Top 4 Credit Cards for People Who Earn Less than $60,000

by RateHub.ca July 27, 2015 / No Comments

When you start shopping around for your next credit card, one of the details you might forget to double-check before you submit an application is what the income requirement is. Sure, some credit cards sound great – but are you eligible to apply for and use its benefits? It all depends on how much you earn.

Since the best rewards credit cards typically come with high credit limits, credit card companies require cardholders to earn a minimum amount of money each year, so they know they could afford to pay off the balance of the card. For example, a student who wasn’t working during school would only qualify for a no fee credit card, whereas someone who makes $100,000/year could access the best credit cards on the market.

If you’re currently making less than $60,000/year, here are the best credit cards available to you.

*Note: To compare the cards, we set a monthly spend of: $500 on groceries, $200 on gas and $800 on “everything” else.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

scotiabank-gold-american-express

Apply Now Button-small

  • 20,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points for accounts opened by October 31, 2016
  • Earn up to four points per dollar spent
  • Receive discounts and other special offers on hotels, airfare, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages

 

Annual Fee Sign-up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending Profile Annual Return
$99 $150 4 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurants on the first $50,000 per year

1 point per $1 spent on everything else

4 points x $700 on groceries and gas = 2,800 points

1 point x $800 on everything else = 800 points

2,800 + 800 = 3,600

Value of 1 point = $0.01

3,600 points x $0.01 = $36/month

Sign Up: $150

Spending Rewards: $36 x 12 months = $432

Annual Fee: $99

Total: $432 + $150 – $99 = $483

Return: $483/$15,000 = 3.22%

Next up is the Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card. This is a fantastic credit card for anyone who spends a lot on gas, groceries, entertainment or at restaurants, because it offers 4 points per $1 spent in these categories. You would also earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. You can redeem your points on travel expenses, and the card also comes with some of the best travel insurance policies. It does have an annual fee of $99, however, there is no minimum income requirement for this card.

SimplyCash Card from American Express

the-new-simply-cash-card-from-american-express

Apply Now Button-small

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on all eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants in Canada (up to $250 cash back) for the first 6 months
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% interest rate on all balance transfers for the first six months

 

Annual Fee Spending Rewards Monthly Spending Profile Annual Spending Rewards Annual Return
$0 5% cash back on all eligible purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants (up to $250 cash back) for the first 6 months

1.25% cash back on everything else

5% x $700 on groceries and gas = $35/month for 6 months
1.25% x $700 on groceries and gas = $8.75/month next 6 months1.25% x $800 on everything else = $10/month
$35 x 6 months = $210

 

$8.75 x 6 months = $52.50

$10 x 12 months = $120

 

Total: $382.50

Spending Rewards: $382.50

Annual Fee: $0
Total: $382.50 – $0 = $382.50

Return: $382.50/$15,000 = 2.55%

If you’d prefer to earn cash back, the new SimplyCash Card from American Express could be the card for you. It has no annual fee and lets you earn 5% cash back on gas, groceries and restaurants for the first 6 months; after that, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases. As an American Express cardholder, you’ll also have access to exclusive offers with the American Express Invites Program, which includes advanced access and reserved tickets for numerous entertainment options. To qualify for this card, you need to earn at least $15,000/year.

Marriott Rewards Premier Visa

marriott-rewards-visa-from-chase

  • $120 annual fee; first year free
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • 30,000 bonus points after your first purchase
  • Free anniversary stay e-certificate valid for 12 months at any participating Category 1 to 5 Marriott location worldwide

 

Annual Fee Sign-up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending Profile Annual Return
$120 $588 5 points for $1 spent on travel

2 points per $1 on restaurants

1 mile per $1 on everything else

1 mile x $1,500 = 1,500 points

Value of 1 point = $0.0081

1,500 x 0.0081 = $12.15/month

Sign-up Bonus: $588

Spending Rewards: $12.15 x 12 = $145.80

Annual Fee: $0

Total: $588 +$145.80 – $0 = $733.80

Return: $733.80/$15,000 = 4.89%

Marriott Rewards Premier Visa, which offers two fantastic sign-up bonuses: 30,000 points when you make your first purchase and 1 free night stay at a Category 1-5 hotel just for signing up. For that reason, it’s no wonder it’s one of the top travel rewards credit cards on our site. On top of the bonuses, you’ll earn points with every dollar you spend on the card, and additional points on travel expenses and stays at any Marriott location. The card does come with a $120 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year, which is a good amount of time for you to use the card and test out whether or not it’s the right one for you. To qualify for this card, you need a household income of at least $30,000/year.

Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard

capital-one-aspire-travel-world-mastercard

Apply Now Button-small

  • Earn two points per dollar on all purchases
  • Receive 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months
  • Redeem for travel, gift cards, or cash

 

Annual Fee Sign-up Bonus Spending Rewards Monthly Spending Profile Annual Return
$0 $50 1 mile on everything 1 mile x $1,500 = 1,500 miles

Avg. value of 1 mile = $0.01

 

1,500 miles x $0.01 = $15/month

Sign-up Bonus: $50

 

Spending Rewards: $15 x 12 = $180

Annual Fee: $0
Total: $180 +$50 – $0 = $382.50

Return: $230/$15,000 = 1.53%

And finally, if you want access to the Capital One No Hassle Rewards Program, you can sign-up for and use the Capital One Aspire Travel Platinum MasterCard. This card comes with 5,000 bonus miles with first purchase, which is valued at $50. You’ll then earn 1 mile for every $1 you spend on the card, no matter where you shop. One of the best perks about using this card is that you can redeem miles for any travel-related expense, which means you can book flights and hotels through any website – you’re not restricted to one company or one website. All you have to do is make the purchase, then login to your account and “erase” the purchase from your balance with your points. And the bonus: there is no annual income requirement for this card.

 

Flickr: ITU Pictures