The Best Credit Cards For Job Seekers

Published on Aug 26 2011 // Written By // Banking, Credit Card Reviews, Credit Cards

It might not be the first big thought that enters a job seeker’s mind, when checking out employment ads and scoping around websites such as Monster or Craigslist. But credit cards can come as a great boon when searching for work.

If you measure the other factors involved- travel costs, a spanking new wardrobe, employment coaching, even resume help- all comes with various prices. And for that, you need a good, solid credit card.

Keep in mind; if you are unemployed, you want to be very safe and frugal with your spending. The last worry you need when you’re unemployed is racking up unneeded credit card debt.

The first card you should consider, if you are one of the many unemployed out there (after all, American’s unemployment sits at approximately 9%) is the Blue Cash Everyday(SM) from American Express. With this card, Amex offers a 2% cash back bonus on purchases that are made at department stores. And department stores are great places to find that new, winning power suit. There are no annual fees with Blue Cash and it has a 0% APR for its first year. After that, the interest will rise to one of three prices, depending on your proven creditworthiness:  17.24%, 19.24% or 21.24%.


The second card you might want to think about is PenFed’s Platinum Cash Back Rewards. It has a great program for saving money while filling up on gas (and think about it, if you’re travelling for interviews, this will be a great weight off your shoulders). You can earn 5% cash back at all your gas-related purchases, while enjoying no annual fees and the 13.99% APR. As of right now, PenFed is offering a 24-month introductory APR of 4.99% for those who have a qualifying credit score. Something to keep wary of, though, is that PenFed is a credit union, which means you will have to join before you can even apply for the card. But you can also just make a donation to one of PenFed’s many affiliated charities.

The third choice for job seekers is the Chase Freedom Visa. CardRatings claimed that this Visa has “attractive cash back offers all year round.” And who, unemployed or employed, can resist that?

Take into account that you can get (as of the present) $100 back after spending $500 before your third month with the Chase Freedom Visa and then another $100 after you spend $1,000 before six months. Also, the card has no annual fee. The APR of the Chase Freedom Visa can be anywhere from 11.99% to 22.99%, depending on how your credit history looks. The 0% introductory APR will only last six months.

So even though your mind might be more in tune with your employment status rather than the best credit cards available in your situation, knowing the right one to use can really give you a boost on your job hunt.

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Michael German is an expert in the field of personal finance and a graduate of Columbia University. His lengthy tenure includes literary work with The New York Times international weekly edition, where he contribute reports on global economy and consumer trends. As a writer and researcher in personal finance, Michael is also a contributor to, freemoneywisdom, and many other online and print publications.

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