How to Pick the Right Credit Card With Perks

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There are hundreds of credit cards out there offering a myriad of perks and benefits, including the ability to earn travel rewards or cash back for the purchases you’re making already.

If you’re thinking of upgrading your current credit card to new one that’ll provide more of a bang for your buck, financial advisor and Select contributor Kristin O’Keeffe Merrick shared some pointers on the do’s and don’ts of choosing (and managing) a credit card with NBC’s “TODAY” that are definitely worth considering.

Check out the full interview in the video below and read on to see some of her best tips.

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1) Use your credit card responsibly

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 21 months on balance transfers; 0% for 12 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer; $ 5 minimum. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

US Bank Visa® Platinum Card

On US Bank’s secure site

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases

  • Regular APR

    16.74% – 26.74% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $ 5 minimum, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

2) Consider whether the annual fee is worth it for you

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Rewards

    2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • Welcome bonus

    For a limited time, earn $ 200 cash back after spending $ 1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N / A for purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($ 5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($ 5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the US) and at US supermarkets (on up to $ 25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $ 4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

“Almost every card has an annual fee associated with it,” O’Keeffe Merrick says. “Some of them can be as high as $ 500, which can be a lot of money unless you’re using the card right.”

If you decide to go with a credit card that has a heftier annual fee, make sure the card is offering perks you’re actually going to use. Because while perks like annual statement credit feel “free,” you’re technically paying for them through the annual fee.

3) Make sure your travel credit card fits your needs

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    $ 50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $ 750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    17.49% – 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $ 5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

4) Think about some services you already use that could be offered as a perk through a credit card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $ 6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at US gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis / rideshare , parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $ 350 statement credit after you spend $ 3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening; N / A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

And if you want a card that does good for the causes you care about, there are now credit cards that can fit your philanthropy. As an example, every purchase made with the Aspiration Zero Card results in the planting of a tree.

At the end of the day, though, you shouldn’t be drastically changing your lifestyle in order to keep up with the perks of your credit card.

“They need to be used in a way where they adapt to your life,” O’Keeffe Merrick says. “If you don’t travel, then a travel card is not for you.”

Bottom line

For rates and fees of American Express Gold card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyzes, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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