credit & debt

How to Get Even Sweeter Rewards From Your Rewards Credit Card

Boost your rewards by opening a bank account.

If you have a checking or savings account with the bank that issues your rewards credit card, you may get a boost on cash back, points or miles. The new PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature card (9.24% to 17.99% annual percentage rate) pays an unlimited 2% cash back on all spending if you have an Access America checking account with Pentagon Federal Credit Union or if you have served in the military. Otherwise, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on purchases. Anyone can join PenFed by paying a one-time, $17 membership fee to Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association.

Members of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program get a bonus on rewards with the Bank­Americard Travel Rewards card (0% for 12 months, then 15.74% to 23.74%). It offers a standard 1.5 points per dollar on all spending. But if you have a Preferred Rewards balance of $100,000 or more, you’ll get a 75% boost, earning an effective 2.6% back on spending to use toward travel purchases.

If you redeem cash back from a SunTrust credit card and deposit it into a SunTrust account, you’ll get a minimum 10% bonus on rewards. Customers who have a Signature Advantage checking account and keep less than $100,000 combined in bank and investment accounts get a 25% bonus; those with balances of $100,000 or more get a 50% boost. (Private Wealth Management clients get a 75% bonus.) One attractive option: The SunTrust Travel Rewards card (0% for 15 months, then 11.99% to 21.99%; $89 annual fee, waived for Premier, Signature Advantage and Private Wealth clients) offers 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent on travel purchases the first year of card membership (3% thereafter) and 1% back on everything else.

Most Popular

House Approves $3,000 Child Tax Credit for 2021
Coronavirus and Your Money

House Approves $3,000 Child Tax Credit for 2021

The proposal would temporarily increase the child tax credit to $3,000 or $3,600 per child for most families and have 50% of it paid in advance by the…
February 27, 2021
Third Stimulus Checks Are One Step Closer to Reality – How Much Will You Get?
Coronavirus and Your Money

Third Stimulus Checks Are One Step Closer to Reality – How Much Will You Get?

The House passed President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package. While the bill faces hurdles in the Senate, the provisions authorizing another roun…
February 27, 2021
2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator
Tax Breaks

2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator

See how much money you would get in advance if President Biden's $3,000-per-child tax credit plan is enacted (it was just passed by the House and is n…
February 27, 2021

Recommended

How to Keep Tabs on Your Credit Report
Coronavirus and Your Money

How to Keep Tabs on Your Credit Report

Free weekly access is ending, but several services let you view your credit files more than once a year.
February 24, 2021
The IRS Can Take Your Recovery Rebate Credit for Child Support or Other Debts Owed
Coronavirus and Your Money

The IRS Can Take Your Recovery Rebate Credit for Child Support or Other Debts Owed

Restrictions put in place to protect your stimulus check from garnishment don't apply to "recovery rebate" tax credits.
January 30, 2021
Refer a Friend to Your Bank or Credit Card—and Reap Rewards
Making Your Money Last

Refer a Friend to Your Bank or Credit Card—and Reap Rewards

Some major card issuers are giving referral bonuses to eligible cardholders.
January 27, 2021
6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check

If you don't have to use your second stimulus check for basic necessities, consider putting the money to work for you. You'll thank yourself later.
December 28, 2020