Credit Cards

Credit Cards Hand Out Free Money??!!

Using the right credit cards for your everyday purchases might be the easiest way to make hundreds or thousands of dollars every year with very little effort.  I have previously described how easy it is for an average household to pocket $1,000 per year simply by picking the right credit cards with the best cash back or travel rewards.

There are many new cards that give 1.5% to 2% in cash or travel rewards on all purchases, and up to 5% on some categories of spending.  To sweeten the deal, most credit card issuers offer sign up bonuses of $100 to $500 paid in cash, free hotel stays, or free flights.  Switching cards is a tiny inconvenience in exchange for mega bonuses and much higher rewards on all your purchases.  It’s like free money for doing something you already do (as long as you keep paying your credit card bills in full each month).

You can also benefit from having cards that have low interest rates if you do need to carry a balance.  Cards that waive the typical 3% foreign transaction fee for overseas transactions can benefit you significantly if you plan on doing a lot of international travel.

Finding the perfect credit card for you depends on how much you spend each month and whether you prefer cash back or travel rewards. The links below are a compilation of the current credit card offers.

Find the Credit Card For You!

(note: compliance rules and US financial regulations prohibit me from recommending a particular credit card but there are credit cards available at the following links. Turn off ad-block software if you can’t see the links or graphics.)

Cash Back Credit Cards

Travel Rewards Credit Cards

 

As with any financial transaction, review the terms and conditions carefully and make sure you understand what you are getting before submitting your applications.  

6 comments

  • FYI: Thanks for the links to current credit card offers! There are two that interest us. Because we have our credit frozen, when we apply for a new card we need to know which credit bureau the card issuer uses so we can unfreeze it.

    Until today, we’ve had no issue applying for new credit cards as the issuer has advised us which bureau they utilize. American Express claims they use ALL three, and we’d have to pay to unfreeze all of them!!! That’s ridiculous, so I told them we were no longer interested in their card. Perhaps this is peculiar to Amex, because I’ve never had one card issuer (Visa or MC) insist they use more than one bureau.

  • I just got into credit card travel hacking this last couple of years. Wish I would have figured this out much sooner! I started out with a Southwest card since I was already on their rapid rewards program anyway and fly on them about once a month or so. So far I have gotten 7 free short hops (personal business) for me with them, 1 trip for DS last year, and 1 weekend to Vegas last summer for DH and I. Now I have booked 3 round trip freebies (for family vaca) this fall. It helps that I live in competitive air market and can get $29 to $69 flights out of here fairly frequently. (I sometimes book one ways on separate airlines to take advantage of bargains or pay dollars one way and use points for the more expensive return leg.)

    I snagged a Hawaiian Air card specifically for the 1/2 price companion ticket but the 35,000 bonus points also got us one freebie so it saved us tons on 3 tickets to Hawaii for an upcoming trip. Expensive major airline with a non- stop flight would have been $6000+. By taking SW to the coast and staying overnight then doing Hawaiian from there it cost $1096 + $33 total including taxes, so almost $5000 in savings. This is with a business class upgrade included that I gladly paid $$ for on Hawaiian! Future trips to Hawaii might involve a drive to Vegas, Phoenix, or even West Coast and fly from there after we retire and have more time.

    Most recently I got 2 Hilton cards (citi and amex) and have 5+ free nights worth of points already. Neither card has a annual fee. Miminum spend was meet with one huge dentist bill and some property taxes this year – couldn’t avoid either expense so I may as well gain something from them! 2 nights will be used for the upcoming Hawaii trip in Embassy suites so we don’t have to camp out in an airport overnight! That still leave 3 fun nights for local weekends.

    Next year’s property taxes will probably net another credit card of some sort. I will continue using my airline cards for regular expenses to keep the points adding up. Of course, I stick to a budget and never carry a balance since I pay everything I charge weekly.

    • Very awesome. We’ve done well with Southwest points (5 one way tickets from Mexico to Raleigh for less than 1 credit card sign up bonus!).

      I’m due to apply for another card soon. So many good options right now! 🙂

  • Question from a new travel hacker (5 round trip flights for free so far this year! Woo Hoo!)… How many of these cards do you leave open vs close after receiving the rewards? I don’t have any debt, I own my home outright, and I don’t maintain a balance on any credit cards so I’m not really worried about how any potential lenders would view the multiple credit cards, but I still feel strange having multiple cards in my name. Any advice for a newbie to hacking credit card bonuses is greatly appreciated 🙂

    • I usually cancel the ones with an annual fee before that fee comes due. Other cards I’ll leave open. So far I haven’t seen any real penalty to closing cards or keeping them open.

      The biggest thing to watch out for today in the credit card bonus/travel hacking world is Chase’s “5/24 rule”. For most of the good Chase cards, you won’t be approved for a new credit card if you have five or more new credit cards issued in the past 24 months.

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