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Every year, credit card issuers tweak their product offerings to focus on what consumers are valuing with their plastic. This year is no different as the best credit cards from our partners include everything a consumer is looking for in a quality credit card; whether it is cash back, rewards, travel perks, security features, or a low interest rate. With all the credit card products out there today, there should be a card that's perfect for your needs.
One thing that's hard to debunk is the myth that credit cards are the reason American's carry so much debt. Although credit cards do come with a bevy of risks when used improperly (costing consumers hundreds of dollars in fees and interest), it is the consumer's choice on how they use their plastic. The best way to use a credit card is often, while also making sure to pay the FULL balance off each and every month. Responsible payments will ensure you earn the maximum rewards and perks a card has to offer, without paying a penny out of pocket. Here are our recommendations for the best credit cards of 2014 from our partners.
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
The credit card industry typically sees a surge in balance transfers post holidays, so right around January and February. Performing a balance transfer is a great idea for those interested in paying down a balance faster by transferring that high interest balance to a 0% intro APR credit card.
Citi Simplicity MasterCard - This card is currently offering the longest 0% APR duration of 18 months on both balance transfers and purchases. That gives the cardholder a year and a half to pay their balance off without paying a penny in interest, but it does come with a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. The Citi Simplicity is catered specifically for balance transfers and paying no interest, so it doesn’t come with a rewards program. This card has no annual fee.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card –Another Citi card, the Citi Diamond preferred Card now comes with pin and chip technology and also offers one of the longest intro periods; 18 months of 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers. It does come with a balance transfer fee of 3%, but that’s certainly better than paying 18.99% in interest on the balance transfer, which some cards charge. The Citi Diamond Preferred card is a little different than the Citi Simplicity card because cardholders can earn Citi Easy Deals for purchases made with the card and then redeem points for on-line deals.
Chase Slate Card –This card is my favorite of all the balance transfer credit cards because it’s the only one on the market offering 0% APR on the balance transfer, in addition to no balance transfer fee! That’s right; if you perform a balance transfer in the first 60 days of card membership, you pay no fees for the transfer, which is usually 3% or $5. Chase Slate offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months and comes with no annual fee.
Best Cards for Everyday Purchases
It’s great to earn rewards on special categories of purchases like purchases at Kohl’s, Starbucks, or at office supply stores, but what about rewards for everyday purchases like gas, groceries, and dining out? The following cards are our best suggestions for everyday use credit cards.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card –This credit card is my favorite in this category because it earns you a flat 2 miles on all net purchases, everyday. Don’t let the word “miles” deter you from this card because you can redeem miles earned for more than just travel like cash, gift cards, merchandise, and more. Your miles will never expire and there’s no limit to the number of rewards you can earn. New card members can also earn a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months.
Another favorite card is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card which lets the cardholder choose two categories they would like to earn 5% cash back in, plus the cardholder can earn 2% cash back on one everyday category that they also get to pick. Pretty cool, huh?
Best Low Interest Credit Cards
There are a lot of credit cards offering an intro APR of 0%, with the best credit cards offering that for 12 months or more. The Citi Diamond Preferred and Citi Simplicity Card both offer 0% for 18 months, Chase Freedom and Chase Slate offer 0% for 15 months, one of the Discover It Credit Cards offers 0% for 14 months, and the Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card offers 0% until May 2015. The following are credit cards with low, on-going APR’s.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum –This card comes with the lowest interest rate at 7.25% variable. That's it. The card has few features without a rewards program, but it doesn’t come with an annual fee and there’s no fee for balance transfers. You will notice that the interest rate is lower than any other card on this list so the Simmons First Visa Platinum has a clear advantage.
Another card offered in the Simmons line, the Simmons Bank Visa® PlatinumRewards Card, offers 9.25% APR and also comes with a rewards program of 1 point per every dollar spent after enrollment.
Barclaycard Ring MasterCard –This is one of the first credit cards that was designed with the consumer in mind, and not the bank. It sort of works like crowd sourcing, where customers can access profit and loss statements and choose what should or should not be changed about the card. The Barclaycard Ring MasterCard offers 8% variable APR, no annual fee, and no balance transfer fees. Like other low-interest credit cards, the Ring Card doesn’t feature a rewards program.
PenFed Promise Visa Card –This card is offered by a Credit Union, which explains why the interest rate is so low. This card offers a low 7.49% APR for the first 36 months, which then changes to 9.99% APR. There are no fees, no penalty APR, and it even offers an intro 4.99% APR for balance transfers through the end of March 2014.
*Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. *The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.
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