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The Best Credit Cards of 2015

Different credit card holders are going to look for different advantages when selecting a credit card, so it’s hard to say, “This is the card on the market”. With that in mind, I’ve decided to look at three different types of programs offered today: student credit cards, cards with the best rewards programs, and those with the lower rate APR.

This covers a lot of the questions that consumers might be looking for when they’re selecting credit card. Since it may be the first MasterCard or VISA you’ll ever hold, let’s start with college student credit cards.

In this article, I’ll discuss Blue from American Express and Citi Thank You from the Citibank Group. These are not the only options, but they’re good ones for university students trying to build their FICO score.

The Best Student Credit Cards

College Students and Stress

Most Credit Card Companies Have Special Cards for Students.

The Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students offers bonus points for college book purchases and high grades, while it also gives points when the university student pays their bill on time and doesn’t go over the limit. That’s right: a credit card which wants you to stay under the limit and avoid the biggest fees.

The standard APR on this option is high (16.24%), so you want to make sure you’re a responsible borrower. But the APR is around what most new debtors are going to be paying, anyway, and if you can stay within your budget and get good grades, you get extra credit for it. You earn 25 bonus reward points every month you pay your bill on time, as well as 25 rewards points every month you stay within your credit limit.

And when you use your Visa Card for College Students in a book store, restaurant, video rental store, music store or cinema, you get 5 rewards points for every $1 you spend. This means you’ll be getting bonus points for those outrageously high college book purchases you make.

Bonus Points For Grades

  • 4.00 – 2,000 bonus points twice a year.
  • 3.99 to 3.50 – 750 bonus points twice a year.
  • 3.49 to 3.00 – 500 bonus points twice a year.
  • 2.99 to 2.00 – 250 bonus points twice a year.

So you should be getting a few bonus points, even if you don’t get very high grades. If you go lower than 2.00, you probably have other concerns besides your credit card.

In other words, you can earn up to 5,200 rewards points with the Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students, along with whatever bonus points you get from purchases in book stores and on your personal entertainment costs. College is a time where you learn you responsibilities, and this college student option not only reinforces responsible behavior, but gives you a small break when you decide to blow off a little steam. By the way, if you need alternative ways to finance your college, you might check out SoFi Social Financing at the bottom of the page I just linked to.

Best Rewards Programs

The problem with rating rewards programs is they change all the time. In the past six months, all the major companies have radically altered many of their practices and programs – including their rewards programs. So if you’re reading this a few months out from posting, you might check out on your own again. I’ll try to point out the best rewards program of the moment.

Blue from American Express

Blue from American Express is a leading student card. The Amex Membership Rewards has the most well-rounded rewards program presently. You get a nice selection of rewards and aren’t pigeon-holed into one or two specific rewards. Frequent flyer rewards tend to be the hardest to qualify for, because they’re more expensive for the various firms to organize. At the moment, Amex Membership Rewards is the only rewards program that allows card holders to transfer points directly into the frequent-flier mile program. Note that this option is only available with the American Express and there is a yearly fee to go along with their charge cards.

Citi Thank You Network

The Citi Thank You Card maintains its reputation for creative points programs, such as paying bonus points for having your checking or savings accounts at Citibank. Also, you can transfer your reward points directly to paying off your Citibank balance or paying off your student loans, as long as these are through Citibank. Granted, these are self-serving policies, since each encourages you to handle your financing through Citibank, but just because they’re self-serving, does not mean they don’t have advantages you can use. Keep in mind that Citi doesn’t offer quite as generous of a rewards program as American Express presently, but Citibank rewards programs are competitive.

Low Rate Credit Cards

Finally, if you’re searching for nothing more than the lowest APR, you’ll probably need to search out the smaller banks. Don’t expect to get the lowest rates possible unless you have a really good credit score. Also, don’t expect to be issued a card if you have bad credit and couldn’t stand up to a basic credit check.

That’s because smaller banks have a smaller stack of chips. They can less afford to take risks that you’re going to default. But if you have a good credit score and all you’re looking for is the lowest rate possible for your credit card, search through local banks in your area. If you want options to research, issuers like Simmons First Visa Platinum, Capital One Platinum Prestige, and Pulaski Bank Credit Card (Visa Classic, Standard MasterCard, Gold MasterCard) are brands you should consider.

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