Diving into the world of credit card rewards for the first time can be intimidating, but the right app can make the entire process much more manageable.
Credit cards can help you earn thousands of dollars in cash back and reward points. But getting there can be a complicated process. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to stay up to date on your credit score, shop for the best cards for your current needs, and maximize your rewards.
Ready to take your credit card game to the next level? Here are the top six apps that can help you get started.
1. Credit Karma
Starting out as a way to track your credit score, Credit Karma has since evolved into a one-stop-shop for just about anything related to credit cards or money in general.
Launch the Credit Karma app and you’ll be immediately greeted with two separate credit scores, one from TransUnion and one from Equifax. Both scores are updated daily, allowing you to easily keep track of changes to your credit as they happen.
But Credit Karma does more than tell you your score. You can dig deeper and get a breakdown of how your score is calculated and what you can do to improve it.
Credit Karma will automatically suggest credit cards based on your creditworthiness and chances of approval. Some card selections even come with a karma guarantee. That means Credit Karma is so sure you’ll be approved that the app will send you $50 if your application is denied.
Credit Karma’s full suite of features includes options for auto insurance, personal loans, home loans, and more.
NerdWallet is one of the best ways to choose your next credit card. It will automatically give you credit card recommendations based on your creditworthiness, but you can even have NerdWallet provide personalized card recommendations based on your current needs.
You can search for a card based on various categories, such as travel, cash back, or your monthly spending habits. NerdWallet will then choose a handful of cards that it thinks are a better fit for you. Even better, you can select up to three cards to compare side by side. NerdWallet will then provide you with an easy-to-understand card breakdown that includes information like annual fees, rewards programs, and more.
While digital payment methods are replacing physical credit cards, keeping on top of your credit score is still extremely important. And Experian is one of the best ways to keep track of where your credit score stands right now.
Although many apps can calculate your credit score, one of the biggest advantages of choosing Experian is its scoring model. Most credit card applications provide a score from TransUnion or Equifax, both of which use VantageScore 3.0 to generate your credit score.
On the other hand, Experian uses FICO Score 8, the same scoring model used by many banks and credit card issuers. That means your Experian score is often closer to what lenders see before they approve or deny your credit card application.
But Experian can give you more than just information about your credit score. It also offers free credit monitoring that can help keep you safe even if a criminal uses a credit card skimmer against you. You can also see a detailed breakdown of your overall financial picture in the app, read helpful articles on credit and money management, and search for credit card offers curated for you.
WalletHub makes it easy to manage your credit cards and can even help you rebuild your credit.
After launching WalletHub, you’ll be greeted with your credit score and updated credit card offers. When it comes to recommending cards, WalletHub does an excellent job of giving you a clear picture of each card’s benefits, current bonus offers, and annual fees.
WalletHub is also a great tool to help you increase your credit score faster. Many apps will recommend paying off debt to boost your credit, but WalletHub has a built-in debt management tool to help you do just that.
You can use the app to keep track of your balances, interest rates, and estimated payment dates. They can even help you set up a custom payment plan designed to help you improve your credit and get out of debt faster.
5. Maximum rewards
Credit card rewards come in many forms, some of the most common being points programs and sign-up bonuses. However, juggling multiple bonus offers and rewards programs can quickly become a complicated process. Fortunately, MaxRewards makes it easy to keep track of everything.
After you link your credit cards to the app, MaxRewards will provide you with a breakdown of your current point balance, bonus categories, and spending goals. Better yet, MaxRewards can monitor your progress and update it as you work toward your goals.
MaxRewards also makes it easy to stay on top of your card bonus offers. Credit cards often have rotating bonus categories that change from month to month. Taking advantage of these deals means getting extra cash back on purchases in categories like gas, groceries and more.
MaxRewards can automatically activate these offers as they become available, making it easy to maximize the value you get from your credit cards.
6. Prize portfolio
If you’re someone who wants to be in full control of your credit card rewards, AwardWallet could be your next best friend.
After the initial setup, AwardWallet will provide you with a detailed breakdown of all your recent credit card transactions. That means not only giving you a summary of how much you’ve spent, but also calculating how much you’ve earned in rewards on each purchase.
AwardWallet can even take an in-depth look at your spending and highlight potential rewards you may have missed. It’s also great for helping you redeem your credit card rewards for the maximum value possible. By looking at the AwardWallet blog section, you can stay up to date with tips and tricks, bonus offers, and general credit card rewards tips.
AwardsWallet is also great for managing multiple rewards programs. Linking your email account with AwardsWallet allows the app to automatically scan your mailbox for up-to-date information on your rewards programs, bonus offers, and even things like flight reservations.
And if you’re worried about your credit card number being leaked, rest assured that AwardsWallet uses industry-standard encryption to keep your personal data safe.
How to get the most out of your credit cards
Gone are the days of being in the dark about your credit. These days it’s easier than ever to stay on top of your credit score and maximize the rewards you’re earning with your credit cards.
Even if you’re not a credit guru, choosing the right app can help you improve your credit score, choose your next credit card, and even get out of debt faster. Being smart with your credit cards could end up paying a lot.