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The best charge cards are cash

By Dian Vujovich

Even if you have a seven-figure bank account and typically prefer debit cards to carrying cash, having a credit card or two handy isn’t a method of payment that’s gone totally by the boards. That said, knowing which credit cards offer the best rewards could be as valuable as that “just incase” C-note tucked away in your handbag or wallet.

CardHub.com lists all sorts of “The Best” credit cards and does so under a number of different headings. There are cards listed for those with credit ratings from excellent to poor, ones best for business, college students, those with the best cash back offerings and the categories go on.

But before naming two of the cards the editors there have highlighted for those with excellent credit—defined as a credit score of 721-850—let’s talk credit card debt.

If we all handled our money in the same fashion, coming up with a figure showing how much debt the average individual carries on his or her credit card(s) would be as easy as getting a seat at the bar in Taboo during off-season. But becausse we’re not all alike, or are regulars in that Worth Avenue establishment, there’s no one answer to how much debt we carry on our cards.

However, for those with an interest, the average amount of debt on a credit card pretty much depends upon one’s lifestyle. For instance, U.S. adults who don’t carry a balance from one month to the next have the smallest card balances averaging $1,098 per card. Those who don’t pay their card off each month and carry their debt forward from one month to the next have the largest sums, $7,743 per card.

As for those in between, here’s a look at the average balances depending upon various circumstances, according to CreditCard.com:

• $1,648 per account, U.S. adults with a credit report and Social Security number

• $3,600 per person, U.S. resident adults

• $5,234 per person, excluding unused cards and store cards

• $5,596 per U.S. adult with a credit card

• $5,700 per household with credit card debt

Back to CardHub.com data.

Two credit cards that the editors of that site rank highly for individuals who have an excellent credit rating are from Chase and Barclays.

CardHub considers the Chase Slate card as the “Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers” for a few reasons. For openers, Money Magazine likes it. And a few of the card features include a $0 introductory balance feature, $0 APR for 15 months on purchase and balance transfers and $0 annual fee. Once those time frames are up, however, interest rates head skyward and range from 12.99% – 22.99%.

Although the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ Credit Card doesn’t appear to have as many $0 features on it, except for the 0 percent charge on transfers for 12 months. CardHub editors write: “The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is one of a select few offers providing consumers with the opportunity to earn a $400 initial rewards bonus, which itself provides a great deal of flexibility given that it can be applied to any travel-related expense.”

There’s much more information on each of the two mentioned cards plus data on a host of other cards at CardHub.com. And info about credit cards in general at CreditCard.com

Bottom line: Cash is king no matter if it comes in the form of a debit card, a credit card balance paid in full and on time each month, or in dollar bill form.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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