American Express cardholders can find their referral link in their Amex login or via public link. Check for the following offer:
Blue Cash Preferred is offering a bonus of up to $400. Bonus broken down as follows:
Earn 20% back at Amazon up to $200 back
Earn $200 when you spend $3,000 within the first 6 months
Annual fee of $95 waived first year
Card earns at the following rates:
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spend annually, then 1%)
6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
3% cash back on transit (e.g taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more)
1% back on all other purchases
You can only get the sign up bonus on American Express cards once
Previous best bonus was $300, but that didn’t require the Amazon spend. This does require $1,000 in Amazon spend which could be difficult for some people, but if you can do that then this is a good deal (purchasing gift cards should work fine). We will be adding this to our list of the best credit card bonuses.
Update 5/5/21: Deal is now 70,000 points for Citi checking customers and 75,000 points for Citi Gold members. Available in branch.
Update 2/10/21: Still available.
Update 6/27/20: There is also an offer of 70,000 points available in branch for Citi Gold members. I imagine it’s possible for Citi Gold members to match this offer online as well. Hat tip to reader Mary
Update 3/18/20: People have been successfully matched to this offer even when they have applied online. Particularly useful at the moment
Update 3/4/20: Has been extended again until 3/6/20 so seems to be confirmed to be constantly extended. Hat tip to TNSepta
Update 2/23/20: Reader cy1111 reports that it’s now available through 2/27/20. Seems like they just keep extended it for the following week.
Update 2/19/20: Now showing an end date of 2/20/20. Hat tip chowfuntime
Update 2/9/20: Deal is showing an end date of 2/13, not sure if this normally just gets auto extended or not.
No direct link to offer, available in branch only
Signup for the Citi Premier card and get 65,000 ThankYou points as a bonus after you spend $4,000 within the first three months.
Current online sign up bonus is 60,000 points with the same minimum spend requirement, so this is basically an additional 5,000 points if you apply in branch. We have seen an offer of 60,000 points with the annual fee waived in the past.
Keep in mind, the bonus is not available if you’ve opened or closed a Citi Rewards+, Preferred, Premier, or Prestige card within the past 24 months. As always make sure you read these things everybody should know about Citi credit cards before applying. We’ll add this to our list of the best credit card sign up bonuses.
(Reposting 5/5/21 since an email went out today with details on this offer.)
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card has added a bonus category through December 31, 2021, (showing on the regular landing page):
Earn 2x points on grocery store purchases through December 31, 2021 (instead of the regular 1.5x).
This works for both new cardholders and existing cardholders, as readers have verified in the comments.
Nice little bonus, especially for relationship customers who earn a 75% bonus which makes it a total 3.5% at grocery stores. There are still other cards that earn more than that at the grocery, but some might appreciate 3.5% uncapped return.
Update 5/5/21: Deal is back, not as good as the recent 100,000 point offer though. Hat tip to reader Scotty
Update 8/10/20: Still available. Hat tip to reader EB
Direct link to offer
Barclays offering a sign up bonus of 60,000 JetBlue points after $1,000 in spend within the first 90 days of account opening on the JetBlue Plus card.
Full Review Here
Card earns at the following rates:
6x points per dollar spent on jetBlue purchases (previously 2x points)
2x points per dollar spent on restaurants and groceries (previously 1x point)
1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
Annual fee of $99 (not waived first year)
Free checked bag for the primary cardmember and up to three companions on the same reservation when you use your JetBlue Plus Card to purchase tickets on JetBlue-operated flights
Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
Enjoy all Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases after your anniversary date
Get 10% of your points back every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption
No foreign transaction fees
$100 statement credit after you purchase a Getaways vacation package with your card
50% savings on eligible inflight purchases including cocktails, food and movies
This is the highest bonus we’ve seen on this card, it was last offered in late 2017/early 2018. The standard bonus is 40,000 and we frequently see 50,000 points but this 60,000 offer is extremely rare. There is also a 60,000 point bonus on the business version of this card. JetBlue award flight prices are linked to the cash price of a ticket, much like Southwest. If you have any questions about Barclays credit cards, read this post first.
If you can make use of jetBlue flights then I do think this is a great offer and I will be adding it to the list of the best credit card bonuses.
Hat tip to reader Christian R
Update 4/29/20: Offer still available and being promoted by jetBlue
Update 2/3/20: Reposting as there is now a direct link. Hat tip to reader Yawgoog
Best Places to Get Out of Credit Card Debt – 2021 Edition – SmartAsset
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The Federal Reserve says that revolving consumer credit debt – including debt from credit cards, home equity lines of credit and personal lines of credit – increased to $974.4 billion in February 2021, marking a 10.1% annual rate increase from the year prior. This is almost one-third of all consumer debt – which also includes student and car loans – and adds up to a grand total of $4.2 trillion. With so many people trying to pay off credit card debt, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the best cities where it’s easiest to do so.
To do so, we considered unemployment rate, median post-tax income, lower-quartile rents and disposable income to find where debt could be paid off the fastest, assuming average interest rates and a total debt of $7,935. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAsset’s 2021 study of the best cities to get out of credit card debt. Read the 2019 version of the study here.
Timelines can vary widely. Debt in the top 10 cities of our study can be paid off in just over 10 months, while the average for the bottom 10 is almost 18 months. Frisco, Texas is the city where debt can be paid fastest – under nine months. And Arlington, Virginia takes more than four times longer – a little over 36 months.
Residents in smaller cities can pay debt faster. Small and mid-sized cities in this study can pay debt off quickly. All of the top five cities have fewer than 250,000 residents. Affordable rent and a sizable disposable income (which is the money you take home after taxes) are key factors for residents in these cities to pay off debt.
1. Frisco, TX
Frisco, Texas residents can pay off a credit card debt of $7,935 in 8.59 months. The post-tax income for high-school graduates in this city is just over $37,000. And with a lower-quartile rent (the most affordable unit one could reasonably acquire) of $1,126 per month, residents can afford to make monthly debt payments of $979.
2. Reno, NV
Reno, Nevada residents can get out of $7,935 debt in 9.43 months. The post-tax income for high school graduates is around $31,000 and the lower-quartile rent is $787 per month. This means that if they apply 50% of their disposable income after rent to paying down credit card debt, they can afford a monthly payment of $896.
3. Gilbert, AZ
The median post-tax income for high school graduates in Gilbert, Arizona is $35,463. Residents in this city can pay off a credit card debt of $7,935 in 9.60 months. And with a lower-quartile rent (the lowest number under which 25% of renters pay for rent) of $1,192 per month, monthly debt payments of $882 are possible.
4. Anchorage, AK
Anchorage, Alaska residents can pay off a credit card debt of $7,935 in 10.04 months. The median post-tax income for a high school graduate is $30,650 and the lower-quartile rent is $863 per month. If a resident applies half of their disposable income to paying down debt, they could make monthly payments of $846.
5. Chesapeake, VA
Chesapeake, Virginia residents can pay a debt of $7,935 off in 10.11 months. The median post-tax income for a high school graduate is $29,087, Furthermore, the most affordable rental unit, at the lower-quartile mark, costs $744 per month. With just over $20,000 in disposable income after rent, residents can apply half to monthly debt payments of $840.
6. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, Missouri’s median income for high school graduates is just under $26,000 and the lower-quartile rent total is $519 a month. If someone with that income and rent adopted a relatively aggressive repayment strategy and put half of their disposable income towards paying a credit card debt of $7,935, they would be free of credit card debt in 10.37 months.
7. Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne, Indiana’s median post-tax income for high school graduates is $24,881 – the lowest in the top 10 of this study. The lower-quartile rent (the most affordable unit one could reasonably acquire) in this city is $496 a month. Someone with almost $19,000 in disposable income after rent could pay off a total credit card bill of $7,935 in 10.81 months.
8. Lincoln, NE
The median post-tax income for a high school graduate in Lincoln, Nebraska is $25,828. And the lower-quartile rent in this city is $589. If residents were able to afford to put half of their disposable income after rent towards repayment, they could pay down a credit card bill of $7,935 in 10.91 months.
9. Tulsa, OK
Residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma could pay off a credit card debt of $7,935 in 10.98 months. This is based on a median post-tax income of $25,038 and a lower-quartile rent payment of $532, which means that they could afford a monthly debt payment of $777 using a relatively aggressive repayment strategy.
10. Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is the most-populous in the top 10 of this list and it has a median post-tax income of $25,125 for high school graduates. The lower-quartile rent payment is $558 a month. Using a relatively aggressive repayment strategy, a resident who puts half of all disposable income after rent towards debt could pay a credit card bill of $7,935 in 11.12 months.
Data and Methodology
In order to find the best places to pay off credit card debt, we created a credit card debt payment model for 56 cities. To determine our list of cities, we excluded cities with a population smaller than 200,000 and those with a below-average unemployment rate.
To complete the analysis, we first calculated the amount of disposable income a high school graduate could have in each city, assuming he or she earned the median salary for high school graduates with no further education. Using SmartAsset’s income tax calculator, we found the after-tax income for local high school graduates. We then subtracted the annual lower-quartile rent to get how much disposable income the average high school graduate would have. Lower-quartile rent is the lowest number under which 25% of renters pay for rent.
We then assumed that high school graduates would dedicate half of their disposable income to credit card payments. Using that figure, we calculated how long it would take to pay off $7,935 of credit card debt, determined by dividing the estimated outstanding credit card debt by the number of households in the U.S. in February 2021. We also assumed consumers would be paying interest of 15.91%, which was the estimated average credit card interest rate, according to the Federal Reserve.
Data for population, median income for high school graduates and lower-quartile rent comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey. February 2021 unemployment figures come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and are measured at the county level.
Credit Card Tips
Consider consulting an expert. A financial advisor can help you plan so that you don’t find yourself in debt. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with financial advisors in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with advisors, get started now.
Budgeting can go a long way in minimizing or even preventing debt. A budget is another way to make sure you don’t end up with too much credit card debt. Use SmartAsset’s free budget calculator to plan how much to spend on various categories so you don’t end up owing more than you make.
Choose the right card for you. If you do use a credit card, use SmartAsset’s Best Credit Cards rankings to find one that is best for your lifestyle.
Questions about our study? Contact email@example.com.
Ben Geier, CEPF® Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, Mic.com and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
If you’re like most people repairing their credit card debt, your credit card’s annual interest rate is a mystery to you. You might even avoid thinking about it or looking at it, because it’s such a large number. Interest rates can make it difficult to get out of debt quickly, because you’re working against a large percentage—as much as 16% or even 20% annual interest.
Credit card interest is calculated using a complicated formula that can be confusing to many people. So it often remains a puzzle to borrowers. But it’s important to understand the basics of credit card interest, because it will help you to repair your credit card debt quicker—and to be a smarter credit card user. Here’s how credit card interest works.
How Is Credit Card Interest Calculated?
If you’ve watched your interest rate closely, you may have noticed that it has changed since you first opened your credit card. Many credit cards offer a low introductory interest rate that increases after the period is over. But even after that, your annual interest rate will often go up and down. That can be confusing, and even a bit unsettling.
Your interest rate changes
The first thing you should understand is that your credit card uses a variable interest rate. That means that the interest rate can change over time. A variable rate is tied to a base index—usually the U.S. prime rate. As the U.S. prime rate goes up or down, so will your credit card’s interest rate.
Right now, the U.S. prime rate is 4.25%. But your credit card’s interest rate is probably closer to 18.25%, or even more. That’s because credit card companies charge an additional amount above the U.S. prime rate—perhaps 14%, but it varies from card to card. So your total interest rate will be closer to 18.25%, annually. If the U.S. prime rate raises or lowers, your annual interest rate will also go up or down by the same amount.
The factors that influence the U.S. prime rate are reviewed every six weeks. The prime rate could stay the same for years, or it could change every six weeks. It all depends on current federal economic conditions and forecasts.
Your interest rate is annual
It’s also important to understand that your credit card’s interest rate is an annual rate. So if your annual rate is 18.25%, that amount is applied per year—not per month. But since you’re billed monthly, your interest is calculated each month, using an average daily balance method.
Calculating your interest rate
Here’s how the average daily balance works:
Determine the daily periodic rate (DPR)—the interest rate you pay each day. DPR is your current interest rate (it varies, remember) divided by 365. So, 18.25 / 365 = 0.05%.
Determine the average daily balance for the month. This is done by adding up the balance for each day of the billing period, then dividing that sum by the number of days (either 30 or 31 days—or 28 in February!). If you had a balance of $0.00 for 10 days, then $500.00 for 10 days, then $1000.00 for the last 10 days of the month, your average daily balance would be $500.00.
Multiply the DPR by the number of days in the billing cycle, then multiply that total by the average daily balance. This is your interest for the month. So, a DPR of 0.05% * 30 days = 1.5%. 1.5% * $500.00 = $7.50.
That might not sound like much, but if you’re an average cardholder in the United States, you’re carrying a credit card debt of $16,000.00. That means you’re paying $2,880.00 per year in interest alone, in this scenario.
How Can I Avoid Paying So Much Interest?
When you’re working hard to repair your credit card debt, it can be frustrating to be fighting against a high interest rate. But there are ways you can reduce—or even eliminate—the amount of credit card interest you’re paying each month.
Pay more than the minimum balance due
Your credit card statement lists a minimum amount that you must pay each month. Your interest for the month is rolled into that minimum payment. But if you pay more than the minimum, every dollar above that minimum goes towards your principal balance. There’s no interest charged on it.
In other words, if your minimum payment is $500.00 and you pay $600.00, that extra $100.00 is applied to the amount you borrowed—it’s interest-free. And that benefits you in two ways:
You’re paying off debt without paying interest
You’re lowering the dollar amount of interest you’ll have to pay next month, because your average daily balance will be smaller.
Open a balance-transfer credit card
A balance-transfer card can be a very helpful way to repair your credit card debt. A transfer credit card has a very low introductory interest rate—often as low as 0%. The card lets you transfer your balance from other debt onto the new card. You can then make monthly payments on the transfer card to pay down your existing debt.
But the low interest rate is only valid for a limited time—usually six to 18 months—so you’ll need to pay off the debt before the introductory rate expires. You should also do your homework: some transfer cards charge a transfer fee. And some charge a penalty APR, which allows the credit company to charge you a high interest rate if you miss a payment.
Pay off Your Credit Card Debt Faster
Your credit card’s annual interest rate doesn’t have to be a confusing mystery, and you don’t need to know everything there is to know about interest rates. But when you understand the basics of variable interest rates and how they’re calculated, you can use that information to repair your credit card debt faster and easier. Paying more than the minimum balance due and using a balance-transfer card can be very helpful ways to use interest rates to your advantage.
A reputable credit repair specialist can help you find other ways to successfully get out of credit debt. If you’re tired of struggling on your own, find out how our advisors can help you repair your credit debt. Contact us today.
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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Law’s editorial disclosure for more information.
“For richer and for poorer”—it’s the vow millions of couples across the nation make every year. Every day, partners navigate money issues, from saving and budgeting to managing debt. Joint credit cards offer a great opportunity for couples to build credit and manage their finances together, but they require substantial teamwork and communication.
To better understand how couples navigate their financial journeys together, Lexington Law ran multiple surveys over the past two years. Below are some key takeaways to help you better understand joint credit health:
Approximately 30 percent of couples talk about finances on a daily basis. (source)
One in five couples fight at least half of the time they talk about money. (source)
Half of Americans share debts with their partner. (source)
Couples who make consistent, respectful communication a habit may have no problem with joint credit cards, and they may take full advantage of their benefits. However, credit health is something to take very seriously, and joint credit cards also have the potential to cause problems if not managed properly. Here, we will discuss the benefits, dangers and alternatives to joint credit—and provide actionable tips for success.
Two Ways to Share a Credit Card
If you’re recently married, you may wonder how it affects your credit score—and what the best way to share credit accounts is. First, it is important to understand that you are only directly responsible for your spouse’s credit if you apply for joint lines of credit—like a mortgage, another loan or a joint credit card.
Contrary to popular belief, being an authorized user is not the same thing as having a joint credit card. Here, we will detail the differences.
Adding an authorized user means that your partner will be able to make purchases with your credit card, and the positive payment history will appear on their credit report. It can be a fairly safe way to boost their credit by allowing them to benefit from your positive credit history.
Be careful when adding anyone as an authorized user on your card. No matter how much they use the card, you will ultimately be the one legally responsible for paying the balance—not them. If you are considering adding your partner, have an open and honest discussion about your credit limit and how much you’re comfortable with them charging each month.
Joint Credit Card
With a joint credit card, both people apply for the account together. Both credit reports will be considered during the application process, and this will result in a hard inquiry for you both. Unlike being an authorized user, both people are equally responsible for making payments—and the consequences of success or failure will affect both credit scores.
Potential Perks of Joint Credit Cards
Just like regular credit cards, joint credit cards can offer some wonderful benefits if properly managed. However, there can also be some serious consequences of miscommunication and lack of responsibility that can harm both cardholders. Before applying, make sure you’re aware of all the perks and pitfalls.
Streamline Your Finances
When it comes to budgeting, joint accounts—both checking and credit—help simplify your finances. That’s because both people’s transactions are now under one account instead of separate ones. A joint account can help you both get a view of your financial health as a couple and manage your money as a team.
Potential pitfall: If either person abuses their card privileges, they may add stress and even resentment to the relationship. Additionally, if a couple needs to separate or divorce, dealing with joint credit cards can be complicated.
Tip: Maintain open and honest communication about card use, especially large purchases. This will help you stay on track with your budget and financial goals as a couple.
Pool Your Rewards
A joint credit card gives you the ability to amplify your cash back rewards by pooling them in the same account, rather than scattering them among multiple credit cards. Additionally, since the account is being used by two people, the card may see higher use than a singularly owned one, which will rack up the rewards faster.
Potential pitfall: Options for joint credit cards are very limited, so it may be tricky to find a rewards program that fits your lifestyle and needs.
Tip: Thoroughly research the annual fees, incentives and cash back percentages before applying for a joint credit card. We detail the three most common options in a later section of this article.
Improve Your Score
Joint credit cards have the potential to boost both of your credit scores, as long as you make on-time payments each month. Additionally, if one person does not have good enough credit to apply for a card on their own, they can leverage the other person’s better credit to score a joint credit card with better interest rates and terms.
Potential pitfall: Just as joint credit cards have the potential to increase your score, they also have the potential to harm your credit score—even if it is not directly your fault. If your partner fails to uphold their payment agreement or charges enough on the card to push you past a 30 percent credit utilization rate, your score will likely take a dip.
Tip: Make an agreement on how payments will be made each month to ensure no payments are late or missed. Consider setting up automatic monthly payments to ensure each person contributes to paying off the balance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Joint Credit Cards
Once you have decided to apply for a joint credit card, you may be wondering what’s next. After reading your card’s terms and conditions, you may have additional questions such as the ones below:
How Do I Get My Name Off a Joint Credit Card?
Unlike an authorized user credit card—which is easy to remove yourself from—it is impossible to remove yourself from a joint credit card without completely closing the account. To do this, both parties must agree to pay off the entire balance before closing the account. Keep in mind that this may temporarily lower your credit score, as it will cause your credit utilization rate to increase.
What Happens to a Joint Credit Card When Someone Dies?
Notify your credit card issuer immediately in the event that someone on your joint credit card passes away. Ask if they had set up any recurring charges on the card, and see that they are canceled. You should then be able to continue using the card normally, as the sole cardholder. Keep in mind that you will still be responsible for paying off the balance, regardless of who charged it.
Does a Joint Credit Card Build Credit?
Yes—you may be able to build your credit if the account is managed properly. Just like a regular credit card, consistent, on-time payments will have a positive impact on your credit score—no matter which person pays. In your journey of building credit, remember to check your credit report regularly, as errors are all too common. If you spot any questionable negative items, Lexington Law can help you dispute them. Removing these from your report can typically help you repair your credit and reach your financial goals.
Reviewed by Cynthia Thaxton, Lexington Law Firm Attorney. Written by Lexington Law.
Cynthia Thaxton has been with Lexington Law Firm since 2014. She attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Arabic. Cynthia then attended law school at George Mason University School of Law, where she served as Senior Articles Editor of the George Mason Law Review and graduated cum laude. Cynthia is licensed to practice law in Utah and North Carolina.
Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.