Credit Cards

Best Cash Back Credit Card Right Now

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Credit cards are getting to be a little like cars. There always seems to be new models of the proven brands. I’ve always liked the Chase Freedom card and now there’s a “new model” that you might want to take for a test drive if you need a new cash back card. The Chase Freedom Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back card gives you $200 cash back if you spend $500 within the first three months of opening your account. There’s also no annual fee. Not bad!

What I really like about this card (besides the $200 in cold hard cash) is that it’s targeted at consumers with good-to-excellent credit. This means you might qualify if you have a FICO score of at least 700. The best offers are usually reserved for those with excellent credit (a FICO score of at least 750), so it’s nice to see a good offer on the table for folks who can crack 700.

Here’s a rundown of the rewards, rates and fees:

  • Earn up to 5 percent cash back on rotating categories. From now until 12/31/11, the categories are dining, department stores, movies and charitable donations. Sounds like the perfect lineup for holiday shopping, doesn’t it? The cash back is capped at $1,500, but that’s still $75 that goes back in your pocket. Plus, after you’ve spent $1,500, you still earn 1 percent on purchases in a category.
  • You earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. But you get an additional 1 percent (a total of 2 percent) for each $1 spent on eligible airfare net purchases ($600 per month maximum). You may be charged a $20 fee if you use the toll-free number to book or change itineraries. You can avoid this fee by using the online booking tool.
  • You can also earn up to 10 percent cash back when shopping through Chase’s online mall.
Rates and fees:
  • You get a 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable APR, based on your creditworthiness. Now, whether you end up at the low end or the high end of that range, don’t revolve a balance. If you do, you’ll totally wipe out the value of your rewards.
  • Cash advances carry at least a 19.24 percent variable APR and there’s a 3 percent fee.
  • Foreign transaction fees are 3 percent.

At publishing time, the Chase Freedom Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back card is offered on product pages and may be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

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