What Are Rotating Credit Card Bonus Categories?

Top view of woman hand holding credit card and doing shopping online.

Having a credit card is important to financial independence and security. However, if you want to credit card to work for you and not against you, you have to use it wisely. The first step is making sure that you choose the right credit card for you and your needs. Once you have researched all the credit card options, you can select the one that is right for you. Even when you select the best one for you, you must use your credit card wisely so that you do not find yourself buried in debt.

Rotating Credit Card Categories Explained

A number of credit cards offer rewards when you make purchases in certain categories, or at specific retailers. There can be different types of cash back rewards with different types of credit card options. Some of them are fixed, while others have rotating credit card bonus categories. One type of cash back is a flat cash back rate on all purchases and there is not limit to the rewards. Another type of cash back reward is a tiered program. In a tiered program, some purchases earn more cash back than others. These tiers usually remain the same and do not change. The third category is a rotating bonus, which we will talk about a little further down.

With the cash back rewards that do not rotate, the rewards rate remains the same all year long. These cards offer unlimited cash back, which means there is no limit on how much you can earn in rewards. You can earn rewards on every purchase you make regardless of the amount you spend. A card with tired rewards usually breaks down so that you get 3 percent on groceries, 2 percent on gas, and 1 percent on every other purchase.

What Are Rotating Bonus Categories?

The third category we mentioned above is rotating credit card bonus categories. This is when a credit card offers different cash rewards on a quarterly basis. These cash back rewards are usually 5 percent on the amount you spend in specific categories or with a specific retailer. There is usually a flat reward amount for all other spending. Some example of categories may be grocery stores or gas stations, or it might be a specific retailer like Amazon.

These bonuses are typically a little higher and only last for a quarter, which is 3 months. Sometimes, the credit card will give you a heads up about which category or vendor is coming in the next quarter. If you plan to make a large purchase in this category, you might want to wait until the next bonus quarter.

What Are Some Common Bonus Categories?

When looking for rotating credit card bonus categories, you will find that each of these credit cards offers something slightly different than the other. They may rotate through the categories differently, but you will most likely find that they have similar categories.

Most of these types of credit cards have gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants at some point in their rotation. You can usually find their scheduled rotation somewhere in the information about the card. If you find that you go to the gas station more in the summer, you might want to find a card that offers bonus cash back during the summer months.

You will also find cards that offer cash back for Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and Walgreens on their lists. You may even be able to find cards that offer rotating bonus categories on gym memberships and PayPal. Some newer categories include streaming services. Some cards may have an overarching category of streaming services, while some may specifically state Hulu or Netflix.

Is There A Downside To Rotating Categories?

When looking for rotating credit card bonus categories, you may want to know if there are any downsides to this type of credit credit. It is easy to see the high percentage cash back and be pulled in. If the credit card you pick requires you to activate your cash back savings, then it is on you to take that step. Your credit card company may or may not remind you of the new categories and that it is time to sign up. Another potential down side is if thee quarterly cash back options are not in alignment with your spending habits, it may not be the right fit for you.

The categories may not be in an area where you spend money or perhaps the timing does not line up. If you spend more money on gas in the summer months, but the credit card offers cash back bonus for gas in January, that may not be the right match for you. One more thing to consider is the potential cap on spending. If you are spending money that you might not spend just to get the bonus but you have reached your spending limit, you may be spending money for no reason.

What Are the Perks of Having a Cash Back Credit Card?

There are some benefits to having a cash back credit card. The money you get back is a percentage of your purchase. That translates into cash. You usually have the choice of getting a check mailed to you, money deposited into your bank account, or you can use the cash back to make a payment on your credit card. If you use your credit card for all purchases it can be a substantial amount of money. When you have a card with rotating credit card bonus categories, you can maximize on the amount of money you get back.

We will show you with numbers how cash back will work.

If you have credit card that gives you 3 percent back on all purchases, it could work this way: If you spend $1,000 per month, 3 percent of $1,000 is $30. If you spend $1,000 per month for an entire year, you can earn $10 each month, which is $120 per year cash back for purchases you were planning to make anyway.

What Cards Have High Credit Card Rewards Rate?

When considering rotating credit card bonus categories, it is helpful if you know which cards offer the highest rewards rate. You might want to start with these cards and create your list from there. Chase and Discover offer 5 percent cash back on specific categories each quarter. They do have a cap of $1,500 spending per quarter. That means that you receive the 3 percent cash back only up to $1,500 of purchases per quarter. If you spend more than $1,500, you will not receive cash back on that additional amount. In addition, they offer 1 percent cash coach in all other categories. You do have to activate the rewards each quarter. It is not automatic.

Citi cards offers a similar card called the Citi Dividend Card. This one is not available to new applicants. This card pays 5 percent back on items in specific categories and 1 percent back on all other items. There is not limit on how much you can spend, but the maximum cash back you can receive per year is $300. The Amalgamated Bank of Chicago (ABOC) gives 5 points per dollar spent up to $1,500 in specific categories, which change every quarter. The rest of your spending gets 1 point per dollar. There is no activation required to gain access to the cash back.

How Do I Pick The Right Card?

Understanding the cash back that comes with your credit card is important, but that is not the only reason to select a credit card. There are some other details to which you should pay attention. You should know the credit limit that comes with the credit card you are researching. The credit limit may make a difference depending on what your credit card needs are. If you want to make large purchases, you will want a credit card with a higher credit limit. You want to know the fee schedule for your credit card.

Most credit cards have late fees or missed payment fees. You want to know what those fees will be. You want to do everything you can to make sure you pay your credit card in full and on time, but things happen and you will want to know the fees associated with missed payments. The annual percentage rate (APR) is also important when selecting a credit card. This is the amount of interest you will pay if you do not pay your card in full each month. The higher the APR, the more interest you will pay each month. While your goal should always be to pay your credit card in full each month, we know that is not always possible. You should aim for the lowest percentage rate possible.

What Other Benefits Can a Credit Card Offer?

There are other bonuses that your credit card may offer. It depends on the credit card that indicates the bonuses you might get. If it is a store credit card, you often get special sales and incentives. You may also get loyalty points when you shop in the store and use the credit card. Some cards offer airline points. Every time you use your credit card, you get points for each dollar you spend and those points translate to savings on airline tickets. This credit card may also offer you travel insurance or protection on your purchases. Some credit cards offer gift cards as a reward for your purchases. You may even get gifts that are offered based on how much money you spend.

How Do I Use A Credit Card Wisely?

No matter what credit card you choose, you should always use your credit card wisely. If you are able to go to online card shops or go to stores in person to shop, you still should not spend more money than you have. It is easy to spend the money since it does not come directly from your bank account. You still have to pay the credit card bill each month. You should pay the credit card bill in full each month. If you cannot pay the bill in full, you should pay as much of it as you can.

When you accrue interest each month, it becomes harder to pay your credit card bill. This is how people get buried in credit card debt. Even if you cannot pay your credit card bill in full, you want to make sure that you pay at least the minimum amount and pay it on time. If you do not pay the minimum, you will be charged a fee. You want to avoid fees as much as possible. If you do not pay your credit card on time, it can have a negative impact on your credit score.

Conclusion

Picking a credit card is an important choice. It is easy to be lured in by the perks and cash back programs. You also want to make sure you pay attention to the credit limit and the annual percentage rate. You want to make sure that you selecting the best credit card for you. If you plan to use it often, you want to make sure that it is a perfect fit. You want to always remember to spend wisely. Just because you have the credit card does not mean you should always use it. You still must be mindful that you can pay your bill each month.

The Top 0% Intro APR Credit Cards You Should Consider

Selective focus on credit card

Credit cards are the holy grails of credit. They carry a lot of weight when it comes to credit scores and financial profiles. Every debtor should have at least one credit card on his or her credit report. Each debtor should also make sure that the credit card of choice is one that works best for him or her. There are many types of credit card options from which a debtor may choose. One of the most popular types of cards is the 0% intro APR option.

Best Credit Cards With Zero Percentage APR

This credit card type has a promotion that offers the debtor 0% interest for a certain amount of time. After the promotional period ends, the debtor must pay the regular APR.

Consumers can take advantage of 0% intro APR credit cards in many ways. They can use them to merge their credit card accounts. They can use them to make large purchases without having to pay any interest. Also, they can use them to boost their FICO scores. We’ve taken the liberty to find some of the top 0% intro APR credit cards on the market right now that you should consider. Sift through this list and then pick the one that seems like it will suit your current needs. We can even help you find more.

Discover It Balance Transfer Card

Discover It Balance Transfer Card with 0% APRThe Discover It Balance Transfer card is a good choice if you’re looking for 0% intro APR credit cards that you can also use to transfer your balances. The initial 0% interest period is for the first six months for purchases and the first 18 months for balance transfers. After that, the annual percentage rate will increase to a 13.49% – 24.49% variable interest rate. This would be a great time to grab this card and transfer the balances from your other cards to it.

The Discover It Balance Transfer Card has other features and benefits to it aside from its promotional offer. You will also be free of paying any kind of annual fee because the current annual fee is $0. Other features that the card offers are features such as a free FICO credit score, social security number alerts, and friendly US-based customer service representatives. Furthermore, the card doubles as a cashback card. You can get up to 5% cashback on the purchases you make with the card. To make it even better, the credit card company will match your cash back earnings at the end of your first year. This card just keeps on giving!

To qualify for the Discover It Balance Transfer Card, you should have a credit score in the 700 point range. You should also be a US citizen who is at least 18 years of age since you will have to sign a credit card contract.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards CardThe Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card is another card that may interest you. It’s one of the 0% intro APR cards that also doubles as a rewards card. The introductory period of having a 0% APR will last for the first 15 months for your purchases. After the promotional period ends, your purchase APR will change to a 15.49%-25.49% variable APR. Your balance transfers will also be at 0% for the first 15 months you have the card. After that, you will have a  15.49%-25.49% APR, and you will also have to pay a 3% fee.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card also has many other positive features that come with it. For one, you will not have to pay a fee for any foreign transactions that you do with your card. You will not have to pay an annual fee for this card either. Other features that you will have access to include features such as 1.5% cash back on all the purchases you make with your card. Additionally, you will also have access to a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on your purchases within three months after you get your credit card.

It’s worth it to take a look at this card and think about applying for it. You must be 18 years of age and be a US resident. Capital One is generally more lenient with their approval criteria than some other credit card companies are. You may be able to get approval for this card if you have a credit score of about 670.

Discover It Cashback Card

Discover It Cashback CardThe Discover It Cashback Card is another wonderful card offered to you by the Discover company. It is strictly a cashback card and does not offer balance transfers. Thus, it will be perfect for you if you’re not looking to transfer any of your balances. The Discover It Cashback Card allows you to earn 5% cash back on some of your purchases and 1% cash back on your other purchases. It also offers a cashback match as part of the promotion. You will receive a cashback match after the first year that you have the card.

This card is one of the 0% intro APR cards that will be a dream for you to own. Card features include features such as unlimited cashback, anytime redemption, amazon checkout, and social security number alerts.

You should have a credit score of at least 700 points to get an approval for this credit card. As usual, you must be 18 years of age or older.

BankAmericaCard Credit Card

BankAmericaCard Credit CardBank of America is one of the most prominent banks in the nation, and it offers consumers a credit card with its name on it. The BankAmeriCard Credit Card has a 0% APR introductory period of 18 months. After the initial introductory period ends, credit cardholders will have an APR of 14.49% – 24.49% on purchases and balance transfers. They will also have to pay a 3% fee when they do balance transfers.

The Bank of America Credit Card has many features for consumers to enjoy. It offers clients free access to their FICO score so that they know how it’s improving each month. The card also has no annual fee and no penalty APR. Therefore, a late payment will not cause a rise in a cardholder’s APR. It may, however, create a drop in the person’s credit score.

Applicants must have a very good or excellent credit score to gain approval for the BankAmeriCard. They must also be at least 18 years old and be a citizen of the US. Applicants do not have to be Bank of America customers, but being a customer may help them to gain approval for the card.

American Express Cash Magnet

American Express Cash MagnetSome consumers are into American Express cards. If you’re like them, you will love the American Express Cash Magnet O% APR credit card. This card offers a 0% percent APR for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the initial promotion ends, the cardholder will have to pay an APR of 2.99%-23.99%, and it is variable.

This card is a cashback card, which means that cardholders can earn money back on their purchases. The card offers a 1.5% cashback potential. The promotional offer for this card also includes a $150 bonus for new cardholders who spend at least $1,000 during their first month of owning the card.

The cashback system allows cardholders to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase they make. They can use the cash back to buy merchandise, get gift cards, or pay toward their credit card bills.

Those two features aren’t the only features that this amazing card offers, however. Cardholders also have access to premium features such as no annual fee and the ability to use their cards in more than 3 million stores and websites.

American Express credit cards are generally hard to get. They require a credit score of 700 points or more for approval. A credit score of 700 or more is considered good or excellent. Card applicants must also be at least 18 years of age to apply. They can make their applications over the phone, or they go to the website and apply online. Sometimes, American Express sends offers to potential cardholders. A consumer can follow an invitation and visit the required site to apply for a card that way. Approval should be quick and painless.

Chase Freedom Card

Chase Freedom CardChase Bank offers the Chase Freedom card to consumers who have scores of 700 to 750 points. The Chase Freedom card has an introductory period of 15 months where cardholders do not have to pay any credit card interest on their purchases. After the initial 0% APR period ends, the cardholders will have a regular APR of 6.49% – 25.24%. Along with the 0% APR in the beginning, the Chase Freedom card gives a new cardholder a bonus payment of $150. The person has to spend at least $500 during the first three months of account opening.

The Chase Freedom card offers a myriad of additional benefits. One thing they offer that’s different from other credit cards is weekly access to the cardholder’s credit score. The Credit Journey feature keeps cardholders abreast of how they measure up in the credit world. Some of the other features that this card has to offer include features such as 5% cashback on certain categories up to $1,500 and unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases. Cardholders will also get to enjoy a 3% introductory balance transfer fee and no credit card annual fee at any time. This one is worth a try if you have a good credit score, and you want to take advantage of some huge cashback opportunities.

Capital One Savor One Credit Card

Capital One Savor One Credit CardThe Capital One Savor One Credit Card is definitely a card that you can savor. It comes in a cute little peach color and a memorable name. It’s one of the 0% intro APR cards that you can get if your credit score is not in the “excellent” category. You may be able to land this card if you have a score of 660 or even a little less. You can certainly give it a try if you don’t have too many inquiries on your credit report at this time.

The 0% APR on this card lasts for the first 15 months after you open your account. You will have a 15.49% – 25.49% APR when the first 15 months of time goes by. You can still enjoy a myriad of features even after the initial promotional period ends. One feature that you’ll be able to enjoy is the $0 annual fee. It’s always a pleasure not to have to worry about an annual fee hitting your account when you’ve forgotten all about it. This card will also not charge you for any foreign transactions you conduct while you’re traveling. Your cash rewards are perhaps the best part of card ownership. You can earn 3% cashback on all of your dining and entertainment ventures. You can also earn 2% cash back on your grocery shopping. You’ll get 1% cash back in every other category, and there will be no limit to the amount that you can earn. Additionally, the card company will give you a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on the card in the first three months that you have it. That sounds like a deal that you shouldn’t ignore.

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit CardCapital One offers quite a few credit card options to the masses. The Venture One Rewards Cards is yet another card that gives you a lot of perks and no hassle. It offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months that you own the card. The difference between this card and other cards is that it also offers points that you can use for traveling. You’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on your purchases. You will also get a bonus of 20,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months that you have the card. 20,000 miles are equal to about $200 of travel.

This card has many more features for you to enjoy. For one, the regular APR is 14.49% – 24.49%, which is a bit lower than the ones on some of the other cards. You can also use your miles to travel whenever you want to travel. You won’t have to worry about blocks or blackout dates when you want to go somewhere. This card also has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee. That’s a lot of no’s for a credit card, and we think you should take advantage of that. Another “no” that this card offers is no penalty APR. You don’t have to worry about being punished for being late on your payment for one month. This might be an excellent card for you to try to grab. Consumers have rated it with four out of five stars on some of the top credit card categories.

Get Approved for 0% Intro APR Credit Cards

Those are just a few of the cards that you can qualify for that have a 0% APR introductory offer. As you can see, most of them have high FICO score requirements. Don’t fret if you’re not quite in the credit category to qualify. You can take several actions to increase your score so that you can get one of these great cards in your hand.

First, you should apply for an easy-to-get credit card with a low initial credit line on it if you don’t already have one. You can qualify for several unsecured cards. Once you get approved for one, you can use it to build your credit score up so that you can get approved for 0% intro APR cards in the future. All you have to do is make your payments on time each month and keep your utilization down below 30%. The credit card company will monitor your usage and payment history. Your credit score will go up each month you make a timely payment and keep your utilization low. After a while, you’ll start getting offers from credit card companies you may have never heard of. You will be eligible for one of your favorite 0% intro APR cars as well. Work hard and continue to have faith. You’ll get to where you need to be soon enough.

Final Thoughts

You can start applying for 0% intro APR credit cards right now, and you can have one in your hands in about two weeks. You can also contact us and let us help match you up with a credit card that will be perfect for you. We are not a lender, but we are an advocate. We help consumers find a wide variety of financial products and services they need. Loanry can assist you in finding credit cards, consolidation loans, personal loans, car notes, and more. We can also help you get access to debt recovery products and services. Just reach out to us and tell us what you need. We’ll be delighted to help you grab hold of it.

Difference Between Debit Cards and Credit Cards Explained

Businessman in suit and glasses giving credit card to woman

At first glance, it may seem like a silly question. Debit cards allow you to, you know… debit stuff. Credit cards, on the other hand, offer you, um… credit.

Yeah, it’s not such a silly question after all – especially if you’re trying to decide when to use which option. So we’re going to take a moment to consider the benefits and potential pitfalls of each, along with some specific “compare and contrast” along the way. Debit cards and credit cards both have their uses and advantages. But like any financial tool, it’s all about how they’re used.

Difference Between Debit Cards and Credit Cards

Debit cards and credit cards certainly LOOK the same. They’re the same size, have the same 16-digit numbers across the front, many of the same logos and designs. And they fit into the same little machines the same basic way. In the past year, it’s certainly felt like they both require swiping when you try to insert them chip-first. And either one requires inserting chip-first if you try to swipe!

And to be fair, debit cards were largely designed to look and in many ways operate like credit cards. Or at least to be usable anywhere you could use a credit card. That’s part of what makes them so convenient. Just to muddy the waters further, more debit cards are trying to incorporate some of the advantages of credit cards, and vice versa. No wonder it’s easy to get confused!

Still, it’s probably worth taking a step back and considering some of the important ways in which debit cards and credit cards are fundamentally different. Many may seem obvious to you, but others you may not have thought about recently. Let’s start with the biggie…

Debit vs. Credit: The “Debit” Part

The most important difference between debit cards and credit cards, not surprisingly, is where the money comes from. While we like to pretend that anything we pay for with plastic is somehow “free,” that is of course not the case.

Your debit card is tied to your checking account. It was originally designed to replace or supplement the fading practice of writing checks. It was a win-win for customers and businesses alike. It’s much easier to use the little card with your information already magically encoded in that funny strip on the back than to mess with writing out a paper check. With a debit card, you get a receipt; with a check, you’d get a carbon – or maybe not even that. For businesses, once the card is processed, if it’s approved, it’s approved. The money is instantly debited from your account – hence the name. The deal is done, with no danger the money will somehow go away after you leave. With a check, there’s always the possibility it will bounce and the merchant will be stuck trying to track you down to make good on it.

Because a debit card is essentially a “check” streamlined into credit card form, it’s pretty difficult to spend more than you have in the bank. How much you can spend is dictated by how much you have in the bank. Sure, you may have overdraft protection or some arrangement by which your savings account acts as a backup for your checking, but even in those cases, you’re paying immediate penalties in addition to funds being taken out of your account to pay the merchant or other service. There’s no telling yourself you’ll pay it back later, over time, etc. That’s simply not how they work.

Debit Card Limit

The flip side of this, of course, is that if you don’t have the money to pay for something, you don’t have the money. You can’t have it, whether it’s yet another pair of shoes or penicillin from grandma. You pay zero interest on purchases with your debit card because interest is the cost of borrowing money, and you’re not borrowing – you’re spending.

Debit vs. Credit: The “Credit” Part

Credit cards, on the other hand, offer exactly what the name implies – credit. How much you can spend is dictated by your credit score and credit history, particularly your credit history with that specific card. The longer you have a card without defaulting completely on your payments, the higher they’ll nudge up your spending limit, even if your balance has never ever actually gotten lower no matter how long you’ve been paying.

Every time you use your credit card, you’re taking out a loan. It’s a revolving loan, meaning that as you pay it back, the money becomes available to you again to borrow on the same terms. This is an amazingly flexible source of financing. But you pay for that convenience with relatively high-interest rates compared to other types of loans. The exception, of course, is if you pay your balance in full each month. You pay no interest that way because your payment is so timely, it’s like you’re not actually borrowing.

Credit Card Balance

In other words, people like my wife who pay their credit card balance in full every month are essentially using it like a debit card – one with a 30-day delay between using the money and the funds coming out of their account. Why would they bother if there’s little difference between debit cards and credit cards when used this way? Because going cashless is an easy way to keep track of your spending and take advantage of the protections and rewards of a credit card without paying credit card interest rates.

You don’t normally hear about people working themselves into despair trying to conquer debit card debt. I’m pretty sure that would be impossible. On the other hand, debit cards are limited to what you actually have available right this moment. They’re far less dangerous because they’re far less flexible. You may recall Uncle Ben’s warning to Spiderman – the one about “with great power comes great responsibility”? He could easily have been talking about the difference between debit cards and credit cards.

I mean, probably not – but he has shot right afterward, so you can’t exactly prove me wrong. Plus, he was fictional, so I have that in my favor as well.

Other Benefits to Debit Cards (There Are A Few!)

Debit cards are by design fairly “no frills,” which is in fact their primary benefit. There are a few other advantages worth considering, however.

The biggest is probably the ease of withdrawing cash from your checking account or any connected accounts and pretty much any ATM in the universe. Those outside your bank’s network may charge you a few dollars to do so, but it’s pretty hard to find a town so small that there’s not at least one automated teller tucked away somewhere. In any city large enough to have a few chain stores, it seems like they’re on every corner and in every convenience store.

Sure, easy access to cash can be a temptation, but it’s not so different than using your debit card directly. And you can’t out more than you have in your account, minus whatever overdraft arrangements you pay a hefty fee for with your bank or credit union.

Taking Cash From Credit Cards is a Bad Idea

Most credit cards allow you to take out cash as well, but it’s almost universally a horrible idea. That’s not what they were created to do, and they’re not very good at it. The fees tend to be high, and the interest rates on cash withdrawals are usually brutal – almost like they’re punishing you for not coming up with a better plan. You should be well informed about credit cards before you take one of them.

You’re better off taking out a personal loan of some sort if you really need the cash. Or sell plasma or your old comic book collection. Better yet, suggest your significant other sells THEIR plasma and collectibles. If they really love you, they’ll do it. But there are few if any situations in which taking out a cash advance on a traditional credit card is a good plan.

The only other advantage sometimes cited is that you’re rarely asked to sign a screen these days when using your debit card. More typically, all you have to do is enter your 4-digit PIN and you’re good to go.

Other Benefits to Credit Cards (There are Several!)

There are so many types of credit cards these days. It’s difficult to discuss them collectively without acknowledging that everything I’m about to say as several exceptions out there. In general, however, there are some important distinctions between debit cards and credit cards when it comes to the frills and features.

I mentioned a moment ago that withdrawing cash on your credit card is a horrible idea, and it is. So is spending beyond your actual limit compared to your allowed-by-the-issuing-card-company limit. Just because they’ll let you use up to $12,000 or whatever doesn’t mean you should ignore your perfectly clear budget and start spending with plastic because the card company says so. They’re not necessarily evil or anything, but they probably have different priorities than you do. Let’s just leave it at that for now, shall we?

Planes, Trains, and Amazon

Long-distance transactions, on the other hand, or charges in which the final total can’t be determined upfront, are great times to use a credit card. When you’re booking a flight, reserving a hotel, or renting a vehicle, you’ll definitely want to use a good old-fashioned credit card. Part of this is convenience. You may have noticed when you check in to a hotel, you asked to provide a credit card for “incidentals.” This is the hotel’s way of covering any pay-per-view movies your kids watch after you go to sleep, any stuff you “accidentally” take with you from the room, or potential damages if you go all “rock star” and start breaking things.

Even if you don’t end up incurring extra charges, a “hold” goes on your card for some predetermined amount – $50 or $100 is typical. On a credit card, this is no big deal. You’ll probably never notice it happened. With a debit card, however, that preset amount is “claimed” until they’re sure they don’t need to charge you. At that point, those funds go back into your available balance. But it’s not always immediate and it can be quite inconvenient if you need access to those dollars.

The PIN-less and the Fraud

Credit card fraud is becoming common and you must be very careful. Most credit cards come with pretty decent “fraud protection” as well. Doing business online or over the phone is inherently risky. Although, it’s a minimal risk, it’s still higher than walking into your local merchant and paying cash. And we’ve all heard the horror stories about stolen identities and credit card numbers on the “dark web” and all that. And of course, there are always the classic “lost or stolen” scenarios as well.

As long as you act in good faith and report any problems as quickly as possible to the issuing company, most cards offer you pretty thorough coverage. Your local bank or credit union will no doubt try to do right by you as well if something happens with your debit card or checking account. But it’s a very different problem when the actual cash has already been removed from your account in some form or another than when those same numbers show up on a credit card statement you haven’t paid yet.

Credit Card fraud protection tips

Cash Back, Miles, Points, and Other “Rewards”

There’s no end to the varieties of “rewards” programs out there on various credit cards. Which ones appeal to you, or whether any of them do, depends on your spending habits and personal preferences. They are, so far, specific to credit cards, however.

While nothing’s impossible, it would be difficult for debit cards to offer anything comparable because debit cards make very little money from your using them. They’re convenience so you’ll do business with your chosen bank or credit union. Credit cards, on the other hand, make a fortune off of your spending, meaning (a) intense competition between card companies and endless efforts to make THEIR card stand out from all the others.

Before taking out a new credit card, you should avail yourself of one of our online tools to compare various card features. And gather the relevant credit card information for yourself. I could tell you what I like, but in this case, that’s not all that helpful. As with so many things, we’re here to provide information and connections. The actual decisions are entirely up to you. I WOULD suggest you actively seek out the information you’re interested in and proactively make your decision. If you find yourself tempted by some random offer you’ve received online or in the mail, at least make sure you ask the right questions before choosing convenience over careful consideration.

Giving Yourself Some Credit

There’s one last benefit to using a credit card, at least periodically. Because credit cards are a type of loan, making regular payments on your balance(s) helps build or rebuild your credit. You probably don’t want to buy stuff just to build a credit history. But if you’re making a medium-sized purchase anyway and know you can handle the payments, you might consider charging it.

The stronger your credit score, the better the terms available to you down the road. The more positive credit history you build, the easier it is for you to borrow for the important stuff – homes, automobiles, vacations, weddings, etc. – at much better rates in the future. Debit cards are wonderful because they don’t let you go in debt by using them. But because they’re not a form of debt, they don’t impact your credit score one way or the other.

Conclusion

You may choose to have only one credit card and use it sparingly. You might opt to have several and use different cards for different purposes. Also, you don’t necessarily have to choose. Although, very few people have good reason to need more than a couple of credit cards at any one time. In the end, though, it’s your call what combination of debit cards and credit cards you wish to carry.

The most common way to get a debit card is through your local bank or credit union, or wherever you have a checking account. That same local bank or credit union no doubt offers several credit card options as well. Unlike debit cards, however, you can apply for credit cards from dozens of different places. And yes, we’re one of those places.

Don’t worry – I’m not pushing a credit card offer on you. We don’t even issue them. What we do have, however, is a carefully curated database of reputable online institutions which do, and with whom we’ve arranged to connect some of our favorite customers if they so choose. Because of the low overhead and nationwide reach possible with the internet, the rates and terms are surprisingly competitive.

You know we’re here if you need us. Now, go make great financial choices!

Credit Cards For Building Credit When Credit is Due

Credit cards in leather wallet on wooden background

Most of us understand that credit is a vital part of our financial lives. Our creditworthiness can have an impact on everything from our ability to get a job, own a home, and everything in between. Using credit wisely is a key tool when it comes to building credit. Many people find themselves in two different positions. As a younger person, you may not have credit and maybe trying to establish credit. Conversely, you may have made credit mistakes and find yourself having to nurse your handicapped credit back to good health. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of different types of credit cards that make this possible.

Use Credit Cards to Build Your Credit

Credit cards allow us to acquire things without having to pay for them outright. That $600 flat screen can be purchased instantly and loaded into your trunk without you having to touch a dime of your actual money right away. You are allowed to enjoy your purchase and pay for it over time or at a later date when it’s more convenient for you.

In addition to being able to pay for things using the bank’s money initially, the more you handle your credit responsibly, the more of it you have access to. This means that if you are approved for a credit card with an initial thousand dollar limit and you honor the terms of the card, in as little as six months your credit limit might be increased two or three-fold. The benefits of using credit properly don’t stop there, however. Using credit responsibly also grows your credit score, showing the financial world that you’re a worthy risk for bigger purchases, like a home or a car. Credit can be a financially beneficial tool if it’s handled properly.

Before You Start Your Credit Card Hunt…

Before you apply for any credit card you should start by pulling your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies and going over it with a fine-tooth comb. If there are mistakes, you need to challenge or dispute them. It’s necessary to make sure that your credit report is accurate before you start your credit hunt. To improve your credit, you must first understand where you are in the credit game and what’s on your credit. Understand that several keys go into determining your creditworthiness and they include payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, as well as other variables.

Five Power Moves for Building or Rebuilding Credit

The path to rebuilding or building credit must be paved and lit using the correct information and knowing the best types of credit cards for your unique situation.

Review Your Credit Report

Check your credit report and make sure it’s accurate. You need to know what creditors have or haven’t reported about your credit usage habits. Moreover, you need to verify that what has been reported is accurate. If it’s not, take steps to dispute or challenge the inaccuracies.

Get a Good Credit Card

Secondly, GET A CREDIT CARD. Using credit is essential to building credit or rebuilding it. You will need to do your homework to determine which credit card is best for you if your aim is building credit. You can start by considering credit card companies below. These companies are reputable and trustworthy, and remember, Loanry is the best place you can go to for anything finance-related, including credit cards. So thank you for coming here, and we hope you’ll find the right credit card for you.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Third, pay your credit card bill on time. Part of creditworthiness is honoring the terms of your credit agreement. This includes paying your credit cards by the due date

Use Your Credit Carefully

Fourth, manage your credit utilization. In other words, don’t max out your credit cards. Credit card companies look at the amount of debt you have on all of your lines of revolving credit. This is the second most important factor when it comes to your creditworthiness. This is important because credit card companies don’t have access to your income information. Instead, they make decisions based upon how much of your credit you have used. For example, you may have three credit cards and each card has a $2,000 limit and all three have a used balance of at least $1,700. To creditors, your credit utilization is almost completely exhausted. This reflects poorly on your credit, particularly if you are seeking more. It may appear that you can’t truly afford the credit you do have and you’re using credit cards improperly.

Get to Know The Risk Factors

Last but not least, get acquainted with your risk factors. This may require spending a little money. You can pull your credit report but it won’t give you your credit score. What you need to know is your score and the negative factors that are affecting it. You can get a peek at your risk factors by paying for a full credit report. All three credit reporting agencies offer this as well as a report that delves into your credit risk factors. Your credit risk is evaluated by credit reporting agencies that consider over 300 risk factors.

To proactively build your credit, you need to know your risk factors. The details of these risk factors can function as a road map or guide, showing you areas of improvement and what you can do. This report might reveal a particular account that is adversely affecting your credit score.
Conversely, things you don’t have can be a risk factor as well. For example, not being a homeowner could be a risk factor in some situations. However, there may be other ways that you can tilt the credit odds in your favor.

The Downfall of Mishandled Credit

Conversely, if you’re someone that has handled credit negligently, you’ll find many doors closing for you. You may receive credit card offers but the interest rate for your credit card may be significantly higher. Depending on how bad your credit is, you may not be able to require a conventional credit card as well. You may be limited to secured credit cards to help rebuild or re-establish your credit until you can prove that you can handle credit responsibly.

Secured credit card requires you to pay a certain amount of deposit and in turn, you are given credit equal to your deposit typically. The interest rates may be high on a secured credit card as well. It should also be noted that certain types of credit cards may not be available to someone with poor credit. For example, you may not receive credit card offers for balance transfers or with low or zero percent interest rates. For all practical purposes, you are considered a credit risk and most banks will handle you cautiously, requiring you to prove yourself by honoring your credit terms over time, before extending more credit or offering you better interest rates. However, if you can get a credit card, you have a fighting chance, no-a good chance of building credit if you make your payments on time and honor the terms of your credit card.

The Yellow Brick Road to Credit Worthiness

Once you’ve chosen to conquer your poor credit or lack of credit, you need to look for a simple credit card that will allow you to achieve this without too much effort. In other words, you need to look for a credit card that will allow you to do this pretty easily. However, the type of credit card you pursue should be largely based on your unique situation.

Those That Have Little or No Credit

If you are someone that doesn’t have much credit, choosing the right card and getting approved for it can seem a bit daunting. However, there are credit cards geared to people with low or no credit. For example, if you are a college student who’s never had a credit card or any type of credit before, many credit card companies have starter credit cards for people new to credit. Many of these cards offer perks that people with established credit enjoy. For example, zero percent introductory fees and cashback on purchases.  Cards with zero percent annual percentage interest rates help new credit card users save on the amount of interest they will be paying as time passes. Also, there are a whole host of other perks and benefits that credit card companies may offer to beginner credit card users.

Conversely, it’s safe to say that you won’t have credit card offers pouring from the sky when you have little to no credit. There is a chance that you might have to start with a secured card to initially establish your credit. You may even consider joining a credit union and attempting to get a credit card through your credit union.

Regardless of Your No Credit, Poor Credit Do This…

Regardless of whether you have no credit or poor credit, you mustn’t waste your time applying for credit cards that aren’t a good fit. This is one of the main reasons why you need to develop both a fundamental and intimate understanding of your unique credit situation. Your credit report provides this information and you must pull all three. They won’t all have the same information and your credit score can vary from one credit reporting agency to the next.

However, the idea is to know for sure what’s on your credit report so that you know which credit cards will be best for you. Every time you apply for credit it creates an inquiry. If you are denied it can reflect negatively on your credit. This is why you need to make educated and practical choices when you apply for a credit card by applying for cards with good approval rated for people with your credit situation. You can’t do this unless you know what you’re working with.

Essentially, know your credit score as well as what’s on your credit. This will help you make good decisions when it comes to applying for credit cards that you have a good chance of approval. In essence, only apply for credit cards with good approval odds. In other words, if you have a credit score of 550, that Platinum Visa is probably not for you and you probably won’t be approved. However, you may qualify for that secured credit card offer that just came in the mail. Also, it’s not a good idea to apply for a lot of credit cards at once if your goal is to start building credit. Be conservative and apply for cards you know you have a good chance of getting. This is honestly the best credit card shopping trick.

Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit

These types of credit cards are honestly good for a wide variety of people for many different reasons. Your creditworthiness is not usually on trial with these types of cards. People with little or no credit as well as poor credit can use secured credit cards if they are unable to qualify for conventional credit. Consider a secured credit card a starter credit card. Secured credit cards require you to make a deposit equal to the amount of credit you are seeking. More often than not, secured credit cards are dressed down versions of traditional credit cards. They don’t usually offer too many perks and your interest rates may still be high.

These types of credit cards usually don’t offer perks like cash back, sky milers, or rewards. However, these credit cards do give people with no credit or poor credit an opportunity to rebuild or establish a good credit history. Making payments on time and not maxing out the credit card usually reflect positively on credit history. And can lead to an increase in your credit limit and more credit card offers once you have a history of making payments on time.

The Nuts and Bolts of Secured Credit

Secured credit cards usually offer automatic approval without a credit check, although some may require approval and may even consider your credit. Some may even require you to have a checking account. When you apply for a secured credit card you submit your deposit along with your application. Your credit limit is usually equal to your deposit. Some cards may return your deposit after a certain amount of time has passed and you’ve made on-time payments.

Using Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit

Once you’ve established credit via a secured credit card, there are tips you can exercise to boost your creditworthiness. Use your card modestly and pay off your balance every month. This shows credit card companies that you are responsible and don’t overspend. You can show this by making small purchases and paying them off. Also, make sure you’re paying your bill by the due date or before. This also shows responsibility. Even secured credit cards report to the different credit agencies. Your good faith efforts will be notated, although you have a secured credit card. Credit is credit, plain and simple. Once you’re handling your credit card responsibly, check your credit score periodically. As it improvers, you may be able to request a credit increase or an unsecured credit card which will also reflect positively on your credit.

Other Considerations Regarding Secured Credit Cards

Often, secured credit cards are better options than credit cards geared towards people with bad credit. The interest rates may be higher on secured credit cards. But they are often lower than credit cards that specifically target people with poor credit. Credit cards that target people with poor credit often have high non-refundable fees in addition to high-interest rates. This is one of the key reasons whey secured credit cards may be favorable for people looking to build credit because they don’t have any and people who have poor credit.

What Secured Credit Cards won’t Do…Typically

Secured credit cards usually don’t allow you to spend beyond the amount of your credit limit which is equal to your security deposit. Some credit card companies offer partially secured credit cards which may give you a credit limit that exceeds your deposit. However, most credit limits for secured cards are equal to your deposit.

Traditional Credit Cards (Unsecured)

In some situations, your credit may not be so poor that you can’t get a traditional credit card to build credit. In situations like this, it’s a good idea to look for a credit card with certain basic characteristics that make any card attractive. Low-interest rates are usually part of the key determining factors when it comes to choosing a credit card. Comparison shop and consider what’s important to you and any perks, aside from the basic things, that each card offers.

Conclusion

The road to good credit isn’t paved overnight. It takes time. Credit card companies need to see a steady history of on-time payments and responsible credit urs. However, proving your creditworthiness to credit card companies may not take as long as you think it will. In some situations, your credit score can improve significantly enough, within as little as six months, to yield better credit card offers along with a higher credit score.

All of this is possible through fundamental information and a thorough understanding of your credit situation. Know where you are on the credit map. Is your credit history fraught with bankruptcies, charge offs, and repossessions? Don’t apply for that platinum visa, choose a secured or basic credit card instead. Are you a student that has never had a credit card and whats to start building credit? Seek credit cards geared for students and beginning credit users and honor the credit terms. The key is picking a credit card that is right for you. Follow all the terms and conditions of the card. You’re bound to see improvement fairly quickly. If you can learn to incorporate the advice, tips, and tricks, you are on your way to building credit.

 

The 11 Top Business Credit Cards: CEO Approved

It’s no secret that running a business- whether a large or small one- takes money. Sometimes, when expenses pop up, resources may not be fluid, so you need an alternative option. Business credit cards can be a great way to take care of these expenses. If you have the right one and handle it well. That’s what we are going to talk about today. The ups and downs and ins and outs of business credit cards.

Basics of Business Credit Cards

Before applying for a credit card, it is important to educate yourself. The first things you need to understand are the similarities difference between personal credit cards and business credit cards. On a very basic level, business credit cards and personal cards work the same. You use the money to pay for things, and then you repay the money. In this sense, a credit card is just a credit card. When you dig past the surface, though, there are some important differences.

Rewards and Bonuses

As business credit cards are intended for businesses, the rewards and bonuses offered appeal more to businesses than to individuals. For instance, business cards usually have better options on categories such as:

  • Travel- hotel stays, rental cars, airfare
  • Office supplies
  • Technology
  • Even advertising

Some personal cards use these categories, too, but you will likely see bonuses and rewards for personal cards such as:

  • Groceries
  • Home improvement purchases
  • Entertainment

Sometimes these categories will be found on both personal and business credit cards, but not always.

Reported Differently

Even if a business card is under your personal identification, the credit does not show up under your personal credit utilization. This is a very good thing as you want to keep your business and personal finances separate.

Higher Interest and Fees

You will often find that business credit cards charge much higher interest rates and tack on much higher fees than personal cards. And, worse, they can increase those interest rates, fees, and any potential fees without giving you a bit of warning. You can imagine that such a scenario would be no fun for anyone trying to run a business.


Anyone Can Apply for Either

Just because they are called business cards does not mean you need to have a physical location and employees to apply. If you are a freelancer or simply have a side hustle and want to keep your business expenses separate, you can apply for business credit cards with your personal information as a sole proprietor. In the same vein, a business owner might consider a personal credit card instead of a lower interest.

11 Great Business Credit Cards

1. Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card

This is a great card for the everyday expenses you face. You can earn 2% cash back on all purchases, so whether you are purchasing a pack of pens from Office Depot or gassing up the jet to fly off to your meeting across the country, you earn. Best of all, there are no caps on that earning.

There is an annual $95 fee, which is waived the first year, and you may also earn $2,000 or more for signing up and completing the spending requirements. This particular sign on bonus may not last forever, but there are usually some good incentives. It comes with free employee cards and even some protections, such as purchase protection, extended warranty, and price protection.

2. Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Capital One Spark Miles for BusinessIf your business pays for a lot of travel, you may consider the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card, as there are some pretty sweet perks. First, you get 5 miles for every dollar you spend on hotel and rental cars through Capital One Travel, and 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all of your other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the annual $95 fee is waived for the first year.

This card also gets you up to a $100 credit if you enroll in Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, and employee cards are free. Additionally, you get the same purchase protection, extended warranty and price protection of the Spark Cash card, but also travel protections that include:

  • Travel accident insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver

3. The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Business Platinum Card from American ExpressAnother great credit card for business travel is from American Express. This card comes with an automatic Gold status for the Hilton and Marriott. If you book your travel through AMEX Travel, you get a 35% points rebate for flights in first or business class as well as a $200 annual airline fee credit and 5 membership points for every dollar spent.

The Business Platinum Card from AMEX also gives you 1.5 points on your purchases of $5,000 and up, and then 1 point for every dollar you spend on anything else. Often, they run a sign up special that gets you free airline points. There is an annual fee of $595, but there are no foreign transaction fees. Do some math: if you or your employees travel enough that you will save more than the $595 annual fee, this might be the credit card for you.

4. Brex Corporate Card for Startups

Brex Corporate Card for StartupsBrex offers an excellent option for some businesses. Let’s start by pointing out that this card is given depending on the information gathered from your EIN, so the self-employed, sole proprietorships, and so on will not get approved- move to the next card. If you are incorporated though, continue reading.

The Brex Corporate Card credit limit depends on the amount your business has raised, but generally, the limits are 10% to 20% higher than small business cards. The first five cards are included in sign up. Any additional cards cost $5 per user per month. There are no annual fees at all, no interest, and no foreign transaction fees. At the end of 30 days, the payment is automatically debited from your account, meaning you do not even have to think about it.

If all of that does not sound good enough, there is more. You earn 7 points on rideshares, 4 points on Brex travel, 3 points on restaurants, 2 points on recurring software, and 1 point on everything else. They even have partnerships with Quickbooks, Xero, Google Ads, and more. Check them out to see what they can do for your business. As it does not revolve around your personal credit, it will not hurt your credit to apply.

5. U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard

U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite MastercardThe U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard lets you earn an unlimited 3% cash back on cell phone services as well as gas station and office supply store purchases. The rewards never expire and there is no limit to how much you can earn. You also earn a 25% Annual Cash Rewards bonus of up to $250.

You can transfer balances to this card for 0% interest for the first 15 billing cycles, but there is a 5% or $10 cash advance fee. There is a 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee, depending on the purchase. However, there is no annual fee and an introductory 0% interest rate, which lasts for 15 billing cycles.

6. Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from Chase

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card from ChaseInk is a great card to consider for any business, but especially digital ones. This is because you can get 3 Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on advertising on search engines and social media sites. Those same rewards points go for travel, Internet, cable, and phone services, and shipping purchases. On everything else, you earn 1 point per dollar spent.

With this card also comes primary rental car insurance, free employee cards, and cell phone insurance. There are no foreign transaction fees, but there is a $95 annual fee. Currently, there is a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points when you meet the spending requirements and extra points for booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

7. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MastercardThis is another good card to consider for travel. You receive 2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar you spend on American Airlines, and 2 miles for every dollar you spend on telecommunications, cable and satellite, car rentals and gas. For all other purchasing categories, you get 1 mile per dollar spent.

Additionally, you get baggage checked for free and even four companions. It comes with free employee cards, too. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $99 annual fee but it is waived for the first year. They also run sign up deals that give you bonus miles when you meet spending requirements.

8. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business CardThis card starts off with Hilton Gold elite status, which gives you a 25% point bonus on certain spending, free nights, and more. You then earn 12 Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent at Hilton properties, 6 points per dollar for gas, at restaurants, and with flights and car rentals from certain companies, and 3 points per dollar on everything else.

Employee cards are free and you even get access to expenses tracking tools. This card also gives you travel protections like baggage insurance, travel insurance, roadside assistance, and more. There are no foreign transaction fees, though there is a $95 annual fee.

9. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Card

U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards CardThe U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Card does not earn as many points as some others, but it comes with its own perks. You earn 2 points per dollar on purchases of office supplies, gas, airline tickets, or whatever you spend the most on every month, as well as 2 points for purchases through cell phone providers. An exciting thing, though, is that you can also earn 2 points per dollar on eligible charitable donations. You then earn 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

You can receive a $25 Airline Allowance per round trip for things such as baggage fees, seat upgrades, or food and drinks on the plane. Your points can be redeemed for different items, such as gift cards, airline tickets, cash back, hotel stays, and more. There are no foreign transaction fees. You get travel insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, emergency assistance, and more. There is a $55 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year.

10. American Express Blue Business Cash Card

American Express Blue Business Cash CardThis card is good for businesses looking to grow. First, you earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases that amount to $50,000 per calendar year. After that $50,000, it drops to 1%. For those that need to spend more than their credit limit, the Blue business card has an Expanded Buying Power option where you can go over your limit. How much over depends on your payment history and more, but it is an option.

There is a balance transfer option, which costs either $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer- whichever is greater, though there is no fee on transfers in the first year. You get charged 2.7% on all foreign transactions. In the first year, purchases have 0% interest. Extras include purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, car rental loss and damage insurance, and more.

11. Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express CardFor those businesses whose travels land them at the Marriott pretty often, why not have a Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card? You get six Marriott Rewards points for every dollar you spend at Marriott properties. And you also get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite Status. You even receive a free night every year you keep the account active. If you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year, you get another free night.

That isn’t all, though. You earn 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, and cell phone services, and 2 points per dollar on other purchases. The card comes with baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance, and car rental damage and loss. There are no foreign transaction fees, but there is an annual fee of $125. If you have or have had a Marriott business card recently, you may not qualify for the application bonus, so check the fine print before you sign.

Pros of Business Credit Cards

There are plenty of good reasons to apply for business credit cards.

  • You can usually get approved for a business credit card much quicker than you can get approved for a personal one. As odd as it may sound, even if the lender is looking at your personal credit score, they tend to be more lenient with the credit cards. This is not always the case, but it typically is.
  • The rewards, bonuses, promos, and other incentives can be incredibly helpful. For instance, getting a 0% interest introductory rate for a year can give you that full year to work on increasing your income. This is great for startups and small businesses as it gives them a chance to get money coming in. Also, as mentioned above, earning points towards things you use can help you save. If you are going to have a credit card anyway, you might as well have one that will help you where you need to save.
  • Like a personal credit card, they can help build your business credit- something businesses desperately need to have.
  • When you run into problems, like equipment malfunctions, credit cards can help you take care of the problem quickly.

Cons of Business Credit Cards

Of course, there are downsides to business credit cards, as well. Two big ones are:

  • Interest rates are often high for business credit cards.
  • Fraudulent charges may slip through the crack. Because there are usually so many charges put on a business credit card, it is easy to overlook something that you did not put there. Often, it is easier for an identity thief to get his hands on a business’s credit card information than it is an individual’s. Also, as much as I wish it weren’t so, employees may use a business card for things other than business expenses, especially if they feel they are not being monitored. The best solution is to be sure that someone is going through every charge on your credit card bill. If something looks like it should not be there, investigate. This will ensure that you catch fraudulent charges more quickly. Also, if you are making your employees explain the charges they make, they will be much less likely to charge things that they should not.

Promotions and Bonuses

Credit card companies are similar to every other industry- they have to be competitive to win your business. This competition often results in promotions when customers sign up. These promotions can be a great benefit to businesses, but if you are not careful, they may also cost you. You have to weigh the promotions out.

Some credit cards come with a 0% interest promo for the first year, which is a great deal. If the interest shoots up to 29% after that first year, though, you need to have it paid off before the end of that 12 months and have a lower interest card at your disposal.

Another of the many types of credit card promotions they run you see will be something along the lines of “Get 80,000 airline miles if you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months”. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you travel for your business and you already spend $50,000 on business purchases in six months, this promo might be worth it for you. Just do not let something like this push you to spend more than you normally would. Also, if you don’t fly, those airline miles are useless. You are better off finding a card with something you will use.

Here is a credit card shopping trick that many people try: Sign up for a card with 0% interest for the first year and perks you can use. At the end of that year, find another card that has 0% interest for a year, and close the first one so you are not charged any annual fees. Sometimes, though, rather than lose your business, your first credit card company will give you another good deal- it’s always worth trying to ask them.

If that does not work, you can sign up for a new card at the end of each promotion, unless of course your contract says otherwise. For this to work well, though, you will need to do one of two things: either make sure your balance is paid in full before the end of the promotional period, or make sure your new card allows for balance transfers and transfer that balance at least a month in advance. That way, by the time your promotional period is over, you have nothing on that card.

Business Loans vs Business Credit Cards

At times, you may find it more beneficial to get a business loan than to use a business credit card. When you need to make a large purchase, an installment loan might be a better idea. This is because the interest is usually lower than credit card interest, and you can make payments over time.

The repayment term usually depends on the amount of money you borrow. Probably the only time a credit card would be better is if you are at the beginning of your 0% interest period. And you know for a fact that you can repay the amount prior to the end of the period.

A business line of credit is another option here. These are similar to credit cards as they are a revolving line of credit. You take what you need, you pay it back, and you can take it back out if you need it. It actually is not a bad idea to have both a business credit card and a business line of credit. When you need to borrow money, compare the current interest rates for each and determine which will charge you less. Having both available to you opens up your options, which is very helpful when you need to make a large purchase.

Handling Business Credit Cards Responsibly

You need to be as careful with your business credit cards as you are with your personal credit cards. Well, unless you are not responsible with your personal cards. If that is the case, it is time to be responsible with all of them. Here are a few tips to do so:

  • Only give cards to employees who you feel will be responsible with them, and then check to make sure that they are doing that.
  • Set limits on the cards so that neither you nor your employees can do any large spending without you authorizing it first.
  • Only spend money that you have either planned to spend or need to spend.
  • Set a budget for your spending and stick with it.
  • Try to have savings set aside for unexpected expenses instead of having to use your credit card all of the time.
  • Pay your bill on time every month.
  • Pay more than the minimum balance required. As stated above, if it is at all possible, try to pay your balance off every single month.
  • Remember that 0% interest is not a green light to spend like crazy. The amount you charge during that period needs to be paid off before the end of the promotion. Otherwise, interest will be added.

Conclusion

Running a business requires time, commitment, and money. Though credit cards can only take care of the money side of things, having the funds already available can save you time and make it easier to keep your head in the game. I said above that having a business line of credit and a business credit card available to you opens up your options. So does having more than one business credit card.

It might be beneficial for you to have two or three business cards open. First, when done well, they will help your business credit. Second, if you have three that offer different perks and cash back for different purchases, you can choose the best card for each move you need to make. Look into a few that you feel will benefit your business the most and apply.

Additionally, if you are currently in credit card debt that you cannot seem to dig your way out of, there is hope. Getting an installment loan can give you the funds you need to pay off your credit cards. Then, instead of making multiple payments and gaining insane amounts of interest every month, you have one simple payment to make.

What Credit Score Do Credit Card Companies Require?

Deciding to apply for a credit card requires a proper thought process. It is not something that you rush into, and that is why you must take your time to get the right one for you.  There are very many options available in the market, all offering different benefits. Are credit cards based on credit score? If you are applying for a credit card, you may have heard that your credit score will matter. And yes, this is a very important thing you should be aware of. You, however, do not have a very good idea about what this score should be, and do not know how to go about it. But if your curious and want to learn, we will explain everything in more detail for you right now.

Credit Card Basics Spelled Out: Credit 101

Credit Cards Based On Credit Scores – Understanding Credit Score Impact

If the credit card companies give credit cards based on credit score, you should take note of the following.

Excellent Credit Rating

You have a fico score above 800, and the odds of getting an approval are high.  What it means is that your credit history dating back to almost ten years is good. You also have an excellent credit mix meaning you may have different credit cards, and installment loans. It shows that you can handle your debt portfolio well.

The credit cards you will get with an excellent credit score come with a host of bonuses and rewards. You may, for example, get special introductory offers and larger bonuses depending on your spending.  You can apply for cards like the platinum card from American Express, Sapphire reserve from Chase, among others.

Very Good Credit Score

If you have a very good credit score, it means your ratings for between 740- 799.  You enjoy almost all the benefits of those who have an excellent credit card rating.

A Good Credit Score

A good credit score means that your rating is in the range of 670- 739. Your credit history probably dates back three years, and you have no late payments.  You can apply for credit cards from most of the major lenders, and you have a better chance if your income can comfortably take care of the payments.  The lenders will also look at other factors like your monthly expenditure to determine your creditworthiness.  The lenders may also check to see how much debt you have in other credit accounts.

Proper use of the credit card may sway the lender to give you some decent rewards. Making your payments on time will also have a positive impact on your credit rating.

credit score factors

Average or Fair Credit

If your credit score is between 580- 669, you have an average credit rating. You can apply for the credit cards, but you may face some challenges getting approval. Even if you get consent, you will not enjoy the rewards that those with good credit receive.

If you fall within this range, you may have missed a few payments in the past year or two.  You may have also just started the process of rebuilding your credit.  If you have high balances when compared to your credit limit, it will also act as a red flag for any credit card issuer.

While getting a credit card may help you improve your credit score, be careful about the common credit card mistakes people make. Do not give in to the temptation of applying for too many cards; every time you make an application, there will be a hard inquiry. Credit cards based on credit score look at the number of queries; too many may ruin your chances of getting financial approval of up to two years in the future.

You will find credit card companies that have products four people within this credit score range. What you get is an opportunity to rebuild your credit score while enjoying the benefits of having a credit card. The lender may, however, not be comfortable giving you an unsecured credit card.  You can apply for the secured card that will require a deposit.  The deposit will help the company recover some of its money if you’re not able to pay your bills.  You also have the option of applying for retail store cards; the terms are not very favorable, but you stand a higher chance of getting approval.

Some of the companies you can approach include, Capital One, MasterCard, Discover it, among others.

Bad CreditРезултат слика за credit card with bad credit infographic

You fall within the bad credit range if you have a score of 580 and below.  Your chances of getting approval for a credit card with bad credit are very low. You will land within this range if you get many adverse reports on your credit history.  The Credit Bureaus will consider information such as bankruptcies, several late payments, and adverse reports from collection accounts, among others.  The impact of poor credit history are numerous, and you need to get yourself out of that range as soon as possible.

Most lenders will see you as a credit risk because all indicators point to the fact that you may not be able to pay off the debts. There are, however, certain products that credit card companies have for people in this range.  You will qualify for a secured card because the deposit is a buffer for the lender.  There is no 100% guarantee that you will get an approval, even with a deposit.

Good credit cards based on credit score may not be within your reach at this point, but you need to be careful about what you apply for.    Be watchful about some of the unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit.   The terms are usually very unfavorable.   Take time to read customer reviews before signing on.  Doing your research well will save you a lot of heartache in the future.

No Credit

Some people do not have any established credit, for instance, students.  You can qualify for certain credit cards, especially those within the fair credit range.

Getting Approved for a Credit Card

There are many factors credit card companies consider before you get an approval.  It will also depend on the types of credit card you are applying for.   That is why you need to take your time to compare credit cards for good credit. , different credit card companies have different requirements which you will need to fulfill.  Some companies will give credit cards based on credit score, others who look at a whole other range of factors.  Do note that you may face some challenges if your credit rating is below 580.

The good news is there is no actual credit score number that will determine whether or not you get a credit card.  Even those with excellent credit scores may, depending on other factors, not get approval. Credit card companies will take into consideration some of the following.

1. Credit Cards Based On Credit Scores

The lender may depend on your credit score to determine whether or not you are creditworthy. An individual who has a poor credit rating may have difficulty making the credit card payments. An individual can have more than one credit score. You also have the option of checking out some of the best credit card to get with bad credit.  Some lenders will take on the risk of giving someone with a poor payment history a credit card but will take into consideration certain factors.  Such credit cards have a higher interest to protect the lender if you are not able to make the payments.

2. Credit History

Lenders will look at your history with regard to credit to determine whether you make your payments on time or not.  Some lenders will insist on seeing your payment history dating back years.  It will allow them to get a clearer picture of your financial standing.  A credit history check will yield more information than the lender can get from a single credit score.

3.Income Level

Credit card companies will want to know your income level before they can give you an approval for a credit card.  While it will not factor into your credit score, the lenders will want to know that you have a steady source of income.  You should be ready to give additional information, such as tax returns.  Your income level will have a huge role to play on the credit limit the lender will provide you with.  It does not matter how good your payment history is, a low income may result in a low credit limit.

4. Monthly Housing Expenses

The credit card company may express an interest in your monthly housing expenses. They may also ask whether you own or rent the house, and how much you spend on running it. The lender will be trying to determine whether you are living within your income bracket.  If your expenses are higher than your income, it may negatively impact on your credit card application.

 Understanding Credit Scoring and Credit Reports

Резултат слика за credit report infographic

Understanding credit cards is the key when you are applying for a one. So here are some basics you need to know. Credit scoring looks at the number of hard inquiries over the past year. Credit reports will include any inquiries over the past two years.  If the lender finds that you have so many queries, they may not grant you an approval for a credit card.  You may also have a good credit score, but a single late payment will go to your credit report, leading to a denial for a credit card.  Missing one payment will reflect on your credit report for seven years, and credit cards based on credit scores take this very seriously.

 Understanding Credit Scores

Many people assume that you only need one credit score. The reality is that you have the option of getting several scores.  There are many scoring components and models, including FICO score Vantage score, among others.  These are the models that the three major credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and Transunion use in determining your credit score. You will, however, find that most of them will rate you a range of 300 to 850.  The higher the rating, the better your credit scores.

Another thing to note is that the different agencies may give you different ratings.  You need to be aware of the model they are using to calculate your credit score, and which credit card report they are using as a data source. You will also find some free resources online, which can give you a free credit score.  Such include websites for credit card issuance and those that offer credit monitoring services.  The three agencies will also give you a report once a year.

What You Need To Know When Applying For a Credit Card

Different credit card companies have their requirements, which they use to determine whether or not to give someone a credit card.  However, most of them will look at your history with debt and how you handle payments. Some of the advantages of having a good credit history include lower interest rate, higher credit limits, and rewards that come with the cards.  Retail store credit cards do not require much to get approval; even those with bad credit can apply.  Good credit cards based on credit score are usually higher-end, have higher limits, and come with some of the best offerings.  They, however, require that you have an excellent credit history to qualify.

There is no way of knowing whether the companies will deny your credit card application unless you apply.  Most companies will revert within 7-10 days.  If you do not qualify, they will tell you why.

If you’re interested in getting a new card, make sure you consider all your possibilities. With the help of our partner Fiona, you can find a list of credit cards you should definitely check out below. If you find something interesting, fill out the form and we’ll get back to you with offers from companies.


Impact of Debt Consolidation on the Credit Score

If you hope to get good credit cards based on credit score, you will need to apply specific strategies. One such approach is debt consolidation. It allows you to lower monthly payments, thus making it possible for you to stick to the repayment schedule. It can be tough to manage the high interest on your credit cards if you have multiple accounts. But if you bring them together, you have a better opportunity of managing them. Let us explore how debt consolidation can affect your credit scores and how you can do it effectively.

  • Balance transfer credit cards will offer you introductory periods, where you do not have to pay any interest on a balance on the cards within a specified period. By making savings, you will be able to pay off your debt quicker.
  • You can apply for personal loans, but make sure you only go for those with low-interest rates.  You get the benefit of getting to pay off the higher interest credit card balances faster.
  • Taking a loan from your retirement account will help you pay off any debts you have consolidated. Be careful about penalties and taxes that apply to retirement accounts so that you do not end up paying more than you expected.
  •  Home equity loans or lines of credit will use your home as collateral.  The interest rates are lower, but you need to know that the lender can auction off your home if you do not meet the repayment terms.

But beware…

Debt consolidation is an excellent way of paying off your debt in a more comfortable manner.  You, however, need to be watchful of the following:-

  • When you apply for new credit applications, the lender will make a hard inquiry.  The more the inquiries, the more significant the impact on your credit scores.
  • Opening a new credit account may temporarily lower your credit score.  The lender will view you as a high-risk borrower because they are not sure about your ability to pay the debt.
  •  The more you make your payments promptly, the better the impact on your credit score.  It, therefore, means that the older credit accounts will have a positive effect, but a new account will lower your count temporarily.
  •  Credit utilization ratio measures how you are using the available credit.  Opening a debt consolidation account will increase your available credit, thus having a positive impact on your credit score.
  •  Make sure you keep up with your payments because this is one of the most significant factors when it comes to determining your credit rating.

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What Can Hurt Your Credit Score

We have looked at some of the things that can hurt your credit score. With a low rating, you will face a challenge, if you are applying for credit cards based on credit score.  You need to be careful about the following;-

    • Missing out on payments;   your payment history accounts for up to 35% of your FICO score. it will also stay on your credit report for up to seven years
    • Credit utilization takes up to 30% of your fico score.  you must, therefore, be watchful that you do not max out your credit cards
    • Hard inquiries when applying for a credit card will impact on your credit score. The inquiries will stay on your credit report for two years, but will only  have an impact on your score for one year
    • Do not apply for too multiple credit cards within a short time.  It may give the impression that you are desperate for credit, and the hard inquiries will show up on your credit report.
    • Declaring bankruptcy can cost you up to 240 points on your FICO score. It also stays on your credit report for up to 10 years.
    • A foreclosure report will be on your credit report for up to seven years and can cost you up to 160 points
    • Deed-in-lieu or turning your property over to the mortgage lender can cost you up to 125 points if the lender sells the property to recover his money.
    • A short sale has the same impact on your credit score as a foreclosure.
    • Negotiating to settle a debt at less than what you had initially agreed with the creditor, can cost you up to 125 points
    • We have talked about debt consolidation above.  The hard inquiry will temporarily lower your credit score, but if you keep up with the payments, you will significantly improve your credit rating.
    • Refinancing a loan can impact due to a hard inquiry,  or a report that it is the same loan, but with slight changes
    • You may need to close a credit card account, but note that you will reduce your credit utilization ratio.  it will also impact on the age of the credit history by shortening it
    • You may be an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account, meaning that you inherit their payment history.  If the initial user had discipline about making payments, it would boost your score. The reverse is that if the person was delinquent, it harms your credit score
    • Having the right credit mix is crucial for a good score.  It accounts for up to 10% of your FICO score
    • You may think that not having a credit card will be good for your credit rating. the truth is, you need to have at least one account to qualify for a FICO score
    • Pay attention to the reports you get from the bureaus, because they could contain errors.  Report any irregularities so that the credit Bureaus can correct them as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Applying for credit cards based on credit score can be challenging if you have a poor credit rating.  However, there are measures you can take to improve your credit score. You must keep up with your payments so that you do not damage your credit history.