Donating Plasma For Money: Best Places To Donate Plasma To Make $300-400 A Month

If you’re looking to make a little extra cash, and help others while you’re at it, you may want to consider donating plasma.

Thousands of Americans across the country are lining up to earn a little extra cash through blood plasma donation. The plasma donation process is similar to giving blood but does take a little longer. Thankfully you can be compensated for your time.

Donating plasma offers the potential to earn $300 to $400 a month. Before you get started, however, you need to be aware of what’s involved to help you make an informed decision. 

Donating Plasma For Money

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ABC News that 94% of paid plasma that was used to create medicines around the world, was donated by American donors. 

Blood plasma is the part of the blood that’s actually a clear liquid. It consists of water, enzymes, antibodies, and proteins. Plasma donation is different from giving blood at the Red Cross, however. 

To obtain the clear plasma, your blood is drawn, then the plasma is separated. The blood is then returned to your body. 

There are hundreds of donation centers around the country. However, to donate, you must typically meet some basic requirements. 

  • You must be aged 18 to 69
  • You must weigh over 110 pounds
  • You must have proper levels of iron, hemoglobin, and blood
  • You need to pass a basic physical and be free of infectious diseases
  • You must have a legal Social Security Card or government ID to prove that you’re a citizen. 

The rules can vary according to your home state. Local laws may even override the requirements of the plasma donation center. For example, some states have a higher age requirement than the typical center age of 18.

Some states also have rules prohibiting people with piercings or tattoos from donating. There may also be a minimum number of donations permitted within a specified timeframe. 

If you don’t qualify as a plasma donor, you may be given a temporary or permanent deferral. Temporary deferrals occur if you’re sick, your blood, iron or hemoglobin levels are too low, or you’re recovering from a procedure. You’ll be advised on what to do and when you can return to donate plasma for money. 

Permanent deferrals typically result from your age, weight, or if you have a medical condition that could negatively affect you or the recipient of your blood plasma. However, if you believe the permanent deferral was given in error, you can obtain a second medical opinion to try to overturn the decision. 

How To Prepare To Donate Plasma

In order to donate plasma, you will need to hydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, eat healthily, and prepare the necessary paperwork. 

Before you visit a plasma donation center, you will need to drink plenty of fluids and eat heart-healthy meals such as vegetables, fruits, and fish. You should also try to avoid high cholesterol, fatty foods. 

Being properly hydrated is crucial, so you should drink plenty of water the day before and the day of donation. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol are diuretics, so it is best to avoid them, as they can dehydrate you. 

When you arrive at the center, you will need to present your Social Security card, a photo ID and proof of address. Your name and address should match on all of your documentation. 

What’s Involved In Donating Plasma?

If you’re a first time donor, you should plan for your visit to the center to take up to two hours. When you arrive at the center, you’ll be asked to complete a health history and go through a basic physical. This can include a heart check, urine test, and reflex test. They will also prick your finger to test your iron, blood, and hemoglobin levels. 

Once they are ready for you to begin donating, you’ll be sat in a semi-reclining chair. The actual process looks similar to standard blood donation. However, as the process is more involved compared to donating blood, the actual donation part takes up to an hour. 

When your blood is drawn, the center team separates the plasma using a plasmapheresis machine, and the blood will be returned to your body. 

If you choose to donate again, the process will be quicker. Future donations typically take an hour, since you only need to confirm nothing has changed about your medical situation. 

If you plan on donating plasma regularly, bear in mind that there are limits. Generally, you can donate no more than twice a week, but you need to leave 24 to 48 hours between donations. This allows your body enough time to replace the lost plasma. However, drinking plenty of water can assist in this process. 

One common concern is if it will hurt to donate plasma. However, the discomfort involved is similar to donating blood. 

In addition to the finger prick, the technician will use an IV and needle to draw your blood and return the plasma free blood to your body. When the blood is returned, it is mixed with saline. This can make it cold, which can cause a little discomfort. So, it is a good idea to bring a jacket or blanket. 

Obviously, if you start to feel very uncomfortable during donation, tell the technician immediately. 

How Much Can You Earn Via Your Plasma Donations?

If you choose to donate twice a week, there is the potential to make up to $400 a month or up to $50 per donation. That’s not too shabby, given that it will typically take 60 to 90 minutes per visit. 

There are factors that will determine your earning potential for plasma donation, however. In addition to how often you donate, your weight, the quantity of plasma you donate, and which donation center you use will influence your earnings. 

Typically, if it is your first time donating plasma, you’ll make more. Many centers have incentives for new donors, and since the process takes longer, you’re compensated accordingly. 

Additionally, the FDA requires that plasma donations correspond with body weight. So you’ll get paid more if your body weight is more, since you can donate more plasma. Generally, the weight ranges are split up in ranges similar to this:

  • 110 to 149 pounds
  • 150 to 174 pounds
  • 175 to 400 pounds

Also, you may have a certain type of protein that’s in high demand. If you carry this type of protein in your plasma, the center may offer you more money. 

Some centers also offer “frequent flyer” incentives. So, you’ll receive more per donation if you regularly visit the same centers. 

Where Can I Donate Plasma?

A great place to start when looking for the highest paying plasma donation center near you is to check out the website DonatingPlasma.org. It has an easy to use search tool where you can plug in your city/zip and it will show you centers near you.

Although the FDA inspects donation centers to ensure compliance with the laws, it does not own or manage them. These centers are operated by third-party for-profit companies, and there is no central organization that receives plasma. You’ll need to either use a site like DonatingPlasma.org or search Google for “plasma donation near me” and ensure you choose an FDA compliant location. 

Highest-Paying Plasma Donation Centers

Plasma donation is a competitive business. It is worth comparing the earning potential if you have multiple centers in your local area. You may even find you can obtain higher than typical payouts. 

A good starting point is to look for first-time plasma donor bonuses. Many centers promote bonuses on their websites (many of which you’ll find below). This could allow you to earn $500 in your first month rather than $300. Donation centers also run promotions where you can earn more if you return to donate again. Although it can feel strange to see promotions and coupons on a donation site, this is how the industry works, so be sure to take advantage of the best deal. 

Here are some of the trusted donation centers in different states and what you can expect to be paid.

best places to donate plasma for money

B Positive Plasma

B Positive Plasma is one of the highest paying plasma donation centers out there, but they currently only have locations in MD and NJ.

You can earn up to $500 a month, and they sometimes have promos for first-time donors where you can get $50 per donation for your first five donations.

You’ll get paid fast via a Visa Debit card and you can earn even more by referring a friend!

Biolife

Biolife operates in 28 states in the USA, including AZ, AR, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY. 

New donors at certain centers can earn bonuses, which offers the potential to earn up to $600 in your first month. Centers also run local promotions. The typical rate is up to $50 per donation. Payments are made with a Biolife prepaid debit card. 

Biotest Plasma Center

Biotest Plasma Center has locations in AR, FL, GA, IA, NC, NE, NM, OH, PA, SC, SD, TX. You can earn up to $50 for the first five donations, and subsequent donations will earn you $35 to $45. There are also sweepstakes and bonuses when you refer a friend, which can boost your earnings. Payment is made via a Mastercard prepaid debit card. 

BPL Plasma

BPL Plasma has centers in AR, AZ, CO, FL, IL, KY, ME, MN, MO, NC, NM, OH, OK, TX. They offer up to $50 for your first five donations, but there are seasonal promotions to boost your earnings. 

However, BPL Plasma requires donors to be 18 to 65, rather than 69 and not to have had any tattoos or piercings in the last 12 months. 

CSL Plasma

CSL Plasma has locations in AL, AZ, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, WV, WI. There are also multiple locations within the same state. For example, in Alabama, there are Birmingham, Auburn, and two Montgomery centers. 

You can earn up to $50 per donation, with a potential for up to $400 a month. There are also monthly promotions. You’ll receive points that you can redeem for prepaid debit cards or merchandise. 

GCAM Plasma

GCAM Plasma has locations in CA, ID, IN, TX, WA, and you can earn up to $25-$40 for each donation. Payment methods vary, so you would need to contact your local center. 

Grifols

Grifols has more than a hundred locations across the U.S including AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI. This company owns a variety of centers, including Biomat USA, Talecris, Plasma Biological Resources, and Interstate Blood Bank. 

You can expect to receive up to $25 per donation via a prepaid debit card. However, Grifols also operates a refer a friend program for additional bonuses. 

Immunotek

Immunotek has locations in 8 states including AL, FL, MS, NC, PA, SC, TN, TX.

The amount you can earn isn’t listed on their website, and pay rates for donations vary from location to location.

They do offer a $20 referral bonus when you refer a a friend who donates.

Interstate Companies

The Interstate Companies has locations in 14 states including FL, IL, IN, KY, MD, MO, MI, MS, NC, OH, PA, TN, TX, WI.

While they don’t list how much you can earn on their website, users online have stated they pay $50 each for the first 5 donations, and anywhere from $25-35 per donation after that.

KEDPlasma

KEDPlasma has centers in 11 states, including AL, FL, GA, LA, NC, NY, SC. 

You can earn up to $50 for your first five donations. However, returning donors may qualify for a $20 lapse bonus coupon”. You would need to leave at least 14 days between donations.

This company also operates Kedrewards, a loyalty rewards program, which creates an opportunity to earn additional bonuses. The payment methods can vary according to location, but typically you’ll be offered a prepaid debit card. 

Octapharma Plasma

Octapharma has more than 100 locations across the USA including AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NV, OH, OK, SC, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI. 

You can earn up to $50 each for your first five donations. There are also frequency bonuses and a New Donor bonus. For example, you may earn extra if you donate more frequently in certain months. This is usually when there is a high demand for plasma but few donors. 

You’ll be paid via prepaid debit card, but you can also accumulate reward points that can offer sweepstake entries and other discounts. 

The Tax Implications Of Donating Plasma For Money

Most plasma donation centers will load your payment onto a prepaid debit card. You’re unlikely to be provided a tax form that reports your taxable income as you would with a day job.

However, not getting a 1099-MISC IRS form will not let you off the hook. You’re required by the IRS to file a return if you make more than $400 from “gig work”. Donating plasma does count as gig work, so keep a track of your earnings.

You will be responsible for reporting the income made from donating plasma when you file your taxes. So, it is a good idea to set aside a few dollars of each payment to avoid a nasty tax surprise. 

The Side Effects And Potential Risks Of Plasma Donation

Of course, you should not try anything without being aware of the possible side effects and potential risks. Fortunately, plasma donations are considered relatively safe. It is a well-understood process, but there is a possibility of side effects. 

Many of the possible side effects are similar to donating blood. Since needles are involved in the process, you may experience tenderness or bruising around the injection site. There could be discoloration, pain, or swelling, but these should subside relatively quickly. You may also have a reaction to the disinfectant used. This is often iodine, so if you know you have an iodine sensitivity, mention it to the center. 

Some donors can also feel faint or experience dizziness. This is due to fluid being removed from the body, which causes a reaction to this stress. You can minimize your risk of this by drinking plenty of fluids the day before and the day of donation.  

In less common cases, you may experience a citrate reaction. This is an anticoagulant that they use, so the blood doesn’t clot during collection. You may experience a reaction to the citrate, which often presents as a tingling in the fingers or around the mouth and nose. In severe cases, it can cause shortness of breath, shivering, twitching, or a rapid or slowing pulse. 

If you experience any symptoms during the donation process, it is important to let the center staff know. You should also follow instructions following the donation. For example, you may be told to remain seated and have a drink after donation. This will help your body to recover from the stress of donation. 

Donating Plasma After COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the economy and it may be the reason why you’re considering donating plasma to make extra money. Fortunately, it is possible to donate plasma even if you’re recovering from COVID-19. 

In fact, the FDA is encouraging people to begin donating after a negative COVID test and “complete resolution of symptoms”.

President Trump came out with statements this week encouraging people to donate plasma after having COVID-19 so that the medical community can get plasma with the antibodies to help patients who are still struggling with the disease. You will need to wait at least 14 days after your symptoms are resolved before you can make a donation, but giving your plasma with antibodies can be very helpful, and life-saving, for those in need. 

Donating Plasma Is A Legit Way To Earn Some Extra Cash

Donating plasma is a legit way to earn some extra cash while helping others with life-saving plasma.

You only need two or three hours a week to donate plasma and you could make $300 to $400 a month. Anyone can do it as long as they meet the guidelines, and as long as they have no qualms with being stuck with a needle and sitting in a chair for a few hours a month. If that sounds like you this could be an easy way to earn some extra income. 

If you’re not comfortable with the idea of donating plasma for money, you can still donate for free. You can visit your local Red Cross Center to donate blood plasma. The Red Cross allows donations every 28 days, so you can still help people and potentially save lives.

Have you gone through the process to donate plasma for money? Tell us how it went!

plasma donation for money

Donating Plasma For Money: Best Places To Donate Plasma To Make $300-400 A Month

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

16 Best Survey Sites

This page may include affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information.

Sharing your opinions by taking part in surveys is a great way to influence products and services and make some cash at the same time. The best survey sites work with companies to get consumer thoughts on current and future products and services.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can earn some extra cash by sharing your opinions, check out our suggestions for the best survey sites to sign up with.

In This Article

What are the Best Survey Sites?

Not all survey sites are the same. The best survey sites make it easy to sign up, easy to complete surveys, and easy to make money.

While some survey sites are definitely not legit, the survey sites mentioned here are the real deal. Here’s a bit of information about the best survey sites on the web.

1. Survey Junkie

You know Survey Junkie is legit when it’s one of the most popular survey sites around. And it was created in 2005 which makes it one of the longest running survey sites. Survey Junkie has over 10 million members so they must be doing something right.

How it Works

The company has two survey groups you can sign up for: The regular Survey Junkie and SJ Pulse.

The basic Survey Junkie gathers opinions through surveys and other types of market research. SJ Pulse works to have members participate in focus groups and share browsing activity.

If you choose to participate in basic Survey Junkie, here’s how it works:

  • You complete profiles to see if you’re eligible for surveys
  • Once you’re eligible, you can take surveys anywhere from any type of device
  • You earn points for every completed survey

With SJ Pulse, you just download the extension or opt-in on the Survey Junkie app. Survey Junkie does the rest as it assesses your browsing activity for market research purposes.

How Will I Get Paid?

So, with Survey Junkie you get points for each completed survey or activity. Then you can use your points to get PayPal cash or gift cards to a variety of retailers. If you choose the gift card option, you can get gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, and more.

Oh, and you can get paid via bank transfer as well.

How to Sign Up

It’s easy to sign up for Survey Junkie: Just hit the “Join Now” button on the website’s homepage.

Trustpilot score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

2. Swagbucks

Swagbucks nears the top of our list as one of the best survey sites too. First launched in 2008, Swagbucks has paid out over $460 million dollars to its members.

How it Works

Once you’ve signed up, Swagbucks will show you a list of surveys you can take. As you answer the questions you earn points.

Bonus: Swagbucks has other ways you can earn points too. You can watch videos, shop online, play games, search the Web and more. In fact, the site often has signup bonuses of $5 or $10 to give you an earnings boost.

Just browse the site daily to look for ways to earn points that can be converted into cash.

How Will I Get Paid?

Once you’ve hit the minimum number of points you can redeem those points for PayPal cash or gift cards to popular retailers.

Some of the retailers Swagbucks partners with include Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

How to Sign Up

Simply visit the Swagbucks website and you’ll see a popup box that shows you how to sign up. You can sign up with your Facebook account or with your email address.

Trustpilot Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

3. Vindale Research

Vindale Research is another long-time site in the survey business. They’ve been in operation since 2004 and have paid out nearly $8 million.

How it Works

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get invitations daily to complete surveys on a number of topics. Survey topics include:

  • Automobiles
  • Politics and current events
  • Home improvement
  • Health and beauty

And other topics. You can also earn cash through Vindale Research by referring others to sign up and by participating in other activities.

How Will I Get Paid?

One unique thing about Vindale Research is that they pay you in cash. There are no points to earn or redeem. Just request a PayPal payout when you’re ready.

How to Sign Up

At the top of the Vindale Research website, on the right hand side, there are two buttons: Sign In and Sign Up. Hit the “Sign Up” button and become a member for free. The website will instruct you from there.

Trustpilot score: 4 out of 5 stars

4. InboxDollars

InboxDollars started up in 2000 and has paid out over $59 million to members. Oh, they often have sign up bonuses as well.

How it Works

When you sign up (for free) as a member, you’ll be asked a number of questions in order to complete your profile. The answers you enter will help InboxDollars direct you to surveys that are right for you.

As you fill out the surveys you earn cash for each completed survey. And you can also earn money by completing other activities such as:

  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Shopping online
  • Taking advantage of deals

Each task has a dollar amount assigned to it so you know how much you’ll earn if you choose to complete the task.

How Will I Get Paid?

As with Vindale Research, InboxDollars pays you in cash, not points. When you’ve reached the minimum earnings threshold of $30 you can request your cash.

They’ll pay you via mailed check, PayPal, or you can get an e-gift card to retailers such as Amazon.

How to Sign Up

There’s a signup box right on the InboxDollars homepage. Fill out the information in the signup box to open a free account. Remember that you’ll get a lot more survey opportunities if you fill out the answers to all of the profile questions.

Trustpilot score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

5. MyPoints

MyPoints has been helping people earn money through surveys since 1996. They’re another trusted site you can earn some cash with.

How it Works

When you sign up on the site you’ll get notifications to see if you qualify for surveys. One cool thing about MyPoints is that they pay you even if you don’t qualify for the survey. They’ll pay you a bit just for trying. Many sites won’t do that.

There are other ways to earn with MyPoints too such as shopping online and watching videos.

How Will I Get Paid?

When you earn your points you can redeem them for a variety of gift cards. You can get gift cards to PayPal (i.e. cash) or gift cards to one of the company’s 75+ other retail partners.

How to Sign Up

Just head to the MyPoints website and fill out the signup box as directed.

Trustpilot score: 4.4 out of 5 stars

6. Harris Poll Online

Harris Poll Online is one of the longest-running survey sites. They’ve been in the market research game since 1975 and did in-person and mail-in surveys before online surveying became a thing.

How it Works

Once you sign up with Harris Poll Online you’ll be eligible to start receiving survey invitations. The invitations are based on the information you shared when you signed up.

Each invitation comes with a short questionnaire to see if you’re eligible. If you are, you continue on with and finish the survey to get points.

How Will I Get Paid?

You earn what are called “HiPoints” for each survey you complete with Harris Poll Online. After you’ve earned the minimum number of points, you can cash those points in for free gift cards to various retailers.

How to Sign Up

Just go to the Harris Poll Online website and click on the sign up button and follow the prompts.

Trustpilot score: 3 out of 5 stars

7. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is another longtime survey company with a great reputation. Although the website doesn’t say how much they’ve paid out, I can tell you they’ve been around for quite some time.

How it Works

When you sign up you’ll start getting notifications for surveys. Note that when you sign up you need to fill out your profile as accurately as possible. This will ensure you qualify for the highest number of surveys.

This is because companies that hire Pinecone Research have specific client bases for each market research project.

How Will I Get Paid?

Every time you complete a survey you’ll earn points. Then you can redeem your points for cash via a bank transfer. You can choose e-gift cards or other merchandise as payment too.

Note that with Pinecone your points do expire after 12 months of no earning activity. So if you’ve earned points and have decided to discontinue working with Pinecone be sure to cash out your points.

How to Sign Up

When you visit the Pinecone Research site, just click on the signup button and follow the directions.

Trustpilot score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

8. LifePoints

LifePoints has a member community of over 5,000,000 that earn money by taking surveys. The LifePoints website says that the company is ranked the largest provider of custom research and analysis.

How it Works

Once you sign up to become a member, you’re sent surveys you have the option to complete. As long as you complete the surveys within the specified survey period you will earn LifePoints.

Along with surveys, you might be asked to participate in market research that involves recording daily habits or trying out a new product.

How Will I Get Paid?

You can use your LifePoints to get paid by PayPal or to get other rewards such as e-gift cards. The site even has an option where you can trade in your LifePoints to make a donation to charity.

How to Sign Up

Head to the LifePoints homepage and click the “join now” button on the top right-hand side of your screen.

Trustpilot score: 4.6 out of 5 stars

9. Ipsos i-Say

Ipsos i-Say is an online survey community with millions of members. One cool thing about i-Say is that along with traditional market research surveys they have polls that are created by members.

How it Works

As with other survey companies, you start by becoming a member. You’ll earn points for each survey you complete. And there are contests you can enter as well. As with any of these sites, you can earn cash at home or anywhere else where you have a few minutes to spare.

How Will I Get Paid?

As you earn points, you can use them to get e-gift cards to retailers such as Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart. You can get PayPal gift cards as well.

How to Sign Up

Once you reach the i-Say website you’ll see a “Join Now” button in the middle of your screen. Click the button and follow the prompts.

Trustpilot score: 4.2 out of 5

10. Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost is another upstanding survey company that’s been around for years. In addition to surveys, the company also offers product testing.

How it Works

When you first sign up you take a screen questionnaire to help match you with the right types of surveys for your demographic. Sometimes there will be duplicate questions in the screening questionnaire to ensure you’re answering questions accurately.

Once you’ve completed the screening session you’ll get access to surveys that fit your demographic.

How Will I Get Paid?

Opinion Outpost awards points for each completed survey or other activity. You can use your points to get PayPal cash, Visa gift cards, or other awards like Amazon e-gift cards.

How to Sign Up

Just hit the “Join” button at the top right hand side of the Opinion Outpost home page and follow the prompts.

Trustpilot score: 4.3 out of 5

11. Toluna

Toluna shares surveys on current affairs, new products and more.

How it Works

When you sign up to be a Toluna Influencer you’ll be a part of a community that influences the products and services of the future. Each survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

How Will I Get Paid?

Toluna uses a points-based system. Points can be used to get cash, e-gift cards, or other prizes.

How to Sign Up

Click the Sign Up button on the top right hand side of the home page. Complete instructions from there.

Trustpilot score: 4.2 out of 5 stars

12. Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys is a bit newer on the scene than some of the other companies we’ve mentioned here. However, they’re already gaining a great reputation from survey takers.

How it Works

You’ll answer some demographics questions when you sign up, as with similar sites. The site has several different profile surveys you can fill out.

You choose which ones you fill out and which ones you don’t, but the more you fill out the more surveys you can be matched with. You’ll be given survey opportunities based on your screening survey answers.

How Will I Get Paid?

You get awarded points for each survey you complete. After you’ve reached the minimum threshold of 1,000 points, you can get paid via PayPal or Branded Pay, which is the company’s own payroll system.

You can get e-gift cards as pay too.

How to Sign Up

Just click on the Sign Up button on the top right hand corner sidebar and follow the prompts. You can sign up via Facebook or with your email address.

Trustpilot score: 4.4 out of 5

13 .PrizeRebel

PrizeRebel has been in business since 2007. They’ve got over 10 million members and they’ve paid out over 22 million rewards.

How it Works

The sign up process is super easy. Once you sign up, you’ll complete a demographics survey for which you’ll earn points. This survey will match you to surveys you can complete to earn cash.

How Will I Get Paid?

PrizeRebel works on a points-based system, meaning you’ll earn points for every completed survey. You can choose to redeem your points for PayPal cash, e-gift cards, online games, or other prizes.

How to Sign Up

You sign up with Facebook; there’s a big pop-up box on the home page. You can’t miss it.

Trustpilot score: 3.3 out of 5 stars

14. Valued Opinions

Valued Opinions has been conducting market research since 2004. They’re a part of a larger company called Dynata Global which is the largest research market company in the world.

How it Works

After you complete the registration form (it only takes a few minutes) you’ll start receiving survey invitations. If you fit the right demographic, you’ll receive invitations to test new products and review advertising campaigns as well.

How Will I Get Paid?

You can use your earned points to get a Visa gift card, a gift card to one of many store retailers, or use your points to make a donation to one of the company’s partner charities.

How to Sign Up

There are “Join Now” buttons in several places on the site’s home page. Click on one to begin your registration.

Trustpilot score: 4.0 out of 5 stars

15. Google Opinion Rewards

The Google Opinions Rewards app lets you share your opinion right from your phone (most of the other companies mentioned here do to, though).

How it Works

After you sign up, you can complete short surveys while doing other tasks such as waiting for appointments. The app will tell you when there is a survey waiting for you.

You’re chosen for surveys based on the information you fill out when you sign up. Each short survey pays between $0.10 and $1.00

How Will I Get Paid?

Every time your rewards balance reaches $2.00, Google Opinion Rewards will send the money to your PayPal account via the address you signed up with.

How to Sign Up

Just download the app for Android or iOS. Make sure you use your main PayPal address when you sign up for the site in order to receive your payments before they expire.

Trustpilot score: None listed

16. American Consumer Opinion

American Consumer Opinion started surveying customers in 1986 via phone and snail mail. Today the company’s digital surveys ask you questions about the economy, and about products and services they use.

How it Works

After you register, the company will send you survey invitations via email. Know that this company sends survey requests several times a year.

That means you might not get as many survey requests as you would with some of the other companies listed here. As you complete each survey you will be rewarded with points.

How Will I Get Paid?

You can cash out your points and get PayPal cash. Or you can choose from a variety of other rewards such as e-gift cards.

How to Sign Up

Just click the Sign Up button in the middle of the screen or on the upper right hand corner of the site’s home page.

Trustpilot score: None listed

Summary

You won’t get rich by taking surveys but it can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Especially if you use the sites listed here. Have you ever taken surveys to make money? If so, what do you think the best survey sites are?

Tell us in the comments section.

Laurie is personal finance writer and a licensed Realtor. Her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

Source: debtdiscipline.com

16 Best Survey Sites

This page may include affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information.

Sharing your opinions by taking part in surveys is a great way to influence products and services and make some cash at the same time. The best survey sites work with companies to get consumer thoughts on current and future products and services.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can earn some extra cash by sharing your opinions, check out our suggestions for the best survey sites to sign up with.

In This Article

What are the Best Survey Sites?

Not all survey sites are the same. The best survey sites make it easy to sign up, easy to complete surveys, and easy to make money.

While some survey sites are definitely not legit, the survey sites mentioned here are the real deal. Here’s a bit of information about the best survey sites on the web.

1. Survey Junkie

You know Survey Junkie is legit when it’s one of the most popular survey sites around. And it was created in 2005 which makes it one of the longest running survey sites. Survey Junkie has over 10 million members so they must be doing something right.

How it Works

The company has two survey groups you can sign up for: The regular Survey Junkie and SJ Pulse.

The basic Survey Junkie gathers opinions through surveys and other types of market research. SJ Pulse works to have members participate in focus groups and share browsing activity.

If you choose to participate in basic Survey Junkie, here’s how it works:

  • You complete profiles to see if you’re eligible for surveys
  • Once you’re eligible, you can take surveys anywhere from any type of device
  • You earn points for every completed survey

With SJ Pulse, you just download the extension or opt-in on the Survey Junkie app. Survey Junkie does the rest as it assesses your browsing activity for market research purposes.

How Will I Get Paid?

So, with Survey Junkie you get points for each completed survey or activity. Then you can use your points to get PayPal cash or gift cards to a variety of retailers. If you choose the gift card option, you can get gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, and more.

Oh, and you can get paid via bank transfer as well.

How to Sign Up

It’s easy to sign up for Survey Junkie: Just hit the “Join Now” button on the website’s homepage.

Trustpilot score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

2. Swagbucks

Swagbucks nears the top of our list as one of the best survey sites too. First launched in 2008, Swagbucks has paid out over $460 million dollars to its members.

How it Works

Once you’ve signed up, Swagbucks will show you a list of surveys you can take. As you answer the questions you earn points.

Bonus: Swagbucks has other ways you can earn points too. You can watch videos, shop online, play games, search the Web and more. In fact, the site often has signup bonuses of $5 or $10 to give you an earnings boost.

Just browse the site daily to look for ways to earn points that can be converted into cash.

How Will I Get Paid?

Once you’ve hit the minimum number of points you can redeem those points for PayPal cash or gift cards to popular retailers.

Some of the retailers Swagbucks partners with include Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

How to Sign Up

Simply visit the Swagbucks website and you’ll see a popup box that shows you how to sign up. You can sign up with your Facebook account or with your email address.

Trustpilot Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

3. Vindale Research

Vindale Research is another long-time site in the survey business. They’ve been in operation since 2004 and have paid out nearly $8 million.

How it Works

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get invitations daily to complete surveys on a number of topics. Survey topics include:

  • Automobiles
  • Politics and current events
  • Home improvement
  • Health and beauty

And other topics. You can also earn cash through Vindale Research by referring others to sign up and by participating in other activities.

How Will I Get Paid?

One unique thing about Vindale Research is that they pay you in cash. There are no points to earn or redeem. Just request a PayPal payout when you’re ready.

How to Sign Up

At the top of the Vindale Research website, on the right hand side, there are two buttons: Sign In and Sign Up. Hit the “Sign Up” button and become a member for free. The website will instruct you from there.

Trustpilot score: 4 out of 5 stars

4. InboxDollars

InboxDollars started up in 2000 and has paid out over $59 million to members. Oh, they often have sign up bonuses as well.

How it Works

When you sign up (for free) as a member, you’ll be asked a number of questions in order to complete your profile. The answers you enter will help InboxDollars direct you to surveys that are right for you.

As you fill out the surveys you earn cash for each completed survey. And you can also earn money by completing other activities such as:

  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Shopping online
  • Taking advantage of deals

Each task has a dollar amount assigned to it so you know how much you’ll earn if you choose to complete the task.

How Will I Get Paid?

As with Vindale Research, InboxDollars pays you in cash, not points. When you’ve reached the minimum earnings threshold of $30 you can request your cash.

They’ll pay you via mailed check, PayPal, or you can get an e-gift card to retailers such as Amazon.

How to Sign Up

There’s a signup box right on the InboxDollars homepage. Fill out the information in the signup box to open a free account. Remember that you’ll get a lot more survey opportunities if you fill out the answers to all of the profile questions.

Trustpilot score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

5. MyPoints

MyPoints has been helping people earn money through surveys since 1996. They’re another trusted site you can earn some cash with.

How it Works

When you sign up on the site you’ll get notifications to see if you qualify for surveys. One cool thing about MyPoints is that they pay you even if you don’t qualify for the survey. They’ll pay you a bit just for trying. Many sites won’t do that.

There are other ways to earn with MyPoints too such as shopping online and watching videos.

How Will I Get Paid?

When you earn your points you can redeem them for a variety of gift cards. You can get gift cards to PayPal (i.e. cash) or gift cards to one of the company’s 75+ other retail partners.

How to Sign Up

Just head to the MyPoints website and fill out the signup box as directed.

Trustpilot score: 4.4 out of 5 stars

6. Harris Poll Online

Harris Poll Online is one of the longest-running survey sites. They’ve been in the market research game since 1975 and did in-person and mail-in surveys before online surveying became a thing.

How it Works

Once you sign up with Harris Poll Online you’ll be eligible to start receiving survey invitations. The invitations are based on the information you shared when you signed up.

Each invitation comes with a short questionnaire to see if you’re eligible. If you are, you continue on with and finish the survey to get points.

How Will I Get Paid?

You earn what are called “HiPoints” for each survey you complete with Harris Poll Online. After you’ve earned the minimum number of points, you can cash those points in for free gift cards to various retailers.

How to Sign Up

Just go to the Harris Poll Online website and click on the sign up button and follow the prompts.

Trustpilot score: 3 out of 5 stars

7. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is another longtime survey company with a great reputation. Although the website doesn’t say how much they’ve paid out, I can tell you they’ve been around for quite some time.

How it Works

When you sign up you’ll start getting notifications for surveys. Note that when you sign up you need to fill out your profile as accurately as possible. This will ensure you qualify for the highest number of surveys.

This is because companies that hire Pinecone Research have specific client bases for each market research project.

How Will I Get Paid?

Every time you complete a survey you’ll earn points. Then you can redeem your points for cash via a bank transfer. You can choose e-gift cards or other merchandise as payment too.

Note that with Pinecone your points do expire after 12 months of no earning activity. So if you’ve earned points and have decided to discontinue working with Pinecone be sure to cash out your points.

How to Sign Up

When you visit the Pinecone Research site, just click on the signup button and follow the directions.

Trustpilot score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

8. LifePoints

LifePoints has a member community of over 5,000,000 that earn money by taking surveys. The LifePoints website says that the company is ranked the largest provider of custom research and analysis.

How it Works

Once you sign up to become a member, you’re sent surveys you have the option to complete. As long as you complete the surveys within the specified survey period you will earn LifePoints.

Along with surveys, you might be asked to participate in market research that involves recording daily habits or trying out a new product.

How Will I Get Paid?

You can use your LifePoints to get paid by PayPal or to get other rewards such as e-gift cards. The site even has an option where you can trade in your LifePoints to make a donation to charity.

How to Sign Up

Head to the LifePoints homepage and click the “join now” button on the top right-hand side of your screen.

Trustpilot score: 4.6 out of 5 stars

9. Ipsos i-Say

Ipsos i-Say is an online survey community with millions of members. One cool thing about i-Say is that along with traditional market research surveys they have polls that are created by members.

How it Works

As with other survey companies, you start by becoming a member. You’ll earn points for each survey you complete. And there are contests you can enter as well. As with any of these sites, you can earn cash at home or anywhere else where you have a few minutes to spare.

How Will I Get Paid?

As you earn points, you can use them to get e-gift cards to retailers such as Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart. You can get PayPal gift cards as well.

How to Sign Up

Once you reach the i-Say website you’ll see a “Join Now” button in the middle of your screen. Click the button and follow the prompts.

Trustpilot score: 4.2 out of 5

10. Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost is another upstanding survey company that’s been around for years. In addition to surveys, the company also offers product testing.

How it Works

When you first sign up you take a screen questionnaire to help match you with the right types of surveys for your demographic. Sometimes there will be duplicate questions in the screening questionnaire to ensure you’re answering questions accurately.

Once you’ve completed the screening session you’ll get access to surveys that fit your demographic.

How Will I Get Paid?

Opinion Outpost awards points for each completed survey or other activity. You can use your points to get PayPal cash, Visa gift cards, or other awards like Amazon e-gift cards.

How to Sign Up

Just hit the “Join” button at the top right hand side of the Opinion Outpost home page and follow the prompts.

Trustpilot score: 4.3 out of 5

11. Toluna

Toluna shares surveys on current affairs, new products and more.

How it Works

When you sign up to be a Toluna Influencer you’ll be a part of a community that influences the products and services of the future. Each survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

How Will I Get Paid?

Toluna uses a points-based system. Points can be used to get cash, e-gift cards, or other prizes.

How to Sign Up

Click the Sign Up button on the top right hand side of the home page. Complete instructions from there.

Trustpilot score: 4.2 out of 5 stars

12. Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys is a bit newer on the scene than some of the other companies we’ve mentioned here. However, they’re already gaining a great reputation from survey takers.

How it Works

You’ll answer some demographics questions when you sign up, as with similar sites. The site has several different profile surveys you can fill out.

You choose which ones you fill out and which ones you don’t, but the more you fill out the more surveys you can be matched with. You’ll be given survey opportunities based on your screening survey answers.

How Will I Get Paid?

You get awarded points for each survey you complete. After you’ve reached the minimum threshold of 1,000 points, you can get paid via PayPal or Branded Pay, which is the company’s own payroll system.

You can get e-gift cards as pay too.

How to Sign Up

Just click on the Sign Up button on the top right hand corner sidebar and follow the prompts. You can sign up via Facebook or with your email address.

Trustpilot score: 4.4 out of 5

13 .PrizeRebel

PrizeRebel has been in business since 2007. They’ve got over 10 million members and they’ve paid out over 22 million rewards.

How it Works

The sign up process is super easy. Once you sign up, you’ll complete a demographics survey for which you’ll earn points. This survey will match you to surveys you can complete to earn cash.

How Will I Get Paid?

PrizeRebel works on a points-based system, meaning you’ll earn points for every completed survey. You can choose to redeem your points for PayPal cash, e-gift cards, online games, or other prizes.

How to Sign Up

You sign up with Facebook; there’s a big pop-up box on the home page. You can’t miss it.

Trustpilot score: 3.3 out of 5 stars

14. Valued Opinions

Valued Opinions has been conducting market research since 2004. They’re a part of a larger company called Dynata Global which is the largest research market company in the world.

How it Works

After you complete the registration form (it only takes a few minutes) you’ll start receiving survey invitations. If you fit the right demographic, you’ll receive invitations to test new products and review advertising campaigns as well.

How Will I Get Paid?

You can use your earned points to get a Visa gift card, a gift card to one of many store retailers, or use your points to make a donation to one of the company’s partner charities.

How to Sign Up

There are “Join Now” buttons in several places on the site’s home page. Click on one to begin your registration.

Trustpilot score: 4.0 out of 5 stars

15. Google Opinion Rewards

The Google Opinions Rewards app lets you share your opinion right from your phone (most of the other companies mentioned here do to, though).

How it Works

After you sign up, you can complete short surveys while doing other tasks such as waiting for appointments. The app will tell you when there is a survey waiting for you.

You’re chosen for surveys based on the information you fill out when you sign up. Each short survey pays between $0.10 and $1.00

How Will I Get Paid?

Every time your rewards balance reaches $2.00, Google Opinion Rewards will send the money to your PayPal account via the address you signed up with.

How to Sign Up

Just download the app for Android or iOS. Make sure you use your main PayPal address when you sign up for the site in order to receive your payments before they expire.

Trustpilot score: None listed

16. American Consumer Opinion

American Consumer Opinion started surveying customers in 1986 via phone and snail mail. Today the company’s digital surveys ask you questions about the economy, and about products and services they use.

How it Works

After you register, the company will send you survey invitations via email. Know that this company sends survey requests several times a year.

That means you might not get as many survey requests as you would with some of the other companies listed here. As you complete each survey you will be rewarded with points.

How Will I Get Paid?

You can cash out your points and get PayPal cash. Or you can choose from a variety of other rewards such as e-gift cards.

How to Sign Up

Just click the Sign Up button in the middle of the screen or on the upper right hand corner of the site’s home page.

Trustpilot score: None listed

Summary

You won’t get rich by taking surveys but it can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Especially if you use the sites listed here. Have you ever taken surveys to make money? If so, what do you think the best survey sites are?

Tell us in the comments section.

Laurie is personal finance writer and a licensed Realtor. Her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

Source: debtdiscipline.com

The 8 Best Vanguard Funds for Long-Term Investments

If you’re busy and want to invest your money in the long term, you will love the best vanguard funds. They are cheaper.

They are high quality funds, well diversified, and professionally managed.

Thus, vanguard funds are a favorite for long-term investments and for retirement.

Vanguard mutual funds, like any mutual funds, are money invested by investors. They are pooled together in a single investment portfolio. The mutual fund is then managed by a professional manager who then use the money to buy a bunch of stocks, bonds or other assets.

With Vanguard index funds, they are passively managed. That is, they are managed by a computer with its only job is to track an index, such as the S&P 500.

Nonetheless, both mutual funds and index funds are cost-efficient and a huge time saver for a busy investor. And because of that, the best vanguard funds are superior investment vehicles for long term-investment. 

In this article,  we will discuss the 8 best vanguard funds that offer a high-quality, cost and time-efficient way to invest in the stock market.

Understanding the Advantages of the Best Vanguard Funds

Before jumping into the best vanguard funds, it’s important to go over the main reasons for investing in mutual or index funds rather than individual stocks, bonds, or other securities.

Diversification. You have probably heard of the popular saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Well, if so, it applies well to mutual and index funds. Diversification is when you have a mix of investment to help control the total risk of your investment portfolio.

Unless you have a lot of money, buying individual stocks yourself can be costly. But with a mutual or index fund, you’re able to buy dozens of stocks and invest in different types of stocks in a variety of industries, thus diversifying your portfolio.

Because you invest in multiple stocks across various industries, you are spreading your risk. If one stock plummets, the others can balance it out. Most Vanguard funds, if not all, are diversified.

Low minimum investment. Another benefit of Vanguard funds is that they require a reasonable investment minimum. Some Vanguard mutual funds require a minimum of $3000 to invest. They also offer a monthly investment plan, so you can start with as little as $20 per month.

Cost efficiency. The charges that you pay to buy or sell a fund can be significant. However Vanguard funds are known to cost way less than the average mutual fund.

Professional management. Even if you have a lot and you are an expert in investing, investing your money in a Vanguard mutual fund is a huge time saver. That means once you buy your fund and contribute to it monthly (however you chose), you can just forget about it.

A Vanguard professional manager takes care of it for you. Plus, vanguard fund managers are experienced, well educated. So you don’t have to worry about an inexperienced manager running your money.

These are the reasons why investing in the best vanguard funds is better than investing in individual stocks and/or bonds.

However, one of the drawbacks with vanguard funds, as with all mutual or index funds, is that you don’t have control over your investment portfolio. Leaving your money to someone who decides when and what to invest in can be difficult for you if you’re someone who likes to be in control.

So, if you like to be in control and things yourself, you may want to develop your own investment portfolio and not relying on these Vanguard funds.

Are you a long-term investor?

Think about yourself and your goals before choosing these best Vanguard funds.

What are your investment goals? Do you plan on holding these funds in the long term?

A long term investor is someone who puts money into an investment product for a long period of time.

If you plan on investing money to achieve some goals in 2 years, such as buying a car or going on a vacation, you should not use these Vanguard Funds.

That is because stocks and bonds can rise and fall significantly over a short period of time. That makes it possible to lose some or all of your money. Moreover, if you need cash in a hurry, a Vanguard fund is definitely not the right investment for you.

So you’re better off using short-term investments for these kind of goals.

But if you want to build wealth for the long term or your goal is to retire in 20 or 40 years, these Vanguard funds are for you.

Likewise, what is your appetite for risk?

A long-term investor should be aware of the risks involved in investing in the stock market. They should know their own risk tolerance. Some investors are more cautious than others. Some can take risks and are able to sleep well at night.

These vanguard funds carry different level of risks. Some are more conservative than the others. 

Therefore, before you start buying Vanguard funds, figure out whether you are a long term investor. In other words, don’t keep money in funds unless you plan on holding them for at least 5 years.

The 8 Best Vanguard Funds to Buy Now for Long-Term Investments

Now that you have a pretty good idea of why a Vanguard fund is a good long-term investment, and you are aware of your risk tolerance, below is 8 of the top and best Vanguard funds to buy now for the long term. If you have questions beyond Vanguard funds, it may make sense to work with a financial planner or financial advisor near you.

Vanguard Total Stock Market Admiral (VTSAX)

  • Minimum initial investment:$3000
  • Expenses:0.04%

The biggest and perhaps one of the best Vanguard funds is the Vanguard Total Stock Market. The fund was created in 1992. It gives long term investors a broad exposure to the entire US equity market, including large, mid, and small cap growth stocks. Some of the largest stocks include Apple, Facebook, Johnson And Johnson, Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway, etc…

This Vanguard fund has all of the attributes mentioned above, i.e., diversification and low costs. Note this fund invests exclusively in stock. So it’s the most aggressive Vanguard fund around.You need a minimum of $3000 to invest in this fund. The expenses are 0.04%, which is extremely low. Note this is also available as an ETF, with an expense ratio of 0.03%.

Vanguard 500 Index (VFIAX)

  • Minimum initial investment:$3,000
  • Expenses: 0.04%

If you want to have your money invested only in American assets, this Vanguard fund is the right one for you. The Vanguard 500 Index, as the name suggests tracks the S&P 500 index.

This index funds gives you exposure to 500 of the largest U.S. companies, spreading across different industries, making it one of the best Vanguard funds to have. Some of the largest companies you might already know include Microsoft, Apple, Visa, JP Morgan Chase, Facebook, etc. It has a minimum investment of $3,000 with an expense ratio of 0.04&, making it one of the best Vanguard funds to have. 

Vanguard Wellington Income Investor Share (VWINX)

  • Minimum initial investment:
  • Expenses:

If you’re aware of risks involved in investing in stocks and you have a low tolerance for risk, the Vanguard wellington Income is for you. This fund allocates about one third to stocks and two thirds to bonds, making it very conservative.

Another good thing about this Vanguard fund is that it invests in stocks that have a strong track record of providing dividend income to its investors. So, if you are one of those long term investors who has a low appetite for risks and who likes to receive a steady dividend payment without a lot of volatility in the share price, you should consider this fund.

Vanguard Star (VGSTX)

  • Minimum initial investment: $1,000
  • Expenses: 0.31%

The great thing about this Vanguard fund is that the minimum investment is relatively low ($1000), making it a good choice among new investors. Plus, it’s well balanced.

It is invested 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds. For those investors looking for a broad diversification in both domestic and international stocks and bonds, this fund should not be overlooked.

Vanguard Dividend Growth (VDIGX)

  • Minimum initial investment:$3000
  • Expenses:0.22%

Vanguard Dividend Growth, as the name suggests, focuses on companies that pay dividends and have the ability to grow their dividends over time.

If you’re an investor with a long term focus and likes to receive a steady dividend income, you may want to consider this fund. The minimum investment is $3000 with an expense ratio of 0.22%.

Vanguard Health Care (VGHCX)

  • Minimum initial investment: $3,000
  • Expenses: 0.34%

As the name suggests, Vanguard Health Care only invests in the Health Care Section. That’s the only downside. Apart from that, it gives investors a great exposure to various domestic and international companies within the health care sector, such as pharmaceutical firms, research firms, and medical supply and equipment companies.

If you’re considering this Vanguard fund, you should also have another and more diversified fund to reduce your risk.

Vanguard International Growth (VWIGX)

  • Minimum initial investment: $3000
  • Expenses: 0.43%

If you’re looking to build a complete investment portfolio and want to have more exposure to foreign stocks, the Vanguard International Growth is the one of the best Vanguard Funds to accomplish that goal. The fund focuses on non-U.S. stocks in developed and emerging markets with a high growth potential.

However, one thing to consider is the high volatility of this fund. Because it also invests in developed countries, the share price can rise and fall significantly. So you should consider this fund if you want more exposure to foreign stocks. But you also want to have another fund as well to balance it out. The minimum initial investment is $3,000 with an expense ratio of 0.43%.

Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (VTBLX)

  • Minimum initial investment: $3000
  • Expenses: 0.05%

Bond funds may be appropriate and advantageous for long term investors who want a bond fund that invests US and Corporate bonds. If that’s your goal then the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index is the right one for you.

Just as any Vanguard funds, it’s cost efficient, safe and high quality. It has a minimum initial investment of $3,000 and an expense ration of 0.05%. Also note that this fund is also available as an ETF.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to invest in mutual or index funds, those are the best Vanguard funds to buy now and hold for the long term. They are high quality, low-cost, and are safe. 

Related:

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

  • If you have questions beyond knowing which of the best Vanguard funds to invest, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).

Source: growthrapidly.com

How to Build Credit with Fingerhut

  • Raise Credit Score

If you’ve been wanting to make a big purchase, but your credit is less than spectacular, you might have looked into Fingerhut as an option. 

Fingerhut is an online catalog and retailer that showcases a multitude of products. On this website, customers can shop for anything from electronics to home décor to auto parts. Fingerhut offers financing through their own line of credit, making it appealing to shoppers with poor credit or a nonexistent credit history. Many consumers have a better chance of getting approved by Fingerhut, than they might have of getting approved through most other credit card companies. It’s an option worth looking into if you want to improve your credit score through credit utilization.  

The major difference between Fingerhut and credit cards that cater to low credit scores is that Fingerhut credit is exclusively available for use with its own company’s products and authorized partners. You’ll also find that the company’s products are pricier than they would be through most other retailers, while also bearing the weight of higher interest rates. While it might seem like a good idea if you don’t have good credit, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the company beforehand so that you know what you’re signing up for. 

How Fingerhut credit works

When you apply for a Fingerhut credit account, you can get approved by one of two accounts:

  • WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account.
  • Fingerhut FreshStart Installment Loan issued by WebBank.

As it happens, by submitting your application, you are applying for both credit accounts. Applicants will be considered for the Fingerhut FreshStart Installment Loan issued by WebBank as a direct result of being denied for the WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account. In other words, you won’t have a way of knowing which one you will be approved for prior to applying. Both credit accounts are issued by WebBank and are set up so that customers can purchase merchandise by paying for them on an installment plan with a 29.99% Annual Percentage Rate (APR). These are the only things that the different Fingerhut credit accounts have in common.

The WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account

The WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account works very much like an unsecured credit card, except that it’s an account that you can only use it to shop on Fingerhut or through its authorized partners. 

This credit account features:

  •  No annual fee.
  • A 29.99% interest rate.
  • A $38 fee on late or returned payments.
  • A possible down payment; it may or may not be required. You won’t know prior to applying. 

If you get denied for this line of credit, your application will automatically be reviewed for the Fingerhut FreshStart Credit Account issued by WebBank, which is both structured and conditioned differently.

Fingerhut FreshStart Installment Loan issued by WebBank

If you get approved for the Fingerhut FreshStart Installment Loan, you must follow these three steps to activate it:

  • Make a one-time purchase of no less than $50.
  • Put a minimum payment of $30 down on your purchase, and your order will be shipped to you upon receipt of your payment. You may not use a credit card to make down payments, but you can use a debit card, check, or a money order. 
  • Make monthly payments on your balance within a span of six to eight months.

You can become eligible to upgrade to the Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account so long as you are able to pay off your balance during that time frame or sooner without having made any late payments. Keep in mind that paying for the entire balance in full at the time you make your down payment will result in you not qualifying for the loan as well as being ineligible for upgrade. 

How a Fingerhut credit account helps raise your credit score

The fact that it can help you improve your credit is one of the biggest advantages of using a Fingerhut credit account. 

When you make your payments to Fingerhut in full and on-time, the company will report that activity to the three major credit bureaus. This means that your good credit utilization won’t go unnoticed nor unrewarded. If you use Fingerhut to improve your credit score, you will eventually be able to apply for a credit card through a traditional credit card company—one where you can make purchases anywhere, not just at Fingerhut. 

Additional benefits of a Fingerhut credit account

Besides using it as a tool to repair your bad credit, there are a few other benefits to using a WebBank Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account such as:

  • No annual fee.
  • Fingerhut has partnerships with a handful of other retailers, which means you can use your Fingerhut credit line to make purchases through a variety of companies. Fingerhut is partnered with companies that specialize in everything from floral arrangements to insurance plans.
  • There are no penalties on the WebBank Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account when you pay off your balance early.

How to build credit with Fingerhut

Fingerhut credit works the same way as the loans from credit card companies work: in the form of a revolving loan. 

A revolving loan is when you are designated a maximum credit limit by your lender, in which you are allowed to spend. Whatever you spend, you are expected to pay back in full and on-time through a series of monthly payments. This act of borrowing money and paying off bills using your Fingerhut account causes your balances to revolve and fluctuate, hence, its name. 

Your credit activity, good or bad, gets reported to the three major credit bureaus and in turn, will have an effect on your credit report. Revolving loans play a large role in your credit score, affecting approximately 30% of your score through your credit utilization ratio. If your credit utilization ratio, the amount of available revolving credit divided by your amount owed, is too high then your credit score will plummet. 

When using a Fingerhut account, the goal is to try to keep your amounts owed as low as you possibly can so that you can maintain a low utilization ratio, and as a result, have a higher credit score.

Alternatives to Fingerhut

If you’ve done all your research and decided that Fingerhut isn’t the right choice for you, there are other options that might serve you better, even if you have bad credit. There are a variety of secured credit cards that you can apply for such as:

  • The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card: You will need a $200 security deposit to qualify for this secured credit card, but you can most likely get approved without a credit check or even a bank account. It can also be used to improve your credit, as this card does report to the three major credit bureaus. While this card does come with an annual $35 fee, you can use it to shop anywhere that will accept a Visa. 
  • Discover it Secured:  For all those opposed to paying an annual fee of any sort, this card might just be the one for you. With a $0 annual fee and the ability to earn rewards through purchases, there’s not much to frown about with this secured credit card. One of the best perks, is that it allows you the chance to upgrade to an unsecured card after only eight months. 
  • Deserve Pro Mastercard: This card is a desirable option for those with a short credit history. There is no annual fee and no security deposit required and, if your credit history isn’t very long-winded, that’s okay. The issuers for this card may use their own process to decide whether or not you qualify for credit, by evaluating other factors such as income and employment. This card is especially nifty because you can get cash-back rewards such as 3% back on every dollar that you spend on travel and entertainment, 2% back on every dollar spent at restaurants, and 1% cash back on every dollar spent on anything else. 

Final Thoughts 

Fingerhut is an option worth looking into for those with bad credit or a short credit history. If you want to use a Fingerhunt credit account to improve your credit score, be sure to use it wisely and make all of your payments on time, just as you would with any other credit card.

Even though it might be easy to get approved, the prices and interest rates on items sold through Fingerhut are set higher than they would be at most other retailers, so it’s important to consider this before applying. 

There are a ton of options available, regardless of what your credit report looks like, if you are trying to improve your credit. If the prices of Fingerhut’s merchandise are enough to scare you away, you might want to consider applying for a secured credit card. 

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Truth About Reward and Store Credit Cards

  • Credit Card Debt

On the surface, reward cards are a great way to make a few extra dollars or grab some air miles without increasing your spending or your debt. If you spend a lot of money at a particular shop, store cards will seem like an equally beneficial prospect. But these cards exist for a reason—they’re there to make more money for the providers and the retailers, not you.

Sure, reward/store cards have other benefits if you use them properly, but there are a host of disadvantages and hidden terms that you need to be aware of before signing on the dotted line. 

What are Store Cards?

Store cards are tied to specific stores and offered by chains of retailers. These cards work just like traditional cards and are often branded by networks like Visa and MasterCard. The difference is that they can only be used in the issuing stores and their rewards are tied to those stores.

In essence, they are store loyalty cards that come with a lien of credit attached. 

What are Reward Cards?

Reward cards are also tied to credit card networks, including American Express and Discover, as well as Visa and MasterCard. They award points every time they’re used for qualifying purchases and these points can then be swapped for air travel and other benefits. 

Some reward schemes award a specific amount of cash back, often fixed to 1% or 2% of purchases made on specific items, such as groceries or utility bills.

How Can Providers Offer These Rewards?

If a provider offers you cash back every time you spend money on your credit card, someone has to foot the bill. Many consumers assume that the credit card network covers the cost, and to an extent, they do. But it’s not quite as simple as that.

Every time you use your credit card to make a purchase, the retailer is charged a fee, often between 1% and 3% of the purchase. This is the network’s charge. With reward cards, this fee increases, and the extra money is used to fund the rewards program.

As a result, retailers are not exactly happy with these programs as they drive their costs up and reduce their profits. The only way around this, is to increase the cost of the product or, more likely, to reward customers who pay with cash/debit. Retailers are not allowed to add a surcharge for credit card use, but there’s nothing stopping them from choosing which cards they do and don’t accept.

Your local Mom & Pop enterprise isn’t being antiquated and old-fashioned by refusing credit cards. They just can’t cover the costs. 5% may not sound like a big deal, but for retailers with minimal buying power and the massive overheads of running a brick-and-mortar store, 5% can be a deal breaker.

Smaller retailers are fighting back against reward cards while bigger ones are embracing them by adopting their own store cards. With a store card, they have more say, more control, and they know that those small losses will be offset by the increased purchases.

Issues with Store Credit Cards

Store cards carry a big risk and have far few benefits than reward cards. The advantages of these cards are obvious: If you shop a lot in a particular place, you can save money via the cash back schemes. 

They can also help with emergency purchases, providing you clear the balance in full. But, while the benefits are obvious, the same can’t be said about the disadvantages.

Con 1: They Have High Interest Rates

The average credit card interest rate in the United States is around 16%. The average rate for store cards is over 20%. That 4% may not seem like much, but if you don’t repay your balance every month that interest will compound, grow, and cost you a small fortune. 

At 16% with a $10,000 balance and a 60-month repayment term, you’ll pay $243 a month and over $4,000 in total interest.

Increase that rate to 20% and your monthly payment grows by $20 while your total interest increases by nearly $1,500. The longer you leave it and the smaller your monthly payments are, the greater that difference will be.

For example, if you repay just $200 a month on that balance, the difference between 16% and 20% is 26 extra months and close to $5,000. Of course, store cards rarely offer such high limits, but this is just as example to show you how much of a difference even the slightest percentage increase can cause.

It’s worth keeping this in mind if you ever apply for a traditional rewards card. Getting rewards in return for a higher APR is great if you repay your balance in full every month and terrible if you don’t.

Con 2: They Have High Penalty Rates

If you miss a payment on your store credit card you could be hit with a penalty APR as high as 29.99%, as well as a late payment fee of $39. The rates are high to begin with, but these penalty rates are astronomical and will make a bad situation worse.

That’s not all, as some providers are known to be very unforgiven when it comes to missed and late payments. In some cases, your account will default even if you underpay just once and just by a few dollars. 

Con 3: They Have Low Credit Limits

Retailers are not lenders. They don’t have the time, funds or patience to chase debts and deal with collection agencies. As a result, they don’t offer high credit limits and generally you’ll get a fraction of what an unsecured credit card might provide you with.

This might not seem like much of an issue. After all, a smaller credit limit means you’re less likely to accumulate large amounts of debts. However, this has a massively negative impact on your credit score that few borrowers consider.

30% of your credit score is based on something known as a credit utilization ratio. This looks at the total available credit and compares it to the debt that you have accumulated. If you have several cards with a combined credit limit of $10,000 and a balance of $5,000, then your ratio is 50%, which is considered to be quite high.

If a store card is your only account and you spend $450 on a $500 limit, then you have a credit utilization ratio of 90%, which will reduce your score. Your credit report is also negatively affected by maxed-out credit cards, a feat that’s much easier to achieve when you have a low credit limit.

Con 4: There Are Better Options

It’s better to have one good reward card than multiple store cards. The former will provide you with far better interest rates and terms, while the latter will hit your credit report with several hard inquiries and new accounts. 

A rewards card will still benefit you when shopping at those stores and will also provide you with a wealth of other benefits.

Con 5: You May Spend More

Store cards are not designed to make your life easier and give you a few freebies. Regardless of what the store tells you, they’re not made to reward loyalty, they’re made to encourage spending. 

This doesn’t always work, and research suggests that many individuals use reward cards just like they would normal cards. But for a small minority, the idea of acquiring points is enough to convince them to spend more than they usually would.

Some good can be good debt, such as when it’s used to acquire an asset or something that won’t depreciate. But very rarely do we use credit cards for this purpose and generally, if you’re spending more on a store card it means you’re wasting more money on things you don’t need.

Con 6: You Can’t Use Them Anywhere Else

A store card can only be used in that particular store. This renders it redundant as an emergency card and also means you’re encouraged to shop in that one place. You don’t have a chance to shop around and find the cheapest price; you may spend more just to use your card and get the benefits, with those benefits rarely covering the additional money you spend.

What About Reward Cards?

Some reward cards have very high rates as these rates are used to offset the rewards program. However, this isn’t always the case, because, as discussed above, networks often charge retailers more to offset these purchases and therefore don’t always need to cover the costs themselves.

Some credit cards, such as the Discover It, offer solid reward schemes and would also be included on any list of the best non-reward credit cards. It’s a solid all-rounder and it’s not alone. However, many reward cards charge high annual fees and penalty rates, just like you’ll find with a store card.

It’s important to study the small print and make sure the card is viable. If you’re going to clear the balance every month, a slightly higher interest rate won’t hurt, especially if it comes with some generous rewards. But if there is any doubt and even the slightest chance that you won’t clear the balance, it’s always best to focus on a low-interest rate first.

Even the most generous 5% cash back reward card will not offset the losses occurred by paying a few more percentage points of interest.

Will Reward/Store Cards Affect my Credit Score?

Credit cards trigger hard inquiries, which can reduce your credit score by up to 5 points. This is true for every credit card that you apply for. Rate shopping can combine multiple inquiries into one if they are for the same type of credit, but this doesn’t apply to credit cards.

A new account will also impact your score. This impact is often minimal and if you keep up with your repayments then it will vanish in time. However, if you miss a payment, max-out your card or increase your credit utilization score, it could have a detrimental effect on your score and your finances.

Keep store cards to a minimum and only sign up if you’re 100% sure you’re getting a good deal that will benefit you in the short-term and the long-term.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

What Is the CVV on a Credit Card?

What Is the CVV on a Credit Card? – SmartAsset

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If you’ve made a purchase online or over the phone, you’re probably familiar with the three sets of credit card numbers you have to hand over. These numbers include the credit card number, the expiration date and the CVV. If you’re an online shopping pro, you’ll know where to find the CVV. But what exactly is the CVV on a credit card?

What Is the CVV on a Credit Card?

A credit card’s CVV acts as another line of security against fraud. The CVV, or card verification value, can also be referred to as the CSC, or card security code. These numbers serve as one of the most important anti-fraud measures for a credit (or debit) card, especially with the rise of virtual transactions. So when you make a purchase online or over the phone, giving the CVV assures a merchant that the purchase is legitimate and authorized.

When you use your card in person, retailers can check your ID to make sure you’re the cardholder. But merchants can’t do the same when you make an online purchase. Instead, the CVV serves a substitute for personal identification. Plus, your card carrier can verify your card’s unique CVV in the event verification is needed.

Not all merchants require you to enter your CVV when making a purchase. This doesn’t make a merchant illegitimate, however. In any case, you always want to make sure you’re handing over your credit card information to a merchant you trust.

Where to Find Your Card’s CVV

Card carriers print their CVVs in different places on their cards, so it’s important to know where the CVV is on your card(s). If you have a Visa, Mastercard or Discover card, you can find the three-digit CVV on the back of your card to the right of the signature strip. The number may also be adjacent to either your full credit card number, or just the last four digits of it.

However, if you have an American Express card, you can find the CVV on the front, right side of your card. Also note that Amex calls this number a card identification number (CID). An Amex CID is also four digits instead of three.

How a CVV Protects You

A card’s CVV comes in handy mostly for online purchases. Again, it acts as another line of defense against fraud. So even if a hacker gains access to your credit card number, expiration date and full name, they still need your CVV to complete the transaction. Luckily, CVVs aren’t as easily obtainable as your other credit card information.

This is due to the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DDS). This was created by Amex, Discover, Mastercard, Visa and other credit card leaders to establish standard rules for credit card information storage. One of its main stipulations states that merchants cannot store your CVV after you make a purchase. However, there’s nothing preventing merchants from storing the rest of your card’s information, like the credit card number. This makes it harder for criminals to find the CVV attached to your credit card number.

The CVV also works in tandem with a credit card’s magnetic strip and the newer EMV chip technology. The printed CVV on your card is embedded in the card’s magnetic strip. The chip has a digital CVV equivalent called the Integrated Chip Card Card Verification Value (iCVV). So when you use your card in person, whether you swipe or insert the chip, your CVV will still be confirmed.

Limitations of a CVV

Typically, the issues that arise with CVVs are often self-inflicted by the cardholder. Since it’s hard for fraudsters to obtain your CVV through a credit card database, they turn to other illegal means. This includes phishing and physically stealing your cards.

These scams occur as the occasional email or pop-up on your computer, enticing you to make an online purchase. Some scams are easy to spot, due to misspelling or other obvious errors. However, because online merchants so often ask you to enter your CVV, hackers can also include that requirement on their fraudulent page. If you enter your credit card information, including the CVV, the hackers have easily gained access to your account.

Of course, there is always the possibility of getting your credit card physically stolen. In this case, the thieves don’t need to hack anything since all your information is there on the card. Your best bet is to cancel your card as soon as possible, request a new card from your issuer and dispute any unauthorized charges made to the account.

Final Word

While in-person purchases aren’t entirely foolproof, online transactions put you and your information more at risk of fraud. To combat this, credit card providers created CVVs and their associated regulations to help keep your personal credit information safe. You can help protect yourself, too, by only entering your card information on websites you trust.

Tips for Keeping Your Card’s Info Safe

  • It’s important to research and find the right credit card for you. When you’re looking through a card’s features, you should look at its security features. Make sure you’re comfortable with its limits.
  • Never engage with any emails, ads or websites that you don’t immediately recognize as legitimate. This includes not clicking on suspicious links and not entering your credit card’s account number, expiration date and especially the CVV.
  • Be sure to look for a “Secure” tag to the left of the web address of any site you’re making an online purchase through. Only encrypted sites feature these tags, so you can feel confident your card’s information will be safe in these transactions.

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Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with top fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by Smartasset and is legally bound to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Georgijevic, CVVnumber.com, ©iStock.com/ShotShare, ©iStock.com/wutwhanfoto

Chris Thompson, CEPF® Chris Thompson is a retirement, savings, mortgage and credit card expert at SmartAsset. He has reviewed hundreds of credit cards and loves helping people find the one that best matches their financial needs. Chris is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He graduated from Montclair State University where he received the Journalism Achievement Award. Chris’ articles have been featured in places like Yahoo Finance, MSN and Bleacher Report. He lives in New Jersey and is a Mets, Jets and Nets fan.
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Source: smartasset.com

Best credit cards for grocery shopping

Americans spend on average $4,464 in groceries every year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Shopping for groceries is one of the main weekly expenses in every American household.

That’s why the credit cards tying reward points to grocery shopping are getting more numerous and their offers are getting increasingly more competitive. In 2020 you have a whole new lineup of cards ready to reward you for the purchases you make at grocery stores.

Here are the best cards whether you like those premium rewards, are an everyday shopper, are building credit, you’d rather skip the prep and go straight to the meal or you like to buy groceries at superstores.

See related: Best cash back cards

American Express® Gold Card: Best for earning Membership Rewards points on groceries

Amex Gold gives you an unprecedented rewards rate whether you’re dining in or out. If that weren’t enough, paying at certain eligible restaurants (see terms for qualifying merchants) after enrollment can get you up to $10 a month in statement credit. You also get up to $120 in Uber Cash every year ($10 per month) that can be applied to U.S. Uber Eats orders – a big plus for those who order their groceries through the platform (must add Gold Card to Uber app in order to receive the Uber Cash benefit).

The intro bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first six months is excellent, and there are many redemption options, including gift cards, merchandise and travel with no blackout dates.

American Express® Gold Card should appeal to frequent ride-share users and takeout lovers alike. Cardholders enjoy $120 in Uber Cash each year, which can be used for Uber rides, Uber Eats delivery and more. Enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 and you’ll also get a complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership for 12 months, which comes with discounts and $0 delivery fees on eligible restaurant and grocery purchases.

The card charges an annual fee of $250, but if you take advantage of both the Uber Cash and the dining credit, keeping the Amex Gold card will essentially cost you $10 every year.

If you are OK with only redeeming travel directly through Amextravel.com or Amex’s airline partners to maximize the value of the Membership Rewards points you’ll earn, this is a great card for foodies and travelers.

Here’s a closer look at the features:

  • 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first six months
  • 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases – 1 point thereafter
  • 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide (including Uber Eats orders)
  • 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly through airlines or on amextravel.com
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit (up to a $10 statement credit monthly) when you pay at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris and participating Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month)
  • No foreign transaction fees

Even though it has fewer features than the Amex Gold, it gives you perhaps the highest cash back rate available on groceries, and it has a lower annual fee – $95. Plus, running errands like groceries is way easier when you get cash back on gas for the commute. Take a closer look:

  • $250 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu or HBO Max
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% on transit purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for earning cash back on groceries and everything else

For those who don’t want to have to choose a spending category but still want no annual fee, Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a consistent rate of at least 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • Cash back rewards do not expire
  • No annual fee

Target REDcard™: Best for earning cash back on Target purchases

The Target Redcard has no annual fee. This, combined with its standard offer of 5% off in-store purchases applied right at the checkout counter and 5% off at Target.com with free shipping, makes it a great card for frequent Target shoppers, especially since the 5% discount is applied in perpetuity. You can also stack your discount with others available through Target’s Cartwheel app and in-store.

Though most people don’t need 120 days to return an item, you get that with this card when its extra 30 days is combined with Target’s standard 90-day return policy. The extra time could allow a greater piece of mind on those large ticket items you buy.

However, if you’re known to carry a balance, this isn’t the right card for you. The high variable APR can far outweigh the 5% discount, so pay the card off after each billing cycle.

Here’s a snapshot of all the benefits of this card: 

  • 5% off eligible Target purchases in-store and online at Target.com (except pharmacy purchases)
  • Can be used together with Target Circle and other discounts
  • Free two-day shipping on orders from Target.com with no spending minimum
  • An extra 30 days to return items on top of the standard 90-day return policy
  • Early access to special events, products and promotions
  • No annual fee

This card is great because, unlike Target’s Redcard, it offers some cash back outside of Walmart purchases, including 2% cash back at restaurants and travel and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

However, while Target’s Redcard offers its in-store 5% discount with no limit, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard only offers the same discount in-store for the first 12 months and you have to use Walmart’s mobile wallet on your purchases to get it.

Where this card really shines is online, especially if you do a lot of grocery pickup or delivery orders from Walmart.com.

It’s very easy to apply for and, like the Redcard, it carries no annual fee, as well as some smaller benefits you’ll see below:

  • 5% cash back on Walmart purchases online, including grocery and delivery orders
  • 5% cash back on in-store purchases in the first year when you pay using the Walmart Pay digital wallet
  • 2% cash back on restaurant and travel purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fee
  • Easily apply via text message
  • Card is automatically transferred to Walmart Pay digital wallet on approval
  • Fraud alerts and the ability to freeze your account

Comparing the best cards for grocery shopping

Card Grocery bonus Other rewards Annual fee
American Express® Gold Card 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases – 1 point thereafter

 

  • 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first six months
  • 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide (including Uber Eats orders)
  • 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly through airlines or on amextravel.com
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit (up to a $10 statement credit monthly) when you pay at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris and participating Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year ($10 per month)
$250
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%
  • $250 statement credit when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu or HBO Max
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% on transit purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
$95
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • $200 in online cash rewards when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • 3% cash back on a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • $2,500 combined quarterly limit on 2% and 3% cash back categories
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
$0
Chase Freedom Unlimited® n/a
  • 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months
$0
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card 2% cash back at grocery stores
  • 8% cash back on tickets through Vivid Seats (offer ends January 2022)
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • $300 bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
$95
Target REDcard™ 5% discount at Target and Target.com n/a $0
Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
  • 5% cash back on in-store purchases for the first 12 months when using Walmart Pay
  • 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including grocery pickup and delivery orders
  • 2% cash back on in-store Walmart purchases after the introductory period
  • 2% cash back on restaurant and travel purchases
  • 2% cash back on the purchase of gift cards at Walmart (online, app, Walmart Pay or in stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
$0

Honorable mentions

There is no shortage of credit card options that reward grocery spending, so in addition to our top picks above, consider these alternatives.

  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card – A no-annual-fee alternative to the Capital One Savor Card, the SavorOne offers the same 2% cash back on grocery store purchases. While it offers a slightly lower rate on dining and entertainment than the Savor card, the SavorOne is a good alternative for those wary to pay an annual fee.
  • U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card – The newly launched U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card offers a competitive rewards rate on both dining and grocery purchases – 4 points per dollar on dining and food delivery and 2 points per dollar on groceries, to be exact. It also offers 2 points per dollar on gas and streaming service purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Plus, it doesn’t charge an annual fee.
  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card – If you prefer to do your grocery shopping at Whole Foods, you can’t beat the rewards rate on the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card. In addition to 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases, the card offers the same 5% rate at Whole Foods locations. You’ll also earn 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases and 1% on everything else. You have to be a Prime member to qualify for the card, but if you spend a significant amount on Amazon orders or at Whole Foods, your rewards can help offset the cost of membership.
  • Apple Card – The Apple Card is best known for its high rewards rate on Apple purchases, but it can also be a great choice for grocery shopping. When you make a purchase via Apple Pay, the card offers 2% back on all qualifying purchases. This is on par with some of the highest flat-rate credit card offers. Just make sure your preferred grocery story accepts the mobile wallet before you work this card into your rewards strategy.

How to pick the right card for grocery shopping

For most of us, using a credit card at a grocery store simply involves taking it out in the checkout line. But if you want to up your grocery shopping game and save some serious money, here are some tips and secret strategies from credit card experts and the most seasoned shoppers we could find.

When picking the credit card you’ll use at the grocery store most experts recommend either a card with a high cash back rate that can provide a percentage off every time you shop or a tiered rewards card that offers specific rewards every time you use it for groceries.

“When you use a cash back card, it’s like having a coupon to save a certain amount off your total purchase each and every time you buy groceries. This savings isn’t limited to grocery stores – a flat-rate rewards card will apply the same cash back or miles to all of your purchases,” says Ashley Dull of CardRates.com.

However, if you’re picking a tiered rewards card with a grocery store category, they often have a limit on how much you can earn annually.

For example, American Express limits the 6% cash back rate spent at U.S. supermarkets annually on its Blue Cash Preferred Card to $6,000 in purchases (after that, it’s 1%), so be mindful of those restrictions.

Apple Card gives you cash back every day.

You also want to pick a card where rewards don’t expire, there are multiple options for redemption and you can transfer rewards between accounts. Always keep track of the terms of your credit card and compare card features vigorously before making your final selection.

How to earn the most rewards while grocery shopping

If you really want to maximize your rewards at the grocery store, stack your savings with a cash back app such as Ibotta, Fetch Rewards or Checkout 51. Your grocery store’s loyalty app is also a great way to double-dip on savings.

“By taking a few minutes to scan in your grocery receipts, a family of four can easily earn over $25 a month in rewards,” says Nermeen Ghneim of The Savvy Dollar personal finance blog.

Finally, if you’re choosing a store-branded credit card because you tend to shop at the same store all the time, make sure you pay off the balance before the billing cycle resets because store cards tend to have very high interest and fees.

“Many people know that making a habit of paying off high interest credit cards will actually have a slightly negative effect on their credit,” says Dan Gallagher, author, retired financial planner and personal finance expert at ScoreSense.com. “But some grocery credit cards are in-house credit extensions, especially the ones that are valid in-store only. The in-store-only variety does not harm your score for avoiding interest and paying balances off early, so do not fear a grocery store credit card.”

*All information about the Capital One Savor card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. 

Source: creditcards.com