Travel Rewards uses status at time of purchase.
Cash Rewards uses status at time of redemption.
Travel Rewards signup bonus is not boosted by Preferred Rewards bonus.
Cash Rewards signup bonus is boosted by Preferred Rewards bonus (at time of redemption).
Yes, that is what I've read. So I can get my 3.5% for groceries and 5.25% for gas immediately, except I'm still getting 5% for both on my Sallie Mae card, and 5% on gas with both Discover and Chase this quarter (both of which are worth more when redeeming), so no real incentive to start using it for those just yet.
My real interest is using the Travel Rewards card to get the 2.625%. Now, I should qualify at Platinum next month (if I understand how things work, $200k/3 > $50k) so I will get the 50% bonus, which makes the travel card worth 2.25%, still better than my current Fidelity card. But I won't get to the maximum level until March. I was actually thinking it would be April, but I guess $200*2/3 is still > $100k. Or maybe I'm confused.
I already have both cards so the signup bonus doesn't effect me. How about the AAA signup bonus? Boosted or not? I'm debating signing up for a card.