[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
It’s easy to love technology these days, as gadgets and tech are ubiquitous. There’s an app for nearly everything. According to Pew Research, more than three-quarters of Americans have smartphones. But true tech enthusiasts take it up a notch, following the industry to learn the latest developments and to hunt down the best hardware and software.
Whether you’re building a top-notch gaming PC or itching for the latest smartphone, there are credit cards that can help tech fanatics.
1. My Best Buy Visa Card
Rewards: 5% back on Best Buy purchases (6% for Elite Plus members), 3% back on gas, air travel and ground transportation through September 2017, 2% back on dining and grocery purchases, 1% back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 26.24%
Why We Picked It: This card earns rewards for Best Buy purchases.
Tech Benefits: All purchases earn rewards, with strong extra incentives for Best Buy purchases and other spending types. Earned rewards can be used toward future Best Buy purchases.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend a lot at Best Buy, this card isn’t a good fit. The APR is high.
Rewards: 5% cash back on rotating purchase categories, 1% cash back on other purchases
Signup Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: The upcoming spending category can help you save big on gadgets, and you can link your card to mobile pay.
Tech Benefits: Discover offers 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate each quarter. From October to December this year, the spending category is Amazon.com purchases, which means you’ll save big on any gadgets ordered with the online retail giant. Plus, if you prefer to pay by mobile wallet, you can link your Discover card and earn cash back that way.
Drawbacks: Spending categories won’t always be tech-friendly, and purchases outside those categories only earn 1% cash back.
Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: $200 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99%-25.99%
Why We Picked It: There’s a strong incentive for mobile pay and you get great cell phone protection.
Tech Benefits: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back. For one year, you’ll get a special 1.8% cash back rate on mobile wallet purchases when you link your card to an Android Pay or Apple Pay account. Plus, the card comes with cell phone protection on up to four lines, for up to $600 per occurrence and $1,200 in total coverage each year.
Drawbacks: Cell phone protection is only available if you use your credit card to pay your cellular bill.
4. AT&T Access Card From Citi
Rewards: Two points per dollar spent online at retail and travel websites, two points per dollar spent on products and services purchased from AT&T, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: 10,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 14.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: If you’re constantly shopping online or updating your gadgets and smartphones with AT&T, you can easily rack up rewards points. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Tech Benefits: You’ll earn two points per dollar for online retail and travel purchases and AT&T purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points are redeemable for electronics, gift cards, travel and more. Plus, with Citi Price Rewind, Citi will automatically search for lower prices on registered purchases. If they find a lower price within 60 days of your purchase, you can receive a reimbursement on the difference.
Drawbacks: If you aren’t an AT&T customer, this card won’t offer as much value.
Many credit cards have features with obvious ties to tech, including strong purchase protections, extended warranties or cash back at specific retailers. You should consider your specific tech needs before choosing a card. If you’re hard on your gadgets, you may want a credit card with strong product protection policies. If you tend to buy electronics as soon as they come out, price protection can help you save cash if the item in question goes on sale.
You’ll also want to consider where you tend to make your tech purchases. If you’re loyal to one store, you may want to see if they have a branded credit card. If you’re agnostic, you’ll want a card that can reward you no matter where you get your gadgets.
However, if you need a card for more than just tech, you may want one that rewards your overall spending habits. For instance, a card with a strong flat cash back rate on all purchases can help you earn cash at the electronics store and at the supermarket.
Cards that provide spending rewards and strong purchase protection policies usually require good to excellent credit. You should be confident in your credit before you apply, because a hard credit inquiry initiated by a credit card application can lower your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Discover it and Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.