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If the great outdoors is your ideal destination, the world is full of opportunities for your next vacation or weekend activity. But while your hobbies may be cheap compared to luxury hotels and shopping trips, you still have to pay for outdoor gear, gas and more.
Certain credit cards can help you fund your outdoor adventures and make them more affordable. Here are six credit cards for the nature-lover.
1. Cabela’s Club Visa Classic
Rewards: 2% points back on Cabela’s purchases and at participating Cenex convenience store locations, 1% points back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $25 in points upon approval and $10 in points when you make five purchases in 30 days
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 9.99% on Cabela’s purchases, variable 16.22% to 25.22% on other purchases
Why We Picked It: Cabela’s shoppers earn points good for purchases at the outdoor supplier.
For Your Outdoor Needs: The card earns 2% points on all Cabela’s purchases and 1% points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for free gear and outdoor experiences at Cabela’s.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend thousands of dollars a year at Cabela’s, keep looking.
2. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards MasterCard
Rewards: 5% points on Bass Pro Shops purchases, 1% rewards points on everything else
Signup Bonus: $20 statement credit when you spend $100 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Intro 1.99% for seven months on purchases, then variable 13.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Shoppers earn points for future Bass Pro Shops purchases and get access to special discounts all year round.
For Your Outdoor Needs: Cardholders earn 5% points on Bass Pro Shops purchases and 1% points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for goods and merchandise at Bass Pro Shops’ retail locations, website and catalog.
Drawbacks: If you aren’t a die-hard Bass Pro Shops customer, this card won’t provide much value.
Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year, 3% cash back on restaurant and eligible travel purchases, 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (you will need a paid Costco membership)
APR: 0% for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24%; variable 16.24% on balance transfers
Why We Picked It: Costco offers a wide variety of outdoor and sporting products and cardholders can earn big cash back rewards. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For Your Outdoor Needs: With this card, Costco members can get 2% cash back at Costco, which stocks supplies including camping gear, groceries and outdoor apparel. The additional cash back rates provide many ways to earn cash back on your excursions.
Drawbacks: The card is only available to those with an active Costco membership.
4. REI Co-op Credit Card
Rewards: 5% back on REI purchases, 1% back on all other purchases
Signup Bonus: $100 REI gift card upon your first purchase
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable 11.99% to 23.99%
Why We Picked It: REI shoppers can earn annually distributed rebates on all purchases on top of REI’s member dividend, a profit-sharing program.
For Your Outdoor Needs: The card earns 5% back on REI purchases and 1% back on all other purchases, with rewards distributed annually in the form of a rebate. That’s on top of your REI member dividend, a profit-sharing feature that typically earns you 10% back on your annual REI spending. Plus, every time you use your card, REI will make a donation to the National Forest Foundation.
Drawbacks: This card is only valuable if you spend a lot at REI.
Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores and 1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offer may vary)
Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $95.
APR: Variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: If you travel by car and do your own cooking, this card can earn a lot of cash back.
For Your Outdoor Needs: With 6% cash back at supermarkets and 3% cash back at gas stations, you’ll put money back in your pocket every time you gas up or stock up on s’mores supplies. There’s also a nice $150 signup bonus.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee.
Rewards: Two miles per dollar on all purchases
Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $89
APR: Variable 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% on purchases; 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%
Why We Picked It: Every purchase earns double miles that can be redeemed for travel.
For Your Outdoor Needs: With double miles on all purchases and a signup bonus, you can quickly rack up points for your trips. For those that love to rough it, miles can be redeemed for campground rentals.
Drawbacks: After the first year, there’s an $89 annual fee.
How to Choose a Card for Your Next Adventure
When you’re choosing a card for your outdoor adventures, try to identify the cards that best reward your spending habits.
If you spend thousands of dollars annually at one outdoor supplier, a store-branded credit card may provide a good return. But if you tend to spread your purchases around, you should look for a card that isn’t tied to one store.
Try to choose a card that will reward the way you like to travel. For example, if you like taking road trips to camping destinations, a card with strong cash back rates on gas and groceries might be the right fit. Also be sure to check the redemption options for all rewards, as they vary between cards.
What Credit Is Required for an Outdoor Credit Card?
Store-branded credit cards tend to have looser credit requirements, though this isn’t always the case – for instance, the Costco credit card requires excellent credit. General credit cards with cash back or travel rewards tend to require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you should check your credit score to make sure you have a good chance of approval. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi,Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express 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.