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Choose the Right Credit Card Offer to Avoid Extra Costs

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Credit Card Offer to Avoid Extra Costs

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’re looking for an incentive to pay your credit card bill in full at the end of every month, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer delivers. With it, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all your purchases, then an additional 1% cash back when you pay them off. Plus, there’s no limit to the rewards you can earn. We can’t think of another card on the market that provides stronger encouragement to pay off what you’ve charged.

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.

MORE>> How to Pick the Best Credit Card for You: 4 Easy Steps

Avoiding annual fees: Chase Freedom®

These days, there are lots of great cards on the market that charge 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)Restaurants and movie theaters
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®

Refinancing your credit card debt with a balance transfer deal is a smart move, but paying a balance transfer fee can really take the wind out of your sails. But if you choose the Chase Slate® and transfer your balance within 60 days of opening your account, this fee will be waived. For folks coping with a lot of debt, this could represent a huge savings.

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 15.99% - 24.74% 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

If you’re constantly getting hit with late fees on your credit card, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever should definitely be in your wallet. It charges no late fees, no penalty APR, and has an annual fee of $0. This makes it a truly cost-effective option for forgetful folks.

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 14.49% - 24.49% 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®

Traveling abroad with your credit card often means having to cough up a 3% foreign transaction fee every time you swipe. But if you pick a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, which waives this charge, you’ll be in for big-time savings.

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.