Unlike the beginner “get-out-of-debt” personal finance ranters, I’m actually a fan of responsible credit card use: they can help you raise your credit score, they offer purchase and consumer protections you can’t get anywhere else, plus they automatically track your purchases and provide healthy amounts of cash-back rewards each year as well. Just be sure to use them in a Mustachian way.
The list below provides links to applications to a host of competing cards which you can compare, to see which work best for your situation. I’ve tried to pick links to cards that offer at least something useful, since that is the standard these days – there is no need to sign up for a credit card that offers you nothing.
The landscape of these rewards cards is always changing. As more come become available, I’ll add them to this list, sorting them roughly so the most valuable ones are near the top. Watch out for annual fees – many of the cards below have no fee, but some of the highest-paying ones start charging after the first year. Do the math to make sure you pick a card that is optimal for your situation.
The first two cards are a good trouble-free options for regular users in the US. Solid signing bonus or cash back and no annual fee. Then you get into some more exotic options below.Powered By Credit Karma
Powered By Credit Karma
For advanced interest-free hackers, the following card offers an 18-month interest free period and no annual fee. There is a 3% transfer charge though, so really it works out to an 18 month period at about 2% annualized.Powered By Credit Karma For travel hackers, this American Airlines card will help you earn 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months – useful for those who travel on American Airlines fairly often.Powered By Credit Karma Canada is at last starting to compete on the credit card scene – I found this MBNA card with 2% back on groceries and gas (actually 5% for the first six months), 1% on everything else, and no fee. Unfortunately, the grocery/gas reward maxes out at $400/month (i.e. $20/month of rewards going to $8/month after 6 months. And the 1% reward maxes out after $1250 ($12.50/month). So in the long run, this card will pay you $20/month. The workaround could be getting two separate accounts for a couple, doubling the limits.
Finally, here’s a little widget that can help you sort through the remainder of the cards (this makes it easier for me to keep the site up to date) directly on this web site. Use the drop-down menu to sort by what is most important to you.