RE: What is the best rewards credit card for travel?
I’m looking into getting a rewards credit card, and I know there are a lot of options out there for traveling. I don’t actually fly very often, and I know most travel-based cards are for miles, but I was wondering what the best rewards card option might be?
I am a college student, so I’m looking for a combination of good, useable rewards benefits as well as low rates and fees
The card that I recommend for college student with the best usable rewards is Discover’s student card. Contrary to what a lot of people think (and will tell you on here), SOME student credit cards can be fairly easy to get if you’re a college student and at least 18 years old. Discover is one of these cards. They don’t require that you have previous credit as some credit card issuers do. Applying for any card (whether you’re accepted or not) will put a small ding on your credit rating. If you apply for lots of different cards, those dings will add up. This is why it’s good to research first which issuer is likely to approve you.
Also, before applying for a card, you should make sure that you already have a savings (not just checking) account. Not only does it look better on the application, but you should get in the habit of paying yourself first. And, I want to point out that you should never get a card because you “need” one. But, if you’re interested in one to build a good credit score and get nice cashback bonuses, I will tell you that Discover is great!!
My daughter has a student Discover card and loves it. If you use her referral link here:https://www.discovercard.com/cardmembers… you can list things like the portion of your grants/scholarships for living expenses under “other income”, along with any wages in the “yearly income” section. You’ll get $50 cashback bonus when you make your first purchase and you’ll get cashback bonuses for everything that you purchase. The bonuses are a minimum of 1% of any money spent. Every three months, different categories will pay 5% cashback. There are even times that you can earn up to 20% online (but, those offers of course, are rare).
There’s no annual fee and the APR (annual percentage rate) is fairly good for a student card. It ranges from 12.99 to 18.99%. But, it really doesn’t matter how much the APR is if you pay your balance in full each month. As long as you pay in full, you’ll never pay interest. That’s a very important point to remember. You should always pay in full every month and it won’t matter if your APR is 5% or 35%.
If you use a credit card wisely, it can be a great tool. But, you can also ruin your credit, so whichever card you end up getting, just be certain to use it the right way. Use it for convenience (paying at the pump, making reservations online, etc.) and to build credit. Don’t use it to buy something that you can’t afford.
Use it at least once a month for something that you need to buy anyway (gas, food, etc.). Set that money aside immediately so that you have the full amount when the statement arrives.
Pay in full, but don’t pay before the statement prints. If you pay before your cycle closes, then “zero” is going to be reported to the credit bureau as your usage, which won’t help your credit score at all. Keep your utilization at, or below, 30% of your available credit to develop the best credit score. In other words, if you have a $500 limit on your card, you shouldn’t have more than $150 in use when your cycle closes.
Just don’t let temptation to get to you!! It’s too easy to spend money that you don’t have. Be smart, and a credit card can be a wonderful tool, both to help build credit and for convenience.