Top 5 Free Credit Cards With Money On Them For 2014

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Q: Hey found this site and you have a lot of good advice man. The reason I came here was because I want to get a credit card, or maybe a few, that have free money on them. Plus I don’t want an annual fee, at least for the first year. Do you have any recommendations?

money - hundred dollar billsA: I can definitely help steer you in the right direction, but let me first clarify a couple things. My recommendations can be found at the bottom of the page.

1) The “free money” comes with a few strings attached

It used to be you could apply for a credit card a get the bonus right up front. For the most part, they stopped doing it this way because there would be some people who would apply for a card but not use it.

Now most of the free credit card deals require you to spend a minimum amount before the cash comes. For example, if a card offers $100 bonus it might require you to spend $500 or more in the first 3 months before that bonus shows up on your account. You technically are not getting anything for free. In addition, if you carry a balance and pay interest or an annual fee, that’s something else to factor into the equation. On some you might pay an annual fee after the first year.

2) Don’t open and close an excessive number of cards

Before you make cashing out free card bonuses your second occupation, understand that your FICO score looks at the average age of your accounts. The higher the average age, the better.

This is why you don’t want to go overboard signing up for credit cards with money/airline/point promotions. Try and stick with a card you will actually want to keep and use.

3) A bunch of credit checks aren’t good either

Every time you apply for a new card, loan, etc. there is a credit check (a.k.a. credit inquiry) that is done to see if you’re worth your salt.

For 12 months after, a credit check might impact your score. Usually not by much – maybe just a few points, maybe not at all.

At any given time it’s normal to have a few of these on file. But if you start applying for say, 5 or 10 cards over the period of a couple months, then that’s going to be 5 or 10 credit checks… and that high of a number for such a short period of time and therefore it will probably ding your score temporarily (until they are no longer counted – 12 months from date of inquiry).

Don’t go crazy and apply every time you see cards with money on them being offered. Be picky and only go for the best, which I’ve listed here and constantly update.

Here are my top recommendations for 2014:

#1. Chase Freedom®

This is the best deal you will find right now, if it’s a money bonus you’re after. Why? Because you can convert your reward points to cash (statement credits) at a good conversion of 1 point = 1 cent.

You can earn a $100 Bonus Cash Back after you make $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account, and this is a great card to use for the long haul because of its generous cash back program. There’s no annual fee.

Here is the application to get this offer

#2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Next up is another card from Chase which you have also probably heard of before because it’s so popular (I use both this and the Freedom).

If you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account, you earn 40,000 bonus points. If you redeem those points for cash back, it’s $400 worth! Or you can redeem the points for travel and get even more value out of them.

Spending $3k within 3 months shouldn’t be too difficult to do since that’s an average of $1k per month in spending. Even if you normally don’t spend that much, you can always buy gift cards from grocery stores, gas stations, etc. in order to help you reach that threshold faster – and then use those gift cards later on.

There is an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.

Here is the application for this offer

#3. Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard

Barclaycard Arrival no fee versionIf you want almost free money to spend on virtually any travel purchase, then check out this offer. If you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening your account, you earn 20,000 bonus miles. However these are not frequent flyer miles. Rather, each of these “miles” is worth 1 cent in cash back that can be used to offset practically any travel purchase made with the card. That means your bonus is worth $200 towards travel.

For example, redeem 20,000 miles to pay for a $200 hotel room. Or if you buy a $450 airplane ticket, you can still redeem the 20,000 bonus miles to reduce the cost of it by $200.

There’s no annual fee for this credit card and you will earn 2 miles per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Here is the application to get this offer

#4. Discover it® for Students

Discover it for studentsAre you in college? If so, check out this card. Admittedly the bonus is not that large, but it’s easy to get approved if you are a student (the others above require a good established credit history). After your very first purchase you earn a $20 Cashback Bonus.

And this is card you will want to use for the long haul because it earns 5% cash back on categories when you signup for them, 1% on all other purchases.

And guess what? There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no fee for making payments by phone, no fee for going over your credit limit, and no fee on your first late payment!

Here is the application to get this offer

This post was written or last updated March 5, 2014

17 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Antoine Donaldson April 11, 2014 at 3:21AM

    I think they are all great

  2. Miki February 15, 2014 at 9:20AM

    I love the gold card very very much

  3. Tehrance bolden January 25, 2014 at 11:53AM

    I’ll take #1 on the list chase freedom

  4. NaydAle January 17, 2014 at 1:47AM

    I love it

  5. NaydAle January 17, 2014 at 1:45AM

    I will like it to

  6. kineticole September 7, 2013 at 4:13AM

    i like the NFL ExtraPoints Card

  7. koad August 22, 2013 at 3:19AM

    I love the green one

  8. kevin June 26, 2013 at 10:28AM

    I really love the gold one

  9. Juan Alfonso June 15, 2013 at 5:42PM

    I’ll like to take the freedom

  10. Jennifer Moore April 17, 2013 at 3:13PM

    I would like to get a credit card to use when times are hard and I’m short on cash, a pay back as you go card.

  11. Dave February 21, 2013 at 1:34PM

    I love the Freedom (#1 on list) it’s a great card!

    • Antonio Mcqueen March 19, 2013 at 12:01PM

      How much money does that one offer?

  12. Aaron Johnson February 18, 2013 at 8:21AM

    I’ll take the Chase sapphire card.

  13. thalia January 21, 2013 at 2:06PM

    I like the blue one

  14. Adderrean Robinson August 5, 2012 at 12:03AM

    I’ll take the gray one.

  15. Yolanda January 23, 2012 at 3:14PM

    I love the gold card and always use it to pay my utility and phone bills, the points add up fast!

  16. Cedric smith December 6, 2011 at 8:56AM

    I love the Gold Card

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