Nowadays, with all the legislative changes in credit card regulations, it is getting harder and harder to find credit cards that really give you the most bang for your buck. It used to be easy to navigate through the popular credit cards and you could easily see why they became so popular.
Incentives like free gasoline, free travel, discounted merchandise (even lots of money toward a new car) made some of the credit cards of yesteryear almost too good to be true. And that they were.
Apparently they were unsustainable, because many of them buckled once new laws made it harder for credit and debit card companies to make money off of these incentive programs. Has that really benefitted the customer? Not really.
It has benefitted the businesses that accept these popular credit cards because they no longer have to pay the high fees they were once charged per transaction. Hopefully that trickles down to the consumer in some way, but I doubt we will see much difference. In other words, it probably was only good for businesses.
However, there are still some good options out there. Let’s talk about the more popular credit card offers out there today, and see why they are getting lots of signups from customers like us.
Today’s Most Popular Credit Cards :
Bank of America Cash Rewards Card – This cash back credit card offers you 1% cash back on all purchases. But it gets better with certain categories. For example, the card gives you 2% cash back on grocery purchases.
That’s a great deal for anyone with a large family since a lot of their free money goes toward the grocery bill. Use it in conjunction with some other grocery store reward cards (most offer them now), and it’s like you’re getting double rewards for your money.
It also gives you 3% cash back on gasoline purchases. This is a great deal as well, especially considering the cost of gas will probably never be below $3.00 again in many geographic areas. This popular offer for groceries and gas does have a quarterly limit though.
The card also offers an incentive to open a checking or savings account with Bank of America. Of course, at the time of this writing, the rewards and options may have changed, but they will likely keep something of this nature around to please bargain hunters and people who really want something back from their credit card expenditures.
Citi Bank Platinum Select Credit Card – As with many of the other most popular cards, you will need pretty decent credit to get this card. That is because it really does offer some great benefits, so of course the creditor is looking for a good credit risk in return.
This card is good for people who want a long introductory zero interest rate period. As of this writing, it offers a 21 month period where all purchases are interest free, which is a great benefit, especially for those that allow balances to carry over month to month.
There are no rewards, but the long intro period makes this very attractive, as do the lower interest rates if you have good credit. This card also does not have an annual fee, since it does not offer any rewards.
Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards Credit Card – This one has a nice interest free intro period of about eight months as opposed to the standard six months. It also offers your standard 1% cash back and a little bit higher percentages on some products such as gasoline for fixed amounts of money spent.
It does have a yearly fee of $39, but this is pretty cheap compared to many others that clock in at $75. The interest rate can be good if your credit is good, but not as good as the Citi Bank card.
Chase Bank Rewards Credit Card – This one has an annual fee of about $75 as of this writing. My husband loves this one because he gets 1% cash back on all purchases up to a set amount, but he also can get higher percentages off on other purchases during a set time period.
For example, three months will be a higher money back amount earned on dining and entertainment, while the next three months might be a higher percentage earned for things like groceries, gasoline, or travel expenses.
You can also choose with this card to get travel rewards, which is what I do. I don’t believe there is a fee for the cash back option, but there is one for the United travel rewards since you can earn some pretty substantial rewards if you use it a lot like I do.
I usually get one to two free round trip tickets on a choice of several airlines out of this rewards card. You can see why, even with the $75 annual fee, this is a very popular credit card.