With travel, food and gas on the line, you need to play your card right.
Chances are you are the holder and owner of either several debt or credit cards. Many people
acquire several cards to obtain the rewards of each offer. But before you go chasing after that
new card because of the rewards it offers, it may be worth considering a few things such as do
you really need all those cards, are you getting the best rewards, and are they worth it?
The place to begin is just to empty your purse or wallet right now and place all your debit and
credit cards on the table. Once you have done that, the next thing to do is separate the credit
cards from the debit cards and store cards.
Next, for each card write its current interest rate or APR (Annual Percentage Rate), and the type or kinds of rewards available or received. Once you have completed these tasks, take a moment to ponder whether or not your cards are providing the best rewards or are they rewarding at all.
While rewards are more commonly associated with credit cards, there are some rewards available with debit cards. For example, a CNBC report found that one of the best debit reward cards is the Discover Cashback Debit Account.
There is no minimum maintenance fee or deposit associated with this account. The reward
provided by this card is 1% cash back on up to $3,000 of monthly purchases. This is
essentially $30 in cash-back rewards monthly.
Perhaps, the fundamental question, when it comes to your cards and rewards, is what type of
spender are you? It seems clear to me that if you are someone who carries balances on their
credit cards, then chasing after rewards is counterproductive and an economic loss.
With today’s credit card rates in the high double digits, why would you continue to carry a balance,
yet still be concerned with 2% or 5% cash-back rewards? Instead of chasing after cards with
rewards, focus on eliminating your credit card balances and those with high-interest rates.
For individuals considering pursuing credit cards with a cashback option, below are a few of the
current best offerings:
Citi Double Cash Mastercard offer may be worth considering since they offer a 2% cash back
rate on everything you purchase. You may earn 1% when you purchase items and another 1%
when you pay utility bills.
Another cash-back option for consideration and research is the Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Card. The card offers $200.00 back if you spend $1,000.00 in the first three months. You will also receive 2% cash back rewards on everything purchased.
Finally, one of the more interesting cash-back reward cards is the Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard. There is a $200 signing bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months of opening the card. But that does not make it special! What makes it special is that you will receive 5% cash back rewards if you spend up to $12,000 annually in groceries. I don’t need to tell you how practical this option is given the rate of food prices and inflation in relation to budgeting. Further, cardholders will receive 5% cash back if they spend at least $1,500 each
quarter in what they call rotating categories. For example, in the first quarter of 2023 rotating
categories were grocery stores and gym memberships.
One of the suggested best travel reward cards is the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select
Mastercard. This card requires you to spend $2,500 in the first three months and you
receive a signup bonus of 50,000 miles on American Airlines. If you do this in your first year, the
annual fee will be waived.
What I like about this card is that you receive preferred boarding on American Airlines flights along with free checked baggage for you and up to four of your friends or family members who travel domestically on the same flight.
Another travel card with rewards to consider is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Visa card.
For signing up, you receive 50,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first three
months. This Southwest Card also comes with 7,500 points each year on your registration
anniversary, and reimbursements for up to four upgraded boarding.
Don’t hang around when it’s not worth it to do so. A recent survey from Bankrate.com shows that at least 43% of credit card holders have never switched to a new card in over a decade. Those card holders are leaving points and
money on the table given the many changes that could bring more value to your credit card since you obtained your last credit card.
THAT’S WHAT’S UP!
Today’s what’s up is about tax and the dirty dozen. Last week the IRSissued its list of dirty dozen. This is a list of scams you should be aware of for 2023.
As we approach the peak of tax filing season here are three things the IRS will not do.
1. The IRS will not call to assist in establishing your online tax account.
2. The IRS will not call fake charities regarding your contributions.
3. The IRS warns about staying clear of shady preparers. You can verify preparers with the IRS before having them prepare your tax return.
And that’s what’s up!
Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry
Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC. Give2Get Rich, LLC 2023. All Rights