Top 10 Fun Things to Do When Visiting Memphis

Known as the Home of the Blues, Memphis is a music lover’s paradise, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit this incredible city. You’ll be able to explore its deep history, both in terms of music and the heart of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century. Plus, there are museums, parks, and more waiting.

Here, you’ll learn more about the best things to do in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as discover ideal times of year to visit. In addition, you’ll get a good idea of the average trip costs so you can budget accordingly.

Best Times to Go to Memphis

Memphis is at its most comfortable during the spring and fall months, typically from late April through the beginning of June and again from late August to the middle of October. For instance, in April, you’ll find temperatures in the 70s during the day, and in October, you’ll experience similarly warm temperatures.

For music lovers, also consider visiting for the annual Beale Street Music Festival, which takes place each May. Some of music’s biggest names perform at this three-day event. 2022’s headliners included Megan Thee Stallion and Van Morrisson, so you know there’s something for everyone.

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Bad Times to Go to Memphis

Summer and winter will be less crowded in Memphis, but the weather is less than ideal for many. Summer travel in Memphis can be hot and humid. The average high temperature in July is in the 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit, making that one of the worst times to visit Memphis. Late fall and early winter tend to be cloudy in Memphis, but there’s not a high chance of snow. Rainfall tends to peak in early December and mid-April.

Average Cost of a Memphis Vacation

Before you start making a list of the top things to do in Memphis, get an idea of how much a trip there will cost you once you arrive. According to Budget Your Trip, an individual spends an average of $34 on dining every day. Local transportation is actually more expensive at $47 per day, so you might want to look into renting a car to get around.

Hotels, however, can be reasonably priced at around $134 per night in Memphis, and perhaps even less if you try some hacks to save money on hotels.

Here’s how the costs break down if you plan to spend a week in the city; there will be some incidentals as well:

•   One Person Total: $1,172

•   Two Person Total: $2,343

One note: You may want to also budget for travel insurance in case the unexpected were to happen, or look into what kind of credit card travel insurance your issuer provides.

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10 Fun Must-Dos in Memphis

As you plan a trip to this Tennessee city, you’ll likely want to map out an itinerary, even if just loosely, to make sure you hit the highlights. Here, culled from top online reviews and seasoned travelers, is advice on the 10 best things to do in Memphis.

1. Pay Homage to the King

We would be remiss to start off a list of best things to do in Memphis without mentioning Graceland, the home of iconic singer Elvis Presley. Open for tours on a daily basis, your ticket gives you access to 120 acres. Explore Elvis’s mansion (including the Jungle Room), his most iconic outfits, and the exterior grounds.

There are also on-site museums dedicated to the King of Rock ‘n Roll’s career and cars. If you really want to make the most out of your time at Graceland, you can also stay at a hotel on the grounds. If staying in the city, consider a rental car or shuttle for the 20-minute drive. Ticket prices range from $28 to $215 for the Ultimate VIP Tour. (If you’re buying the top of the line tickets, you may want to swipe with plastic when paying to earn credit card rewards.) graceland.com/

2. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum

Memphis is also known for another King — civil rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated at the city’s Lorraine Motel in 1968. Now the location has been transformed into the National Civil Rights Museum with interactive exhibits, films, and oral histories cataloging centuries of the quest for freedom and equality in America.

Exhibit material starts with the struggle against slavery in the early 1600s and moves forward through today’s continuing Civil Rights Movement. Walk through a recreation of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts of the 1950s, the Memphis Sanitation Strikes, and more. The museum is closed on Tuesdays so plan your visit in advance. civilrightsmuseum.org/

3. Stroll Down Beale Street

This nearly two-mile stretch of road in downtown Memphis is a celebration of all things music. Considered the official Home of the Blues, you’ll find clubs and restaurants to satisfy any music lover’s thirst for live entertainment.

There’s always something going on at Beale Street. Just show up to explore on your own, or download the official app to create a plan. Note that a security checkpoint goes up on Friday and Saturday nights. Those under 21 must be accompanied by an adult after 9 p.m., and the street is strictly 21+ after 11 p.m. In other words, weekend nights on Beale Street are on the list for fun things to do in Memphis for adults but not kids. bealestreet.com/

4. March with the Peabody Ducks

One of the best things to do in Memphis with kids is to head to the downtown Peabody Hotel for the daily Duck March. Occurring at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, this decades-long tradition involves five North American mallards who live at the hotel. Each group of ducks lives at the hotel for three months before returning to farm life outside the city.

They’re brought down from their Royal Duck Palace on the rooftop to swim in the lobby fountain. Participants must be at least five years old, and the hotel recommends arriving 30 minutes early to get a seat. Seeing the Peabody Ducks is definitely an affordable family travel option. peabodymemphis.com/peabody-ducks

5. Tour the Belz Museum

What started out as a private art collection has turned into five permanent exhibits displaying Asian and Judaic art, as well as the Holocaust Memorial Gallery. The Belz Museum also brings in special exhibits twice a year.

One of the most comprehensive collections at the museum is the Chinese art exhibit, which is known as the largest such collection in the southeast United States. You’ll see many pieces from the Qing dynasty, which lasted from the mid-1600s through the early 1900s. The Belz Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday.

6. Take in Some Thrilling Basketball

Love basketball? Check out an NBA game at FedExForum, which is home to the Memphis Grizzlies (nba.com/grizzlies/tickets). The season runs from October to April. The stadium also hosts University of Memphis men’s basketball, which is a NCAA Division I. You can also check out the Division I women’s team on campus at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

7. Marvel at the Mighty Lights

Put this on your list of free things to do in Memphis: the nightly Mighty Lights on the downtown waterfront. Every evening, the city’s two iconic bridges (the Hernando de Soto and Harahan) are lit up in a huge display of LED lights. You’ll see the show at the hourly and 30-minute marks starting at sundown, followed by a grand final at 10:30 p.m.

Scout out a spot to watch along the Mississippi riverfront parks, or scope out an aerial view in the city. The Fourth Bluff and Mud Island are both good options to check out. mightylights.com/

8. Snap Selfies at Mud Island River Park

Tap into your inner river rat at Mud Island River Park. It takes just a few minutes to walk to it from downtown Memphis, and you’ll enjoy lounging on this Mississippi River island. It’s also a perfect spot for some social media selfies thanks to the huge Memphis sign, which spans 50 feet.

This 52-acre park also features a scale model of the Mississippi River to give you a sense of the true breadth of the world’s third largest river basin. Traveling with pets? Mud Island is also a great location for a long walk with your dog. memphisparks.com/park/mud-island-park/

9. Drop into the Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Not only is Memphis home to the blues and rock ‘n roll, it has also played a pivotal role in America’s soul music scene. The Stax Museum is the original home of the legendary Stax recording studio, which was the recording label of iconic artists like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Shirley Brown, and many others.

Explore the rich history of the studio through exhibits and artifacts. You’ll even get the chance to see Isaac Hayes’ custom Cadillac Eldorado, decked out in 24-karat gold trim with a mini-fridge and television on the inside. The Stax Museum is closed on Mondays; tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for kids 9-12; children 8 and under are free. staxmuseum.com/

10. Wander Through Meeman-Shelby Forest

Needa dose of nature? Memphis has that, too! Head 20 minutes outside of downtown Memphis for the enchanting Meeman-Shelby Forest. You can explore 13,000 acres of wilderness that is home to a diverse range of ecosystems. Discover sandy beaches and swamplands (home to the Bald Cypress tree).

There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy, including trails, a nature center, and a disc golf course. tnstateparks.com/parks/meeman-shelby

The Takeaway

From a huge music scene to pivotal moments in history, from parks to nightly light shows, Memphis has attractions worth exploring for all ages. It doesn’t matter if you have a few days or a full week — it’s easy to fill your schedule with tons of fun things to do in Memphis on any budget.

FAQ

Is Beale Street worth a visit?

Beale Street is considered a must-visit if you’re visiting Memphis, whether it’s your first time or you’ve vacationed there before. Home of blues music, you’ll get a truly unique flavor of entertainment any time of day or night.

What is the best month to visit Memphis?

If you have a completely open calendar and are ready to head to Memphis at the perfect time of year, consider going either in mid-spring or mid-fall. You’ll miss the heat of summer and clouds of winter, so you can explore the top things to do in Memphis, Tennessee, in the best possible weather.

What is Memphis most popular for?

Memphis is best known for its music scene, both historically and today. It’s considered the home of the blues as well as the hometown of rock ‘n roll (Elvis Presley’s Graceland is there), so you’re sure to find something to enjoy.


Photo credit: iStock/benedek
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Top 10 Fun Things to Do When Visiting Puerto Rico

Nestled within a chain of islands bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is a popular vacation spot. Plus, U.S. citizens don’t even need a passport when visiting although it can feel as if you’ve been transported to the ultimate far-flung tropical beach vacation.

Yes, sand and sea are a big part of the allure. But if you’re wondering what are some cool things to do in Puerto Rico, you’ll likely be happy to know that parks, museums, shopping, and historical sites are all waiting.

Read on to learn about top spots and attractions across the island, plus the best times of the year to go and other important details. With this advice, you’ll be ready to have an amazing getaway when visiting Puerto Rico.

Best Times to Go to Puerto Rico

If you’re looking for warm weather without the threat of hurricanes, plan your Puerto Rico trip for the winter or spring months. Temperatures average in the 80s all year long, but you’re more likely to avoid crowded beaches and other tourist spots if you focus on these milder months during the school year.

In fact, ending your holiday season with a trip to Puerto Rico lets you take advantage of festivals held throughout the island marking the epiphany in early January. Larger street parades are held in San Juan, but you can also find charming events in smaller towns as well.

Bad Times to Go to Puerto Rico

There are a couple of times of year that are less than ideal for a Puerto Rican vacation. Because a large portion of the local population is Catholic, crowds tend to swell around Easter. That could mean more lines and higher prices.

Another relatively bad time to visit: Hurricane season, which technically lasts from June through November. The most severe weather activity occurs between the middle of August through the middle of October. If you do travel to Puerto Rico during these months, consider purchasing travel insurance through an insurance provider or accessing credit card travel insurance.

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Average Cost of a Puerto Rico Vacation

Before you figure out where to keep your travel fund, calculate how much it will likely cost you. Flight costs vary depending on where you live and what time of year you plan to go.

Once you’re on the island, here are some estimated costs: Food costs can total $39 a day, and local transportation to be about $18. The average nightly hotel cost is $277 for a couple and $139 per person, though there are certainly ways to save money on hotels.

You’ll likely have other incidental costs as well, but here’s how much a week-long Puerto Rico vacation could cost once you’re there.

•   One Person Total: $1,524

•   Couple Total: $3,048

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10 Fun Must-Dos in Puerto Rico

No matter where you plan to stay, there are fun things to do in Puerto Rico across the entire island. The list you find here gathered intel from top-rated attractions on online review sites. In addition, travelers who have explored the island shared their knowledge. As a result, you’ll find a diverse range of activities for people of all ages and all types of groups, whether you’re going on a friends trip, a romantic getaway, or a family adventure.

1. Explore Old San Juan

When visiting Puerto Rico, a must-see is Old San Juan, the historic district of Puerto Rico’s capital city. The streets are lined with colorful buildings featuring Spanish colonial facades. You can take a guided walking tour if you’d love to know all the best historical facts and stories, or you can stroll on your own at no cost.

Be sure to include Fortaleza Street on your itinerary of things to see in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It has beautiful buildings as well as frequent modern art installations. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to try out in the neighborhood, as well as attractions like La Casa Blanca — the former home of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon. nps.gov/nr/travel/american_latino_heritage/old_san_juan.html

2. Trek Through El Yunque National Forest

The only tropical national forest in the U.S., El Yunque is packed with natural excursions just outside of San Juan. It’s considered one of the top things to do in Puerto Rico. There are plenty of hiking trails, ponds, and a lagoon (complete with a rope swing so you can tap into your inner child).

There are more than 28,000 acres in El Yunque, and trails span 25 miles. You can create a plan for any level of exertion. If you’re staying in the San Juan area, definitely put this on your list of unique things to do in Puerto Rico. Admission is only $2, but make sure you have an advance reservation before you go. Bonus: If you are traveling with a pet, the trails are dog-friendly, though only service animals are allowed inside buildings. recreation.gov/ticket/facility/300017

3. Immerse Yourself in Art

Back in the city, get a dose of world-class art at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Open Thursdays through Sundays, this museum features permanent collections displaying the work of Puerto Rican artists dating from the 17th century to today.

Explore over 1,000 pieces that include paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and more. The museum, which is typically closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, is located in the Santurce neighborhood, which is about a 10-minute drive from Old San Juan. Tickets are $6 (not including taxes) per exhibition for adults; $3 for children. mapr.org/en

4. Get Glowing

One of the best things to do in Puerto Rico is to explore one of three bioluminescent bays, which have an otherworldly glow, thanks to microscopic organisms that light up. Seeing these bodies of water can be an amazing and memorable experience.

Mosquito Bay in Vieques is considered the world’s brightest bioluminescent bay. However, you’ll need to take a short flight or boat ride from San Juan to get there.

Alternatively, you can explore Laguna Grande in Fajardo (which is the closest option to San Juan) or La Parguera in Lajas, which is closer to Rincón. La Perguera is also the only place where you can swim rather than take a boat tour or kayak. The best time to go for any bioluminescent bay tour is December through April when there isn’t a lot of rainfall to cloud the water.

Tours can range from about $50 to $75 per person. This can be a good time to swipe with plastic when paying to earn credit card rewards.

5. Tour a Grand Historical Home

Museo Castilla Serrallés is a great thing to do in Puerto Rico if you love history and architecture. It’s the former home of the Serrallés family (of DonQ Rum), who built the extravagant tile-roofed Spanish Revival castle in the 1930s. It takes just under an hour and a half to drive from San Juan to Ponce where the property is, so you may want to think about getting a rental car.

Today, you can explore the home’s interior, as well as beautiful gardens outside. Learn about the history of rum through immersive exhibits, then stroll through the butterfly garden and Japanese gardens. The property is typically open from Wednesday through Sunday, and tickets cost $15 for adults. museocastilloserralles.com/

6. Get Wet

Located on the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla is about a two-hour drive from San Juan. It’s home to the pristine Crash Boat Beach, which is a great place to indulge in almost any kind of water activity you like, including swimming, snorkeling, and surfing (which is ideal during the summer travel season).

Crash Boat Beach is public, so add it to your list of free things to do in Puerto Rico. It definitely has a lively atmosphere, full of music and food to enjoy when you’re not in the water.

7. Stroll Through El Parterre Park

When you need a break from the beach, check out El Parterre in downtown Aguadilla. This beautifully landscaped park offers the perfect spot to casually stroll under mature trees, and there are plenty of benches for resting, reading, or picnicking, just like a local would. It’s also a good sunset watching spot.

El Parterre contains a natural water spring that has quite a bit of historical significance throughout the centuries. It was used as a water source by explorer Sir Francis Drake in the late 16th century and also by Spanish soldiers in later years.

8. Wander Into River Caves

Just an hour west of San Juan, Arecibo is a coastal location with diverse natural wonders to explore. One of the best things to do in Puerto Rico’s Arecibo area is to visit the Camuy River Cave Park. It’s one of the largest cave networks in the entire world.

Recently reopened in early 2023, you’ll walk through immense caverns that are estimated to be over 45 million years old. One of the most breathtaking spots is a sinkhole that shines in sunlight from hundreds of feet above. Tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for kids ages 4 to 12, with younger children admitted for free (which can help families afford to travel).

9. Surf at Domes Beach

Is surfing on your list of fun things to do in Puerto Rico? If so, check out Domes Beach in Rincón, located on the West Coast of the island (a little south from Aguadillo). Even if you don’t surf, you might enjoy catching a professional surfing competition throughout the year.

Domes Beach is also a great place to enjoy a sunset over the water. If you need a break from the waves, check out the Punta Higuero Lighthouse, a historic landmark originally built in 1892.

10. Venture to Vieques Beaches

A smaller island just to the east of the main Puerto Rican island, Vieques can only be reached by a short flight or ferry ride. Because of this, however, the beaches in Vieques are extremely tranquil and secluded. If you want a beach experience without large crowds or noise, this is an incredible option.

Plus, you can take one of the world’s best bioluminescent bay tours while you’re there.

The Takeaway

It’s easy to find dozens of things to do in Puerto Rico, whether San Juan or elsewhere. The hardest part is simply narrowing down your list of options to fit your time there. Whether you want a relaxed beach or an outdoor adventure, a historical home or a top-notch museum, you’ll find it all in Puerto Rico.

FAQ

Is Puerto Rico cheap for tourists?

It depends on your point of comparison. You’ll probably find it cheaper than large coastal cities on the U.S. mainland, but it also tends to be more expensive than other Caribbean island destinations.

What food is Puerto Rico known for?

Exploring traditional Puerto Rican cuisine is one of the best parts of visiting. Definitely check out mofongo, a mashed fried plantain side dish, as well as pasteles — similar to tamales but made with green banana masa and many options for fillings.

What can’t you bring back from Puerto Rico?

You can’t bring back fresh fruits or vegetables from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland. Cactus and citrus plants are also prohibited.


Photo credit: iStock/benedek
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Do Credit Cards Have Routing Numbers?

The 16-digit number on your credit card might remind you of the routing number you see on your checks or bank statements. But they aren’t the same.

In fact, there’s no such thing as a credit card routing number, even if it was issued by a bank or credit union. The series of digits you see on the front or back of your card is your credit card number, and it provides important information about the credit card issuer, the card’s payment network, and you (the card holder).

Read on to learn more about the differences between a routing number and a credit card number and why credit cards don’t need routing numbers.

What Are Routing Numbers?

A routing number is a nine-digit number used to identify a specific bank, credit union, or other type of financial institution in the United States. The American Bankers Association created routing numbers in 1910 to aid in processing checks. Routing numbers are still used today to help keep banking transactions secure, whether you’re making a direct deposit, an automatic bill payment, a wire or P2P transfer, or a phone payment.

Every bank has its own routing number — and some have more than one — that works kind of like a payment address. The routing number ensures the money from a financial transaction is correctly “routed” from one financial institution to another. Once the funds get to the proper financial institution, the money can then be moved into the designated bank account.

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Where Can I Find My Routing Number?

If you still use paper checks, and keep your checkbook handy, that’s probably the easiest place to look for your bank’s routing number. You should be able to find the routing number in the lower left corner of your checks.

The first nine digits are the bank’s routing number. After a gap, the next 10 digits are your account number. After another gap, the last few digits represent the number of the check you’re currently using.

You can also find your routing number by logging into your bank or savings account online. (If you have more than one account at a particular bank, your account numbers will be different, but the routing number for those accounts will likely be the same.) Or you can call your bank’s customer service line and ask for help getting the correct routing number.

If the checkbook or other bank paperwork you have is old, you may want to go online to confirm that the routing number you’re using is still current. Routing numbers can sometimes change, such as when two financial institutions merge, for example, or go through an acquisition. You should receive advance notice if that happens, but you may want to look just to be sure you’re using the most up to date routing number.

Why Don’t Credit Cards Have Routing Numbers?

A routing number is used to move funds between two bank accounts — from your employer’s account to your checking or savings account, for example, or from your checking account to the electric company.

When you use your credit card, you aren’t depositing or transferring money. You’re borrowing money, and processing that transaction works differently. That’s why there’s no routing number on a credit card. Instead, the credit card issuer uses your credit card number to track your transactions and make sure they end up on your bill. The number also can help card processors identify the financial institution that will settle the payment when the card is used.

What Do the Numbers on a Credit Card Represent?

It’s important to note that your credit card number is not the same as your account number. Your credit card number includes your account number, but it has a few more digits. And each of those digits has a purpose.

Every credit card number is unique: If you apply for a credit card and you’re approved, the card you receive will have its own number. But most cards use a similar, formatted sequence that can be used to identify the card issuer, the payment network, and the account holder:

•   The first number in this sequence typically represents the card’s payment network. Most credit cards start with a 3 (American Express), 4 (Visa), 5 (Mastercard), or 6 (Discover), as those are the major payment networks.

•   The next five digits complete the card’s Bank Identification Number (BIN), or Issuer Identification Number (IIN), and can tell you about the card’s “issuer.” (The credit card issuer is the financial institution that gave you the card and manages your account.)

•   The remaining digits — except, usually, the last digit — represent the cardholder and the account the card is connected to.

•   And finally, there’s the “checksum” or “check digit,” which is used by card issuers and payment networks to catch errors and help protect against unauthorized card use.

Though this format may differ a bit from one card to the next — some card numbers may have 15 digits instead of 16, for example — all card issuers must follow a set of standards created by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and enforced by the American Network of Standards Institute (ANSI). This allows consumers to use their card or card number no matter where they are in the world.

Does a Debit Card Have a Routing Number?

Although a debit card is typically tied to at least one bank account, it does not have a routing number. Each debit card has a unique 16-digit card number that identifies the card issuer, the card network, and the bank customer and accounts to which it’s connected.

You read that right. While each credit card you own is linked to one specific credit account, your debit card may be linked to multiple accounts (checking, savings, etc.) if they’re at one financial institution.

How does the bank decide which account you want to use for each transaction? If you use your debit card to make a purchase, the money will be pulled from the account you’ve designated as your primary checking account. And if you’re using your debit card at an ATM, you should be able to see a list of all the accounts connected to that particular card, and you can make a deposit to or withdrawal from the account of your choice.

Your debit card will not be linked to your credit card account, however, even if it’s through the same financial institution. And even if your debit card has a payment network logo or hologram in the corner, you cannot use it as a credit card. The money will be withdrawn from your bank account, either right away or after a short delay.

Credit Cards vs Debit Cards

It can be useful to have both a credit card and a debit card on hand to help manage your finances. Though they look a lot alike, there are key differences:

Credit Cards

Debit Cards

Funds are borrowed from the bank. Funds come directly from your own bank account.
You’ll pay interest if you carry a balance. No interest is charged.
A credit card can help you build credit. A debit card won’t help you build your credit.
A credit card can hurt your credit if you overspend. A debit card can help you stay disciplined and avoid carrying debt.
You have access to cash when you need it. You have access to cash when you need it.
Your card may offer rewards and discounts. Most debit cards don’t offer rewards.
Each card is connected to a specific account. One debit card can be linked to multiple bank accounts.

Recommended: Can You Use a Credit Card Like a Debit Card?

The Takeaway

Do credit cards have routing numbers? No. Though the routing number on your checks and the number on your credit card may look similar, they serve different functions.

A routing number helps ensure a payment comes from or goes to a specific financial institution, but it doesn’t contain information about the checking, savings, or business account the transaction is tied to. An account number is needed to make that happen. A credit card number, on the other hand, contains information about the card issuer, the payment network, and the card holder. It can help identify the financial institution that will settle the payment when the card is used, and it identifies the card holder who will ultimately be responsible for those charges.

Understanding the difference between these numbers — and knowing where to locate them when necessary — can help speed up your financial transactions and make them go smoother.

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The SoFi Credit Card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. There are no spending categories or reward caps to worry about.1



Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.

FAQ

What is a routing number?

A routing number is a nine-digit number that identifies your bank or credit union in a financial transaction.

Does a credit card have a routing number?

Credit cards don’t have routing numbers. Instead, credit cards have a 16-digit credit card number that identifies the card issuer, the payment network, and the card holder.

Where can I find my routing number?

The easiest way to find your bank’s routing number is to look at your paper checks or a bank statement. The first nine digits in the lower left corner are the routing number. You also can log onto your account online or call your bank’s customer service number to get the correct routing number.


Photo credit: iStock/RgStudio

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1Members earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. If you elect to redeem points for cash deposited into your SoFi Checking or Savings account, SoFi Money® account, or fractional shares in your SoFi Active Invest account, or as a payment to your SoFi Personal, Private Student, or Student Loan Refinance, your points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per every point. If you elect to redeem points as a statement credit to your SoFi Credit Card account, your points will redeem at a rate of 0.5 cents per every point. For more details please visit SoFi.com/card/rewards. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A.

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Is It Better to Cancel Unused Credit Cards or Keep Them?

Depending on how many and what kind of credit cards you have, you could be thinking about closing unused credit cards. After all, if you’re not using them, you might think it’s better to simplify your life and your finances. However, there are some good reasons to keep your credit card accounts open, even if you’re not actively using the card.

There are a few ways that credit cards affect your credit score, and closing an unused credit card might actually lower your credit score. So before you cancel an unused credit card, make sure you understand how that can impact your credit score. That will allow you to make an informed decision that is best for your specific financial situation.

Here, you’ll learn:

•   Should I cancel unused credit cards?

•   Do unused credit cards hurt your credit score?

•   When is it better to cancel a credit card?

How Do Unused Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Score?

There are a few factors that make up your credit score. Two of the components of your credit score are your utilization ratio (how much of your available credit you’re using) and your average age of accounts. Closing an unused credit card can impact both of these:

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Increase Available Credit

Your credit card utilization is defined as the amount of your available credit that you are currently using. So if you have a card with a $10,000 limit and you have an average balance of $1,000, your utilization is 10% ($1,000 divided by $10,000). A low utilization is a positive indicator for your credit score. So closing any credit card account will lower the total amount of available credit you have. This will raise your utilization percentage and possibly lower your credit score.

Recommended: How to Read a Credit Report

Increase Credit History Length

Another factor that makes up your credit score is the average age of your accounts. Having credit accounts that have been open for a long time is generally considered more positive for your credit score than having only recent accounts. So if you close an unused credit card, especially one that you’ve had open for a long time, it can lower your average age of accounts and possibly also hurt your credit score. The account may stay on your report for a while, but when it eventually drops off, your score could decrease.

Recommended: 10 Advantages of Credit Cards

Are There Risks to Keeping Unused Credit Cards?

So while it can make sense to keep your unused credit cards open, there are a few risks of keeping unused credit cards. If you no longer are monitoring your account, there is a higher risk that someone might commit credit card fraud with your account. So you’ll want to make sure that you are regularly looking at your accounts, and maybe even make an occasional purchase on each credit card that you have.

When Is It Better to Cancel a Credit Card?

There are also some situations where it’s better to just cancel a credit card. One reason to cancel a credit card is if it comes with an annual fee.

•   If you’re not using a credit card and not getting any value from its benefits, it usually won’t make sense to pay the annual fee, especially when there are so many credit cards that offer good rewards with no annual fee.

•   Another situation where it might make sense to cancel a credit card is if you’re having trouble controlling your spending. If having a credit card is causing you to go into debt or spend more than you earn, it might make sense to do a bit of a financial reset.

Using a debit card or moving to paying with cash might help you get to a better spot, financially speaking.

Can You Cancel a Credit Card Without Hurting Your Credit Score?

If you’re thinking about canceling a credit card without impacting your credit score, there are a few things that you can do to help mitigate the hit to your credit score.

•   One thing is to make sure to pay down any balance on the card before you close it.

•   Another possible option is to call your credit card company and see if you can move some of your available credit to another credit card. That might help keep your credit utilization ratio high.

The Takeaway

If you have a credit card hidden away in your sock drawer that you no longer use, you might wonder, “Should I close unused credit cards?” You might be tempted to just cancel the card so you don’t have to think about it anymore. However, there may be some reasons where it can make more sense to keep the card open, even if you never or rarely use it. Keeping it open may help build your credit score, and if you close a card you’ve had for a long time, it can impact your credit score.

What if, on the other hand, you are looking for a new credit card? With the SoFi Credit Card, you can earn cash back rewards, which you can then use for travel or to invest, save, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. You can also add an authorized user to your SoFi credit card as a possible way to earn additional rewards.

The SoFi Credit Card: The smart, simple way to spend.

FAQ

Do unused credit cards close automatically?

An unused credit card generally won’t be closed automatically, at least at first. However, most credit card companies do reserve the right to close your account for any reason, including if you don’t use your credit card. So if you want to keep a credit card account open, it may make sense to occasionally make a purchase or two.

Does canceling an unused credit card hurt your credit?

Canceling an unused credit card can lower the total amount of your available credit. This may lower your credit utilization ratio, which is one of the major factors that make up your credit score. Make sure that you understand any possible impacts to your credit score before you cancel an unused credit card.

Is it bad to have an unused credit card?

No, in most cases it is not bad to have an unused credit card. In some cases, it can even help to keep your credit card accounts open, even if you’re not actively using the card. This is because having an open account increases your available credit and it may raise your average age of accounts. Both of these are factors that go into calculating your credit score.


Photo credit: iStock/FreshSplash

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. 1
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Top 10 Fun Things to Do When Visiting St. Louis

Welcome to your gateway to the Midwest: St. Louis! The city is a fun, energetic place to visit; it’s packed with culture, history, parks, and live music. If you play your cards right, you’ll never be bored in this Midwestern metropolis.

Whether you prefer to indulge in delectable dishes or marvel at historical landmarks, you’re sure to find something in St. Louis. So get ready as we journey from the top of the Arch to the endless city parks and beyond. You’ll learn not just the best things to do in the city, but also smart strategies about when to go and how to score deals.

Best Times to Go to St. Louis

The best time to visit St. Louis depends on your preferences and what you hope to see. However, for most people, the best times to visit St. Louis is likely to be in the fall or spring for two reasons. First, St. Louis can be bitterly cold in the winter and hot and sticky in the summer. For these reasons, you might prefer the milder weather in the fall or spring.

In addition, some of the city’s best events occur when the weather is less extreme. For instance, there is the St. Louis Renaissance Festival, which runs from September to October. There is also the Taste of St. Louis and the Great Forest Park Balloon Festival, both of which take place in September. If you visit these attractions, consider a travel credit card to earn some extra points or miles.

This isn’t to say there is nothing to do outside of the fall in St. Louis. In the spring, there is St. Louis Earth Day. Plus, baseball starts in spring, so it’s always a great time to catch a game.

On the topic of events, however, you might want to bundle up and head to St. Louis in the winter. One of the best events in the city is Soulard Louis Mardi Gras, which takes place in January and February. While it isn’t necessarily the best time to visit in general, it’s an amazing event if you love Mardi Gras. The St. Louis event features a family festival, scavenger hunt, and a cajun cook-off.

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Bad Times to Go to St. Louis

Bad times to visit St. Louis will also depend on your preferences. However, there are certain things you may want to avoid:

•   Extreme weather: St. Louis can be extremely hot in the summer with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a hefty dose of humidity. This might complicate your summer travel plans. In the winter, temperatures can drop below freezing at times, with periods of snow and ice that make walking and driving dangerous.

•   Tourist season: St. Louis often experiences an influx of crowds in the summer months and around on holiday weekends. This can mean long lines at tourist attractions.

•   Baseball games: The St. Louis Cardinals tend to draw big crowds when there are home games. If you aren’t a baseball fan or don’t like crowds, it’s best to stay away, especially from the areas near the stadium.

•   Spring allergies: While spring is a great time to visit St. Louis, there can be a lot of pollen during this time. If you are highly sensitive to pollen, you may want to visit during a different time of year.

Average Cost of a St. Louis Vacation

The cost of a vacation in St. Louis depends on several factors, depending on where you stay, what you eat, and the length of your stay. Keep in mind that credit cards often include travel insurance to protect you against unexpected costs and cancellations. This is good in its own right and may keep you from spending on separate trip insurance.

You will likely find St. Louis to be more affordable than cities like New York or Los Angeles. Of course, the cost estimates are also different for individuals and couples. Here’s what to expect:

For individuals:

•   Hotels: $80 to $200 per day for mid-range hotels, depending on the location and amenities and what steps you take to save money on hotels.

•   Food: $25 to $50 per day.

•   Transportation: Public transportation is $1 per ride for buses and $2.50 for trains in St. Louis. Day passes cost $5. However, renting a car may be necessary, depending on where you are staying.

•   Attractions: $10 to $25 per attraction, depending on what you decide to see.

This works out to an average budget of about $120 to $275 per day for individuals. A cash back or miles credit card could help you offset some of that cost.

For couples:

•   Hotels: $80 to $200 per day for mid-range hotels, depending on the location and amenities.

•   Food: $50 to $100 per day.

•   Transportation: Public transportation is $1 per ride for buses and $2.50 for trains in St. Louis. Day passes cost $5. If you will be flying to St. Louis, look into using an airline credit card.

•   Attractions: $20 to $50 per attraction, depending on what you decide to see.

This works out to an average budget of about $155 to $400 per day for couples. If you are struggling with the cost, look into book now, pay later vacations, but be careful about incurring too much high-interest debt.

10 Fun Must-Dos in St. Louis

There are so many fun things to do in St. Louis that narrowing it down is tough. However, there are certain things you can’t miss, especially if you’ve never been to St. Louis. Those attractions are included here, as are some hidden gems you may not have considered.

This list is culled from crunching the top ratings found online for the best things to do in St. Louis, as well as picking the brains of seasoned travelers who’ve been to this Missouri city.

1. Visit Gateway Arch National Park

It’s difficult to think of a single attraction that is a stronger focal point in a city’s identity than Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. At 630 feet tall, the Gateway Arch is a feat of engineering and represents the connection St. Louis makes to the western United States. While scaling the Arch is the obvious highlight, there is also a museum on-site and plenty of walking trails around the monument. Tickets for the tram ride to the top and back typically range from $11 and up for kids to $15 and up for adults. gatewayarch.com/

2. Go on a Ghost Hunt in the Lemp Mansion

The Lemp Mansion is a historic estate located in the Benton Park neighborhood. The mansion was home to the Lemp family, who dominated the local beer market before Prohibition. However, Frederick Lemp, who ran the William J. Lemp Brewing Co., tragically died of heart failure. After William died, three Lemp family members took their own lives. Now, you can go on a ghost hunt at the Lemp Mansion, which is an ode to the home’s troubled past. The tours are typically $25 per person. lempmansion.com/isithaunted.htm

3. Go on a Tour at Anheuser-Busch

If you love beer (and even if you don’t), going on a tour at Anheuser-Busch is a must when in St. Louis. Tours start at $15 per person, including experiences like seeing the famous Clydesdales, meeting the brewmaster, and some beer samples. The brewery also features a beer museum, a gift shop, and classes. If tours aren’t your thing, you can also visit the beer garden or restaurant on-site. budweisertours.com/locations/tours.html

4. Check out Citygarden

Here’s one of the fun free things to do in St. Louis: If you enjoy modern art and the outdoors, you can’t leave without visiting Citygarden Sculpture Park. Located downtown, the park features various greenery, fountains, and most notably, an array of modern-art sculptures. There are 25 sculptures from 23 artists spanning 12 decades. This park allows dogs, which is perfect if you are traveling with pets. It’s also a fun thing to do in St. Louis with kids, and it’s wheelchair-accessible. citygardenstl.org/visit/

5. Enjoy Forest Park

Opened in 1876 and spanning 1,300 acres, Forest Park is one of America’s oldest and largest public parks. The park is so large that it contains several other major attractions, including the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, and the Missouri History Museum. Admission to every one of these attractions is free, so you could easily spend multiple days just visiting Forest Park. forestparkforever.org/visit

6. Explore the Soulard Farmers Market

Located on the grounds of the “Grand Hall,” the Soulard Farmers Market is an open-air market and one of the oldest farmers markets in the United States. It features various fresh meats, produce, and baked goods. It features 147 stalls and is open Wednesday to Saturday year-round. While an ATM is on-site, the farmers market recommends bringing low-denomination bills if possible. soulardmarketstl.com/

7. Catch a Baseball Game

People are passionate about sports in St. Louis with baseball as the focus. Head to Busch Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals play. Even if you don’t love baseball, attending a game can be a great experience on a spring or summer evening. Grab a beer and hot dog, and soak in the crack of the bat hitting the ball and the oohs and aahs of the crowd. Credit card rewards sometimes give you cash back for entertainment, so don’t forget to earn extra points if you go to a game. mlb.com/cardinals

8. Traverse the Katy Trail

If you’re looking for an escape from the city, go for a walk or a bike ride on the Katy Trail. You can pick the trail up in St. Charles, just on the other side of the Missouri River. However, Katy Trail is the country’s longest developed rail/trail, spanning 240 miles between Machens and Clinton. It features 26 trailheads and four fully restored trail depots along the trail. mostateparks.com/park/katy-trail-state-park

9. Take a Ride to Union Station

St. Louis Union Station was once a bustling rail station, transporting more than 100,000 people per day at one point. President Harry Truman, Joe DiMaggio, and Joan Crawford all came through the station back in those days. Now, the station is home to attractions like the St. Louis Aquarium and the St. Louis Wheel. Unlike the museums at Forest Park, these attractions aren’t free, but adult tickets start at $25 for the aquarium and $15 for the Ferris wheel. If you’re struggling with the costs, building a travel fund can help. stlouisunionstation.com/

10. Visit the St. Louis Science Center

As mentioned earlier, the St. Louis Science Center is connected to Forest Park grounds and accessible via an aerial bridge in the park’s southeast corner. The museum has more than 700 interactive experiences within 10 galleries. Among those experiences are a planetarium and a four-story OMNIMAX® Theater. Note that while admission to the Science Center is free, the museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. slsc.org/

Getting Around

As mentioned earlier, trains and buses are very cheap in St. Louis, so using them is a good idea if possible. While there are many great areas in the city, some of the best areas to visit are Midtown, Forest Park, and Soulard. Whether you are traveling alone or traveling with family, St. Louis has a lot to offer.

The Takeaway

St. Louis is known as the gateway to the West, but this exciting city has no shortage of things to do. With everything from farmer’s markets to haunted mansion tours, from museums to hiking trails, St. Louis has all the entertainment you need — and then some.

SoFi Travel is a new service offered exclusively to SoFi members. Earn 2x rewards when booking with your SoFi Mastercard or debit card. Then apply those rewards to your next trip when you book through our travel portal. SoFi makes planning a getaway fast, easy, and convenient — perfect for people on the move.


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FAQ

Is St. Louis good for tourists?

St. Louis is a great city for tourists, with free museums, outdoor parks, and the Gateway Arch. There’s more than enough to keep tourists entertained in the city.

What is St. Louis best known for?

St. Louis is known for many things, including the Gateway Arch, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and its various parks and museums.

How to spend 3 days in St. Louis?

Three days should give you enough time to see some of the city’s highlights. On the first day, you might visit the Gateway Arch, one of the city’s museums, and a brewery. On the second day, you could visit the botanical garden, Forest Park, and then go for dinner and perhaps see some live music. On the third day, you could explore Soulard, catch a baseball game, and if you prefer, see the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.


Photo credit: iStock/Sean Pavone

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Terms, and conditions apply: The SoFi Travel Portal is operated by Expedia. To learn more about Expedia, click https://www.expediagroup.com/home/default.aspx.
When you use your SoFi Credit Card to make a purchase on the SoFi Travel Portal, you will earn a number of SoFi Member Rewards points equal to 3% of the total amount you spend on the SoFi Travel Portal. Members can save up to 10% or more on eligible bookings.
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SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. 1
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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