Are credit cards rewards worth it?

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RDHlooking4FIRE
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Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by RDHlooking4FIRE » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:57 am

I charge everything on my credit card for the 2% cash back (citi double cash). I also like seeing how much I spent each month. I PAY MY BALANCE IN FULL EVERY MONTH. But I hate seeing that I owe.

Id rather use my debt card. Is the 2% cash back worth it. Do you use debt or credit and if credit what rewards card do you use?

Thanks

student
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by student » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:02 am

Rewards are free money so they are worth it. Moreover, debit cards may not give you as much protection as credit cards. http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/20/pf/expe ... index.html

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:03 am

I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000.

Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon
PenFed for gasoline
Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else

I think it is worth it. We have the cards autopay in full every month; no human intervention required.

p0nyboy
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by p0nyboy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:14 am

This topic has been beaten to death. You should try doing a search...you'll find a lot of info.

If you're more comfortable using a debit card then use a debit card. No harm no foul.

RDHlooking4FIRE
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by RDHlooking4FIRE » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:15 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:03 am
I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000.

Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon
PenFed for gasoline
Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else

I think it is worth it. We have the cards autopay in full every month; no human intervention required.
I never paid an anua fee. Is that worth it?

CorradoJr
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by CorradoJr » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:16 am

Yes, for me they are absolutely worth it. Citi even has a counter right on their website of how much "cash-back" you've accumulated so far which is great. I am not a big spender and dont try to game the system (so-called manufactured spending), and have over $1000 cash back ao far since I opened the card a year or so ago.

I also pay in full each month and for my $1000 of free money have paid exactly $0 interest or finance charges. I request a check and use this to add to my IRA each month or so.

If you don't like owing, pay weekly like I do so you have a smaller balance each time.

I don't do travel cards or miles because they constantly devalue the worth lf the points over time (teaser rates to gain excitement) and I'd rather have my rewards in the form of cash back instead of being locked up in a plane ticket.

RDHlooking4FIRE
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by RDHlooking4FIRE » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:18 am

Thanks for the info good advice

RDHlooking4FIRE
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by RDHlooking4FIRE » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:22 am

With Penfed how many points equals a dollar?

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alpenglow
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by alpenglow » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:40 am

I believe TomatoTomahto is referring to the old PenFed Cash card that gave back 5% on gas. Unfortunately, this card is no longer available but some are "grandfathered". I think there is a Sam's Club card that gives 5% back on gas.

As for your question about annual fee, only the Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee that recently went to $95. When I went to Amex to check that, I was offered a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $1000. Not bad. There is a regular blue cash card that has no annual fee but offers only 3% back on groceries vs. 6%. Do the math and figure out which is more appropriate for you.

IMO, rewards cards are definitely worth the small amount of effort to keep track off.

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midareff
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by midareff » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:42 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:03 am
I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000.

Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon
PenFed for gasoline
Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else

I think it is worth it. We have the cards autopay in full every month; no human intervention required.
Also run $2k to $3K annually with about the same + Discover 5% rotating categories. Also all autopay in full and the Fidelity cards pay direct into cash at Fidelity.

John Laurens
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by John Laurens » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:45 am

I know for a fact I spend more when using plastic that I pay off at the end of each month than with a debit card that instantly zaps my checking account. This is true for many people. You can find studies online. You can make your own judgments whether those findings apply to you.

Regards,
John

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by dwickenh » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:45 am

I use a paypal mastercard with 2% back on everything. During a year I receive rewards of about 400-500 dollars. It is fed into my Paypal account for a shopping spree during the holidays or on vacation. Just one more way to get a little bonus. I would not pay more for this service or for the products being purchased.

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dbr
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:46 am

Without a doubt you can net a positive income from credit card rewards. How large that is relative to overall income and expenses and whether that counts as worth it is an individual evaluation. I don't hesitate to take advantage of various rewards that can be found.

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Watty
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by Watty » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:52 am

RDHlooking4FIRE wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:57 am
But I hate seeing that I owe.
That could actually be a good thing if it make you think about your spending more.

Some people get into trouble with overspending using a debit card where it automatically comes out of their checking account and is painless.

bluerafters
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by bluerafters » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:57 am

Was resistant to it for years. Cash for everything. Caved last year with a Chase. I've made a couple hundred back I wouldn't have had otherwise. Used responsibly it can be a good tool.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:57 am

John Laurens wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:45 am
I know for a fact I spend more when using plastic that I pay off at the end of each month than with a debit card that instantly zaps my checking account. This is true for many people. You can find studies online. You can make your own judgments whether those findings apply to you.

Regards,
John
If that's the case for you, then I think a debit card is better. I don't believe it's the case for me, but I could be wrong.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:00 am

alpenglow wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:40 am
I believe TomatoTomahto is referring to the old PenFed Cash card that gave back 5% on gas. Unfortunately, this card is no longer available but some are "grandfathered". I think there is a Sam's Club card that gives 5% back on gas.

As for your question about annual fee, only the Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee that recently went to $95. When I went to Amex to check that, I was offered a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $1000. Not bad. There is a regular blue cash card that has no annual fee but offers only 3% back on groceries vs. 6%. Do the math and figure out which is more appropriate for you.

IMO, rewards cards are definitely worth the small amount of effort to keep track off.
Yes, sorry, I didn't realize the card was no longer available. With a Tesla myself, and the kids not using cars while at college, it's only used by my wife now, so not as big a deal.

The Blue Cash Preferred is a win for us, as we spend a lot on groceries. We get $360 back on groceries at the 6% rate, then it goes to 1%, but it easily covers the annual fee.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:01 am

You get nothing back from using your debit card, so even a meager 2% return is better. Also, there is a higher potential for loss due to fraud if the debit card is compromised as versus the credit card.

I use my Fido credit cards for everything I can pile onto them, and only use my debit card at the ATM to get pocket cash.
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by jhfenton » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:11 am

After having our debit cards both compromised a decade ago, we don't use them except at our home ATM. They just don't provide the hassle-free security protection that credit cards do. (We got our money back, but it was gone for a few days. If it had been a larger amount at a critical time, it could have been more significant. Credit card fraud is essentially painless.)

I view the credit card rewards as a nice bonus. We gladly accept them and try to maximize their benefit, but we don't chase them from card to card.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by midareff » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:17 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:00 am


The Blue Cash Preferred is a win for us, as we spend a lot on groceries. We get $360 back on groceries at the 6% rate, then it goes to 1%, but it easily covers the annual fee.
Then it's time to go to the Fidelity 2% Visa.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by Crisium » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:20 am

I'm happy with my USAA 2.5% cashback card. What is "worth"? There's not really any extra steps over a debit card. Worth the time to sign up and turn on auto pay in full? I think so. But I don't think it's worth it to sign up for multiple cards every year to chase signup bonuses. I could boost my income doing so, but I feel it would overextend my personal information out there and make it harder to manage my accounts.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by David Scubadiver » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:54 am

Although the tread is a repeat of many others, I do like to review now and again, what it is I do with my cards.

My Amex Blue Preferred costs me $95. I use it until I have charged $6,000 in groceries to earn the $360.
However, sometimes the card gets used for other purchases -- this year I have $2,072 in charges that earned me only 1% cash back.
If I instead only carried my Bank of America Travel Reward card, I would have earned $54.39 on those charges (instead of $20.72), so the card "cost" me another $33.67. By my math, I am earning 3.85% on groceries after fees and negligent use of the card. That is "worth" it to me because my alternative card would be BoA Travel Reward Card, earning 2.625% cash back as a platinum honors reward member.

BoA Cash Reward pays me 5.25% on gas, so that is the card that gets left in the glove compartment. It is sometimes used for groceries when I forget to bring my wallet to the store. It is "worth" it to me because it is free money.

I could never use a debit card for my regular purchases and leave the cash back on the table. Plus, doing so would require me to maintain more cash in my checking account than I like.

lyrictulip
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by lyrictulip » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:06 am

The way I see it- credit card transaction fees add about 3% to every transaction. Since retailers generally do not (it used to be until very recently, they could not due to credit card processing agreements) add those fees on at the end, they end up getting built into the prices that everyone pays for just about everything.

In effect, credit card transactions result in a net ~3% tax on all retail goods (including for those who pay cash or use debit cards). My using a 2% "rewards" card doesn't earn me any rewards, it just gets the credit card company to reimburse me 2/3's of the transaction fee. I'll take it- grudgingly. In reality, transaction fees should probably amount to something like 0.5-1%- the extra 2% is pure profit to the financial industry.
Last edited by lyrictulip on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

David Scubadiver
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by David Scubadiver » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:09 am

lyrictulip wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:06 am
The way I see it- credit card transaction fees add about 3% to every transaction. Since retailers generally do not (it used to be until very recently, they could not due to credit card processing agreements) add those fees on at the end, they end up getting built into the prices that everyone pays for just about everything.

In effect, credit card transactions result in a net ~3% tax on all retail goods. My using a 2% "rewards" card doesn't earn me any rewards, it just gets the credit card company to reimburse me 2/3's of the transaction fee. I'll take it- grudgingly. In reality, transaction fees should probably amount to something like 0.5-1%- the extra 2% is pure profit to the financial industry.
The cash price for gasoline is still higher than the after-rebate price when charging. So charge it, I do.

misterno
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by misterno » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:22 am

Always use CITI credit card when you purchase appliances

You automatically get 2 years on top of the manufacturers warranty

I just purchased a monitor from Sams club

Manufacturers warranty 3 years
sams club 2 years
citi costco card 2 years

total 7 years warranty

I am in love with credit cards

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:40 am

midareff wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:17 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:00 am
The Blue Cash Preferred is a win for us, as we spend a lot on groceries. We get $360 back on groceries at the 6% rate, then it goes to 1%, but it easily covers the annual fee.
Then it's time to go to the Fidelity 2% Visa.
If I were more on top of it, yes. But, then it becomes a bit like a job. I'm looking for the sweet spot between obsessively looking for rewards and sign-on bonuses and just using cash. If I think of it, towards the end of the year, I switch to the 2% card for groceries, but ... mindless. :D

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midareff
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by midareff » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:44 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:40 am
midareff wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:17 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:00 am
The Blue Cash Preferred is a win for us, as we spend a lot on groceries. We get $360 back on groceries at the 6% rate, then it goes to 1%, but it easily covers the annual fee.
Then it's time to go to the Fidelity 2% Visa.
If I were more on top of it, yes. But, then it becomes a bit like a job. I'm looking for the sweet spot between obsessively looking for rewards and sign-on bonuses and just using cash. If I think of it, towards the end of the year, I switch to the 2% card for groceries, but ... mindless. :D
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by technovelist » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:49 am

The new Citi Costco credit card has 4% back on gas almost everywhere, and also adds an additional 2 years to the warranty for purchases made at Costco. There's no annual fee other than the Costco membership fee.

I have gotten thousands of dollars worth of free hotel nights and air fares via credit card rewards. I'm pretty sure I'm way ahead on the annual fees, but of course I get rid of ones I'm not using.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

delamer
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by delamer » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:57 am

We use Amex Blue Cash for everything we can. Decent rewards, no annual fee, and good experiences with getting help from them when we had to contest a charge.

USAA Visa is for places that don't take Amex or online transactions when we aren't familiar with the company.

This seems to be our "sweet spot." I am just not comfortable with having lots of cards and also am not fond of the big banks, which limits the ability to chase rewards.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by MrNewEngland » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:05 am

I really like it, but for me it's more about the game of it than actually making money.

I have a BoA 1/2/3 card that is my primary card. With the 75% adder the card gives me 1.75% cash back on everything, 3.5% on groceries, and 5.25% back on gas.

Both Discover and Chase offer 5% back on different categories every quarter so I take advantage of that if I can.

And then I do my 5% back on Amazon purchases.


As I get older I have been travelling more (and want to continue to travel more) but it's so hard to research travel cards bc I don't know what "points" are worth. Most places don't show redemption methods.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:14 am

MrNewEngland wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:05 am
I really like it, but for me it's more about the game of it than actually making money.

I have a BoA 1/2/3 card that is my primary card. With the 75% adder the card gives me 1.75% cash back on everything, 3.5% on groceries, and 5.25% back on gas.

Both Discover and Chase offer 5% back on different categories every quarter so I take advantage of that if I can.

And then I do my 5% back on Amazon purchases.


As I get older I have been travelling more (and want to continue to travel more) but it's so hard to research travel cards bc I don't know what "points" are worth. Most places don't show redemption methods.
Google is your friend.

For most airlines add their partners, just use your friendly Google: e.g., "American Airlines awards chart" or "American Airlines partners awards charts" - those can be quite different.
For overseas travel, it seems that the points needed for AA partners is often less than if using AA operated flights. Better yet, the service on overseas main stream airlines tends to be better, especially in premium classes.

For Amex cards (without airline affiliation), start with "Amex travel partners" to find out *which* airlines are possible, and then use the above.

I think there is one airline (perhaps Delta? we don't fly with them) that doesn't have an award chart posted and I've heard complaints that it's hard to figure it out, but no first hand experience with that.

RM
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dbr
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by dbr » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:17 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:14 am
MrNewEngland wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:05 am
I really like it, but for me it's more about the game of it than actually making money.

I have a BoA 1/2/3 card that is my primary card. With the 75% adder the card gives me 1.75% cash back on everything, 3.5% on groceries, and 5.25% back on gas.

Both Discover and Chase offer 5% back on different categories every quarter so I take advantage of that if I can.

And then I do my 5% back on Amazon purchases.


As I get older I have been travelling more (and want to continue to travel more) but it's so hard to research travel cards bc I don't know what "points" are worth. Most places don't show redemption methods.
Google is your friend.

For most airlines add their partners, just use your friendly Google: e.g., "American Airlines awards chart" or "American Airlines partners awards charts" - those can be quite different.
For overseas travel, it seems that the points needed for AA partners is often less than if using AA operated flights. Better yet, the service on overseas main stream airlines tends to be better, especially in premium classes.

For Amex cards (without airline affiliation), start with "Amex travel partners" to find out *which* airlines are possible, and then use the above.

I think there is one airline (perhaps Delta? we don't fly with them) that doesn't have an award chart posted and I've heard complaints that it's hard to figure it out, but no first hand experience with that.

RM
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by tomd37 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am

I sometimes question some of the responses I read about cash rebate cards. If one receives an annual cash rebate of $2,500 using a 2% cash-back card that means charging $125,000 annually that card. Under what conditions would a person make personal charges of $125,000 to a credit card to obtain such results? :confused
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C4NT
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by C4NT » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:28 am

tomd37 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I sometimes question some of the responses I read about cash rebate cards. If one receives an annual cash rebate of $2,500 using a 2% cash-back card that means charging $125,000 annually that card. Under what conditions would a person make personal charges of $125,000 to a credit card to obtain such results? :confused
I don't receive that much in cash back, and also don't spend that much.

However, many of the cards mentioned on this thread have higher rewards percentages than 2%, like 6% on groceries through Amex. 3-4% on gas is not uncommon. 5% can garnered on a lot of specialty categories like home improvement stores or department stores. You can also get 5% with Target or Amazon cards.

I've never calculated it, but I bet I get >$1000 cash back on ~$30,000 spending per year which is over 3% back on average.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:29 am

tomd37 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I sometimes question some of the responses I read about cash rebate cards. If one receives an annual cash rebate of $2,500 using a 2% cash-back card that means charging $125,000 annually that card. Under what conditions would a person make personal charges of $125,000 to a credit card to obtain such results? :confused
Well, some of my charges are rebated at 5% (e.g., Amazon, where I shop a lot). More than $360 of rebates comes from grocery rebates at 6%(it’s easy to consume more than $6,000 of groceries with teenagers in the house).

And yes, beynd that, we spend a lot. Now, of only college tuition could go on a credit card, we’d really be getting rebates :D

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by prudent » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:30 am

tomd37 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I sometimes question some of the responses I read about cash rebate cards. If one receives an annual cash rebate of $2,500 using a 2% cash-back card that means charging $125,000 annually that card. Under what conditions would a person make personal charges of $125,000 to a credit card to obtain such results? :confused
From what I have read various places, some people are able to use the cards for business purchases, some buy things that they can sell on ebay/craigslist for a profit, and some do what is called "manufactured spending" - finding ways to charge things like gift cards that are used to pay for other things while still netting a profit on the cashback (to oversimplify, imagine if you could buy a Visa gift card using a cashback credit card, then use the gift card to pay off the credit card; or if there was a way to pay estimated taxes with a credit card and still earn some cashback even after paying the fee for charging the taxes).

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:33 am

tomd37 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I sometimes question some of the responses I read about cash rebate cards. If one receives an annual cash rebate of $2,500 using a 2% cash-back card that means charging $125,000 annually that card. Under what conditions would a person make personal charges of $125,000 to a credit card to obtain such results? :confused
Many high-income individuals would legitimately spend that much on their cards. That said, there used to be a lot of ways to gain that much benefit without actually spending nearly that amount of money. I don't know if they still work as the banks have kinda caught on to the game.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:34 am

jhfenton wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:11 am
After having our debit cards both compromised a decade ago, we don't use them except at our home ATM. They just don't provide the hassle-free security protection that credit cards do. (We got our money back, but it was gone for a few days. If it had been a larger amount at a critical time, it could have been more significant. Credit card fraud is essentially painless.)

I view the credit card rewards as a nice bonus. We gladly accept them and try to maximize their benefit, but we don't chase them from card to card.
This. I find the cash back or travel rewards helpful, but the fraud prevention is key. Usually much easier to get fraud fixed by your cc company better you pay the bill than to get it clawed back into your bank account.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by avalpert » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:37 am

tomd37 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:18 am
I sometimes question some of the responses I read about cash rebate cards. If one receives an annual cash rebate of $2,500 using a 2% cash-back card that means charging $125,000 annually that card. Under what conditions would a person make personal charges of $125,000 to a credit card to obtain such results? :confused
My weighted average cash back last year was a shade under 3.5%, I charged ~$66k and received over $2k in rewards. That is before sign-on bonuses which last year were worth another ~$5k (at least).

Is it worth it? Well, since the effort involved was minimal I would say definitely worth it.

Edit: I'll add that if my kids school tuition could be paid in credit card $125k wouldn't seem unlikely and this year, with all of my income (though not my wives) coming without tax withholding and paying estimated taxes with cards, I'll probably be close to 6 figures of charged spend.
Last edited by avalpert on Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by avalpert » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:40 am

John Laurens wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:45 am
I know for a fact I spend more when using plastic that I pay off at the end of each month than with a debit card that instantly zaps my checking account. This is true for many people. You can find studies online. You can make your own judgments whether those findings apply to you.

Regards,
John
The studies do not show a difference between debit and credit cards - they do show a difference between cash and cashless forms of payments. So from the studies perspective debit cards are the worst of all worlds.

tomd37
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by tomd37 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:48 am

I have seen numerous references in the past year to a sign-on bonus for getting new credit cards and it appears a number of people do this to get that additional free money. But I question the impact of such activity on their credit scores. Those credit scores impact many other ongoing life situations and ultimately could impact the price they pay (e.g., home and car insurances, loans etc.) Maybe credit scores are not important to them at this point of time. At age 80 I don't have any concerns about credit score although I do check it when it is offered to me at no charge. :beer
Tom D.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:50 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:03 am
I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000.

Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon
PenFed for gasoline
Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else

I think it is worth it. We have the cards autopay in full every month; no human intervention required.
This is where I'd like to be. It's as close to a perfect setup I'll get. Do you find the Amazon prime store card is worth it overall for the price of Amazon prime? We share prime so I only pay about $20 a year to get the free shipping benefits.

The PenFed card I no longer have. Might consider this one again. Although with the 3% the AMEX Blue Preferred gives that one is the least likely I'll get. I miss the Sallie Mae card :(
“Life is short, Break the Rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile" - Unknown

THY4373
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:59 am

Absolutely credit card rewards are worth it to me. That said it is basically a second job to me both in the time I put in and the income I get out of it.

To those concerned about your credit mine is almost always over 800.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:03 am

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:59 am
Absolutely credit card rewards are worth it to me. That said it is basically a second job to me both in the time I put in and the income I get out of it.

To those concerned about your credit mine is almost always over 800.
And when I cancel a card it's maybe a couple points ding that recovers very shortly. Always over 800 as well and I've cancelled a lot of cards :D
“Life is short, Break the Rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile" - Unknown

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:51 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:50 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:03 am
I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000.

Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon
PenFed for gasoline
Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else

I think it is worth it. We have the cards autopay in full every month; no human intervention required.
This is where I'd like to be. It's as close to a perfect setup I'll get. Do you find the Amazon prime store card is worth it overall for the price of Amazon prime? We share prime so I only pay about $20 a year to get the free shipping benefits.

The PenFed card I no longer have. Might consider this one again. Although with the 3% the AMEX Blue Preferred gives that one is the least likely I'll get. I miss the Sallie Mae card :(
I like the Amazon Prime Card a lot, but I think I might be extreme in how much I hate shopping in brick and mortar stores and how willing I am to accept Amazon’s prices without comparison shopping. I have my kids’ addresses on file, and regularly send them things at college; 5% off on textbooks adds up quickly.

In addition to shipping, we also watch shows on Amazon video often. I should probably investigate Amazon Music, but I haven’t yet.

I gave my PenFed card to my wife for her car for when it’s not Exxon/Mobil. We have an Exxon “wand” for my wife and kids to use; it’s convenient, gets charged the same per gallon as cash (sometimes a benefit at some stations), and automatically goes to the PenFed CC for payment.

I like to say our CCs are wired for sound. If I pre-decease my wife things will go smoothly, without human intervention, for a few months at least.

nolesrule
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by nolesrule » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:13 pm

The "chase" for rewards doesn't drive our spending, it just drives which card we use. We pulled in about $2100 in the last 12 months, not including Target, which takes 5% off at the register, and our Hilton Visa which gives the equivalent of 3% in point value plus an annual spending bonus on hotel stays.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:01 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:51 am
pennstater2005 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:50 am
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:03 am
I use credit rewards cards. We usually earn about $2500/year, but the past 12 months I think we are on track for $3000.

Amex Blue Preferred - Groceries
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% on Amazon
PenFed for gasoline
Fidelity 2% Visa and Citi Double Cash 2%- everything else

I think it is worth it. We have the cards autopay in full every month; no human intervention required.
This is where I'd like to be. It's as close to a perfect setup I'll get. Do you find the Amazon prime store card is worth it overall for the price of Amazon prime? We share prime so I only pay about $20 a year to get the free shipping benefits.

The PenFed card I no longer have. Might consider this one again. Although with the 3% the AMEX Blue Preferred gives that one is the least likely I'll get. I miss the Sallie Mae card :(
I like the Amazon Prime Card a lot, but I think I might be extreme in how much I hate shopping in brick and mortar stores and how willing I am to accept Amazon’s prices without comparison shopping. I have my kids’ addresses on file, and regularly send them things at college; 5% off on textbooks adds up quickly.

In addition to shipping, we also watch shows on Amazon video often. I should probably investigate Amazon Music, but I haven’t yet.

I gave my PenFed card to my wife for her car for when it’s not Exxon/Mobil. We have an Exxon “wand” for my wife and kids to use; it’s convenient, gets charged the same per gallon as cash (sometimes a benefit at some stations), and automatically goes to the PenFed CC for payment.

I like to say our CCs are wired for sound. If I pre-decease my wife things will go smoothly, without human intervention, for a few months at least.
Thanks for the response. I guess sometimes I forget about the additional services you get with Prime.
“Life is short, Break the Rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile" - Unknown

mega317
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by mega317 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:05 pm

Another feature that has been worth it for me is has been price protection. I recently bought a washer/dryer online. I don't even remember why but I went back to the website later and saw they were both discounted from what I spent. I opened a claim online, uploaded screenshots, and got two big checks in the mail a few weeks later. I think it was like 15 or 20% back.

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flamesabers
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by flamesabers » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:17 pm

RDHlooking4FIRE wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:57 am
I charge everything on my credit card for the 2% cash back (citi double cash). I also like seeing how much I spent each month. I PAY MY BALANCE IN FULL EVERY MONTH. But I hate seeing that I owe.

Id rather use my debt card. Is the 2% cash back worth it. Do you use debt or credit and if credit what rewards card do you use?

Thanks
Since you hate seeing that you owe money to your credit card company, while not pay off your balance each and every time you review your credit card transactions?

I use USAA's 2.5% Limitless Visa for most of my spending/bills. For gas I use USAA's Amex rewards card which gets me 5% cashback on gas station purchases. Since I have Amazon Prime, I use Amazon's store card to get a 5% credit on all of my purchases with Amazon.

hightower
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Re: Are credit cards rewards worth it?

Post by hightower » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:19 pm

RDHlooking4FIRE wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:57 am
I charge everything on my credit card for the 2% cash back (citi double cash). I also like seeing how much I spent each month. I PAY MY BALANCE IN FULL EVERY MONTH. But I hate seeing that I owe.

Id rather use my debt card. Is the 2% cash back worth it. Do you use debt or credit and if credit what rewards card do you use?

Thanks
So basically you're asking if you'd rather have 2% back or 0% back? Of course 2% back is better than 0% back. Who cares if you have to remember to pay it off each month. As long as you're not spending more than you otherwise would, it's worth it! You're over thinking this;)

The other thing I like to consider is that all of these rewards cards are costing the retailers money. When a retailer accepts a credit card payment, they have to pay a fee to the credit card company for using their service. These fees are expensive and retailers have to build this cost into their pricing. As a result, everything you buy has those fees already factored in. If you're NOT getting rewards back from the credit card companies, you're just paying a higher price for no reason and everyone else is getting the cash back.

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