In the credit card deals arena, much of the marketing muscle tends to go toward promoting “headliner” card offers: easy to market 1% cash back cards with broad appeal and, of course, those higher-end status cards backed by glitzy ad campaigns.
There are better deals to be had, however, if you dig deeper. This year, some of the best deals in my opinion have been found in relatively lightly marketed hotel rewards and airline rewards credit cards. Here are three you should have on your radar, especially if you plan to travel this summer:
Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature — A phenomenal hotel card, and here’s why: you get 40,000 bonus Hilton HHonors points after spending $1,000 within the first 4 months. So, if you plan to spend more than $250 per month using your card, you’ll net a huge points bounty. The points are good for “free rooms at more than 3,700 hotels worldwide” within the Hilton family. Also, there’s no annual fee, which is fairly unusual for a higher-end hotel rewards card.
Capital One Venture Rewards — OK, it’s true, this one is a stranger to no one; it has a big TV and print media campaign behind it this season. But in an environment where some are wondering how much value air “miles” actually have these days, Capital One is doing something unusual: 2 miles per $1 spent. And those miles don’t expire. They can be used toward travel on ANY airline, or toward any other travel expense. And best of all, they are currently offering a 10,000 bonus miles promotion. If I could only keep one card in my walet for the remainder of the year, it’d be Venture Rewards.
Barclaycard Ring — This one is unusual also (in a good way). Barclays is making a bold bet with Ring that there’s a market for a credit card with stunningly simple terms. As the card’s web site explains, “We’ve made the terms of Barclaycard Ring simple and easy to understand. You’ll have one low 8% variable APR for all of your balances, whether they’re from purchases or balance transfers. And we’re not going to confuse you with fees either. Here’s what you need to know: there are no annual fees, the late fee is a maximum of $25, the cash advance fee is $1 per transaction and the foreign country fee is 1%. This way you know exactly what you’re getting.”
I love how the published APR is 8%, and not a “marketing-friendly” 7.99% or 7.95%. The Ring card also has a beautiful design that resembles some of Barclays’ U.K. cards.
Speaking of credit card deals you probably haven’t heard of: have you ever wondered which credit cards are used by billionaires and oil tycoons? Take a peek at two of the most selective card programs in the world.
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Disclosures: We’re a credit card promotions site, and as such we maintain financial relationships with numerous banks and financial institutions, including some of the offers and cards mentioned or featured herein. This article originally appeared in slightly different form on Credit Card Outlaw.
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