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PG reader Kupta messaged me to ask about finding a suitable travel rewards card:
“What credit card would you recommend that earns rewards but has no annual fee? I usually only spend about $500 a month on my card, so I’d prefer one that won’t cost me anything.”
Whereas I completely understand why Kupta wants a card with no annual fee, sometimes it makes sense to get a premium card that does have a fee, especially when there’s a large sign-up bonus attached to it (such as 50,000 points or more). Many cards waive their annual fees for the first year, so you can often get the benefits of a premium card without having to pay for it up front. I’d recommend getting one of these cards, which you can then cancel before the second year if you want to avoid the fee, or you can always call the card issuer and ask them to waive it. There’s no guarantee, but it’s worth trying.
Otherwise, there are some great cards with no annual fee. The two best, in my opinion, are the Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express and the Chase Freedom card.
Amex EveryDay offers a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in three months. You earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spending annually), and 1 point per dollar elsewhere. When you make 20 or more purchases in a billing cycle, you earn 20% more points on every purchase. I love this card because (unlike most cards with no annual fee) it allows you to transfer Membership Rewards points to travel partners such as Delta and Aeroplan. The 2x points bonus on supermarket purchases also makes this a great card, especially if you meet the threshold of 20 transactions per month.
Chase Freedom offers a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points ($100) after you spend $500 in three months. The best feature of this card is the rotating quarterly bonuses that allow you to earn 5 points per dollar in certain categories on up to $1,500 spent per quarter. This quarter (through June), you can earn 5 points per dollar spent at restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M and Overstock.com. You can’t transfer Chase Freedom points to partners, but you can link and combine your accounts for free if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Plus Business Card, and you can then transfer them there.
If you’re looking for cash-back rewards, the Amex Fidelity 2% card is pretty hard to beat, and the Citi Double Cash Card is also a great deal if you pay your bill in full and on time.
Know before you go.
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