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:
Chase Sapphire Preferred: This is our No. 1 travel rewards card because it offers a lot of value and 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 an industry-leading 50,000 point intro bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months – equal to a whopping $500 cash back. Redeeming your earned points via Chase’s Ultimate Rewards saves 20% off travel costs, enabling you to stretch that 50,000 point intro bonus into $625 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 Marriott 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. In fact, according to our travel rewards card analysis, your 50,000 point intro bonus is worth more than $1,000 when transferred to Hyatt’s reward program. There is a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express: The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is such a great cash back card that I have one. You’ll earn a spectacular 6% cash back at supermarkets (on up to $6K in purchases annually), 3% on gas and at department stores like JCP, Kohl’s and Macy’s, and 1% on everything else. And if you apply by 1/11/2017, you’ll earn a very generous 10% back on Amazon.com purchases made in the first 6 months, up to $200 cash back. Plus you’ll get a $150 intro bonus 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% 12-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. There is a $95 annual fee, but depending upon your spending patterns this card should easily pay for itself and then some. For example, if you max out your spending at supermarkets up to the $6,000 limit, you’ll get $360 cash back on groceries alone (plus 1% back after that), which still gives you a total of $265 cash back for the year after subtracting the $95 annual fee! That doesn’t even include the $150 intro bonus, which would get you up to $415 cash back just on groceries and the intro bonus. If you want a similar card that has no annual fee, check out Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which has the same 12-month 0% APR but lower cash back rates and a slightly lesser intro bonus. The lower cash back rate on groceries for this card (3%) means it will only earn you a max of $180 in cash back on groceries each year as opposed to the $360 Blue Cash Preferred from American Express will earn, but it’s still a worthy card to have in your wallet, particularly if you don’t want to pay an annual fee.
Chase Slate: This card was designed with credit card balance consolidation in mind. It’s the only card we’ve found with both a lengthy 0% introductory APR and no balance transfer fee. Its 15-month, 0% introductory APR on both balance transfers and purchases translates to interest-free payments until 2017. 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.
Discover it Cashback Match: If you’re in the market for a great cash back rewards cards that also has a 12-billing-cycle 0% APR, this is a smart pick. Not only can you transfer over balances from your high-interest cards to the Discover it Cashback Match card and pay zero interest for a full year (note that there is a 3% balance transfer fee), but you’ll get the same 0% intro APR on new card purchases. Plus you’ll earn 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1% back), and 1% back on all other purchases. Amazon.com, Sam’s Club and department stores are the 5% back categories from now through the end of 2016, which means you can rake in the cash back rewards while shopping for the holidays. Plus Discover will double the cash back you earn at the end of your first year as a card member, making that 5% back effectively 10% back. So if you earn $300 in cash back, Discover will match that $300 for a total of $600 cash back! This is a really great bonus with endless potential, but remember it’s only available the first year so make sure to take advantage of it. Discover it Cashback Match really does have it all – cash back, an extra cash back bonus (2x cashback your first year!), a lengthy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers AND no annual fee.
Citi Double Cash Card: The Citi Double Cash Card features an effective 2% cash back on ALL purchases and a lengthy 0% intro APR on balance transfers. The cash back rewards are 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 enjoy a generous 18 months of a 0% intro APR on balance transfers. And to top it all off there’s no annual fee and no caps on the amount cash back rewards you can earn.
Citi Diamond Preferred: Shopping for a special item for yourself or someone else? This card will let you make big purchases then carry that balance into 2018 without paying a dime of interest. Citi Diamond Preferred (a NextAdvisor advertiser) features an incredibly lengthy 21-month 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. And there’s 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.
Chase Freedom Unlimited: Chase Freedom Unlimited features an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a lengthy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. The standard reward percentage makes earning cash back on your purchases worry-free, as you don’t have to do anything or remember to sign up for quarterly rewards like some other cards require. Instead you’ll get 1.5% back on every purchase you make. Plus you’ll earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, which is equal to 30% back on the first $500 you spend! There’s also a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, and to top it all off there’s no annual fee.
TIP: If you’re in the market for a new credit card but don’t think your credit will qualify you for one of these cards, take a look at our top 7 cards for people with less than perfect credit.