The 4 Credit Cards You Should Keep and Why

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Among credit card users, there are some who are always searching for a card just to earn a great introductory bonus. In fact, these users may care more about the initial bonus than how good the card is for their daily use. But most others are looking for credit cards that offer the best long-term value proposition.

If you’re looking for a credit card that will offer you competitive value for many years, consider these four.

The Only Credit Cards You'll Ever Need

American Express® Gold Card

This card is merely offering new applicants a welcome bonus of 35,000 points (after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within 3 months), but it has such great bonus categories that it will remain in your wallet for a long time. You earn up to 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). You can also earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Other benefits include an airline fee credit of up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year, and up to $10 in statement credits each month towards featured restaurants such as Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House when you pay with your American Express® Gold Card. There’s a $250 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®.

This card has both a great welcome bonus and compelling long-term value. You start off with 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. You also earn unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, and receive 5% of your redeemed miles back. Miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases such as airfare, hotels, rental cars and cruises. There’s an $89 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Here’s another card with both a nice welcome bonus and some great reasons to use it every day. New applicants receive 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. This is good for $625 in travel reservations made through Chase, or it can be transferred to participating travel programs.  You also earn 2x points for all travel and dining purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

The United℠ Explorer Card

This card from Chase is only offering new applicants 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within three months of account opening. But it also features 2x miles at restaurants and hotels, and a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. You get one complimentary bag checked and priority boarding (when using your Explorer card to purchase the tickets) and two one-time United Club passes each year. Finally, cardholders receive expanded opportunities to book economy class award tickets at the Saver level. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

Intro image by boonchoke via Shutterstock

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