Traveling Using a Credit Card – 13 Credit Card Travel Tips

Traveling using a credit card have 13 advantages.

13 Tips for Traveling Using a Credit Card

Traveling using a credit card abroad or even to another state requires smart use and wariness. The last thing you want is to have your credit card stolen when you’re away from home. However, there are several great reasons why people use credit cards to travel. We’ll go over them as well as useful tips to safeguard your information.

13 Tips for Traveling Using a Credit Card

1. Carry a Backup Card

Not all credit cards are accepted everywhere. You want to carry a backup card if your main card is Discover, American Express, or another limited card. You’ll have a wider acceptance with a Visa card or a MasterCard. So, it’s a good idea to carry one as a backup. You don’t want to get stranded and have no way to get funding when you travel.

2. Let Your Issuer Know You Plan to Travel

Credit cards regularly monitor for fraud. If they suspect it, they could freeze your account. It’s a good idea to contact them and tell them what your destination is. You also want to tell them the dates you plan to travel. They can note your account, so they don’t mistakenly think that it’s fraudulent transactions. This is also the time to check for any ATM or daily spending limits. Do this if you plan to travel abroad or even to another state.

3. Get a Card Without a Foreign Transaction Fee

Traveling using a credit card abroad can be expensive, especially if you have a foreign transaction fee. This fee automatically adds to your bill each time you use your card through a non-US bank. This includes ATMs and purchases. Travel for two weeks, and you may have an unpleasant surprise when you open your bill the next month. These fees usually range from one to three-percent, per transaction.

4. Keep Your Issuer Contact Information Accessible

Some issuers don’t require that you call them before traveling. However, you want to get their contact information before you leave. Most 1-800 numbers don’t work outside of the United States or Canada. You’ll want to call and write this information down and keep in easily accessible. This is in case if you lose your credit card. You’re going to need your card when you travel, and you don’t want to get stuck without it.

5. Check for Traveling Perks

Did you know that some cards have perks specifically set aside for traveling? Check for concierge service, discounted travel insurance, late hotel checkouts, and emergency evacuation insurance. These things can really help you in the event of an emergency. They can save you money and make your travel more enjoyable. Not all cards are the same, so it’s a good idea to double check.

6. Keep Emergency Cash Stashed Away

It’s a good idea to keep a stash of emergency cash when you travel. Keep this in your hotel room somewhere or in your luggage. You don’t want to carry it with your card. If your card is stolen in your purse, you’ll have cash to travel and get home. You may want to carry a small amount of cash with you for vendors as well.

7. Check Into Card-Based Travel Insurance Benefits

Traveling using a credit card can entitle you to card-based travel insurance benefits. Some cards will reimburse you personal hygiene products or clothing for delayed or lost luggage. Other cards will give you discounted or free meals for delayed flights. Things like trip reimbursement for canceled or interrupted trips are also great. Traveling can be expensive, and having these benefits can give you a safety net.

8. Stay Alert to Potential Fraud

Traveling using credit cards opens you up to fraud. You want to watch for credit card skimmers on ATMs. Also, watch for any suspicious activity. It can be more difficult to spot it if you’re in a foreign country. However, staying vigilant is essential to preventing fraud with you card. Just be very aware of your surroundings and pay attention to where and when you use your card.

9. Use a Travel Rewards Card

You want to earn as many rewards as possible when you use your card. This is where having a travel rewards card can come in handy. When you use it to travel, you can get more benefits. Things like greater cash back, more miles, and a higher earning potential are all possible. These perks vary from travel card to travel card, so you want to double check.

10. Get Your Card’s Specific App

It can be very easy to lose track of what you spend when you travel. You don’t want to hit any daily limits and get stuck either. Downloading your card’s app to your phone gives you a quick way to monitor it. You can log into the app anywhere there is public Wi-Fi. You’ll be able to check your balance, recent transactions, and how much is left on the card.

11. Update Your Card

Traveling using a credit card can take you around the world. However, you want to make sure that your card will work wherever you go. Although chip technology is relatively new in the US, it’s not in Europe. If you don’t have a chip card, check that your destination will allow you to use just a magnetic strip. If not, you may want to consider upgrading while traveling using a credit card.

12. Schedule Your Payments

You don’t want to fall behind with your payments when you travel. If it’s possible, schedule your payments ahead of time. If you have more than one payment, try to schedule them close together. Also, make sure that you have money in your account it cover the payment amount. This can make traveling using credit cards less stressful. It’ll also help keep your credit history in good shape.

13. Consider the Exchange Rates

Traveling using a credit card is one way to take advantage of local exchange rates. Your money can go further with a card then it would cash exchanges or ATM exchanges. It’s a good idea to take advantage of this with your larger purchases. Pay for things like your hotel room or rental car with your card. Keep your smaller purchases in cash.

Bottom Line

These 13 tips for traveling using a credit card can all work to save you money. Being vigilant and using your cards in a smart manner will all help you enjoy your vacation. Double check your cards and do your homework before you leave for your destination.

0 comments

Nine Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards

Learn the nine disadvantages of store credit cards

Nine Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards

Have you ever visited a department store and looked at the store credit card? It may seem very tempting to sign up for it. However, these store credit cards can be the start of a credit trap. We’ll discuss the disadvantages of store credit cards in this post. It’ll help you see why you want to avoid having one at all costs.

Nine Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards

1. Store Only Limited Use Credit Options

Store-branded credit cards usually have a very small acceptance pool. You’re only able to use it at the specific store and participating partners. This means that this card could potentially go long periods without use. This can actually hurt your credit score if you leave it to sit long enough. Additionally, most cards aren’t widely accepted brands like Visa or MasterCard. This can lower your acceptance rate even more. Consider carefully if you should have a store credit card.

2. Low Impact on Your Credit Score

A huge selling point of credit cards is that they can improve your credit score. Unfortunately, store credit cards have a lower overall impact when it comes to raising your credit score. It may improve your score with a strong payment history. However, it won’t count as much as a traditional credit card from a well-known brand will.

3. High Interest Rates is One of the Main Disadvantages of Store Credit

Traditional credit cards can have high interest rates depending on your credit score. But, those interest rates pale in comparison to store credit cards. It’s not unusual to see a store credit card with an interest rate will into the 30-percent range. It can get expensive for people who routinely carry balances from month to month. You could almost double the amount you pay for an item in interest fees alone.

4. Low Credit Limit on Some Store Cards

Most store credit cards come with very low credit limits. They may improve over time, but it’s rare to find credit limits over $1,000. This drives your credit utilization up, and this can hurt your credit score. For example, say your store card has a $100 credit limit. You want to keep your credit utilization at or under 30-percent. To do this, you should never spend more than $30 per month. For most stores, this will barely pay for one item.

5. Deferred Interest Options on Store Credit Purchases

A lot of store credit cards advertise store financing promotions that cardholders get 12 months of deferred interest. This can lead people to believe that it’s zero interest, and there’s a huge difference. True zero interest cards say something like, “0-percent APR on purchase for a year.” Deferred interest cards say. “No interest if you pay in full within a year.” The “if” is huge. It means that if you don’t pay off your balance, you’ll pay retroactive interest rates. The manufacturer will add 12 months of interest onto your balance.

6. Few Store Card Reward Point Redemption Options

Not only are the rewards lower, but the redemption choices are as well. You may earn rewards points, but only if you shop at that specific store. You typically earn between three and six points per dollar. However, you’ll need around 5,000 points to earn a gift card worth $25. You’ll have to spend over $1,500 to get $25 in rewards, and this doesn’t add up in your favor.

7. Store Cards Can Encourage Excessive Spending

Once you sign up for a store credit card, they’ll swamp you with offers. Typically, you can expect emails about sales, discounts, and rewards for spending. This can encourage you to spend more than you normally would. This is one quick way to get into debt that just keeps piling up. Additionally, your card may get a credit increase. This increase can encourage you to shop even more.

8. Retail Store Closing

Retailers close all of the time, and sometimes without warning. Once the store closes, you can’t use your card anymore. You’ll still be responsible for any balance or interest charges. You want to pay them whether or not the store is still active. However, you’ll lose all of your rewards once the store closes. You won’t get a payout or anything. It’s best to spend them quickly if you know that the store is going to close soon.

9. Finding the Terms and Conditions is Confusing

You usually get your store card as soon as they approve you. Then, you’ll get a small brochure that outlines some things about your card. However, you won’t have a lot of time to look at them or compare it to other cards. This means that you may rack up a balance without truly understanding what it’s going to cost you. It’s a fast way to get yourself into debt and have trouble getting back out.

Reasons to Consider a Store Credit Card

Avoid store credit cards as much as you can. There are legitimate reasons to get a retail credit card. Only apply for a store card that offers special discount deals for a store you frequently shop. Below are review articles for some of the most popular store credit cards. Consider these store cards carefully before applying. If a store card suits your lifestyle and offers special store card only deals, then it could prove very helpful. Just keep in mind that you should pay your balances in full each month to avoid interest charges. Otherwise, these high store credit card interest charges will negate the value of these store card only deals.

Walmart Credit Card
Target REDcard
Macy’s Credit Card
Nordstrom Credit Card
Kohl’s Credit Card
Home Depot Credit Card
Lowe’s Credit Card

Bottom Line on the Disadvantages of Store Credit

You want to avoid store credit cards as much as you can. The rewards you earn simply don’t outweigh the negatives that come with these cards. Look to see if a secured credit card is good for you to build your credit. They usually have better interest rates and more opportunity to advance to a better card. Finally, make sure you clearly know the disadvantages of store credit cards before applying.

0 comments

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Review

Earn free Marriott hotel nights with the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Review

Do you travel for pleasure or work and frequently stay at Marriot hotels? If so, you should be earning Marriott rewards each time you stay. If you’re not, you may want to consider getting the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card. For anyone who hasn’t heard of the Marriott Visa, this is for you. This Marriott credit card can help you earn free hotel stays.

We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of the Marriott credit card. This will give you a good idea on whether the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card is right for you.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Pros and Benefits

1. Multiple Redemption Options

The Marriott Visa doesn’t skimp on the rewards redemption options for loyal customers. These redemption options are especially useful if you plan to travel a lot and stay in several hotels. You can redeem your points for hotel stays, airfare, upgrades, cruises, gift cards, merchandise, charity, and vacation packages. Further, your points will be there when you need them. You won’t have to worry about losing them either.

2. Points Don’t Expire

Unlike some credit cards, you won’t have to worry about your credit card points expiring with the Marriott credit card. Your points will stay in your account as long as you use it once every 24 months. This means that you can stack your travel rewards for longer hotel stays or more airplane flights. These perks can make traveling easier and more convenient for you.

3. Free Marriot Hotel Night

So you want to keep your Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card in good standing. You’ll earn a free night hotel stay each year. They’ll apply this free night on the anniversary of opening your card with them. This reward has a redemption level of up to 35,000 points. This means that you do want to double check how much your hotel costs in points before you book it.

4. Automatic Elite Sliver Status

You get a reward just for qualifying for the Marriott credit card. Cardholders will automatically get Elite Silver Status with their card. This status comes with several perks. These include more point-earning potential, redemption offers, and much more. You just have to quality and keep your card active in good standing.

5. Big Point Earning Potential

You won’t have a shortage of point earning potential with this card. Earn six times the points for every dollar you spend at over 6,700 participating Marriott hotels. Also, you’ll earn two times the points for every dollar spent everywhere else. Since the points are unlimited, you can quickly earn enough for a decent reward.

6. Don’t Need Points in Your Marriott Visa Account to Book Rooms

You can book a hotel with points that aren’t available in your account yet. Say you have 24,000 points coming, but you want to book months out. You can book the room, hold it with points, and earn points until the day you check in. As long as the points are there when you check in, you’ll be able to use them to pay.

7. Marriott Visa Bonus Offer

The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card comes with a big credit card signup bonus offer. You have to spend $3,000 in the first three months to get it. If you do, you’ll earn 75,000 bonus points. You can then save or use these points any way you choose. Do you have a flight coming up? Upgrade it with your points. Maybe you want to redeem it as a gift card instead.

8. Elite Night Credits

In 2019, people with the Marriott credit card will be eligible for even more perks. You’ll get 15 Elite Night credits every calendar year. The best part is, you don’t have to do anything special to get these extra free nights. You just have to have the card in good standing and active. You can redeem them at 6,700 participating hotels.

9. Transfer Points

You’re not locked into using specific airlines or hotels with this card. You can transfer your points to over 40 participating airlines. Your points will transfer over at a three-to-one ratio. So this means that if you send 60,000 points, you’ll have 20,000 to spend at the participating airline. This is good for unexpected flights or last minute reservations.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Cons

1. Free Night Restriction

You do get free nights just for having the Marriott Visa, but there are restrictions. First, the hotel has to have rooms available. Second, the room has to be a standard room. You can’t use your free night stays on anything but standard rooms. It’s still a free hotel stay though. You can compare this Marriott credit card with the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card which offers similar rewards.

2. Rewards Limit

Your rewards are unlimited. However, not all hotels participate in the program. This means that you have to call ahead and ask or check online before you book. The last thing you want to do is get to the hotel and have to pay cash. There are 6,700 participating Marriott and SPG hotels to pick from though.

3. High Spending Rate

This card requires you to spend more to get the most out of your rewards. For example, you have to spend $3,000 in three months to get the Marriott Visa bonus. So for some people, this may be too much for them to justify.

4. Average Rewards Rate for this Marriott Credit Card

You can earn a lot of rewards with this card. However, it’s just an average rewards rate compared to other cards. So this means that you have to earn more to cover the costs of your hotels or airfare. When you compare it to other cards, it’s around the middle for earning potential.

5. Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card $95 Annual Fee

This card comes with an annual fee. This shouldn’t surprise you since this is a rewards card. You’ll pay $95 each year for an annual fee. This is high if you don’t plan on using your card that often. You’ll have to work hard to justify it if you don’t normally spend a lot. Consider travel cards without an annual fee.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card Bottom Line

Finally the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card is a solid travel credit cards. If you stay at Marriot hotels, you can stack up points quickly. However, the annual fee may be too steep for the average spender. Further, take a look at your spending habits and see if this card lines up. If it does, you can start earning rewards and saving money on free nights.


0 comments

Trio Credit Card From Fifth Third Bank Review

With the Trio Credit Card earn 3%, 2%, or 1% cash back on all purchases.

Trio Credit Card From Fifth Third Bank Review

Are you a rewards cardholder who wants more cash back opportunities? Are you typically a low spender with your credit cards? If you are, you’re in luck! The Fifth Third Trio card is new in the world of credit cards, and people are excited. For anyone who has never heard of the Trio credit card, we’ll fill you in. Our review will tell you the great and the not so great things about this card. Our goal is to give you a good understanding on whether or not you want to consider this card or look somewhere else.

Trio Credit Card Pros

1. Multiple Cash Back Opportunities

Usually, low spender cards don’t have great cash back opportunities. However, the Fifth Third Trio card is breaking this mold. You earn three percent back each time you use your card at a restaurant. You’ll also earn two percent for purchases made at drug stores, gas stations, and grocery stores. Finally, every other purchase will get you unlimited one percent cash back in rewards. The first two categories do have a cap of $1,500 per quarter. However, this won’t be a problem if you’re a low spender. Also, join the free Rewards Network dining rewards program and earn even more rewards.

2. Bonus for Signing Up

The Trio credit card comes with a bonus that is easy to get. All you have to do to get it is spend $1,000 over the first three months that you have the card. This is roughly $333 per month. Fifth Third credit card holders will get a $100 bonus for reaching this amount. This bonus is a cash back bonus as well. This means that you won’t have to worry about going through an extensive redemption process to get it.

3. APR Introductory Offer

You’ll get a year grace period on APR for balance transfers with the Fifth Third credit card. This allows you to transfer balances from other cards to this card and pay them off. You can cut your balance into 12 smaller payments. You’ll end up paying less if you manage to pay it off in a year because there’s no added interest. Also, this is great news for people who are trying to dig their way out of debt.

4. Easily Recognizable

Fifth Third Bank is located in 10 states with more than 1149 individual Fifth Third Bank branch locations. Fifth Third Bank branches are located in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Even if the Fifth Third Trio card isn’t recognizable, the card type is. This card is a MasterCard. MasterCard is one of the most widely accepted credit card brands available. You’ll be able to use it at almost any location. Additionally, you won’t have to carry a second card since it’s widely accepted.

5. Flexible Reward Redemption

One of the most frustrating things with a reward credit card is actually getting your rewards. However, the Trio credit card makes this process quick and easy. You can use your rewards to book travel, as merchandise, or a gift card. Additionally, you can have it deposited into your Fifth Third Bank savings or checking account. You can also redeem it for a mortgage credit for a Fifth Third Bank loan or mortgage.

6. No Annual Fee

A lot of reward cards come with higher annual fees. This leaves people who don’t use it a lot scrambling to justify paying it. You won’t have to worry about an annual fee with the Fifth Third credit card. Any rewards you earn are yours to keep. Even if you only plan on using this card once in a great while, it could be worth it.

7. Traveler Coverage

Do you plan to travel with this card? Cardholders automatically gain access to MasterCard’s traveler benefits. It includes MasterCard’s Priceless Cities Program. This program gives cardholders access to in-demand event tickets and private events. You also get travel and airport concierge service and additional protection when you travel internationally.

8. Security and Shopping

MasterCard protects you with price protection guarantee. They’ll refund you the price difference if they find an item you purchased for less than you paid for it. You’ll also enjoy a doubled manufacturer’s warranty on each item you buy with your Trio credit card. It’ll extend your current warranty up to two additional years. You get access to the digital payment system because the card comes digitally optimized as well.

9. Cell Phone Protection

When you get this card, it pays to pay your cell phone bill with it. The company will reimburse you for any lost, stolen, or damaged phones that you purchased. This does cap at $400 per year with two claims maximum. However, it’s a nice reassurance in case anything happens to your phone.

Trio Credit Card Cons

1. Rewards Cap

Yes, the tiered rewards system is great. However, the quarterly cap isn’t so great. You won’t earn rewards until the quarter resets once you hit the $1,500 maximum. If you do, you’ll get stuck with a one percent cash back in all categories. This can significantly undercut any rewards you make until a new quarter starts. Consider the Capital One® Savor℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card for unlimited rewards.

2. Credit Score

The Trio credit card is newer and great for low spenders. However, the credit score needed for Fifth Third Bank credit card is slightly higher. You’ll need at least a good credit score to qualify for the Fifth Third Trio card. A good credit score typically ranges between 670 and 739. This can shut out a lot of potential applicants.

3. Restricted Redemption Options

Although you do have several ways to redeem your rewards, there are restrictions. Furthermore, your rewards expire every three or four years. If you don’t use them, you lose them. Other rewards options have a minimum rewards line. You have to earn over $25 to be eligible to redeem them. This may take a while if you’re a low spender with your card.

4. Normal APR

Your normal APR will kick in after the introductory offer finishes. Your APR will depend on the credit score you had when you first got the card. This APR starts at 14.24-percent. It goes up to 23.24-percent. Also, it’s a variable APR and it can fluctuate. This can add a lot of fees on if you routinely carry a balance.

5. Balance Transfer Fees

You’ll pay a balance transfer fee for every balance transfer you do with this card. While the Trio credit card doesn’t have a high fee, it’s still a fee. So this balance transfer fee or credit card fee is either $5 or four percent. It takes whichever is higher and charges it to your card after each balance transfer.

TRIO® Credit Card Fifth Third Bank Final Thoughts

Is the Trio credit card a good idea? We think it’s a good idea for low spenders who want rewards on everyday purchases. You do want to keep track of how much you earn per quarter. This will allow you to maximize your rewards. However, this is a solid rewards card for the average spender.
CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS



CreditFast has reviewed the best cash back credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each cash back credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

0 comments

Rewards Network Dining Rewards Using Credit Cards

Earn dining rewards with Rewards Network using credit cards.

Rewards Network and Earning Dining Rewards

Are you part of the Rewards Network? Perhaps you’ve never heard of it. If not, it’s something you may want to look into joining to earn dining rewards. There are several well-known options on the Reward Network available to pick between. These include the IHG Rewards Club and AAdvantage Club. We’re going to tell you what the Reward Network is by the end of this post. You’ll also know what the perks are because we want to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding the Rewards Network

If you fly or dine out a lot, you could miss out on additional bonus points. This is especially true if you’re already enrolled in a loyalty program. Once you do, you’re eligible to join the Reward Network. This is a network of over 10,000 bars, clubs, and restaurants all around the nation. So there are currently over three million Reward Network members, and this number keeps growing.

Rewards network has been around since 1984. It’s steadily grown as one of North America’s premier dining rewards programs. This company acts as a broker that connects its members to more than 10,000 restaurants and various merchants. These merchants and restaurants then offer the Network’s members the ability to earn rewards. So these rewards include rebates, food, travel, lodging, gifts, entertainment, and frequent flyer miles.

It is important to note that most members are frequent diners, but it’s not limited to just dining opportunities. You also don’t need an airline credit card to be eligible for this program. You can have up to 12 credit cards registered with the Network at one time to maximize your savings.

Earn Frequent Flyer Miles Using Rewards Network

Do you fly with a specific airline and you’re part of their loyalty programs like American Airline’s AAdvantage Club or United Mileage Plus? If so, you can most likely find a Reward Network program attached to the loyalty program. Members of the American Airlines AAdvantage credit card get automatic enrollment into the Reward Network. This Network earns you extra miles when you use your American Airlines AAdvantage card at over 12,000 restaurants.

However, if you’re a member of the AAdvantage Miles Program but you don’t have American-branded card, you’re in luck. The Reward Network allows you to link any credit card you have to the Miles program. When you do this, you’ll earn bonus miles at eligible restaurants. You can also find a Network for Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. Check the links to these airline sites below this article to learn about earning dining rewards and signing up.

So if you don’t fly often but you stay in a lot of hotels, there are Rewards Network options available as well. As long as the hotel has a loyalty program and you enroll, you’re eligible. You do want to check what hotels currently participate in the program to ensure you get your bonus. This is another way to earn free travel rewards.

Rewards Network Partners

Why is the Rewards Network Popular?

The Rewards Network makes it extremely easy to earn. Register and forget about it. If you just happen to eat at a restaurant that participates in the program, you earn dining rewards. They make it easy to find out which establishments participate or not because they have a directory. Further, this allows you to prioritize one restaurant over the other, or eat at entirely new places.

For example, say you have two eateries in your town that you like equally. One participates in the program, and one doesn’t. If you choose the one that participates in the program, you can potentially earn double rewards. You’ll earn your first rewards from your rewards credit card. The second round of rewards comes from Rewards Network. This takes no extra effort on your part. You just pick a participating restaurant, use your registered card, and earn rewards.

It’s also great for people who don’t have a rewards card but want one. You can register your credit card, prepaid card, or bank debit card into a rewards card. A secured credit card can earn credit card rewards. All you do is enroll them in the Network and loyalty program and use it at participating vendors. You’ll earn rewards that you can convert into points. You can then redeem this points for things like miles, hotel stays, or various discounts. The IGH Rewards Club or the American Airlines AAdvantage Program are excellent examples of loyalty clubs.

How You Get Started With Rewards Network and Earn Rewards Dining

Now that you know what the Reward Network is and why it’s popular, we’ll help you sign up. So this process is fairly straightforward and easy to do, even if you’re not computer savvy.

1. Sign Up for the Vendor’s Loyalty or Reward Program

Navigate to your chosen vendor’s reward site and click “sign up” or “register” to get started. Once you do this, a new screen will appear. On this screen, you’ll input your information. This information includes:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Zip Code
  • Email Address (twice to verify it)
  • Opt in or out to emails (opt in to get more savings and bonus offers)

2. Set up Your Account and Start Earning Dining Rewards

Come up with and enter a unique username. You’ll also need a password and your loyalty account identifier. Enter your street address including your city, state, and zip code. When you finish this, click “next” to move on.

3. Enroll Your Debit or Credit Card

You can enter your vendor-branded card here. So choose the credit card with the best rewards for dining. This is also where you can add your debit, prepaid, or credit card. Enter your card type, card number, and the expiration date. Confirm that you are not a robot and agree to the terms and service agreement. Finally, click “done” to finish the process.

4. Enroll Another Card or Search for Vendors

Congratulations, you’re now a loyalty card member. So at this point, you can enroll another card if you desire. If not, you can start searching for vendors that participate in the Rewards Network program and start earning dining rewards!

Additional Tips Using The Rewards Network Dining Program

  • You have to use enrolled cards to get the bonus. So gift cards won’t give you bonus rewards through the Rewards Network.
  • You want to verify any vendor before you make a purchase to ensure that they participate.
  • Double check eligibility days. Also, some establishments don’t participate on their busier days during each week.
  • If you make online orders, they may not show up. You’ll have to submit a receipt or credit card statement to get your bonus. These things should show the location, date, and amount of the purchase.

Credit Cards Recommended in the Rewards Network YouTube Video

Capital One® Savor℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card
Fifth Third Bank TRIO® Credit Card
Discover it® Card Includes YouTube Review Video With Unboxing
Citi® Double Cash Credit Card
Capital One® Quicksilver®

Rewards Network Branded Partnernered Credit Cards

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
JetBlue Plus Card
Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard®
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Rewards Network Dining Signup Program Links

Main Company Site for Program
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ Dining
American Airlines AAdvantage DiningSM
Delta SkyMiles® Dining
eScrip Dining
Shell Fuel Rewards® Dining
Hilton Honors Dining
idine® Dining With BensfitsSM
IHG® Rewards Club Dining
JetBlue TrueBlue Dining
Orbitz Rewards Dining
Shop Your Way
Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining®
FREE SPIRIT® Dining
Total Rewards Dining
MileagePlus Dining(SM)
Upromise Dining

Bottom Line Earning Dining Rewards With Rewards Network

The Rewards Network is an excellent opportunity to earn dining rewards. Also, it gives a great deal of flexibility for people who don’t have rewards cards. This program is perfect for frequent flyers or people who dine out. Even if you don’t do these things routinely, it may be worth it to enroll. Finally, if you’re not enrolled, check it out and see if it’ll work for you.





CreditFast has reviewed the best cash back credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each cash back credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

0 comments

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Review

Blue Delta SkyMiles Credi card is a no annual fee credit card.

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card Review Pros and Cons

Do you routinely fly Delta airlines? If so, you want the best Delta credit card available. Having the Blue Delta SkyMiles card will help ensure that you get the best perks available every time you fly. Although this isn’t an extraordinary card, it’s a solid choice whether you fly a lot or sparingly with Delta. This Delta SkyMiles review will give the good and the not so good with this card. You’ll know whether or not the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is a good choice for your travel style or not.

Blue Delta SkyMiles Pros

No Annual Fee

Did you know that the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is the only Delta card with no annual fee? This is excellent news for people who don’t travel a lot. It’s also good for people who frequently fly airlines other than Delta. You can earn rewards at your pace without trying to balance out the annual fee. Anyone who gets a reward card will tell you that no annual fee is fairly rare. This makes this no annual fee American Express Delta credit card a good choice for a first travel credit card.

Rewards Rate

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card has a lower end rewards rate, but the rewards don’t expire. You’ll earn two rewards points for every dollar you spend on eligible Delta purchases. You’ll also earn two points for every dollar spent at US restaurants and one point per dollar on everything else. You can stack these rewards for as long as you have an account open and in good standing.

In-Flight Savings

Delta encourages cardholders to use this card when they fly with them. Cardholders get a 20 percent credit for in-flight purchases. You use your card to purchase beverages, food, or headsets while you fly. Delta will give you a 20 percent statement credit on your next monthly bill. You don’t have to do anything but use your card while you’re flying with Delta.

Blue Delta SkyMiles Bonus Miles

Delta has a very doable bonus option for cardholders. You’ll get 10,000 bonus miles for spending $500 in the first three months. This works out to roughly $167 per month. The average person spends more than this on one trip to the grocery store. You can then use your sign up bonus miles on your next Delta flight.

Flexible Rewards Redemption

Along with stackable rewards, cardholders also enjoy a flexible redemption program. You can redeem your rewards for Delta flights. However, you can also redeem them at one of Delta’s partners. You can fly round-trip or one-way as well. This is unique because a lot of airlines won’t allow for one-way flight options. Your miles won’t expire either, and cash may be a redemption option on some flights.

No Blackout Dates

Trying to use your rewards can be frustrating, especially with blackout dates. However, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card takes that frustration away. There are no blackout dates to worry about or work around with this card. You can use your miles for any flight at any time without an issue. This is great for last-minute flights, emergencies, or holiday travel.

Additional Blue Delta SkyMiles Cardholder Perks

This card comes with several additional perks for any cardholders. You get car rental insurance and free roadside assistance with this card. Cardholders get the lowest hotel rate guarantee and access to event presales. Finally, cardholders also get return protection, extended warranties, and purchase protection. All of this can work to save you money. Additionally, these things entitle you to the 20 percent discount as well.

Blue Delta SkyMiles Cons

Flight Restrictions

Unfortunately, cardholders have some restrictions on this card. You’re not allowed to use your miles on flights with required stopovers. This can make it difficult to book certain flights. You’ll have to fly nonstop for more flights to get your miles. If you don’t, you’ll have to pay for your flight yourself.

Fuel Surcharges

You want to be sure to double check your flights when you book through Delta. Flying on a one-way flight from Europe with Delta partners can mean extra charges. Certain partners will add fuel surcharges to your final flight total. This isn’t every Delta partner, but you do want to double check before you fly.

Fees

Delta adds on fees for people who use their Blue Delta SkyMiles card to book through certain platforms. If you book your flight over the phone, you’ll pay a $25 fee. Cardholders who choose to book through a ticket office will pay a $35 fee. This can add up very quickly if you’re a frequent flier. It can also eat into your rewards fairly quickly.

Lower Rewards Rate

Unfortunately, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card has a fairly low rewards rate. It is harder to earn free travel this Delta airline credit card. Additionally, this rewards rate tends to fluctuate significantly. For this card, the miles typically average out to around $0.13 per mile. However, this can drop down to $0.05 and go back up to $0.29 per mile. Also, business class tickets tend to get the best rates with this card.

Blue Delta SkyMiles APR

If you carry a balance, this card has a higher APR. This includes people with higher credit scores. The APR starts at 17.49 percent and goes up to 26.49 percent. This rate has the potential to add a lot of excess money to your balance. It’s best to try and pay your balance off in full each month to avoid this APR altogether.

Deciding if the Blue Delta SkyMiles Card a Good Choice for You

This card is a good choice for people new to travel who fly Delta airlines frequently. It’s also a good choice for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee for their travel card. If you’re new to rewards cards, this card is slightly more flexible than other no annual fee travel credit cards.

People who fly frequently and need a higher rewards rate should check into other Delta-specific cards. You will pay an annual fee, but it usually evens out with the rewards you earn. For example, the Gold Delta SkyMiles card gives you priority boarding, and a waived checked bag fee. However, you pay a $95 annual fee, but it’s great for frequent Delta flyers.

Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card Bottom Line

This Delta SkyMiles review gave you the pros and cons fo this card. It’s one of the best Delta credit card options available, even with the lower rewards rate. This card is a solid choice for anyone who is loyal to Delta airlines who doesn’t want to pay an annual fee. If this sounds like you, you may want to give this card a chance. Do your research, look around, and decide if you could benefit from the Blue Delta SkyMiles card.



CreditFast has reviewed the best travel credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each credit card. We have chosen travel and airline credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

0 comments

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

Review the travel rewards credit card benefits from Bank of America.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

For anyone who travels and who wants a solid card, try the travel rewards credit card from Bank of America. It’s a great rewards card for people who want something simple. However, this card also has drawbacks like any card. We’ll cover the pros and cons of the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card. You’ll know by the end of the post if this is a good choice for you or not.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Pros

1. Unlimited Rewards

You don’t have to travel to earn rewards with this card. You earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. These rewards are unlimited. This means that you can stack them and cash them in for larger purchases. Your rewards come back as statement credits or travel-related expenses. You have a great deal of flexibility with this card to earn free travel.

2. Bonus Offer

You get a bonus offer for signing up for this card. You have to spend $1,000 in the first three months. It breaks down to $333 per month to get the bonus. Do this, and the Bank of America card will give you points. This bonus works out to a $250 statement credit. This is very doable, especially if you use your card each day.

3. No Annual Fee

This travel rewards credit card is unique. The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is one of a few no annual fee travel credit cards. Having no annual fee is rare for a rewards travel card. This is why it’s good for people who don’t plan to use their card often. You won’t have to worry about justifying paying an annual fee if you don’t use it a lot. However, if you do use it a lot, all of the rewards you earn are pure profit.

4. No Foreign Transaction Fee

You don’t want a credit card with a foreign transaction fee when you travel. So with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card, you won’t have to worry. There is no foreign transaction fee. You can use this card at any vendor, bank, or ATM without paying extra. So this is huge for people who like to travel internationally.

5. Point Redemption Options

Do you like to stay in hotels? Perhaps you want to book a flight, rental car, or cruise. You can do all of this and more with your Bank of America card’s points. You redeem them as a statement credit and apply it to the category of your choice. This can save you money as you travel so you can use it on fun outings.

6. Chip Technology

Everyone worries about having their identity stolen or credit card fraud. However, this travel rewards credit card can help. It comes with EMV chip technology embedded into the card. This technology adds another layer of security each time you use your card. It’s much harder to steal your information because it’s encrypted into the card.

7. Introductory APR

Do you have a big ticket purchase in mind? If so, you can buy it when you first open this card. You get 12 billing cycles of zero percent APR. You can split your large bill into 12 even payments. This puts money back into your pocket. Additionally, you’ll pay less because you won’t pay additional interest charges.

8. Points Bonus

Bank of American makes it extremely easy to earn bonus points with the travel rewards credit card. When you open the line of credit, open a Bank of America checking or savings account. So this gets you a 10 percent customer points bonus on every purchase you make with your card. It goes up depending on how much you have in your account.

9. Widely Accepted

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is widely accepted. It’s a Visa card, and this card is traditionally accepted worldwide. Since it’s widely accepted, you won’t have to carry a second card around with you. This reduces the risks of losing your cards or being a victim of identity fraud.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card Cons

1. Low Rewards Rate

You earn 1.5 points on every purchase. However, this is a lower rate for a rewards-based credit card. If you have decent credit, you should be able to find a card with a higher rewards rate. This lower rate makes it more difficult to earn enough rewards to cash in. Compare other credit cards with travel rewards.

2. Credit Needed

This is a rewards card, and it shows with the credit score. You’ll need a credit score of 700 and up to qualify for this card. Unfortunately, this requirement cuts out a lot of people who are rebuilding their credit scores. It’s also a lower-end rewards card for people who have an excellent credit score.

3. Balance Transfer Fee

This isn’t a good card if you plan to perform a balance transfer. It charges you each time you do a balance transfer to this card. You’ll pay either $10 or three percent of the total balance, whichever is higher. There are credit cards that offer 0 fee balance transfer fee intros. Even though 3% isn’t a huge fee it could be a balance transfer mistake. So if you’re trying to get out of debt, every little bit counts.

4. Caters to Bank of America Customers

If you don’t have a Bank of America account, you lose out on the bonus offer. You won’t be able to get the 10 percent more points on each purchase. You can open an account with them to get this offer. However, a lot of people will see this as an inconvenience, especially if they’re loyal to a particular bank.

5. Variable and Penalty APRs

Once the introductory offer is up, you get a variable APR. This APR ranges depending on your credit score when you apply for the card. It starts at 16.74 and goes up to 24.74 percent. There is also a penalty APR of 26.99 percent if you miss payments. You can avoid this by not carrying a balance.

6. Benefits Limits

This travel rewards credit card comes with some benefit limits and limits on travel discounts. The current benefits exclude car rental insurance, roadside assistance, or trip cancellation insurance. Since traveling is unpredictable, this is a large drawback.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Bottom Line

In conclusion, the travel rewards credit card is a solid rewards card. You get a lot of great perks and a few drawbacks. It’s a no-frills card with a flat rewards rate. Also, it’s also widely accepted and doesn’t have an annual fee. For people who don’t travel a lot, it’s worth checking into.



CreditFast has reviewed the best travel credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each credit card. We have chosen travel and airline credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

0 comments

Top 5 Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Cards

Best Travel Cards - Compare the Top 5 best no annual fee travel credit cards.

Comparing The Best No Annual Fee Travel Credit Cards

Do you like to travel? If so, do you know what the best travel cards are? Perhaps you only travel a few times a year. If that’s the case, you may want no annual fee travel credit cards to save on costs. Whatever the reason, I’ve rounded up the top five no annual fee travel credit cards.

You’ll be able to compare them and decide for yourself which one will suit your needs the best. We’ll give you a quick overview of each card. This will allow you to find a great travel card that matches your travel habits.

Reviewing the Five Best Travel Cards

What are the best travel cards? As there are hundreds of card choices available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. My goal is to make choosing the no annual fee travel credit cards quick and easy.

1. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

First up is the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card. To start, it’s a rewards card as well as a travel card. You earn 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, no matter where you spend it. You have to spend $1,000 in the first 90 days to get the signup bonus. This works out to just $333 per month. The signup bonus is 25,000 online bonus points.

These points add up to a $250 statement credit. So technically, you get the bonus by spending $750. You can redeem your points for miles, rental cars, hotels, and travel purchases. Additionally, cardholders with a Bank of America checking or savings account get an additional 10% bonus. Also if you make it to the Preferred Rewards level, you get an additional 75% points bonus.

You can use this card as little or as much as you want because there is no annual fee. This is huge for a rewards card. Also, there is no foreign transaction fee when you use this card at a non-US bank. You get an introductory 0% APR offer for the first 12 months as well.

2. Discover it® Miles

Second on our list of the best no annual fee travel credit cards is by Discover. The Discover it® Miles card gives you 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend. This includes any purchases you make online or in a store. You can make larger purchases when you first get this card due to the introductory offer.

Cardholders will enjoy 14 months of 0% APR. You can also perform balance transfers to this card, but the rate is 10.99% for the first 14 months. Discover also has a unique bonus for all new cardholders. At the end of the first year, they’ll match all of the miles you earned so far. If you earn 50,000 miles, Discover will add 50,000 miles to your account.

You’ll also enjoy a $0 annual fee. You can use the card as sparingly or as much as you want without having to justify it. There is also no foreign transaction fee. This means that you can use it as you travel without paying extra. You should note that Discover does have a more limited acceptance rate. However, it is still relatively well-known around the world.

3. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

You’ll enjoy an unlimited amount of rewards with the Capital One® VentureOne® card. You can earn 1.25 miles on every purchase you make. There is also a very achievable signup bonus attached to this card. You have to spend $1,000 in the first three months or around $333 per month. If you do, you get a 20,000 mile bonus. This works out to around $200 in travel savings.

There is a flexible redemption program with this card. Redeem your earnings for airfare, rental cars, hotels, gift cards, cash back, statement credits and more. If you pay for your hotel with this card, you can earn up to 10 points per dollar. You can stack these rewards as long as the account stays in good standing.

So you won’t pay a foreign transaction fee with this card either. This is great for frequent travelers outside of the United States. You won’t get a penalty for using your card through a non-US bank. The $0 annual fee is another great perk for a travel rewards card. You won’t have to feel guilty about not using your card a lot throughout the year. Any rewards you earn are profit for you to keep.

4. Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Are you a loyal Delta traveler? If so, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is an excellent choice. Each purchase you make at US-based restaurants or from Delta will earn you two miles per dollar spent. Everything else is one mile for every dollar you spend. It also comes with a very attainable bonus.

If you spend $500 in the first three months, you’ll get a bonus. Even with just everyday spending, you only have to spend $167 per month. You can use this bonus as a statement credit on your bill. It’s great for people on a tighter budget who still want to get the introductory bonus offer. Using this card on a Delta flight entitles you to additional savings as well.

Cardholders will enjoy an additional 20% off their in-flight purchases. This includes audio headsets, beverages, and food. This discount will appear as a statement credit at the end of the billing cycle. The no annual fee is another nice perk for cardholders to enjoy and save with. This card does have a foreign transaction fee. So you want to keep this in mind if you fly internationally.

5. Citi® Double Cash Card

The final card on my list of the best no annual fee travel credit cards is by Citi. The Citi® Double Cash Card is great for people who want flexibility. You get 1% cash back on all of your purchases. Also, you get another 1% cash back when you pay said purchases off. You can stack the rewards for 12 months before you have to use them. You’ll lose them if you don’t use them in this time period. You can take the rewards earned and apply them towards travel.

However, this card has a very flexible redemption program. You can redeem them for a balance credit, gift card, or a check when you reach $25 in rewards. You get an 18-month 0% APR on balance transfers. So this lets you pay down your debt without adding more to it. It also accepts good credit as well as excellent credit for cardholders.

You’ll also enjoy purchase protection. Report your damaged or stolen items within 120 days, and Citi will reimburse you. You get $0 fraud liability if someone makes unauthorized purchases with your card. This gives you a greater peace of mind if you lose your card or if someone steals it.

Bottom Line in Finding the Best Travel Cards

Finally, when it comes to no annual fee travel credit cards, it pays to compare them. So this way, you’ll ensure that you’re getting a good card to suit your lifestyle. My roundup of the top five best no annual fee travel credit cards makes it quick and easy to compare them. Use them wisely, and you should see the rewards stack up quickly.



CreditFast has reviewed the best travel credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each credit card. We have chosen travel and airline credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

0 comments

Lose your credit card? What to Do With a Lost Credit Card?

What do you do if you lose your credit card?

Lose Your Credit Card? What to Do?

Part of a credit card’s charm is the small, slender, and compact size. However, this also makes it very easy for you to lose your credit card. When you notice that it’s gone, you experience a high level of panic.

This is very common because most people don’t carry extra cash with them. They use their credit card for everyday purchases. If you lose your credit card, there are several things you want to do. This can help to ensure that you get your card back with minimal fuss.

What To Do If You Lose Your Credit Card

Your first instinct may be to panic when you lose your credit card. However, this is one of the worst things that you can do. Federal laws are in place to protect how liable you are for a lost or stolen credit card. It caps at $50. Also, your credit card company could have zero-liability policies in place. Even if you don’t find your card, you most likely won’t lose much.

Take a Second Look

Perhaps you simply misplaced your card at home. If it’s not in the usual spot, you may automatically think it’s lost. The last thing that you want to do is report it as lost and find it a few hours later. Go through your purse or wallet calmly and methodically. Look in every card slot, pocket, or compartment. Take everything out of your purse or wallet as well. Make sure to check through your coat pockets as well and around your home and car.

Check Your Account

Monitoring and checking your account can give you a good idea on where you used your card last. Log into your account and see the time and place you made your last purchase. You can then call this place and see if someone turned a credit card in. If they did, you could go get it without having to get a replacement. It’s also a good way to monitor for fraudulent purchases after you get it back.

Call Your Card Issuer

If you’re sure you lost your credit card, contact your card issuer. You should only do this after you’ve searched everywhere in your home and car for it. Once you contact the card issuer, they’ll deactivate the card. They’ll send out a replacement card in the mail very quickly. This replacement card will minimize the risk of experiencing credit card fraud.

If you have a Discover account, you can freeze your card and temporarily deactivate it until you find it. Great news! Now American Express starting this month of August 2019 offers this same credit card account freezing option. You can now freeze both your Discover and American Express Card accounts. Maybe you can freeze your Visa and MasterCards in the same way? This could depend on each individual credit card company. Before losing your credit card you can call each credit card company and see if there is a freeze option.

A lost debit card is a slightly more complicated story. You have a two-day window to report the debit card lost to keep the $50 liability cap. If you miss this window, you have 60 days to report it lost. However, your liability cap goes up to $500 for unauthorized purchases. Anything beyond 60 days can mean that you pay all of the unauthorized purchases. Prepaid cards also work similarly. Learn more with this prepaid card guide to see how much you are left liable for.

What To Do After You Lose Your Credit Card and Get A New Card Issued

Update Your Account Numbers

When you get your new card, you may have to update your card numbers. This will help to ensure that your automatic payments still go through. The last thing that you want to do is take a hit on your credit score because your payment stopped. Go through your account and make sure that all of the card numbers match.

Ways to Avoid Problems Going Forward

Once you lose your credit card, you don’t want to repeat this mistake. Not only is it stressful, but it’s also inconvenient when you have to wait on the replacement card.

Keep the Issuer’s Number on Hand

Your card issuer’s phone number is on your credit card. If you lose your credit card, you could scramble to find it. Program the number into your phone or put it in your address book. You want to have it somewhere that is easy to remember and reach. When you’re panicking, you may not think straight. Being able to contact your issuer will remove a lot of stress from the process.

Quick emergency list of common credit card company phone numbers to report if your credit card is lost or stolen:

American Express: 1-800-528-4800 – Amex International Collect: 336-393-1111
Capital One: 1-800-CAPITAL (227-4825) – Capital One International Collect: 804-934-2001
CitiBank: 1-855-473-4583 – Citi Card International Collect: 904-954-1202
Discover Card: 1-800-347-3085 – Discover International Collect: 801-344-1000
First National Bank: 1-888-530-3626 – 1st National Bank International Collect: 402-346-1553

Have a Backup Payment Method

You may rely on your credit card for everything. But, if you lose your credit card, you don’t want to get stuck with no money. Have a backup payment method in place. Do you have an emergency fund? Whether this is a small stash of cash, an additional credit card, or a debit card, they all work. This will help to tide you over until you find your card or get a replacement in the mail.

Bottom Line

When you lose your credit card, it can be panic-inducing. However, there are steps that you can take to minimize the damage. Start by taking a deep breath and calming down. If you can’t locate your card, contact the card issuer. They’ll help to sort out any unauthorized activity. They’ll also get your replacement card on the way. You’ll get your new card in the mail, and get back to your life.

0 comments

Who is a Secured Credit Card Good For?

Who is a Secured Credit Card Good For?

Who is a Secured Credit Card Good For?

Are you someone who wants to establish your credit? Perhaps you have to start rebuilding your credit after a few costly mistakes. Whatever the reason, a secured credit card can be useful. Using them responsibly will help you build a solid credit history. Learn who is a secured credit card good for?

Potential lenders will look at this credit history and decide whether or not to work with you. The higher your credit score goes, the more financial opportunities you have. You’ll potentially be able to get larger loans or better interest rates with your credit cards. For a lot of people, it all starts with a secured credit card. If you want to know more and decide if this is a viable option for your situation, read on.

Defining a Secured Credit Card

The first thing that you have to understand is what a secured credit card is. It differs from a traditional credit card in several key ways. These differences are why secured credit cards are available to people with no or poor credit. You apply for a secure credit card with a traditional application. However, the card will ask for a deposit. This deposit ranges from $49 up to over $200.

This deposit will usually become your line of credit. You won’t be able to spend anything more than this amount. This restriction can start to teach you responsible use because you don’t have a choice when it comes to spending. The creditor holds this security deposit until you close your account in good standing. When you do this, they’ll refund the deposit amount.

Do Secured credit cards help build credit?

The lender will report your secured card use to the three credit bureaus each month. As long as you pay your bill on time, your score should start to rise. Usually, it takes about a year of responsible use before you can get an unsecured card. This does depend on what your score was when you first got your card.

Secured cards are a higher risk for the lenders. It’s not uncommon to see high interest rates and miscellaneous fees with a secured card. You may have to pay a fee to open an account. Monthly maintenance fees, late fees, and an annual fee all add up as well. You want to avoid carrying a balance to avoid the higher interest rates.

It’s also important to note that a secured credit card is very basic. They typically don’t offer rewards or perks for the users. One exception is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card which offers cash back rewards.  If you do find a secured card with rewards, pay attention to the fees. They’re generally higher. This may not make a lot of sense if you can’t make the rewards balance out.

Using Your Secured Credit Card

So be very careful when you use your secured credit card. Ideally, you want to charge only what you can pay off per month. Perhaps make one or two smaller purchases a month. As long as your credit history shows that you’re using the card responsibly, your score will go up. You want to keep an eye on your credit utilization ratio as well.

This ratio means that you only use around 30 percent of your available credit limit. This also may not be feasible if you only have a $200 limit. You’d only have around $60 to spend and pay off each month. Find a good balance between making small purchases and keeping your utilization ratio low.

During this time, you want to monitor your credit score. Look for any errors and report them. You want your credit score to reach around 630. When it reaches this level, you can start to apply for traditional credit cards. Your secured card company may offer you an upgrade to an unsecured card as well. Make sure that the card you choose lines up with your spending habits. This will allow you to get the most out of your new card.

Deciding if a Secured Credit Card is the Right Choice

Now it’s time to consider if a secured credit card is a good choice for you. You’ll generally have a pretty good idea based on past experiences. However, if you’re not sure, look and see if any of these situations relate to your life.

1. Lenders Have Denied Past Loan or Credit Card Applications

Have you ever applied for a credit card or a loan? If so, did the lender deny you because of your credit? Lenders look at your credit score and your credit history. If you have a history of failing to make your payments, they see you as high-risk. A secured credit card has minimal risk for the lender. You’re losing your deposit if you don’t pay your balance.

2. You’ve Made Costly Mistakes

Have you ever missed a few payments or filed for bankruptcy? Things like overdue balances, foreclosures, and accounts in collections are all red flags. To make matters worse, they can sit on your credit report for up to 10 years. It can negatively impact your credit score this entire time. A secured card gives you the chance to change your spending habits. You can pay your bills on time, pay off your balance, and build your credit.

3. You’ve Never Had a Credit Card

Maybe you’re afraid that you’ll use your credit card irresponsibly. This fear has stopped you from having a credit card. It turn, your credit history may be very slim. A secured credit card is a great place to start. It restricts your spending because you have a low credit line. Additionally, the higher interest rates can encourage you to pay off your balance each month.

Bottom Line

Who is a Secured Credit Card Good For? Secured credit cards are useful tools for building or repairing your credit history and score. It will take some work on your part. Maybe you’ll have to reevaluate your spending habits and make them healthier. But, it’ll pay off because more financial opportunities will present themselves to you. Finally take a look, apply for a secured credit card, and build a healthy credit score.


CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

0 comments