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If you are new to credit cards, finding the right one can seem tough. But, rest assured, these two cards standout for being beneficial and consistent. Here are two of the best first credit cards you can get.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – The Best First Card for Rewards and Travel
Do you love traveling? If so, there is no better way to explore the world than with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Sapphire Preferred Credit Card from Chase offers 2X points on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
You can redeem rewards on most airlines and save 25% on airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and cruises when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® online portal. Or, you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners like United and Hyatt for even more valuable redemptions. These travel bonuses make the Sapphire Preferred one of the best Chase credit cards.
With premium trip protection and coverage, no foreign transaction fees, and no black-out dates, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the ultimate midtier travel credit card for newbies and veterans alike. Here’s what you need to know about one of the best first credit cards and one of the best travel credit cards available:
As a lucrative sign-up offer, new credit cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the account. When redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, your points will be worth $750 toward travel. For daily spending, you will earn 2X points on travel and dining, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
This card has a $95 annual fee. Note that this fee is not waived the first year. However, the fee is comparable to other credit cards, like the Capital One Venture, that also offers plenty of value.
What to expect from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
In addition to stretching your dollar for travel, you will also benefit from premium insurance offerings like trip cancellation insurance and trip delay protection which will really come in handy when your travels don’t go as planned.
25% More in Travel Redemption
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card provides a redemption bonus of 25% when you redeem points for airfare through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This means that your Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each. Moreover, you can transfer points 1:1 to some airlines and hotels like United and Hyatt, providing plenty of flexibility depending on your travel needs.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
A flight cancellation happens on your trip – is there anything worse? You have your bags packed, you’re ready to nap on the plane, and then the gate agent’s voice filters through the intercom telling you your awaited flight is now canceled. Chase understands how frustrating this is, which is why they offer trip cancellation insurance for up to $10,000 per trip.
You can also benefit if you need to cancel because of a medical illness or other personal issues. Your reimbursement covers pre-paid, nonrefundable plane tickets, hotel stays, and tours for up to $10,000 per trip. This benefit can be extended to a travel companion or immediate family member if the expenses are paid for with your Sapphire Preferred card.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Similarly, delays are equally stressful. If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or overnight, Chase offers up to $500 per ticket of non-reimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging. While delays are frustrating to deal with, at least you can get comfortable during the waiting period.
Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Right for You?
If you want to travel the skies while maximizing your rewards, this is one of the best first credit cards to get with a low annual fee. Enjoy an amazing bonus offer and use your 25% bonus in travel redemptions with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. What are you waiting for? Your destination is calling.
Citi Double Cash – The Best First Card for Simplicity
If you are looking for a simple, hassle-free credit card without sacrificing rewards, look to the Citi® Double Cash Card. Touted as one of the best cash-back cards on the market, the Citi Double Cash earns its esteemed title by giving you 1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay, for a total of 2% cash back. To earn the second percent, all you need to do is pay the minimum balance each month.
Here’s everything you need to know about this best first credit card option:
While this card offers no sign-up bonus, you will benefit from daily cash-back rewards. Additionally, if you are inclined to take advantage of an introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, you can do so, as long as you pay the full balance within the first four months of card membership. There is a $5 fee or 3% of the balance being transferred, depending on which amount is greater.
Benefit from 2% Cash Back
With this card, you will be able to turn your daily spending habits into cash-back rewards. If you enjoy your morning coffee, lunchtime outing, and takeout for dinner, you will love the earnings on the Citi Double Cash. On every purchase, you’ll get 1% cash back, and another 1% when you pay your balance, for a total of 2% cash back.
When it’s time to redeem your cash back rewards (after reaching at least $25), your earnings will appear as a check, statement credit, gift card, or direct deposit into your checking account. You decide which one you prefer.
There are no category bonuses and no restrictions.
This card has a $0 annual fee.
What to expect from the Citi Double Cash Card
In addition to uncapped 2% cash back, you can gain peace of mind knowing you will be covered with Citi’s car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and a 90-day return protection policy.
Car Rental Insurance
When you pay for a rental car with your Citi® Double Cash Card and decline the rental company’s collision loss/damage insurance, Citi will cover you for up to $100,000 toward the cost of repairs or the cash value of the car (whichever is less), should something occur during your rental period.
Travel Accident Insurance
This type of insurance is for those rare, fatal instances where the worst occurs. Through Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance, Citi offers your family members and loved ones with insurance coverage up to $500,000 if you die in a Common Carrier accident while traveling. This insurance is also provided should you lose a limb, or lose your sight, speech or hearing.
90-Day Return Protection
You can never be too certain or safe when it comes to return protection. If you try to return an item purchased with your Citi Double Cash card within 90 days of purchase, and the merchant is unwilling to accept the return, Citi will refund you the purchase price up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year.
Drawbacks of the Citi Double Cash Card
If you are someone who either travels internationally or makes overseas purchases, you may want to hold off on applying for the Citi Double Cash credit card. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all international spending, which can really add up if you happen to use your Citi Double Cash credit card while vacationing in Europe. Instead, you may want to check out these cards for international travel.
Is the Citi Double Cash Card Right for You?
If you want a simple and easy-to-use credit card with no annual fee, the Citi® Double Cash Card should be your top choice. There are no bonus categories to limit the amount of 2% cash back you can get. Apply now and start saving.
Summary of the Best First Credit Cards Available
While credit cards issuers and companies like Apple are joining together to create credit cards for consumers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Double Cash are some of the best first credit cards you can get. They have a number of benefits, are consistently easy to use, and can even help you save. Decide which of these best first credit cards is more beneficial to you and apply today!
Learn more: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn more: Citi® Double Cash Card
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.