Best Credit Cards

Reader’s Question: Is there a Credit Card with a Decent (ish) Sign-Up Bonus AND 0% APR on Purchases?

Actually, two readers asked me this lately, so I figured it’s time to do a post on the subject. In general, decent sign-up bonus and 0% APR on purchases do not go hand-in-hand. You’ll have to pick one or the other. That said, there are a few options.

Before we get started, let me say that I’m not advocating going into debt. This comes to travel  or any other purchases. But sometimes things happen. When we had my son, we ended up having $11,500 in out-of-pocket medical costs after the insurance paid their share.

I was offered a 20% discount if I paid it in-full. We did have a small emergency fund, but it was tied up in a CD that was earning 5% interest. Of course, I wanted the discount, so accepted the offer from the hospital. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a card with a 0% APR on purchases, so ended up taking  a home equity line of credit with 2.2 APR rate. We did pay  off the debt within a year.

Obviously,  saving 20% was worth it even though we had to pay a small amount in interest charges. If I had a card with 0% APR, I would consider using that instead. Warning! This will  affect your utilization ratio and may lower your credit score. Read my Beginner’s Guide for more on this topic.

But my point is, there are many reasons why people want a card with 0% APR on new purchases and self-indulgence isn’t always one of them. And even if it is, who am I to tell you what to do? Regardless of what your reason is, here are a few choices you should consider. All of these cards pay me commission, but there may be a way to pull up a superior offer via other methods (which I mention in the post):

1) Blue Cash Everyday from American Express

  • Special Offer – Get up to $300 back. Offer Ends 6/15/2016.
  • Get Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept. stores; 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • With the Blue Cash Everyday® Card, you can get cash back. No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can only get cash back on eligible purchases.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.

The offer above isn’t actually as lucrative as it appears because a good portion of the sign-up bonus is tied to cell phone expenses. Instead, what I recommend is checking CardMatch tool (my affiliate link) in hopes of pulling up an offer of $250 after spending $1,000 in 3 months. It’s a much better bonus all-around if you can get it to come up.

If you don’t see it via this method, try this direct link in incognito mode. Also, read this article on using VPN to pull up lucrative Amex offers. Overall, I think this is a very good no-fee card which will give you access to Amex savings offers and provide bonus cash back on groceries and gas stations. A winner… if you can get a $250 bonus. Otherwise, pass.

2) Blue Cash Preferred from American Express

  • Special Offer – Get up to $350 back. Offer Ends 6/15/2016.
  • Get Cash Back: 6% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 3% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept. stores; 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, you can get cash back. No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can only get cash back on eligible purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Annual fee of $75 is not waived.

Same principle as above. Check various links before applying for the official version. There is a direct link for $200 sign-up bonus, but I recommend you wait for a higher offer if you possibly can. This is an excellent “keeper” card for those who rarely sign up for new offers and who shop at grocery stores on a regular basis.

3) The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 20% more points: Make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and get 20% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • You can use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 22.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.

This is a very good no-fee card. Instead of cash back, it earns Membership Rewards points which can be transferred to a variety of frequent flyer programs. Check the links I’ve mentioned earlier because you may able to get a better sign-up bonus. One of my readers was able to pull up an offer of 25,000 points with VPN trick.

4) The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 50% more points: Make 30 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and get 50% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.
  • 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • You can use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to pay for all or part of your flight, hotel booked and paid in advance, vacation or cruise booking through amextravel.com.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 22.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Annual fee of $95.

Similar to the previous card, but with greater points-earning potential. The offer can be as high as 30,000 points, usually accessible via different browsers. If you plan to maximize rewards on  grocery spending and don’t mind the fee, this card is the way to go for those looking to accumulate flexible points. It’s one of my best picks for long-term cards.

5) BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want — you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.24% – 23.24% Variable APR
  • No annual fee

The bonus is redeemable for travel expenses only, but most people won’t have  a difficult time in this regard. There is no annual fee, so  no pressure to use up the points before closing the card. As far as I know, that’s  the highest this offer has ever been. Plus, Bank of America isn’t known for huge sign-up bonuses anyway.

6) Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • New! Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it’s automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

I wrote a post with analysis on this card which I recommend you read. Overall, it’s a decent choice for those who are looking to increase their Ultimate Rewards points  stash.

Even though the bonus is marketed as cash back, you are getting 15,000 points, plus an extra 2,500 points when you add an authorized user. It’s not a huge sign-up bonus, but the card also comes with 0% APR on purchases for 15 months. Be aware, Chase may increase the offer on this card to 22,500 points at some point in the future.

7) Chase Freedom

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it’s automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, select grocery stores, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards never expire as long as your account is open
  • You can  use my personal referral link if you prefer.

This is a good “keeper” card which everyone should probably get at some point, but I would wait till Chase increases the bonus to 22,500 points. Of course,  if you need a card with 0% APR on purchases right now, this offer is certainly an option.

Well, those are my top picks. Readers, what would you add to that list?

If you’ve found this content beneficial, please look at  Support the Site page  for ways you can help keep the blog running. Also,  subscribe to receive free updates through email and recommend me to your family and friends. You can  follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook  and download my free e-book 

Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

Leave a Reply