HomeFinance8 Under-the-Radar Credit Cards With Hard-to-Find Perks

8 Under-the-Radar Credit Cards With Hard-to-Find Perks

Many common bank cards from well-known issuers provide invaluable advantages and rewards. But there are some lesser-known playing cards — whether or not they’re from smaller banks or credit score unions, or just simply less-heralded merchandise from greater gamers — that include uncommon however spectacular perks that few different playing cards provide.

The following playing cards characteristic some hard-to-find advantages, like higher-than-usual rewards charges, unusual rewards classes, or bonuses that require little or no work to snag.

1. Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card stands out for its best-in-class cash-back fee: You can earn 2.5% again on each buy in the event you meet necessities. Yes, that fee is capped at $10,000 of eligible purchases per billing cycle, at which level the rewards fee falls to 1.5%. But that is nonetheless a really excessive spending bar. The trade customary amongst flat-rate playing cards has lengthy been 1.5%, and whereas extra playing cards are starting to characteristic a profitable 2% flat fee, few if any can high 2.5% again on every part you purchase.


First, you’ll have to hitch Alliant’s credit score union, which will be comparatively straightforward. But to be eligible for the two.5% fee, you’ll additionally must open an Alliant High-Rate Checking account and preserve a mean every day stability of $1,000 or extra every month. And once more, there is a month-to-month cap on that 2.5% fee. It’s a excessive cap, however a cap nonetheless.

2. AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
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The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, issued by Barclays, is not as well-marketed as different airline bank cards. It’s not even marketed in addition to different playing cards inside American Airlines’ personal model portfolio. (Citi additionally points co-branded American Airlines playing cards.) But this card stands out with some hard-to-find perks, most notably its super-easy-to-snag sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first buy and paying the $99 annual charge in full, each throughout the first 90 days. That signifies that in contrast to different sign-up bonuses, which generally require a spending minimal to gather them, you may earn this pile of miles with only one buy — even a pack of gum. That’s uncommon. Additionally, the cardboard provides a prolonged introductory APR interval on stability transfers, one other characteristic that’s laborious to return by amongst even the greatest journey bank cards on the market.


While the cardboard’s preliminary incentives make it engaging upfront, its ongoing rewards are underwhelming, particularly over time. It earns 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 on all different purchases. That means you may’t earn bonus rewards on any purchases exterior of the airline model. That’s merely not aggressive with different playing cards on this class.

3. Bilt Rewards Mastercard®

Most landlords and companies don’t enable tenants to pay lease with a bank card. And those that do, usually cost pricey comfort charges. Enter the Bilt Rewards Mastercard®, which not solely rewards holders for paying lease with the cardboard however does not cost a charge for letting you achieve this. In addition to rewards for eating and journey, the cardboard pays 1 level per greenback spent on lease (as much as 50,000 factors yearly). And holders, no matter their typical fee processes, can use their playing cards to pay lease by means of the Bilt Rewards app and earn factors. Once you activate a Bilt Rent account within the app, you may get a routing and account quantity which lets you pay lease by means of your common portal. Even in case your landlord solely accepts checks, you may nonetheless pay by means of the Bilt app this technique to earn factors: Bilt will ship in a examine for you. (Previously, solely those that lived in a Bilt Rewards Alliance property have been in a position to pay lease straight by means of the Bilt Rewards app.)

Note that whereas any tenant can be a part of the Bilt program to pay for lease free of charge, you’ll earn rewards solely when you’ve got the Bilt Rewards Mastercard®.


There’s a cap on the variety of rewards you may earn for lease spending. And whereas the typical tenant gained’t hit the $50,000 yearly spending cap, it is nonetheless a restrict. Additionally, Bilt’s web site notes that for individuals who don’t dwell in one among its Alliance properties, making use of for the cardboard is “currently by invitation only,” which implies it’s not accessible for some shoppers.

Another main caveat is that you will have to spend together with your card at the very least 5 instances per billing cycle, otherwise you’ll lose factors you’ve got accrued throughout that month. So, for instance, in the event you use your card to pay for lease at the beginning of the month, however do not use the cardboard 4 extra instances in that very same month, you may lose the factors you earned for paying lease.

4. Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

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Among so-called various bank cards for these with unhealthy or no credit score, the $0-annual-fee Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is a stellar if inconspicuous possibility. Most notably, it does not require a credit score examine, doesn’t require a minimal safety deposit, nor does it even cost an APR. That’s a uncommon trifecta amongst playing cards designed that can assist you construct credit score. It additionally reviews to all three main credit score bureaus.


To be eligible for the cardboard, you’re required to have a Chime Spending Account that has obtained at the very least $200 in direct deposits throughout the previous twelve months. And as with different playing cards aimed toward learners, there are not any ongoing rewards, neither is there a technique to improve to a unique product finally. And to that time, whereas this card is kind of debt-proof, different “normal” unsecured playing cards won’t be — which means chances are you’ll be underprepared to take that subsequent step to a greater card.

5. Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card

Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card
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The Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card is a low-radar rarity for one foremost purpose: It provides distinctive rewards throughout a large swath of frequent family spending classes, together with all the biggies. Cardholders earn a vast 3 factors per $1 spent within the common classes of groceries, eating, gasoline and transit (and 1 level per $1 on every part else). You can discover different $0-annual charge playing cards that earn 3x again or extra on groceries, or 3x again or extra on eating, however normally not in each of these key classes. Also of notice: The card is out there to shoppers with honest credit score (FICO scores of at the very least 630), which is an underserved market.


To be eligible for the cardboard, it’s a must to be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union, which is almost inconceivable until you’ve gotten ties to the armed forces, Department of Defense or National Guard.

6. PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card is exclusive in that it provides profitable journey credit for, doubtlessly, nothing. Normally, it expenses a $95 annual charge — however that may be waived in the event you meet sure necessities (see beneath). If so, it means you may pay no yearly value for the cardboard’s top-notch journey advantages — together with profitable rewards on journey purchases; a $100 annual credit score towards ancillary airline charges; assertion credit score for reimbursement of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry utility charges; and a complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge annual membership. Getting that form of worth again on a $0-annual-fee journey bank card is just about exceptional.


To qualify for the cardboard, you should be a PenFed Credit Union member. And to qualify for a $0 annual charge with the cardboard, you’ll must be a PenFed Honors Advantage member, which will be achieved by opening and sustaining a PenFed Access America checking account or being a present or earlier member of the army. If you’re not affiliated with the army, it’s a must to preserve a minimal of $500 every day in an eligible PenFed checking account or arrange month-to-month direct deposits of $500 or extra to maintain Honors Advantage eligibility.

7. State Farm® Premier Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The State Farm® Premier Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns bonus money again on frequent family bills like grocery shops and eating, however what makes it stand out is that it additionally will get you 3% money again on insurance coverage premium funds, on as much as $4,000 spent yearly. That’s an uncommon bonus class that might make sense for individuals who carry a number of insurance policies.


You must be a State Farm buyer to be eligible for the cardboard. And once more, there’s a cap on the amount of money again you may earn on insurance coverage premium funds.

Nerdy tip: State Farm additionally provides the State Farm® Good Neighbor Visa® Card and the State Farm® Business Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, the latter of which additionally provides 3% money again on insurance coverage premium funds (as much as $4,000 spent yearly).

8. Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa
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The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® is a nontraditional card with a number of nontraditional options. For starters, it might perform as both a bank card or a private mortgage. If you utilize it as a bank card and don’t pay your invoice in full, the stability turns into a fixed-rate mortgage you pay again month-to-month in equal installments. If you utilize it as a private mortgage, you may switch funds to your checking account (as much as your credit score restrict) and pay down that debt at a hard and fast rate of interest over a time frame. Additionally, the cardboard earns bonus rewards within the hard-to-find classes of dwelling, auto and well being — which embrace large-expense objects like landscaping companies, automotive repairs and hospital visits. Other atypical perks abound: Applicants shall be proven their card phrases, together with their credit score restrict and APR, earlier than they comply with apply. Plus, as soon as accepted, you’ll get a digital instant-use quantity, which implies you don’t have to attend for the bodily card to begin utilizing it.


Unlike different cash-back playing cards, rewards earned with the Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® are routinely utilized towards your subsequent card stability, which implies you do not have the selection to resolve what to do together with your money again or when to make use of it.

Other playing cards with distinctive options

The following playing cards from main issuers aren’t obscure merchandise, however they do provide unusual perks:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® bank card: The successful characteristic on this $75-annual-fee card is its computerized yearly Companion Fare perk, which may cowl a flying buddy’s Alaska Airlines ticket for as little as $121 ($99 plus taxes and charges, beginning at $22). Other playing cards provide companion tickets, however some require that you just meet a spending threshold first. And none of them has such a comparatively low worth level.

Chase Slate Edge℠: This card provides an computerized 2% APR discount consideration annually (till it reaches the prime fee plus 9.74%) whenever you make funds on time and spend at the very least $1,000 by your subsequent account anniversary.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: You’ll earn 5% again in a single eligible spend class, on as much as $500 every billing cycle, and a vast 1% again on all different purchases. And what makes this card slightly totally different is that the eligible class is automated and adjusted for you based mostly in your spending habits. You need not bear in mind a quarterly bonus calendar or activate classes every month. The card does it for you.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card: This card incorporates a distinctive, if advanced, rewards construction. It earns 5% money again on the primary $2,000 in mixed eligible web purchases every quarter in two classes you select from an inventory. Plus, it earns a vast 2% again in a single “everyday” class that you just select from a smaller checklist. Few different playing cards provide this degree of customization or such particular but helpful bonus classes, like dwelling utilities, gyms and furnishings shops.

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card: Among bank cards from main issuers that characteristic promotional interest-free durations, none can high this card’s provide: a 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying stability transfers, after which an ongoing APR of 12.99%-24.99% Variable APR. Intro APR extension of as much as 3 months with on-time minimal funds in the course of the intro and extension durations. If you meet these necessities, that is an nearly two-year break on curiosity funds.



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