What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by obafgkm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:00 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:05 pm
This Chase Freedom quarter is ridiculously easy to maximize. Mobile pay is accepted at most places, including supermarkets and quite a few stores and gas is an easy few hundred dollars this quarter. Just go to the supermarket, buy gift cards at the end of the quarter, use mobile pay. Done.
I'd never maxed a quarter until this first quarter of 2018. I'd never even used Apple Pay until now, and I had already planned a trip to Disney World last month. Disney made it very easy to max the 5% cash back. :D

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

Post by MrNewEngland » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:16 pm

obafgkm wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:00 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:05 pm
This Chase Freedom quarter is ridiculously easy to maximize. Mobile pay is accepted at most places, including supermarkets and quite a few stores and gas is an easy few hundred dollars this quarter. Just go to the supermarket, buy gift cards at the end of the quarter, use mobile pay. Done.
I'd never maxed a quarter until this first quarter of 2018. I'd never even used Apple Pay until now, and I had already planned a trip to Disney World last month. Disney made it very easy to max the 5% cash back. :D
I've never used Apple Pay before. Is it the same as the "wallet" on the iPhone? I don't use that either.

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

Post by JBTX » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:33 pm

rayson wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:46 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:38 pm
In terms of sign up bonuses, I feel like I've kind of hit a wall. I have arbitrarily set a minimum of $500 signup bonus minimum, and have avoided anything over $100 annual fee.

This year I did

Capital One Venture - $500
Merril Card - $500
BOA Premium - $500
Amegy Business - $1000

I tried one of the chase cards but was rejected because I am over 5/24 - and will likely be for some time, so they are off the table. If I had it to do over again, I would have started with them.

I've looked on Dr of credit and didn't see any new ones that meet my above criteria. Any other ideas?
$1000 signup bonus is outstanding!

I'm just beginning CC churning game, and I found the best card to begin with is Chase Sapphire Preferred for 60,000 ultimate reward points (equivalent value is $750). Normal bonus is 50k points, but if you are pre-approved through Chase website, you may be eligible for a 60k bonus. Additionally, 5000 bonus points can be had by adding an authorized user.
The $1000 was a bit of work. It is a legit business card and requires a legit business and there are some nominal information required for approval. Also paid $5500 property taxes to get to
$10k 3 month spend.

Chase isn’t an option for me unless I want to go to location and see if they bypass 5/24.

Fountain84
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Fountain84 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:18 pm

I use Bank of America Cash Rewards cards. Pay all my bills except for mortgage on this card. I have a jar for fun money and use the cashback each month to buy beers and go out to eat.

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

Post by obafgkm » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:49 am

MrNewEngland wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:16 pm

I've never used Apple Pay before. Is it the same as the "wallet" on the iPhone? I don't use that either.
Apple Pay uses the "Wallet" on the iPhone.

Drew777
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Drew777 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:09 am

JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:33 pm
rayson wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:46 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:38 pm
In terms of sign up bonuses, I feel like I've kind of hit a wall. I have arbitrarily set a minimum of $500 signup bonus minimum, and have avoided anything over $100 annual fee.

This year I did

Capital One Venture - $500
Merril Card - $500
BOA Premium - $500
Amegy Business - $1000

I tried one of the chase cards but was rejected because I am over 5/24 - and will likely be for some time, so they are off the table. If I had it to do over again, I would have started with them.

I've looked on Dr of credit and didn't see any new ones that meet my above criteria. Any other ideas?
$1000 signup bonus is outstanding!

I'm just beginning CC churning game, and I found the best card to begin with is Chase Sapphire Preferred for 60,000 ultimate reward points (equivalent value is $750). Normal bonus is 50k points, but if you are pre-approved through Chase website, you may be eligible for a 60k bonus. Additionally, 5000 bonus points can be had by adding an authorized user.
The $1000 was a bit of work. It is a legit business card and requires a legit business and there are some nominal information required for approval. Also paid $5500 property taxes to get to
$10k 3 month spend.

Chase isn’t an option for me unless I want to go to location and see if they bypass 5/24.
There is no getting around 5/24 with Chase (unless it's one of their products it doesn't apply to).

Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:43 am

Drew777 wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:09 am
JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:33 pm
rayson wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:46 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:38 pm
In terms of sign up bonuses, I feel like I've kind of hit a wall. I have arbitrarily set a minimum of $500 signup bonus minimum, and have avoided anything over $100 annual fee.

This year I did

Capital One Venture - $500
Merril Card - $500
BOA Premium - $500
Amegy Business - $1000

I tried one of the chase cards but was rejected because I am over 5/24 - and will likely be for some time, so they are off the table. If I had it to do over again, I would have started with them.

I've looked on Dr of credit and didn't see any new ones that meet my above criteria. Any other ideas?
$1000 signup bonus is outstanding!

I'm just beginning CC churning game, and I found the best card to begin with is Chase Sapphire Preferred for 60,000 ultimate reward points (equivalent value is $750). Normal bonus is 50k points, but if you are pre-approved through Chase website, you may be eligible for a 60k bonus. Additionally, 5000 bonus points can be had by adding an authorized user.
The $1000 was a bit of work. It is a legit business card and requires a legit business and there are some nominal information required for approval. Also paid $5500 property taxes to get to
$10k 3 month spend.

Chase isn’t an option for me unless I want to go to location and see if they bypass 5/24.
There is no getting around 5/24 with Chase (unless it's one of their products it doesn't apply to).
In branch preapprovals bypass 5/24.

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

Post by JBTX » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:23 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:43 am
Drew777 wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:09 am
JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:33 pm
rayson wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:46 pm
JBTX wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:38 pm
In terms of sign up bonuses, I feel like I've kind of hit a wall. I have arbitrarily set a minimum of $500 signup bonus minimum, and have avoided anything over $100 annual fee.

This year I did

Capital One Venture - $500
Merril Card - $500
BOA Premium - $500
Amegy Business - $1000

I tried one of the chase cards but was rejected because I am over 5/24 - and will likely be for some time, so they are off the table. If I had it to do over again, I would have started with them.

I've looked on Dr of credit and didn't see any new ones that meet my above criteria. Any other ideas?
$1000 signup bonus is outstanding!

I'm just beginning CC churning game, and I found the best card to begin with is Chase Sapphire Preferred for 60,000 ultimate reward points (equivalent value is $750). Normal bonus is 50k points, but if you are pre-approved through Chase website, you may be eligible for a 60k bonus. Additionally, 5000 bonus points can be had by adding an authorized user.
The $1000 was a bit of work. It is a legit business card and requires a legit business and there are some nominal information required for approval. Also paid $5500 property taxes to get to
$10k 3 month spend.

Chase isn’t an option for me unless I want to go to location and see if they bypass 5/24.
There is no getting around 5/24 with Chase (unless it's one of their products it doesn't apply to).
In branch preapprovals bypass 5/24.
Is this true all the time, or just some of the time? Do you have to ask them for manual form or something? I may go in this week and do the bank bonuses, and at the same time see if I can do the ink business.

Jags4186
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:31 pm

JBTX wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:23 pm
Is this true all the time, or just some of the time? Do you have to ask them for manual form or something? I may go in this week and do the bank bonuses, and at the same time see if I can do the ink business.
True all of the time. You need to ask specifically if you are preapproved for any offers. Ink cards are YMMV. The branches by me all want proof of a real business.

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

Post by txranger » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:15 pm

Anyone knows to get immediate usage alerts on BOfA credit cards? I set up alerts but it only sends like 2 days later when the transactions actually post and not when the card is swiped.... Tnx

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

Post by JBTX » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:08 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:31 pm
JBTX wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:23 pm
Is this true all the time, or just some of the time? Do you have to ask them for manual form or something? I may go in this week and do the bank bonuses, and at the same time see if I can do the ink business.
True all of the time. You need to ask specifically if you are preapproved for any offers. Ink cards are YMMV. The branches by me all want proof of a real business.
I went into branch today to open checking/savings account. I asked about chase ink business preferred, they said there was no longer an upfront bonus associated with it. However, I can still go to a website that shows 80k point bonus. I applied last year online and got rejected due to 5/24.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:14 pm

Doom&Gloom asked about a replacement for the Amazon credit card. The ensuing discussion is now its own topic. See: [Replacement for Amazon credit card]
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:50 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:14 pm
Doom&Gloom asked about a replacement for the Amazon credit card. The ensuing discussion is now its own topic. See: [Replacement for Amazon credit card]
Thanks. I didn't expect my question to consume so much of this thread.

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

Post by mikep » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:21 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:24 pm
CDub wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:05 pm
Discover 5% is also possible by purchasing at Costco via Google Express. Google express also has a promotion for 20% off right now. -> so you can actually get 25% off.
Not quite 25% off.... Let's say you start with $100 of purchases. First, the 20% off promotion from Google Express would drop that down to $80. Then you'd get 5% cash back on the $80, which would be $4. So your actual percentage is 24% off.

This is a little math pet peeve of mine. You can't add percentages to find the overall total when one action affects the results of the other action(s).
Problem is that costco prices through google express are higher, canceling out some of the discount.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:04 am

mikep wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:21 pm
Problem is that costco prices through google express are higher, canceling out some of the discount.
More than canceling out. Prices on the larger items like toilet paper and tissues are about 50% higher on google express than in the warehouse, from the actual price checks I did while shopping. Some like cat litter are as much as 100% higher. I really fail to see the point of ordering anything at Costco from google express.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:57 am

My strategy continues to be to sign up for new cards and collect sign up bonuses, as those are by far the most lucrative offers, vs rewards on spending.

That said, I have tons of accounts and I currently use them as follows :

1) Chase Sapphire Reserve : all dining and travel spending. Earning about 4.5% when redeeming UR points for travel on the Chase portal.
The only physical credit card I carry anymore nowadays. All others are is in Samsung Pay digital wallet.

One of only two cards with an annual fee that we pay for and renew. Net fee is $225/year with authorized user after travel credit redemption.
Well worth it for the 2 Priority pass memberships on our international travels, Global entry, and travel insurance.

My husband also carries this card only for all spending and doesn't use the digital wallet. He is not on board with the concept of using several cards for different purposes to maximize rewards.

2) Citi Costco VISA : I use this card only for large purchases that can benefit from the 2 yr extended warranty up to 7 years this card provides. I don't use it at Costco. Driving a Bolt and a Volt, we only spent a grandtotal of $57 in gas for all of last year so the 4% rate on gas would not mean much. 3% rate on dining is beaten by CSR above. 2% at Costco is also beaten by BofA premium rewards below (#4).
I will probably eventually get a Doublecash for this instead. Don't really want to waste a credit inquiry on it, as that card has no signup bonus.

3) Chase Ink Cash : only use it for Comcast Internet and Dish satellite to earn 5x UR points.

4) Wells Fargo rewards VISA (2 accounts, mine and spouse) : we charge our monthly cell phone bill on it, and nothing else. Gives us cell phone insurance for 4 phones. Already put one claim for $600 in December for stolen phone. Another one in process for $270 screen replacement on a new Note 8 . They only allow 2 claims per year per credit card, so just switched the cell phone bill to my husband's Wells Fargo card in case we have more issues. Will keep those cards indefinitely as long as this benefit is offered. Phone insurance from carriers otherwise typically costs $10/phone per month and has deductibles, which this one doesn't.

5) Bank of America Premium Rewards VISA :
New default card for all other spending not noted above. Has a $95/annual fee, the only other card I pay a fee for. I just got this card. Earns 2.625% in cashback because I have a Merrill account. Has a $100 credit for airline incidentals that I have not tried using yet.

My regular automated charges on this include Chargepoint (public EV charging), Terminix pest control, Ooma VoIP service (it doesn't earn 5x on the Chase Ink cash), domain/web hosting.

Other cards I don't currently use :
- Chase Freedom VISA. I hate the rotating category concept. Once in a while I will use them, most recently with 5% on mobile payments. But I'm done with it at this point since I hit $1500 in spending this quarter already

- Chase Freedom Unlimited . Used to use this card regularly, but the new BofA card at 2.625% beats the 1.5% redemption rate. Even with CSR the 2.25% theoretical redemption rate isn't worth it.

- Amex Everyday: not in use, keep it open for credit history, and ability to use Membership rewards point without annual fee, if I ever get another Amex card with a decent signup offer.

- Amex Blue Cash : not in use. It would earn 3% on the $100/month non-Costco grocery shopping we do. Only marginally better than the 2.625% on the BofA card. We are talking $4.5/year difference.

- Discover It : not in use, keep it open for credit history. Have not been impressed with the rotating categories so far. But may use it in the future since there are no minimums for redemptions

- Fidelity 2% VISA (2 accounts) : not in use, only keep them open for credit history

- Capital One Quicksilver Mastercard : not in use, keep it open for credit history

- Barclay Arrival . Keep it for credit history.

Cards I closed :

- Amex Platinum . Couldn't justify the $550 annual fee when it was raised at renewal. Got the account the first year for 100k membership reward points. Used the Centurion lounge once. Benefited from SPG Gold and Hilton Gold. But lack of travel insurance made this a huge no-no for travel purchases as we get sick often .

- US Bank Cash + . Hated the spending categories choices as they really did not map well with our spending at all. Signup bonus was OK.

- Barclay Hawaiian. Collected signup bonus.

- Barclay Aviator. Collected signup bonus

- way too many cards to list !

Recently got approved for a Citi AA card with 50,000 miles bonus.

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

Post by travellight » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:00 pm

^ I have been denied Citi and Barclays, madbrain. I am surprised you are still viable in that space.

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

Post by madbrain » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:11 pm

travellight wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:00 pm
^ I have been denied Citi and Barclays, madbrain. I am surprised you are still viable in that space.
Only time I was ever denied by Citi was when I submitted 2 applications on the same day in a branch. The banker didn't know about the Citi policy of never approving 2 cards at once.

Barclay is tougher. I was put on their shit list 10 years ago - which means they auto-deny me without even pulling my credit - but I always get approved when calling the reconsideration line after they pull my credit.

Had a denial from Wells Fargo recently for "too many inquiries", "insufficient time as a Wells Fargo cardholder" (only 6 months for my first card) and "total monthly debt payment due on report is high". I had just charged property taxes at the end of last year among other things due to to the new tax law. Cards are all on autopay in full, but they showed up higher balances recently.

I received an invitation for the US Bank Altitude yesterday - applied for it, it went to pending. Probably will get denied. But this the game.

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

Post by jrbdmb » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:29 pm

Madbrain - thanks for a pretty comprehensive list of rewards cards.

I've considered many of the same cards that you have, but for now my strategy is towards maximizing spend rewards instead of sign-up bonuses. Once I get the last "everyday" card I want - BoA Premium Rewards - I will start to take advantage of high signup bonuses. (Of course the current Premium Rewards bonus of $500 is pretty nice.)

Some notes:
1. I've been happy with US Bank Cash+ and 5% back on cell phone bills - saving me $12/mo. They are adding Utilities as a 5% cash back category in April.
2. After multiple issues with Amex Rewards I will no longer use an Amex as my main card. Cancelled Blue Cash Preferred and it's $95 fee. Still have a Blue Cash Everyday and Amex Everyday for the occasional good Amex Offer.
3. New Barclaycard Uber offers 4% cash back for dining and drinks - nice deal for a free card. They also offer free cell phone insurance - an option if one prefers insurance vs. cash back. Biggest issue for me was getting approved for the card - PITA to complete their security/ID verification.

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

Post by madbrain » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:51 pm

jrbdmb wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:29 pm
Madbrain - thanks for a pretty comprehensive list of rewards cards.

I've considered many of the same cards that you have, but for now my strategy is towards maximizing spend rewards instead of sign-up bonuses. Once I get the last "everyday" card I want - BoA Premium Rewards - I will start to take advantage of high signup bonuses. (Of course the current Premium Rewards bonus of $500 is pretty nice.)
Yes, the bonus on the Premium rewards is nice. And it's $875, not $500, since I'm Platinum Honors due to having >$100k at Merrill.
I never bit with the no-fee BoA card, Travel rewards, because the points could only be redeemed for travel, but that card lacked travel insurance. With the Premium rewards, they can be redeemed for cash, so this is better. But if redeemed for travel, there is travel insurance also.
Some notes:
1. I've been happy with US Bank Cash+ and 5% back on cell phone bills - saving me $12/mo.
For me, the cell phone insurance at Wells Fargo is worth far more, since we have expensive phones that cost a lot to repair or replace. Also our cell phone bill is only $120/month with T-Mobile, so 5% wouldn't be much.
They are adding Utilities as a 5% cash back category in April.
That would still not help me much. My water company does not accept credit cards. I can only use cards through Plastiq, but with an extra fee that negates or outweigh rewards. PG&E only takes credit cards with a $1.35 flat fee, which is OK if you prepay a large amount, not if you pay monthly. They don't allow autopay for credit cards also, only for one-time payments.
Garbage pickup is now part of my property taxes, so wouldn't get 5% either.

I just met my $3000 minimum spending on the BoA card by doing a $1000 prepayment to my water company through Plastiq with the 2.5% fee, $1000 prepayment to PG&E with the fixed $1.35 fee, and another $1000 through Plastiq with 2.5% fee to make monthly payments on our two car loans.

I used to do all the minimum spending with mortgage payments on Plastiq, but that is no longer allowed for VISA. I need to diversify into Mastercard, which still works :) When I receive my Citi AA card which is an MC, I will meet minimum spend in one payment (minimum monthly PITI is $2800, and I make some prepayments).

I'm no longer doing any MS with gift cards & MO at the post office at this time, as I'm not able to get approved for as many cards as quickly as before. I was only doing it to meet minimum spend, but even that was time consuming.
3. New Barclaycard Uber offers 4% for dining and drinks - nice deal for a free card. They also offer free cell phone insurance - an option if one prefers insurance vs. cash back. Biggest issue for me was getting approved for the card - PITA to complete their security/ID verification.
I just couldn't get myself to apply or carry a card with Uber on the front . It's such an awful parasitic company. The fact that Amex Platinum added Uber credits when they raised their fee to $550 was another reason why I cancelled the Platinum card. The Amex travel credit was too hard to use also, as I fly with a variety of airlines, never the same one, and almost never domestic.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:46 am

Some rumors with legs:

1. Chase IHG card is changing, maybe nixing the free anniversary night: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-ih ... -replaced/

2. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is changing: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-ba ... -premiere/

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

Post by puravida » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:10 am

Chase Visa Amazon 5% for Amazon,
Target Redcard 5% for Target,
BoA 3% for gas,
Chase Bus Ink Preferred 3% or Chase Sapphire Preferred 2% for travel (they have trip cancel/interrupt reimb),
Capital One Venture 2% for everything else.
Also look for sign up bonuses.
Haven't yet played the UR points transfer game but checking it out
Simple, passive, effective - the Bogle way...

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

Post by Freefun » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:24 am

giesen5 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:46 am
Some rumors with legs:

1. Chase IHG card is changing, maybe nixing the free anniversary night: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-ih ... -replaced/

2. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is changing: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-ba ... -premiere/
Thanks for the heads up.

As a holder of some old Chase cards, as DOC indicated their heritage cards are usually grandfathered w/ any new rules. But if they ditch the free night on the IHG card I'll no longer want it as it's the key reason I've retained it.

I prefer flexible programs (Ultimate Rewards, SPG Starpoints and AMEX Membership Rewards) and airlines. I don't get much value from programs specific to a hotel chain.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

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

Post by BogleBoogie » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:07 am

My credit card strategy is to maximize the rewards for every transaction. I use several cards to achieve this.

giesen5
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by giesen5 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:22 am

Freefun wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:24 am
giesen5 wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:46 am
Some rumors with legs:

1. Chase IHG card is changing, maybe nixing the free anniversary night: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-ih ... -replaced/

2. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is changing: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-ba ... -premiere/
Thanks for the heads up.

As a holder of some old Chase cards, as DOC indicated their heritage cards are usually grandfathered w/ any new rules. But if they ditch the free night on the IHG card I'll no longer want it as it's the key reason I've retained it.

I prefer flexible programs (Ultimate Rewards, SPG Starpoints and AMEX Membership Rewards) and airlines. I don't get much value from programs specific to a hotel chain.
I've collected Hilton and IHG points for hotels, but the key for me is using them right away. I have used 3 IHG nights and at least 10 Hilton nights in the last year. Allowed me and the family to stay overnight in New York, Seattle, San Diego and Hawaii for free.

I agree with you, if there is no longer a free night on IHG, it is probably done for me, too.

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

Post by zzz » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:55 am

I've used the cards discussed many times over by people in this forum. I've read a smattering and the only card I use that I haven't seen is the Alliant Visa Signature card as the "default" card. I've seen the Citi 1%/1% card and the Fidelity 2% card used for this but the Alliant Signature Visa card gives 3% cash back the 1st year and then becomes a 2.5% cash back card with a $59 annual fee. This makes the Alliant Visa Signature card a better "default" card than the 2% card if you spend more than $1,000 per month on the defaults card (not including credit spending on higher percentage food/gas/rotating cards). We're averaging about $4,000 a month on the default card which makes the real cash back $48,000*2.5% = $1,200-$59 = $1,141 or $1,141/$48,000 = 2.38% cash back. The more you spend over $1,000 per month, the closer you get to 2.5% cash back. The only potential downside is you must be an Alliant customer with either a Savings Account (1.5% interest) or a checking account (0.65% interest). I was already a customer so this was not a downside for me.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by travellight » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:59 pm

zzz wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:55 am
I've used the cards discussed many times over by people in this forum. I've read a smattering and the only card I use that I haven't seen is the Alliant Visa Signature card as the "default" card. I've seen the Citi 1%/1% card and the Fidelity 2% card used for this but the Alliant Signature Visa card gives 3% cash back the 1st year and then becomes a 2.5% cash back card with a $59 annual fee. This makes the Alliant Visa Signature card a better "default" card than the 2% card if you spend more than $1,000 per month on the defaults card (not including credit spending on higher percentage food/gas/rotating cards). We're averaging about $4,000 a month on the default card which makes the real cash back $48,000*2.5% = $1,200-$59 = $1,141 or $1,141/$48,000 = 2.38% cash back. The more you spend over $1,000 per month, the closer you get to 2.5% cash back. The only potential downside is you must be an Alliant customer with either a Savings Account (1.5% interest) or a checking account (0.65% interest). I was already a customer so this was not a downside for me.
One person mentioned it upthread about a month ago. Because of that post, I went ahead and got Alliant and it is my staple card for the next year when I am not working on another card. Right now, I am taking a break from it because I got the SPG card and have to spend 7k in the first 3 months.

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

Post by madbrain » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:17 pm

zzz wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:55 am
I've used the cards discussed many times over by people in this forum. I've read a smattering and the only card I use that I haven't seen is the Alliant Visa Signature card as the "default" card. I've seen the Citi 1%/1% card and the Fidelity 2% card used for this but the Alliant Signature Visa card gives 3% cash back the 1st year and then becomes a 2.5% cash back card with a $59 annual fee. This makes the Alliant Visa Signature card a better "default" card than the 2% card if you spend more than $1,000 per month on the defaults card (not including credit spending on higher percentage food/gas/rotating cards). We're averaging about $4,000 a month on the default card which makes the real cash back $48,000*2.5% = $1,200-$59 = $1,141 or $1,141/$48,000 = 2.38% cash back. The more you spend over $1,000 per month, the closer you get to 2.5% cash back. The only potential downside is you must be an Alliant customer with either a Savings Account (1.5% interest) or a checking account (0.65% interest). I was already a customer so this was not a downside for me.
IMO, the better benefits on the Citi Double Cash card make it better than than the Alliant, at least after the first year.
Those include :
- 2 year extra warranty, but to 7 years total (vs most cards adding only 1 year, and often limited to base warranties of 1 year or less) . Nice for big ticket or other items with high rates of wear/ and/or costly repairs like some computers, printers, hard disks, major appliances, hot tub, etc .. Foregoing 0.5% extra rewards can be worth it in many cases.
- price rewind up to 60 days, to find a lower price. Nice if you like to be an early adopter of tech, which generally drops in price. So you can get the item without paying (as much of) the early adopter premium.
Those benefits are very likely to be worth more than the 0.5% extra.
And of course, the Citi DC has no annual fee.
Downsides of this card are :
1) 3% FTF . Don't take it abroad
2) it's a Mastercard, not a VISA card, so can't use it for this type of purchases at Costco. But I can use the Citi VISA there, which I have in my Samsung pay now, and gives the same benefit, and 2% rate - just different card

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

Post by Cycle » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:47 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 9:25 am
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.
Folks talk about churning Chase cards, but there is the 5/24 rule. How does that work? Also, I assume folks close the cards before the annual fee is pulled?
Chase's rules on virtually all of their cards are that you can get the bonus every 24 months. Several cards don't count towards 5/24: British Airways, Ritz Carlton, IHG Club Rewards, Hyatt, and the Disney cards. So every 24 months, you can cancel them and reapply to get the bonus. Thus, you are churning the bonuses. Most churners don't bother staying under 5/24 since the opportunity cost is too high. The ones who might are the ones who have already gotten all of the Amex bonuses which are once per lifetime, getting declined by Barclayccard since they can be very sensitive, impacted by the newer and stricter Bank of America rules, and so on. They would take a break, potentially get under 5/24, and then churn their Sapphire Preferred or United card.
Thanks. My wife and I are both locked out of Chase due to 5/24, and will try these. Keeping one saphire reserve tho since that priority pass is very nice and their travel insurance covers medical evacuation.

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

Post by BeneIRA » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:18 pm

Cycle wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:47 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 9:25 am
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Markr867 wrote:Churning Chase bonuses is, in my opinion, the most lucrative way to earn money on everyday spend.

Since August of 2016, my SO and I have amassed 500K Chase points, which is worth at least $7,500 in travel (more if we decide to transfer the points to a partner airline). That is all from normal spending and opening the following cards: 2 Sapphire Reserves, 1 Sapphire Preferred, 2 Ink Business Preferreds.

We pay off our cards in full each month and our credit scores have actually risen a few points since we started this. Once we finish with Chase, we will move on to Amex.
Folks talk about churning Chase cards, but there is the 5/24 rule. How does that work? Also, I assume folks close the cards before the annual fee is pulled?
Chase's rules on virtually all of their cards are that you can get the bonus every 24 months. Several cards don't count towards 5/24: British Airways, Ritz Carlton, IHG Club Rewards, Hyatt, and the Disney cards. So every 24 months, you can cancel them and reapply to get the bonus. Thus, you are churning the bonuses. Most churners don't bother staying under 5/24 since the opportunity cost is too high. The ones who might are the ones who have already gotten all of the Amex bonuses which are once per lifetime, getting declined by Barclayccard since they can be very sensitive, impacted by the newer and stricter Bank of America rules, and so on. They would take a break, potentially get under 5/24, and then churn their Sapphire Preferred or United card.
Thanks. My wife and I are both locked out of Chase due to 5/24, and will try these. Keeping one saphire reserve tho since that priority pass is very nice and their travel insurance covers medical evacuation.
I keep a Reserve opened as well for the Primary Rental Car Insurance, Priority Pass, transfer to partners (mostly Hyatt), and sometimes the 1.5% on travel.

The Barclay Arrival Premier looks awful. I fully expect to cancel my Arrival+ when the annual fee comes due. Barclay perfectly created a card that is worth it to abuse in the first year and utterly worthless in year 2 and beyond. 2 Miles back that are hard to redeem versus a Citi Doublecash? Now it appears they are making it even worse.

The IHG card is clearly IHG pushing back on Chase to limit the free night since they were taking a bath on it. With the 40,000 point limit (and some under 40,000 are also excluded), and IHG points worth about 0.5 cents, the value is certainly slashed, but it should net a bit under a $200 night once a year. Worth a $49 fee, probably an $85 fee, too, but that is closer.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:12 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:18 pm
The Barclay Arrival Premier looks awful. I fully expect to cancel my Arrival+ when the annual fee comes due. Barclay perfectly created a card that is worth it to abuse in the first year and utterly worthless in year 2 and beyond. 2 Miles back that are hard to redeem versus a Citi Doublecash? Now it appears they are making it even worse.
You can downgrade the Arrival + to a no-fee Arrival if you call. It will then only earn 1 point per dollar, or 2 points per dollar on travel purchases, I believe. And I think the no-fee version has an FTF too.

I think Barclay will probably end up offering a signup bonus for a Premier at some point if they want it to be successful, given the competition.

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

Post by zzz » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:08 am

madbrain wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:17 pm
zzz wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:55 am
I've used the cards discussed many times over by people in this forum. I've read a smattering and the only card I use that I haven't seen is the Alliant Visa Signature card as the "default" card. I've seen the Citi 1%/1% card and the Fidelity 2% card used for this but the Alliant Signature Visa card gives 3% cash back the 1st year and then becomes a 2.5% cash back card with a $59 annual fee. This makes the Alliant Visa Signature card a better "default" card than the 2% card if you spend more than $1,000 per month on the defaults card (not including credit spending on higher percentage food/gas/rotating cards). We're averaging about $4,000 a month on the default card which makes the real cash back $48,000*2.5% = $1,200-$59 = $1,141 or $1,141/$48,000 = 2.38% cash back. The more you spend over $1,000 per month, the closer you get to 2.5% cash back. The only potential downside is you must be an Alliant customer with either a Savings Account (1.5% interest) or a checking account (0.65% interest). I was already a customer so this was not a downside for me.
IMO, the better benefits on the Citi Double Cash card make it better than than the Alliant, at least after the first year.
Those include :
- 2 year extra warranty, but to 7 years total (vs most cards adding only 1 year, and often limited to base warranties of 1 year or less) . Nice for big ticket or other items with high rates of wear/ and/or costly repairs like some computers, printers, hard disks, major appliances, hot tub, etc .. Foregoing 0.5% extra rewards can be worth it in many cases.
- price rewind up to 60 days, to find a lower price. Nice if you like to be an early adopter of tech, which generally drops in price. So you can get the item without paying (as much of) the early adopter premium.
Those benefits are very likely to be worth more than the 0.5% extra.
And of course, the Citi DC has no annual fee.
Downsides of this card are :
1) 3% FTF . Don't take it abroad
2) it's a Mastercard, not a VISA card, so can't use it for this type of purchases at Costco. But I can use the Citi VISA there, which I have in my Samsung pay now, and gives the same benefit, and 2% rate - just different card
Have you ever tried to collect on these warranties? They make you apply through your home insurance 1st and require a lot of hoop jumping. Perhaps for large ticket items it may be worth it, but I only have the stamina for the extra 0.5%.
There are 10 types of people, | those that understand binary | and those that don't

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

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:07 am

zzz wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:08 am
Have you ever tried to collect on these warranties? They make you apply through your home insurance 1st and require a lot of hoop jumping. Perhaps for large ticket items it may be worth it, but I only have the stamina for the extra 0.5%.
Not the Citi warranty yet specifically. My home insurance has a $7500 deductible, so pretty sure that wouldn't apply.
I have collected in the past on electronics warranty, including for smartphones. This was with Amex, when a screen malfunctioned after a year (not physical damage).

More recently, I collected on the Wells Fargo cell phone insurance coverage. Had $600 paid towards a stolen Samsung S7 Edge phone in December.
And $250 last month for a broken screen (from a fall) on my Samsung Note 8.
I carry the Wells Fargo card specifically for the cell phone coverage, and only charge the cell phone bill to it. There is a limit of 2 claims per year per card account. After we hit the 2 claims annual limit, I switched the cell phone bill to my husband's Wells Fargo card.

At no point was I ever asked to make a claim on home insurance.

Last year, I bought a $4500 new hot tub on my Citi costco card. It comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty, which was extended to 8.
Repairs on hot tubs are only a matter of when, not if, and can be very expensive. $500-$1000 is not uncommon. I was told by the seller that these really only have about a 10 year lifespan. I would have bought an extended warranty contract for it if I could to extend the coverage to 7 years, but that wasn't an option. When someone sells a big ticket item for which extended warranties are plainly not sold, that 's a hint that the warranty is worth it. Hot tubs that have a 5 year manufacturer warranty usually start at a much higher price than what I paid - $7,000+ and the sky is the limit.

I had to laugh on friday when I bought a UHD 4K Blu-ray disc of Star wars Last Jedi at Wal-Mart, and was asked at checkout if I wanted a protection plan for the disc. Hadn't heard that one yet ! I declined, of course.

I did charge my purchase including some groceries to my Double Cash though, and already put in the price rewind through the web site for the movie this weekend. Hoping the disc drops down in price within the next 60 days since it just got released last week. Price drops after release are frequent on new movies, though, sometimes it takes more than 60 days. Price rewind doesn't always automatically find the best price on its own, but it's easy to submit it if you find a better price yourself. The Price rewind on my Costco card saved me hundreds of dollars in the last year. It saved me $160 alone on a 4K projector by automatically finding a lower price from an unknown and unauthorized retailer for the projector I had bought. I had not been able to find any better price on my own. Of course, sometimes I just waste my time entering purchases and get the email that no better price was found 2 months later. The web site tells me I saved $516 between 36 approved price rewinds lifetime so far, and I really only started using the site about a year and a half ago. I also had 24 price rewinds without a lower price found. 60% success rate is pretty good, IMO. This benefit consumes some time obviously, but is worth it to me considering I already scanned my receipts for most of these items. I only started scanning the movie receipts for Price rewind, though. But usually buy them on Amazon anyway so it's just a print to PDF in that case.

I also have received over $10K in trip cancellation benefits over the years. I know I get sick frequently. Those have been from policies I purchased explicitly, not the credit card benefits. I now have cards with this benefits so I don't pay for travel insurance anymore (my medical insurance covers my worldwide).

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

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:46 am

madbrain wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:12 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:18 pm
The Barclay Arrival Premier looks awful. I fully expect to cancel my Arrival+ when the annual fee comes due. Barclay perfectly created a card that is worth it to abuse in the first year and utterly worthless in year 2 and beyond. 2 Miles back that are hard to redeem versus a Citi Doublecash? Now it appears they are making it even worse.
You can downgrade the Arrival + to a no-fee Arrival if you call. It will then only earn 1 point per dollar, or 2 points per dollar on travel purchases, I believe. And I think the no-fee version has an FTF too.

I think Barclay will probably end up offering a signup bonus for a Premier at some point if they want it to be successful, given the competition.
I could, but I believe my odds of approval for another Barclays card are better having none than having one with no spend on it, so I plan on cancelling.

zzz
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:18 am
Location: NY

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by zzz » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:58 am

madbrain wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:07 am
zzz wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:08 am
Have you ever tried to collect on these warranties? They make you apply through your home insurance 1st and require a lot of hoop jumping. Perhaps for large ticket items it may be worth it, but I only have the stamina for the extra 0.5%.
Not the Citi warranty yet specifically. My home insurance has a $7500 deductible, so pretty sure that wouldn't apply.
I have collected in the past on electronics warranty, including for smartphones. This was with Amex, when a screen malfunctioned after a year (not physical damage).

More recently, I collected on the Wells Fargo cell phone insurance coverage. Had $600 paid towards a stolen Samsung S7 Edge phone in December.
And $250 last month for a broken screen (from a fall) on my Samsung Note 8.
I carry the Wells Fargo card specifically for the cell phone coverage, and only charge the cell phone bill to it. There is a limit of 2 claims per year per card account. After we hit the 2 claims annual limit, I switched the cell phone bill to my husband's Wells Fargo card.

At no point was I ever asked to make a claim on home insurance.

Last year, I bought a $4500 new hot tub on my Citi costco card. It comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty, which was extended to 8.
Repairs on hot tubs are only a matter of when, not if, and can be very expensive. $500-$1000 is not uncommon. I was told by the seller that these really only have about a 10 year lifespan. I would have bought an extended warranty contract for it if I could to extend the coverage to 7 years, but that wasn't an option. When someone sells a big ticket item for which extended warranties are plainly not sold, that 's a hint that the warranty is worth it. Hot tubs that have a 5 year manufacturer warranty usually start at a much higher price than what I paid - $7,000+ and the sky is the limit.

I had to laugh on friday when I bought a UHD 4K Blu-ray disc of Star wars Last Jedi at Wal-Mart, and was asked at checkout if I wanted a protection plan for the disc. Hadn't heard that one yet ! I declined, of course.

I did charge my purchase including some groceries to my Double Cash though, and already put in the price rewind through the web site for the movie this weekend. Hoping the disc drops down in price within the next 60 days since it just got released last week. Price drops after release are frequent on new movies, though, sometimes it takes more than 60 days. Price rewind doesn't always automatically find the best price on its own, but it's easy to submit it if you find a better price yourself. The Price rewind on my Costco card saved me hundreds of dollars in the last year. It saved me $160 alone on a 4K projector by automatically finding a lower price from an unknown and unauthorized retailer for the projector I had bought. I had not been able to find any better price on my own. Of course, sometimes I just waste my time entering purchases and get the email that no better price was found 2 months later. The web site tells me I saved $516 between 36 approved price rewinds lifetime so far, and I really only started using the site about a year and a half ago. I also had 24 price rewinds without a lower price found. 60% success rate is pretty good, IMO. This benefit consumes some time obviously, but is worth it to me considering I already scanned my receipts for most of these items. I only started scanning the movie receipts for Price rewind, though. But usually buy them on Amazon anyway so it's just a print to PDF in that case.

I also have received over $10K in trip cancellation benefits over the years. I know I get sick frequently. Those have been from policies I purchased explicitly, not the credit card benefits. I now have cards with this benefits so I don't pay for travel insurance anymore (my medical insurance covers my worldwide).
Clearly you are the Jedi Master of this! The cash back from the card pails in comparison to the amount of money you've extracted from the credit card through cell phones and hot tubs. You have me worrying about my 2002 hot tub now ...
There are 10 types of people, | those that understand binary | and those that don't

core4portfolio
Posts: 219
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by core4portfolio » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:26 am

zzz wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:58 am
madbrain wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:07 am
zzz wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:08 am
Have you ever tried to collect on these warranties? They make you apply through your home insurance 1st and require a lot of hoop jumping. Perhaps for large ticket items it may be worth it, but I only have the stamina for the extra 0.5%.
Not the Citi warranty yet specifically. My home insurance has a $7500 deductible, so pretty sure that wouldn't apply.
I have collected in the past on electronics warranty, including for smartphones. This was with Amex, when a screen malfunctioned after a year (not physical damage).

More recently, I collected on the Wells Fargo cell phone insurance coverage. Had $600 paid towards a stolen Samsung S7 Edge phone in December.
And $250 last month for a broken screen (from a fall) on my Samsung Note 8.
I carry the Wells Fargo card specifically for the cell phone coverage, and only charge the cell phone bill to it. There is a limit of 2 claims per year per card account. After we hit the 2 claims annual limit, I switched the cell phone bill to my husband's Wells Fargo card.

At no point was I ever asked to make a claim on home insurance.

Last year, I bought a $4500 new hot tub on my Citi costco card. It comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty, which was extended to 8.
Repairs on hot tubs are only a matter of when, not if, and can be very expensive. $500-$1000 is not uncommon. I was told by the seller that these really only have about a 10 year lifespan. I would have bought an extended warranty contract for it if I could to extend the coverage to 7 years, but that wasn't an option. When someone sells a big ticket item for which extended warranties are plainly not sold, that 's a hint that the warranty is worth it. Hot tubs that have a 5 year manufacturer warranty usually start at a much higher price than what I paid - $7,000+ and the sky is the limit.

I had to laugh on friday when I bought a UHD 4K Blu-ray disc of Star wars Last Jedi at Wal-Mart, and was asked at checkout if I wanted a protection plan for the disc. Hadn't heard that one yet ! I declined, of course.

I did charge my purchase including some groceries to my Double Cash though, and already put in the price rewind through the web site for the movie this weekend. Hoping the disc drops down in price within the next 60 days since it just got released last week. Price drops after release are frequent on new movies, though, sometimes it takes more than 60 days. Price rewind doesn't always automatically find the best price on its own, but it's easy to submit it if you find a better price yourself. The Price rewind on my Costco card saved me hundreds of dollars in the last year. It saved me $160 alone on a 4K projector by automatically finding a lower price from an unknown and unauthorized retailer for the projector I had bought. I had not been able to find any better price on my own. Of course, sometimes I just waste my time entering purchases and get the email that no better price was found 2 months later. The web site tells me I saved $516 between 36 approved price rewinds lifetime so far, and I really only started using the site about a year and a half ago. I also had 24 price rewinds without a lower price found. 60% success rate is pretty good, IMO. This benefit consumes some time obviously, but is worth it to me considering I already scanned my receipts for most of these items. I only started scanning the movie receipts for Price rewind, though. But usually buy them on Amazon anyway so it's just a print to PDF in that case.

I also have received over $10K in trip cancellation benefits over the years. I know I get sick frequently. Those have been from policies I purchased explicitly, not the credit card benefits. I now have cards with this benefits so I don't pay for travel insurance anymore (my medical insurance covers my worldwide).
Clearly you are the Jedi Master of this! The cash back from the card pails in comparison to the amount of money you've extracted from the credit card through cell phones and hot tubs. You have me worrying about my 2002 hot tub now ...
Citi price rewind and extended warranty are great feature of that card. I too used very frequently except on grocery.
I bought a TNF denali 2 jacket for 88+ taxes from backcountry but price went down in cabela to 29.88 and citi rewind gave the
difference back to me. Also I bought vtech toys for my son which become non funcational for some unknown reason and i called vtech warrnaty and they said its only 90 days and so next call to citi ... they refunded the money promptly.
Its a great card if you use it for price swinging products..
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frugalmama
Posts: 86
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by frugalmama » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:11 am

We use credit cards for absolutely everything that we can. We pay our monthly balances in full.

We have quite a few cards (some we keep open due to longevity or in case something goes wrong with our other cards when out of the country) but we currently use:
Sams Club Credit Card for 5% cash back gas (up to 6,000), 3% cash back dining/travel, 1% everything else - We use for 5% gas and 3% dining/travel
Chase Amazon Prime Visa Rewards - 5% back Amazon, 2% dining/gas/drug stores, 1% everything else - We use for Amazon
Discover Card and Chase Freedom Card - we use for the revolving 5% categories
Citi Double Cash - 2% on everything - everything else that isn't one of the above or a 5% category

I sweep the money monthly (except Sams which gives you a check 1x a year) and deposit it into the kids' college funds...It is a painless way to save for college.

I am intrigued by the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card. I need to run the numbers and see how I'd come out...I'm always hunting for higher cash backs.

Senti
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Senti » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:16 am

madbrain wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:57 am
4) Wells Fargo rewards VISA (2 accounts, mine and spouse) : we charge our monthly cell phone bill on it, and nothing else. Gives us cell phone insurance for 4 phones. Already put one claim for $600 in December for stolen phone. Another one in process for $270 screen replacement on a new Note 8 . They only allow 2 claims per year per credit card, so just switched the cell phone bill to my husband's Wells Fargo card in case we have more issues. Will keep those cards indefinitely as long as this benefit is offered. Phone insurance from carriers otherwise typically costs $10/phone per month and has deductibles, which this one doesn't.
Didn't know about this card or the benefit. Thank you.

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5889
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:41 am

madbrain wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:17 pm
IMO, the better benefits on the Citi Double Cash card make it better than than the Alliant, at least after the first year.
Citi Double Cash is currently offering a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days. The 2% Fidelity Signature VISA also is currently running a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $1000 in the first 90 days.

I was recently debating between these two cards and the Alliant card and I went with the Double Cash because of the sign-up bonus and better benefits. Also, I'm not sure my miscellaneous spending warrants paying Alliant's annual fee in the second year and beyond.

BeneIRA
Posts: 452
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:26 am

frugalmama wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:11 am
We use credit cards for absolutely everything that we can. We pay our monthly balances in full.

We have quite a few cards (some we keep open due to longevity or in case something goes wrong with our other cards when out of the country) but we currently use:
Sams Club Credit Card for 5% cash back gas (up to 6,000), 3% cash back dining/travel, 1% everything else - We use for 5% gas and 3% dining/travel
Chase Amazon Prime Visa Rewards - 5% back Amazon, 2% dining/gas/drug stores, 1% everything else - We use for Amazon
Discover Card and Chase Freedom Card - we use for the revolving 5% categories
Citi Double Cash - 2% on everything - everything else that isn't one of the above or a 5% category

I sweep the money monthly (except Sams which gives you a check 1x a year) and deposit it into the kids' college funds...It is a painless way to save for college.

I am intrigued by the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card. I need to run the numbers and see how I'd come out...I'm always hunting for higher cash backs.
I had the BCP for a while. I have since downgraded to the Blue Cash Everyday, which has ended up working out for me due to the first two Chase Freedom quarters essentially being grocery stores. In any case. Currently, if you go onto an Incognito browser, there is an offer for $250 back if you spend $1000 in the first three months. Considering the annual fee is only $95, the first year is a no brainer, but here is the math for the breakeven. Keep in mind the Blue Cash Everyday has no fee and is 3% back on grocery stores. This would be ongoing, after year 1:

If you max the $6,000 per year in grocery stores:
BCE: $6000 * .03 - $0 Annual Fee = $180
BCP: $6000 * .06 - $95 annual fee = $265

BCE: $3000 * .03 - $0 Annual Fee = $90
BCP: $3000 * .06 - $95 annual fee = $85

BCE: $3,172 * .03 - $0 Annual Fee = $95.16
BCP: $3,172 * .06 - $95 Annual Fee = $95.32

So, if you spend more than $3,172 per year, you are ahead with the Preferred.

DrGrnTum
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:22 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by DrGrnTum » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:46 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:41 am
madbrain wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:17 pm
IMO, the better benefits on the Citi Double Cash card make it better than than the Alliant, at least after the first year.
Citi Double Cash is currently offering a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days. The 2% Fidelity Signature VISA also is currently running a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $1000 in the first 90 days.

I was recently debating between these two cards and the Alliant card and I went with the Double Cash because of the sign-up bonus and better benefits. Also, I'm not sure my miscellaneous spending warrants paying Alliant's annual fee in the second year and beyond.
Dr of Credit posted this 2% card. You apply through a Credit Union. You get a $200 bonus after 3k spend in 90 days.
There was not much of a write up on this. It seems like a good deal.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/sdfcu-pr ... -up-bonus/

madbrain
Posts: 4959
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:33 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:41 am
Citi Double Cash is currently offering a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days. The 2% Fidelity Signature VISA also is currently running a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $1000 in the first 90 days.

I was recently debating between these two cards and the Alliant card and I went with the Double Cash because of the sign-up bonus and better benefits. Also, I'm not sure my miscellaneous spending warrants paying Alliant's annual fee in the second year and beyond.
I'm well aware of the $100 signup bonus for the Double cash. I signed up for the card less than a month ago and cashed in on the $100 bonus yesterday as a statement credit. I already have the Fidelity 2% VISA - in fact, two of them after the Fidelity Amex and VISA were converted to ELAN. I don't want to close them to reapply and get the signup bonus because they are some of the oldest cards on my credit report and closing them would cause my credit score to drop quite a bit and potentially prevent me from getting other cards. I don't charge anything to these Fidelity VISA cards anymore, though. The Citi Double Cash is clearly better due to benefits.

madbrain
Posts: 4959
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:42 pm

zzz wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:58 am
Clearly you are the Jedi Master of this! The cash back from the card pails in comparison to the amount of money you've extracted from the credit card through cell phones and hot tubs. You have me worrying about my 2002 hot tub now ...
Well, the hot tub I replaced was also from that period, I think, though I can't be sure exactly as it was installed by the previous homeowner.
It was a Sundance brand and 93x93 - quite large, and I'm sure it cost over $10k even then and was built better than the cheaper unit I bought.
It was built-in to the deck a huge PITA to remove - actually had to be sawed into pieces. And then I had a new support built so the new unit stands on top instead, which would allow it to be moved, opened and repaired from all sides, should a repair be needed, which was not possible with the old one built-in.

I had one major on the Sundance. One in the 2010 that was covered by the home warranty I purchased with the home, but the repair would have cost $800 otherwise. The home was a foreclosure and the state of the hot tub was unknown during home inspection. Had to replace the cover twice also as they got waterlogged.

On my new hot tub, I already had one repair last summer at just 5 months - the bluetooth module for the audio system failed (could no longer be paired) and it was replaced. That was covered under the manufacturer warranty.

Of course, I hope I won't have any more repairs during the life of the unit, but I'm glad that any of them would be covered during the first 4 years given the likelihood and cost.

protagonist
Posts: 5314
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by protagonist » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:35 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:26 am
frugalmama wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:11 am
We use credit cards for absolutely everything that we can. We pay our monthly balances in full.

We have quite a few cards (some we keep open due to longevity or in case something goes wrong with our other cards when out of the country) but we currently use:
Sams Club Credit Card for 5% cash back gas (up to 6,000), 3% cash back dining/travel, 1% everything else - We use for 5% gas and 3% dining/travel
Chase Amazon Prime Visa Rewards - 5% back Amazon, 2% dining/gas/drug stores, 1% everything else - We use for Amazon
Discover Card and Chase Freedom Card - we use for the revolving 5% categories
Citi Double Cash - 2% on everything - everything else that isn't one of the above or a 5% category

I sweep the money monthly (except Sams which gives you a check 1x a year) and deposit it into the kids' college funds...It is a painless way to save for college.

I am intrigued by the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card. I need to run the numbers and see how I'd come out...I'm always hunting for higher cash backs.
I had the BCP for a while. I have since downgraded to the Blue Cash Everyday, which has ended up working out for me due to the first two Chase Freedom quarters essentially being grocery stores. In any case. Currently, if you go onto an Incognito browser, there is an offer for $250 back if you spend $1000 in the first three months. Considering the annual fee is only $95, the first year is a no brainer, but here is the math for the breakeven. Keep in mind the Blue Cash Everyday has no fee and is 3% back on grocery stores. This would be ongoing, after year 1:

If you max the $6,000 per year in grocery stores:
BCE: $6000 * .03 - $0 Annual Fee = $180
BCP: $6000 * .06 - $95 annual fee = $265

BCE: $3000 * .03 - $0 Annual Fee = $90
BCP: $3000 * .06 - $95 annual fee = $85

BCE: $3,172 * .03 - $0 Annual Fee = $95.16
BCP: $3,172 * .06 - $95 Annual Fee = $95.32

So, if you spend more than $3,172 per year, you are ahead with the Preferred.
Sapphire preferred- $4000 spend in 3 months, annual fee waived = at least 50K points = $625. in travel purchased through the Chase portal, or potentially more if transferred to an airline site.

BeneIRA
Posts: 452
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:55 pm

No argument from me on the CSP. Even if someone doesn't care about travel and only wants to redeem the URs for a statement credit, that is still $500. A lot of people can't meet the $4,000 MSR, though.

madbrain
Posts: 4959
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:08 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:55 pm
No argument from me on the CSP. Even if someone doesn't care about travel and only wants to redeem the URs for a statement credit, that is still $500. A lot of people can't meet the $4,000 MSR, though.
If you use payment services like Plastiq, it is not that hard to meet the $4,000 . You can do things like prepay utility bills, car loan, etc.
You will pay 2.5% in fees, but it is not much compared to the value of the signup bonus.

Da5id
Posts: 2035
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:20 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:23 am

madbrain wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:08 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:55 pm
No argument from me on the CSP. Even if someone doesn't care about travel and only wants to redeem the URs for a statement credit, that is still $500. A lot of people can't meet the $4,000 MSR, though.
If you use payment services like Plastiq, it is not that hard to meet the $4,000 . You can do things like prepay utility bills, car loan, etc.
You will pay 2.5% in fees, but it is not much compared to the value of the signup bonus.
Heck, prepay the year's car/home/umbrella insurance. If you have teenagers in the house that will add up :) You can prepay cell phone. I also can pay annual religious membership on a CC, which pretty much is enough to pay for the bonus.

rtr-molar-doc
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:49 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by rtr-molar-doc » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:06 am

I am new to posting at Boglehead, but I have an honest question(I have been reading this site for a long long time though). How much money do those that 'churn' credit card rewards programs end up getting back after ONE year? I am a cash guy who has been debt free since I was 32(now 62). Put myself thru college and dental school on my own(with only HEAL loans while in dental school). I ONLY use a credit card for my internet monthly fee because I live in the far north of Wisconsin and they require it. Have to use credit cards at times though: flying, renting cars, hotels and some others, but I simply pay CASH for everything. I have never looked at or redeemed a credit card 'reward'. It just doesn't seem worth it to me. My time is simply worth more to me than churning for pennies.

I still have a MasterCard(BOA) from my dental practice days, which I rarely use; plus I have an Amazon visa and a BOA visa card. I have never added my credit card purchases up for a year, but I doubt they would be even $5000.00(perhaps more during some years if we travel more). I still pay bills via written checks. I suspect I am an antique!

Just wondering what kind of money some of you get back from your rewards programs on a yearly basis. $100's, $1000's or more?

I grew up with NOTHING, so I am pretty anal when it comes to using credit(credit cards included). I have simply never met anyone who got financially independent via using credit. It seems to me that people could be using their time much more usefully than 'churning' and using credit cards.

old CASH DUDE

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5889
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:02 am

rtr-molar-doc wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:06 am
Just wondering what kind of money some of you get back from your rewards programs on a yearly basis. $100's, $1000's or more?

I grew up with NOTHING, so I am pretty anal when it comes to using credit(credit cards included). I have simply never met anyone who got financially independent via using credit. It seems to me that people could be using their time much more usefully than 'churning' and using credit cards.
I don't churn in the sense of Reddit's /r/churning. I choose specific sign-up bonuses for specific cards that can play a purpose in my card rotation. So I only sign up for a couple of new cards a year, when the sign-up bonus is worth it and when the card fits in my spending patterns. I don't just sign-up for the bonus and then cancel the card a year down the road. I also don't use manufactured spending to meet the sign-up bonus spend requirements like some other people were discussing. My spend is purely regular monthly expenses. I could meet the Double Cash spend requirement ($500 in 90 days) through pet supplies and veterinary care alone.

Independent of sign-up bonuses, and when I was still using a 1% card for miscellaneous purchases, I'd get about $300 a year in regular rewards based off my normal spending. For sign-up bonuses, I got enough in the last two years to pay for hotel, air fare, rental car, and several activities for an 8-day vacation in Hawaii in January. In cash equivalents, the air fare was about $800, the hotel was about $1700, the rental car was about $300, and the activities were about $300.

I also pay those cards off in full each month and none of my cards carries a balance. I use the cards a cash substitute, not as an excuse to go on a spending spree. You have to have that level of financial discipline for the rewards game to make sense. Another bonus over cash, beyond the sign-up bonuses and rewards, is purchasing on specific credit cards gives extra consumer protections (extended warranty, accidental damage, trip insurance, etc.).

MotoTrojan
Posts: 1882
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MotoTrojan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:12 am

Uber/Barclays has a new Visa which is totally free, $100 back after $500 in first 90 days, $50 towards annual online subscription, but best of all... 4% back on dining and 3% back on travel (also 2% online and 1% elsewhere). Redeemable for cash or Uber credits. I added this to go along with my Citi DoubleCash 2% everything card, since I use CC's mostly for food and often for travel.

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