Rewards Credit Cards

Dear Reader,

Everyone should have at least one reward credit card to help build credit and take advantage of all the freebies credit card companies are offering nowadays.

With credit cards you can:

* Track all your expenses in one easy to find place.
* Have a 30 day grace period to pay your bills.
* Add a layer of protection against purchasing defective items.
* Prevents you from having to carry cash, which is gone once lost.
* Walk down dark alleyways with confidence and happily hand over your wallet if robbed!
* Earn rewards points and cash back on purchases.
* Take advantage of concierge services with certain cards.
* Receive travel protection when going abroad.
* Build good credit, which leads to lower rates and an easier time when finding an apartment.

When using a credit card I recommend:

* Always paying your balance off in full and spending responsibly.
* Checking your monthly statement in detail every month to make sure there are no errors.
* Calling the credit card company to ask for a lower rate every six months.
* Making sure your credit card company knows your whereabouts if you are planning some extensive trip domestically or overseas.
* Being notified for your credit card’s fraud alert system through e-mail or phone call.
* Being aware of all your credit card’s benefits.

BARCLAYCARD ARRIVAL WORLD MASTERCARD FOR TRAVEL

If you are an avid traveler and looking for a travel rewards credit card, you can sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with a $89 annual fee for double the points on all purchases and 40,000 signup miles ($400 value). The first year’s annual fee is waived. Because I’m currently on a 10+ weeks a year travel mission to scuba dive all of the great sites in the world, I’ve gone with this option.

For those of you who won’t be traveling as much, or who don’t want to pay an annual fee, consider the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with no annual fee with double the points on travel and dining and 20,000 signup miles ($200 value). You’ll still get double the points on travel and dining, just not on everything. Barclaycard offers $200,000 in automatic travel accident insurance, reimbursement for expenses if your bag is lost or delayed, trip cancellation coverage, and $0 fraud liability.

For the longest time I just had one credit card used for everything because I like to keep things simple. What I realized is that I was leaving a lot of rewards points on the table because my one card only provided 1 point for every 1 dollar spent. The Barclaycard Arrival’s two points for every dollar spent really adds up over time. I expect to earn at least two roundtrip flights to Hawaii valued at $1,000-$1,200 every year from now on.

You can read a more detailed review I wrote of the Barclaycard Arrival here.

DISCOVER IT CARD FOR GETTING THE BEST PRICE GUARANTEE ON PURCHASE

Everybody always wants to feel like they are getting a deal. With the Discover it® card you are guaranteed to get the lowest price on all purchases because they have a fantastic price match program.

Use your Discover card to buy notoriously volatile price items such as electronics, and if you see a lower price elsewhere just let Discover know and they will snail mail you a form for you to complete and return for a refund up to $500 per purchase and up to $2,500 a year! This works wonderfully because some retailers like Best Buy specifically say online and offline they will not price match Black Friday sales for example.

Besides the price match guarantee, there are no annual fees, 1% cash back on all purchases, 0% APR for the first 14 months, and a free FICO credit score!