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In the past, I’ve asked for your help in identifying the best credit cards. Well, while perusing Get Rich Slowly the other day, I learned that Card Ratings is running a poll of their own.
This is a simple five question survey that seeks to identify the best credit cards in each of the following categories:
- Cash back credit cards
- Airline rewards credit cards
- Reward points credit cards
- Value credit cards
- Credit card customer service
They’ll be compiling and publishing the results during the first week in January. It should make for interesting post-Holiday reading for finance junkies like me. 🙂
As for my preferences…
I’m a big fan of Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express when it comes to cash back credit cards. Even though AmEx isn’t as widely accepted as certain other cards, this is still a very good card with generous rewards.
For airline rewards, I like the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card, also from American Express. Of course, your preference here will likely be governed by airline preference, so it will probably be harder to pin down a “best” in this category.
For reward points, I guess my favorite is the Chase Freedom® card, which recently went from being straight cash back to a points-based reward system (though you can easily redeem your points for cash). Note that Card Ratings still lists this one in the cash back category despite the recent change.
For value cards I don’t really have a preference, so I left this one blank. We never carry a balance, so costs (i.e., interest rates) don’t matter to me. I pretty much pick cards solely based on the details of their rewards program.
Finally, I’m a big fan of American Express customer service. Every time I call, they answer quickly and the rep is always well-trained and knowledgeable.
What about you?
15 Responses to “What’s Your Favorite Credit Card?”
Capital One: I have a 2.75% interest rate…(My credit scores are all in the 800+ range) I don’t care about all the bells and whistles that go with credit cards as I don’t use them often enough to amount to anything.
I prefer my financial stability over ‘bells and whistles’.
I LOVE my FIA Rewards card. 2% cash back on purchases and the cash goes directly into my investment account. Pretty great way to top off savings considering we never carry a balance. Seems like this product may have been too good of a deal as it is no longer offered to new account openers.
Costco Amex – 1% on all purchases, 2% on travel, 3% on dining and gas. Your cash reward comes as Costco store credit, but if you shop there a lot anyway it completely worth it.
Fidelity 529 MasterCard. I got it when they were paying 2% cash back (on all transactions) they deposit straight into my daughter’s Fidelity 529. They’ve since cut the payback rate but I got grandfathered in at the higher number We charge everything on it and pay it off at the end of every month. It’s been good for $1,500 tax-free in college savings every year for many years running.
It seems like “spending” the miles/points from a frequent flyer/hotel card is an art in itself, to get the most value. Sometimes the bargains are really good, like five cents a point/mile and up. If you’d be spending the money on travel anyway, the choice is easy. If you wouldn’t, the choice is harder, since a “free” trip isn’t really free, because you gave up the opportunity to get 1% in real cash to earn it.
Sometimes bonuses blow everything else out of the water, though. I expect the recent AAdvantage cards offering 75,000 or 100,000 mile bonuses have made those cards a lot of people’s favorites, at least for a year.
I am still getting used to the “new” Chase Freedom card. If you don’t like to keep a tab on what’s earning a bonus each quarter, then Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards card is the way to go. It’s one percent on everything plus a 25 percent bonus on the rewards earned. Unfortunately, I don’t think Capital One offers it any more.
Also, Capital One comes handy with it’s zero charge on foreign transactions.
I would vote my Capital One card first – 2% on groceries and gas, 1% on everything else. But I also like the Chase Freedom card and use it in each quarter’s 5% categories.
I like my Discover Miles Card. I can cash my points for travel, shopping, etc. I consider it my Christmas present for myself because at the end of the year, I have racked up so many points that all the Christmas presents are on Discover…..for free! It is also great for travel and includes alot of bonuses.
What I like the most of Discover is their customer service. It is the best! The customer reps all speak English clearly and are very knowledgeable in their products and will bend over backwards to make you happy.
I still loving the (formerly Schwab) FIA Card Services 2% cash back Visa card. Unfortunately for those who don’t have it, the card stopped accepting new accounts in March 2010. It’s 2% back on everything, and the cash is deposited into the bank account of your choice at the beginning of every month.
I use the southwest chase cc. It gives you $500 in southwest gift cards for spending 5k in 3months and a free flight when you sign up. it also allowed me to hit my 16 credits, which would have expired otherwise next month. So I’ve gotten 2 free flights and $500 in gift cards, and first year fee is waived!
I recently signed up for a Chase Southwest card and it is amazing! I got a free flight(restricted dates) when I signed up, and you get up to $500 in gift cards for spending $5000 in 3 months, which was pretty easy with the holidays coming up. I have already received 3 gift cards totaling the $500. The actual benefits are ok, 1 point per dollar spent, and 1200 points equals one credit. I fly southwest a lot, but usually my credits expire right before I get to 16, and get a free flight. So this bumped me up from 12 to 16(would have expired next month). So all in all I got 2 free flights and $500 in gift cards, and the first year fee is waived.
This probably sounds like an advertisement but it has worked out well for me!
Steve: I agree. With Blue Cash, I’ve always averaged just under 2% on an annual basis. The reason I like the Delta card goes beyond the miles, though… I get free checked bags (not trivial for a family of six) and I also get chunks of bonus MQM miles which help me bump up my status, thereby qualifying me for other perks (upgrades, preferential seating, etc).
My Shell MasterCard is my favorite card. I only pump Shell gas, so that’s a plus. But I also get 5% cash back on my purchases. I don’t have to deal with Visa Gift Cards or anything like that, the cash back is a rebate credit towards my next month’s bill.
The card is only for gas, so I always get 5% back.
The PenFed card is 5% back on any gas, but I haven’t gone through the trouble of signing up yet.
Unless you are handily beating 1% cash back, there’s little to no reason to get a points, FF miles, or hotel credit card.
You’re both right ;). I love my Chase Freedom card still and I still consider it a cash back card, since there continues to be no better reward offered via points other than straight 100 points=1.00. Sometimes they have gift cards with bonuses but there were no enticing stores to buy from.