There was a time when the word “geek” was an insult. That was before the most prominent geeks made billions and we all relied on our favorite geeks to offer solutions our everyday technical challenges. Today, many of us are proud to geek out on our favorite computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices.
Another aspect of being a geek these days is the need to constantly maintain and upgrade our gear in order to stay on top of technology. The latest gadgets are not cheap, but the right credit cards can offer bonus rewards as well as valuable purchase protection policies that offer benefits in the case of theft or damage.
Here are four credit cards geeks might want to consider.
Best Buy Credit Card Offered by Citi
While many bricks-and-mortar electronics stores have gone under, Best Buy remains one of the largest surviving big box outlets where geeks can touch, feel and buy the latest technology without waiting for it to be delivered. With the Best Buy credit card from Citi, customers receive interest-free financing on some of their purchases, as well as rewards. New applicants receive 18 months of interest-free financing on purchases totaling $429 or more, and six months of interest-free financing on purchases totaling at least $149. (In both cases interest accrues from the date of purchase if not paid in full during the promotional term.)
Cardholders also receive 5% back in rewards on Best Buy purchases, and 6% back for Elite Plus members of the card’s rewards program. Finally, cardholders receive free shipping on qualified purchases of $25 or more, as well as cardholder discounts and access to special sales and member-only shopping events. There is no annual fee for this card.
AT&T Universal Savings and Rewards Card From Citi
If you were an early adopter of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone, then you probably still use AT&T as your service provider. This card offers 10 points per dollar spent on your AT&T service, as well as on purchases of new phones and accessories, and one point per dollar is earned on all other purchases. ThankYou points can then be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards and other rewards. Other features include extended warranty coverage and retail purchase protection. There is no annual fee for this card.
Wells Fargo Cash Back Card
This card, along with other Wells Fargo cards, offer competitive rewards as well as a phone protection policy worthy of the latest smartphones. Cardholders who pay their monthly service bill get $600 worth of protection against covered damage or theft, with just a $25 deductible. This card also offers 5% cash-back rewards at gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores for six months, and 1% cash back after that.
So if you are the kind of geek who carries the latest smartphone, having this card’s mobile phone protection plan is an attractive alternative to the expensive insurance sold by service providers. There is no annual fee for this card.
Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus
Geeks with a business can spend a lot of money on telephone, television and Internet services, and these two business cards offer valuable bonus rewards for these purchases. Cardholders receive five points in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program for each dollar spent on mobile and landline telephone service, cable and satellite television, and all Internet service providers. Rewards of five points per dollar are also offered for purchases from office supply stores, but there is an annual limit of $50,000 spent on these bonus categories. Purchases from gas stations get double points, and a single point per dollar is granted for all other purchases. Finally, new customers receive 50,000 bonus points after making $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening an account.
Once earned, Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for cash back, travel reservations, merchandise, or transferred to points and miles with airline and hotel programs as well as Amtrak Guest rewards. The Ink Bold is a charge card while the Ink Plus is a credit card. There is a $95 annual fee for each card that is waived the first year.
Before you apply for any of the geek cards, though, take a good look at your spending and payment habits. Rewards cards tend to carry higher interest rates, are best suited to people who pay their balances in full every month, and they are available only to applicants who have good or excellent credit scores. Because applying for a credit card will cause a small drop in your credit scores, you’ll want to be relatively certain your application will be approved, especially if you’re planning a big purchase like a home or a car in the next few months. You can see two credit scores monthly for free at Credit.com to get an idea of where you stand, as well as get individualized tips on raising or maintaining your score.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
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