Best credit cards for medical purchases

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    Planned or unexpected medical expenses can be costly and create financial burdens. In 2020, approximately 7 million Americans had medical debt in debt collection, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    It is generally not advisable to use a credit card for medical expenses unless absolutely necessary. This could end up costing thousands of dollars in interest and potentially leaving you in debt.

    However, if you need to charge medical expenses to a credit card, there are cards that offer rewards and benefits for medical-related purchases – whether you’re paying for your prescriptions or going to a health care provider. Here are our top picks.

    Here are the best credit cards for medical purchases.

    AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays

    Our choice for: Varied medical expenses

    Main Medical Rewards and Benefits:

    • 3% cashback at petrol stations and drug stores (except Target and Walmart).

    • 2% cashback on medical expenses.

    Why we like it

    the AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays offers valuable medical rewards that can also be beneficial to AARP members and non-members. Cardholders receive 2% cashback on medical expenses that include a wide and comprehensive range of services and products such as dentists, orthodontists, osteopaths, chiropractors, optometrists, opticians, opticians and glasses, hospitals, medical and dental laboratories, hearing aids, emergency services, orthopedic goods , prosthetic devices, nursing and personal care facilities, doctors, and more.

    In addition, the card earns an even higher rate of 3% cashback for purchases in drugstores, excluding Target and Walmart. This means that if you were to buy over-the-counter drugs from CVS or Walgreens, for example, you would be earning the card’s bonus cashback rate. Notice that a purchase or a service Dealer Category Code, or MCC, will determine whether your purchase is categorized as a drugstore and receive the 3% of the card back. Pharmacy purchases at grocery, wholesale, or discount stores are not eligible for this cashback rate on drugstore spending.

    Upgrade to Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

    Our choice for: Paying off debts

    Main Medical Rewards and Benefits: Earn 3% cashback on home purchases, cars, and health products.

    Why we like it

    In addition to house and car purchases, owners of the Upgrade to Triple Cash Rewards Visa® receives 3% cashback for health-related expenses. This includes shopping related to sports and beauty and also things like hospital visits. Additional medical expenses that would get the card 3% back include services and products such as hearing aids, medical and dental laboratories, naturopaths, nursing and personal care facilities, optometrists and ophthalmologists, prostheses and more.

    In addition, the card offers a unique advantage: if you still have credit on the card at the end, you can repay it within a fixed repayment period at a fixed interest rate, depending on what you qualify for. This can reduce the financial burden and prevent you from accumulating debt faster than you would with a regular credit card.

    Citi Custom Cash℠ card

    Citi Custom Cash℠ card
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    Our choice for: flexibility

    Main Medical Rewards and Benefits: 5% cashback on up to $ 500 spent in your highest spending category per billing cycle (from a list of eligible options, including drug stores) and 1% on all other spending in the category.

    Why we like it

    Rotating bonus category cards usually require some work to keep track of. But the Citi Custom Cash℠ card makes it easier for cardholders to keep track of the bonus categories. That’s because it pays 5% cashback in your highest Eligible Spending category each billing cycle, which is automatically adjusted based on your spending that month. And since drug stores are one of the card’s 10 fixed bonus categories, you will receive lucrative rewards when you use your card in these stores.

    For the Citi Custom Cash℠ card, drugstore spending includes drugstore purchases in grocery stores, supermarkets, wholesalers, and warehouses – as long as the MCC of the purchase is “drug store” or “pharmacy”.

    Due to the flexibility of the card, holders are not required to spend just one way to earn 5% cashback. For example, if you spend a lot in drugstores on medical expenses one month due to your needs, but your expenses are more grocery-focused in the next billing cycle, your bonus category will automatically be adjusted and you will continue to receive increased rewards (until you reach the spending cap of $ 500 per billing cycle achieved).

    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
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    Our choice for: drug stores

    Main Medical Rewards and Benefits: 3% cashback on drugstore purchases.

    Why we like it

    In addition to rewards for travel and restaurant purchases Chase Freedom Unlimited® deserves a solid cashback rate on drugstore spending – which can make it a preferred card for pharmacy-related spending in such stores. Please note that this cashback rate is not used for purchases in grocery stores, department stores and discount pharmacies.

    Plus, the card earns 1.5% back when it is spent outside of the bonus category. Although this is not as high as some Flat rate cards on the market Offer, it’s higher than what most tiered reward cards offer for these expenses.

    New account holders can also benefit from the card’s generous registration bonus: Earn a $ 200 bonus after spending $ 500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. And earn 5% cashback on grocery purchases (excluding Target® or Walmart® purchases) up to $ 12,000 spent in the first year.

    Other contender: If you are a reward maximizer capable of tracking rotating bonus categories, here are some things to consider Chase Freedom Flex℠. She also earns 3% cashback for purchases in drugstores and receives rewards for food and travel expenses. In contrast to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, it earns 5% cashback on quarterly rotating categories that you need to activate (up to $ 1,500 in combined expenses per quarter) – which historically included drug stores. This means that in addition to the potential doubling of the category, you can benefit from the current 3% of the card for drugstores.

    The myWalgreens Mastercard

    Our pick for: Walgreens

    Main Medical Rewards and Benefits:

    • $ 25 in Walgreens Cash Rewards when you make your first purchase within 45 days.

    • 10% off eligible Walgreens branded items in stores, online or through the Walgreens app.

    • 5% off all other purchases in Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, online and through the Walgreens app, including pharmacy purchases.

    • 3% off non-Walgreens groceries and health and wellness purchases.

    • 1% back on all other expenses.

    Why we like it

    If Walgreens is your drugstore of choice, the myWalgreens Mastercard allows you to earn valuable rewards – for both personal and online purchases. Branded Walgreens is where you get most of the rewards, but you still earn a lucrative price on other purchases, including pharmacy, in-store and Duane Reade stores.

    The Mastercard also receives rewards for non-Walgreens health and wellness purchases. Articles and services that fall under this category are determined by the associated customer center.

    Walgreens Cash Rewards earned with the card can be redeemed at the checkout as discounts for in-store, online or in-app purchases.

    Note that some pharmacy items purchased from Walgreens stores in Arkansas, New Jersey, or New York may not be eligible for cash awards.

    Nerdy tip: Walgreens also offers the myWalgreens card, which offers the same benefits as the Mastercard version, except for cashback for non-Walgreens expenses. The card can only be used in Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, online at Walgreens.com and through the Walgreens app. An applicant’s creditworthiness determines which card they are approved for. Anyone who is not approved for the myWalgreens Mastercard will automatically be considered for the myWalgreens card.

    Alternative options

    The CareCredit Card

    This card provides special funding for medical expenses that are not otherwise covered by insurance. the Care credit card is accepted by wellness and health care providers participating in the program, which includes over 225,000 providers across the country. The card offers interest-free periods of six, 12, 18, and 24 months on purchases of $ 200 or more.

    If you settle your balance before the allotted interest-free time slot closes, you will not be charged any interest. However, the promotional offer of the card is a deferred interest Offer, which means that the interest will not be waived but postponed until later. So if you don’t pay the amount owed before the promotional period ends, you will be charged interest on the original loan amount, not just the balance – which can be very expensive.

    General 0% APR cards

    Wells Fargo Reflect Card
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    If you have unexpected medical expenses that warrant funding, consider a. decide 0% APR card which is accompanied by a long interest-free period. Such cards come with interest relief, which means that you will not be charged any interest during the promotional period. Thereafter, only interest will be credited to the remaining balance.

    For example the $ 0-Annual fee Wells Fargo Reflect℠ map comes with a potential 21-month 0% APR on both purchases and credit transfers: 0% introductory APR for 18 months from account opening for purchases and qualifying credit transfers, and then an ongoing APR of 12.99% – 24.99% Variable APR. Intro APR extension for up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the introductory and extension periods.

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