When considering a credit card, it is essential to determine which card will provide maximum benefits. Some credit cards have rotating categories which force a cardholder to think strategically about the use of their plastic, and some credit cards have fixed categories which are easily determined as a lifestyle fit or not.
American Express® Gold Card (American Express is a Cardratings.com advertiser) is an example of a card that has outlined rewards which benefit nearly anyone’s lifestyle. 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. restaurants and for shopping at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) is an attractive rate, and 3X Membership Rewards(R) Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com can go a long way for those who travel frequently and want to benefit from travel rewards and yet not be tied down to a single airline.
The American Express® Gold Card also makes “incidental” airline fees a little easier to swallow, too. American Express will pay up to $100 a year in statement credits per calendar year when you are charged incidental fees at one selected, qualifying airline.
The 25,000 Points bonus for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months is an obvious draw, but the 3X points for airfare purchases and the 4X points for life essentials like supermarket purchases and dining make this card stand out. Not many credit cards on the market offer a high, ongoing, rewards rate for both supermarket and restaurant purchases.
Does this sound like a familiar story: Flying to a destination, driving a rental car during the trip, and eating out each day? If the answer is yes, how are you using your credit card to reward yourself? Are you someone that likes to add a little sugar on top of your travel?This travel rewards card doesn’t limit your rewards redemption to travel purchases. Your points can be applied to:
Keep in mind, the American Express® Gold Card is a charge card. The benefit is, you won’t incur interest; but if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, the late fees will become daunting. The terms: late fees are up to $38. Consider the fairly steep $250 annual fee, too. There are competitor cards on the market with lower annual fees.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. So, you get 5,000 fewer miles than the American Express® Gold Card but you can spend $1,000 less in the same time period. We like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card annual fee: $0. And there's a generous 0% APR until 12 months associated with the offer, too (then, 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)).
But you get what you pay for. The rewards for Capital One® VentureOne® — 1.25X points on all purchases — fall short of the rewards offered by the American Express® Gold Card. Our take: American Express pulls ahead if you plan to spend a lot and have the means to pay your balance off each month.
With the Citi Premier℠ Card , there is a $95 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months), which is $155 less than the American Express® Gold Card's fee. Furthermore, the Citi card offers you the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Those points are worth up to $625 in airfare (with no blackout dates) when redeemed through the ThankYou® Travel Center or for $500 in gift cards via thankyou.com. Here's Citi's ongoing reward program:
If you like charitable giving, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® credit card may perk you up. It offers 3X points on purchases made at qualifying charitable and social service organizations if you are a Select cardholder and 1.5X points if you are a regular cardholder. Some other interesting features:
We like the American Express® Gold Card in the hands of someone with a steady paycheck and predictable monthly expenses. Simply because, we don't want to see consumers get dinged with the late fees when they had felt some comfort in the "no interest charges" feature of this American Express card.
We see this card as friendly to people who like to travel. Because redeeming points can be done across a wide range of fun purchases like tickets to Ticketmaster® and Telecharge.com events, you can easily set up an epic trip of eating out, entertainment and hotel perks by using this card strategically.