Q: Which credit card would be the best to use to pay all of my monthly bills (utilities, cable, and phone) and get either cash back, travel miles, or some other benefit?
Saving an extra penny or two for every dollar you spend may not sound like much. However, serious bargain hunters understand that funneling your entire monthly household purchasing through a single cash back credit card can earn you hundreds of dollars every year. If we assume that you spend about $1,000 on monthly bills and other incidentals, you'll get some of the biggest rebates from these two credit cards:
- NASA Federal Credit Union Platinum with Cash Rewards. A credit union that serves NASA employees offers an unusual cash back credit card with a rebate that grows the more you spend. Your annual cash back rebate starts at 1 percent on all purchases, but it actually hops to 1.25 percent after you reach $1,000 in purchases. Spend $2,000 on the card, and your rebate grows to 2 percent. (That's over $222 in rebates on your $1,000 monthly budget.) A $18 donation to a non-profit organization can qualify you for credit union membership, enabling you to apply for this generous everyday reward.
- Capital One Cash. This high-profile credit card offers an easy-to-track, 1 percent rebate on all your purchases. Make your payments on time every month and you'll qualify for an annual 50 percent bonus on your rebate. Therefore, your $120 cash rebate turns into $180.
Choosing the best rewards card involves understanding your spending patterns. If you spend more on gas and groceries than on your monthly bills, a gas rebate card or a grocery rewards credit card could save you even more money. Using a rewards credit card to pay your monthly cable, electricity, and water bill can rack up cash bonuses that you can use for vacations, holiday spending, or personal savings.