June 27, 2009

Use CreditCardTuneUp.com to find good Rewards Credit Card

The site CreditCardTuneUp.com is setup to help you find the best rewards credit card for your spending habits. Basically you just enter your spending habits on a monthly basis and then it calculates which cards will give you the highest rewards.

It seems for most spending combinations that the cards that come out the best are usually the : Escape Card by Discover, the Citi Forward card and the True Earnings Amex card from Costco.

The CreditCardTuneUp site is easy to use. Simply enter your typical monthly spending in the boxes at the upper right side, for example:

Then click the button to get your Tune-Up results :

I cut off the image above, the results will actually give you over a dozen cards in priority order of the highest to lowest rewards rates.
When you look at the results you'll see your #1 recommendation at the top and how much you are expected to get for rewards in the first year. In the additional columns on the right you see the results of 2-card and 3-card combination. This means how much reward you might get if you are using 1 card for certain purchases and a 2nd card to maximize rewards on other category of purchases. For example if you have a Escape Discover card and a Citi Forward card the Citi card gives 5 rewards per $1 on restaurant purchases which is pretty high so in a 2 card combo you might use your Citi card at restaurants and your Discover card for other purchases.

The site has a selection of rewards cards but the number of credit cards they compare seems limited. For example, I notice that the site does not have the new Schwab cash back card which deposits 2% into a Schwab account.

I would only use this site as one tool. If it recommends a certain card then I wouldn't blindly go sign up for that card. Things to consider: What are the annual fees for the card? What kind of rewards does the card give and how likely are you to cash them in for maximum value? How practical would it be for you to juggle using a 2-card or 3-card combination?

Overall CreditCard Tune-Up is a handy tool but its got some flaws.

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