Q4 2021 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom/Flex, Discover, Dividend, Cash+ & more)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll all 5% category credit cards for the fourth quarter of 2021, including the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Flex, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, US Bank Cash+ and a few others. In this post we’ll provide the activation link for each card and links to track your spend, along with strategies to help increase spend in these categories.

Dates: October 1st – December 31, 2021. Store purchases can usually be done until the last minute. Online purchases should be given a buffer zone of a day or two.

Chase Freedom – PayPal, Walmart

Activation Link / FAQ / Sample Stores & Exclusions / Our original post

With your Freedom and Freedom Flex cards, earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in spend at purchases paid via PayPal and on purchases made at Walmart.

  • PayPal Purchases – I love the PayPal category since it’s pretty easy to use at thousands of online merchants, tax payments, charities, etc. (Should work in conjunction with PayPal Key as well.) “Please note, Friends and Family or Person-to-Person (P2P) transactions made with your Chase Freedom card on PayPal may be prohibited or not eligible for 5%.”
  • Walmart – Works at Walmart stores and Walmart.com and Walmart gas stations. Walmart stores also sell Visa gift cards and other gift cards as well.

Tip: Click this link (login required) to check how far you are along the $1,500.

Discover – Amazon, Walmart.com, Target.com

Activation Link / Our original post

With your Discover card, earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com.

  • Amazon.com – not very useful for someone who has one of the Amazon 5% credit cards, but could be useful to those that don’t.
  • Walmart.com – if you maxed out your Chase Freedom, this is another option.
  • Target.com – not too useful for someone who has the Target REDcard which always earns 5% back, but could be useful to those that don’t. (Also useful for when Target runs their gift card sale since Target gift cards don’t get the 5% back REDcard.)

Activate to earn 5% Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com from 10/1/21 (or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later) through 12/31/21, on up to $1,500 in purchases. Amazon.com purchases include those made through the Amazon.com checkout, including digital downloads, Amazon.com gift cards, Amazon Fresh orders, Amazon Local Deals, Amazon Prime subscriptions and items sold by third party merchants through Amazon.com’s marketplace. Purchases also include those made in-store at Amazon Go, Amazon Bookstore, and Amazon 4-Star. Walmart.com purchases include only those made at Walmart.com and when shopping through the Walmart app (including Grocery Pick Up and Delivery). Purchases made through affiliates of Walmart.com are not part of this promotion. Target.com purchases include only purchases made online at Target.com or through the Target app. Purchases made through affiliates of Target.com are not part of this promotion, including, but not limited to, targetoptical.com and targetphoto.com. 

Tip: Login, then click this link to see you how far along the $1,500 you are.

Citi Dividend – Restaurants, Best Buy

Landing Page | Our Original Post

With your Dividend card, earn 5% back this quarter at Restaurants and Best Buy. Citi is different than the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a $1,500 quarterly cap. Thus, you can get 5% back on up to $6,000 in this quarter, you can save the entire amount for a different quarter, or you can use part up each quarter. Some people might have already maxed this out in Q2 2021 on grocery stores and drugstores.

  • Restaurants – always a useful category
  • Best Buy – based on my prior experience, this should work for Bestbuy.com purchases too.

US Bank Cash+/Elan – Select your Categories

Activation link | Merchant List | Our Original Post

U.S. Bank Cash+ and Elan Max offer 5% cash back in two categories, up to $2,000 combined total per quarter. Keep in mind that Car Rentals was recently replaced with TV, Internet, and Streaming Services.

Here are the current options:

  • TV, Internet, and Streaming Services
  • Home utilities
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cell phone providers
  • Electronic Stores
  • Gyms/Fitness
  • Fast food
  • Ground Transportation
  • Sporting goods
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie theaters

Tip: Login here, then scroll down and click on the red “View Your Cash+ History” button.

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Our Original Post

The Cash Rewards card from Bank of America offers 3% back on one selected category, up to $2,500 per quarter. If you don’t select anything it defaults to gas. Once you selected a category for one quarter, that remains your category in the future unless you change it. Each calendar month you can change it if you’d like, but you’re always limited to $2,500 for the entire quarter.

  • Gas (default)
  • Online Shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug Stores
  • Home Improvement/Furnishings

This category is especially lucrative for those who have Preferred Rewards status with Bank of America which can get you 5.25% back on one of these categories at the higher relationship level.

Lots of useful categories here. Important note: the Cash Rewards card also offers 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 per quarter, and that $2,500 limit combines with the Category Selection limit. After spending $2,500, you’ll earn 1% back on everything.

Other Cards with 5% Category

ABOC – Discontinued

Since August 27, 2021, the ABOC Platinum rewards card has moved to a new rewards provider and no longer offers the quarterly 5x categories.

Nusenda FCU – Restaurants, Hotels, Airfare

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases at restaurants, hotels, and airfare.

Affinity FCU – Supermarkets, Amazon, Discount Stores

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on purchases at Supermarkets, Amazon, and Discount Stores on up to $3,500 in purchases.

The 5x is on top of regular earn for a total of 6x or 7x, depending on the card. Amazon works out to 10%, apparently.

Vantage West [AZ] – Select your Category

Landing Page | Our Original Post

Get 5x points on the category of your choice, up to $1,500 per quarter. Eligible categories:

  • Travel
  • Restaurants
  • Utilities [water, cell, electric, etc.]
  • In-Store Wholesale Purchases [Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.]
  • Department Stores
  • Hardware & Home Improvement Stores
  • Charitable Organizations
  • Pharmacies & Drug Stores
  • Amazon.com

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Discover it: $100 Referral Bonus

The Offer

No direct link to offer, must use a referral link

  • Some Discover it cardholders are being offered the ability to refer for a $100 bonus to both parties. Must make one purchase within 3 months of being approved

Card Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • Card earns 5% cash back on rotating categories (up to $1,500 in spend per quarter)
  • Earn double cash back for your first year as a member (doesn’t apply to the sign up bonus as that is statement credit rather than cash back)
  • Offer valid until December 31, 2021

Our Verdict

Bonus is significantly more interesting if a friend/family member is referring you and/or if you can take advantage of the 5% rotating categories. It is nice that this is a cash bonus and only requires a single purchase for those that struggle to meet minimum spend requirements and there is usually only a sign up bonus of $75 on this card. Because of that we will be adding this to our list of the best credit card bonuses.

Hat tip to US Credit Card Guide

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Mold in Your Apartment? Problems, Solutions and Prevention

Mold in your apartment is not only distressing, it’s a health concern. But in most cases, you can prevent little problems from becoming big ones.

If you suspect (or know) you have mold in your apartment, you may worry that your home sweet home has become a hazard to your health. What can you do, and whose responsibility is it to solve the problem?

Mold that concentrates on surfaces indoors can cause health problems, especially if you have a sensitivity like allergies or asthma. That’s why it’s smart to be alert for signs of mold, address mold problems quickly if you find them and take steps to prevent mold growth in the first place.

Signs of mold in apartment

This may surprise you: there are mold spores in your apartment already! The tiny spores float through the air both indoors and out. They can get into your apartment through open windows or by hitching a ride on your or your pet.

Fortunately, mold spores only grow indoors when they land on surfaces that provide the right environment for them.

The symptoms of mold in your apartment can be subtle if the affected area is small or dramatic if the mold has spread. Here are a few telltale signs to look for:

  • Your apartment smells like mildew or has an earthy, musty odor.
  • You notice signs of water damage like stains or bulging drywall.
  • You have physical symptoms of sensitivity to mold (especially when you’re in your apartment) like a stuffy nose, watery eyes, coughing or trouble breathing.
  • Your apartment has visible signs of mold growing on surfaces.

Woman holding her nose because she smells mold

Woman holding her nose because she smells mold

What does mold look like?

Most people think of mold indoors as the nefarious-looking black, yellow or greenish splotches that grow on walls and window frames, but mold can appear in a variety of colors and forms. It can have a slimy, fuzzy or suede-like texture (but don’t touch it with your bare hands; some mold can cause skin irritation.).

Contrary to what you might have heard, the color of mold doesn’t determine how dangerous it is.

How to test for mold in your apartment

The only sure way to identify what type of mold is present in your apartment is to have it tested by a professional. This is particularly true if you smell mold or have other symptoms of a mold problem but you can’t actually see signs of mold growth.

However, if you’re already convinced you have mold growth, testing for mold in your apartment isn’t necessary. The CDC suggests that all mold should be treated as a potential health hazard and removed. Instead of wasting precious time finding out what kind of mold you have, follow the removal steps below to get rid of it as soon as possible.

5 common places where mold hides

Mold needs two things to thrive: moisture and some amount of darkness. Places where moisture is frequent or excessive are prime spots for mold growth, especially if those places don’t have a lot of exposure to light.

Here are a few places where mold can lurk. But keep in mind that mold can grow anywhere indoors given the right conditions.

Someone looking at mold under a magnifying glass

Someone looking at mold under a magnifying glass

1. Where leaks are present

Mold often appears when there’s a leak causing a moisture problem. You may find mold on ceilings or walls if structural problems allowed moisture to enter. Leaks around window frames are another common culprit.

2. In your bathroom

Mold can also hide on shower walls and curtains or around the trim in your bathroom. You might discover it under sinks or any place where leaky pipes or condensation create a damp environment.

3. Where you do laundry

If your clothes dryer isn’t properly vented to the outside, your laundry area can become humid. That excess moisture could promote mold growth. You may also find mold on damp towels that have been stored too long in a laundry hamper or on the surrounding walls of your laundry room.

4. Around windows

If you often have condensation on your apartment windows, check for signs of mold around the window frame. Mold can also grow in curtains, blinds or on the carpeting below windows where there’s a moisture problem.

5. On organic materials

Mold especially loves to grow on damp cellulose. That means cardboard, stacks of paper, books or magazines, ceiling tiles, wood and anything made from organic materials. You may also find mold on (or behind) wallpaper and on upholstery and carpet.

Can you live in an apartment with mold?

If you’ve found mold growing in your apartment, take steps to remove it quickly and prevent the problem from spreading.

Exposure to mold can cause serious health problems for some and few or no issues for others. But whether you’re allergic or not, mold can cause irritation to your eyes, nose, throat, lungs and skin. There are also studies linking mold exposure to an increased likelihood of childhood asthma, so if you have children living in your home, it’s important to be extra diligent with mold removal.

Mold allergies are common. If you’re allergic, you can expect hay fever-like symptoms. In asthmatic people, mold sensitivity can trigger asthma attacks. Similarly, mold may cause breathing problems for those with respiratory diseases. You should also be vigilant for mold if you’re immunosuppressed.

Someone having allergies from mold in their apartment

Someone having allergies from mold in their apartment

What’s the difference between mold and mildew?

According to the EPA, mildew refers to certain types of mold or fungus, but it’s often used as a catch-all term. The science gets a bit technical, but here’s a simple way to think of it:

  • Mold: Mold thrives on organic (high cellulose) materials such as cardboard, wood, drywall, upholstery (including leather) and fabrics.
  • Mildew: Mildew is found on hard surfaces such as shower walls or vinyl window frames.

Both mold and mildew grow wherever moisture is present and both can create the same health risks.

Someone cleaning mold off their shower tiles

Someone cleaning mold off their shower tiles

How dangerous is black mold?

You may have heard the phrase “toxic black mold” in the news and on social media, which makes this greenish-black splotchy mold sound particularly scary. But is it really more dangerous than other types of mold?

“Toxic black mold” is a term often used to refer to Stachybotrys chartarum. Stachybotrys belongs to a class of molds that are toxigenic, meaning they produce a toxic substance called mycotoxins.

Science hasn’t found a causal link between black mold and certain serious health issues, so Stachybotrys isn’t necessarily more dangerous than other types of molds. According to the CDC, all mold problems should be addressed quickly, especially since the presence of mold in your apartment could be a sign of a long-term moisture problem.

What to do if you find mold in your apartment

When you encounter mold in your apartment, it’s time to act quickly. Mold that’s left untreated can spread. It can also damage whatever it’s growing on.

1. Consider the source of the problem

First, consider whether whatever has caused the mold to grow is something you can manage yourself. If you find mold in your shower, for instance, the solution could be as simple as cleaning it up and then cleaning your shower more frequently. But if the mold growth is the result of a problem like water damage, you’ll need to get your property manager involved.

2. Clean up mold on hard surfaces

You can remove the mold in your apartment yourself if it’s:

  • On a hard surface (such as your shower walls)
  • Not related to moisture problems that are outside your control (such as leaks)
  • Commercial cleaning products, soap and water or a mixture of no more than one cup of household bleach to one gallon of water are all effective ways to remove mold from hard surfaces. There are also some natural ways to get rid of mold.

Never mix bleach with other household cleaners or ammonia. Doing so can create poisonous fumes. Always wear gloves and keep your room well ventilated when you use cleaning products.

Someone wearing gloves and removing mold from their window

Someone wearing gloves and removing mold from their window

3.  Clean up small mold patches on organic surfaces

According to the EPA, you can clean mold from organic surfaces yourself if the affected area is smaller than 10 square feet (about a 3×3 foot area). Cleanup techniques will vary by surface type.

Mold on fabrics and other soft surfaces may be hard to remove completely, so consider replacing the damaged item. For example, if your bathroom throw rug has significant mold growth, it makes sense to replace it with something you can wash and dry regularly.

4.  Notify your property manager of larger problems

If the mold is the result of a moisture problem or water damage that you can’t control, it’s time to get your property manager involved. They should take the underlying problems that cause mold seriously and act quickly.

It can be helpful to take photos of the mold problem and present them to your property manager. Be sure to document any conversations you have for future reference. If the problem isn’t addressed, check with your state’s landlord-tenant resources for guidance. Additionally, if there’s existing or upcoming legislation related to mold it will be cited by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

5.  Check your renters insurance policy

If structural problems beyond your control resulted in mold damage to your personal property, check with your renters insurance agency. You may have coverage that would help you get damaged items like furniture, rugs or clothing replaced.

Is mold the landlord’s responsibility?

There aren’t many laws that specifically govern a landlord’s responsibility when it comes to mold in rentals.

Some property managers require renters to sign a separate waiver or document related to mold on the premises when they move in. Make sure you review it along with your lease agreement to get a better understanding of your rights and responsibilities.

Even though there aren’t many mold-specific laws in the books, in most states your property manager is legally required to provide a habitable premises. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you determine who’s responsible.

Woman concerned and looking at mold from water damage

Woman concerned and looking at mold from water damage

Did your behavior cause the mold?

If something you did resulted in mold in your apartment, then it’s your responsibility. If you’ve created excess moisture, failed to clean up and dry a spill or your cleanliness routine needs an upgrade, it will be up to you to take care of the mold problem. You could be liable for damage if you don’t.

Did your property manager’s failure to act cause the mold?

Leaky pipes, a leaky roof or poorly sealed windows are your property manager’s responsibility. If a problem with your apartment’s fixtures or structure wasn’t fixed promptly and caused mold to grow, your property manager may be liable.

How to prevent any future mold

You can often prevent mold from growing in your apartment in the first place. Here are a few tips to keep it from gaining a foothold:

  • Keep the air moving. Open windows when weather permits. Use portable or ceiling fans to keep air circulating.
  • Use ventilation fans. Always use the fan in your bathroom and above your stove to vent moisture out of your apartment.
  • Keep humidity low. Air conditioners and heaters can help control humidity. You can also use a dehumidifier if necessary.
  • Clean up any moisture problems quickly. If something like a spill or an open window during a rainstorm drenched part of your apartment, use fans and ventilation to dry everything thoroughly.
  • Use mold-killing cleaners and clean regularly. Keeping your bathroom clean and dry is the best way to prevent mildew growth.
  • Don’t store wet towels or clothing. Hang damp items up to dry before putting them into a hamper.

As worrisome as mold seems, in most cases, it’s possible to avoid mold growth. When searching for a new place, be sure to read Rent.com apartment reviews to find the perfect rental and avoid any problematic properties. Before you move into a new apartment, inspect it carefully for signs of damage that could lead to mold.

Once you’re moved into a new place, keep it well maintained. A clean, dry and well-ventilated apartment is usually a mold-free apartment.

Source: rent.com

Free Comic Book Day is Coming! Here’s What to Expect

Free Comic Book Day is May 7

From left, Rob Day and Vinny Farrell browse a selection of free comics at Newbury Comics in Boston, Saturday, May 5, 2012. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Comic book shops around the U.S. and beyond will give out millions of free comic books to celebrate the 20th annual Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, Aug. 14.

The event is traditionally held the first Saturday in May, but was “indefinitely postponed” in 2020, and organizers hoped that pushing it out to August would minimize any disruptions due to COVID-19. 

Special editions of 50 comic books will be free on Saturday.

What to Expect on Free Comic Book Day

Check with your local comic book store, or locate one here, to find events in your area. Free titles will be available to anyone who asks on a first-come, first-served basis.

Some of this year’s most anticipated free titles include:

  • “Avengers Hulk” (Marvel Comics)
  • “Blade Runner Oneshot” (Titan Comics)
  • “Critical Role Witcher” (Dark Horse)
  • “Lady Mechanika” (Image Comics)
  • “Star Wars High Republic Adventures” (IDW Publishing)

Many stores will give away swag, movie posters and other freebies, too.

Not Just for the Comic Book Guy

Free Comic Book Day is more than just a second Christmas for comic book fans.

It exists to support local comic book shops, as well as help new readers find awesome comics and graphic novels.

If you like non-superhero stories, including Archie and young adult comics, you’ll be delighted to find there’s a little something for everyone.

The celebration is a fun way to introduce your kids to the comic book community — or discover it yourself.

You might just find a new hobby the whole family can enjoy together.

Dana Sitar is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Staff writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors updated this post.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Best credit cards for paying your medical bills – The Points Guy


Best credit cards for paying your medical bills – The Points Guy


Advertiser Disclosure


Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

4 Credit Cards With Great Security Features

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Thieves lurk in the physical and virtual world, looking for ways to access your credit card number or commit identity theft. Whether you shop online or in brick-and-mortar stores, it’s wise to take steps to protect yourself against fraud.

Credit card companies have many tools to help combat credit card fraud, and sometimes offer additional security features to protect against identity theft.

Here are four credit cards with great security features.

1. Discover it Cash Back

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories like gas stations or restaurants, 1% cash back on everything else

  • I just watched a documentary on the dark web, and I will never feel safe using my credit card again!

  • Luckily I don’t have to worry about that. I have ExtraCredit, so I get $1,000,000 ID protection and dark web scans.

  • I need that peace of mind in my life. What else do you get with ExtraCredit?

  • It’s basically everything my credit needs. I get 28 FICO® scores, rent and utility reporting, cash rewards and even a discount to one of the leaders in credit repair.

  • It’s settled; I’m getting ExtraCredit tonight. Totally unrelated, but any suggestions for my new fear of sharks? I watched that documentary too.

  • …we live in Oklahoma.

Signup Bonus: Discover will match the cash back you earn in the first year.

Annual Fee:

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): , then

Why We Picked It: Discover’s Freeze it feature gives you peace of mind if you’ve lost track of your card.

Security Features: With Freeze it, cardholders can freeze their card within seconds using Discover’s website or mobile app. This way, if you can’t locate your card, you can freeze it and look around before reporting it lost or stolen. If your card is misplaced, Discover offers free overnight card replacement. Cardholders also won’t be held liable for any unauthorized purchases.

Drawbacks: To maximize cash back, you’ll have to do the work of activating and tracking rotating purchase categories.

2. Blue Cash Everyday from American Express

Rewards: 3% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at supermarkets, 2% cash back at gas stations and select department stores, 1% cash back on everything else

Welcome Offer: $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership

Annual Fee:
$0

APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases , then 13.99%-23.99% Variable
See Rates and Fees

Why We Picked It: Cardholders can control available spending for authorized users.

Security Features: If you have multiple cards for authorized users on your account, you can set a spending limit for each card’s billing period. That way, your authorized user (or a conniving friend) can’t rack up a huge balance. American Express won’t hold you accountable for any unauthorized charges.

Drawbacks: If you don’t spend a lot at supermarkets or gas stations, you may want to look for another cash back card.

3. Citi ThankYou Preferred

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, one point per dollar spent on everything else

Signup Bonus: 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers and then 15.24% – 25.24% (Variable) ongoing APR.

Why We Picked It: Citi has an impressive range of security features that help you fight fraud and identity theft. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

Security Features: If your credit card is lost or stolen, Citi will send you a new card for free and provide an emergency cash advance. To protect you online, Citi can issue temporary credit card numbers for secure online purchases. Finally, if you become the victim of identity theft, a Citi specialist will help you contact TransUnion to put a fraud alert on your credit reports and help you complete a police report. Cardholders aren’t held liable for any unauthorized purchase.

Drawbacks: If you use your credit card for “meat and potatoes” spending and rarely use it on a night out, this card won’t deliver as much value.

4. Bank Americard Credit Card

Rewards: None

Signup Bonus: None

Annual Fee: None

APR: 0% intro rate for 15 months, then variable 12.74% to 22.74%

Why We Picked It: Online shopping is safer with Bank of America’s ShopSafe service.

Security Features: With ShopSafe, you can receive temporary credit card numbers to safely shop online. If abnormal spending patterns are detected, Bank of America will block the card’s use and contact you to discuss potential fraudulent activity. You’ll never be held accountable for unauthorized transactions.

Drawbacks: This is a very basic card without any rewards to speak of.

Choosing a Card With Strong Security Features

Federal law states that you can’t be held accountable for more than $50 in unauthorized purchases if your card is stolen. But cardholders concerned with security should look for card issuers that offer zero liability for unauthorized charges.

To further protect yourself, consider cards that go above and beyond in the realm of security and protect you in areas where you may be particularly vulnerable.

If you frequently shop online, you may want a card that offers temporary credit card numbers for limited time use, which stops digital thieves from gaining access to your real card number. If you tend to misplace things and you’re scared of losing your card, you may want a card that lets you easily freeze all activity.

Of course, if your only credit card requirement is security, you should pick a card with the most enhanced protections. But if you also want a card that rewards spending with points or cash back, you’ll want to consider your spending habits and how a card can reward your purchasing behavior.

What Is Required to Get a Card With Security Protections?

Any legitimate credit card should have some security features. Cards with strong security could be available for consumers with credit ranging from poor to excellent. No matter what card you choose, you should know your credit score ahead of time to gauge your chances of approval. Before you apply, you can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Discover it, Blue Cash Everyday from American Express and Citi ThankYou Preferred 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.

Image: kali9

Source: credit.com

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Source: credit.com

4 Secured Credit Cards That Offer Rewards

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Consumers with poor or nonexistent credit should consider secured credit cards for their spending and credit-building needs. Secured cards have looser credit restrictions and require a security deposit up front to open, but otherwise they operate like traditional credit cards.

With secured cards, your poor or limited credit history won’t necessarily keep you from earning rewards. While most secured credit cards are no-frills affairs, some do offer spending incentives.

Here are four secured credit cards with real rewards.

1. SKYPASS Visa Secured Card

Rewards: One mile for every dollar spent on eligible purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 SKYPASS bonus miles upon your first purchase.

Annual Fee: $50

APR:Variable 17.24% on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Cardholders can earn miles with select airlines.

Benefits: Every purchase earns one SKYPASS mile per dollar. You’ll get 5,000 bonus miles right out of the gate and 1,000 bonus miles every year upon renewal. Points can be redeemed for flights and upgrades with SkyTeam partners—including Delta, Korean Air, and Air France—or for other travel expenses.

Drawbacks: There’s a $50 annual fee, and miles are limited to twenty participating airlines.

2. Best Western Rewards Secured Mastercard

Rewards: Thirteen points for every dollar spent on Best Western stays; two points for every dollar spent on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus points upon your first purchase.

Annual Fee: $29

APR:Variable 21.99% on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Frequent Best Western guests can earn points for future reservations and more.

Benefits: Cardholders earn thirteen points per dollar on Best Western stays, with ten points through the Best Western Rewards program and three points for using your card. All other purchases earn double points. Points can be redeemed for Best Western stays, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Drawbacks: If you aren’t a loyal Best Western guest, this card isn’t for you. 

3. Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card

Rewards: One point per dollar spent on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

APR:Variable 9.99% to 18% on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Navy Federal members can earn points for goodies.

Benefits: All purchases earn one point. Points can be redeemed for gift cards or merchandise.

Drawbacks: You must be a Navy Federal member to access this card. Points expire after four years.

4. AeroMexico Visa Secured Card

Rewards: Two miles for every dollar spent on gas and groceries; one mile for every dollar spent on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus miles and a companion flight certificate with your first purchase.

Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $25.

APR: Variable 23.99% on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Frequent AeroMexico flyers can enjoy the miles earned with this card.

Benefits: Gas and grocery purchases earn double miles, and all other purchase earn single miles. Your first purchase earns 5,000 bonus miles and a companion certificate. Plus, you’ll get an additional $99 companion certificate each year you renew.

Drawbacks: If you don’t fly AeroMexico, you won’t see much value in this card.

Choosing a Secured Credit Card with Rewards

Because secured credit cards are primarily intended for consumers with poor or nonexistent credit, building credit should be your primary goal. Rewards should be a secondary concern.

Pay close attention to the fees and APR associated with any cards you’re considering. Annual fees and interest can eat into the overall value of earned rewards.

You’ll also want to evaluate security deposit policies. Many secured credit cards can be opened with as little as $200, and the credit limit will equal your deposit. Some cards may increase your credit limit without requiring an additional deposit after a period of timely payments and responsible card use.

When it comes to rewards, choose a card that rewards your specific spending habits and provides redemption options you’ll actually use.

What Credit Is Required to Get a Secured Credit Card?

Secured credit cards are generally available to consumers with poor or nonexistent credit history, but that doesn’t mean approval is guaranteed. To increase your chances of approval, you should check your credit score before you apply to make sure you meet the requirements. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

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At publishing time, the Discover it Secured Credit Card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. 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.

Source: credit.com