What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by AerialWombat »

My rewards strategy has always been travel-driven. A few years ago, I was extracting every possible dime of benefit out of my AmEx Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve accounts.

But my travel has been rapidly declining, and in 2020 will be almost zero. I downgraded the AmEx last year to a basic no-fee card, and the CSR to the CSP. Yesterday, I requested a downgrade of the CSP to a Chase Freedom card, as I
am now switching to a cash back strategy.

As a landlord, I have extensive utility bills every month. Just switched all of those from the CSP to a 5% category card — I just have to remember to login quarterly and re-select Utilities as one of the 5% categories.

Eating out is one of my biggest personal expenses, so I will miss the CSP for that. But “fast food” is also a 5% category on that card, and Chase Freedom occasionally has “Dining” as a 5% category.
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HomeStretch
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by HomeStretch »

AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am Eating out is one of my biggest personal expenses, so I will miss the CSP for that. But “fast food” is also a 5% category on that card, and Chase Freedom occasionally has “Dining” as a 5% category.
Your plan makes sense IMO. You might want to get a no-fee Chase AARP VISA or Chase SavorOne for 3% off dining or a $95 annual fee Capitol One Savor card for 4% off dining and entertainment. There’s a $300 bonus for the Capitol One Savor card which will cover the annual fee for a couple years.
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AerialWombat
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AerialWombat »

HomeStretch wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:52 pm
AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am Eating out is one of my biggest personal expenses, so I will miss the CSP for that. But “fast food” is also a 5% category on that card, and Chase Freedom occasionally has “Dining” as a 5% category.
Your plan makes sense IMO. You might want to get a no-fee Chase AARP VISA or Chase SavorOne for 3% off dining or a $95 annual fee Capitol One Savor card for 4% off dining and entertainment. There’s a $300 bonus for the Capitol One Savor card which will cover the annual fee for a couple years.
Thank you for the suggestion, but I just closed three CapitalOne accounts yesterday as part of a simplification plan, and I’m not eligible for AARP. The real solution is to just eat out less; my waistline and blood pressure will thank me for it. :)
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HomeStretch
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by HomeStretch »

AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:04 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:52 pm
AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am Eating out is one of my biggest personal expenses, so I will miss the CSP for that. But “fast food” is also a 5% category on that card, and Chase Freedom occasionally has “Dining” as a 5% category.
Your plan makes sense IMO. You might want to get a no-fee Chase AARP VISA or Chase SavorOne for 3% off dining or a $95 annual fee Capitol One Savor card for 4% off dining and entertainment. There’s a $300 bonus for the Capitol One Savor card which will cover the annual fee for a couple years.
Thank you for the suggestion, but I just closed three CapitalOne accounts yesterday as part of a simplification plan, and I’m not eligible for AARP. The real solution is to just eat out less; my waistline and blood pressure will thank me for it. :)
Simplification is good. Just as an FYI for anyone reading this post, anyone can apply for Chase AARP VISA regardless of age or whether you are an AARP member or not.
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AerialWombat
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AerialWombat »

HomeStretch wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:09 pm Simplification is good. Just as an FYI for anyone reading this post, anyone can apply for Chase AARP VISA regardless of age or whether you are an AARP member or not.
Oh, for real? Well, that works. My simplification goal is about reducing the number of financial institutions I work with. I already have three Chase cards, one more won’t hurt. Thanks for the tip!

Edit: Just realized I will have a 5/24 issue with Chase AARP. :annoyed
Last edited by AerialWombat on Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JBTX
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by JBTX »

HomeStretch wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:52 pm
AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am Eating out is one of my biggest personal expenses, so I will miss the CSP for that. But “fast food” is also a 5% category on that card, and Chase Freedom occasionally has “Dining” as a 5% category.
Your plan makes sense IMO. You might want to get a no-fee Chase AARP VISA or Chase SavorOne for 3% off dining or a $95 annual fee Capitol One Savor card for 4% off dining and entertainment. There’s a $300 bonus for the Capitol One Savor card which will cover the annual fee for a couple years.
I was lucky in that a couple of years ago I got a 4% no fee savor card grandfathered. I got another 4% card FOR DW back when card had $500 bonus, but it does have $95 fee. However we called in and they waived it upon request. You could always downgrade if they don't.
investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

Anyone else use the Rakuten shopping portal? I recently signed up for an Amex Platinum (100K MR targeted bonus) and I'm having fun meeting the minimum spend by looking for deals on Rakuten. I love how you can choose to earn Amex Membership Rewards on Rakuten. In fact, once my $5K minimum spend is up on the Platinum card I'll probably stop using it and return to my tried-and-true BofA Preferred Rewards/Cash Rewards 1-2 combo punch, but keep using Rakuten to scoop up Amex MR points. Cash back *and* transferable points!
macheta
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by macheta »

I use mine to equal out my fixed costs over two paychecks per month.
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AerialWombat
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AerialWombat »

investor997 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:58 pm Anyone else use the Rakuten shopping portal? I recently signed up for an Amex Platinum (100K MR targeted bonus) and I'm having fun meeting the minimum spend by looking for deals on Rakuten. I love how you can choose to earn Amex Membership Rewards on Rakuten. In fact, once my $5K minimum spend is up on the Platinum card I'll probably stop using it and return to my tried-and-true BofA Preferred Rewards/Cash Rewards 1-2 combo punch, but keep using Rakuten to scoop up Amex MR points. Cash back *and* transferable points!
“looking for deals”

Do you mean intentionally looking for stuff to buy that you weren’t already going to in order to meet the minimum spend???

I sure hope that’s not what you meant, but that sure is what it sounds like.
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investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:09 pm
investor997 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:58 pm Anyone else use the Rakuten shopping portal? I recently signed up for an Amex Platinum (100K MR targeted bonus) and I'm having fun meeting the minimum spend by looking for deals on Rakuten. I love how you can choose to earn Amex Membership Rewards on Rakuten. In fact, once my $5K minimum spend is up on the Platinum card I'll probably stop using it and return to my tried-and-true BofA Preferred Rewards/Cash Rewards 1-2 combo punch, but keep using Rakuten to scoop up Amex MR points. Cash back *and* transferable points!
“looking for deals”

Do you mean intentionally looking for stuff to buy that you weren’t already going to in order to meet the minimum spend???

I sure hope that’s not what you meant, but that sure is what it sounds like.
Nope. For example, I was already going to take a (reimbursable) business trip for work, so why not scrape a bunch of MR points off Rakuten on Expedia?
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ResearchMed
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed »

investor997 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:58 pm Anyone else use the Rakuten shopping portal? I recently signed up for an Amex Platinum (100K MR targeted bonus) and I'm having fun meeting the minimum spend by looking for deals on Rakuten. I love how you can choose to earn Amex Membership Rewards on Rakuten. In fact, once my $5K minimum spend is up on the Platinum card I'll probably stop using it and return to my tried-and-true BofA Preferred Rewards/Cash Rewards 1-2 combo punch, but keep using Rakuten to scoop up Amex MR points. Cash back *and* transferable points!
Hmmm.... are you getting more than the regular MR points by purchasing through Rakuten?

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

Post by AerialWombat »

investor997 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:38 pm Nope. For example, I was already going to take a (reimbursable) business trip for work, so why not scrape a bunch of MR points off Rakuten on Expedia?
OK, phew! This is BH, after all. :beer
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investor997
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

ResearchMed wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:44 pm Hmmm.... are you getting more than the regular MR points by purchasing through Rakuten?

RM
The Rakuten points are in addition to whatever the card earns. If Rakuten pays 5% cash back on a given deal, it's the same as 5X MR points. So say 1X on the card + 5X via Rakuten = 6X total.
OpenMinded1
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

For quite a few years I did a slow churn of the same three travel cards. These cards would have no fee the first year and a generous signup bonus - usually $400 to $650 - and every $100 charged would generate about two dollars worth of travel reward. (It varied a little from card to card.) I always pay my credit card bill in full every month.

I would move on to another card after having a card for just under a year to avoid paying the fee (that was waived the first year.) I could get the signup bonus from a card, switch to another card also with a substantial bonus after just under a year to avoid the annual fee. Then I would switch back to the first card after a couple years and get the signup bonus and the fee waived again.

However, in recent years they have started looking back farther, so I have to slow churn more cards. They won't let me get the same card again (and get the bonus) if I have had it in the last four years.

This year I couldn't find any cards that had decent travel bonuses and no fee in the first year that I hadn't already has in the last four years, so I ended up with a pretty decent cash back card - the Alliant Signature Visa. It's issued by Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, but just about anybody anywhere can become a member. It simply pays 3% cash back on all purchases, and there's no limit to the amount of cash you can get back. Many years ago I had a cash back card that would pay 5% back on gas, pharma, and groceries. I don't think there is anything like that around anymore.
Leesbro63
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Leesbro63 »

OpenMinded1 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:51 pm For quite a few years I did a slow churn of the same three travel cards. These cards would have no fee the first year and a generous signup bonus - usually $400 to $650 - and every $100 charged would generate about two dollars worth of travel reward. (It varied a little from card to card.) I always pay my credit card bill in full every month.

I would move on to another card after having a card for just under a year to avoid paying the fee (that was waived the first year.) I could get the signup bonus from a card, switch to another card also with a substantial bonus after just under a year to avoid the annual fee. Then I would switch back to the first card after a couple years and get the signup bonus and the fee waived again.

However, in recent years they have started looking back farther, so I have to slow churn more cards. They won't let me get the same card again (and get the bonus) if I have had it in the last four years.

This year I couldn't find any cards that had decent travel bonuses and no fee in the first year that I hadn't already has in the last four years, so I ended up with a pretty decent cash back card - the Alliant Signature Visa. It's issued by Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, but just about anybody anywhere can become a member. It simply pays 3% cash back on all purchases, and there's no limit to the amount of cash you can get back. Many years ago I had a cash back card that would pay 5% back on gas, pharma, and groceries. I don't think there is anything like that around anymore.
What’s the catch? If there’s truly a 3%-back-on-everything card, why have we spent thousands of posts describing how to jump through hoops to get BofA’s 2.625%? Why haven’t Bogleheads had many threads on this? A rare free lunch we missed?
somekevinguy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by somekevinguy »

Looks like Alliant is 2.5% cb- good but not as good as boa platinum honors unless I’m missing something: https://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank ... -card#faqs
TravelGeek
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

Leesbro63 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 am
What’s the catch? If there’s truly a 3%-back-on-everything card, why have we spent thousands of posts describing how to jump through hoops to get BofA’s 2.625%? Why haven’t Bogleheads had many threads on this? A rare free lunch we missed?
No expert on this card, but I think the catch was that the 3% cashback was only for the first year and then dropped to 2.5%. And even that intro offer is no longer available, based on

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/alliant- ... irst-year/

On top of that there is a $99 annual fee (waived first year) that the extra 0.5% compared to cards like Double Cash or Fidelity Visa need to overcome. And they have introduced a $10k per billing cycle limit for cashback purposes, which may limit opportunities to earn a bit on tax payments etc.

Given the merchant fee structure, I don't think a 3% cashback-on-everything with no AF is viable for any bank. The BofA scheme probably works only because the vast majority of their customers doesn't optimize as described here, but a simple single card 3% cashback card wouldn't require optimization schemes to be non-profitable for the issuer.
OpenMinded1
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

The contract I got back in November was 3% cash back on all purchases with no limit on the amount of cash I can get back. The fee was waived the first year. I won't keep it and pay the fee, but for me there would be an annual fee beginning the second year, and the cash back will decrease to 2%. So apparently the deal I got is no longer available. I'm not sure it was the absolute best cash back card deal at the time, but thought it was good for someone like me that doesn't want to think about purchase categories.

I used it on a recent auto purchase - although they would only let me charge $5000 of the purchase. (Got $150 back.) The car cost quite a bit more.

I found out that most vehicle dealers have a maximum of $5000, but some will allow $10,000 to be charged. There might even be a few that don't limit it, but of course you can't exceed your credit limit.
Leesbro63
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Leesbro63 »

So much for the free lunch. :(
Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 »

Leesbro63 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 am
OpenMinded1 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:51 pm For quite a few years I did a slow churn of the same three travel cards. These cards would have no fee the first year and a generous signup bonus - usually $400 to $650 - and every $100 charged would generate about two dollars worth of travel reward. (It varied a little from card to card.) I always pay my credit card bill in full every month.

I would move on to another card after having a card for just under a year to avoid paying the fee (that was waived the first year.) I could get the signup bonus from a card, switch to another card also with a substantial bonus after just under a year to avoid the annual fee. Then I would switch back to the first card after a couple years and get the signup bonus and the fee waived again.

However, in recent years they have started looking back farther, so I have to slow churn more cards. They won't let me get the same card again (and get the bonus) if I have had it in the last four years.

This year I couldn't find any cards that had decent travel bonuses and no fee in the first year that I hadn't already has in the last four years, so I ended up with a pretty decent cash back card - the Alliant Signature Visa. It's issued by Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, but just about anybody anywhere can become a member. It simply pays 3% cash back on all purchases, and there's no limit to the amount of cash you can get back. Many years ago I had a cash back card that would pay 5% back on gas, pharma, and groceries. I don't think there is anything like that around anymore.
What’s the catch? If there’s truly a 3%-back-on-everything card, why have we spent thousands of posts describing how to jump through hoops to get BofA’s 2.625%? Why haven’t Bogleheads had many threads on this? A rare free lunch we missed?
The catch is its 3% for the first year then 2.5% afterwards on up to $10,000/mo spending and a $99 annual fee. The reality is 3% isn’t that remarkable. Let’s pretend you spend $30,000/yr on your credit card. Alliant would get you $900 cash back whereas Capital One, with its 50k bonus, gets you $1100 back year one.

Even the most basic folks who don’t want to mess around are best off opening 1 new card a year. And if you have a spouse you get double the tries.
OpenMinded1
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

Jags4186 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:29 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 am
OpenMinded1 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:51 pm For quite a few years I did a slow churn of the same three travel cards. These cards would have no fee the first year and a generous signup bonus - usually $400 to $650 - and every $100 charged would generate about two dollars worth of travel reward. (It varied a little from card to card.) I always pay my credit card bill in full every month.

I would move on to another card after having a card for just under a year to avoid paying the fee (that was waived the first year.) I could get the signup bonus from a card, switch to another card also with a substantial bonus after just under a year to avoid the annual fee. Then I would switch back to the first card after a couple years and get the signup bonus and the fee waived again.

However, in recent years they have started looking back farther, so I have to slow churn more cards. They won't let me get the same card again (and get the bonus) if I have had it in the last four years.

This year I couldn't find any cards that had decent travel bonuses and no fee in the first year that I hadn't already has in the last four years, so I ended up with a pretty decent cash back card - the Alliant Signature Visa. It's issued by Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, but just about anybody anywhere can become a member. It simply pays 3% cash back on all purchases, and there's no limit to the amount of cash you can get back. Many years ago I had a cash back card that would pay 5% back on gas, pharma, and groceries. I don't think there is anything like that around anymore.
What’s the catch? If there’s truly a 3%-back-on-everything card, why have we spent thousands of posts describing how to jump through hoops to get BofA’s 2.625%? Why haven’t Bogleheads had many threads on this? A rare free lunch we missed?
The catch is its 3% for the first year then 2.5% afterwards on up to $10,000/mo spending and a $99 annual fee. The reality is 3% isn’t that remarkable. Let’s pretend you spend $30,000/yr on your credit card. Alliant would get you $900 cash back whereas Capital One, with its 50k bonus, gets you $1100 back year one.

Even the most basic folks who don’t want to mess around are best off opening 1 new card a year. And if you have a spouse you get double the tries.
Which Capital One card are you talking about with a 50K bonus? Is this a travel card, or a business card? If yes, you are comparing apples to oranges.
Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 »

OpenMinded1 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:47 am
Jags4186 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:29 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 am
OpenMinded1 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:51 pm For quite a few years I did a slow churn of the same three travel cards. These cards would have no fee the first year and a generous signup bonus - usually $400 to $650 - and every $100 charged would generate about two dollars worth of travel reward. (It varied a little from card to card.) I always pay my credit card bill in full every month.

I would move on to another card after having a card for just under a year to avoid paying the fee (that was waived the first year.) I could get the signup bonus from a card, switch to another card also with a substantial bonus after just under a year to avoid the annual fee. Then I would switch back to the first card after a couple years and get the signup bonus and the fee waived again.

However, in recent years they have started looking back farther, so I have to slow churn more cards. They won't let me get the same card again (and get the bonus) if I have had it in the last four years.

This year I couldn't find any cards that had decent travel bonuses and no fee in the first year that I hadn't already has in the last four years, so I ended up with a pretty decent cash back card - the Alliant Signature Visa. It's issued by Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, but just about anybody anywhere can become a member. It simply pays 3% cash back on all purchases, and there's no limit to the amount of cash you can get back. Many years ago I had a cash back card that would pay 5% back on gas, pharma, and groceries. I don't think there is anything like that around anymore.
What’s the catch? If there’s truly a 3%-back-on-everything card, why have we spent thousands of posts describing how to jump through hoops to get BofA’s 2.625%? Why haven’t Bogleheads had many threads on this? A rare free lunch we missed?
The catch is its 3% for the first year then 2.5% afterwards on up to $10,000/mo spending and a $99 annual fee. The reality is 3% isn’t that remarkable. Let’s pretend you spend $30,000/yr on your credit card. Alliant would get you $900 cash back whereas Capital One, with its 50k bonus, gets you $1100 back year one.

Even the most basic folks who don’t want to mess around are best off opening 1 new card a year. And if you have a spouse you get double the tries.
Which Capital One card are you talking about with a 50K bonus? Is this a travel card, or a business card? If yes, you are comparing apples to oranges.
Venture is 50k points and 2pts per $1 spent. Even if you don’t have any travel expenses there is nothing stopping you from booking a refundable plane ticket, cashing out your points, and then cancelling the flight for a refund.
DiMAn0684
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DiMAn0684 »

TravelGeek wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:28 am Given the merchant fee structure, I don't think a 3% cashback-on-everything with no AF is viable for any bank. The BofA scheme probably works only because the vast majority of their customers doesn't optimize as described here, but a simple single card 3% cashback card wouldn't require optimization schemes to be non-profitable for the issuer.
^^Agreed. Part of the reason there's a way to get higher value out of some BoA and Chase cards is that they see an opportunity to cross-sell products. Chase has been working on their Sapphire banking products and BoA has Premium Rewards. You can also see Citi doing similar things, offering to bump cashback rate on their DoubleCash cards to 2.5% for meeting certain banking requirements. 2.5-3% CB is hardly sustainable otherwise.
Pierre Delecto
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

2 percent cash back cards with no annual fees. I prefer the ease and flexibility.
xerxes101
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xerxes101 »

AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am
As a landlord, I have extensive utility bills every month. Just switched all of those from the CSP to a 5% category card — I just have to remember to login quarterly and re-select Utilities as one of the 5% categories.
How do you switch CSP to a 5% utility category card?..CSP is Chase Sapphire, right?
OpenMinded1
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by OpenMinded1 »

Jags4186 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:38 am
OpenMinded1 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:47 am
Jags4186 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:29 am
Leesbro63 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 am
OpenMinded1 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:51 pm For quite a few years I did a slow churn of the same three travel cards. These cards would have no fee the first year and a generous signup bonus - usually $400 to $650 - and every $100 charged would generate about two dollars worth of travel reward. (It varied a little from card to card.) I always pay my credit card bill in full every month.

I would move on to another card after having a card for just under a year to avoid paying the fee (that was waived the first year.) I could get the signup bonus from a card, switch to another card also with a substantial bonus after just under a year to avoid the annual fee. Then I would switch back to the first card after a couple years and get the signup bonus and the fee waived again.

However, in recent years they have started looking back farther, so I have to slow churn more cards. They won't let me get the same card again (and get the bonus) if I have had it in the last four years.

This year I couldn't find any cards that had decent travel bonuses and no fee in the first year that I hadn't already has in the last four years, so I ended up with a pretty decent cash back card - the Alliant Signature Visa. It's issued by Alliant Credit Union in Chicago, but just about anybody anywhere can become a member. It simply pays 3% cash back on all purchases, and there's no limit to the amount of cash you can get back. Many years ago I had a cash back card that would pay 5% back on gas, pharma, and groceries. I don't think there is anything like that around anymore.
What’s the catch? If there’s truly a 3%-back-on-everything card, why have we spent thousands of posts describing how to jump through hoops to get BofA’s 2.625%? Why haven’t Bogleheads had many threads on this? A rare free lunch we missed?
The catch is its 3% for the first year then 2.5% afterwards on up to $10,000/mo spending and a $99 annual fee. The reality is 3% isn’t that remarkable. Let’s pretend you spend $30,000/yr on your credit card. Alliant would get you $900 cash back whereas Capital One, with its 50k bonus, gets you $1100 back year one.

Even the most basic folks who don’t want to mess around are best off opening 1 new card a year. And if you have a spouse you get double the tries.
Which Capital One card are you talking about with a 50K bonus? Is this a travel card, or a business card? If yes, you are comparing apples to oranges.
Venture is 50k points and 2pts per $1 spent. Even if you don’t have any travel expenses there is nothing stopping you from booking a refundable plane ticket, cashing out your points, and then cancelling the flight for a refund.
That's a good idea for using travel points even if a person isn't actually traveling. I never thought of that. And yes, Capital 1 Venture is currently a good card for many people to own, but I'll have to wait a year or two before I can get it again since I've already gotten the bonus two or three times, and then cancelled before having to pay the annual fee the next year. Like I said in a previous post, they look back farther than in the past when determining whether to give you these cards with bonuses again.
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AerialWombat
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AerialWombat »

xerxes101 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:44 pm
AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am
As a landlord, I have extensive utility bills every month. Just switched all of those from the CSP to a 5% category card — I just have to remember to login quarterly and re-select Utilities as one of the 5% categories.
How do you switch CSP to a 5% utility category card?..CSP is Chase Sapphire, right?
I meant that I switched all the utility payments to run through a different card than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. That other card allows me to choose Utilities as a 5% category each quarter.
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xerxes101
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xerxes101 »

AerialWombat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:09 pm
xerxes101 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:44 pm
AerialWombat wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:58 am
As a landlord, I have extensive utility bills every month. Just switched all of those from the CSP to a 5% category card — I just have to remember to login quarterly and re-select Utilities as one of the 5% categories.
How do you switch CSP to a 5% utility category card?..CSP is Chase Sapphire, right?
I meant that I switched all the utility payments to run through a different card than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. That other card allows me to choose Utilities as a 5% category each quarter.
Oh, I see thanks...which card allows you to sign up for 5% utility category?
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AerialWombat »

xerxes101 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:22 pm Oh, I see thanks...which card allows you to sign up for 5% utility category?
US Bank Cash+
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fujiters
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fujiters »

AerialWombat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:27 pm
xerxes101 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:22 pm Oh, I see thanks...which card allows you to sign up for 5% utility category?
US Bank Cash+
Also a good card to use for monthly gym membership(s).
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EnjoyIt
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

What happens with Merrill Lynch if you drop below $100k due to a drop in what you have invested? Do you lose your status?
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
lkar
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lkar »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 pm What happens with Merrill Lynch if you drop below $100k due to a drop in what you have invested? Do you lose your status?
Assuming you are asking about preferred rewards, you keep your status level for 12 months after qualifying. Then they look at your balances and drop you to whatever level your balances qualify you for if you don’t get back into compliance in three months.

Here is the FAQ for preferred rewards. https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/faq/
Leesbro63
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Leesbro63 »

lkar wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:49 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 pm What happens with Merrill Lynch if you drop below $100k due to a drop in what you have invested? Do you lose your status?
Assuming you are asking about preferred rewards, you keep your status level for 12 months after qualifying. Then they look at your balances and drop you to whatever level your balances qualify you for if you don’t get back into compliance in three months.

Here is the FAQ for preferred rewards. https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/faq/
But if you are talking about the brokerage bonus for bringing in new money, they won't penalize you if the balance goes below the number due to market conditions. Only due to withdrawals.
EnjoyIt
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

lkar wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:49 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 pm What happens with Merrill Lynch if you drop below $100k due to a drop in what you have invested? Do you lose your status?
Assuming you are asking about preferred rewards, you keep your status level for 12 months after qualifying. Then they look at your balances and drop you to whatever level your balances qualify you for if you don’t get back into compliance in three months.

Here is the FAQ for preferred rewards. https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/faq/
Leesbro63 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:51 pm
lkar wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:49 pm
EnjoyIt wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:12 pm What happens with Merrill Lynch if you drop below $100k due to a drop in what you have invested? Do you lose your status?
Assuming you are asking about preferred rewards, you keep your status level for 12 months after qualifying. Then they look at your balances and drop you to whatever level your balances qualify you for if you don’t get back into compliance in three months.

Here is the FAQ for preferred rewards. https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/faq/
But if you are talking about the brokerage bonus for bringing in new money, they won't penalize you if the balance goes below the number due to market conditions. Only due to withdrawals.
Thanks...I was talking about the preferred status.
But good to know on both topics.

I wonder how many would have to pull assets from elsewhere to cover a loss during the next recession.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
Edge215
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Edge215 »

im still sticking with my fidelity 2%cash back and amazon visa TWO CARD combo in terms of bang for the buck and simplicity. this BoA merril lynch method seems VERY unwieldy. 100k cash transfer????
fujiters
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fujiters »

Edge215 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm im still sticking with my fidelity 2%cash back and amazon visa TWO CARD combo in terms of bang for the buck and simplicity. this BoA merril lynch method seems VERY unwieldy. 100k cash transfer????
Not cash. Assets. For example, I transferred $110k in ETF shares from my Roth IRA. Very easy. $375 bonus for transferring, and $500 bonus for getting the Premium Rewards card.
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by AerialWombat »

Edge215 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm $375 bonus for transferring, and $500 bonus for getting the Premium Rewards card.
Wow on the transfer bonus. Maybe that should be my new retirement hobby!
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

investor997 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:12 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:44 pm Hmmm.... are you getting more than the regular MR points by purchasing through Rakuten?

RM
The Rakuten points are in addition to whatever the card earns. If Rakuten pays 5% cash back on a given deal, it's the same as 5X MR points. So say 1X on the card + 5X via Rakuten = 6X total.
I went into Rakuten. Actually already had an account. I went through every single place I would normally shop. All of the ones listed had "no coupons" listed. What are you buying?
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TravelGeek
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:02 pm
I went into Rakuten. Actually already had an account. I went through every single place I would normally shop. All of the ones listed had "no coupons" listed. What are you buying?
Over the course of the last year I have received about $52 (or rather 5200 Amex MR) for purchases from

- Amazon (only select product categories qualify; most of my purchases didn’t)
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Macy’s
- Kohl’s
- Hilton
- Wine.com

(not quite sure what you mean by “no coupons” - the site provides cashback or MR if you go to select merchants via its link)
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Ok, your list pretty much matches my "I would never shop there" besides Amazon. Searching by letter, I scroll to Home Depot and find: Home Depot No Coupons Available No Discount.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by snailderby »

fujiters wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:58 pm
Edge215 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm im still sticking with my fidelity 2%cash back and amazon visa TWO CARD combo in terms of bang for the buck and simplicity. this BoA merril lynch method seems VERY unwieldy. 100k cash transfer????
Not cash. Assets. For example, I transferred $110k in ETF shares from my Roth IRA. Very easy. $375 bonus for transferring, and $500 bonus for getting the Premium Rewards card.
+1. There's also a $200 bonus for the Bank of America Cash Rewards card.

With just two cards, you can earn:
  • 5.250% on dining, travel, gas, home improvement, drug stores, or online shopping
  • 3.500% on groceries, wholesale clubs, and travel
  • 2.625% on everything else
TravelGeek
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:59 pm Ok, your list pretty much matches my "I would never shop there" besides Amazon. Searching by letter, I scroll to Home Depot and find: Home Depot No Coupons Available No Discount.
That’s fine, there are other cashback and airline mall sites where HD does offer a small kickback.

https://www.evreward.com/view/homedepot.com

Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is just one of many options.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

fujiters wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:58 pm
Edge215 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm im still sticking with my fidelity 2%cash back and amazon visa TWO CARD combo in terms of bang for the buck and simplicity. this BoA merril lynch method seems VERY unwieldy. 100k cash transfer????
Not cash. Assets. For example, I transferred $110k in ETF shares from my Roth IRA. Very easy. $375 bonus for transferring, and $500 bonus for getting the Premium Rewards card.
Don't you also need a checking account or savings account? I was under the impression you had to open 3 accounts.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:02 pm
investor997 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:12 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:44 pm Hmmm.... are you getting more than the regular MR points by purchasing through Rakuten?

RM
The Rakuten points are in addition to whatever the card earns. If Rakuten pays 5% cash back on a given deal, it's the same as 5X MR points. So say 1X on the card + 5X via Rakuten = 6X total.
I went into Rakuten. Actually already had an account. I went through every single place I would normally shop. All of the ones listed had "no coupons" listed. What are you buying?
I'll give you two examples The Amex Platinum comes with a $100 annual credit to Saks Fifth Avenue; $50 every 6 months. Rakuten had a 10% cash back (or 10X Amex MR) offer for Saks. So I bought $55 worth of stuff, got my 550 MR points credited at Rakuten, then watched Amex reimburse me $50 on my statement.

I also booked two Marriott hotel stays via Rakuten. Only 1.5X points offered here but still, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lkar »

Cash back portals are great. While everything in the credit card and mileage and travel hacking world has tightened up significantly in the last 10 years, cash back portals remain about the easiest something for nothing thing left in the game. I dont scale it up that big but Rakuten adding membership rewards has been awesome. They add up. 200 here, 500 there, it so great if it is not causing you to buy stuff you weren’t going to buy. Cash back portals and Amex offers. Easy money.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Eno Deb »

michaeljc70 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:57 pmDon't you also need a checking account or savings account? I was under the impression you had to open 3 accounts.
You need at minimum a checking account in addition to the ME account, but it's free with Platinum status and there's no minimum balance requirement (though it's probably best to leave a few dollars in the account to make sure the bank doesn't close it).
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fujiters »

Eno Deb wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:18 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:57 pmDon't you also need a checking account or savings account? I was under the impression you had to open 3 accounts.
You need at minimum a checking account in addition to the ME account, but it's free with Platinum status and there's no minimum balance requirement (though it's probably best to leave a few dollars in the account to make sure the bank doesn't close it).
And you can often get a bonus for opening a checking account too! I sadly didn't think about looking for an active bonus when I opened mine.
“The purpose of the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.” -Benjamin Graham
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by investor997 »

lkar wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:31 pm Cash back portals and Amex offers. Easy money.
Funny, I just used a $15 off $50 Amex Offer at 1-800-Flowers (it's that time of year) and stacked it with 25% off (i.e. 25X MR points) offer at Rakuten. I still feel like I got ripped off but hey, it's gotta count for something...
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 »

fujiters wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:58 pm
Edge215 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm im still sticking with my fidelity 2%cash back and amazon visa TWO CARD combo in terms of bang for the buck and simplicity. this BoA merril lynch method seems VERY unwieldy. 100k cash transfer????
Not cash. Assets. For example, I transferred $110k in ETF shares from my Roth IRA. Very easy. $375 bonus for transferring, and $500 bonus for getting the Premium Rewards card.
I’ve spent enough time looking at this and decided I am going to take the plunge too.

Spoke with rep’s from both Merrill and BofA to make sure I fully understood the process (and to confirm the checking account I have at BofA was a qualifying account - which it is). I plan to transfer just north of $200K (either MF or ETF shares transferred in-kind) from my rollover IRA at Fidelity to a new Rollover IRA with Merrill Edge. This will result in a $900 transfer bonus in 90-days (no immediate tax consequences either). I will subsequently open a BofA premium rewards CC, get the $500 bonus and eventually reap the 75% uplift in the cash back rate (once my average assets over the trailing 90 days crosses over the $100,000 threshold). Down the road I will probably move $100K of the assets back to Fidelity and leave at least $100K with Merrill to qualify for the Platinum Honors level.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by international001 »

MikeG62 wrote: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:14 pm
fujiters wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:58 pm
Edge215 wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:44 pm im still sticking with my fidelity 2%cash back and amazon visa TWO CARD combo in terms of bang for the buck and simplicity. this BoA merril lynch method seems VERY unwieldy. 100k cash transfer????
Not cash. Assets. For example, I transferred $110k in ETF shares from my Roth IRA. Very easy. $375 bonus for transferring, and $500 bonus for getting the Premium Rewards card.
I’ve spent enough time looking at this and decided I am going to take the plunge too.

Spoke with rep’s from both Merrill and BofA to make sure I fully understood the process (and to confirm the checking account I have at BofA was a qualifying account - which it is). I plan to transfer just north of $200K (either MF or ETF shares transferred in-kind) from my rollover IRA at Fidelity to a new Rollover IRA with Merrill Edge. This will result in a $900 transfer bonus in 90-days (no immediate tax consequences either). I will subsequently open a BofA premium rewards CC, get the $500 bonus and eventually reap the 75% uplift in the cash back rate (once my average assets over the trailing 90 days crosses over the $100,000 threshold). Down the road I will probably move $100K of the assets back to Fidelity and leave at least $100K with Merrill to qualify for the Platinum Honors level.
This is what I did as well

My journey: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=276374
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