It's easy to understand the allure of brokerage credit cards. They're cash-back cards that route the the kickbacks into a brokerage account for capital appreciation. Free money creating more free money: What could possibly go wrong?
Savers love cash-back cards, which return a fraction of what you spend in good old U.S. currency. Disciplined consumers can bank hundreds of dollars yearly: The key is knowing how to maximize your payback.
In 20 years of credit card use, I'd never paid an annual fee. It was a hard and fast rule, like paying my bills on time and never carrying a balance. But a month ago, I got an offer I couldn't refuse: 6% cash back on groceries, and 3% on gas. The catch: This upgrade would carry a $75 annual fee.
Credit cards can destroy your financial life, if you're not careful. But choose the right one -- a card that fits with how you spend your money and what you like as a reward -- pay your balance in full each month, and you can turn ordinary, necessary expenditures into real life-enhancers.