With the new year comes resolutions to better your life. Why not get rewarded for the spending you’ll do to reach your 2020 goals?
Whether you’re looking to travel more, live a healthier lifestyle or better yourself in general, the following credit cards can help you maximize spending associated with your goals.
Goal: Travel more
Are you looking to fly to new places this year or finally make that cross-country drive? With a travel or gas credit card, you can earn points, miles or cash back as you check off another destination from your travel list.
If you’re a frequent flyer and mile maximizer…
As one of the most premium travel credit cards available, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns you 3X points on travel worldwide (after earning your annual travel credit) and dining at restaurants worldwide, plus 1X points on everything else.
There’s also a 50,000-point bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening (worth $750 toward travel redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
The most notable card perks include a $300 annual travel credit received each year on your account anniversary, which can be used as reimbursement for travel purchases. If you’re interested in expediting your travel, the card also offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every four years when you pay for the application fee with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
The CSR’s big rewards come with an equally large annual fee ($550 per year), yet the perks of the card nearly offset the cost for your first year. If you tend to travel multiple times a month, you shouldn’t have a problem getting value out of the card for years to come.
If you’re a casual traveler…
You don’t need to be a jet setter to enjoy the perks of a travel credit card. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns you 2X miles on every purchase for a meager $95 annual fee.
There’s also the chance to earn a 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. You’ll also receive up to a $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® purchased with your Venture card.
Any miles earned can be maximized by transferring to one of Capital One’s 15+ travel partners. According to November 2019 point and mile valuations from The Points Guy, Capital One Miles are worth around 1.4 cents when you transfer to an airline partner.
If you’re a road warrior…
Spend more time driving than flying? A card that rewards you for purchases at the pump could help lower the cost of those upcoming cross-country trips you’ve planned.
If your plans include caravanning across states to visit Niagara Falls or hanging out with long-distance family, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card rewards you an unlimited 3X points at gas stations, among other purchases.
The card doesn’t charge an annual fee and there’s an opportunity to earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (worth $200 when you redeem for cash). It helps that you receive car rental loss and damage insurance, roadside assistance and 24/7 travel and emergency assistance should you hit any roadblocks during your trips.
Goal: Get healthy…
Some of the most common goals going into the new year revolve around getting in shape and living a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to hit the gym or eat better with a meal-kit, there’s a credit card that can earn you rewards for your spending in the process.
If you’re looking to hit the gym…
Want to earn cash back rewards on your monthly gym membership? The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card can help you do so (without paying an annual fee).
The card offers a few opportunities to earn cash back, including 5 percent back on two categories of your choice (up to $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter, then 1 percent). Of the 12 categories available, gyms and fitness centers should be your match.
There’s also a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days of account opening, which could serve as an opportunity to buy new workout clothes or a pair of running shoes (with cash to spare).
The information about the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
If you’re interested in cooking at home more….
A healthy diet is a huge factor in losing weight, and what better way to stay on track than a meal-kit service. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express rewards you 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent), along with rewards on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit, U.S. gas stations and more.
You may be wondering how you can earn cash back from meal kits with the Blue Cash Preferred when the category clearly states U.S. supermarkets. Thankfully, more and more meal kit options are being sold in-store at places like Kroger or Publix, with Kroger selling Home Chef meal kits in brick-and-mortar locations after acquiring the brand in 2018.
Goal: Better yourself
There are a few ways to better yourself, from building stronger relationships to improving your financial situation. We’ve listed out three goals for the new year that can help you earn rewards along the way.
If you want to spend more time with family…
What better New Year’s goal than to spend more quality time with family. In doing so, you may find yourself paying for a lot more family-bonding activities.
Credit cards that offer entertainment categories can help you earn on trips to the zoo, amusement parks or aquariums with your kids. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example, gets you an unlimited 4 percent cash back on dining and entertainment, covering everything from bowling alleys to sporting events. The category also rewards you for streaming services and cable payments, in case you’re looking to boost family movie night with a Disney+ membership.
If your family’s big on concerts, you can enjoy 8 percent back on tickets at Vivid Seats purchased with the Savor card through May 2020. The also card offers VIP entertainment experiences from football games to premier dining events. You can learn more about these VIP experiences, here.
If you want to get out of credit card debt…
Credit card debt is easy to slip into but can be difficult to shake. Make 2020 the year to pay it off for good (while earning rewards in the process).
Most importantly, there’s an 18-month zero percent introductory APR on balance transfers (13.99 percent — 23.99 percent variable APR after that). With this offer, you can take 18 months to knock out your credit card debt without owing additional money in interest.
If you want to get better grades…
It’s never a bad idea to try and boost your GPA, and with the right student credit card, you can get rewarded for your good grades.
With either the Discover it® Student Cash Back or Discover it® Student chrome, you have the opportunity to earn a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher (the perk lasts five years, just in case you take a victory lap).
The Student chrome earns you 2 percent back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1 percent), while the Student Cash Back offers 5 percent cash back in rotating categories like grocery stores and Amazon.com (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1 percent, after activation). Both cards double all of the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year of card ownership.