Here’s my recommendation on the best rewards credit cards to have in your wallet. But before you jump in an get one, you should decide if you should own credit cards first. It’s important that if you won credit cards that you use them for the right reasons and in the right ways. So make sure to check out my article on this before proceeding further.
With my rules in mind here’s some credit cards I’d recommend and why? These are cards I’d consider keepers. They sit in my wallet now and will as long as they continue to offer good value.
- $195 annual fee
- Free return virgin flight to selected destinations.
- 3 MR points per dollar spent at major shopping centres
- 2 MR points per dollar spent at major fuel retailers
- 1 MR point on most other purchases. (0.5 MR point on utilities and govt charges)
- Bonus 15k Bonus MR points on joining and spending $550 in the first 2 months
- Some insurances and purchase protections
- SIGN UP HERE (I receive MR points if you follow this link, apply and are approved – thanks for your support)
I rate this my most valuable card. There’s a $195 fee with the card, but they give you a free return trip on virgin to selected cities. This essentially covers the cost of the card plus some. You can use this yourself or gift this to others, but you are not meant to sell it.
In addition, American express run a shop small promotion a couple of times a year that gives you a $10 refund on purchases over $20. I spend right on $20 at places I go to anyway and get a 50% discount. You can do that up to 10 times, or up to $100 value and you can double that with a free companion card for your partner, $200. There are also occasional money back offers that I use if was going to spend at that store anyway. All that to say that this card pays me back way more than the $195 fee. Rule 4 covered.
It also earns 3 Membership reward points for every dollar spent at the major supermarkets and 2 points at most petrol stations. That is, the places we spend the most money, they give you the most points. It’s 1 point most other places. The only negative is only 0.5 point for utilities bills and govt charges (eg. phone, internet, electricity, etc). So don’t use this card for those expenses. Typically, you can get a points sign up bonus as well, at the moment it’s 15 000 points.
If you’ve never heard of membership rewards points, I’d value these far more than virgin or Qantas points. They can transfer to multiple airline partners (including virgin but not Qantas) that can allow you to get maximum value from your points. If you do send them to virgin you can wait for their 15% bonus offers to maximize the transfer. If you want to see how best to use those points, I’d recommend checking out the Point Hack’s blog, that’s their thing.
For these reasons this is my most valued card.
Here’s a few others that are worth considering:
- No Annual Fee
- No Currency conversion or foreign transaction fees
- Sign up Here (just a link, no referral fees here)
There’s no annual fee but best of all no currency conversion or foreign transaction fees. There’s no rewards on this one, but most cards charge you around a 3% currency conversion fee, so this is a worthwhile card for making international purchases. That 3% is a greater return than most rewards cards. It also has some travel insurance. So this is the travel and international purchases card of choice. Worth having in your wallet.
- $129 annual fee, 50% off first year
- $129 yearly travel credit for travel on Virgin Australia
- 30 000 bonus velocity points with minimum spend $1500/month for 3 months (current promotion ends 31st August 2016)
- 0.66 velocity points per dollar for first $1500, then 0.5 points per dollar
- Sign Up here (just a link – no referral fees here)
Again a $129 fee but they give you a $129 travel credit and with half annual fee, that’s a good deal. So if you would be taking a virgin flight anyway, this one pays for itself. You can also get 30 000 bonus points but have to meet a hefty monthly spend. I’d value 30 000 points at about $300 worth of travel, so worth getting while the promotion lasts (currently till August 31st 2016). It’s not the best points earner around at 0.66 velocity points per dollar spent up to $1500 and then 0.5 velocity points for spending over that. However, it does earn points and is a visa card, so more widely usable than AMEX.
So there you have it, an AMEX with great points earning potential and rewards, a card for travel and international transactions and a VISA card for other everyday spend. Three cards worth having in your wallet if you can keep the rules.
Now I do have some other reward credit cards in my wallet that are better point earners, but most of these I’ll probably get rid of when they are ask me for an annual fee, as you know, I don’t pay those if they don’t give me something of equal or better value in kind. Keep an eye on the site as I post opportunities for some great point bonuses from time to time. If you don’t want to miss out I’d suggest signing up for my regular newsletter.
One warning on credit cards. Be aware that every time you apply for a card that your credit rating is affected and goes down. So take your time. One card every so often and enjoy your rewards. As always this is my opinion, not professional advice.