Finance

Best credit cards for travel, cash back and seniors

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Looking to get a card for travel, to earn rewards or to rebuild credit after a tough financial season? The credit cards below offer some of the best deals for seniors on mileage and cash back rewards as well as for those with poor credit.

If you are like many seniors, your mailbox or inbox may be flooded with credit card offers for “0% APR for 24 months!” or “Earn Cash Back with Every Purchase!” Or perhaps your credit score is shot due to unemployment, medical expenses or divorce and you are wondering if you could qualify for any card. Trying to navigate the myriad of credit card offers to figure out the best one for you can be tricky but this guide will give you a few options that will help you actually earn on your spending, with excellent or poor credit.

Best Credit Cards for Travel

If you fly frequently with one carrier, an airline credit card may offer the best deal. American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card issued by Citi allows you to earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on groceries and/or American Airline purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. The MileUp℠, with no annual fee, also allows you to earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. If you are willing to handle a fee ($95 after the first year), the Citi® / AAdvantage®Platinum Select® World Elite™Mastercard® has the added perk of a first checked bag free for cardholder. For those whose travels take them primarily on the West Coast, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card has the popular perk of an annual $99 companion fare and no blackout dates with $2000 in purchases within 90 days after account opening.

If you are looking at a non-airline specific card, you can’t beat the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which offers 2 miles for every dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases along with 60,000 introductory points for spending $4,000 during the first three months. With points worth 1.25 cents when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can earn up to $750 for travel. Another cool perk with the Chase Sapphire card is the ability for cardholders in the same household to transfer points to each other’s accounts to maximize rewards. Shop the best travel cards at Lending Tree.

Best Credit Card for Rewards

Rewards cards help you earn cash, points or miles from your everyday purchases. One of the most popular is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card which offer two miles for every dollar purchased, no restrictions or need to keep track of categories, making it desirable if you are wanting to use only one card for spending. One of the best perks with the Venture® Rewards card is that you earn ten miles per every dollar spent on bookings through hotels.com/venture. This card also comes with 50,000 miles at sign-up with a $3,000 spend over three months and a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year).

Best Credit Cards for Cash Back

If you pay at least the minimum monthly balance, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on purchases with an additional 1% back if you pay your bill on time. The Double Cash card also offers no annual fees, 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months and the CITI “Private Pass” with access to presale concert tickets, VIP admission to attractions and a concierge that can assist with travel, shopping and more.
One of the best credit cards for cash back is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® which offers a very generous 3% cash back on ALL purchases during the first year (up to $20,000) and 1.5% thereafter, higher than the standard 1%. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, a deposit into most checking and savings accounts, or for gift cards, travel and merchandise on Amazon.com. There is no annual fee and, if you own a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for travel, you can transfer points.

Best Credit Card for Poor to Fair Credit

The cards listed above typically require a good to excellent FICO Score (670 or above) to qualify. If you would like to earn cash back while trying to rebuild your credit, consider the Credit One Bank® Visa®. While the card starts with a limit of only $225-$300, the limit quickly increases for on time payments and does not require a security deposit. Although the interest rate is high (20.24-26.24% APR) and there is an annual fee of up to $75 the first year, the Credit One Bank® Visa® offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries and phone making it one of the best cards for those with FICO scores in the 300-670 range.

Another card for those looking to rebuild credit while earning cash back is the Discover it® Secured which offer 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter and 1% unlimited on all other purchases, with no annual fee. In addition, Discover matches all of the cash back that you earn at the end of the first year. It does, however, require a security deposit of $200-$2500 which you can get back in as little as eight months for on time payments and staying below your credit limit.

There are some great credit card deals for seniors. Lending Tree is the easiest and fastest way to compare various cards and offers to determine whether you qualify.

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