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The Sam’s Club MasterCard vs. Other Cash Back Cards

Everyone loves a cash back card, which is why so many banks and stores offer them to customers. It used to be just the big banks that gave cash back rewards based on spending. Now it is common for stores to get in on this market and get more customer loyalty in the quest for cash being returned to them.

Some stores have even begun to offer cards that come in MasterCard or Visa versions that they can be used for other purchases, like gas, dining, groceries, travel, and other big categories. The Sam’s Club MasterCard is one of these cards. They are offering a nice tiered cash back program to cardholders.

If you are a frequent shopper at Sam’s Club warehouse stores, this might be a good choice for you. Let’s take a look at the benefits that they are offering to customers.

New Sam’s Club MasterCard

Highlighted Cash Back Features

The Sam’s Club MasterCard offers simple yet substantial cash back rewards for their customers. First, you will earn 5% cash back for all spending at gas stations, up to $6,000 per year. After you spend the first $6,000, you will continue to earn 1% cash back on gas station purchases. Here’s one catch—you will earn 5% cash back at Sam’s Club gas stations and other major gas retailers, but there are no cash back rewards for spending at other warehouse store gas stations.

You can earn 3% cash back on all dining purchases and any travel purchases that you make, with no spending cap. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases using the Sam’s Club MasterCard.

With the Sam’s Club MasterCard, you can earn up to $5,000 cash back per year. The cash back rewards are paid to you in the form of a check, delivered to you once per year. The only place that you can cash the check is at a Sam’s Club store (but you don’t have to spend the entire reward there).

Great Security Options

With so many credit card breaches in the news lately, people are paying more attention to getting credit cards with higher level security features. The Sam’s Club MasterCard is chip-enabled, which gives you a better layer of security. Plus, they offer quick and simple identity theft solutions through their customer service center.

Sam’s Club MasterCard is the first major retail card to offer this level of technology. Since many of the credit card breaches have come from major retailers, this is something that may make customers more comfortable and secure when using the credit card. Also, extended warranty coverage is available, so you can be more confident in protecting your purchases.

No Annual Fee

The Sam’s Club MasterCard does not have an annual fee, but you do have to be a Sam’s Club member to apply. Membership to Sam’s Club is $45 per year.

More Benefits for Sam’s Plus Members

For those cardholders who are also members of the Sam’s Plus program, you can receive several additional benefits. These include early morning admission to the store, discounts on pharmacy and optical services, and exclusive offers within the store. Sam’s Plus members will earn an additional $10 every time they spend $500 in the store on qualifying purchases and earn up to $500 cash back annually. These rewards can be combined with the other cash back rewards to boost your annual return, or used separately throughout the year.

The Nitty Gritty

Again, the Sam’s Club MasterCard has no annual fee, but you must be a member of Sam’s Club to apply ($45 yearly membership fee). The APR is 14.99% or 22.90%, depending on your credit history. If you make a single purchase of $50 or more on the first day you use the card, you will get a $20 statement credit within the next two billing cycles. Foreign transaction fees are 3%.

Any Downsides?

Although the Sam’s Club MasterCard offers some great cash back options, you will only receive that cash back reward once per year. If you are the kind of person who likes to get one lump sum, this might be great for you, but the redemption options are not very flexible otherwise. Remember, you can only cash this check at Sam’s Club. If you regularly shop at the store, this may be convenient.

You must be a Sam’s Club member to cash the check, so don’t consider closing this account if you have any cash back rewards due to you. There is a small sign up bonus of $20 if you spend $50 on your first purchase. Other cards offer greater cash back rewards for sign up bonuses.

Other Options

While the Sam’s Club MasterCard can compete on some levels, especially with Sam’s Club devotees, there are other great cards out there that offer significant rewards for those who spend a lot of money on gas, dining, and travel. Other cards offer much more convenient redemption options when it comes to getting the cash back.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a great option for those travelers who like to earn big cash back rewards on every purchase, and have flexible redemption options available to them. With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, you will earn 2 points for every dollar spent, on all purchases. You will earn 40,000 points as a sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.

Redeem your miles for travel credits or statement credits, at any time. Earn an additional 10% bonus miles when you redeem your miles for travel rewards. There is an $89 annual fee, but this is waived for the first year. Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers great security, with EMV-chip technology.

There is also a 0% introductory APR on all purchases made during the first 12 months. Frequent travelers may find this option very appealing because of the high earning power and flexible redemption opportunities.

Discover it

For those shoppers who like to earn great cash back rewards and have very flexible redemption options, the Discover it has some terrific perks. Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, in all categories. Earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, which change quarterly and are generally the most popular shopping options. Currently, Discover it is offering 5% cash back on online shopping and department store purchases for this quarter.

There is no annual fee for the Discover it card, so you have nothing to lose. Redeem your cash back rewards at any time, either earning a check, using the cash at the online shopping portal, getting gift cards, or getting statement credits.

Final Thoughts

For those who really love shopping at Sam’s Club and spend most of their money at gas stations, the Sam’s Club MasterCard is a good option. But, if you want a little more flexibility in terms of cash back earnings and redemption options, you might want to consider either the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or the Discover it as alternatives.

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Cards That Earn Bonus Rewards On Every Dollar Spent

There are plenty of options for cards that earn bonus rewards for spending. These are cards that offer you either cash back or points on each purchase you make. Some of the most popular rewards credit cards will give you bonus points or bonus cash back. The Discover It, for example, offers bonus cash back on rotating categories. The idea of rotating categories is that the categories will switch quarterly. You will earn 5% cash back (or 5% points, depending on the card) for that quarter.

Popular categories for the bonus rotating categories include purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores, dining, online shopping, home improvement stores, and department stores. They can be anything that the credit card company chooses and thinks that their customers will enjoy. Typically there is a cap on the spending in the bonus categories. Going back to the Discover It example, it has a $1,500 spending cap for their rotating bonus categories.

Fixed bonus categories would refer to cards that offer bigger bonuses on certain categories all the time. For example, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard offers two points per dollar spent on all gas station, grocery store and utility purchases. This is offered year round with no spending cap. With no annual fee, cardholders get great rewards at a fixed rate all year long.

What if I don’t like rotating categories?

If rotating categories are not for you and you would prefer to get great rewards all year long on all purchases, you are in luck. We have put together a great list of options for you. Each of these cards offers greater than 1% cash back on all purchases. Take a look and see if any of them are right for you!

Citi Double Cash

Want to earn cash back—twice? The Citi Double Cash card lets you do just that. Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, plus earn another 1% cash back for every payment that you make. In addition to the great cash back offer, the Citi Double Cash card offers a 0% introductory rate for the first 15 months that you have the card.

After that, the card offers a competitive APR of 12.99-22.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is no annual fee for the Citi Double Cash card, so you have nothing to lose with this gem. No worries about spending in certain categories, or registering for rotating rewards. You get the same rewards year round, with no spending cap other than your credit limit. There is no limit to the cash back that you can earn with this card.

Capital One Quicksilver Card

Unlimited cash back is the name of the game with the Capital One Quicksilver Card. You will earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make using this card with no limit to the cash back you can earn. There are no specific spending categories or bonus categories to think about. Just use this card for any purchase and get the full reward. Capital One Quicksilver also offers you a $100 cash back reward after you spend $500 in the first three months that you have the card. This is a substantial bonus right off the bat for new cardholders, at 20% cash back!

The cash back rewards are easy and flexible to redeem. You can redeem them at any time for a check, gift card(s), statement credit, or even merchandise. There is no annual fee for this card. You can also enjoy a 0% introductory APR for a limited time on all purchases and balance transfers made using the Capital One Quicksilver card. After the introductory period, the APR will be 12.9-22.9% on purchases and all balance transfers. Another great perk is being able to track your credit score for free so that you can stay on top of any changes right as they occur.

Capital One BuyPower Card

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? The Capital One BuyPower Card might be just the answer. This card offers you 5% cash back rewards on the first $5,000 you spend each year, and 2% on all purchases you make after that. This is a huge reward. You can use the cash back rewards toward the purchase of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac.

The earnings never expire, as long as you have the card. You can really rack up a lot of cash back toward your next vehicle with this card. Because there are no rotating categories, you can use this card for any and all purchases, and watch your cash back rewards add up. Also, Capital One BuyPower card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months that you have the card, for all purchases and balance transfers. When the introductory period ends, you will pay 11.90, 15.90, or 19.90% variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness.

Looking For Travel Rewards?

Rewards cards come in many shapes and forms. Some offer cash back or credit toward a new vehicle, like the cards listed above. Others will offer some pretty tremendous travel rewards for those who really want to maximize their rewards. Travel rewards are some of the best in the credit card world, since you can often get more than $1 for each point or mile earned. Here are a few of the best ones we can find for you.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Super value can be found for travelers when they have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card. You can earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days that you have the card. Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on travel purchases or earn one point for every dollar spent on every other purchase. One of the biggest perks of this card is that cardholders get an extra 10% rewards when booking their travel through Barclaycard or anytime they redeem their miles for statement credits.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus also offers a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the APR will be either 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. There is an $89 annual fee for this card, but that is waived for the first year.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Earn travel rewards fast at a rate of 2 points per dollar spent on every purchase you make with the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. Earn an additional 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of having the card. Cardholders will get a 0% introductory APR rate for the first 12 months after approval on purchases and balance transfers, with a 13.9-20.9% APR after that period ends.

The miles that you earn using the Capital One Venture Rewards card can be flexibly redeemed for flights, hotel, rental cars, and other travel benefits. There are no blackout dates or restrictions on airlines if you book through Capital One. If you prefer to book through your travel agent, the Purchase Eraser feature will allow you to redeem your miles and get credit within 90 days of making a travel purchase using your Capital One Venture Rewards card. Track your credit simply, with your credit score being available every month on your statement or through the online access. There is a $59 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card

With the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card, you will earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases made with the card. There is no limit to the number of points that you can earn. Apply online and earn an additional 10,000 points by spending $500 within the first three months. This adds up to a $100 statement credit when you book any travel rewards.

Conveniently, there are no blackout dates and no restrictions on your travel rewards. There is no annual fee for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. Cardholders will enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months on purchases and balance transfers when they are approved for the card. After that, an APR of 14.99-22.99% will apply. There are no foreign transaction fees for this card.

Wyndham Rewards Visa

The Wyndham Rewards Visa is a great card for those who love to travel and want to earn free nights at Wyndham hotels and participating partners. Earn 5 points for every dollar spent on participating hotel stays, and earn 2 points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

You can earn an additional 30,000 points after making your first purchase using the Wyndham Reward Visa card, and another 5,500 bonus points each year. That is enough for a one night stay at any participating hotel. This card has a $69 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year. The APR is 15.24% or 19.99%, depending on your credit history.

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

With the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card, you will quickly build up plenty of points toward your next vacation at any Hilton hotel or participating partner. You can earn 10 HHonors points for every dollar spent on hotel stays at participating hotels. Or earn 5 HHonors points for other travel purchases, including flights and rental cars. Earn 3 HHonors points on all other purchases made using the card.

Cardholders will enjoy Gold Elite status with HHonors, which will be upgraded to Platinum status if you spend $40,000 in one calendar year. Spend $10,000 per year and earn a free weekend night each year on your anniversary. Earn two free weekend night certificates after spending $2,500 within the first 4 months after being approved for the card. This card has a $95 annual fee. There is a variable 15.24% APR for this card.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a variety of rewards cards available right now, with more being added frequently. One of them is right for you. Some people prefer rewards cards with straight cash back rewards options, but if you are not a fan of rotating categories and just want to earn tons of points, or you are a frequent traveler (or want to become one), then choosing one of the awesome travel rewards cards that are available will help you quickly earn points toward your next travel adventure!

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Comparing the Discover it Miles vs. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus

A number of varied travel credit cards are available to individuals with the wanderlust bug. Utilizing rewards credit cards with extensive travel benefits, from frequent flyer points bonuses or statement credits on travel related purchases, can have a major impact on the total cost of your next big trip. But, it can be a challenge to determine which travel credit card is truly the best in terms of rewards, extra perks, and costs. Let’s take a look at two heavy hitters in the travel rewards card genre: the Discover it Miles credit card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card.
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It’s all about the Points

The Discover it Miles card is specifically designed for the traveler with a penchant for simplicity. As a flat rate rewards card, the Discover it Miles program allows card members the opportunity to earn 1.5 miles on each dollar spent, regardless of category or amount. There are no bonus categories to track on a quarterly basis, and no reduction in rewards earnings once points reach a certain level, making this card a smart choice. As an additional bonus for new card members, Discover is offering to automatically match all miles earned at the end of the first account year with a limit and without having to make a minimum dollar amount of purchases.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is also considered a flat rate rewards card, but offers 2 points for each dollar spent. There are no rotating categories that increase rewards potential, and no limit on how many miles can be earned in any given time period. Compared to the Discover it Miles credit card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus program offers a bonus for new card members as well. After a minimum of $3,000 are spent in the first 90 days after account opening, card members with Barclaycard Arrival Plus earn 40,000 bonus miles.

The Discover it Miles credit card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card differ in terms of miles redemption, despite being similar in terms of flat rate rewards. Discover it card members can redeem accumulated miles in any value, at any time, and miles never expire as long as the account remains in good standing. Redemption can be taken as a statement credit for travel related purchases, or as a cash back deposit into a checking or savings account. In addition, Discover it Miles members can receive up to $30 back each year for in-flight Wi-Fi purchases.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card requires a minimum of 10,000 miles to accumulate prior to card members having the opportunity to redeem. Barclaycard miles can only be redeemed for qualifying travel purchases made with the card, as a statement credit, which means only purchases of $100 or more that took place within the last 120 days. For new card members who do not end up qualifying for the bonus mile promotion, reaching the required minimum for miles redemption with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card could present some challenges. However, Barclaycard Arrival Plus card members earn 5% in miles back that can be used for their next redemption, each and every time miles are redeemed.

Added Value through Member Benefits

Both Discover and Barclaycard offer attractive benefits for card members. First, both Discover and Barclaycard provide card members with free access to their individual FICO scores either through the respective mobile app or the desktop log-in. That’s where the benefit similarities end, as the travel credit cards differ in most other value-added aspects.

Discover it Miles card members have a variety of security features inherent to the card that make it appealing for those concerned about ongoing control. The Freeze It feature allows card members to prevent new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers on the card if it is temporarily lost or stolen, simply by selecting the option in the mobile app or online. Additionally, free overnight card replacement is available for all card members when needed. Discover also provides 24/7 monitoring of accounts to ensure no suspicious activity is taking place.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus card members also have access to a number of added benefits, including travel accident and trip cancellation insurance. Baggage delay insurance as well as auto rental collision damage waivers are also available to card members on the go. Barclaycard also provides $0 fraud liability on any unauthorized charges made with the card, providing added peace of mind for card members. Not found with Discover it Miles card members is the direct access to MasterCard World Elite Concierge and Luxury Travel Benefits that Barclaycard Arrival Plus members have automatically. This enhanced benefit is incredibly valuable to those who travel often or are seeking a unique experience while away.

The Dollars and Cents

The main difference between the Discover it Miles card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is the cost. Barclaycard members are subject to an annual fee of $89, although it is waived for the first year the account is open; Discover it Miles card members do not pay an annual fee at all. Both card options offer no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the United States – a lifesaver for those who travel abroad often.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card members are subject to an APR for purchases and balance transfers of either 16.24% or 20.24%, based on creditworthiness. Discover it Miles card members start as low as 11.24% for purchase APRs, and can go as high as 23.24%, again based on credit history and score. The Discover it Miles credit card comes with a 0% introductory rate on purchases for the first 12 months, while the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card comes with a 0% balance transfer offer, also for the first 12 months.

Which is Right for You?

Both the Discover it Miles card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card are top contenders in the world of travel credit cards, but it is important to know what you want out of a card prior to applying. Although the Discover it Miles card comes with a lower rewards earning rate (1.5), the flexibility to redeem for statement credits or cash back is an attractive perk, as is the lack of an annual fee. For those who are strictly seeking out a travel rewards card and spend enough to justify the annual fee and high redemption barrier, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card may be the better option.

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Comparing the Benefits of the Discover it and Discover it Chrome

Discover is one of the largest issuers of cash back credit cards, and there is an option under the Discover brand for just about every type of spender. Cash back rewards through Discover are simple to understand and each card provides additional card member benefits at no cost. The Discover it and the Discover it Chrome are two of the most popular additions to the Discover line of cash back rewards cards. Each card option has its advantages and disadvantages, and each is best suited for a specific type of card holder. Let’s review the difference in card basics first.

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Discover it Basics

The Discover it credit card is a combination bonus cash back and flat rate cash back credit card that provides card members the ability to earn points in various ways. First, card members can ramp up cash back earnings by spending in certain categories throughout the year, up to a maximum earning limit. Discover it card members earn 5% cash back on quarterly bonus categories, such as gas, entertainment, and online shopping, up to $1,500 in purchases. Every other purchase made with the Discover it credit card earns 1% flat rate cash back which is unlimited. Regardless of the category in which cash back points are earned, rewards do not expire and they can be redeemed in any amount at any time.

 

Discover it Chrome Basics

Discover it Chrome was designed with students in mind, specifically for the card member who does not want to activate or track quarterly bonus categories to maximize cash back earnings. Instead, card members earn a flat rate of 2% cash back on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants; all other purchases earn the standard 1% rate. The enhanced cash back on gas stations and restaurants are capped at $1,000 in purchases, combined, but all other cash back earnings are unlimited. Similar to the Discover it credit card, Chrome card members can redeem rewards at any time and in any amount.

Card Member Benefits

Both the Discover it and the Discover it Chrome cards offer a variety of ways to cash in on rewards points. Card members can redeem rewards for cash, either as a statement credit or as a direct deposit into a bank account, or to check out at Amazon.com. Additionally, gift cards may be purchased with accumulated cash rewards through Discover’s rewards site. Card members may also donate cash back rewards to charity – a unique feature not found with many rewards card issuers.

In addition to flexibility in rewards redemption, card members of both the Discover it and the Discover it Chrome credit cards have a variety of other benefits that come with membership. One of the current promotions automatically built in to both card options is the cash back matching where Discover matches any cash back earned within the first year of membership, dollar for dollar. Additionally, Discover offers a free credit FICO credit score on each monthly statement for all card members, making it a breeze to track credit changes over time. Account holders also have the benefit of being able to temporarily freeze a Discover credit card through the Freeze It feature. This is incredibly helpful in preventing new purchases, cash advances or balance transfer if a card is misplaced.

Both the Discover it and the Discover it Chrome cards come with free purchase monitoring as well, which provides a text, e-mail or phone call when suspicious activity takes place on a card member’s account. Discover does not hold card members responsible for fraudulent or unauthorized purchases creating an additional level of protection. Finally, all Discover card members have the ability to reach the U.S.-based customer service line at any time, day or night.

Card Differences

While the aforementioned benefits are inherent to each Discover card member, the two cards differ slightly in promotional offers. As a card designed specifically for students, The Discover it Chrome credit card also offers an additional $20 cash back reward for card members with a GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout the school year. This additional benefit can be earned for a maximum of five consecutive years from the time the account is opened. The Discover it credit card does not currently make available additional cash back promotions aside from the matching program referenced earlier.

The Discover it credit card currently offers a 12-month zero interest promotional period for purchases and balance transfers, which is a significant bonus for card members who plan to carry a balance for the first year of ownership. The standard APR after the promotional period ends ranges from 11.24 up to 23.24% depending on the applicant’s credit score and history. For card members who select the balance transfer option, a fee of 3% for each transfer is assessed.

The Discover it Chrome credit card also offers a promotional 0% APR on purchases, but only for the first six months after an account is opened. Currently, no balance transfer offers are available for Discover it Chrome card members. The purchase APR reverts to the standard 13.24 to 22.24% after the promotional period ends. Both the Discover it and the Discover it Chrome credit cards have no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, making both smart choices for the cost-conscious card member. Cash advances rates for both the Discover it and Discover it Chrome cards are a variable 25.24%, and the greater of a $10 or 5% fee is assessed for each cash advance transaction.

Which Card is Right for You?

The Discover it credit card is a strong option for individuals who spend heavily in the bonus categories each quarter and those who don’t mind activating each bonus category when the time comes. With no annual fee, an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases, and the additional card member benefits, the Discover it card can be a great addition to your wallet.

For students, the Discover it Chrome credit card is a sound alternative. The additional 1% flat rate cash back rewards earned for gas station and restaurant purchases is an attractive feature which eliminates the need to track categories every few months. The high GPA cash back bonus is also beneficial to card members who perform well in school. However, with a shorter time frame for the 0% purchase APR offer and no balance transfer availability, the Discover it Chrome card is not the best choice for card members who are not students.

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Discover it Review

Discover made a very bold move in the year 2013 when it suddenly stopped offering all its existing credit card products to the new applicants and replaced them with one single card offering called ‘Discover it’, targeted at all kinds of credit card users! The company has made several feature additions to this card ever since, and has made it one of the most sought-after cards today! There’s also a new Discover it Miles product as well.

Discover it is overall an excellent, no-fee cash back rewards card that offers you an attractive 5% cash back on all your purchases on rotational categories (rotating per quarter), apart from 1% cash back all year round. It falls into the elite category when it comes to introductory offers, as you get amazing intro rates on balance transfers and purchases.

Despite it not having the kind of penetration its main competitors – MasterCard and Visa enjoy, Discover’s network is growing constantly every month and it offers a great deal of flexibility in the way you can use your rewards. Let’s go over the pros and cons of the card.

 

Discover it

 

The Good

Attractive rewards and an unmatchable sign-up bonus

With Discover it card you earn 1% cash back on all your purchases throughout the year. Apart from that, Discover selects certain bonus categories every quarter wherein your cash back rewards increase to 5% on a maximum of $1500 spent on products falling in that category. The 5% cashback categories for the year 2016 are:

January to March 2016: Gas and ground transportation
April to June 2016: Restaurants and movies
July to September 2016: Home improvement stores and Amazon.com
October to December 2016: Amazon.com and more

So, if you spend $1700 in total on restaurants and movies between April and June, 2016, your total cash back will be $75 + $2 = $77 (5% of $1500 + 1% of $200).

Discover is presently offering an unmatchable sign-up rewards bonus on its Discover it cards! It doubles up the entire cash back bonus earned in your first year with the card. So, the 5% cash back becomes 10% and the 1% cash back becomes 2% at the end of the first year! However, not everyone may like to wait that long for the sign-up bonus to arrive!

Great introductory rates

Discover it comes in two variants that differ mainly on the introductory APR offer. There’s a regular Discover it card and a Discover it – 18 month balance transfer offer card.

With the regular Discover it card, you get an introductory APR of 0% on all your purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. The Discover it – 18 month balance transfer offer card, on the other hand, provides you a 0% APR on your purchases for the initial 6 months and an extended 0% APR on the balance transfers for the first 18 months.

So, you can buy anything you need and pay back the dues at your own pace. You’ll be charged an APR varying between 11.24% and 23.24% after 12 or 6 months respectively. Please note, there’s a 3% fee applicable on balance transfers.

Discover Deals

Discover Deals is an online shopping mall run by Discover. You can maximize your cashback percentage by shopping on Discover Deals with your Discover it card. Discover deals has a tie-up with over 200 online retailers and currently offers an extra 5% to 20% cash back on purchases made with them. If you’ve just bought your Discover it card, the year-end cash back doubling offer can make these deals even more attractive. For instance, Papa John and Macy’s currently offer cashbacks of 25% and 10% respectively. With the year-end bonus coming into play, those rates can double-up to a whopping 50% and 20% respectively!

Solid fraud protection

Discover it provides a $0 fraud liability guarantee, ensuring that you never pay for any unauthorized charges on your credit card. All the purchases made with Discover it card are closely monitored by the company and you’re quickly alerted via text, phone call or email in case of any suspicious activity on your account. Every Discover it card has a ‘Freeze It’ feature which freezes your card in case it gets lost or stolen, thus preventing any unwanted charges on it.

U.S.-based customer service

Customer service is high on Discover’s priority list! Any time you have an issue with your Discover it card, you won’t need to wait for long to speak with a human. Discover ensures that you’re put through to a well-trained and well-informed U.S.-based customer service rep at the earliest. Please note, Discover bagged the ‘Highest in Customer Satisfaction Award’ from J.D. Power and Associates in the year 2014, outscoring many popular competitors.

Flexible due dates

You get to choose your own due date and can make the payment by phone or online. This is a huge advantage as it allows you to space out your monthly bills in accordance with your cash flow. Other credit cards have preset due dates which often coincide with your other monthly bills, making it hard for you to handle so many expenses at once.

Other perks

If all the above pros aren’t enough, Discover also provides you with free access to your FICO score online and on your monthly statements, doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fee or late payment fee (for first late payment) and has a $0 annual fee.

 

The Bad

Manual opt-ins to make the most of 5% cash back categories

Although the rotational 5% cash back categories are very popular among the ‘Discover it’ card members, it must be noted that you need to opt-in to the 5% bonus categories every quarter. Furthermore, the condition that you can avail 5% cash back on only up to $1500 spent in the pertinent category may not go down too well with the big ticket spenders.

Keeping track of categories may be difficult for many

As mentioned above, you need to activate the 5% bonus every quarter if you wish to make the most of this benefit. Once activated, you’ll need to keep track of the applicable categories for that quarter. This may not be feasible or convenient for a lot of cardholders.

Limited acceptability

Discover doesn’t enjoy the kind of acceptance that its main competitors – Visa and Mastercard do. It charges pretty hefty premiums to merchant establishments, the reason why they don’t go with Discover.

 

Final Word

If you’re looking for a card product that helps you maximize your cash-back benefits, Discover it, with its 5% and 1% cash back bonus, double-cash-back bonus at the end of the first year, Discover Deal benefits, $0 annual fee and attractive 0% intro APR is hard to overlook! On the other hand, if you want a credit card with quick cash back bonus, flat cash back rate and a wider choice of categories, you may be better off looking at other alternatives available in the marketplace.

 

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Discover it Chrome for Students Now Offers $20 Cashback Bonus!

Discover is well known for providing great benefits, especially when it comes to credit cards for students. The latest offering from Discover it Chrome for Students features a perk of a $20 cash back bonus, which is always going to be a welcome gift for any student! Here are some of the important highlights for the Discover it Chrome for Student offer that is now available.

Apply Now: Discover it® chrome for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus Offer

The Benefits

Get a $20 Cash Back Bonus!

Discover it Chrome for Students cardholders will get a perk of $20 cash back after making their first purchase within the first three months of having the card. More than enough for a pizza!

Redeem Rewards at Amazon.com

Discover it offers cardholders an extra cash back reward redemption offer, by allowing them to spend their cash back rewards at Amazon.com. Use cash back rewards just like cash, meaning every $1 is worth $1 when you make a purchase on Amazon.com.

Earn Great Cash Back Rewards

For the first $1,000 you spend on dining and gas stations (combined), for every quarter of the year, you will earn double points—meaning you earn 2% cash back for every dollar spent in these categories. Earn 1% for every dollar spent in any other category, with unlimited spending (up to your credit limit).

Keep Track of Your Credit Score

Discover customers have the advantage of knowing their credit score at any time. FICO scores are reported on every monthly statement, or customers can log into Discover.com to check their current credit score. This is a great benefit for students working at building their credit.

No Annual Fee

The Discover it Chrome Card for Students has no annual fee. All of these great perks are available at no extra charge to approved cardholders.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

In case you decide to do some traveling or studying abroad, Discover Chrome for Students has you covered! You can use your card without incurring any foreign transaction fees.

No Late Payment Fees

Discover does not charge late payment fees on your first late payment, nor do they charge any penalty APR for late payments. That’s showing some grace to students new to the credit card responsibility. Of course, we recommend never paying late! To help you with this, they even offer free text reminders of when your payment is due.

Outstanding Customer Service

One of the things Discover is best known for is their outstanding customer service. Customers have access to live customer service personnel, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to address any issues that should arise.

 

The Nitty Gritty

Just to review, the Discover it Chrome Card for Students offers no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no late payment penalty fee on your first late payment, no overlimit fee, and paying late won’t increase your APR. There is a 6-month introductory rate of 0% APR on purchases, and a competitive APR after the introductory period of 12.99-21.99%, depending on your credit history and the prime rate.

 

Conclusion

Discover it once again comes through with another great offer for cardholders, and this one is specifically geared toward the student market. Getting cash back on a student credit card is rare, and Discover certainly offers plenty of other perks to go with that!

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These Cash Back Cards are Better Than Store Credit Cards

Most of the time, we would try to steer you away from store credit cards, because while they may get you some discounts on your purchases, they often come with very high APRs and their introductory perks can end quickly, leaving you with nothing but a piece of plastic that you can use in only one place.

Fortunately, we do have some better suggestions for you! Here are a few ways that you can save more, get better cash rewards and points, and spend money wherever you want—without having to be especially loyal to any one store. Shop where you get the best deals!

 

Discover it

Consistently rated among the top credit cards when it comes to annual fee and rewards benefits, the Discover it® offers 1% cash back on all purchases, with 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories. Because the categories are usually ones that are quite popular (e.g., groceries, gas, dining, shopping categories), cardholders can accumulate great rewards all year long.

When you add in the ShopDiscover online portal, the deals are outstanding and you really get your money’s worth out of any purchase. Forget about using a store credit card for financing, use the Discover it, get cash back and, if you make your purchases within the first 14 months, pay no interest whatsoever. This is a better financing plan than most store credit cards can offer.

Apply Now: Discover it®

 

Chase Freedom

Another great cash back credit card that beats most store cards is the Chase Freedom. Also with no annual fee, it offers 1% cash back on all purchases, with rotating categories earning 5% cash back, up to $1500 in spending per quarter. For example, the current quarterly categories are Zappos.com, Amazon.com, and select department stores.

Also, enjoy getting great bargains at the Chase Ultimate Rewards online shopping portal, where you can often redeem your points for terrific deals at greater than face value! Add in the bonus of getting $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months, and this card definitely beats any store card, hands down!

 

American Express Blue Cash 

This is a pretty special card with tons of great perks, and amazing ways to earn lots of points. For all department store spending, you earn 2% cash back. This beats most department store credit cards, right off the bat. Add in the fact that you can earn 3% on groceries and 2% on gas, neither of which are options for most store credit cards, and the contest is over, in our minds.

Sure, there is a $6,000 cap on grocery spending, but there is no cap on the gas allowance. If you really want to see how generous the rewards are, then pay attention when you get a $50 statement credit after spending $1000 in the first three months. Get a free subscription for one year to Amazon Prime ($79-99 value) when you meet that spending minimum.

All of those benefits are available for no annual fee. If you want even more, you can sign up for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card, and pay a $75 annual fee. In exchange for this fee, you will earn even more rewards (such as 6% on groceries, 3% at gas stations and department stores), and earn a sign up bonus of $150 after spending $1000 in the first three months. There is no cap to the rewards that you can earn, and it’s pretty likely that you will be able to make up for the annual fee easily.

 

Are There Any Decent Store Credit Cards?

Most of us have, or have had at some time in the past, store credit cards to our favorite retailers. Not all of them are terrible! You can get some great coupons and special deals, but, we still think that a regular cash back card is going to do better over time.

Some of the best ones may be the Gap credit card, which offers 5% back on in-store purchases; American Eagle Visa, which offers 4% cash back and a 20% birthday coupon; Kohl’s Charge Card, which offers 20% cash back—this is one of the better deals if you shop at this store; and Target, which offers 5% cash back on in-store purchases.

Generally, these store credit cards offer the best deals for in-store shopping. Some still love this way of doing business, but if you are more of an online shopper, or prefer to shop around for great deals from different retailers, you will not see huge benefits from any store credit cards.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should seem clear that we definitely lean toward using cash back rewards cards from credit card companies like Discover, Chase and American Express, and would encourage you to explore your options beyond the immediate checkout lure of signing up for a store credit card. You will thank yourself in the long run, when you are enjoying the great cash back rewards that you can use any way you wish, not just as an in-store coupon.

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The Discover it Quarter 4 Spending Bonuses, 2014

Each quarter, Discover offers bonus categories that allow you to earn 5% cash back on purchases using your Discover it®. This allows Discover customers to get great bonuses, by purchasing the things that they are most likely to need. Popular categories include groceries, gas stations, online shopping, department stores, dining and more. The spending bonuses for Quarter 4 are now announced!

Great Options for Year End Bonuses

With the Discover it®, customers will receive 5% cash back bonuses for online shopping purchases and department stores for the last quarter of 2014. This is great timing, since many people are just about to begin their holiday shopping sprees. From October 1 until December 31, 2014, earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made with your Discover card.

So, get ready to start earning terrific bonuses, especially if you enjoy shopping on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Zappos.com, JC Penney’s, Macy’s or Kohl’s, just to name a few of the most popular retailers that are going to make you eligible for the bonus cash back reward.

Many Great Perks From Discover

Discover not only offers Discover it customers 5% cash back on bonus categories, but they offer 1% cash back on all other purchases. Online shopping opportunities are available through the Discover.com shopping portal, and customers can save 5-20% on their online purchases at many very popular retailers.

Cash back bonuses can be redeemed directly for purchases made on Amazon.com, making shopping as well as redeeming cash back even more convenient than ever!

There is no annual fee for the Discover it, making it a very attractive option for many.

Increased Security Features

Discover has made many advances when it comes to protecting your personal security. Purchases are monitored, and you are notified immediately anytime there is any suspicious activity. Cardholders are never held responsible for fraudulent transactions, as Discover offers a zero fraud liability policy.

Stay on Top of Your Credit Score

Don’t worry about registering for a credit monitoring service when you have a Discover card. Discover customers can easily view their credit score each month on their statements, or at any time by accessing their account online. This is a handy way to stay on top of any changes in your credit score, allowing you to make changes right away if you notice anything unusual. For those working on improving their credit, it is a great way to reinforce progress and watch the credit score rise.

Great Customer Service

One of the great things that Discover is well known for is terrific customer service. Real customer service personnel are easy to reach, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to handle any questions or concerns.

Conclusion

It’s no secret why Discover it is one of the most popular credit cards available. With solid perks and the ability to earn multiple points per dollar on your spending, you can’t go wrong with the Discover it.

Apply Now: Discover it®

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Target Redcard Review

The Target REDcard is a special kind of store credit card, one that actually functions more like a debit card than a credit card. When you use it to pay for a purchase, it will take the funds out of the checking account that is associated with the account.

This means you will never carry a balance on this card, which is a convenient feature. There are some other great features, let’s dig in and take a look at this card and you can decide whether or not you like it!

 

The Benefits

Easy to Apply

Applying for the Target REDcard is simple, and you can do it right at the register in Target while you are making your purchases, or you can apply through the mail. You will need to provide a voided check when you apply. There is no credit check required to apply for a Target REDcard, making it an accessible discount card for anyone who wants to have it. All you need is a checking account.

Great Discounts!

Get a 5% discount on all purchases made using the Target REDcard debit card, both in the stores and online. There are certain exceptions, including prescriptions and gift cards, but this is a significant discount. The discount comes in the form of money off of your entire purchase, not points that you can redeem later. Many like the instant discount feature for the Target REDcard.

Free Shipping When You Order Online

Whenever you shop at Target.com using your Target REDcard, you can enjoy free shipping on all of your purchases, with no minimum purchase required.

No Annual Fee

There is no annual fee for the Target REDcard, and no application fees. Because it is completely free to use, it can be a painless addition to your financial portfolio, and one that can get you great discounts if you love shopping at Target.

Convenience of Direct Debit 

You won’t receive a monthly statement or bill from Target REDcard, because you will pay for all of your purchases in full at the time of purchase, since the money is automatically debited from your checking account. This means you will never incur any debt by using the Target REDcard.

Donate to Education

Target is committed to making charitable contributions, and makes a donation to education that is the equivalent of 1% of all purchases made with the Target REDcard. The donation will be made to the school of your choice, so you have a say in where that money goes.

Easy Return Policy

If you prefer to shop online, you will enjoy the free shipping, but one of the great perks is that you can make the returns in any store. No worries about return shipping costs or packing up your returns. Just head to the store for your refund or to make your exchange.

Save on Prescription Copays

When you fill five or more prescriptions at the Target pharmacy, you will get an extra 5% discount coupon that you can use on any single day at any Target location, and the 5% discount will be in addition to your normal 5% discount for using the REDcard.

 

Disadvantages

Although this card is great for people who love shopping at Target, it is not terribly useful for other shopping purposes (actually not useful at all). It does not yet work with Target Mobile, but this may change in the future as more people access their shopping through the mobile app.

Also, the Target REDcard does not add any debt to you, but will also not affect your credit or help you build credit at all. So, if you need to build credit, you might want to consider one of the other cards available or a secured credit card.

 

Conclusion

The Target REDcard does offer some great discounts and free shipping options for those who love shopping at Target, but has little else to offer. If you shop at other places, and have a credit score that would qualify you for a regular unsecured credit card, you might want to consider the Discover it® card or the Chase Freedom, both of which provide great cash back or travel rewards and give you credit for all of your purchases. Plus, they offer rotating categories of 5% earnings for points, and sometimes this will even include department stores like Target!

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Card Comparison: The Discover it and the Discover it Chrome

Discover it offers two different options for you—the regular Discover it and the Discover it Chrome. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences so that you can decide if one or the other is better for you. Each of these cards currently offers two separate ways to enjoy the benefits, so, hopefully we can clarify how you can make the best choice for you!
 

 

Discover it

The Discover it is growing in popularity, and certainly offers many benefits. Currently, there are two Discover it options available (not including the Student card offers). Let’s break down the two Discover it offers first.

The difference between the two offers

Discover it®

  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months–then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.

Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months–then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%.

The similarities

No Annual Fees

Both Discover it options have no annual fee, so you can enjoy all of the perks and benefits without having to pay a dime!

Avoid Other Fees

There are also no late fees for your first late payment, your APR won’t increase if you pay late, and there’s no foreign transaction fee or overlimit fee. Gotta love it!

Big Rotating Rewards

You’ll receive 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories throughout the year (up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. From July through September 2014, receive 5% cash back at gas stations.

 

Discover it Chrome

The Discover it Chrome offers two options as well. Discover likes to keep things interesting! Let’s examine the differences and similarities.

The differences between the two offers

Discover it® chrome

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%.A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.

Discover it® chrome

  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 18 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.
  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%.

The similarities

No Annual Fees

Discover it Chrome offers all of the advantages, with no annual fees. This makes it a terrific everyday credit card with tons of perks!

Avoid Other Fees

With the Chrome, there are also no late fees for your first late payment, and there’s no foreign transaction fee or overlimit fee.

Rewards that Stick

Receive 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases, up to $1,000 each quarter. You’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.

 

Different Options for Earning Points

With the regular Discover it options, you will earn one point per dollar spent for all purchases, with rotating categories that offer 5% earnings. With the Discover it Chrome, you will earn a flat rate of 2 points per dollar spent on gas stations and dining, and one point per dollar elsewhere, with no rotating bonus categories. The major difference is that the Chrome, points rates are consistent and permanent, while the basic Discover it has a flat rate with rotating bonus categories. Consider which card might earn you more points!

While it might be difficult for you to choose between the various options, there are a few factors to think about that could affect your decision. First, review the options for the 5% bonus categories and see if these are major spending categories for you. Consider how much spending you do in the dining and gas categories, and this may help you decide between the Discover it and the Discover it Chrome versions.

When it comes to evaluating the APR options offered by each (the regular it and the Chrome it) then you need to think about whether or not you will be transferring balances or if you would benefit more from no interest on purchases.

 

Classic Discover Perks

All of the Discover it options offer access to the ShopDiscover online portal, where you can find discounted merchandise—from 5-20% off regular prices! Not only will you get great discounts, you will earn additional rewards points.

As with all Discover products, you will have your free FICO score printed at the top of every statement. Discover believes in helping people be financially responsible, and keeping tabs on your credit score is an important part of this.

You will also have human customer support available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any problems or issues you run into will be handled promptly and professionally.

Full fraud protection is available with both of these offers. Discover is consistently protecting their customers from any liability related to fraudulent transactions.

 

How to Choose?

Choosing Discover it is the easy part. Choosing which offer is going to suit your needs best may take a little more thought. For those looking for a great way to save interest on balances from other cards, both the Discover it and the Chrome offer an 18-month introductory period of 0% APR. This gives you a full year and a half to pay off your balances from other cards. Remember that balance transfers do not qualify for cash back earnings. But, you can certainly save a bundle on interest by transferring balances from higher-interest credit cards.

For those who are looking to save interest on purchases, the other options which offer a 0% introductory period on purchases may suit you best. But, if you are the type of person who pays off their credit card in full each month, you will never pay interest anyway.

When it comes to rewards earnings, we think the Discover it comes out ahead, with its higher potential earnings with 5% rotating categories and a higher cap of $1,500 instead of $1,000 with the Chrome. But if rotating categories aren’t your style, then by all means, go with the Chrome! It’s still an excellent offer.

Considering all of the shared benefits between both Discover it and Discover it Chrome offers, you really can’t go wrong! It all depends on your personal goals and your rewards earning style.