Happy Travel Tuesday! In last week’s #CobaltTravels post, I shared the six credit cards that I currently have in my wallet plus how I use them to accumulate points and miles to put towards travel. In response to the post, I had a few people reach out who are new to the points and miles game and new to credit cards altogether.
First, if you’re intimidated by credit cards and what they might do to your credit score, your finances etc., READ THIS POST. I dispel the number one myth about credit cards there.
Now that we have that out of the way, if you’re looking to dip your toes into the points and miles game, today I’m sharing the best FIRST credit card you need in your wallet.
If you’ve been a slave to your debit card (read, not earning ANY rewards on the money you spend), you need to ditch it, like right now. The first credit card I recommend getting is the Chase Freedom card. Why? Glad you asked!
- There’s no annual fee. One less thing to worry about! You can compare the Freedom with other no annual fee cards here!
- You’ll receive a $150 bonus after you spend $500 within the first 3 months of being approved for the card.
- You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase.
- You’ll earn 5% cash back on bonus categories each month (like groceries, gas, etc.).
The cash back on the Chase Freedom card will show up as Ultimate Rewards points in your account.
The Only Drawback
The only drawback to the Chase Freedom as compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve is that you can’t transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners. You either have to convert the points to cash back or shop and/or book travel through their portal.
BUT once you’re comfortable with the credit card and once you’ve built up a little bit of credit history, you can then apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Once you have either of those cards (Preferred or Reserve), you’ll be able to transfer the Ultimate Rewards points out of your Chase Freedom account and into the Sapphire account. You’ll then be able to transfer the points directly to Chase partners like United, Southwest, and Hyatt, just to name a few.
One caveat that you always need to keep in mind is that you MUST be able to pay off your entire balance each month (each time a statement is due). If you aren’t able to do this, you’ll end up paying more in interest than it’s worth to earn the Ultimate Rewards points.
Questions?! Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Disclaimer: If you click and/or sign up for a credit card through certain links on this site or any of my related social media platforms, I may make a commission from that click and/or purchase. As always, all opinions are my own.