Credit card perks in California that help you save money on your purchases include free balance transfer fees, cashback rewards, travel points, finance charges waivers, buyer protection, FICO scores, air travel, and celebrity endorsements, among others.
When applying for a new credit card, take the time to compare what kind of perks each offers and choose the one that gives you the most benefits over other cards in its class. You can also ask about promotional offers, though some are only available for a limited time. But, again, choose the ones that offer you the most value in terms of perks.
Look into all the promotional offer your credit card company has to offer when it’s time to renew your contract. For example, some companies will waive finance charges or increase your cashback percentage if you sign up for automatic bill payments and other services.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred: Best for Cashback
The card offers 6% cashback at supermarkets (up to $6000, then it’s 1%), 3% on gas and department stores, 1% on everything else. $75 annual fee waived the first year. You can also get a bonus if you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the same month.
American Express card: Best for restaurants
Both the Everyday Preferred and Gold Card offer bonus points for restaurant purchases. The bonus is usually 2x, but it can occasionally be 4x or 5x, depending on your usage. You also get a 20% bonus if you have 30 transactions in a month, so you can get 4.4x points if you have the proper setup. These cards also have bonus points for grocery stores and other places.
Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for Groceries
It has a $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in three months. You get 1.5% on all purchases, thus gaining a bonus of $7.50 per month.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Best for Travel
If you travel a lot and staying at hotels, Chase Sapphire Preferred is probably the best option. It has 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in three months (the equivalent of $500 cash or $625 towards travel). The annual fee of $95 is not applicable for the first year. You get 2x points on travel and dining expenses only and 1 point on everything else.
United Mileage Plus Explorer card: best credit for airline rewards
United Mileage Plus Explorer card is an airline-specific card. The card gives you free checked baggage and priority seating and frequently offers bonus miles with certain purchases. The United card also gives you a free Global Entry pass every five years.
Journey Student Rewards: best for college students
The Journey Rewards from Capital One is a top pick for college students. It comes with 2% cashback on all purchases, and you get a 50% bonus every time you settle your statement in full using the card. Therefore, it means that if you pay in full every month, then you’re getting 4% cashback instead of 2%. In addition, the card does not charge an annual fee, and you can also get a credit increase of 25% if you make five purchases every month.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards has no annual fee and gives you 1% cashback on all purchases (2% on gas stations and department stores). The catch with this card is that you get 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles after opening the account. You can also earn a $100 bonus if you spend $500 within the first 90 days of opening the account.
When applying for a new credit card, take the time to compare offers and choose the best credit card perks in California that give you the most benefits over other cards in its class. You can also ask about promotional offers that are only available for a limited time.
When making purchases, use your credit card instead of cash or check to take advantage of the perks in your account. Some benefits may not be realizable until you purchase with your card, so don’t spend more than you intended to get the benefit on an item.
If you have a few favorite credit cards, use them together to maximize your purchasing power. For example, if you have a cashback card and a gambling card, buy only your most expensive items with the cashback card and use the gambling card on everything else. The reward is an easy way to save money on every purchase.