Amazon Prime Day is scheduled for July 15-16 this year. What are the best credit cards to use to boost your savings even further? Here are my picks among cards that offer cash back, welcome bonuses, 0-percent APR deals and special rewards for grocery spending.
Amazon Prime Day (er, days) is scheduled for July 15-16 this year. What are the best credit cards to use to boost your savings even further?
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is a natural fit because Prime members get 5 percent cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. If you’re considering signing up for Prime to get in on the Prime Day deals bonanza, you might want to add this card, too. Amazon sweetens the pot with a $70 gift card for new cardholders. The card itself has no annual fee, but you must pay the $119 annual Prime membership fee to get it.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card could potentially be even more lucrative. You can change its 3 percent cash back category every month if you wish, and online shopping is one of the options (there’s a $2,500 combined limit each quarter on the 3 percent category and the 2 percent offering, which is grocery stores and wholesale clubs; cardholders earn 1 percent cash back after that).
With Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program the 3 percent category can potentially become 5.25 percent if you keep $100,000 or more with the bank, 4.5 percent if you have at least $50,000 in deposits and investments and 3.75 percent if you maintain a balance of at least $20,000.
See related: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
0 percent interest
You don’t have to pay any interest on new purchases for the first 18 billing cycles with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card (after that, the regular APR is 14.24 percent to 25.24 percent variable). I like 0 percent introductory APRs when you’re confident you can pay the full amount before the clock runs out. If you’re disciplined, this strategy can save you more money than rewards or a welcome bonus (this card doesn’t offer either of those).
But make sure not to use this as an excuse for overspending and going into debt. Used correctly, this 0 percent introductory offer can save you a bundle, especially if you’re buying expensive stuff like electronics and furniture.
I love getting rewards for money I would have spent anyway. So if you’re already planning to shop ‘til you drop on Prime Day, seize the opportunity to sign up for a new credit card with a generous sign-up bonus.
The most eye-popping bonuses typically require you to spend $3,000 or $4,000 within the first three months, so I’ll focus on spending thresholds that are easier to meet and offer solid ongoing value. Plus, none of these charge an annual fee.
The aforementioned Bank of America Cash Rewards card has an introductory online cash rewards bonus of $200 if you spend at least $1,000 within 90 days of opening the account.
The Uber Visa Card gives $100 if you spend $500 in the first 90 days. Beyond that, I really like this card for dining (4 points per dollar spent), travel (3 points per dollar spent on airfare, hotels and vacation home rentals) and online purchases (2 points per dollar spent).
The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a unique bonus structure: new cardholders get 3 percent cash back on everything they buy in the first year (up to $20,000 in purchases). That’s worth up to $600. After that, the earn rate is 1.5 percent. (This offer is no longer available.)
The Discover it® Miles card is similar. It offers 1.5 miles per dollar on general purchases, and those miles can be used for cash back. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all of the rewards you earned.
While most of the Prime Day focus will be on Amazon, don’t forget that its subsidiary Whole Foods will have special deals of its own. I mentioned that the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5 percent cash back at Whole Foods. You can do even better with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in annual spending with 1 percent cash back after that). There’s a $95 annual fee, plus a $250 welcome bonus if you spend $1,000 within the first three months.
Stacking discounts is an amazing way to save money. Prime Day will already have lots of great sales. Double, triple and quadruple dip if you can. Use the right credit card for rewards, a 0 percent interest promotion, or a welcome bonus – or some combination of the three. Finally, click through a shopping portal such as Top Cashback or BeFrugal to score up to 10 percent more cash back.