If you’ve been into credit card points and miles, you know most people care about Chase and American Express. This makes sense too, as these programs offer a lot of flexibility and value, especially for travelers who are not limited to a particular brand of travel.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any other cards that deserve to be in your wallet. Hey, how are everyone I hope everyone had a great new year?
In this article, we’ll cover my top 5 underrated cards to consider, whether you’re a beginner or someone who has been earning points and miles for a while. Everyone knows I love Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so it’s no wonder a lot of our content is geared towards Chase credit cards. Chases have been extremely useful and lucrative for me, which is why I collect them on top of other valuable point currencies like American Express.
Every lifestyle and spending pattern is different, so there is no such thing as a perfect card configuration. However, there are letters that are sometimes overlooked and I think they are valuable. These are the cards that usually appear in my card inquiries. So I thought I’d share what I think were my top 5 underrated cards.
But first, if you’re new here, welcome to our blog. Traveling can be stressful and expensive. That’s why we’re looking for ways to maximize your experience through travel tips, points and miles, and innovative equipment. If this sounds interesting to you, read it.
So let’s jump right into my list of the 5 most underrated credit cards. These are also not in any particular order.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
If you like Chase Points like me, then you know Chase doesn’t have a card with a strong bonus category in groceries. Yes, they have Chase Freedom which usually has a neighborhood with a grocery voucher. Otherwise, there isn’t a card on your list that offers a constant grocery spending bonus. A card like American Express Blue Cash Preferred is ideal here.
I’ve had this card in the past and am considering swapping it for one of my American Express cards. I know many in this hobby are not interested in getting a refund, but if you are spending a significant amount on groceries each month, this card should be a look at this card. Card earns 6% on US supermarkets and streaming services and 3% on US gas stations and transit services such as taxis, ridesharing, parking lots, tolls, trains and buses. You also get a lot of advantages associated with American Express, such as the lucrative offers and the Shoprunner membership.
I think American Express has the best range of offerings compared to its competitors, and I love how they can be combined with other shopping portals. The only downside to this card is that the grocery voucher is capped at $ 6,000 per issue per year. If you are spending more than $ 6,000 a year on groceries, then it is probably best to go for the American Express Gold card. Speaking of the gold card, I know many of you may not have saved yours after the first year.
So if you are looking for a replacement grocery menu, this might be a good option. Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $ 95. There’s also a no-yearly fee version called Blue Cash Every Day, which earns 3% in US supermarkets and 2% in gas stations and department stores. If you’re wondering what the breakeven point is for these two cards, I’ve done some quick calculations. Just because of food spending alone, the breakeven point is $ 264 per month or $ 3,167 per year.
If you spend more than that on the grocery category, opt out of the annual fee by opting for the Blue Cash Preferred card instead of the Everyday card. If you’re spending less, it’s better to buy the everyday card with no annual fee. And if you’ve got a little over $ 6,000 a year, you can also supplement your spending with a rotating bonus cashback card like Chase Freedom or Discover it.
And if you’re spending more than $ 6,000 a year, which equates to $ 500 a month, consider American Express Gold, as the spending is capped at $ 25,000 annually. If you’re determined to earn points instead of cash back but don’t think the American Express Gold Card is a good option, there are two versions of this card that you can use to earn points: American Express Everyday and Everyday Preferred. Confusing right? I think American Express could have come up with a few different names for some of these cards.
Capital One Venture
I often come across people who want to earn rewards for travel but don’t want to grapple with the complexities of a flexible points program. I know who wouldn’t want to spend hours calculating the value per point between transferring points to a travel companion or completing the reservation on a travel portal? I get it.
While many of us love to learn how to seek the best rewards, some of us just want a simpler approach. A card like Capital One Venture Rewards is ideal here. Capital One Venture is a card that earns a fixed rate of 2% on all purchases. You can then apply your earned rewards towards your travel purchases using their unique shopping tool. They also have travel partners that allow you to transfer points that are similar to flexible point programs like those offered by Chase, American Express, and Citi.
The card has no overseas transaction fees, so you can use it abroad without paying any additional fees. It even includes a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This is honestly a great card for those looking for an easier setup. It can also be a great card to add to a flexible points program, especially when it comes to offsetting the cost of other travel expenses like Airbnbs, independent hotels, and tours.
The card has an annual fee of $95 that does not apply for the first year. As of this blog post, he also has a welcome offer of 50,000 points worth $500. Some of you may be wondering why not get a Citi Double Cash card instead, as there is no annual fee. That is a fair question, and the Citi Double Cash or other 2% cash back card may be a better option for some people. Note, however, that the Venture card gives you a better welcome offer, as well as some of the travel perks such as B. Global Entry credit and no overseas transaction fees.
And in case you’re wondering, if you want to keep your points without paying the annual fee, you can switch the card product to your VentureOne card after the first year with no annual fee. It’s a very attractive card to consider as it gives you a lot of value in the first year of membership of the card, especially when you consider that you don’t pay an annual fee for the first year.
US Bank Cash +
I cover this card quarterly during our blog on Revolving Credit Card Categories. It is similar to Chase Freedom or Discovers It with its rotating categories. The big difference is that each quarter you can choose your 5% and 2% categories and you get a bonus of 5% up to $ 2,000 of your spend per quarter in the selected bonus categories combined.
Chase Freedom and Discover It, for example, earn only 5% on up to $ 1,500 per quarter. And the US Bank Cash + has some other unique bonus categories like gyms and home appliances. The card has no annual fee and comes with a $150 welcome offer as of this blog post. I think this card attracts a lot of people.
I like that the card gives me a bonus on my gym membership and utility bills. These are recurring expenses, so it’s easy for me to make over $ 100 every year with this card without thinking about it. The only downside to this card is that the US bank is a bit picky about getting a permit. Many people on the internet have reported that the US bank is a relationship bank, so they prefer to give approvals to those who have done business with them in the past.
This includes those who have a banking relationship with them. Personally, I don’t have a checking or savings account with them, but I had a previous card with them, so that must have helped me when I got that card. There is something to consider if you want to get this card and you may have a short credit history.
Citi Costco Everywhere
This is a card I was considering and may get as we spend more at Costco. The Costco Anywhere card requires Costco membership, but there is no annual fee. The card gives you 4% cash back on gas purchases, including at Costco Gas, for the first $7,000 per year. You also earn 3% on purchases in travel and restaurants and 2% on in-store and online purchases at Costco. Everything else deserves 1%.
Travel purchases with this card include airfares, hotels, rental cars, travel agents, cruise lines and Costco Travel. Citi also says timeshare, camping, inns and breakfasts, and train and commuter travel also don’t earn 3%. However, the card has no international transaction fees, so you can use it abroad without paying more. I think this is a great card especially if you are spending a lot on Costco and gasoline purchases.
My only complaint with this card is that the cashback bonus is deposited on your February statement once a year and you need to redeem it at Costco. You can also get it in cash but you still need to go to Costco to redeem it. You can redeem most cash back cards all year round. Keep this in mind when considering this card.
Chase Ink Trade Cash
This is a business card so not everyone can get it. Whether or not you are someone who earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, this card is a powerhouse. I know I mentioned it in several other blog posts, but with this card, I easily get 1,000 points every month just with my normal expenses. This is because you earn 5% or 5 times more points for office supplies, internet, cable, and phone services. You also earn 2% or 2X points per dollar on fuel bills and meals away from home. 5% or 5X on office supplies is more useful than it sounds.
This is because office supply stores offer many useful items and valuable services. For example, you can buy postage stamps and gift cards or even send packages there that qualify for the 5% bonus. You can also combine the card with a shopping portal to receive additional discounts and points in addition to the bonus category. The card has no annual fee and is marketed as a commercial discount card.
As with the Chase Freedom card, however, you receive points that can be redeemed for cash for one cent per point. However, when combined with a Premium Chase Card, this is even more valuable as you get a higher rate of redemption at Chase. Ultimate Rewards Portal. Premium cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred to allow you to transfer your points to travel partners, which is often more valuable.
I feel like this card is often overlooked as most people are drawn to Chase Ink Business Preferred as it has a higher welcome offer. For long-term use, however, I consider Ink Business Cash to be a more valuable card. And as of this blog post, the welcome offer included on the card is still very competitive. What do you think of these letters? Are there any other underrated cards that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.
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