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How To Shop For the Best Deals On Car Insurance

should i buy a new or used vehicle?

Having car insurance is a good idea. Besides satisfying a legal requirement in many states to register a vehicle, car insurance also protects you from accident-related expenses. Car insurance can help you save thousands of dollars if you ever need to use it. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend all the money in your wallet each month to pay for this coverage. Let’s look at how you can get the best deals on car insurance.

best deal on car insurance

To Find the Best Deals On Car Insurance Shop Around

If you think each car insurance provider will charge you the same price, you should shop around. Insurance quotes will be very similar among several providers. But certain companies will charge higher rates if you recently received a ticket or bear responsibility for an at-fault accident.

Some insurance providers will also charge lower rates if you drive an alternative fuel vehicle like a gas hybrid or an electric vehicle. Parents can also benefit from additional price discounts when their high-school or college-aged children meet certain criteria like going through a driver education course or getting good grades.

Cheaper car insurance rates might also be available by opening a policy with the current insurance provider that you use for homeowner’s insurance or life insurance. This isn’t always the case though. Even if a price quote from your current insurance provider is well within your monthly budget, getting a second quote simply to compare rates is a good idea and only requires a few minutes of your time.

Certain insurance providers might offer low rates with some insurance products, yet, cannot compete with other products because they might contract with a third-party to provide coverage. If your current insurance provider charges a higher quote than a competitor, you might be able to get a price match by calling the provider.

Where To Shop For the Best Deals On Car Insurance

One of the easiest ways to shop for the lowest rates is to go on a website like Esurance. Here you can compare quotes from several leading car insurance providers including Esurance. Even if you find a rate from one of Esurance’s competitors, you still have saved a lot of time “insurance shopping.”

If you want to do your own independent research, you can also visit or call the various insurance websites and get a 6-month price quote that can also be broken down into a monthly price as well. As there are many insurance providers to choose from, here are a few of the best car insurance companies that might offer you the lowest rates.

Allstate

Allstate claims that the average person who switches from their existing car insurance policy to Allstate save $446 per year. That’s a monthly saving of $37, which might be the monthly amount that you are paying for a secondary vehicle with liability coverage. By going with Allstate, you can become part of the “Good Hands Team” and also receive discounts if your vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS). Although rates might differ, Allstate is the parent company of Esurance (that company that compares auto insurance quotes and happens to provide car insurance themselves).

Geico

Although Geico has been around for several decades, it has been known as one of the go-to insurance providers for drivers who want low rates. It has become the second largest auto insurer with good customer reviews. As the full name of Geico is Government Employees Insurance Company, federal employees and military members can receive additional discounts. To one-up Allstate, Geico also claims that the average driver has an annual savings of $500 when switching from another insurance provider.

Liberty Mutual

Teachers might like Liberty Mutual as they qualify for an additional discount. Liberty also offers two semi-unique optional coverage options like “New Car Replacement” and “Better Car Replacement” that will provide enough cash funds to replace your damaged vehicle with one that has 15,000 fewer miles on it and will either be the same model year or one year newer.

Progressive

Progressive is another company that offers great rates. They offer two additional ways to save money on your quote. Before purchasing car insurance with Progressive (and for existing customers too), they have a “Name Your Price Tool” where customers can list the price they are willing to pay. Progressive will do their best to match the price.

Another way to save money is to use their Plug-In Snapshot device. This device plugs into your car and gives you a rate based on your mileage and driving habits. Those that like to speed, drive at night, or drive in stop-and-go traffic often will be charged higher rates than traditional price quote criteria.

USAA

USAA is an “insurance cult” of sorts among military families. In recent years, USAA has extended membership from military officers to anybody who received an honorable discharge. USAA is a semi-exclusive insurance company. But they have received good ratings for customer service and price quotes on their various insurance products. They continually receive prestigious awards for being one of the best insurance providers.

Comparing Insurance Products To Find the Best Deals On Car Insurance

Another thing to consider with quote prices from the various companies is the coverage amounts. Two companies might provide you a quote for $50 a month. One might require a higher deductible ($1,000 compared to $500 before they pay for damages and repairs). Alternatively, they may offer fewer coverage options like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, vehicle replacement, etc.

The best way to get an apples-to-apples comparison is to receive quotes for basic coverage with the same deductibles for liability, collision, and comprehensive. If you own an older car, it might make more financial sense to get liability coverage. This is if the car isn’t worth the additional premium for comprehensive and collision policies.

If two insurance quotes are very similar, you might have a tough time deciding which company to go with. One way of reaching a decision is to see if you can switch any additional insurance policies over like homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to receive a multi-policy discount. Another tip might be asking your friends or family if they have a preference for either insurance company.

Word of mouth is consistently one of the best forms of marketing. If you do not know anybody personally that has coverage with either company, you can also look at online reviews. Note that these can be a little tough to cipher as most people either love or hate their insurance company.

Your current provider might still be your cheapest option. If so, there are several ways to reduce your car insurance premiums.

best deals on car insurance

Shopping For the Best Deals On Car Insurance

Out of all the insurance companies, there is not a single company that is always the cheapest. Every person has a different driving record and vehicle(s). Plus, each company treats this information in their own manner. Switching to a particular insurance company might save somebody hundreds of dollars and cost the next person a few extra dollars a month. For this reason alone, it pays to shop around to find the best deals on car insurance.

Just because one person didn’t get a good deal doesn’t mean you won’t either. The important thing about insurance is that you do not want to cut too many financial corners. The best deals on car insurance are the ones you never have to use. They also don’t cost a lot of money. You want to make sure there is good coverage and customer service in the event you do need it.

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Card Comparison: Chase Freedom vs. Amex Blue Cash Preferred

Many cards are similar in nature.  We’ve all seen that before.  But, between cards, which one is truly better?  One such matchup of titans is the very popular Chase Freedom credit card and the Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit card.  Which one is better?  Let’s see if we can decipher the true winner below, in yet another card comparison!

 

Annual Fee

The annual fee on any credit card is a deal for potential customers, myself included.  So, let’s dive into the details on the annual fees for these credit cards, shall we?  For the Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit card, you’ll have a $75 annual fee, and no fee for any additional cards on the account.  That is pretty high for a cash back credit card.

The Chase Freedom card, on the other hand, has no annual fees, ever.  So, this category goes to the Chase Freedom card, by a landslide.

 

Sign Up Bonus

Another way credit card companies make the importance of their cards known is through the sign-up bonus, a reward for spending a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time.  For the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, you’ll have no sign up bonus.

For the Chase Freedom card, you’ll receive a $100 cash back credit (or 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you own one of their Chase Sapphire cards) when you make $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of card membership.  I’d say the Chase Freedom card wins this round, especially since they’ve been known to raise the bonus to $200 now and then.

 

Bonus Points

This category is where the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card really picks up steam.  If you spend your money at supermarkets, you’ll receive 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 a year).  At gas stations and select department stores, you’ll receive 3% cash back, and 1% cash back on everything else.

The Chase Freedom card gives you 1% cash back on every dollar spent, as well as 5% cash back in a rotating group of categories (Restaurants and Lowe’s for April-June, Gas Stations and Kohl’s for July-September, and Amazon/Zappos/Department stores for the rest of the year).  This category goes to Amex Blue Cash Preferred.

 

Other Benefits

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit card includes purchase protection and car rental loss and damage insurance.  The Chase Freedom card offers up access to Ultimate Rewards points if you have another card in the program, like a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  For this category, I’ll say it’s a tie.

 

Conclusion

For this comparison, it’s really hard to declare a winner.  If you spend a lot of money at supermarkets each year, and max out the bonus, you’ll receive $360 in cash back rewards, more than enough to cover the annual fee.  However, if you do most of your dining out, I can’t really see the benefits of the annual fee of the Amex card.  So, analyze your spending, and choose which one is best for you.

We hope that this comparison at least put the pros and cons, side by side, to make your decision making a little easier.  Let us know in the comments what you think!

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Card Comparison: Discover it vs. Capital One Quicksilver

Heads up: Discover just launched a new cashback/travel rewards credit card that gets you 3x on all spending the first year.

Many cards offer similar offerings across credit card brands, but generally these points are the consider the best.  I know I’ve had difficulty at times choosing between several different card products.  It’s a major issue for me, and I imagine readers like you have had similar conundrums.  So, let’s check out one comparison of similar offerings: The Discover it® credit card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Apply Now: Discover it®

 

Annual Fee

One very important category for everyone is the annual fee.  If there’s no annual fee for a credit card, it’s possible that you may never pay a single dollar to the credit card companies.  The good news for these two credit cards?  Both have no annual fees!  That’s right, the Discover It and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards both have no costs associated with ownership.  So, for this category, we have a tie!

 

Sign-Up Bonus

The sign up bonus is another important attractor for potential credit card applicants.  For me, I always look at the sign up bonus as a determining factor for card membership.  For the Discover It credit card, you’ll not have a sign-up bonus, which is a major bummer.  For the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Back credit card, you’ll earn $100 cash back when you spend $500.  A fairly normal sign-up offer, but a nice 20% return on spend.  The advantage for this category is obviously Capital One.

 

Bonus Points

A great indicator for those planning on using the cards they apply for every day for regular spend are the miles or points or cash back you receive for spending money.  For the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Back Rewards credit card, you’ll earn 1.5% back for every dollar you spend (or one and a half cents).  This is pretty good for regular spend, as you’ll often see only one percent back for every dollar you spend.

For the Discover it® credit card, you’ll receive one percent back on regular spend.  However, this card has a rotating calendar of bonus categories, four per year.  Spending within the category (Home Improvement during the summer, Gas Stations July-September, and Holiday Shopping for the rest of the year) will net you 5% cash back, up to $1,500 in spending each quarter.  For those seeking simplicity, I’d say Capital One card wins, since you’ll be rewarded for every dollar you spend. But you might enjoy taking advantage of the quarterly bonus categories with the Discover it. 5% earnings are nice! And you can up your earnings by using the ShopDiscover shopping portal. This blog will help you understand more details on cards.

 

Other Benefits

The cards each have introductory APR offers.  The Capital One card offers 0% APR until March 2014.  Afterwards, it’ll be 12.9%-22.9%.  It also has no foreign transaction fees, and is a Visa Signature card, with purchase protection and travel benefits.  The Discover it credit card offers up 0% APR for 14 months, and then has an APR of 10.99-22.99%.  The card also has a shopping mall where you can earn up to 20% cash back, free FICO score reporting, and no foreign transaction fees.  The winner here is the Discover it credit card.

 

Conclusion

I believe that you’ll receive more cash back using the Discover it® card, and its the card I would go with. That said, both cards are solid offerings. After comparing the benefits, what do you think?  Let us know in the comments! Check out this blog for more information

Full reviews of these cards:

Discover it Credit Card Review

Quicksilver Credit Card Review

Apply Now: Discover it®

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Card Comparison: Capital One Venture vs. Discover it

There are many great credit cards out there.  The Discover it® credit card is an awesome one because of its large cash back rotating categories and its no annual fee.  Another card, the Capital One Venture, is an excellent one as well, and is advertised often in multiple venues.  But, how do they compare?  Let’s check them out below and see how the benefits of each stack up!

Apply Now: Discover it® 

 

Annual Fee

One major category of benefits that is important to cardmembers is the annual fee for opening the credit card.  There is good news in this category for one of the cards: there is no annual fee for the Discover It credit card.  So, any benefits you earn could potentially be “free” if you manage your expenses well and not pay interest on a revolving balance each month.  However, the Capital One Venture credit card features a $59 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.  Advantage: Discover It.

 

Introductory APR

An introductory APR is important for some, since opening up a new credit line may be for a new, large purchase that will take time to pay off.  With an intro APR, you have interest-free lending for a specific amount of time.  For the Capital One Venture credit card, you’ll have 13.9-20.9% APR, depending on your credit history.  For the Discover It credit card, the period is 14 months of 0% APR, with an APR of 10.99 and 22.99 percent after that.  Advantage: Discover It.

 

Sign-Up Bonus

Another big draw for customers, the sign-up bonus is that beautiful mannequin in the window to draw you in.  For the Capital One card, you’ll earn $200 cash back with $2,000 in spending over three months.  For the Discover It credit card, there actually is no sign up bonus!  Advantage: Capital One Venture.

 

Bonus Categories

These two credit cards each feature unique ways of giving you cash back, either they offer “bonus categories” that rotate four times a year, or straight 2% back on every purchase.  The Discover It card offers 5% cash back for each category, up to $1,500 cash back.  At the time of writing, the Discover It card has ‘Home Improvement’ as a category for the second quarter, which includes any store in that category, as well as Bed Bath and Beyond.

The next quarter will be gas stations, and the final quarter ‘holiday shopping.’  In addition, the Discover It card has an online shopping mall offering 5%-20% cash back for purchase.  The Capital One card offers 2% back, but on every purchase you make.  Winner: I would say it depends on your spending preferences– if a lot of your purchases fall in the Discover It bonus categories, that’s the clear winner.

 

Regular Spend 

You will also receive bonus points for regular spend.  The Discover It card offers you one point per dollar of regular spending, but the Capital One card offers 2% back on every purchase.  Advantage:  Capital One.

 

Redemptions

One thing to note is that for the Capital One Venture card, if you redeem for cash back, you won’t get the full value of your points (only a 1% cash back rate).  Thus, the Venture is the winner for travel rewards and the Discover it wins in the cash back category.

 

Other Benefits

The Capital One card offers no foreign transaction fees, and easy redemption for travel with your cash back.  However, the Discover It card offers free FICO scores every month, and no foreign transaction fees, which are valuable benefits in my book.  I would say that this is a tie.

 

Verdict

With no annual fee, the Discover it® credit card is certainly a valid contender.  However, the $59 annual fee Capital One card offers two points back on every purchase you make on the card, allowing you to most likely rack up benefits quicker with this card. That said, it really depends on how you plan to redeem your points. If you’re looking strictly for cash back rewards, the Discover it® is your best bet.

Apply Now: Discover it® 

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Card Comparison: AAdvantage Platinum Select vs. United MileagePlus Explorer

There are many choices in airline available to the domestic American traveler these days.  You have new upstart budget airlines like JetBlue and Virgin America, which compete on cabin quality and price, Southwest which competes on convenience and price, and the “old dogs” like United, American, and Delta, who compete on benefits to travelers and number of destinations.

Sometimes, you may choose an airline based only on the benefits a cobranded credit card.  Thus, this post is analyzing two of those cards, AAdvantage Platinum Select and the United MileagePlus Explorer credit cards.  Let’s see if one sways you, shall we?

Annual Fee

The AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card has a $95 fee, which is waived for the first year.  For the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer credit card, the same offer stands- a $95 fee, waived for the first year.  So, in this category, the two cards tie.

 

Sign-Up Bonus

Sign up bonus is often one of the most important aspect for people searching for a new credit card.  For the AAdvantage credit card, you’ll earn 30,000 miles for spending $1,000 in the first three months of cardmembership.  For the United credit card, you’ll earn the same amount of miles, 30,000, for the same amount of spend, $1,000.  Again, a wash, but United gets an edge, because by adding an additional cardmember, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus miles if they make a purchase in the first three months.

 

Bonus Miles

For the American Airlines credit card, you’ll earn two AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent with American, and one point for every other dollar spent elsewhere.  Furthermore, you’ll receive 10% of your miles back, up to 10,000 per year, when you use them to travel on American award flights.  For the United credit card, you’ll earn two miles per dollar spent on United, and one mile per dollar spent on everything else.  Furthermore, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $25,000 in a calendar year.

 

Other Benefits

Each of the cards offers benefits catered to each specific airline.  On the American card, you’ll get Group 1 boarding, first checked bag free, 25% savings on in-flight purchases, and $100 discount every anniversary year.  For the United Explorer card, you’ll receive no foreign transaction fees, two United Club passes each year, priority boarding, and a free first checked bag.

 

Conclusion

In analyzing the two credit cards, it seems as though it would come down to geography which card you choose.  Do you live near a major hub for one of the airlines? I would apply for that card.  With the very similar points bonuses, benefits, and fees, both cards are great.  I think that if you enjoy one airline more over the other, that is a good enough reason to choose one over the other.

It’s all about analyzing how much travel you plan on doing, if you are traveling on these airlines often, and if you can fit in another credit card in your wallet.  So, what are you waiting for?  Apply for the AAdvantage Platinum Select or United Explorer credit card today!

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Category Bonus Comparison: Discover it vs. Chase Freedom

Everyone loves a little extra bit of moolah in their pocket, especially in the form of cash back on your credit cards!  The Discover it® and Chase Freedom® credit cards do just that, in the form of their famous bonus categories that change each quarter.

These categories, a rotating list of stores and types of purchases, offers up 5% bonuses for the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter.  After that, the bonus will resort back to just 1% cash back for each dollar you spend in the category.  Let’s compare the two cards’ categories, and see which ones is right for you, shall we?

 

Discover It

As stated above, Discover It has four rotating categories each year.  This year began with restaurants and movie theaters.  Any purchase the company considered was a restaurant or a movie theater, you earned 5% cash back (up to $1,500).  This category ended on March 31st.

The current category that we are in is ‘home improvement stores, furniture stores, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.’  Think of it as sort of a spring cleaning event for you!  This quarter ends June 30th.

In the future quarter, from July 1st until September 30th, we only have a vague ‘Summer Fun’ category to go off of at this time.  In 2013, this category featured 5% cash back on gasoline purchases, no doubt to help families on their summer road trips.  Only time will tell which shops we will earn 5% cash back on this year, but check back here in May for the details!

The final quarter for this card is also just as vague, dubbed ‘Holiday Shopping.’  In 2013, this category was online holiday shopping, and featured Amazon.com, iTunes, and facebook purchases.  I would imagine that similar stores will offer up 5% cash back October through December this year!

 

Chase Freedom

The current Chase Freedom categories are similar, but with some key differences that you will want to take note of.  The past quarter from January until March was gas stations, movie theaters, and Starbucks stores.  In the current quarter, restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores are in the 5% bonus categories.  You must activate by June 14th, 2014 to reap the benefits!

In the summer months of July until September, you’ll have gas stations and Kohl’s stores.  You can begin activation on June 15th, 2014 for this category.

Finally, during the holiday months of October until December, Amazon, Zappos, and select department stores (click here for a list) will be offered up.  You can activate that category on September 15th, 2014.

 

Conclusion

So, which card is best for you in 2014?  It’s hard to say, since we don’t know exactly which stores Discover It will offer in the last two quarters of 2014.  We do know, however, all of the Chase stores.  I would say that both cards offer similar benefits, so it’s all about which categories appeal most to you and make the most sense for your personal spending.

Though we can’t yet see Discover it’s upcoming categories, looking at last year’s offerings should help you with what to expect.  It’s hard to go wrong with either card, as they both have solid benefits, including no annual fee and the ability to earn 5 points per dollar!

What do you think?  Which card tickles your fancy?

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Card Comparison: Barclaycard Arrival vs. Capital One Venture

There are often cards out there that compete for the same group of customers.  The Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® and the Capital One Venture Credit Card could qualify for such a battle- they both a great common benefit, two points/miles for every dollar spent on the card, but which one is better?

Let’s dive in, benefit by benefit, and see which one reigns supreme!  I have a feeling that this one may be a tough one to decide.

Tip: We rank both of these rewards card below the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

 

Sign Up Bonus

For the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®, 40,000 miles (or $400) awaits you after spending $3,000 in 3 months, a very solid sign up bonus.  The Capital One Venture Credit Card offers 20,000 miles, or $200 in travel.  Both very solid offers for these cards, but the winner is Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.

Daily Spend

For daily spend, you’ll receive the same amount of bonus points on both credit cards- two points per dollar spent.  I like this way of doing things- you don’t have to remember what categories earn you what, nor do you have to ‘sign up’ for benefits every quarter like other cards.  It’s a draw in this category!

Ease of Redemption

For redeeming your miles, the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® wins, only because it offers up 10% back of the points you redeem, every time you redeem.  The Venture card does not offer such a benefit.  Both cards allow you to make an airfare or hotel purchase at whatever site you wish, as long as you pay with the card, you’ll be able to redeem your points.  The Barclaycard wins again!

Annual Fee

In terms of annual fees, the Venture card wins this round.  At only $59 (and waived for the first year), it beats out the Arrival World MasterCard’s $89, which is also waived for the first year.  So, in terms of price, the Venture Card wins this round.

Other Benefits

In terms of other benefits, both credit cards offer up no foreign transaction fees.  After that, avariable APR of 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness will kick in.  You also get free FICO scores each month and a TripIt Pro subscription.

The Venture credit card only offers up the standard Visa Signature benefits, which may include concierge service, hotel upgrades, event ticket deals, and other exclusive perks.  Read all about them here.  I would say that the Barclaycard wins this round (this is starting to become a bloodbath!)

Conclusion

So, which one reigns supreme?  I would say that far and away the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® is the winner here.  Not only does it earn the same type of bonuses, but you get a larger sign-up bonus, better benefits, like FICO reporting and TripIt Pro.  It seems that there have been offers in the past of 50,000 miles for sign up with the Venture credit card, but I don’t see that offer available now.

If it did come up again, I could see the argument being made to switch to the Venture credit card.  What are your thoughts?  Do you see the way I do?  Do you have one of these cards (or both), and swear by them?  We want to know!  Comment in the section below and we will be sure to incorporate your thoughts!

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Chase Credit Card Comparison: Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card? If you’re wondering which one is better for your wallet, keep reading!

There are some really great travel credit cards out there.  And, there are some great ones that specialize in the airlines.  Not all carriers are created equal, however.  One that consistently stands out from the pack in America is Southwest Airlines.  Known for its low fares and no-frills in-cabin experience, Southwest is essential to any “Sky Warrior” business traveler or leisure traveler.

As a partner with Chase, Southwest has its own credit card.  But, it is also a transfer partner with Ultimate Rewards, the points currency of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  So, which card is the better one to apply for?  Let’s explore the options below, category by category!

Hint: If you’re impatience the Chase Sapphire Preferred is hands down the better card. You can see more details or apply through the link below.

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 

 

Annual Fee

Both cards carry an annual fee.  The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card comes with a $95 annual fee.  However, this annual fee is waived for the first year of card membership!  The Southwest product offering, however, comes with a $99 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year.  So, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins this round!

 

Sign-Up Bonus

Both credit cards used to have higher regular sign-up bonuses.  The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns you 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points (which can be transferred into Southwest) when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership!  This amount is a high number, as Ultimate Rewards points are worth a great deal!  The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card now only earns you 25,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months, down from 50,000 miles a few months ago.  So, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins this round as well!

 

Bonus Points/Miles

This is important if you plan on using the cards regularly.  For the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, you earn two points per dollar on every purchase involving travel and dining.  Every other purchase earns one Ultimate Rewards point.  For the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card, you’ll earn two points for every Southwest and Airtran Purchase.  After that, you’ll earn one point for every other purchase.

Each card will get you anniversary miles or points on your cardmember anniversary.  You’ll earn 6,000 miles with the Southwest credit card each anniversary, compared with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which will earn you a 7% bonus on all the miles you earned in the past year with the card.   The winner here is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, since you’ll earn more total points over the year, and all Southwest purchases would fall under that ‘travel’ category!

 

Conclusion

Sure, there are benefits to each card, but I believe that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a better ‘all-around’ credit card.  Not only can use the Ultimate Rewards points for Southwest flights, you can transfer to a whole slew of other partners if you need to!  It’s truly the best of both worlds. And it has a higher sign-up bonus.

So, did I convince you that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card reigns supreme? Or, does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card rule in your book?  If you would like more detail or want to apply the link is below.

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Capital One Venture vs. Chase Freedom Credit Card

There are a lot of credit cards out there in the world.  Some are very similar to each other.  It’s often hard to choose which one to put in that last slot in your wallet.  This post is designed to help you decide between two very worthy credit cards: the Capital One Venture Rewards card and the Chase Freedom® credit card.

They are from two very different issuing banks, but the purpose of the cards remains the same: to get you the most cashback for your purchases!  Let’s see which one reigns king in this review!

 Capital One Venture vs. Chase Freedom

 

Annual Fee

The annual fee on any credit card is a big sticking point for some potential cardholders.  So, let’s dive into the details on that!  For the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you’ll have no annual fee for the first year.  However, after the first year, you’ll be charged $59 per year to keep the card.  The Chase Freedom card, on the other hand, has no annual fees, ever.  So, this category goes to the Chase Freedom card.

 

Sign-Up Bonus

Another way credit card companies get you to sign up for their card is through their Sign Up bonus, which I believe is one of the more important aspects of any credit card.   I’d say Chase Freedom® wins this round.

 

Bonus Points

Regular spending is also where you can rack up the meat of your points earning on these cards.  For the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn 2% back on every purchase.  There are no limits to this agreement.  The Chase Freedom card, on the other hand, collects 1% back on all purchases, but has a ‘category bonus’ that changes four times each year that can earn 5% cash back.  For example, the quarters for 2013 were:

▪   Q1 (January 1 – March 31): Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks stores

▪   Q2 (April 1 – June 30): Restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores

▪   Q3 (July 1 – September 30): Gas stations and Kohl’s

▪   Q4 (October 1 – December 31): Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores

For this group, I’d say that Chase Freedom® definitely wins, since your total amount of purchases will add up to more than what you spend in these categories, most likely.

 

Using Your Points

The way you redeem your points for each credit card is a little different as well.  For the Capital One card, you simply choose the travel expense that you would like to redeem your points for, and you’re done.  The Chase Freedom card is a simple cash back card, but you can transfer your points into your Ultimate Rewards account if you’d like.  You’re stuck redeeming with Chase’s travel partners though (airlines like British Airways, Southwest, and United).

 

Conclusion

While both cards offer great benefits, the Capital One  Venture Rewards credit card is one of the best out there.  It’s low annual fee (after the first year), constant 2% cash back, and easy use of points earned makes it a champion over the Chase Freedom card.  The Freedom card, though, is a great option for those that don’t want an annual fee but would like to still earn some bonus points!

Apply Now: Chase Freedom®

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Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard vs. the US Airways Premier World MasterCard

Two airlines in the Star Alliance (for now, anyway), Lufthansa and US Airways, both have co-branded cards issued by Barclays.  For Lufthansa, there is the Lufthansa Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®, and for US Airways, there is the The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®.  They each have their unique benefits, so let’s check out which one deserves the last spot in your wallet!

 Apply Now:

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®

 

The Face Off 

  • Annual Fee

The Lufthansa card features a $79 annual fee.  However, one benefit is if you have Senator or HON Circle elite status with Lufthansa, that fee is waived each year.  For US Airways, the $89 fee is to be paid regardless of elite status.  Advantage, Lufthansa!

  • Sign-Up Bonus

Sign Up Bonus for the Lufthansa Credit card is 20,000 award miles after first purchase or balance transfer.  To earn another 30,000 award miles, cardmembers will have to spend $5,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.  For the US Airways Credit card, you’ll get 40,000 bonus miles, plus 10,000 miles with a balance transfer within 90 days of account opening.   I believe the advantage goes to Lufthansa for this one, but things may change after December 15th, when the current 50,000 point offer expires.

  • Bonus Miles

Earning Lufthansa miles on your credit card is easy when you get two points per dollar spent on Lufthansa and the Miles and More Integrated Airline Partners.  You’ll receive one mile per dollar on every other dollar spent.  That offer is identical for the US Airways credit card.  It’s a tie!

  • Extra Benefits

The Lufthansa card offers a free companion ticket after the first year of cardmembership and no foreign transaction fees.  The US Airways credit card offers the chance to redeem US Airways award flights for 5,000 fewer miles, Zone 2 boarding, and annual companion ticket for $99, first class check-in, and a free US Airways day pass each year.  While no foreign transaction fees is a powerful benefit, I think for domestic travelers, the US Airways card is a better fit.

 

Conclusion

I think that while there is a $10 cheaper annual fee, the US Airways Premier World MasterCard wins in a landslide.  With more bonus points earned for a first purchase, first class benefits at check-in, Zone 2 boarding, a free day pass, and 5,000 fewer points needed for award tickets on US Airways, I see the extra $10 as easily justified.

Thus, I would recommend US Airways for anyone planning to fly domestically.  However, if one does a lot of travel to Europe, things change.  The foreign transaction fees abroad can really add up, so not getting charged fees in other countries is huge.  Also, Lufthansa will have more award availability in first class and more award space for flights to Europe than US Airways, even though you can redeem US Airways miles on Lufthansa flights.

 

Apply Now:

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®