Be Prepared Series: Best Emergency Credit Card

An emergency comes along, and you haven't quite saved up your emergency savings plan. You want an option though and a good credit card that you only use for emergencies is a great option. So, what do you look for in an emergency credit card? Here is the best emergency credit card for most consumers.

First, you want a no annual fee Visa or Mastercard with a higher spending limit, so you know you’ll be able to handle a big expense if needed. Visa and Mastercard credit cards are typically better than American Express and Discover, because they are accepted at most places.

No annual fee (or a low one) is important because you don’t want to pay for a card you’re not going to use on a regular basis. Cards with fees do typically have much higher limits. For example, Capital One Venture’s $5,000+ limit comes with a $95 annual fee that kicks in year two.

The highest minimum limit you can expect on a no annual fee card is $500, from Citi Double Cash.

And if your emergency credit card offers rewards, you’ll want to make sure those rewards won’t expire due to inactivity. Citi Double Cash rewards expire after 12 months with no purchases on your account. So just keep track of your spending and rewards.

Here is a great pick for an emergency credit card:

Citi Double Cash

$0 annual fee. $500 minimum credit limit.

1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off. Rewards expire after 12 months of inactivity. 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (3% fee). Good credit needed.

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Earn cash back on your purchases with one of Citi's best cash back credit cards. The Citi® Double Cash card lets you earn 2% cash back — 1% on purchases and an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Balance transfer offer: 0% intro APR on balance transfer for 18 months; after that the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.*

•   Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.

•   If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.

•   Balance Transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.

•   There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.*

No Annual Fee*

Earn Cash Back TWICE

This card rewards you in two ways, so now you don't have to just spend more to earn more. First, you earn 1% unlimited cash back on every purchase you make.

Then, as you pay for those purchases – whether it's all at once or over time – you earn an additional 1% cash back on those credit card payments.

To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.

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No Caps and No Category Restrictions Unlike many other cash back credit cards, Citi Double Cash has no restricting categories to keep track of or enroll in.2 There are also no caps on the total amount of cash back you earn.

When you make a purchase, you earn 1% unlimited cash back. Then, you earn an additional 1% cash back as you make payments for that purchase, whether you pay in full or over time.

To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.

You earn cash back on all your purchases and on payments based on your purchases. You do not earn cash back based on balance transfer, cash advances, account fees, interest or returned items.

Other Citi® Benefits

Citi EntertainmentSM Citi Entertainment takes the once out of once in a lifetime. Use your Citi credit card or Citibank Debit Card to get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and exclusive experiences for the year's most anticipated concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

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