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US Bank Business Platinum Credit Card Review

Everyone loves a credit card.  But, with more and more credit cards coming out by the week (or at least it seems like that), which ones are worth it?  Which ones deserve to be in your wallet?  We have a new credit card to take a look at from US Bank this week, the US Bank Business Platinum Credit Card.  Let’s take a look below at some of the benefits and see if it’s worth our time!

 

Apply Now: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa® Card

 

Benefits

First off, the card is offering a 0% introductory APR for all purchases and balance transfers for the first twelve months of card membership.  This is a great way to pay off any large purchases you make over the first year you have this card.  But, be careful about your spending, because you’ll have a variable APR at the end of that first twelve months- anywhere between 9.99% and 17.99%, based on your credit worthiness.

There are no points or miles that can be earned with this card.  Rather, the card is connected in with Visa SavingsEdge, which can net your business up to a 15% discount on business purchases at name-brand merchants.  For example, you’ll save 1% at Texaco stations, 5% at La Quintas, the list goes on and on.  You can check out that list here.

So, that’s the bad news.  No points or miles earned for your business purchases.  But, there is no annual fee for the card, so if you pay your bills monthly, you won’t have any cost of card ownership.

In addition, this card offers up free employee cards for your business, which other cards often charge you for.  This could be a benefit for your small business, depending on the size of it.

Furthermore, you’ll have 24/7 customer service, bill pay online (but what card doesn’t these days) and access to something called Connect, which can give your small business ‘helpful information, tools and resources.’

Other than that, this credit card doesn’t have any other benefits.  Business credit cards, if you didn’t know, do not go on your ‘personal’ credit, but on your business’ credit.  That means, you can get a personal and a business credit card product, of the same brand, and not have any problems.

 

Conclusion

There are other business credit cards out there besides this one.  They offer up points, miles, more benefits for your business, and may not charge you a large fee to do so.  This card just doesn’t wow me.  The APR introductory offer is something, but there are other cards that offer the same thing!  Other than that, there are no discernible benefits to this card.

The SavingsEdge may save you money here and there, but nothing compared to a card that gets you 3%-5% back on office supply stores, or gas and groceries.  That said, if you are a US Bank loyalist and this card makes sense for you, by all means, apply away!

So, did you see something that I missed?  Do you think that the US Bank Platinum Business Credit Card is a more worthy card than I wrote?  Then let me know below in the comments!  I love healthy discourse!

Apply Now: U.S. Bank Business Platinum Visa® Card

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Citi Simplicity Card Review: Yes, It’s That Simple!

Citibank has made a huge effort toward eliminating some of the confusing fine print that has been frustrating for many consumers. When details are buried in endless paragraphs of fine print and disclaimers, it can be difficult to truly understand what you are signing up for, what the advantages are, and what you need to be aware of in terms of disadvantages. The Citi Simplicity card provides just that—simplicity for users.

0% Introductory APR for the First 18 Months

With a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months, you can save yourself oodles of money by not paying any interest. This can help you get out of debt, especially if you transfer balances from higher rate credit cards. All of the money that you put toward your payment goes toward paying off your balance – the bank keeps nothing! At the end of the introductory period, you will have a rate of 12.99-21.99% on the remaining balance transferred or any balance of purchases on your card, depending on your credit rating. Obviously, the better your credit is, the lower your APR will be.

Clear Policies About Fees: None!

The Citi Simplicity has a very clear policy about fees. There aren’t any. None – not any annual fees, not even late fees. There really aren’t any! Most cards will charge somewhere between $25-35 for late payments, but you won’t have to worry about this happening with the Simplicity card. Not only are there no late payments, but you won’t be surprised by a sudden interest rate spike when you make a late payment (usually after you are late twice within 6 months). Again, other cards will bump up your APR, sometimes to nearly 25% when you make a late payment, but your rate will stay consistent with the one you received at the time you were approved for the card, even if you make late payments. This can be a huge relief for those who are not as good about deadlines, or for when money is tight during certain months. Make your payment when you can, worry free, with the Citi Simplicity card.

Low Balance Transfer Charges

When you want to transfer a balance from a credit card with a higher interest rate, you will pay a low 3% charge for the transfer. For example, if you transfer $1,000, your charge will be $30. Some cards charge up to 5%, so you can keep your charges down and put more money toward your balance when you use the Citi Simplicity card to pay off the high interest debt.

Extra Perks for Citi Simplicity

Many of the credit cards that offer 0% APR have fewer perks than those with low or regular interest rates, but the Citi Simplicity offers many of the great benefits of those cards as well. For example, you are eligible for Price Protection from Citi when you use the Simplicity card. This means that when you make a purchase and then discover that another merchant offers the same exact item for less, you can get a refund up to $250 to make up the difference. This may not cover the entire difference (and, you should be aware that this protection does not apply when you make purchases over the internet), but it sure does help, especially when you find a sale price within 60 days on a high-end item, like electronics. Those consumers who are vigilant about price searching will find that they can really get the best deals with this type of protection!

Access to Private Pass

Private Pass is Citibank’s way of offering their customers excellent access to concert tickets, entertainment specials, and more. If you are considering purchasing tickets to a concert, theme park, sporting event or other entertainment event, check with Private Pass first to see what the deals are for presale or premium seating or even VIP packages. Citi wants their customers to have only the best when it comes to entertainment! With no fees to enroll for this great perk, it is something that helps set Citibank apart from the rest.

Get Real Information, From Real Human Beings!

Many of the large banks offer automated support when you have questions, problems or concerns. But, with Citi, you can quickly get a human being on the line to help you resolve any issues that arise. Sure, you can still access balance and payment due dates automatically, but when you really need someone, getting answers is quick and simple, and you won’t find that you are stuck in and endless hold loop listening to bad music.

Conclusion

The Citi Simplicity offers all of the perks that any Citicard holder gets, and more special deals like the ones above! Although this card does not offer any cash back rewards, the extended 0% APR and lack of annual fee or penalty charges makes it a great option for the longterm. Eliminate confusion and try Simplicity today!

 

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Card Comparison: Chase Freedom vs. Discover It

Oftentimes, when I’ve given advice to friends and family about “the best card for [insert reason here],” the choice comes between two cards.  “Which one should I choose?” they ask.  It’s an entirely individual question that each of you, dear readers, must answer for yourselves (though feel free to ask me anything in the comments below).  One common one that I am frequently asked is deciding between the Chase Freedom® card, which for a limited time has an offer of $200, and the Discover It cards, both similar and different in ways.  Let’s see how they compare, category by category, below.

Links:

Discover it®

Chase Freedom®

 

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 both cards: there is no annual fee.  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.  Advantage: Tie.

 

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 Chase Freedom credit card, you’ll have fifteen months of 0% APR, and then between 13.99 and 22.99 percent after that.  For the Discover It credit card, the period is 14 months, with an APR of 10.99 and 22.99 percent after that.  Advantage: Chase Freedom.

 

Sign-Up Bonus 

Another big draw for customers, the sign-up bonus is that beautiful mannequin in the window to draw you in.  For these no-fee credit cards, bonuses are not as high as other credit cards.  For the Chase Freedom card, you’ll earn $100 cash back with $500 in spending over three months!  For the Discover It credit card, there actually is no sign-up bonus!  Advantage: Chase Freedom®

 

Bonus Categories 

These two credit cards are unique, in that they each offer “bonus categories” that rotate four times a year.  Each card offers 5% cash back for each category, up to $1,500 cash back.  At the time of writing, the Discover It card has only published the first category of bonuses for January-March, which is for restaurants and movies.  In addition, the Discover It card has an online shopping mall offering 5%-20% cash back for purchase.

For the Chase Freedom, gas stations, Starbucks and movie theaters are the category bonus for January-March, restaurants and Lowe’s for April-June, gas stations and Kohl’s for July-September, and Zappos, Amazon, and select department stores for October-December.  Winner: the Discover It card, with its online shopping mall option.

 

Regular Spend 

You will also receive bonus points for regular spend.  Each card offers you one point per dollar of regular spending, so this category is a tie.

 

Other Benefits

The Chase Freedom doesn’t really have any other “bonus” benefits to speak of.  However, the Discover It card offers free FICO scores every month, and no foreign transaction fees, which are valuable benefits in my book. Advantage: Discover It.

 

Verdict 

It’s hard to make a choice between the two, so I actually won’t render a verdict here.  If you value shopping over, say, travel, I would push you towards the Discover It credit card.  It has many more spending bonuses in those categories.  If you enjoy immediate rewards, the sign-up bonus for the Chase Freedom is a nice added perk.  Analyze your spending you think you’ll have in 2014, and make a decision!  Feel free to ask questions below!

 

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The Top 5 Travel Rewards Cards with 0% APR

I’ve recently had a few people ask me what the best travel rewards cards are with a 0% intro APR. It’s a good question, since having no interest for 12 months or more is important to a lot of people. Whether you’re trying to consolidate debt (keep in mind balance transfer fees) or looking to make some large purchases soon, a rewards card with a 0% APR can help.

Bottom line: If you need to carry a balance for a time, a 0% APR card is a good idea. Just stay on top of when the intro period ends! You can do that with Card Watchdog (shameless plug).

Alright, below are our favorite travel rewards cards that offer a 0% introductory APR.

 

1. Barclaycard Arrival

There are two versions of the Barclaycard Arrival card: the annual fee version and the no annual fee version.

The no annual fee version offers no interest on purchases for the first 12 months of account opening. After that, it’s a variable APR of 14.99% or 18.99%, based on your creditworthiness. The intro APR doesn’t apply to balance transfers, so the variable APR will apply. There is a balance transfer fee of $10 or 4% (whichever is greater).

What we like about the Arrival:

First, the sign-up bonus of  $200 isn’t too shabby. We also like the simplicity of earning 2x or 1x for every dollar you spend. Since there are plenty of other cards that have category bonuses to think about, it’s nice to have one that’s just easy.

A new perk that we’re loving is the free credit score monitoring that Barclays is offering on this card (and several others). This is a handy tool, since it’s important to stay on top of your score when applying for cards.

Read our comparison review of the Barclaycard Arrival cards here.

Link: $200 in travel offer (no annual fee) –  Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard®

 

2. US Airways Premier World MasterCard

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard offers an introductory rate of 0% for the first 12 months, then it’s 15.99% or 24.99%. The introductory rate is for balance transfers. Good stuff.

What we like about the US Airways rewards card:

If you’re looking to make a balance transfer, this card is a good option since it allows you to earn up to 10,000 miles when transferred within 90 days of account opening (keep in mind the 3% balance transfer fee). We also like the annual companion certificate that comes with this card and the sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles isn’t bad.

FYI- Now is a good opportunity to grab the US Airways card if you don’t already have it, because it will most likely go away some time after the merger with AA is complete. Dividend miles will eventually be able to be used for OneWorld flights, so you might see it as a way to get some AAdvantage miles. Of course, you can still use Dividend miles for Star Alliance flights until March, 30, 2014, but finding space will be competitive and people are already seeing less award inventory.

Link: The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

 

3. Lufthansa Premier Miles & More

The Lufthansa Miles & More card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles after the account is opened. After that, your APR will be 15.99% or 24.99%based on your creditworthiness.

What we like about the Premier Miles and More card:

Well, we used to like the sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles, but that offer has been decreased to 20,000 after first purchase and 15,000 more after qualifying balance transfer. Still, the opportunity to earn up to 35,000 miles isn’t awful, and we like the chance to earn rewards on a balance transfer. The annual companion certificate is nice, too!

Link: Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®

 

4. Chase Freedom

With the Freedom, you’ll get a 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. For those looking to consolidate/eliminate debt, the 0% on balance transfers is helpful. There is still a balance transfer fee of 3% (pretty standard). After the intro period, the variable APR is 13.99%-22.99%.

What we like about the Freedom:

For starters, we like that Chase recently raised the sign-up bonus on this card from 10,000 points to 20,000 points. No, it’s not the best bonus in the world, but an increase is better than none, especially on a no annual fee card. And the Freedom definitely has its charm – like the 5x quarterly rotating categories. I earn a pretty 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points a year for taking advantage of the bonuses.

 

5. Capital One VentureOne

The VentureOne card comes with a 0% introductory APR on purchases until December 2014, then it jumps up to 11.9% – 19.9%, based on your creditworthiness. The same APR applies for balance transfers.

What we like about the Capital One VentureOne: 

The Capital One VentureOne is a solid no annual fee card, offering a $200 in travel singing bonus and 1.25 miles on every dollar spent. You really can’t complain about that. It also has no foreign transaction fees, making it good for – yep, you guessed it – travel.