UPDATED: October 31, 2014

Do you have excellent credit?  If so, banks are actively looking to win you as a new credit card customer by offering some unprecedented deals.  Although banks have been more careful about acquiring customers with questionable credit since the 2008 Financial Crisis, they are now fighting harder than ever to win coveted customers with great credit. If you are in the excellent credit sweet spot, they are effectively giving you money (and a lot of it) to use their credit cards. These are the top 7 deals you can take advantage of today:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: This is such a great cash back card that I have one. Cardholders earn 6% cash back at supermarkets (up to $6K in purchases), 3% on gas and at department stores and 1% on everything else. The 3% cash back at department stores is sure to come in handy this holiday season, as will the 6% at supermarkets if you're hosting any holiday dinners or have guests visiting. Plus you'll get a $100 intro bonus and one year of Amazon Prime after spending $1,000 on purchases with your new Card in the first three months – that's a 15% cash back bonus on the first $1,000 you spend! In addition you'll enjoy a 0% 15-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. There is a $75 annual fee, but depending upon your spending patterns this card should easily pay for itself and then some. If you want a similar card that has no annual fee, check out Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which has the same 15-month 0% APR but lower cash back rates and a slightly lesser intro bonus.

Citi Simplicity® Card:  Shopping for a special item for yourself or someone else? This card will let you make big purchases then carry that balance into 2016 without paying a dime of interest. The Citi Simplicity Card features an incredibly lengthy 18-month 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. And there are no late fees, convenient if you sometimes forget to pay your bill on time, as well as no annual fee. The combination makes this card perfect for anyone looking to make a large purchase (or several purchases) or who is interested in transferring balances from other high-interest credit cards to this one. Either way it's a smart choice.

Barclay Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®:  Like to travel? This is the card for you. You'll earn 2 miles per dollar for every purchase, and a bonus 40,000 miles – equal to $400 in travel – after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of card membership.  To use your miles, just book your travel and redeem your miles for a statement credit. You can make your travel arrangements however you'd like (by phone, online, using an agent, etc), fly any airline to any destination, and enjoy no blackout dates.

An added perk of this card is that if you use your miles to pay for travel you'll receive 10% of those miles back. So redeeming 10,000 miles will actually earn you a 1,000 mile bonus that will be deposited into your awards bank! That means if you take the 40,000 bonus miles and redeem them for travel they'll actually be worth 44,000 miles or $440.  That's a pretty nice bonus just for signing up and using the card. Plus there are no foreign transaction fees, so you'll save money when you travel outside the US.  There is a $89 annual fee, but it's waived the first year. Overall this is a fabulous travel card and we highly recommend it.

Citi Double Cash Card: The recently-launched Citi Double Cash Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser) features an effective 2% cash back on ALL purchases, the best we've seen for a card that offers a single cash back percentage on everything you buy. There are two steps two getting the full 2% cash back. Use your card to purchase the item(s) for the first 1% cash back. You'll receive the second 1% cash back after you've paid for your purchase(s), for a total of 2% effective cash back. As long as you're paying the minimum due each month you can take as long as you want to pay off your balance and get the additional 1% cash back (aka, 2% total effective cash back). In addition to this high cash back percentage, you'll also enjoy 15 months of a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers, giving you a little bit of a cushion to help pay items off. And to top it all off there's no annual fee and no caps on the amount cash back rewards you can earn.

BankAmericard Cash RewardsTM Credit Card:  If you're in the market for a great cash back rewards cards that also has a 12-month 0% APR, this is a smart pick.  Not only can you transfer over balances from your high-interest cards to the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card and pay zero interest for a full year, but you'll get the same 0% intro APR on new card purchases.  Plus you'll earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back on grocery stores (for the first $1,500 in combined grocery and gas purchases each quarter) and 1% cash back on everything else. And the cherry on top is you'll earn an additional $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months.  This card really does have it all – cash back, an extra cash back bonus, a length 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers AND no annual fee.

Slate® from Chase: This card was designed with credit card balance consolidation in mind.  Its 15-month, 0% introductory APR on both balance transfers and purchases translates to interest-free payments until 2015. Plus, there are no balance transfer fees during the first 60 days of card membership. This is a big deal, as depending upon how much you plan to transfer, balance transfer fees can really add up. In fact, a $0 intro balance transfer fee can save you hundreds of dollars in fees, and the $0 annual fee is also a money-saver. So if you have excellent credit, you absolutely should not be paying any credit card interest. Get this card and transfer your balances.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®: This is a rewards cards with lots of flexibility.  It starts off by earning you 2 points for each dollar spent on travel and dining out, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. That's followed up by a 40,000 point bonus after spending $3,000 in the 3 months equal – equal to $500 in travel rewards. Redeeming your earned points via Chase's Ultimate Rewards saves 20% off travel costs, enabling you to stretch 40,000 worth of points to $500 in travel. You can also redeem your points for cash back, gift cards and merchandise.

The best part is that you can transfer your points 1:1 to many frequent travel programs with no transfer fees, including United MileagePlus, SouthWest Rapid Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport and Marriot Rewards.  That means 1,000 points are equal to 1,000 partner miles/points, straightforward and simple.  This feature is likely to appeal to road warriors who are members of various partner programs, as users aren't limited to spending their points via Chase's rewards program. There is a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year.

 

 

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