Posted on



You love to shop until you drop, am I right? If I’m wrong, well, just pretend you do. Let’s say you’re tired of carrying around that huge, heavy purse of yours. I mean, you still need the strength to carry around all of those shopping bags!

You’ve recently discovered there is a way to pay for all of your purchases without using a wallet; your smart phone! Thank the high Heavens for that, am I right? You no longer need to carry around your purse or wallet; just your phone! How much better can life get? Let me stop you there and ask: Have you ever stopped and wondered how safe mobile payments are? We put so much trust into these little screens with our credit card information. You never actually stop to wonder how safe it really is.

We have hackers who hack into our personal computers every day. What’s so different about a smart phone? They would just need to break through a small firewall and steal every bit of information you have! Let’s admit it; we have just about all of our information on our smart phones. Let’s use Google Play as an example. You have a game you’re absolutely addicted to, and you can’t help but to spend money on it! Your credit card information is already saved to Google; all you need to do is type in your password. Think about it. Are mobile payments really as safe as they make them to be? Read on, my friends.



In all of the countries combined, the United States carries more than half of the credit card frauds! Credit card frauds are no joke! I’m sure each and every one of you has had some sort of credit card fraud happen to you at least once! I know I have.

Get this. It was recorded back in 2012 that $500 million was spent through mobile wallet apps! That’s more than you thought, am I right? It’s already been predicted that by 2017, that sum will boost up to $35 billion! How do you feel about that? That’s how much trust we put into our mobile devices.

There’s an app called Venmo that was recently started up from PayPal. You’re able to send money to your friends and family via email, just like most wallet apps. It was recently confirmed that Venmo processes hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions each month, and that Venmo recently had to apologize to customers because they were complaining about nothing being done about fraudulent activity. It’s been said that Venmo can take about two full days to get back to their customers who are complaining about fraud. That might not be so bad, except they have a strict policy that costumers only have 48 hours to file a complaint about fraud before they lose their liability protection. How crazy is that?



There are some things you should probably take into account. I know we’re talking about mobile payments here, but let’s take a break and talk about the actual phone. How vulnerable are you to fraud? Say you’re waiting for a flight to Las Angeles; and you’re waiting patiently. You get hungry after hours of waiting, so you decide to get a snack. There’s a store directly across from where you were sitting, so you leave all of your belongings. You’ll only take a second, right? Someone runs up to grab your phone; and they take off. There you go; this complete stranger now has access to all the information in your phone.

Let’s say this doesn’t happen. You’re still sitting down in your chair at the airport, and you’re enjoying the free WiFi. You’re using a public network that most likely has no firewall protection. It’ll be super easy for hackers to catch all the information in your phone, simply by hacking in through the same network. Now, every password or username and email that’s being typed; they’re recording it. Boom, they have access to all your personal information, credit cards included.

Another example would be that you use all these different wallet apps, and you play all these different games you pay for. They’re all made from different companies with different types of software. You’re basically setting yourself up for fraud since each of these apps can have their own potential vulnerabilities! Just remember how vulnerable your cell phone is, and be extra careful with your information.



My advice to you would be to keep track of your transactions. My mother has taught me to check my bank account every day. She checks hers at least three or four times throughout her day. I know what you’re thinking; she’s a little crazy. I usually think the same thing; however, she’s usually right on top of fraud the second it happens. You can never be too careful. Most banks actually have their own apps, so it would only take seconds to check your balance and make sure everything is right where you left it. I recommend only checking your bank when you’re either at home, or through your data. I never check my bank account while I’m connected to someone else’s WiFi that isn’t my own, and neither should you. Mobile Data is extremely safe, so you’re able to put all of your trust into it, especially main carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. You never hear about mobile data being hacked, but you hear about public WiFi hacking users on a daily basis. So really, the main thing you really need to worry about while making mobile payments is the network you’re on.



There are quite a few steps you can take when making mobile payments. You already know some of them; like using a trustworthy network and watching your bank statements. Let’s talk about a few other steps you should take to avoid fraud.

Try sticking with the popular sites and apps! Would you trust shopping on a website called “”? Um, I would hope not; but you probably trust the main sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and PayPal? Yes, of course you trust them! Maybe not always what’s being sold; but you trust them with your online wallet, right?

Here’s another tip; try reading reviews and ratings before downloading a new app. There are usually great reviews being written each and every day! If that app only has two and a half stars, look into why the ratings are so low. If everyone is saying they’ve been scammed and had their money stolen; don’t download the app. I feel like not many people actually think about searching reviews for tips on scammers. They just look at the app description and download! When it comes to your wallet, you should always be as cautious as you can.

So, to answer our original question; mobile payments are safe; only to an extent. If you’re cautious and use your head to make smart choices, then you won’t have to worry too much about how safe your mobile payments really are.

Posted on

What You Need To Know About “Smart Cards”

If you love traveling and want to do so with as little hassle as possible, you’ll want to get a “chip and signature” or even better, “chip and pin” card. Both of these fall under what’s called EMV technology, often advertised as “smart cards.” Carrying of one these puppies will help facilitate your payments in Europe and Asia, and protect you from fraud.

What it is

For a while, we have had regular old magnetic stripe cards. The swipe machine reads the information, connects to the issuer to confirm, asks the merchant to confirm that the signature matches, and then processes the payment. Unfortunately, this method comes with a few security flaws. Some can learn to forge your signature or simply steal the actual card. The black market has even produced swipe machines that copy and store the card information, allowing a clone to be made.

EMV technology does away with these problems by putting a computer chip in the card. The new payment machines read the computer chip, which is difficult to replicate, and then also ask for a second piece of information, either a PIN number or signature match. Thus where we get the terms “chip and pin” card and “chip and signature card.” A “chip and pin” card is more secure because the merchant never sees the PIN. The chip simply confirms or denies the payment based on whether the PIN provided by the customer is correct.

EMV is so called because it was originally a joint effort between Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. Europay ended up being merged into MasterCard. Soon after, American Express joined the effort, along with Japan Credit Bureau and China UnionPay. Today, most of Europe and much of Asia has largely transitioned to this new technology.

Why you want it

So, there is clearly more protection with a chip card. France has cut fraud by 80% since introducing this technology two decades ago, and the UK has decreased counterfeit fraud by 75% between 2008 and 2012, according to Financial Fraud Action UK as cited by Aite. A computer chip is simply much more difficult, if not impossible to replicate. Of course, this technology doesn’t help combat card-not-present fraud (telephone, internet, or mail order scams), which continues to grow every year.

Even if you are not concerned about security, you want to have one of these for travel. In Europe, the major card issuers shifted liability for fraud on to the shoulders of merchants who don’t have the improved technology. Consequently, many businesses use chip payment systems in Europe. The issuers require vendors to still accept magnetic stripe cards, but some staff refuse anyway under belief that they will be liable for fraud. (Which is simply a common misconception.) Still, over all people get along pretty well with most merchants.

Where your old-fashioned magnetic stripe card is guaranteed to not work is at unattended machines. This could include vending machines, transport stations, ATMs, tollbooths, and even some buses. Some won’t even accept chip and signature.

Currently, chip and signature is the more common form in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Austria. For most other European countries as well as Canada, chip and pin is king.

Posted on

US Bank LifeMiles Visa Signature Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

The LfeMiles Visa Signature card gets you 20k bonus miles after just one use.

The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Signature card is fairly standard as far as airline cards go. It lets you accumulate miles for the Avianca and TACA airlines, which primarily serve South America. Thus, this travel rewards card would be good to pair with the LANPASS card if you are looking to travel to South America soon.

Actually, Avianca and TACA underwent a merger back in 2009, but they have elected to continue operating as separate airlines. When you browse the card’s websites hosted by US Bank and LifeMiles, you will encounter language describing these as two distinct airlines, but rest assured that the LifeMiles you earn with this card work the same way with both. In fact, you can see on the airlines’ websites that they are currently in the process of merging the sites into one common website, which should assuage the confusion.

Now that that’s cleared up, on to this travel card’s benefits!

After using the LifeMiles Visa just one time, you will receive 20,000 bonus LifeMiles. That’s enough to completely cover a one-way ticket from the US to northern South America. Combine this ticket with what you can get from LANPASS and you’re looking at a free trip! Now is a great time to visit this part of South America. Ecuador is beginning to cut down the Amazon — who knows how that will pan out.

Since Avianca/TACA is part of the Star Alliance, you could always transfer points to those partners, as well.

There are a couple other perks worth mentioning, too. The $75 annual fee is waived for the first year, but if you do decide to renew, you will get 6,000 bonus miles — and again every year that you remain a member. This card also nabs you a 50% discount when redeeming miles to pay for excess baggage. And of course, this card sports the typical rewards earning rate of 1 mile per $1 spent and double miles on Avianca/TACA ticket purchases.

Not to mention that as a Visa Signature card, it comes with a host of benefits including automatic $1,000,000 Travel Accident Insurance, rental car insurance, lost baggage coverage, purchase protections, and much more. But beware: you’re going to want another card besides the LifeMiles or LANPASS Visa, because both sport an annoying foreign transaction fee: 2% US dollars, 3% foreign currency.

Buen viaje!


Posted on

Visa Signature Card Benefits Guide

We talk about Visa Signature benefits a lot, for good reason. They are thorough and packed with value — and most Visa Signature holders don’t even realize the full extent of it. Here’s your guide to the nitty-gritty.

Basically, the Signature cards are Visa’s highest tier of quality. Some well-known Signature cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture. You can figure out if your card fits the bill by googling its name or simply looking at it. It will proudly display ‘Visa Signature’ on the front.

Benefits can be broken down into three main categories, as follows:

1. Protections

When you purchase certain things with your Visa Signature card, they become insured or protected automatically. You don’t need to fill out any paperwork for this perk — just don’t buy insurance elsewhere.

  • Put airfare on the card and get reimbursed for lost luggage, up to $3000.
  • Use the card to pay for your taxi, bus, train, airport limousine or courtesy transportation and get Accidental Death and Dismemberment travel insurance (minimum $250,000) for yourself and your dependents
  • Pay for your car rental and enjoy automatic insurance, covering eligible collisions as well as theft. This insurance comes secondary to your own car insurance, and doesn’t cover cars that are very expensive or exotic (like a Lamborghini) or over 20 years old.
  • Get protected with their Zero Liability guarantee — you won’t ever pay a penny for fraudulent charges.

2. Business Perks

Your fancy Visa Signature card grants you certain perks with businesses — provided that you use it at the business.

  • More than 800 participating luxury hotels will guarantee the best possible rate and give you an automatic upgrade if available, as well as complimentary in-room Internet, valet parking, continental breakfast, late check-out, and a $25 food and beverage credit.
  • The Visa website grants you special exclusive discounts, such as on car rentals, cruises, movie or sports tickets, attractions, etc.
  • Also get discounts at common retailers such as Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, etc.
  • Qualifying purchases receive 90 days of protection against theft or damage due to fire, spills, or vandalism. That means they’ll get replaced, repaired, or you’ll get reimbursed.
  • Qualifying purchases also receive an extra year of warranty on top of the manufacturer’s warranty when registered.

3. Customer Service

The customer service for Visa Signature cards is available 24/7 by phone and often described as being like a concierge. That’s because your lovely Visa rep is ready to assist you with almost anything you can think of, even at the witching hours of the night. He or she can:

  • Make reservations for you at hotels or restaurants
  • Make arrangements for you, from finding suitable events or attractions to purchasing the tickets to getting you directions
  • Look up information, such as car rental rates, business hours
  • Purchase gifts and set up delivery
  • Provide travel services such as translation or help with visa/customs issues
  • Provide medical or legal referrals
  • Send you roadside assistance for just $60
  • Arrange for emergency cash, usually within hours but certainly within one business day

Convinced Yet?

With all the perks listed above, we thought you might be. It just makes sense to have one of these cards in your wallet. So if you’re interested in enjoying all the benefits a Visa Signature card has to offer, we’ve listed some of our top picks below. Check them out and see what makes the most sense for you.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

First, this card gets you 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Ultimate Rewards points are extremely valuable for their flexibility and 40,000 points isn’t too shabby at all. On top of the generous sign-up bonus, you’ll get 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel expenses and one point on everything else. Plus, this card just looks cool.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Freedom

The Freedom card offers 5% back on certain categories that rotate every quarter. 5% is about as good as it gets in the cash back world. Fortunately, these categories tend to be nice and broad, such as gas stations or department stores. The points earned on the Chase Freedom card can be transferred to your Ultimate Rewards account for maximal value, rather than just cashing out. Ah, synergy! All of this for no annual fee. Not every Freedom card is a Visa Signature, but you can certainly get one that is if your credit score is good enough.

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer

This card represents yet another way to pool your Ultimate Rewards points, since United is one of the airline partners. Spend $1,000 in the first three months and you receive 30,000 bonus miles. Add an authorized user and you get another 5,000 miles. And if you manage to spend $25,000 with the card in one year, you’ll receive a lovely 10,000 bonus miles. That makes for a total of 45,000 miles, which can really open up the travel doors. Not to mention that this card goes all in the perks, nabbing you waived fees for checked bags, priority boarding, and more.

Capital One Venture

Capital One is known for their “No Hassle Rewards Program.” This Visa Signature card is for the traveler that values major flexibility and enjoys bargain hunting. The Venture gets you 2 miles on every purchase, period. These so-called “miles” actually don’t transfer with any frequent flyer program, though. Rather, they can be redeemed for 1 cent per mile for any travel expense, from any source. It doesn’t matter whether you book with an airline or a travel discount site. Plus, the sign-up bonus is 10,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months, good for $100 of travel expense.

Posted on

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Back Credit Card Review

Don’t listen to Samuel L. Jackson, The Capital One Quicksilver card is a “good” cash back rewards card, but the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® is the best personal rewards card. The Quicksilver card doesn’t even have a sign-up bonus. 

Ok, on to the Capital One Quicksilver cash back card!

Cold, Hard Cash

The Quicksilver is a solid card to add to any collection just because of that 1.5% cash back rate. Why? Well, other rewards cards on the market tend to offer a little more (think 2%-5%) for certain categories — such as gas, groceries, etc. — and then give you just 1% on every other purchase. 1% is pretty much the standard for miscellaneous purchases.

There’s no way that you’ll be able to fit all your spending into a bonus category for this or that card. For every other purchase in your life that doesn’t fit neatly into a bonus category, it pays to keep the Quicksilver around. 50% more can add up to a lot by the end of the year. And again, there’s no limit on these rewards.

In fact, there’s no hassle in general. Check it:

  • No annual fee
  • No expiration on your cash rewards (as long as the account is open)
  • Redeem your cash for any amount at any time, or even set up automatic redemption so you don’t have to think about it
  • No rotating categories or annoying sign-ups to keep track of. Who doesn’t hate the feeling of missing out on free money just because a sign-up deadline passed?

Sign Up Goodies

Right now the Capital One Quicksilver cash back card is offering an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for a whole year! This is perfect for that big purchase you have coming up. Heads up — there’s still a 3% balance transfer fee, but that probably beats the interest you’re paying. Just don’t pay late or you might lose this introductory offer.

And get off to a great start with a $100 bonus after your spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months. That’s just $167 of spending per month. Go ahead, take the free money.

Visa Signature Benefits

As a Visa Signature card, the Quicksilver sports impressive benefits, including:

  • Exclusive access to events and retail discounts as well as complimentary upgrades and savings at certain hotels, resorts, etc.
  • 24/7 customer service just a phone call away, ready to provide concierge services, travel assistance, and roadside assistance
  • Put certain purchases on the card and get free, automatic protections such as insurance for car rentals and trips

Capital One Quicksilver vs Venture

The Quicksilver is for people with excellent credit. If that’s you, you might actually prefer another Capital One offering: the Venture card, which offers 2% back on all purchases. The Venture card is a better option if (a) you don’t mind redeeming rewards for travel expenses rather than cash, and (b) you will spend more than $983 per month on the card — which is the point where the difference in rewards covers the $59 annual fee. Mosey on over to our Venture review to learn more.

And hey, if you don’t have excellent credit, you could always go for the QuicksilverOne MasterCard. This little brother doesn’t have the Visa Signature benefits and worse, charges a $39 annual fee. It would take $217 per month on the card just for the rewards to pay for the annual fee.

Posted on

US Bank LANPASS Visa Signature Credit Card Review

The LANPASS Visa card gets you bonus miles right away and a nice big discount.

South America is notable to the travel rewards junkie because flights there cost relatively few miles, yet the destination is unmistakably exotic. The US Bank LANPASS Visa Signature card is a great way to facilitate your trip to this fascinating continent. And now might just be the best time to get that ball rolling, what with Ecuador beginning to cut down the Amazon and Peru recently capping tourist visits to Machu Picchu.

LAN airlines is the largest Latin America airline holding company. Just for using their card one time, you receive 20,000 bonus miles. It costs 48,000 miles for a round-trip ticket from the US to Peru, so this sign-up bonus puts you almost halfway there. That’s ok, but not super-duper exciting. For a trip to South America, you could always try taking the return trip with LifeMiles points.

The real value lies in the other perks. For starters, you will receive 20% off your first LAN purchase every year. That’s $300 off a $1,500 ticket, which is the typical price to go from Houston to Lima, Peru for one person. This discount does max out at $1,000, and you have to book directly with a carrier that is part of the LANPASS program. Also, be aware that this discount doesn’t appear immediately; rather, you receive it as a statement credit a couple weeks later.

As a new cardmember, you also get three one-way upgrade coupons to use within the year. These are subject to availability, and for certain routes, you might have to pay the minimum fare or use more than one coupon to get the upgrade. If you want to continue to receive these three coupons the second year and beyond, you’ll have to spend $15,000 in your first year of membership. That’s $1,250 per month. (Note: apparently the upgrade coupons expire after 8 months — another reason to have a trip in mind before getting this card.)

Finally, you get one LANPASS mile for every mile that you buy, essentially cutting the price of this miles in half. Plus, you get a 25% bonus on all miles earned when you purchase flights. Nice! And don’t forget that you also get the typical 2 miles per $1 spent on LAN tickets and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Since LAN is part of the oneworld alliance, you can transfer these miles with partners that include American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, and more.

Every year after you renew, you will receive 4000 miles, which pays for a little over half of annual fee. The $75 annual fee is waived for the first year, so you have some time to think about it. As a final note, be aware that the expiration for this frequent flyer program works a little differently. As usual, your miles are subject to expiration after a certain period of inactivity, but in this case only flights will reset the 36 month clock. If you don’t get on an actual flight at least every 3 years, you can kiss those miles goodbye.

Just watch out — despite being a travel rewards card, this one sports a foreign transaction fee. Check out our guide to the details below.


Money Math

  • Annual Fee: $75, waived first year
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% US dollars, 3% foreign currency
  • APR: var 12.99%-19.99%
  • APR for Balance Transfers: var 12.99%-19.99%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • APR for Cash Advance: var 23.99%
  • Cash Advance Fee: 4%
  • Late Fee/Returned Payment Fee: up to $35
  • Over Credit Limit Fee: $0


  • Bonus: 20,000 miles after first card use
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on LAN ticket purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on every other purchase
  • Miles Worth: Varies
  • Rewards Limit: None
  • Rewards Expiration: Miles expire after 36 months of flight inactivity
  • Redeem Rewards For: Award flights on oneworld alliance
  • Get 25% bonus when earning miles on flights
  • Get three one-way upgrade coupons per year (need to spend $15,000 to receive these the second year and beyond)
  • Get 4,000 bonus miles after annual renewal
  • Get one 20% discount on a LAN purchase per year (up to $1,000 off)


  • $0 Fraud Liability Protection
  • Purchase Protection: Yes
  • Travel Insurance: Yes
  • Auto Rental Insurance: Yes
  • Extended Warranty: Yes
  • Customer Service: 24/7 concierge, bilingual

So, pick up the US Bank LANPASS Visa Signature card to get almost half of your round-trip flight to South America paid for, and then get 20% off the remainder. Plus, enjoy complimentary upgrades and the ability to buy miles at half off.

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best travel credit cards and best rewards credit cards.

Posted on

Is A Roth IRA The Perfect Savings Plan For You?

As far as retirement plans go, a Roth IRA can make the most sense for a lot of people. Both Traditional and Roth IRAs provide a way to shelter your savings from taxes. Typically, when you invest in, say, a mutual fund, you pay taxes on the money you put in and then you pay more taxes on your capital gains. Traditional IRAs allow you to defer taxes and Roth IRAs let you escape paying tax on earnings altogether.

Pay taxes now or later

In a traditional IRA, you can contribute money pre-tax. So if you made $40,000 and put $3000 away in your traditional IRA, then you only get taxed on $37,000 this year. But a few decades down the road, when you are ready to retire and dip into your IRA, then you do have to pay tax on your contributions and the earnings they have gained.

On the other hand, with a Roth IRA, the contributions you put in are post-tax, but when you withdraw money later, you don’t pay tax, provided you meet certain guidelines. These guidelines include the account being at least 5 years old, AND you being either a) disabled, b) at least 59.5 years old, or c) qualifying for some other exemption. Follow these requirements and you’re looking at a retirement account that lets earnings grow tax-free. Pretty sweet. There’s also no required minimum distribution (RMD) as there is with a traditional IRA, which forces you to start taking money out once you hit 70 — because Uncle Sam has waited long enough for his taxes. With a Roth, the tax man already got his, so you can leave it for as long as you want, or even pass it on to your heirs if you wish. (Inheriting Roth money is particularly nice because it is tax-free!)

Roth advantages

Plus, since you already paid taxes, every penny of your contributions is still yours, with nothing for Uncle Same to quibble over. That means that as long as you wait 5 years after opening the account, you can withdraw as much of your direct contributions as you like without any fees or penalties. (If you do not wait 5 years, you’re still subject to the usual 10% penalty.) What this means is that a Roth IRA can simultaneously serve as an emergency back-up fund. Not only that, but you are also allowed to withdraw up to a lifetime maximum of $10,000 of the earnings for certain expenses such as education or your first home.

A final pro for the Roth IRA is that it effectively allows you to contribute more. Contribution limits vary with income level, but everybody is looking at no more than $5,000 in contributions to an IRA annually. (Except those 50 years of age or older, who get to put in an extra $1,000.) Let’s assume you want to max out your contributions — not a bad idea. If you put in the $5,000 max into a traditional IRA, and you’re looking at a 20% tax when you take it out later, you’re really only putting $4,000 away. With a Roth, since you’ve already paid taxes and will (hopefully) pay no more, you really are putting away the full $5,000.

Decide what’s right for you

So is a Roth IRA the right choice for everybody? Not necessarily. The biggest determining factor should be your guesses about taxes in the future, both for yourself and the country in general. If you foresee being in a lower tax bracket when you retire, then the traditional IRA makes more sense. If you think you will be a higher tax bracket when you retire, go with the Roth. Also consider how you predict taxes will change for everyone, on a country-wide level. Many Roth supporters point to the fact that we are at a historical low for taxes, so the time to pay is now rather than later. Then again, anything can happen. Congress might even change the laws that allow for tax-free withdrawals in the future.

So, nothing is risk-free. That’s the nature of finance. Assess your own risk-tolerance, your hunches, and determine what the best savings plan is for you.

Posted on

Citi Dividend Platinum Select Credit Card Review

The Citi Dividend Platinum Select cash back rewards card has quartlerly rotating categories.

The Citi Dividend Platinum Platinum Select credit card is, yes, yet another rewards card that offers 5% cash back on rotating categories. Although it’s not quite as sexy as the competitors, there’s no harm in adding it to the collection because the card carries no annual fee. And right now there’s a $100 sign up offer for spending $500 in the first 3 months.

This quarter, the 5% bonus categories are for Hilton purchases, car rentals, movie theaters, theme parks (until Sept 30). We would give you the whole calendar but unlike the Chase Freedom card, this one doesn’t post that information ahead of time. Also, be aware that you have to enroll for the bonus categories, as usual, but Citi does send reminders. You can also get more rewards on top of the usual 1% or 5% by buying stuff through the Citi Bonus Cash Center. The average at the Cash Center is 5%, but can go up to 10%!

So why do we say this card isn’t as sexy as the Chase Freedom, Discover It, or US Bank Cash+? Well, it caps your cash rewards at $300 per year, and that’s including even the measly 1% rate. The only thing that isn’t included in that limit is the extra cash you get from the Citi Bonus Cash Center. To be clear, that amounts to $1500 of bonus category spending per quarter. Another negative is that you can only redeem rewards for $50 checks. There’s no points system of any kind.

Still, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select features a year-long introductory 0% APR for both balance transfers and purchases, which can come in pretty handy. There’s also a version for college students with a shorter introductory period. Check out our guide to the details below.



Money Math

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • APR: Introductory 0% for 12 months, then var 12.99%-22.99%
  • APR for Balance Transfers: Introductory 0% APR for 12 months, then var 12.99%-22.99%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • APR for Cash Advance: var 25.24%
  • Cash Advance Fee: 5%
  • Late Fee/Returned Payment Fee: $35
  • Penalty APR: 29.99%, applies with late or returned payment



  • Bonus: $100 after spending $500 in purchases in first 3 months
  • 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Rewards Limit: $300 per year (excludes Citi Bonus Cash Center rewards)
  • Rewards Expiration: None unless you make no purchases for 12 months
  • Redeem Rewards For: Cash in $50 increments
  • Get bonus rewards when shopping through Citi Bonus Cash Center



  • $0 Fraud Liability Protection
  • Purchase Protection: Yes, price drop protection requires registration
  • Travel Insurance: Yes, covers travel accidents and trip cancellations. Also get medical/legal referrals, lost luggage assistance, emergency transportation, emergency transportation, and more
  • Car Rental Insurance: Yes, covers damage and theft
  • Extended Warranty: Yes
  • Customer Service: 24/7



Don’t forget to check out our list of the best cash back credit cards and best rewards credit cards.