Credit cards can be such a necessity to normal-day living for people who don’t have access to large amounts of money at once, and building your credit smart is critical to doing well in life. Every credit card has its own unique perks and systems of how they work, so it’s important to understand exactly what the details of each credit card entail.
Credit cards are always a better decision than debit cards due to the protection of the customer from each company, and the general convenience of having access to a pool of credit. In this review, four credit cards will be covered and details explained about them; the cards are the Discover It card, the Chase Freedom card, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card, and the American Express EveryDay Preferred reward card – all four cards specialize in rewards.
The Discover It rewards card is a cash back rewards card, earning you a percentage of your purchases back in straight cash. This cash can be redeemed in a number of ways; instantly applying to the balance of your card and lowering your payment, the payment can be sent as a check made out to the cardholder’s name, or it can even be donated to charity and possibly add up to a nice tax deduction. 5% cash back is given in categories that change each quarter and include special fields like Amazon.com purchases, restaurant purchases, gas purchases and movie purchases, and otherwise there is a 1% cash back. For the introduction period, there is 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for up to 12 months, and then a variable APR applies, which ranges from 10.99 to 22.99% based on credit score and debtor trustworthiness. A 3% fee applies to each transferred credit balance. There is no annual fee, and no fee on transactions outside of the United States of America. Discover overs forgiveness on the first late payment, and a late payment won’t raise the APR. Discover also offers extra protection, monitoring each purchase and detecting unusual purchases will result in a warning phone call through e-mail, phone or text.
The Chase Freedom card is offered through, but not exclusive to, Chase Bank. There is no annual fee. The Chase Freedom rewards card has a special offer, giving a $100 bonus after $500 is spent on individual purchases within the first 3 months of the account being opened. Adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase also offers a $25 bonus, meaning this card might be more geared towards families, small businesses, or family businesses. There is a 0% purchase intro APR period for up to 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 13.99% to 22.99%. The Chase Freedom card offers a 0% balance transfer into APR for up to 15 months, as well. If the full credit transfer balance isn’t paid within 15 months, the regular APR ranges from 13.99% to 22.99%.
The Chase Freedom card also offers rotating cash-back categories, such as gas station purchases, restaurant purchases, and Amazon.com purchases, but otherwise offers a 1% cash back reward. The money earned from the Chase Freedom card can be redeemed either through direct deposit right into a Chase checking or savings account or applied to the balance of your Chase Freedom card.
Bank Americard Cash Rewards
The BankAmericard is offered through, and also not exclusive to, Bank of America. Right off the bat, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card offers $100 in an online cash reward bonus after $500 is spent within the first 90 days of opening the account. There is no annual fee, and the BankAmericard offers 1% cashback on every single purchase, 2% at grocery stores, and 3% on gas. Unfortunately, the grocery stores and gas only combine for $1500 total in purchases, meaning only a maximum of $39 is possible through the cash-back categories of grocery stores and gas. There are no changing categories, unlike the other card in this review. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards card also offers a 10% customer bonus each time the cash is directly deposited into the cardholder’s Bank of America checking account. “Preferred Rewards” clients can increase this bonus up to 25 or even 75%, meaning long-time and trustworthy Bank of America customers will get a little more cash back.
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards card offers a 0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles, which then changes to a variable rate ranging from 12.99% to 22.99%. There is 0% APR on qualifying balance transfers, emphasis on the qualifying, which then changes to a variable rate ranging from 12.99% to 22.99% after 12 billing cycles.
Amex EveryDay Preferred Rewards Credit Card
The American Express EveryDay Rewards card does not offer straight cash back, but rather offers a membership program. Cardholders are considered members, and purchases generate points which can then be either redeemed to cash,be used in a marketplace application to purchase benefits, or be applied towards flight or hotel booking balances. Items available in the marketplace range from vacation packages to televisions to insurance certificates to gaming systems, and these are frequently cycled through. New American Express EveryDay card holders can earn 15,000 membership rewards points after purchasing $1,000 worth of items within the first 3 months. After this, a cardholder can earn 50% more points after making 30 or more purchases within 1 billing period. 3 times points can be earned at grocery stores and supermarkets, and 2 times points can be earned at United States gas stations.
There is a $95 annual fee for the American Express EveryDay card. For the first 15 months, there is a rate of 0% for intro APR, which then changes to a variable rate ranging from 12.99% to 21.99%. Balance transfers have an introductory rate of 0% for 15 months, and a variable rate of up to 21.99% but as low as 12.99% afterwards.
Your choice of credit card should mostly depend on your bank, as banks often have special reward packages for members who hold both checking accounts and a credit line. For readers who have a bank with Chase or Bank of America, those respective cards should be chosen. The American Express EveryDay Preferred card is very much a gimmick, only useful to people who might travel a lot and benefit from reducing the price of their flights or hotel bookings by bits and pieces.
The Discover It rewards card would be great for a first-time creditor, who does not have the overarching privilege of student loans for access to more exclusive lines of credit. Discover is a fantastic company, and always defaults to the interest of the cardholder in the case of a dispute. However, shopping around is always encouraged, and honestly, some local credit unions may offer better details than major creditors.