One of my goals is to get a rewards credit card. For the sake of my own sanity, I've made an effort to pay my credit card balance in full each month (I'm going two months strong!). Since I'm getting more comfortable with this habit, I've decided that it's appropriate for me to start shopping around for various cards. These are the card attributes that I've decided are important:
- No annual fee
- No monthly maintenance fees (in fact, no stupid fees that are assessed, even if I elect not to use the card)
- Every purchase qualifies for points (none of that fancy stuff with "select merchants" or restrictions to entertainment or dining expenses)
- Points/rewards/miles don't expire
- I can use points/rewards/miles on any travel purchase (any airline, car rental company or hotel) without blackout dates.
Given these requirements, I've been considering Blue Sky from American Express, Venture Rewards from Capital One, Miles by Discover, and Chase's Sapphire card.
I realize that a couple of the cards waive the annual fee for the first year (one version of the Venture Rewards card and the Chase Sapphire card, specifically), but I'm confident that I'd be able to negotiate waiving the fee in subsequent years.
I've been on credit card comparison sites such as CreditCards.com, BankRate.com, CardRatings.com and even Google's credit card reviewer, and I'm still undecided.
The APR (annual percentage rate=the cost of using other people's money) and late payment fees are not important to me, as I will continue to pay my balance in full each month (no finance charges here and I ain't the one to go jacking up my credit score with late payments). Moreover, I will use this new credit card for regular purchases: food, gas, my phone bill, and miscellaneous expenses (ex: cat stuff, airfare, entertainment).
Do you have any of the above-mentioned credit cards? Have you thought about getting a rewards card recently? What have been your experiences? What advice would you offer as I make this decision?