Even though it seems like major banks have been rolling up the red carpet instead of rolling it out for new customers, I found a handful of money-saving deals for savvy credit card users. Even in the midst of the credit crunch, there are still some real jewels out there and these are among my personal top picks. If you don't think your card measures up, be sure to view our ratings of credit cards on CardRatings.com. You'll want to check your credit score before you apply for a new credit card. The big benefit to you is that you can see your credit snapshot from a lender's point of view.
American Express Clear Card has no annual fee, no late fees, no balance transfer fees, no over-limit fees, and no cash advance fees. This no fee credit card also includes a host of travel perks and other benefits. (Editor's note: The American Express Clear card offer is expired and is no longer available.)
1.99 percent introductory APR on credit card balance transfers from Iberiabank. I can't find another offer like this on the market right now (and believe me, I have spent hours and hours looking). The Iberiabank Visa® Classic offers new cardholders to transfer balances at 1.99 percent interest for six billing periods from the date of the balance transfer check. This offer comes with a balance transfer fee of 2 percent of the transfer amount, which is truly amazing considering how some transfer fees have gone up 300-400%. If you think you're going to get slammed with a heavy interest rate after your teaser rate expires, prepare for a pleasant surprise. After the introductory balance transfer period expires your APR will be the same as your assigned purchase rate, based on your creditworthiness. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate and Iberiabank Visa Classic cardholders can enjoy an ongoing variable APR currently as low as 7.25 percent (based on your credit profile), 10.25 percent or 13.25 percent. This Louisiana-based bank clearly wants to grow their customer base with an offer like this and they have a proven track record. CardRatings.com has listed IberiaBank as having one of the best low rate credit card offers in the country for the past decade.
Bonus Rebates from Fidelity Investments Fidelity now offers a trio of American Express branded cards that can help you save for college or retirement. One card even gives you a chance to invest in a regular brokerage account. This rebate is unbelievable. But, the real beauty of the Fidelity cards in my humble opinion is the preferential tax treatment that can take advantage of. Your rebate can grow in a tax-deferred account. The end result is a very cool way for you to supplement your retirement savings or help fund your child's college education! The Fidelity website shows you how your rebate can grow into an even bigger credit card reward when reinvested over time.
5 percent Gas Rebates for Military Families and Red Cross Volunteers Qualifying for membership in a credit union carries special perks, like those offered through the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card program. With a Plus membership members enjoy a whopping 5% cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump as long as the cardholder obtains a qualifying PenFed product like a money market savings account. With the Plus account there is no annual fee. The standard version of the card offers 3 percent cash back for purchases paid at the pump with an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year then a $25 annual fee. Most PenFed members or their family members have served in the military. However, anyone can qualify for membership at PenFed by simply volunteering for the American Red Cross or by paying one year's dues in an affiliated non-profit organization. A 5 percent credit card rebate on gas could really help ease the pain of gasoline expenses. **See PenFed's website for terms, conditions and restrictions that apply.
Remember to check the fine print on any credit card offers, especially when rebates and rewards are involved. Program details are often subject to change with little or no notice and to certain restrictions, so act fast if you want to learn more about these prime deals. As the name of my book entitled “How You Can Profit from Credit Cards” implies, I love making cards pay me back and hope you are getting your fair share of the bounty as well. What do you think about these offers and do you know of any other "hot offers"? We welcome you to share your ideas on our active credit card forum.