What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

djheini wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 5:22 pmMay not apply to you but for some people, it's worth pointing out that the cash rewards cards have 3% foreign transaction fees, so if you do international travel and want to use it as your dining card, it's best to have another fallback option.
The 3% is not limited to travel. If you order something online from a Canadian or other international web site, they'll get you there, too. I was aware of the fee and have other cards to avoid it, but I wasn't thinking about when I placed my order.
djheini
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by djheini »

spammagnet wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 5:38 pm
djheini wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 5:22 pmMay not apply to you but for some people, it's worth pointing out that the cash rewards cards have 3% foreign transaction fees, so if you do international travel and want to use it as your dining card, it's best to have another fallback option.
The 3% is not limited to travel. If you order something online from a Canadian or other international web site, they'll get you there, too. I was aware of the fee and have other cards to avoid it, but I wasn't thinking about when I placed my order.
Yep, I usually try to avoid it but have been burned a couple times for smaller charges where I didn't realize the seller was outside the US (since it was digital goods and denominated in USD). Always a bummer
JS-Elcano
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by JS-Elcano »

Not much of a strategy. I have the Chase (Amazon) Prime 5% CC. I got slightly over $1000 cash back on it in the last 12 months, which I use for an upcoming vacation. :D

Travel cards and hotel loyalty cards don't seem to work for me as I always fly with different airlines and stay at different hotels, based on what the best offers are, in which location I like to stay, how much or how little luxury I fancy, how much time I want to spend to complete my flight, etc, etc. I think airline and hotel cards can make sense if you live at a hub of a major airline or if you like to travel to the same places to stay at the same hotels, none of which applies to me.
Barefootgirl
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Barefootgirl »

Is 2% cash back the winner?

For non-category spend, if you live in Central Florida, the MidFlorida Credit Union offers a Visa card with 2.5% cash back on all purchases.
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Barefootgirl
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Barefootgirl »

Hi TravelGeek - I noticed this statement. Can I ask how you get to an effective 7.5% this way? doesn't Ink Cash only give you 5% at office stores?

I have bought a few (dozen) gift cards at Office Supply stores over the years with my Ink Cash to effectively get 7.5%-ish off my Amazon, Netflix, and UberEats purchases.
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czaj
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by czaj »

Barefootgirl wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:03 pm Hi TravelGeek - I noticed this statement. Can I ask how you get to an effective 7.5% this way? doesn't Ink Cash only give you 5% at office stores?

I have bought a few (dozen) gift cards at Office Supply stores over the years with my Ink Cash to effectively get 7.5%-ish off my Amazon, Netflix, and UberEats purchases.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, points are worth at least 1.5 when redeemed for travel (5% * 1.5).
ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

czaj wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:21 pm
Barefootgirl wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:03 pm Hi TravelGeek - I noticed this statement. Can I ask how you get to an effective 7.5% this way? doesn't Ink Cash only give you 5% at office stores?

I have bought a few (dozen) gift cards at Office Supply stores over the years with my Ink Cash to effectively get 7.5%-ish off my Amazon, Netflix, and UberEats purchases.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, points are worth at least 1.5 when redeemed for travel (5% * 1.5).
Or better yet, Pay Yourself Back (PYB) through September 2021...
calwatch
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by calwatch »

My strategy has been with Bank of America TR/CR - I had PR but cancelled pre-pandemic due to the annoyance of buying airline gift cards to "cash out" the $100 travel credit. I do feed various sign up bonuses and am currently feeding an Amex with organic spend, and max out the rotating categories if they make sense, i.e. with Costco gift cards. Unfortunately some ways of liquidating Visa/MC gift cards (purchased at face value cost from office supply and grocery stores) have evaporated recently so I am also organically spending those to avoid holding them.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

calwatch wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 1:35 am… I had PR but cancelled pre-pandemic due to the annoyance of buying airline gift cards to "cash out" the $100 travel credit. …
Wish I'd thought of that before I closed our PR cards today. :?
snailderby
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by snailderby »

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is frequently recommended on here, but for someone who doesn't want to pay an annual fee and doesn't want to deal with the American Airlines gift card workaround, the Travel Rewards card can be another good alternative.
MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

spammagnet wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 pm
calwatch wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 1:35 am… I had PR but cancelled pre-pandemic due to the annoyance of buying airline gift cards to "cash out" the $100 travel credit. …
Wish I'd thought of that before I closed our PR cards today. :?
I got the travel credit simply by purchasing first class tickets on American Airlines. Did not pay any incidentals or any fees other than the cost of the tickets. No need for airline gift cards. Don't know if this was a one-off due to the pandemic or whether first class tickets somehow qualify for the $100 credit. The credit posted in two separate transactions on the same day (two days after the return flight was completed) - the first one for $40 and the second one for $60.
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spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

MikeG62 wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 6:50 amI got the travel credit simply by purchasing first class tickets on American Airlines. Did not pay any incidentals or any fees other than the cost of the tickets. No need for airline gift cards. Don't know if this was a one-off due to the pandemic or whether first class tickets somehow qualify for the $100 credit. The credit posted in two separate transactions on the same day (two days after the return flight was completed) - the first one for $40 and the second one for $60.
Since I'm not flying anywhere, gift cards are (were) the only way for me to get that credit. Too late, now. Maybe later if they offer me a new Premium Rewards account, with bonus.
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dodecahedron
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dodecahedron »

The lion's share of my routine spending goes on my BoA cards (5.25% on two categories of my choice changeable monthly on my 2 cash rewards cards, 3.5% on groceries, and 2.625% on pretty much everything else.)

Pre-pandemic, I also maintained some dedicated special purpose cards for perks that were worth more than the annual fees (e.g., an IHG card that got me an annual free night certificate at any hotel in their network, a United card that got me free checked bags). These cards also had a bunch of other bonus/points/perks like room upgrades, etc. and signup bonuses that were worthwhile but the perks I listed in parentheses alone were worth more to me than the annual fees so they were no-brainers to maintain pre-Pandemic.

During the Pandemic, my travel habits obviously changed. I am reassessing now.

IHG kindly extended the expiration on the annual free night certificates and since I have recently started to travel cautiously again (fully vaccinated as of 2/15/21), I feel confident I will use them going forward and I will maintain my IHG cards.

United I am not so sure about. Airports do not seem like attractive places to be right now.

However, I have done some Amtrak traveling and the new Moynihan Train Hall in Manhattan is spectacular (night & day difference from the old congested dungeon-like Penn Station waiting area.) My plan for the near-term predictable future is to do most of my travel on Amtrak, because it seems more pleasant (less cattle-car stress than airports, no TSA etc., less susceptible to weather and equipment breakdown chaos, ability to move around freely, more legroom, less circulatory issues from being forced to sit strapped in, etc.) Plus I get to feel good (or at least less bad) about impact of my travel on climate change compared to flying.

I understand there is a super-deluxe first-class lounge which is even nicer.

So, even though I am trying to streamline and simplify my life, I decided to apply for the Amtrak World MasterCard. For $79 per year, I get quite a few perks including an annual free companion fare, an annual one-class upgrade, a free pass to use the deluxe first class lounge once a year, and points which work out to over 7.5% rebate value if used to purchase Amtrak fares. Also, an upfront bonus worth over $500 in free Amtrak travel if I spend $1,000 in first 90 days, which I plan to do (I will temporarily switch things like paying for groceries, phone, other misc., etc. to the new Amtrak card for at least the next three months.)

I will likely cancel my United card when it comes up for renewal next month. (I opened it a couple years ago when I thought I would be traveling a lot on United. I have more than the recouped the annual fee in first year bonuses.)
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VictoriaF
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by VictoriaF »

dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:09 am
IHG kindly extended the expiration on the annual free night certificates and since I have recently started to travel cautiously again (fully vaccinated as of 2/15/21), I feel confident I will use them going forward and I will maintain my IHG cards.
dodecahedron,

Thank you for an informative post.

I won't be traveling internationally in 2021 but might have a couple domestic trips. My IHG annual free nights will likely expire by the time I get a chance to use them. Do you have an advice on how to ask IHG for an extension?
dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:09 am
However, I have done some Amtrak traveling and the new Moynihan Train Hall in Manhattan is spectacular (night & day difference from the old congested dungeon-like Penn Station waiting area.) My plan for the near-term predictable future is to do most of my travel on Amtrak, because it seems more pleasant (less cattle-car stress than airports, no TSA etc., less susceptible to weather and equipment breakdown chaos, ability to move around freely, more legroom, less circulatory issues from being forced to sit strapped in, etc.) Plus I get to feel good (or at least less bad) about impact of my travel on climate change compared to flying.

I understand there is a super-deluxe first-class lounge which is even nicer.

So, even though I am trying to streamline and simplify my life, I decided to apply for the Amtrak World MasterCard. For $79 per year, I get quite a few perks including an annual free companion fare, an annual one-class upgrade, a free pass to use the deluxe first class lounge once a year, and points which work out to over 7.5% rebate value if used to purchase Amtrak fares. Also, an upfront bonus worth over $500 in free Amtrak travel if I spend $1,000 in first 90 days, which I plan to do (I will temporarily switch things like paying for groceries, phone, other misc., etc. to the new Amtrak card for at least the next three months.)
I do some Amtrak travel and usually pay cash for Value tickets. On one occasion, I needed to travel D.C. to Boston on Acela to meet my schedule and used all my accumulated points on that trip. I never thought of getting an Amtrak CC, but your description makes it attractive. I just got a Choice Hotels CC and this year, I will be putting all my spending on it. In 2022, I'll get the Amtrak card.

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dodecahedron
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dodecahedron »

VictoriaF wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:22 am
dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:09 am
IHG kindly extended the expiration on the annual free night certificates and since I have recently started to travel cautiously again (fully vaccinated as of 2/15/21), I feel confident I will use them going forward and I will maintain my IHG cards.
dodecahedron,

Thank you for an informative post.

I won't be traveling internationally in 2021 but might have a couple domestic trips. My IHG annual free nights will likely expire by the time I get a chance to use them. Do you have an advice on how to ask IHG for an extension?
Unfortunately, no advice about how to ask. IHG apparently decided that I was a customer they wanted to maintain and they mailed me an unsolicited letter telling me they were extending my free anniversary nights.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:09 am… Also, an upfront bonus worth over $500 in free Amtrak travel if I spend $1,000 in first 90 days, which I plan to do (I will temporarily switch things like paying for groceries, phone, other misc., etc. to the new Amtrak card for at least the next three months.) …
Switching stuff around is a pain. (I do it, too.) Just buy $1000 worth of grocery store gift cards and be done with it.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

VictoriaF wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:22 am… I won't be traveling internationally in 2021 but might have a couple domestic trips. My IHG annual free nights will likely expire by the time I get a chance to use them. Do you have an advice on how to ask IHG for an extension? …
I'd just call the reservation line, whine about how much your travel has been curtailed, and ask who you can talk to about extending the expiration. They might be able to refer you to a marketing department, or whoever controls that.
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dodecahedron
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dodecahedron »

spammagnet wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 1:20 pm
dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 9:09 am… Also, an upfront bonus worth over $500 in free Amtrak travel if I spend $1,000 in first 90 days, which I plan to do (I will temporarily switch things like paying for groceries, phone, other misc., etc. to the new Amtrak card for at least the next three months.) …
Switching stuff around is a pain. (I do it, too.) Just buy $1000 worth of grocery store gift cards and be done with it.
I agree switching stuff around is a pain, but unfortunately using gift cards at my most convenient nearby grocery store has turned into a pain. (They no longer have a mag stripe, just a long string of numbers that need to be typed in manually by the cashier. So they can't be used for self-checkout and they slow down the whole line behind me.)

On the other hand, hmmm, your gift card suggestion makes me think that perhaps I should just buy an Amtrak gift card for myself if the 90 day deadline looms and I haven't yet organically spent the full required $1,000 on the card on routine purchases. (I am planning to take some Amtrak trips later this year but not sure of my exact itinerary right now.)
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 1:41 pm… unfortunately using gift cards at my most convenient nearby grocery store has turned into a pain. (They no longer have a mag stripe, just a long string of numbers that need to be typed in manually by the cashier. So they can't be used for self-checkout and they slow down the whole line behind me.) …
It sounds like management is trying to dissuade use of gift cards.
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dodecahedron
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dodecahedron »

spammagnet wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 2:29 pm
dodecahedron wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 1:41 pm… unfortunately using gift cards at my most convenient nearby grocery store has turned into a pain. (They no longer have a mag stripe, just a long string of numbers that need to be typed in manually by the cashier. So they can't be used for self-checkout and they slow down the whole line behind me.) …
It sounds like management is trying to dissuade use of gift cards.
Indeed, and (at least in my case) their strategy worked. I used up the balance on the pain-in-the-neck-to-use gift card and resigned myself to just getting 3.5% cashback on groceries instead of the 5.25% I had previously gotten by purchasing gift cards online. (I don't buy enough groceries annually to make those fancy Amex cards that pay 6% back worthwhile.)

The good news is that I still get 5.25% on my online purchase of my CSA farmshare subscription (home-delivered).
greenway23
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by greenway23 »

I do all my spending via credit card (except for certain monthly payments that are required to come out of my bank account, e.g., mortgage, utilities, wireless, internet). I try to maximize cash back without paying an annual fee. I have a no annual fee cash back card with each of the big three card companies. I put all my cash back (and any other “free money” I come into) into a separate brokerage account (invested in VTI and QQQM) at my main brokerage to watch it grow separately; I find this much more rewarding over time than just redeeming statement credits every month.

—AMEX blue cash everyday: use this only for groceries (3% cash back). Only hiccup here is that AMEX only gives statement credits, so I just deposit the equivalent into my pot of rewards dollars.

—Fidelity visa — 2% cash back on all purchases deposited into Fidelity account. This is my main card.

—PayPal MasterCard — 2% cash back on all purchases deposited into PP account and no foreign transaction fee. Also a big fan of the PayPal website and the company in general. Fidelity allows you to transfer funds from your PayPal account. This is my least used card and I generally only use it for mom and pop type stores or other non major merchants, but I find myself using it several times per month.
tj
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tj »

wireless, internet)
Your cell phone and internet providers don't allow you to use a recurring credit card? Odd.
greenway23
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by greenway23 »

tj wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 10:23 pm
wireless, internet)
Your cell phone and internet providers don't allow you to use a recurring credit card? Odd.
They actually might, and I would prefer to pay that way, but Verizon sheds something like $10 off each bill if they can take it directly out of your bank account.
stilllurking
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by stilllurking »

Does anyone have the U.S. BANK ALTITUDE® CONNECT VISA SIGNATURE® CARD?

https://www.usbank.com/credit-cards/alt ... d=PB_35895

Wondering how easy it is to spend the $500 of points. I'd probably only stay for the year since the $95AF is waived for the first year.

Thoughts?
Bibliothikarios
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bibliothikarios »

So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
arsenal_fan
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arsenal_fan »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
What cards did you apply for?
tj
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tj »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
I can't imagine why anyone would be unhappy with the BofA/Merill combo, assuming you can hold your investments at Merrill.
Bibliothikarios
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bibliothikarios »

I did a bunch of Chase cards (Sapphire preferred as the big bonus). Then referred my wife for a bunch of cards. Then she did the bonuses as well. We also each did several bank bonuses in our local area. I also got a couple of hundred doing Rakuten referrals and bonuses. In the past I used my CC rewards for the vacation fund. I would get ~$1,200 a year. I decided to go next level with effort after reading this entire thread (~8 months ago).

Chase is fine for me since I use rewards for travel. I'm trying to decide if BoA/ML is a higher apple (reward percentage) worth the reach, when I'm doing okay maximizing Chase ultimate rewards and still doing bank bonuses.
ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

tj wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:59 pm
Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
I can't imagine why anyone would be unhappy with the BofA/Merill combo, assuming you can hold your investments at Merrill.
Happy but bored. American Express is throwing huge sign-up bonuses around and the return from those cards dwarf the 2.625% on BofA. I just entered the MR ecosystem in December and that's basically consuming all my spend these days. That said, BofA is the best long-term strategy in my mind.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arsenal_fan »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 10:06 pm I did a bunch of Chase cards (Sapphire preferred as the big bonus). Then referred my wife for a bunch of cards. Then she did the bonuses as well. We also each did several bank bonuses in our local area. I also got a couple of hundred doing Rakuten referrals and bonuses. In the past I used my CC rewards for the vacation fund. I would get ~$1,200 a year. I decided to go next level with effort after reading this entire thread (~8 months ago).

Chase is fine for me since I use rewards for travel. I'm trying to decide if BoA/ML is a higher apple (reward percentage) worth the reach, when I'm doing okay maximizing Chase ultimate rewards and still doing bank bonuses.
Nicely done.
DinkinFlicka
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DinkinFlicka »

My strategy has mostly been Ultimate Rewards. The PYB feature is nice to get that guaranteed 1.5x.

I recently discovered though that a recurring flight I take has a really good deal when award booking through American Airlines at my regional airport (2.5 to 3 cents per point), so now I’ve shifted towards AAdvantage points. Starting out with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by calwatch »

For a simple set it and forget it strategy BoA/Merrill with the Premium or Travel Rewards and a Cash Rewards is probably the easiest one if you can hold the $100k in Merrill assets. I hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve to cash out hundreds of thousands in UR points earned through the years that I never could spend, at grocery stores using Visa and Mastercard gift cards which I then used to pay taxes. After the first year, though, I may not keep it. My annual fee is $550 and if you net out a $120 DoorDash credit and $300 travel/grocery credit, you're paying $130 for lounge access, the ability to use Pay Yourself Back to multiply other Chase categories on other cards (like Freedom and Ink) by 1.5X, and some better travel insurance. I used the free hour of the Minute Suites to take a nap on a layover earlier this month, but I can't see myself using it consistently... although it is a better value than the Amex Platinum.
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dodecahedron
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dodecahedron »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
I think you mean BoA/Merrill Edge Platinum, not Merrill Lynch (the latter is expensive and not recommended for Boglehead-style investors.)

Yes, still quite happy with BoA/Merrill Edge, six years later.

Moving investments (Vanguard ETFs, in-kind) from Vanguard's custody to Merrill Edge custody was very easy. Got $2,000 in transfer bonuses just for doing the transfer ($1,000 for transferring $200K in ETFs to Roth IRA, $1,000 for transferring $200K in ETFs to taxable brokerage account. The $1,000 bonus for the Roth went into the Roth, tax free. The other $1,000 was taxable, of course.)

I have also gotten over $2K in initial signup bonuses for opening BoA credit card accounts (I have 2 cash rewards cards, a Travel Rewards card, a Premium Rewards card, and two BoA Amtrak cards.) Getting 5.25% on two categories of my choice (because of 2 Cash Rewards cards: usually one category is online and the other is whatever makes the most sense for any given month) is great. 8% for Amtrak spending, 3.5% for groceries and 2.625% for everything else is great.

I do have some non-BoA cards for special purposes (IHG cards for their annual free night & upgrades & other perks, United for free baggage & other perks) but the lion's share of my spending is on BoA cards.

Frugal Professor is a long-time satisfied customer of BoA/ME credit cards and his blogpost is worth reading if you haven't already: https://frugalprofessor.com/best-credit ... 9-edition/
sycamore
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by sycamore »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm ...I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
I've been using the Premium Rewards card + Preferred Rewards for about a year and I'm still happy with the 2.625% back. It's my main credit card, along with the Chase Amazon card for Amazon purchases (5% back).

Only negative is that BoA wouldn't change the billing period to end on the last day of the month (instead it starts on the day I happened to open the card). At Chase they were able to make the change. Just a minor nit.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

sycamore wrote: Sat May 29, 2021 9:08 amOnly negative is that BoA wouldn't change the billing period to end on the last day of the month (instead it starts on the day I happened to open the card). At Chase they were able to make the change. Just a minor nit.
They require the payment due date and statement closing date to occur within the same month and they can't won't adjust the closing date for short months. Therefore the closing date can't be after the 28th because that's the shortest month, rather than allow closing on "the last day of the month". The payment due date is always 3 days earlier. I adapted to that by setting my payment due date to the 25th on all Chase cards. Now, all credit cards pay on the 25th.
Last edited by spammagnet on Sat May 29, 2021 8:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pmI wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
We (P1 & P2) have had BofA cards about a year. For us, they're the most efficient way to get kickbacks with minimal effort. We qualified for Platinum Honors by parking ETFs in IRAs. Now being retired, we're free to move retirement funds around. Younger players can't due that as easily do to age restrictions on workplace retirement account withdrawals.

We took the new account bonuses on the Premium cards and closed them after a year to avoid the annual fee. Someone here said they're churnable and that they were solicited to open new accounts shortly after closing the old ones. We shall see.

We each have 2 of the cash rewards cards, set to different categories to optimize their use. One is set up as online and is our primary card in Paypal, which we use to pay bills and for online purchases where we can. The others are set for gas and dining. We carry only 2 cards in our wallets. It's pretty easy.
Raspberry-503
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Raspberry-503 »

I put everything on my credit card (groceries, utilities ..) unless it has an extra fee. I suppose I would be ahead as long as the fee is less than 2% (son's college expenses I'm looking at you), so maybe I should think about also paying things that charge a fee if it's reasonable, but the university charges 2.75% fee, so still would lose money.

Ok, we have a Capital One Venture card that has 2 "miles" for every $ purchased and can be redeemed at 100 miles per $ to "erase" purchases. So effectively 2% cash back on everything. You do have to manually select which purchase you want to erase, i do this in the app around the time I schedule my next payment.
The fee is $59/year however...

I also just signed up for the Amazon Prime Rewards card. $100 Amazon credit and 5% back on Amazon purchases and Whole Food. We don't shop Whole Foods much be we do buy a lot from Amazon, so it's a rare time a "store card" is worth the trouble.

It is the $100 Amazon credit that got me curious about peeking in this thread. I was thinking that constantly switching credit cards to chase sign up bonuses is a little silly but I suppose they can add up.

I wonder if I could call Capital One and ask for "something" in exchange for not switching to another card that has a sign up bonus and at least 2% back.
d0gerz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by d0gerz »

Raspberry-503 wrote: Sun May 30, 2021 11:05 pm I put everything on my credit card (groceries, utilities ..) unless it has an extra fee. I suppose I would be ahead as long as the fee is less than 2% (son's college expenses I'm looking at you), so maybe I should think about also paying things that charge a fee if it's reasonable, but the university charges 2.75% fee, so still would lose money.

Ok, we have a Capital One Venture card that has 2 "miles" for every $ purchased and can be redeemed at 100 miles per $ to "erase" purchases. So effectively 2% cash back on everything. You do have to manually select which purchase you want to erase, i do this in the app around the time I schedule my next payment.
The fee is $59/year however...

I also just signed up for the Amazon Prime Rewards card. $100 Amazon credit and 5% back on Amazon purchases and Whole Food. We don't shop Whole Foods much be we do buy a lot from Amazon, so it's a rare time a "store card" is worth the trouble.

It is the $100 Amazon credit that got me curious about peeking in this thread. I was thinking that constantly switching credit cards to chase sign up bonuses is a little silly but I suppose they can add up.

I wonder if I could call Capital One and ask for "something" in exchange for not switching to another card that has a sign up bonus and at least 2% back.
I would at the very least call them a week or two after your next $59 annual fee posts and ask them to waive it.
MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

tj wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:59 pm
Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
I can't imagine why anyone would be unhappy with the BofA/Merill combo, assuming you can hold your investments at Merrill.
^This.

And you only need to park $100K at Merrill Edge for the 75% uplift in the cash back rate. Just transfer assets in kind in excess of $100K and you are good to go. I transferred $110K in shares in a bond fund back in Feb of 2020. I don't even think about anymore (other than to pull on online statement).
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TravelGeek
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

Barefootgirl wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 7:03 pm Hi TravelGeek - I noticed this statement. Can I ask how you get to an effective 7.5% this way? doesn't Ink Cash only give you 5% at office stores?

I have bought a few (dozen) gift cards at Office Supply stores over the years with my Ink Cash to effectively get 7.5%-ish off my Amazon, Netflix, and UberEats purchases.
Sorry, I missed this post.

Ink Cash earns 5X, not 5%. Percent is used to denote a (cash back) value - 5% of the purchase price. But people who play the UR game don’t just have the Ink Cash for cash back despite the card’s misleading name. They combine the UR earned with the card with another card that gives them nice redemption options.

You need to multiply the 5 URs you earn per dollar with the value of those URs. Right now, as someone else pointed out, PYB makes it an easy 1.5c value per UR point, so 5 * 0.015 = 7.5% cash back.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

MikeG62 wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:33 am… And you only need to park $100K at Merrill Edge …
To keep things in perspective, this is well beyond realistic for most people.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

spammagnet wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:35 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:33 am… And you only need to park $100K at Merrill Edge …
To keep things in perspective, this is well beyond realistic for most people.
They don't have $100K in a retirement account they can move to ME? It does not have to (should not) be cash.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience
snailderby
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by snailderby »

Bibliothikarios wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:50 pm So about eight months ago, I read this entire thread. lol I read it over a month and half. I racked up nearly 4k in bonuses after reading this thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted over the years.

So, now I'm considering what my steady day to day/long term plan will be. I currently have investments at Fidelity.

I am intrigued by the BofA Merrill Lynch platinum honors.

I wanted to see if those who use the BofA/ML as their default CC rewards are still happy? I guess I just need to hear the experience will be good enough to warrant such a big change (for me, mentally, moving investments).
So far so good. We're not Platinum Honors yet, just Platinum, but that still gets us a flat 2.25% on all purchases on our BoA Travel Rewards card.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

There are lots of ways to maximize, but it's not just use one credit card and get the max.

Recent for us. Applied for a Cap One card for DW to get $200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Stop & Shop had a promotion, 3X go points on MC GC. I buy a $500 MC GC. Note, there's also 1.5% cash back.

$200+(0.015X500=$7.50)=$207.50.
But the GC cost $5.95 to activate.
$207.50-$5.95=$201.55.

I now have $1.50 per gallon discount at Shell plus since my Shell Rewards is linked, another 5 cents a gallon. I buy 20 gallons. It's cool for me that the cheapest gas station in the area is a Shell station. 20X$1.55=$31. $201.55+31=$232.55.

I'll use my discover card to buy the gas for 5% back. Gas before discount was $2.82 per gallon. After discount, $1.27 for 20 gallons, $25.40. 5% is $1.27. Total benefit now is $233.82.

You're going to say..."Hey Jack. You've got a $500 MC gift card. How you gonna get rid of that?". Well, I don't do any trickery with money orders. I simply spend it on things that don't give me any bonus points. I just had my furnace and water heater annual service. There's $200 right there. It's pretty easy to spend the MCGC and I know if I could have just turned it into a money order, I could have used my 2% citi double cash for the furnace service for $4. You can't have everything.....where would you put it? (Steven Wright)
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

MikeG62 wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:53 am
spammagnet wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:35 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:33 am… And you only need to park $100K at Merrill Edge …
To keep things in perspective, this is well beyond realistic for most people.
They don't have $100K in a retirement account they can move to ME? It does not have to (should not) be cash.
Most people have nowhere near this much saved in cash, brokerage account, or a transferable IRA. Most people save virtually nothing toward retirement. The median age for reaching six figures saved for retirement is in the 50s.

What quite a few people on this forum tend to save in a year or two, the typical person will save over a lifetime. Merrill Edge is greatly limiting who can qualify for their best terms by having the $100k requirement.

Here is on article about the median retirement savings by age: https://smartasset.com/retirement/avera ... you-normal

It says in the link that the age 55-64 group has the highest median retirement savings with $104k saved in a 401k/IRA. That means half the people approaching retirement still are at five figures or less. You can ignore younger people since they’re nowhere near reaching the big $100k.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

MikeG62 wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:53 amThey don't have $100K in a retirement account they can move to ME? It does not have to (should not) be cash.
Most people don't have $100K, period. Others may have $100K but it's locked up in employer retirement accounts that aren't mobile until age 59.5.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

snailderby wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:48 amSo far so good. We're not Platinum Honors yet, just Platinum, but that still gets us a flat 2.25% on all purchases on our BoA Travel Rewards card.
Don't forget to factor in the $95 annual fee after the first year. If your spending is high enough it may be worthwhile but their fee-free cash rewards cards may work better for you, with very little effort. Their web site has a tool that tells you how much you spent on each optional bonus category in the past 1 month and 3 months. Using that you can optimize your bonus category choices.
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ResearchMed
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed »

Ron Ronnerson wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:15 am
MikeG62 wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:53 am
spammagnet wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:35 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Mon May 31, 2021 8:33 am… And you only need to park $100K at Merrill Edge …
To keep things in perspective, this is well beyond realistic for most people.
They don't have $100K in a retirement account they can move to ME? It does not have to (should not) be cash.
Most people have nowhere near this much saved in cash, brokerage account, or a transferable IRA. Most people save virtually nothing toward retirement. The median age for reaching six figures saved for retirement is in the 50s.

What quite a few people on this forum tend to save in a year or two, the typical person will save over a lifetime. Merrill Edge is greatly limiting who can qualify for their best terms by having the $100k requirement.

Here is on article about the median retirement savings by age: https://smartasset.com/retirement/avera ... you-normal

It says in the link that the age 55-64 group has the highest median retirement savings with $104k saved in a 401k/IRA. That means half the people approaching retirement still are at five figures or less. You can ignore younger people since they’re nowhere near reaching the big $100k.
And don't forget that [possibly questionable] report a while ago that many Americans wouldn't be able to get a rather small amount of money in case of emergency. IIRC, it was $1k or less. (I'm not sure about the method, but let's assume there is some approximation to what they claim.)
Even if that study excluded "retirement accounts" (because that money might not be "accessible"), most people who couldn't gather $1k or less in an emergency probably don't have large holdings of any type.

I think we here at BH sometimes forget that most of us are not at all representative of the more general population, in many ways.

RM
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tj
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tj »

spammagnet wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:22 am
snailderby wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:48 amSo far so good. We're not Platinum Honors yet, just Platinum, but that still gets us a flat 2.25% on all purchases on our BoA Travel Rewards card.
Don't forget to factor in the $95 annual fee after the first year. If your spending is high enough it may be worthwhile but their fee-free cash rewards cards may work better for you, with very little effort. Their web site has a tool that tells you how much you spent on each optional bonus category in the past 1 month and 3 months. Using that you can optimize your bonus category choices.
You get $100 travel credit which can be used for an American Airlines giftcard that can be sold ofr $75-$80, or used at value. You also get a free global entry or TSA Precheck credit at every renewal. The annual fee is effectively much, much less.
ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

tj wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:28 am
spammagnet wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:22 am
snailderby wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:48 amSo far so good. We're not Platinum Honors yet, just Platinum, but that still gets us a flat 2.25% on all purchases on our BoA Travel Rewards card.
Don't forget to factor in the $95 annual fee after the first year. If your spending is high enough it may be worthwhile but their fee-free cash rewards cards may work better for you, with very little effort. Their web site has a tool that tells you how much you spent on each optional bonus category in the past 1 month and 3 months. Using that you can optimize your bonus category choices.
You get $100 travel credit which can be used for an American Airlines giftcard that can be sold ofr $75-$80, or used at value. You also get a free global entry or TSA Precheck credit at every renewal. The annual fee is effectively much, much less.
Travel Rewards card is free. Premium Rewards is $95 and has the travel credit mentioned above.
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