Home > Credit Cards > 5 Great Rewards Credit Cards for People on a Tight Budget

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[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners if they’re available here —Chase Freedom, Blue Cash Everyday Card for American Express, Citi Double Cash and Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard.]

Everywhere you look, there are credit cards offering huge signup bonuses. Unfortunately, those cards almost always require a large initial spend. If you are on a limited budget, spending $4,000 or more over a three month period might not be an option. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a reward card for you. There are plenty of cards available that are perfect for low spenders. Here are five of our favorites.

Chase Freedom

One of the best reward cards available right now is the Chase Freedom card. For anyone with low monthly expenses, this might be the perfect fit. You will have the chance to earn a $150 signup bonus, and you only need to spend $500 in the first three months. That should be doable for many people. Plus, if you add an authorized user, you will earn an additional $25 after they make a purchase in the same three-month period.

This card can really make a difference in your ability to earn bonus rewards. Each quarter there is a rotating set of categories, allowing you to earn 5% cash back. One quarter it might be restaurants and department stores, the next quarter it might be home improvement stores and ground transportation. Even if you don’t spend much, 5% can make your rewards add up quick. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a limit of $1,500 within the 5% categories each quarter. All other purchases will earn 1% back.

As an added bonus, this card comes with an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period is over, the APR will change to a variable 15.49% to 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness when you apply. (You can read more about how credit card interest works here.) This card has no annual fee.

Blue Cash Everyday Card From American Express

Even with a small budget, there is a good chance a large portion of that goes toward groceries. If so, then the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express could be a great fit for you. You will earn 3% cash back on the first $6,000 spent each year at grocery stores (then 1%). You will also receive 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores. Any other purchase you make with the card will earn 1% back.

With the Blue Cash Everyday card, you will receive a $100 signup bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months. You will also receive an introductory 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. Once the introductory period has ended, the APR will become a variable 13.49% to 23.49%, based on your credit standing. This card has no annual fee.

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card is perfect for anyone who’s looking for a straightforward cash back card. There are no rotating categories or bonus rewards to remember. Every purchase you make will earn 2% back. You will earn the first 1% when you make the purchase. You will then earn a second 1% back after you pay off the purchase. One possible downside to this card is that there isn’t a signup bonus. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, Chase, American Express, US Bank and Barclaycard advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) 

If you are carrying a balance on your current card, then the Citi Double Cash card might be able to save you some money. (Keep in mind you do not earn cash back on balance transfers.) You will receive an introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. After the promotional period has ended, the APR will become a variable 13.49% to 23.49%. This card has no annual fee.

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

The US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is perfect for low spenders because it gives you the ability to earn cash back on your own terms. You will be able to receive 5% back on up to $2,000 per quarter from two categories of your own choosing such as cell phone bills, movie theaters and fast food. In addition, you will be able to earn 2% cash back from an everyday spending category like groceries, gas and restaurants. All other purchases will earn 1% back.

This card offers 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first year. Purchases carry a variable APR of 14.49% to 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. After that, the purchase APR will apply. This card has no annual fee.

Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard

The Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard is another hassle-free cash back card. With it, you will receive an unlimited 1.5% back on every purchase you make. You will also receive a 5% bonus when you cash out your earnings. This card also comes with an attainable signup bonus: You will receive $100 after spending $500 in the first three months.

Just like the other cards on this list, you will not pay an annual fee. This card offers 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the 15 months. Purchases carry a variable APR of 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24, based on your creditworthiness. After that, the purchase APR will apply.

At publishing time, the Chase Freedom, Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, Citi Double Cash and Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuers. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.

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