Offers 1% cash back on purchases and 1% cash back on bill payments
No annual fee
Multiple redemption options
No initial rewards bonus
3% foreign transaction fee
Must have at least $25 in rewards to redeem
The Verdict: As its commercials and name indicate, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back twice (once when you make a purchase and again when you pay your bill) and doesn’t detract from your earning potential with an annual fee (Citi is a WalletHub partner). That might sound good, not great – especially when juxtaposed with offers for 5, 10, even 15 points or miles per dollar spent in certain categories – but it’s enough to make Double Cash the best cash back credit card on the market and one of the most rewarding cards overall, according to WalletHub research.
In other words, Citi clearly has a blockbuster on its hands with this elegantly rewarding offer, which comes at no cost to qualified applicants and promotes responsible habits in an era of low financial literacy. So if you have excellent credit, don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month, and value everyday savings above travel rewards, make sure to vote Double Cash this year. It’s the best everyday rewards card that you can get, and your wallet will surely thank you!
Americans love basketball. How much? Let’s put it this way: It has a fanbase that exceeds the population of Spain. And on the business side of things, it’s growing. Today, the average NBA franchise is worth $1.9 billion (an increase of 13% from 2018) and draws additional revenues from TV partnerships, merchandise sales and, as of 2017, advertising on NBA team uniforms.
So it’s safe to say — considering the tens of millions of people who regularly watch basketball and the billions of dollars we shell out in its name — that we’re a little more than crazed about the sport.
There is a big difference between simply getting a rewards credit card and finding the best offer for your needs. Finding any old rewards card is easy. Hundreds of offers are available, and even people with bad credit can qualify for some of them. But with numerous rewards currencies to choose from and various restrictions to watch out for, the best rewards card isn’t always so obvious.
Given that the right rewards credit card is worth more than its weight in gold, WalletHub analyzed the market to help people make truly informed choices. We compared every non-cobranded consumer rewards credit card from the 20 largest issuers (65 total offers). Specifically, we evaluated each card’s eligibility requirements, rewards earning and redemption policies, and expected rewards value.
Summer isn’t just a season of daily walks on the beach or picnics at the park. For some people, especially young adults, the warmer months are a time to gain extra spending money or work experience.
But whether you need or want a summer job, where you look for one will matter almost as much as what you do. Obviously, opportunities will be more widely available in some places than in others. And while a job may pay well in one city, the same position may not pay as much in another. Minimum-wage laws and local costs, for instance, will determine how much you earn and consequently what you’ll be able to afford in terms of housing, transportation and social activities. More importantly, if you’re supporting yourself, location will dictate how much of your income you’ll be able to save if that’s your goal.
People typically view retirement as the end of the line — a time for rest, relaxation and the pursuit of interests long ago put on the back burner. But the story is far different for military retirees who must deal with the trials of reassimilation into civilian life. For starters, the average officer is only 45 years old — 42 for nondisability enlisted personnel — upon retirement from service. Many of those who reenter the job market face tough challenges during the transition while others struggle with more difficult problems, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, disability and homelessness.
As such, military retirement can be a far more complicated issue than one might assume, given the extent to which state tax policies on military benefits vary, the relative friendliness of different job markets toward veterans and other socioeconomic factors. In 2018, the military’s retirement system also changed for new recruits and current personnel who opted in, going from a “defined benefit” to a “Blended Retirement System” that awards funds not just based on years served but also matches contributions to a “Thrift Savings Plan.”
Rocket Loans Review Summary: Rocket Loans – a division of Quicken Loans, along with Rocket Mortgage – lives up to its name with fast personal loan funding, typically providing payment within 4 days of an application being submitted. Rocket Loans also has very competitive interest rates, with a minimum APR of 7.161% for the most qualified applicants. The fast approval and low-rate potential, along with loan amounts up to $45,000, make Rocket Loans good for debt consolidation.
To top it off, the average person should be able to get approved. Rocket Loans’ minimum credit score requirement is 640, and the minimum income requirement is $24,000 – less than the average American makes in a year. People who only just meet the 640 credit score requirement may have to pay interest at an annual APR of up to 29.99%, which is neither the best nor the worst option available.
Not a direct lender; connects borrowers with partnered lenders
Maximum APR not disclosed; must check rates online
One-time $399 fee
Late fee depends on the lender
MotoRefi Review Summary: MotoRefi is a brokerage company that helps people refinance their existing auto loans at cheaper rates. MotoRefi doesn’t actually issue loans, but rather connects applicants with “trusted lenders, like credit unions and community banks,” that can give them the best deal on a new auto loan. For example, one of the biggest lenders they work with is Pentagon Federal Credit Union, according to a representative. No matter the lender, MotoRefi always charges a one-time fee of $399 for doing the paperwork to refinance your loan and transfer your vehicle’s title.
MotoRefi advertises being able to refinance loans at rates as low as 2.49%. The maximum APR depends on which lender refinances the loan. You don’t need perfect credit or an especially high income to qualify, either. MotoRefi requires a credit score of 650 or above and an annual income of at least $24,000. However, people with better credit scores and higher incomes will naturally be able to qualify for lower interest rates.
Quick Review: LoanMe personal loans are too expensive to consider getting. Even people with the best credit scores will only qualify for rates as low as 9.90% – far more expensive than where other lenders start. And anyone with a credit score under 760 will have to deal with an interest rate above 90%. Plus, whatever loan amount you choose will have a big origination fee (17% to 33%) deducted from it.
On top of that, LoanMe only lends to people in nine states: AZ, CA, DE, ID, KY, MO, NM, SC and UT.
Navy Federal Review Summary: Navy Federal personal loans are fairly inexpensive, with APRs ranging from 8.19% to 18.0%. You may be able to find lower starting rates elsewhere, but NFCU’s maximum interest rate is low compared to what most other lenders charge. Those low rates combined with loan amounts up to $50,000 make Navy Federal a good option for debt consolidation. Navy Federal personal loans don’t have any origination fees or prepayment fees, either.
Navy Federal personal loans are only available to members of Navy Federal Credit Union. You can join if you’ve served in the military or if a family member has served (or is an NFCU member). Department of Defense personnel and their families are also eligible. NFCU doesn’t openly state any minimum credit score or income requirements, but they do say they’ll consider applicants’ standing in the credit union.
LendUp Review Summary: LendUp loans are short-term loans for people who don’t have any other options. LendUp doesn’t do a credit check during the application process, meaning their loans are very easy to qualify for. But they are also incredibly expensive as a result, many times more expensive than the average personal loan.
LendUp has two types of loans: single-payment and installment. Single payment loans are very short, only 7 - 30 days. This makes them essentially a “payday” loan, where you’re paying the lender back with your next paycheck. You pay this type of loan off all at once, along with a fee that’s equivalent to an APR of anywhere from 156.43% to 1,251.43%. LendUp’s installment loans last a bit longer, as you can pay them off over 3 to 12 months. Their APRs range from a low of 30.04% to a high of 256.34% – still incredibly expensive.
Jora Credit Review Summary: Jora Credit’s personal loans are very expensive, with APRs ranging from a minimum of 165% to a maximum of 350%. Jora only offers small loans of $500 - $3,000, which borrowers pay back over 8 to 30 months, depending on the loan amount.
Jora Credit states on their website that they consider applicants who have bad credit, and the lender offers quick approval and funding. You may even be able to receive your money the same day you apply. In addition, Jora Credit doesn’t charge fees on their loans.
OppLoans Review Summary: OppLoans offers unsecured installment loans targeted toward people who have bad credit. OppLoans does not do a hard credit inquiry as part of their application review process, making it easy to get approved. Funding is fast, too, taking just 1 - 2 business days. Still, OppLoans is far too expensive to consider. Their minimum APR is 99%, and their maximum is 199%. OppLoans is not technically a “payday lender” because their loans can last up to 36 months, rather than having to be paid from your next paycheck, and their rates are lower than those of many payday lenders. But compared to the average personal loan provider, OppLoans has incredibly high costs.
OppLoans only operates in 15 states, which may be because their rates are too high to comply with other states’ lending laws. And depending on the state, you may have to pay an origination fee on top of the already gigantic interest rates. Even if you have bad credit, you should search for less expensive options before applying with OppLoans. Below, you’ll find more on how costly OppLoans is, along with some better alternatives.
Mariner Finance Review Summary: Mariner Finance personal loans are best for people with bad credit because the interest rates are very high: 24% - 36%. People with fair credit or better should be able to score lower rates elsewhere. But it is worth noting that Mariner Finance also offers secured personal loans and allows co-signers. People with bad-to-fair credit may be able to get a rate on the low side through either of these methods.
Mariner Finance offers quick funding, usually taking only 2 business days or so. However, their loans are only available to people in 22 states. Mariner’s personal loans also charge origination fees.
The Verdict: The BankAmericard® credit card is a very good tool for avoiding interest on credit card debt, whether you’re planning a big purchase or need a way to reduce the cost of an existing balance (Bank of America is a WalletHub partner). The stars of the show are BankAmericard’s $0 annual fee and its 0% introductory APRs, which apply to purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 billing cycles. If you transfer a balance, you just have to do so within 60 days of opening an account to get that rate.
Those features compare favorably to most competing offers. The average 0% purchase APR lasts for about 10.5 months. And the average 0% balance transfer deal gives you about 12 months. But that is not to say BankAmericard’s financing offer is flawless. The most important imperfection for folks with expensive debt is the card’s 3% balance transfer fee. Not only is that above average for a balance transfer credit card, but it’s also a distinguishing factor between the BankAmericard credit card and its biggest competitors.
The Verdict: The Deserve® Pro Mastercard has a work hard, play hard vibe, catering to people with good credit or better who like to travel, dine out and generally have a good time. You get 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, plus 2% cash back at restaurants. That’s a pretty good deal, but it only applies to the first $500 you spend in those bonus categories each month. All other purchases yield just 1% back. So you might want to consider using Deserve Pro solely for bonus-category spending. There’s no annual fee, which means you don’t have to spend a certain amount for it to pay off. And 1% back is just average for a cash rewards card.
The Deserve Pro Credit Card certainly isn’t perfect. It doesn’t offer either an initial rewards bonus or a 0% introductory APR on new purchases. Its regular APR is likely to be well above average. And it doesn’t even allow balance transfers or cash advances. But that just means it’s not for everyone.
The Verdict: The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card (HSBC is a WalletHub partner) is among the top cash back credit cards on the market, especially early on. You get a $150 initial bonus for spending $2,500 within three months of account opening. And you’ll also earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. That’s very good – around 50% better than average, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
The HSBC Cash Back Credit Card’s top-notch rewards also have a solid supporting cast, so to speak. Most importantly, there’s no annual fee. That makes it $18.15 per year cheaper than the average card. Its lack of a foreign transaction fee should also be welcome news for anyone planning international travel or spending.
The Verdict: The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card offers elite terms on up to $6,000 in purchases per year but is fairly average otherwise. The gems of the offer are a pair of bonus cash back earning rates: 5% back on a total of $3,000 in gas and military purchases each year, plus 2% back on $3,000 in supermarket spending annually. When you consider that the average cash rewards card offers just over 1% back on purchases, it's clear just how generous Cashback Rewards Plus can be - at least while its bonus rates last.
The Verdict: The USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card makes it cheaper to put food on the table and gas in your car's tank. It offers 3 points per $1 spent when you dine out, 2 points per $1 spent on groceries and gas, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Plus, you get a 2,500-point bonus simply for making your first purchase. There's no annual fee, either.
In other words, the USAA Rewards Amex is $18.15 per year cheaper than the average credit card and rewards you up to three times more for making purchases.
More than 7 in 10 0% balance transfer credit cards charge a balance transfer fee, according to WalletHub data. The average fee is equal to about 2.71% of the amount transferred. And that would cost the average household over $200, if they were to transfer their nearly $8,000 in credit card debt.
The Verdict: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is a very good option for people with excellent credit who want to reduce the cost of travel without paying an annual fee. But it’s only a truly great choice for fairly low-spending Bank of America banking customers with a lot of cash saved (Bank of America is a WalletHub partner).
The party starts with a 25,000-point initial rewards bonus, worth $250 in travel, when you spend $1,000 or more within 90 days of opening your account. That’s well above average for a card offering a points-based bonus. Still, if you’re someone who spends $1,000 per month, rather than every three months, you can get at least twice as much dollar value from competing offers.