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Choose the Right Credit Card Offer to Avoid Extra Costs

January 29, 2015
Credit Cards
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

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 2018
Q1 2018 (Jan. 1 - March 31)• Gas stations
• Internet, cable and phone service
• Purchases via Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay
Q2 2018 (April 1 - June 30)• Grocery stores
• PayPal, for online, mobile or in-app purchases
• Chase Pay, for online, mobile or in-app purchases
Q3 2018 (July 1 – Sept. 30)• Gas stations
• Lyft
• Walgreens
Q4 2018 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)To be announced (in 2017: Walmart and department stores)

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 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 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.74% 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 5% balance transfer fee.