Saturday, September 09, 2006


For most people credit cards and debit cards are the primary source of payment for anything they purchase. But have you focused on how you can benefit from using the plastic?

Here is a list of things that I look for in credit cards:
1. No annual fee!
2. Low interest rate but depends if you pay your bill in full which I highly recommend this is not a main concern.
3. Rewards, cash back program

What about debit cards?
Not many banks that issue debit cards offer any incentive but from my dealings Bank of America has the "Keep the Change" program and Citi mails me a card to earn up to $5 like once a year for using my citi debit card.

I prefer bank of America since if I really do have to use my debit card the Keep the Change Program adds up. How it works is that say I bought coffee for $4.50 at the end of the day they round that up to $5.00 and move the extra $0.50 from my checking to savings. They match my savings 100% for the first 3 months and 5% there after. One thing that bugs me is that you get the match up bonus on your anniversary date. Wish they did that monthly.

If you are applying for a card make sure you look for the best deal. I look for a sign up bonus be it a $100 or a free ipod. Then I look for what the card offers: the rewards program. Look for any cap on the amount you can earn, and qualifying purchases for points/rewards. A possible 0% balance transfer offer with no transaction fee to make money off of their money!

So what cards do I carry? A few that I used most often:
Amex Blue - One of the first cards I got. Not my ideal choice. Offers upto 5% cash back on gas and drugstore purchases BUT WAIT! The fine print is that you need to spend 6500.01 to get that before that there is a 0.5% on everyday purchases and 1% on gas. Not all transactions qualify for cash back!
Citi Simplicity - I got this card for the 10,000 sign up bonus in Thank You points that equates to a $100 gift card. Overall its a good card that offers a flat 1 point per dollar for every purchase not the best when it comes to rewards but it does offer a 12 month 0% balance transfer with no transaction fee!
Bank of America Power Rewards - Another card I like, 1 point for every dollar spent, ease of paying at any bank of America. Again I prefer a 5% back on gas and such. But this is good if you need to pay bills, tuition etc using a credit card and earn points on it. From my experience BoA has given me points for paying my tuition but AMEX did not :( I paid over $7000 and got nothing from AMEX wish I had used BoA or Citi~!
I will scout for the best credit card offers and post them ASAP I am aware of a few that seem great like the Chase Rewards and Bank of America AMEX card but I would like to finish my research to provide you with all the details so you can make a wise decision!
Mastercard Visa Image retrived from the internet and has no relationship with this website.

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