Cashing in on credit card cash back offers

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Credit card companies are offering sign up bonuses that seem like they are too good to be true. In this morning's PIX Financial Fix, Smart Shopping Expert, Trae Bodge is helping us do the math and find out which deal is best for us.

JPMorgan Chase caused a stir last year with its exciting Chase Sapphire Reserve Card   Despite a hefty $450 annual fee, you were given 100k points if you spent $4,000 or more in the first three months, equaling about $1,500 worth of travel rewards. There’s also a $300 annual credit that can be used toward travel, plus 3 pts for every dollar spent on travel and restaurants, access to luxury airport lounges, and the ability to transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs. Chase just announced that it's cutting the sign-up bonus in half, so now you are given 50,000 points if you spend 4k in the first 3 months.

If you’re looking for cards with generous rewards but NO annual fee, check out the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card, which offers 20k bonus miles if you spend 1k in the first 90 days and 1.5 pts for purchases, or the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, which offers 40,000 miles when you spend 3k and 2 pts for purchases. If you want one that offers balance transfers as well, the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard also has no annual fee, 0% on transfers for 15 months and $100 cash bonus if you spend $500 in 90 days.

 Another rewards card with no annual fee that I like is the new Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. You don’t have to be a Prime member to take advantage of the benefits, but it pays if you are. Once approved, you instantly receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card. On Amazon purchases, Prime members get 5% cash back and non-prime get 3%. You can also earn cash back on non-Amazon purchases, like travel, gas and food and get additional benefits like travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance and purchase protection.

 And if you don’t feel like switching your credit card but want to earn while you shop, use a cash back site, like Splender.com!

 Let’s talk about a card that isn’t worth signing up for. The MasterCard® Gold Credit Card is cool because it’s made of 24k gold, but the annual feel is $995! You do get  a $200 airfare credit each year, access to a concierge, 1 point per $1 spent on most purchases (which is average for a rewards card), and a double points on travel, there are better cards out there.