The advantages of intelligent credit card use are many. Rather than accumulating cards at random, savvy cardholders know that specific card pairings can boost benefits. One tactic is to find cards that cover each other’s shortfalls, while another is to combine two of the best rewards credit cards, or two with the best interest rates, to gain multiplied amounts of the same perk. The best combinations do both.
The Travel Point Combo
The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card and the Marriott Rewards Premier VISAare two peas in the same pod. For those who love saving money while they travel, the combination of these two cards can decrease trip expenses across the board, including on flights, hotels, foreign purchases and more.
Now that Marriott has acquired Starwood hotels, the introductory bonuses of each respective card can be combined. The Marriott Rewards card grants new cardholders 30,000 points and the Starwood Preferred Guest card grants 20,000 points. This massive 50,000 point total rewards new members with around a week (!) of combined complimentary hotel stays.
Also notable are the ways in which the cards play off each other’s strengths. While the Marriott card can be used to avoid foreign transaction fees, the Starwood earns points at a steady rate on all purchases and allows point redemption for airfare on over 150 partner airlines.
Extend a Low Rate Promotion
The best way to pay off a credit card or other source of debt is by transferring the debt to a card that offers temporary relief from high interest rates. The MBNA Platinum Plus credit card offers new cardholders the ability to transfer their outstanding balances and pay 0% interest for an entire year – but for some, a year is not enough to pay the debt off.
For those who need an extended window of time against high rates, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard is an ideal companion to the Platinum Plus. If time runs out on MBNA’s promotion, smart cardholders can simply transfer their remaining balance (again) to RBC and enjoy a low 1.9% interest rate for an additional ten months, with no annual fee. The combination of these two cards, used consecutively for their balance transfer promotions, nets the cardholder 22 months of near rock-bottom interest on their balance.
Earn While Treating Your Date
Some of the biggest expenses likely to show up on any cardholder’s statement are from entertainment. Going out to nice restaurants, seeing a show and other exciting and satisfying ventures can cost a fortune, but not for the well-prepared cardholder. Pairing the Amex Cobalt and the SCENE Visa card makes it simple to save even while taking out a special someone.
One of the most exciting new cards from Amex, the Cobalt earns 5x Rewards points on every $1 spent at restaurants and bars, as well as on food deliveries and groceries. What’s more, cardholders can earn 40,000 free Rewards points in their first year, which is a $400 value. Alongside the SCENE Visa, which grants 5,000 points immediately (the equivalent of 5 free movies) and allows one to earn while at the theatre, dinner and a movie becomes an exercise in frugality rather than wallet-gouging.
While there are many more powerful credit card pairing out there for the creative cardholder, the duos above should get you started on the right track. A person with multiple cards and a comprehensive, or complementary, array of benefits will likely save hundreds more per year than a peer with a single, no-frills card.
Do you practice any 1-2 credit card punches that didn’t make our list? If so, give us a shout and let us know what pairings are helping you maximize your benefits.