We endeavor to have the best Best Offers page on the Internet. That’s not a small task; at the moment, there are 155 credit cards on our Best Offers page. A week rarely passes when there aren’t necessary updates to offers, benefits, links, descriptions, names, or other details and we do our best to keep up with those changes. As I was doing some site maintenance yesterday, I stumbled on a few credit cards that were absent from our list but warranted places on our Best Offers page. Knowing that many readers look to our Best Offers page as a resource, I thought it was worth a post today to alert readers as to a few new additions that caught my eye.
What makes a “Best Offer”?
Before getting to the cards we added, I wanted to quickly answer the above question for newcomers to this site:
First, Frequent Miler believes in sharing the best publicly-available offers, whether or not we earn a commission. Sometimes (many times, in fact) this means that we have affiliate links that we do not list since there are other non-affiliate public links to better offers. The cards in each sub-section on the Best Offers page are listed in order of first-year value based on the value of the welcome offer and other easily-quantifiable first-year benefits after accounting for the opportunity cost of spending to meet the welcome offer versus your next-best option (earning 3% cash back since there are a number of ways to do that in the first year as an alternative). See this post for more on how those calculations are determined. The short story is that we try to be as objective as possible in determining the value of offers and then only list the best ones that are publicly-available.
Secondly, we generally do not list cards on out Best Offers page unless they offer some sort of intro / welcome bonus worth at least $100. There are some exceptions; for example, while the Citi Double Cash sometimes comes with a welcome offer, at other times it does not. Since the card offers a benchmark rewards rate of an effective 2% back (1% when you make purchases and 1% when you pay the bill) and especially since those points are now transferable to other Citi ThankYou cards (and onward to airline partners), it logically makes sense to list that card. Likewise, the Costco Anywhere Visa is listed despite no bonus because it offers 4% back on gas (on up to $7K / year) and 3% on travel & dining with no annual fee. However, most cards listed have a welcome offer worth at least $100 (notably, the first-year value may still be less than that based on the calculations mentioned in the previous paragraph).
Based on those benchmarks of either a welcome offer worth at least $100 or benefits that make the card particularly noteworthy, I made a few additions to our Best Offers page yesterday.
We have added the following cards to our Best Offers page. Click each card name to go to our card-specific page and learn more, but I’ll summarize each below the key info here to explain why we included them.
First up is the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa, which is a basic cash-back card that should have been listed on our Best Offers page for quite a while. This omission was purely oversight. Current bonus information dictates that this one easily warranted a place on our Best Offers page:
As it says in the summary above, there is alternatively a current targeted offer good for 3% cash back for the first year. Indeed, receiving that offer in the mail is what led me to notice its absence from our Best Offers page. That 3% bonus is less exciting than it seems: since the card ordinarily earns 1.5% cash back everywhere, the bonus works out to be 1.5% on up to $30K in purchases. In other words, you’ll spend thirty thousand dollars to earn a bonus of $450. By contrast, while the offer above is worth much less, it requires exponentially less spend. Most readers with expenses high enough to consider the 3% back offer would be better off opening a couple of cards with decent welcome offers rather than concentrating $30K in purchases on this card.
On the other hand, for those interested in the current welcome offer on the card, it could be a good opportunity for a proportionally decent bonus for low-spenders.
The next card we added is the Schwab Investor card from American Express. While this card is not notably rewarding for ongoing spend, it currently offers a welcome bonus that meets our threshold to make the Best Offers page. For those with a Schwab account who are looking to add a cash back bonus to their money belt, this might make sense. Despite not carrying an annual fee, it doesn’t seem like a keeper to me since it doesn’t offer much for the long-run.
The BBVA Clear Points card came onto my radar thanks to a tip from a reader alerting us to the choose-your-own-adventure nature of the quarterly bonus categories. Note that while the fine print on the website indicates that the welcome offer was valid for applications through 12/31/19, we included it here because the website continues to list the offer. You’ll likely need to apply via phone or in-branch anyway, which should give you an opportunity to confirm the bonus.
The interesting aspect of this card is the ability to pick a quarterly 3x category (and a 2x category, though 2x is not very notable) from a list of ten options (I believe the options are listed here). You must choose your quarterly bonus categories before the quarter begins or rewards will revert to 1x everywhere. What makes this card potentially interesting is that there is no cap on the quarterly earnings in your chosen 3x category. It’s not without some headaches: the terms of the rewards program note that points expire 36 months after earning them, which I think means that you’ll potentially have points expiring on a rolling basis, and all points are forfeited if they close your account (and without knowing how tolerant they are in terms of their 3x categories, that is a consideration). This one seems like a fringe option for the adventurous who want to try something new.
The fourth card hit my radar yesterday thanks to an update from Doctor of Credit. While I wasn’t previously familiar with the Affinity Cash Rewards card, the combination of a decent $200 bonus with 5% back on bookstores (including Amazon) and rotating quarterly categories (all with no annual fee) made this card sound like a pretty solid option for those looking for cash back and quarterly categories.
Like with the BBVA card above, the bonus categories do not appear to be capped. What’s more, the fine print on the landing page for the 5% categories indicates that the 5% on those categories is a bonus on top of normal earnings, which would make this card a hands-down leader in quarterly categories that also earn an ordinary category bonus on the card. Having no experience with Affinity, it is hard to gauge its reliability, but this one could certainly be worth it for those who will spend a lot in this year’s quarterly categories.
Now and then, a reader will reach out to say, “I’ve signed up for all of the credit cards. Now what?”. The first reaction in our minds is always, “All of them?”. That reaction is because there are so many offers available that could be of interest for one reason or another and despite having 150+ cards on our best offers page, we occasionally stumble on even more offers like the ones above that we just added to the site within the past day. Of course, some offers will not be appealing whether due to their size or the issuer or their inability to fit your goals. However, when you get to that point where you’re asking, “Now what”?, the next step is often to look for the cards that best reward the type of spend you do, and sometimes these sorts of oddball cards can be just the thing to fit your needs. It’s always worth keeping an eye out for the opportunities you didn’t notice you were missing.