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Credit Cards that Help You Build a Nest Egg

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It’s June and that means a lot of weddings are taking place. If you’re a newlywed, it might not sound very romantic to discuss finances so soon after a dreamy ceremony. But getting old and then facing a lousy retirement together doesn’t sound romantic either, does it? It’s so much better to grow old together when you can afford to send your kid to college and then ease right into a cozy retirement.

But even if you’re middle-aged and trying to figure out how in the heck you’re going to pay for your kid’s college education, don’t panic. It’s never too late to start making progress and funding an investment account or a 529 plan. Let’s take a look at three credit cards that want to help you get started.

Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card

If you have an “eligible” Fidelity account, you can get 2 percent of your everyday purchases transferred to your account. What’s eligible? An example of what’s not eligible is an employer-sponsored account. This program is only for individuals and can’t be connected with a corporate account.

Read the program guidelines carefully so you understand what an eligible account is. Also, note that once you obtain the card, it’s up to you to establish a Designated Fidelity Account to receive the rewards.

Costs: You get a variable 13.99 percent APR. There’s no annual fee.

Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express Card

It’s never too late to start, but it sure is easier to pay for college if you don’t wait until your kid turns 17. Life gets awful messy sometimes, so you just never know what your financial future holds.

This credit card is similar to Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card. You get 2 percent on your purchases and the rewards can be transferred to your Fidelity-managed 529 account. What I like about this program is that family members can get this card and link their rewards to your 529 account and contribute to college. Won’t the grandparents love this idea?

Another thing I like is that earnings in 529 plans aren’t subject to federal tax and, in some cases, state tax. If you don’t withdraw the funds early for other purposes, that is. But be aware that these plans have restrictions on who can qualify and how much you can contribute each year. You can learn about Fidelity-managed 529 plans here and there’s even a 2-minute video you can watch.  To get more information about 529 plans in general, check out the SEC’s introduction to 529 plans.

Costs: You get a variable 13.99 percent APR. There’s no annual fee.

Upromise World MasterCard credit card with Dining & Grocery Rewards

This rewards card is issued by Bank of America, but to participate in this program, you have to join Upromise. It’s free to join and once you’re a member, your rewards will be transferred each month to your Upromise account. You have the option of investing in a high-yield savings account or a tax-deferred 529 plan.

Make your first purchase within 90 days and receive a $25 college savings bonus. You earn 1 percent on every purchase. You get 2 percent on eligible online purchases through Upromise. Plus, earn 10 percent extra at participating Upromise restaurants, grocery and drug stores.

Costs: You get a zero percent introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, you get a variable APR as low as 12.99 percent. There’s no annual fee.

Image: Andreas Kollegger, via Flickr.com

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