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    8 Credit Cards To Get If You Love Free Money

    These cards carry no fee and come with great perks.

    This is my attempt at making the mind-boggling process of choosing a cash-earning credit card super simple.

    Before we get into it, here are just some basic credit card tips before you go opening a bunch of random credit card accounts.

    - If you care about your credit score, don't just go randomly opening and closing credit card accounts. You'll want to research and tread carefully because closing accounts with credit history can damage your credit score. Here's a good article to read on how to avoid getting dinged from closing accounts.

    - If you're not a responsible credit card user and are prone to overspending or making late payments, your cash back rewards will be minuscule compared to what the interest and late fees will end up costing you. That might sound obvious, but...wanted to get it out of the way. If you don't think you can handle the responsibility of paying on time, you might want to consider the Petal Visa card or the Apple credit card, both of which tout zero fees (no late fees, no annual fees, no foreign transaction fee).

    Also, I'm not a financial advisor and can't guarantee how much money you'll actually end up making from signing up for these cards. I just love researching credit cards and trying to figure out how I can maximize my own returns.

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    All of the following credit cards have NO ANNUAL FEE and cost nothing if you are a responsible credit card user.

    The example budgets and spending habits I give in this post are by no means meant to be a reflection of what you or anyone else is supposed to spend or make. All incomes and lifestyles are different — I chose easy round numbers so you can hopefully assess how much you could make back without having to bust out a calculator.

    And just a disclaimer, this article was written April 16, 2019, so some credit card terms and bonuses may change.

    1. The Citi Double Cash Card gives you 1% back on everything you spend, and another 1% back when you pay it off.

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    If you spend $1000/month, you'll end up with $240 by the end of the year. So basically, you get 2% back on everything you spend.

    Get more information on the Citi Double Cash Card.

    2. The Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you 3% cash back on everything you spend (up to $20,000) for the first year. After that, the cash back percentage goes down to 1.5%.

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    If you spend $1000/month, you'd earn $360 in free money the first year, and then $180 every year thereafter.

    Get more information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.

    3. Another option is the Chase Freedom card, which gives you a $150 bonus after the first 3 months* of opening the card, 5% cash back in a pre-determined category that changes every quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else.

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    *You have to spend $500 within the first 3 months in order to get that $150.

    If you spend $1000/month, you'd also earn $100 per year.

    If you also spend $250/month in each pre-determined category, you'll also make $150 per year.

    Totaling $400 in your first year of using this card. Get more information about the Chase Freedom card.

    Here's what the calendar looks like so far.

    4. The Discover it Cash Back card also gives you a whopping 5% cash back in a pre-determined category that changes each quarter. For your first year, they will DOUBLE your cash back amount at the end of the year. On top of that, you get 1% cash back on everything else.

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    If you spend $250/month in each designated category, you'll make $150, plus an extra $150 because Discover matches your earned amount as a bonus. If you spend $1000/month, you'd also earn $100 per year.

    That's $400 in your first year!

    Also, if you're wondering if businesses actually take Discover, almost all U.S. businesses do! It's accepted more widely than American Express. It's less accepted overseas, which you might want to take into consideration if you spend a lot of time in non-U.S. countries.

    For 2019, the categories are: grocery stores for Q1, gas stations/Uber/Lyft for Q2, restaurants for Q3, and Amazon.com for Q4.

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    This makes the Discover card a great supplemental card if you spend big on most of these categories. I would couple this card with another card that gets me cash back or points on all purchases I make.

    5. The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card gives you $200 after 3 months* of opening the card, 3% back on all groceries, 2% back on gas, and 1% back on everything else.

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    *You have to spend at least $1000 on your card during this time period.

    In your first year:

    If you spend $200 in groceries a month, you'd get $72 back.

    If you spend $100 in gas a month, you'd get $24 back.

    If you spend $1000 in additional spend each month, you'd get $100 back.

    Ostensibly, you'd be making $396 in your first year including the $200 bonus.

    Get more information about the Blue Cash Everyday AmEx card.

    6. The Capital One Quicksilver card comes with a $150 bonus after the first 3 months* and 1.5% cash back on every single purchase.

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    *You have to spend $500 within the first 3 months in order to get that $150.

    If you spend $1000/month, you'd also earn $180 per year.

    Totaling $330 including the one-time bonus for your first year.

    This card also has features typically associated with fancier annual-fee cards like no foreign transaction fees and collision damage waiver on car rentals. Another great thing about this card is that they accept *average* credit scores (630-689), if your credit score happens to be less than stellar.

    There's actually this cool little earnings calculator on their site.

    7. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard is very similar to the Capital One Quicksilver. Same $150 bonus, same 1.5% cash back rate.

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    There are two main differences: The minimum spend to get that $150 is a lot higher ($2500 in the first 3 months), and every year, you get an extra 10% on all the cash back you've earned, ostensibly raising the rate to something more like 1.65%.

    Get more information about the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard.

    8. Then, of course, there's the Apple credit card, which won't be out until this summer, but features 3% back on Apple products, 2% back on Apple Pay purchases, and 1% back on purchases made with the physical card.

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    No one buys THAT many Apple products, but 2% back on Apple Pay purchases is pretty cool, especially if you live in a big city where more everyday grocery stores and pharmacies accept Apple Pay.

    One big feature of the Apple credit card is the financial health app that it comes with, with machine learning features that ensure that you might never look at your transaction history again and be all, "WTF was this charge??" There are also no late fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no fees for going over the credit limit.

    Get more information about the Apple Credit Card here.

    The Amazon Prime card isn't a cash-back card, but you can earn serious Amazon credit back if you're an avid Amazon/Whole Foods shopper. Enough to pay back your Prime membership and then some.

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    You get a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval, 5% back from Amazon and Whole Foods purchases for Prime members, 2% back from restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back from everything else. If you're not a Prime member, you earn 3% back instead of 5% on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.

    So if you spend around $200/month at Amazon or Whole Foods, you'll net out with a $120 credit for the year. If you spend an additional $1000/month on anything else, you'll net an additional $120 credit, totaling around $310 in Amazon credit for your first year.

    It also comes with those "rich people credit card" perks like zero foreign transaction fee, collision damage waver on car rentals, and a "concierge" service for booking hotels.

    If numbers make your head spin, here's a little guide on which one you should choose depending on your lifestyle....

    If you want that instant gratification aka free money fast, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card gives you the highest one-time bonus.

    If you already have a great travel rewards card, the Chase Freedom and Discover it card each make great supplemental credit cards if you tend to spend a lot on groceries, gas, and restaurants.

    If you just need an all-around great cash-back card and find all the categories a little too confusing, go for the Citi® Double Cash Card, the Apple credit card, or the Chase Freedom Unlimited.