Credit Card Smart Choice? Depends on your needs

I’m sure you have heard of credit cards before and most likely you have one. After having credit card for 5 years now, the credit card definition shifted from getting excited of free money with purchasing things that I didn’t need to being very careful at this point as I have faced some downfalls with it. Having a credit card over is honestly one thing but being able to properly manage one is the learning process that I wish I learned earlier like at high school or simply told me that it is not free money.

I mean why don’t we have a real life classes and not the BS classes that we don’t care about in high school? why can’t we have something like a credit card management and information our senior year that will teach us basics of credit cards before all the students graduate and run into financial problems eventually? Maybe this is how our economy is running in reality is because people like students run out of high school with no knowledge of managing credit cards and get into debt, or maybe its simply part of life.

So, lets talk about the credit cards have and their benefits.

Bank of America Better Balance Rewards Card ( No Longer Available)

My first credit card was Bank of America Better Balance Rewards Card and I was excited. It does not offer much other than $25 quarterly credit if you pay your minimum monthly payments and never late on the payments, you also get another $5 making it $30 if you have a checking account with bank of America. I have had a great experience with this card thus far and recommend getting this card as your first credit card for building credit history. The only thing that I do not like with this card is the credit limit, I am honestly not far from my starting credit limit (they do not do well with increasing automatically) when I started where some of my other credit cards are already 10x of the beginning amount I initially started with.

Discover It Cash Card

My next credit card which I applied for a few months later was Discover It Cash Card. This is a quarterly rewards card that gives 5% for using it in rotating categories which are: gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more… With this card I have had a great experience as they constantly review my account and increase my credit limit, you also earn 1% on every other purchase made outside of 5% category. So far I found gas and restaurants quarters I earn cash back the most. Perk for signing up right now is they will double your 5% rewards you earned at the end of the year. Read about it  hereIt felt like I got free money at the end of my 12 months period.

I would highly recommend this card to everybody especially students, it has so many offers to redeem the cash back and if you know how to spend the cash back right you will benefit a lot from this card. Also, very friendly website and the app.

If you are ready to apply click here to get a bonus of $50 statement after making your first purchase with Discover Card.

  • No Annual fee
  • 0% Intro APRfor 14 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • 11.99% to 23.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR after the period.

American Express Gold Delta Skymiles Card (Downgraded to Blue)

This was about time I got into traveling and found sources to travel on budget but still get full experience. I still remember I was expecting not to be approved for this card. It had a generous sign-up bonus and I just had to apply and I did get approved. I had to spend $2000 in order to get the miles which was not very reasonable at that time but I was able to do it within three months and got my miles.

There are so many perks to this card though, check it out here for yourself. My favorite one whenever I found a place that accepts it is that theres no foreign transaction fee and you also earn more miles whenever you purchase the tickets through Delta website or Sky Team which is a partnership including many more airline companies. I buy the tickets through the partners (Sky Team) or Delta itself frequently to maximize my miles earnings.

Now, a little disappointment I have been experiencing. When I was traveling, the American Express is not widely accepted outside of US and is not very useful for travel from my perspective. Majority of cards that are accepted are Visa or Master Card.

First year is free and then $95/year. It is important to make that $95 worth it and think over if it is really worth the annual fee.

  • Free checked bag
  • Priority boarding
  • Miles don’t expire
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Discounted price for sky club access
  • and much more check it out for yourself and see if it is for you.

If you are considering this card, check out my full review of American Express Delta Gold Skymiles Card.

Bottom Line

So, in the end is credit card a smart choice?

I would highly suggest getting a credit card and start out small, don’t get too excited. Credit is the money that you will have to pay back under the interest, so use only if you know you can pay off your balances most of it or in emergency situation, don’t make it your primary card.

In order to maximize the benefits of having a credit card, you need to find out what you do the most: could be grocery shopping, traveling, unlimited cash back, etc… no reason to get a traveling credit card if you travel once a year or less. Same applies to using a traveling credit card for day-to-day grocery shopping.

You must have a reason for getting a certain credit card.

Richard Barnett is a student majoring in finance, entrepreneur, marketer, content writer, budget traveler, and financial blog “Student Money Adviser” owner. You can read more about me here.

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