance charges: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
If you can believe it, all of these great benefits come at an annual fee of $0. In short, with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer there’s nothing not to love.
Avoiding annual fees: Chase Freedom®no annual fee. One of the best is the Chase Freedom® because of its rich rewards. With it, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories throughout the year, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Here are the current categories:
|Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2017|
|Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)||Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls or Amtrak)|
|Q2 (April 1 - June 30)||Grocery stores and drugstores|
|Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)||"Summer Fun" (details TBA)|
|Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)||"Holiday" (details TBA)|
Historically, featured 5% categories have included things like gas stations, restaurants, select grocery stores, wholesale clubs and more. This means there’s an opportunity for nearly every type of shopper to cash in big with the Chase Freedom® throughout the year.
Unlike many other cash-back cards, the Chase Freedom® comes with a signup bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And don’t forget, the annual fee is $0, so you won’t have to worry about shelling out any extra cash as you score your 5% rewards.
Avoiding balance transfer fees: Chase Slate®
In terms of a 0% period, the Chase Slate® offers: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 24.49% Variable APR.
And don’t forget about some of the fringe benefits that come with this card; for one thing, it’s chip-enabled for more secure transactions. Also, in 2015 cardholders will begin getting monthly access to their FICO scores. This will help you track your credit as you pay down your debt.
Finally, since the Chase Slate® charges an annual fee of $0, you’ll actually dodge two common costs with one great card.
Avoiding late fees: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever also comes with a great introductory 0% APR offer: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. In short, this card comes with multiple opportunities to save on everyday credit card costs.
Nerd note: We think this card is a great option if you’re planning to finance a large purchase and pay it off over time. However, it’s not ideal for balance transfers because of its 3% balance transfer fee.
Avoiding foreign transaction fees: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is a great choice for frequent travelers because you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend. Each mile is worth $.01, giving you a 2% rewards rate. Plus, you’ll get 5% of your miles back when you redeem.
When it comes time to cash in your miles, you’ll be able to use them for nearly any travel purchase you’d like. Simply book your trip as you normally would, then go online and redeem your rewards in the form of a statement credit.
To get you started, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® comes with a signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit. Its annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $89, which we think is well worth it for all the perks it offers.
Image via iStock.