By Beverly Blair Harzog
These days, retirement isn’t easy to generalize. Some retired folks are doing well financially and even travelling. But others are struggling to make ends meet while living on a fixed income. Many even have credit card debt due to high medical bills. Here are some credit cards that address a few scenarios retirees commonly face.
If you’re on a fixed income, but not in credit card debt, this cash back credit card can give your monthly budget a boost:
This card was recently named Best Cash Back Card in America on Credit.com. It won due to its low costs and generous cash back rewards. After your first purchase, you get 5,000 bonus points, which is equal to $50. Get up to 5 per cent cash back on rotating categories, such as groceries, gas and dining. There’s a quarterly cap of $1,500 on categories, but after you reach the cap, you still get 1 per cent cash back. You also get 1 per cent cash back on all other purchases.
If you have credit card debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring your balance to a card that offers a low introductory APR:
You get a zero per cent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months. After that, you’ll get a (V) APR between 11.99 and 22.99 per cent. You also get a zero per cent intro APR for 21 months on purchases, but I suggest you use the time to pay down your debt, not add to it. There is a 3 per cent balance transfer fee.
If you feel your debt has gotten out of control, don’t hesitate to seek credit counseling. You can reach out to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and they’ll suggest a counselor in your area.
If you fall into the group of retirees that wants to enhance monthly income and also travel frequently, here’s a new card to check out:
With this card, you get 1 per cent cash back on all purchases. Plus, you earn 3 per cent cash back on travel-related purchases. There are no limits to the amount of cash you can earn. The variable APR starts at 13.24 per cent, which isn’t too bad for a rewards card. But still, you don’t want to carry a balance at that rate.
Here’s something I like about this card: Chase donates $0.03 for every purchase made with the card to the Drive to End Hunger, which is a national campaign spearheaded by AARP and the AARP Foundation to address the problem of hunger among older Americans. So while you’re accumulating rewards, you’re also giving back to society.