Author Archives Chris Hart

2014: The Year for Mobile Wallets

This will be the year mobile wallets get traction, and this is positive for consumers. A couple of the bigger mobile wallets are already starting to make a splash (e.g., Google Wallet, Isis) While there have been technical and industry-specific obstacles to adoption over the past few years, most of those barriers are being mitigated.  As a result, consumers should see mobile wallets take off in 2014. Mobile wallet users can expect to save money and earn more rewards, not to mention the convenience of paying with your phone.

What Mobile Wallets Mean to You

Anyone who uses credit or debit cards has something to gain from mobile wallets. First, it means you can make purchases with your phone, even if you don’t have a wallet with you.  And you will be able to make those purchases more often – many stores already accept mobile payments,  and many more will be getting this capability this year. Second, you can conveniently carry all your payment cards with no fear of looking like George Castanza.  Your smartphone is the same size whether you have no payment cards on the phone or ten.  Third, the mobile wallet will make it easier to receive discounts from merchants and other offers / features without clipping / saving a bunch of coupons.

These benefits are particularly important for Reward Summit users.  You are already actively working to maximize your rewards.   But, if you’re like most people, carrying all those payment cards around can be a hassle. With mobile wallets all those cards can live conveniently in your smartphone without taking up extra space in your wallet or purse. And, if you’ve been reluctant to add cards to your reward optimization repertoire, you may have missed out on some earnings potential. Mobile wallets make this much easier!

What We Recommend for Reward Summit Users

Here are 4 things you can do right now to optimize the 2014 mobile wallet trend:

1. Pay attention.  When you are out shopping, see which stores already accept mobile payments. Often times you’ll see a logo for Google Wallet, MasterCard PayPass, or and Isis logo on the point-of-sale terminal where you normally swipe your credit card.

2. Check out the available mobile wallets.  If you have an Android phone with NFC (like the Nexus 5, the Moto X, or the Samsung Galaxy S3 or S4), you have a wide range of options, including Goggle Wallet and potentially Isis.  You can check out the Isis wallet or Google Wallet apps from the Google Play Store and try out paying by tapping on your phone.

If you have an Android phone without NFC, don’t despair.  The Google Wallet application is still worth checking out because you can get money-saving offers in the app. If you have an iPhone, you can check out the Square Wallet which is very nice if you shop at merchants who use Square for their credit card processing. More wallets may be on the way for iPhone.

3. Consider adjusting your credit card strategy. Would you add existing cards to your mobile wallet that you don’t normally carry with you? Should you consider applying for additional cards now that you wouldn’t have before because you were out of space in your purse or wallet? (If you haven’t looked recently, Reward Summit has recently reviewed several great new cards like the US Bank Cash+ Visa.)

4. Think about your next phone purchase.  Right now Android is the clear winner in having the widest array of options and most new Android phones coming on the market in the United States now support NFC. Technology changes quickly, so do a little research before signing another two-year agreement for your next phone.  If you love your iPhone, keep alert to apps that provide mobile wallet capabilities.

By : Chris Hart /January 02, 2014 /How To /Comments Off Read More

Credit Card Usage in October

Have you ever wondered which credit card or bank is most popular among customers? Are you curious about how other credit card customers stack up against you? As we look back on credit card usage in October we’ll reveal these and other interesting trends as we look at the trends from the last month.

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Discover It Makes Waves
The #1 card in October was the Chase Freedom – the same position it held in September. The big change happened in the #2 spot with the Discover It card rocketing in popularity. It makes sense that these two cards are so dominant among our users: both are great cards to carry. They also compliment each other well – while both cards have 5% categories that change each quarter, those categories rarely overlap. If you have room in your wallet to carry a few cards, you’d be well served to have both the Chase Freedom and the Discover It.

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American Express Makes a Strong Showing
Chase was also the #1 card issuer in October with it’s position driven by the popularity of the Freedom card but also a myriad of compelling airline and hotel reward cards. It’s not surprising that Chase would be in the top spot, so we were more interested in how other issuers stacked up.

American Express came in at the second spot this month with their performance driven by the extremely popular TrueEarnings Costco card and their Blue line of cards. We think these cards are a great complement to your wallet if you already have a rotating category card and now we know Reward Summit customers agree!

Rounding out the rest of the top 5 issuers this month were:

#3: Discover, driven mostly by the popularity of their now retired More card and the new It card
#4: Citi, who offers a wide variety of reward cards
#5: Bank of America, driven mostly by their heavily marketed BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards card offering 1% on everything, 2% on groceries, and 3% on gas

The “Power Customer” Trend
The average U.S. credit card customer carries 3-4 credit cards and many of our customers fit in to that demographic. What is more interesting to us is the continuing trend of the “Power Customer” who carries many cards and works to optimize their transactions. In October, 28% of new Reward Summit customers carried five or more cards. The Reward Summit app works well for anyone interested in earning more rewards since it can be difficult to keep track of just one or two reward programs. For the power customer who carries five (or in some cases, as many as 10 or 15!) cards, it’s virtually impossible to know which card is best without some assistance. We’re thrilled to see people using Reward Summit to maximize their rewards.

Looking Ahead
November and December are typically big months for spending: holiday travel offers lots of opportunities for earning airline and hotel points, families get together for big dinners, and gift giving goes into high gear. With that in mind, here are a couple trends we anticipate for November:

  • We expect to see continued popularity of the Discover It card with its 5% cash back for online purchases this quarter. If you’re shopping online for gifts, this is the absolute best way to save money this quarter. You can learn more here.
  • The Huntington Voice card offers great flexibility in configuring reward points. We reviewed the card before and believe consumers will find it extremely compelling. While it doesn’t have the same marketing power behind it as the Chase Freedom, the American Express Blue family of cards, of the Bank of America BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards card, it is one of the most impressive new cards.
  • Chase Freedom will continue to dominate this quarter. Offering 5% cash back at Amazon.com and select department stores, it’s hard to go wrong with this card.

 

By : Chris Hart /November 04, 2013 /Uncategorized /Comments Off Read More

Use Foursquare for Automatic Card Recommendations

Use Foursquare for Automatic Card Recommendations

Do you use FourSquare?  If so, you can get instant recommendations in seconds by linking your Foursquare Account to your RewardSummit app. If you check in while you’re out shopping, buying that cup of coffee, or trying out the latest hot restaurant, a quick, one-time 30-second setup will get you instant push notifications featuring the best card for your current purchase!

It’s easy to set up. Here’s how:

1. Open up Reward Summit, tap on the reports icon, then click on the gear icon in the upper-right hand corner to get to your account settings:

4sq_1 4sq_2 2. Tap the “Connect” button next to the FourSquare logo: 4sq_3 3. A window will open from FourSquare. You may be prompted for your FourSquare username and password. Enter your information if prompted, then you’ll be asked to allow Reward Summit to connect with FourSquare. Tap “Allow”: 4sq_4 Next time you check in using FourSquare, you’ll get a push notification telling you the best card to use for that location: 4sq_5 It’s that easy. You should still consult the Reward Summit app on a routine basis and for big purchases so you can see how all your cards stack up and learn about new credit cards that can save you even more. If you’re a FourSquare user, this is a great way to get recommendations for your everyday transactions.  

Remember – those rewards add up!  Integrating RewardSummit with FourSquare takes seconds, and over the course of a year, this could earn you hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars in points!

By : Chris Hart /September 23, 2013 /Uncategorized /Comments Off Read More

Best Credit Card for College Students: The Discover IT Card

Best Credit Card for College Students: The Discover IT Card

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Apply for the Discover IT Card Today!

 

If you’re a college student looking to build your credit, you might be in a bit of a bind: credit card companies only grant cards to people with good credit, but you have…no credit.

No matter how much money you have in the bank, or how responsible you’ve been with your finances, you’re still going to get rejected by almost all major credit card companies.

To make matters worse, the credit cards you can get approved for are worse than no card at all: extremely high interest rates, low credit limits, and severely punitive payment policies.

Fortunately, there’s one excellent card that almost any college student can obtain.

Why we’re in love with the Discover IT Student Credit Card:

We at Reward Summit put every card we review through the ringer, testing it against multiple criteria to make sure it’s appropriate for all our users.  If you’re a college student looking to build your credit, here’s why the Discover IT is your best bet:

Interest Rate: Ranging from 10.99% to 22.99%, the Discover is neither terrible nor amazing – simply standard.  But it’s much better than the 22%+ cards we’ve seen being offered to college students elsewhere.

Introductory APR: 0% for the first 14 months.  14 months is a longer grace period than anything we’ve seen offered – meaning you have a chance to build your credit and get comfortable using the card before you need to start paying interest.

No Annual Fee: You don’t want to pay for your credit, especially when you’re in college.  The Discover IT has no annual fee.

Negligible Penalties:  If you pay your card late, or go over your limit, you won’t have to pay any penalties to Discover.  While responsible card usage is a must, it’s still nice to know that you won’t be paying out the nose if you miss a payment by a day or go over by a few bucks.

Credit Limit: Most students receive at least $1,000 in credit, which can be built over time.  This is far more generous than any other card we’ve seen being offered to college students.

Rewards:  We wouldn’t be Reward Summit if we didn’t talk about rewards!  The Discover IT offers 1% cash back on every purchase you make, plus 5% cash back on rotating purchases throughout the month.  This is a great credit card rewards program – period.

Apply for the Discover IT Card Today!

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By : Chris Hart /September 17, 2013 /Uncategorized /Comments Off Read More