It’s baaaaaaaack! Well, it has been a full year since I awarded the Super Saving Tips first annual awards (given at the halfway mark of the year just to be a little bit different). These are the savings awards that I give to the businesses and products that save you the most money or offer the best deals that earn you the most in cash and rewards! Oh, you haven’t heard about them? Hmmm, that’s strange. As I said last year, it was in all the papers. 😉
Oh, you don’t read the paper? Well, no problem with that. If you did happen to miss the news this year of these very prestigious awards then let me recap them right here for you now. It will save you some time and money. So, here are the “best of” winners for the last 12 months, in my opinion of course.
By the way, just to be perfectly clear, Super Savings Tips received absolutely no compensation for any of these awards. You’re getting the total lowdown on what I really think are the best of the best!
The 2018 SST Best Credit Card Awards
Over the past couple of years, it seems like the credit card companies and the banks are literally begging us to open new accounts with them and paying us off in cash, perks, and terms that are really difficult to walk away from! In the past two years, I have made and saved thousands of bucks by taking advantage of some of these offers.
Having done it, let me give you a quick heads-up on a few of the very best!
Best for Flat-Rate Travel Rewards
The Venture Card from Capital One gets the nod for new cardholders for its richer sign-up bonus and greater redemption flexibility (no minimums).
Best for Bonus Travel Rewards
High-value redemption options—including point-for-point transfers to partners such as United, Southwest, Hyatt and Marriott—make the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card a winner if you’re a big travel spender.
Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back
The Citi Double Cash Card offers their 1% + 1% cash back giving you the best ongoing rewards, plus an 18-month balance transfer offer. This is a great deal, especially for no annual fee.
Last year’s winners, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Quicksilver Card, offer 0% introductory APR for 15 Months and unlimited 1.5% cash back with no redemption minimum, plus a $150 sign-up bonus. These are great runner-up choices.
Best for Bonus Category Cash Back
What gives the Discover it Cash Back Card the edge is its unconventional new cardmember promotion, which puts you in charge of your bonus, and its fantastic online bonus mall, where you can score additional cash back and deep discounts.
Best Card for Families
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express does have an annual fee, but families that spend a lot on groceries, gas, and clothing can make up for it in no time, thanks to some of the highest rewards rates in the industry.
If you want a no-fee deal, try the runner-up Blue Cash Everyday Card, but the rewards rates are slightly lower. Both cards have a sign up bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Best Card for College Students
The rewards and new cardmember bonus on the Discover it Student Cash Back are the same as those on Discover’s regular cash-back card. The good-grades bonus is a really nice perk too.
Best Card for Small Businesses
The SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express allows business operators to customize their bonus rewards, without an annual fee to reduce the value.
The 2018 SST Best Banking Awards
Best Saving Account Bonus Offers
This year’s savings account bonus offer goes to Chase Bank’s savings account bonuses of $225. When you open a savings account in a Chase branch by August 6 (and present a printed email with a code), you can earn $225. You must deposit $15,000 of new money within 20 business days and maintain the balance for 90 days.
When combined with a new checking account, you’ll earn another $300 or a $525 total (with qualifying rules). All account fees can be waived when you follow a few simple easy rules. And you can open these accounts online no matter where you live!
Best Personal Checking Account Bonus Offer
SunTrust Bank’s $500 bonus is the SST Winner! Open a SunTrust checking account online by July 31 and earn a bonus by depositing $100 within 14 days. Then have a direct deposit into the account within 60 days and make 10 debit card purchases within 60 days to earn $500 (for opening the Signature Advantage account).
There also a deal for opening a new Select Checking account for a $250 bonus. Apply online or at a branch and use this promo code (Q218CHECKINGOL). The offers are valid only for residents in the District of Columbia, Maryland and 10 southern states, so check it out.
The runner up is TD Bank’s $300 bonus. A $300 bonus is available for TD Bank customers who open a Premier Checking account online. You will need at least $2,500 worth of direct deposit funds within 60 days of opening the account.
There’s also a $150 cash bonus if you’d prefer a Convenience Checking account. Bonuses are available to residents in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and every state on the east coast except Georgia.
Best Internet Bank Award
And the winner is Marcus Bank (a division of Goldman Sachs which was one of last year’s runners-up). Of all the banks, either internet or brick and mortar, Marcus is offering the top savings account interest rates you will find. As of July 6, it is at 1.80% with no minimum balance and fees involved.
A great runner-up choice and close second is last year’s winner, Synchrony Bank. They have great CD rates and even have a savings account online paying 1.75%. The best news of all is that you can now get much higher return on savings, money market, and CD accounts than last year in just about every bank around with the internet banks offering the very best rates of all!
More 2018 SST Awards
Best Office Supply Retailer
No brainer here and once again the best for all your home office or personal supply needs, the winner is Staples! They have an incredible assortment of products from pencils to state of the art computers and electronic devices to office furniture and pens and paper (plus I’ve discovered many categories of unexpected products available as well). The stores are well organized and their regular and sale prices are super.
But their best thing is the Staples Rewards program that gives you special discounts, rewards, and cash back to an almost unreal degree! I have saved hundreds of dollars by signing up for their card and often during the year I get deals that allow me to get free stuff by using the mailed bonus discount cards they send me. I don’t know of any better place to shop for all of your supplies either in-store or with their terrific online site!
Best Cell Phone Service Provider
You don’t have to be one, but for seniors like me who don’t use their data that much (I’m usually on wi-fi), a great choice in cell phone services is Consumer Cellular. They have the best-priced deal around and even more so if you are a member of AARP (you’ll get a 5% discount every month if you are a member)! They offer great reliability, no contracts, and cheaper prices starting as low as $10 per month.
I have a plan with 3 lines, 250 minutes per month, unlimited texts, plus 250 MB of data, and with taxes, fees, and my AARP discount it comes to less than $52 a month! A new feature this year is that if you ever go over your allotted minutes or data usage, they automatically switch you over to the next level plan to cover you and prevent serious upcharges in your rates! You then can simply switch back at the end of the month to continue to save.
A close runner-up is Republic Wireless who is now offering unlimited talk and text for just $15 a month. You can also add data at 1 GB for just $5 additional and 2 GB for $10 and so on. If you need a huge boatload of unlimited everything (and do you really?), Verizon Wireless is still the one to use. They have the best overall coverage area, pricing, and services in stores and online as well.
Best Auto Insurance Company
The award this year goes to Geico. I have tried just about every insurance company around (and I am not kidding here!) and this year I chose Geico. Yes, I know they have all of those annoying commercials, but I forgive them because they actually save me hundreds of dollars in a totally easy and hassle-free online purchase. I thought I had a great deal last year when I chose Liberty Mutual but this year I saved an additional $200 even off that deal!
I still recommend you shop around each year to make sure you get the best deal as usual, but for me, this was the one where I found the very best discounts. Check them out and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Best Car Rental Company
The winner again is Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Why? For one, I love that they will pick you up and take you home whenever you use them, for free. They also have great reliable cars priced right plus they have lots of deals and coupons that you can use too. I especially love the deal they offer from time to time on weekends for just $9.99 a day from Fridays to Mondays. It’s perfect if you just want to cruise around on your weekend getaway in a fancy sports car or a family sized van and not run miles up on your own car. That’s a deal that cannot be beaten. I have even used them on my business and vacation travels away from home and been upgraded frequently just because of my loyalty.
That’s my list for this year. Banking and credit cards are all about your money and frankly that has become a “war zone” of competition the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. That’s why I focused so deeply on it.
So what are your choices for winners and what categories are on your list to recognize this year?