Credit Cards

There are lots of reasons why you might want a credit card, this site primarily focuses on credit card rewards. If you’re reading this site then it’s assumed that you will always pay your credit card bill on time and and in full to avoid late payment fees and the high interest rates that credit cards charge. If you can do that then credit cards can be extremely lucrative. A lot (but not all) credit cards offer a rewards program these days, but the difference between the best and worse cards is huge.

Generally there are two main types of credit card bonuses:

  • Sign up bonuses. These are a one time reward you receive for signing up for a card and meeting a minimum spend requirement (e.g spend $1,000 within your first three months of being a card member and receive a sign up bonus of $200).
  • On going spend/category bonuses. These reward you every time you spend one dollar, in some cases you’ll earn the same rate on all purchases but some cards offer spending bonuses for specific categories (e.g earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 3% cash back on grocery store purchases)

Sign up bonuses are typically the most lucrative and you can earn enough from a single sign up bonus for a round trip flight or multiple nights at a hotel. That being said if you spend a lot of money in a specific category it might make sense to get a card that earns at a high rate in that category. Or if you just spend a lot of money in general then you could get a card that earns at a high rate on all purchases. It’s important to remember that you still want to be able to pay your card off in full every month to avoid any interest charges otherwise any rewards you earn are quickly counteracted. It’s also a good idea to remember that some cards also come with annual fees.

The Doctor of Credit Difference

Unlike other sites we take putting our readers first seriously. One of the ways we do this is by not using credit card affiliate links, this means we don’t have any incentive to suggest one credit card or the other and will always share the best deals with our readers.

Helpful Resources

If you’re just getting started in the credit card rewards hobby or your a seasoned veteran then chances are we have some useful information for you.

General Information

Sign Up Bonuses

We keep a few pages regularly updated that you’ll find useful if you chase sign up bonuses.

Ongoing Spend

If you spend a lot of money in a specific category, then these posts will show you what the best card is for each category:

Questions?

Do you have any questions? If so feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible, although you’re probably find that most questions have already been answered on the site (using the search bar is your friend). If you like credit card rewards then chances are you will probably like bank account bonuses and high interest savings accounts as well, so be sure to check out those sections on our website.

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SkyOne is offering 5% cash back on all grocery store purchases, restaurants, and most streaming services. Plus, NO annual fee, NO cash advance fee, and NO balance transfer fee. Check it out here: https://www.skyone.org/spend/credit-cards/platinum-visa-card-promotion/ Hurry, the offer ends July 31.

DirtyLilRat
DirtyLilRat

Is the general rule of thumb still that one should open multiple cards in one day (rather than a longer period of time) in order to minimize the negative impact of your credit score?

anki
anki

Chase 5/24 rule: I got a credit card despite having opened around 10 accounts in the past 2 years.
I got a Chase “pre selected” offer for a card. I was aware of the 5/24 rule, so I was almost sure that it would be denied. But the 200$ promo bonus was too attractive to not try. My score is around 720. I applied towards the end of the application date, when the offer had almost expired. I have heard that the card companies are required to accept a certain minimum percentage of pre approved offers. If that is the case, they might have almost finished their share of denials before they got to me lol. Just a theory.

Teri
Teri

Last night someone apparently hacked into my Macy’s account. I happened to wake up early (6:00am), called Macy’s. Got a recording saying they would be open at 11am ET. I finally was able to speak to a human and asked them to stop the shipment. That I had not placed the order, did not know anyone at the “Ship to” address and had never lived in NY City. They said the order couldn’t be stopped. And within 90 days the fraud department would have an answer. I have never experienced such bad service. 1st – I can’t speak to a human for several hours. 2nd – They can’t stop a shipment that I am certain is fraud. This does not instill confidence is these people. I am wondering if anyone has experienced something like this?

Holly
Holly

I have had the same problem at Macy’s speaking to a human. I have had similar problems getting the police and the credit card companies involved when I knew who the person was who was committing the fraud and how to find him. (I knew because one of the defrauded businesses, a steak company, sent me an invoice at my address saying the shipment was on the way and showing where the shipment was going and to whom.) There was “only $1500” involved according to them and since I had not been charged by the credit card company or suffered injury, the police were not interested.

Jack - NJ
Jack - NJ

William Charles When do you recommend cancelling a card? The card I’m considering to cancel is the TD Cash Card, and has no annual fee, high credit limit, and only held for 3 months. However, might be churnable, so makes for an easy $200 for 500 spend. Thoughts?

John M
John M

If I add my spouse to one of my cards as an authorized user, will that inhibit her ability to get the same deal or otherwise count against her for things like 5/24? Thanks.

Chuck

She can still get the same bonus. It doesn’t really count against 5/24, but the automated system might count it, more details here https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-524-rule-explained-detail-need-know/#Authorized_Users_Reconsideration

nancy
nancy

I was just paid my Credit Card bonus of $500 from Capital One. I must say I really like their website and quick payment of cashback.

a
a

looking to start a website cause I have been helping people with credit cards for over 5 years.
how can i get paid for people clicking thru my link for an application so i can get reimbursed for all the time i give them without charging them ?

Charlotte D Brown
Charlotte D Brown

I did apply for the Reflex card and received the card! wish i had seen this blog earlier. What can i do to get rid of it?

tuphat
tuphat

WSJ article (paywall): “Consumers have figured out how to game rewards credit cards—and that’s a big problem for banks.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/rewards-credit-cards-gained-a-fanatic-followingnow-banks-are-pulling-back-11546365926

Excerpt:

The Sapphire Reserve card proved great for business for Brian Kelly, who started the rewards website The Points Guy as a hobby in 2010, while working in human resources at Morgan Stanley .

His website helped spawn an ecosystem of rewards fanatics across the internet who swap tips about card deals. The banks covet his favorable reviews of their cards and often turn to the site to promote them. In December, Mr. Kelly hosted a card awards ceremony in New York City, sponsored by JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and others.

JPMorgan had approached Mr. Kelly in spring 2016 to ask how his company would market an upscale card it had in the works. He learned more details about the card, which turned out to be the Sapphire Reserve, a couple of months later while on vacation in Tanzania with his parents. The bank agreed to pay The Points Guy each time readers visiting the website started an application and received the card. The site earned millions of dollars from the card in the months after it was introduced.