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If it's time to buy new tires and you can't afford it, the Tire Kingdom store card might save your tail. That's about the only thing this card is useful for. If you spend $799, you get the benefit of no interest for a year. $199 for six months of interest free payments. You will also get coupons and rebates in-store for being a cardholder but it's not worth using this card for smaller purchases. The APR of 28.99 is so astronomically high that you wont want to get caught carrying a balance past the 6 or 12 months you qualify for with a big purchase.
The only reason I can see to get the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card is to save on foreign transaction fees. Most cards will charge you around 3% to use your card overseas and those little fees can really add up quickly. The other thing that's nice is the 0% intro APR for an entire year. Other than that, this card has a high APR, requires excellent credit, and nickel and dimes you all the way. 10,000 bonus points if you spend $500 within 90 days... but that's only worth $100 in travel redemption! At 1.5 points per dollar, this card will rack up points faster than most rewards cards but it takes a lot of points to actually redeem them for anything.
The benefits of the Kaiku Prepaid Card far outweigh the costs. This is one of the best prepaid cards on the market. Yes, there's a $1.95 monthly maintenance fee but that is likely to be the only fee you see from this card. There are 55,000 in-network ATMs that are free to use and no hidden fees anywhere else. Free online bill pay. No activation fee is real selling point, as most decent prepaid cards come with at least a $5 activation fee. It's also free to contact customer service at any time, whereas this is where a lot of prepaid services like to charge you. You can also deposit your checks by taking a photo, just like at the bank! This is a great prepaid card, and it's VISA so it's accepted at a lot more places than Bluebird or other American Express options will be.
The Journey Student Rewards card from Capital One is a pretty good card to start with to get your credit started. As a card designed for people with fair or no credit, a 1% cash back reward with no annual fee and no limits on reward earnings is fantastic. They also offer a 25% bonus incentive to pay off your balance in full each month. That's a great way to show new credit card users the benefits of not carrying a balance. The APR isn't great but there are worse out there and if you're paying off your card in full each month you don't need to worry about it anyway.
The Capital One Platinum card was my first credit card. It should be used for establishing credit and then moved on from as quickly as possible. The annual fee is pretty low, and waived for the first year, but the APR is unbearably high. Aside from establishing or helping to fix poor credit, this card has very few benefits. The one thing that can be very useful is the rental car coverage, as those costs can often be as much or in excess of the rental itself. If that's not something you need, a store credit card might be a better place to start with establishing credit - at least those usually carry rewards.
If you book a lot of travel through Expedia, you'd probably do well to consider the Expedia Credit Card. The 10,000 points for signing up and spending a certain amount in your first months are a great bonus and you can accumulate points toward further travel very quickly. Since you can book just about everything travel-related through Expedia, this card lets you earn double points on hotels, cars, flights, and more. The interest rate is comparable to other rewards cards, nothing special there, but there's no pre-set spending limit so you don't have to worry about maxing out your card. It also covers car rental insurance, which is a huge benefit to frequent car renters. The only downside is that they cap your points at 100k for the year.
The American Express Green Card is a decent option if, for some reason, you don't want a credit card. As it is a charge card, you must pay off your balance in full each month or incur a fee of 2.99% with a minimum charge of $35. The only benefit you get from using this card is points for American Express Travel. You can find better travel benefits from a rewards credit card, including higher point rewards and extras like travel insurance and car insurance, neither of which this card provide. In addition to all the limitations of having an American Express card (which isn't accepted nearly as many place as Visa or Mastercard, especially overseas), after the first year you're hit with a $95 annual fee.
The Cabela's credit card is a good option if you do a lot of shopping at Cabela's. Unlike some store cards, this one can be used other places and still racks up CLUB points (at a rate of 1 point per dollar spent, whereas it's 2 points per dollar in-store) so if you don't have a regular credit card, this one might work well for you. There are a couple of good selling points on this card, like no annual fee and no limit on CLUB points earnings. It also offers some rather competitive interest rates for a store rewards card, potentially as low as 9.99%.
My experience with Nationwide Insurance started on the other side of things.. my car was totaled (while parked on the street) by a customer of Nationwide. It was the middle of winter and I was working two jobs and relied very heavily on that car so I needed the situation to be resolved in a timely manner. I was also still making payments on it to my bank. They provided me with a rental car and kept me informed throughout the whole process. I was treated fairly and it did not take an unreasonable amount of time to be paid, so I decided to switch to Nationwide when I got my next vehicle. I haven't had any need to call on their services since then but they seem like a good overall company.
The Hilton Credit Card is a good choice if you are a business or leisure traveler and spend a lot of time staying in hotels. You can accumulate points quickly on hotel stays and you still get a decent amount of points for restaurants, gas, and grocery purchases. The 40,000 bonus points is a nice extra to start out with and the APR is pretty comparable to most other cards out there. Usually hotel rewards come with a bunch of restrictions on when and where you can redeem them, but there are no blackout dates on the redemption of your HHilton points associated with this card. It also provides you with rental car and travel insurance, which every traveler knows are essential. The best part? No annual fee.
I think you'll find better credit building cards out there. The Open Sky Secured Visa is an okay option if you really can't find anything else, but the $25 fee to change your credit limit (in either direction) after one year is a bit much. Especially when you're already paying a $29 annual fee to use the card. 17.5% APR seems low at first until you realize they're charging you that much to use your own money! If your credit is in need of fixing, check out your local credit union's options before you resort to a card like this. It will vary by location of course, but you can often find secured credit cards without fees if they're attached to your credit union checking account.
The American Express Prepaid Card is a decent option for a prepaid card. No monthly fees, free direct deposit, and one free ATM withdrawal per month are all great benefits that not all prepaid cards offer. No activation fee, either. Your money stays yours for the most part. The $2500 or $5000 limit is a bit frustrating and you'd better make that one ATM withdrawal count unless you want to get hit with fees because it's $2 per transaction after that. At least they allow you one free, most cards don't. And there aren't fees to use it with a PIN or signature for purchases. There might be a better card out there though because American Express still isn't accepted at as many places as Visa and Mastercard are.
The Victoria's Secret store card has a ton of perks! It's a great card for anyone who shops there regularly, as the rewards stack up pretty quickly. With double points on bras, it averages out somewhere between 5-10% cash back (depending on what you purchase of course). You also get birthday gifts and exclusive offers, early access to sales, and a few nice intro offers like $15 off your first purchase. All these little details add up to make this a unique and great store card. The only downside is that it is a store card so, like most of them, the interest rate is rather high.
The Express Store Card is a slightly better than the run of the mill store cards out there. It offers rewards at a very confusing rate but if you can figure it out, more power to you. If you do a lot of shopping at Express you can rack up points pretty quickly. If I'm doing my calculations right, it's around 6% cash back on Express purchases. That's 1% more than the average store card, but you can't use it anywhere else. The interest rate is a bit high but that's standard with store cards so it's not a big deal. You don't have to carry a balance if you don't want to pay the interest. It's a decent card for Express shoppers.
The Sears Credit Card is just your basic average no frills store credit card. It's a good choice if you shop at Sears or Kmart a lot because they do have special offers and sales events for cardholders, but otherwise take a pass on this one. There's no annual fee but there's also no rewards or guaranteed discounts. The interest rate is rather high and not variable, so I would really only get this card for smaller purchases that you can pay off before the end of the billing cycle or just to take part in the sales that are only available to cardholders.
The Home Depot Store Card is pretty much a must have for homeowners who don't have a general rewards card. The interest rate peaks at a pretty high point but it IS variable, unlike the Lowe's card. It's also available if you have less than perfect credit. The 0% interest if paid in full by six months really makes this card great for people just starting out in a new home. If you have a general rewards card available to you, that is probably a better choice as, unlike most store cards, you don't earn cash back with the Home Depot card.
The Old Navy Credit Card might be a good choice if you can't find anything better and you do a lot of shopping at Old Navy. As a general purpose rewards card, though, there are plenty of better cards out there. The interest rate on this is pretty high, especially for a card that requires "Excellent" or "Good" credit ratings. There's no reduced intro rate. The rewards come out to 5% for shopping at Old Navy, which is pretty standard on a rewards card, but 1% everywhere else isn't worth it. The thing that makes me give this card 3 stars instead of 2 is the 10% discount at Old Navy stores on Tuesdays.
Like Chase's other reward cards, the Chase Sapphire Card is one of the best out there. No annual fee and no limit on reward earnings.The interest rate is a little high but who says you need to carry a balance? Your points never expire so what you earn is what you get, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn rewards. You get a nice bonus after your first three months if you spend $500 and twice the points for what you spend at restaurants. Your credit has to be excellent to qualify, though, which can be a bummer for some people.
Chase Freedom is a great rewards card. First of all, there's no annual fee. Second, rewards never expire! So many rewards cards out there sound great and then you find out you have to accumulate rewards faster than the speed of light to use them. That's not the case here, you keep what you earn. They also start you out with a nice bonus of $100 and there are lots of categories to earn the 5% cash back in. Rewards add up quickly. The only downside is you have to have excellent credit to qualify, which is hard in this economy.
With a rebate of $0.30 per gallon for 30 months, and no fees, the Valero Gas Card is a pretty great rewards card. Yes, it is limited to 100 gallons per month. So if you're a frequent long distance driver, there might be a better card out there for you. But for most people, I don't think that limit is going to be an issue. Most gas cards offer a way smaller rebate of 5-10 cents. 30 months is a pretty long time, that is 2 1/2 years! At that point, you can just switch to a different card. The 23% APR is rather high, but if you're just getting this card for the rebate you can pay off your balance in full each month and it wont be an issue.
The LL Bean store credit card is a lot different than other store cards out there. First, you get rewards no matter where you shop. The 1% on all purchases at stores other than LL Bean could really add up over time. Second, they have a decent variable interest rate - unlike most store cards where it's nearly 30%. They also have exclusive sales in-store for cardholders, so if you are a frequent shopper at LL Bean this card provides a lot of benefits. You also get free shipping and return shipping, which will save you a ton of money over time.
This would be a great card for just about anyone who ever shops at Staples. 5% back on all purchases, so even if you're an infrequent customer you'll get something out of it. If you're thinking of making a big purchase, this is like an automatic discount. The Staples Store Card is like a lot of store cards in that they'll give it to almost anybody and the interest rates are astronomical. Just pay off your balance before it accrues interest and you're getting a bargain. I think this would be a good card for someone who needs to build up their credit, as well.
No activation fee on a prepaid card! It should be standard, but it's not. So many prepaid cards just nickel and dime you so hard that it's not worth it. This Mango Prepaid Card's monthly fee is also waived if you load $500 per month. That's a great deal, very easy to reach that amount if you're getting direct deposit. There are better cards out there, though, like Bluebird. This card charges $0.50 to check your balance! And $2 to withdraw from an ATM, which would be in addition to whatever fee the ATM owner charges (usually $2-4). The Mango is better than most, but worse than some. It sounds like a good deal at first, but you'll end up losing money on this one.
This is a great rewards card. With a 0% introductory APR, they're practically paying you to do your grocery shopping for the first 9 months. If you do a lot of shopping at Kroger, you'll rack up points very quickly. It's a similar set-up to other rewards cards, where you get rewarded more for buying their products, but 1 point per $1 spent anywhere else it's still worth using this card. The Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Visa would be a good choice if you're only going to have one credit card. I just wish there weren't a 3% fee on initial balance transfers, that makes the switch a little more difficult.
My biggest complaint about WECU is that I can't be their customer anymore. I always had great experiences with them, as a checking/savings customer. Overdraft fees were miniscule and I was able to get several of them reversed. Tellers and customer service people were always super friendly and helpful. The $1 fee to grab money out of savings to cover it is way smaller than other institutions. I never felt like I was unfairly charged fees. They have very convenient locations and ATMs all over the county. I just wish that they would sign up with the CU shared branching program so that people could continue to bank with them easily if they leave Whatcom County temporarily for school or work or what-have-you.
Industrial CU is a great credit union. they have a nice, free program called Family Pass that provides account holders with freebies, coupons, and entries into drawings each month. they also participate in the shared branching program which means you can bank with them from all over the country, which is especially nice if you are a traveler like me. they've always quickly resolved any issues I had and I found the employees to be very friendly. they have several conveniently located branches and atms and their fees are low. they're very involved in the community as well, like credit unions should be.
I love this credit union. I was able to sign up for an account because I'm a full time student and I'm very grateful for that. When I went in to set up an account, the employee who helped me was very kind and thorough and helpful. He even mailed me a hand-signed "Welcome to WSECU" card a couple of weeks later and included his business card to call if I had any concerns or questions. I've been a member for about a year now and I haven't run into a single issue. Fees are fair and everything seems transparent. When I go in to do banking in person, the tellers are always very friendly. I prefer to bank online and you can do just about everything with their online banking system. I'm very pleased :)