2020 has been quite the year, hasn’t it? If anything, money strategies and trying to “build” wealth haven’t been on the front burner for many. The idea of how to make money with credit cards hasn’t been on many people’s radars. In most cases, just getting by has meant being pretty successful with your money this year.
But now we approach the new year, and there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, life will become more normal at some point in 2021 and that means we all can get back to making our financial decisions the way we used to make them and want to make them again.
Free Money and Great Terms!
Why bring up the subject of your credit cards now? I am not against having credit cards as some financial bloggers are. If you play your cards right, you can save money on purchases and even better, do what I and many other people have done, make money on them. Over the past several years, I have averaged thousands of dollars in perks, bonuses, and actual cash back on over a dozen credit cards and haven’t paid a single dollar of interest or a penny to get one of them!
Whether you’re buying a new television, remodeling the kitchen, or even covering an emergency bill, certain credit card perks can help you save money whenever you have to spend. Big purchases are great to charge to your credit card.
As long as you have a personal payback plan and pick the right card, it’s a chance to save a lot and to make a lot of money with your credit card!
Four Great Cards with Great Terms (If You Can Qualify)
The credit card companies have all struggled this past year as people lost millions of jobs and in most cases just stopped spending their money and using their cards. That’s why right now offers for new cards with an introductory 0% APR period can be a great financing choice when you want a long, interest-free repayment period. And as a real plus, many cards come with extra benefits, like cash-back options or product warranties that can add value to the item you’re buying.
Right now there are four great credit cards I have found to help you save money. I have researched them all and I recommend the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card.
Important Things to Know About Credit Cards
When it comes to maximizing savings on large purchases, it can be hard to know where to start. Credit cards are tools you can use to help you purchase your desired item, but you do eventually need to pay off the debt. That’s the one thing that so many of us seem to forget!
Long introductory period APR rates are only a short-term incentive. Potentially high APR rates will snap into effect after the card’s intro period ends, which could cost you a lot in interest if you’ve left your balance unpaid. It’s really important, especially when getting a card for a big purchase, to keep an eye on your finances and keep an eye on the calendar.
APR Rates and Credit Limits Vary Based on Your Individual Credit
Credit limits and interest rates for each card are determined based on each cardholder’s personal situation, so you have to consider all of that when evaluating any credit card options. Remember, the very best way to insure never getting trapped into credit card debt is to pay your card debt off in full every month, so you will not be charged any interest.
Banks have the final say on who they accept for a credit card. These recommendations were put together with the assumption that applicants would have average credit or above. That being said, banks decide who they will issue credit cards to using criteria including, but not always limited to, an individual’s credit score when evaluating each applicant.
How I Evaluated These Cards
I’ve made a point in studying all about credit card points-and-miles and bonus deals and I evaluated all the credit cards based on two simple rules to pick these recommendations. I chose my picks on their ability to help save me money or to give me money and put some cash back in my wallet when I need it. None of these cards has an annual fee. And by the way, none of these are affiliates; I received no compensation for these recommendations.
Four Great Opportunities to Make Money with Credit Cards
Best Overall Card: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you a straightforward path to redeem cash bonuses and accrue cash back rewards quickly. If you have a big, one-time purchase on the horizon, then these perks can help you cut the overall cost.
Points: Points are earned and converted into cash back (if you so choose). This card awards 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, no matter the vendor or price. So if you buy a $1,000 item, you’ll receive $15 in points back. With no cap to the awards limit, collecting points can pay big dividends in the long term.
Perks: Though the Quicksilver Cash Rewards card has no annual fee (in addition to no foreign transaction fees), it has a surprising amount of potential for your wallet. If you spend $500 in the first three months of the card, you’ll get a $150 cash bonus. That’s a pretty good reward for simply spending money.
Add that to a 0% APR intro rate for the first 15 months, and you’re looking at a card with high upside and even higher dividends. Once the grace period expires, the APR increases based on your creditworthiness. But here’s the best part of any credit card you may own. You can simply stop using a card after you have obtained every single benefit, perk, and dollar gain from it and move on to another card offering you another great deal!
Best for Introductory APR: U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card
If you need a lot of time to pay down your bills without accruing interest, then the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is a great option. The card offers a generous 0% intro APR for the first 20 billing cycles.
Points: This is the card for spreading out your payments over time, not for racking up points or getting cash back incentives. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is your primary card if your goal is a long APR intro period. That means that buying a $1,000 television comes out to just $50 a month. Just make sure you pay down your debt before the variable APR kicks in at the 21st cycle or you will blow the benefits of this card.
Perks: Again, this card is the best for worry-free spending, not racking up rewards. There’s no annual fee, though, which is nice. Another aspect I like is the Platinum Card’s cell phone protection program. Get $600 coverage on broken or stolen phones (up to two claims per year) with only a $25 deductible.
Best for Everyday Cash Back: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
Make the most of cash-back offers with the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card, one of my favorite rewards cards with an APR intro period longer than a year.
Points: This card is primarily geared toward everyday purchases, but its incentive structure rewards big purchases, too. You’ll quickly redeem the $150 cash reward: It comes online after you’ve hit $500 in the first three months, again a low threshold in the land of big-ticket items. On the everyday spending front, you can also use the card’s tiered model to your advantage. Get 3% back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. There’s no cap to the cash-back rewards, either.
Perks: On top of its cash rewards offerings, the SavorOne card’s 15-month intro APR rate of 0% makes it a strong contender for your large purchase card portfolio. After that, it’s a variable APR based on your personal creditworthiness.
Another Good Alternative: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa
For no annual fee and a high rate of return, I suggest the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card as much for what it has as for what it doesn’t. This card gives you an easy path for turning money spent into money made.
Points: The Cash Wise Visa card rewards holders with 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. It’s a straightforward approach to cash back, and potentially more appealing than many other cards’ cash-back programs which require a lot of planning to maximize in full. The card’s $150 cash rewards bonus also stands above the competition. Spend $500 in the first three months, and it’s all yours.
Perks: With 15 months of 0% intro-rate APR, this is a forgiving card. It’s a good option to consider if you want a solid card with some extra perks. Keep in mind that your APR will increase after 15 months.
And if you’re saving up for a new phone, then this perk is for you. The card also comes with Wells Fargo’s standard $600 cell phone protection program, available to all Wells Fargo cardholders who pay their monthly phone bill through the card. While there’s a $25 deductible, it’s still nonetheless worth considering as an added perk.
Card issuers have created fantastic incentives for you to use their cards, so putting a big purchase on plastic could be a better deal than buying the same item with cash. Just keep a few smart rules in mind when looking to save:
- Look for long 0% intro APR periods. That way you’ll have plenty of time to pay off your charges interest-free.
- Avoid credit cards with an annual fee. Why pay to save, when so many good options have no annual fee?
- Tack on as many benefits as you can. Some cards offer useful and valuable perks just for being a member. Which card you choose ultimately depends on which goal you value most.
Have you the desire to save and make money on credit cards? Can you manage a card to maximize the perks and make money? I added thousands to my income from them, can you?
Happy credit card hunting in 2021!