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The Best Credit Cards, January 2013

You can transfer up to $15,000, but if Chase determines your credit limit should be lower, you will be limited to the lower amount.

The 0% introductory APR also applies to purchases, making this card a good option for buying a larger item. If you've saved up to purchase some furniture, for example, you can use the introductory purchase APR of 0% to use the credit card issuer's money to improve your cash flow. This leverage technique is risky. If you end up using the credit card for an emergency, you can make it more difficult to repay your balance before the introductory period is complete. On the other hand, it leaves you with more cash in your bank account.

After the introductory period of fifteen months is complete, Chase will assign a variable APR to your purchases and balance transfers, currently ranging from 11.99% to 21.99%. You will need good to excellent credit to qualify for this Slate from Chase offer.

If you have good to excellent credit, the Slate® from Chase offers a 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers for fifteen months, without charging the dreaded balance transfer fee on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. All other transfers will be charged $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. After the introductory period, purchases and balance transfer APR's will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate and is currently between 11.99% to 21.99% variable, depending on your credit history. In addition Slate® from Chase comes with Patented Fraud Protection and zero liability on unauthorized purchases.

The best credit card cash back rewards

Credit card issuers have become much savvier about operating their cash back rewards programs. Most issuers now require cardholders to remember to enroll several times throughout the year in order to receive the cash back they advertise. That's why I recommend a card that doesn't require you to jump through hoops to accumulate the cash back promised in the ads.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Most cash back credit cards offer 1% cash back on all purchases as a baseline, with certain categories of expenses earning additional cash back. With some cards, the categories change throughout the year. To keep life simple, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express remains consistent each month.

Cardholders will receive 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets on the first $6,000 of purchases per calendar year (1% thereafter), 2% cash back on gasoline purchases made at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, 2% cash back at select major department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases. You don't need to sign up for the program in addition to applying for the card. Cash back is earned only on eligible purchases. And cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can redeem the “Reward Dollars” you earn at any time after they are credited to your account, after you have at least $25 in your reward bank.

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