What Credit Card is good for me?

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ved
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What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by ved » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:27 pm

Hi all,

I currently have Chase Freedom credit card - get 1% cash back on all purchases, and I believe 5% back on quarterly selected categories/vendors.
I have had this for years (decades?). I charge pretty much everything to that, and pay off the bill every month. Don't eat out much, or travel much.

I am looking to see if there are better cards out there for me. I don't do much chasing of signing bonus (maybe I Should?)

We have occasional foreign travel - maybe once a year or two. So, I need a card with no transaction fee. I am looking at CapitalOne QuickSilver card. Is there any other card that 's better than this for no foreign transaction fee?

Also, for general use, I am thinking of replacing the Chase Freedom with Fidelity Visa card - this has 2% cashback on all purchases. Is this a good choice/switch? Any other cards I should consider?

Thanks

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rocket354
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by rocket354 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:53 pm

The Citi Doublecash card is 2% (1% when you purchase, another 1% when you pay the bill). I like it better than Fidelity because that card, unless it's changed recently, you can only redeem into Fidelity investment accounts. With the Citi I just do a direct deposit into my checking account. There is usually no signup bonus with the Citi.

The Quicksilver is 1.5% but, yes, has no foreign transaction fee. That is a good card. As well, it often has a signup bonus.

I like chasing bonuses. It depends on your spending level, but there are many, many cards out there that will give you $100 or $150 for $500 of spending, which is really easy to hit. Those can add up. Then there's lots of travel cards with even bigger bonuses but also bigger spend requirements--I've gotten $600 cash for $4000 spend and $800 of travel for $3000 spend recently, for example. I didn't spend any more, I just aligned those cards with big purchases I had to make (e.g., fresh install of a water heater).

If you have access to USAA credit cards, those can be great, as well. They have a 2.5% card that just requires a monthly DD into one of their checking accounts. They also have a card that gives 5% on gas purchases.

My typical lineup when I'm not working off a bonus is:

American Express Blue Cash Preferred: 4% effective groceries (6% cash back on groceries, but with a $95 annual fee)
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus: 5% gas
Amazon Visa: 3% Amazon purchases (without prime membership, would be 5% with Prime membership)
Citi Doublecash: 2% on everything

And then coming soon as the newest addition to the family:

Uber card: 4% on dining, 3% on hotels/airfare/airbnb, 2% online purchases

It might seem like penny pinching to go with these, but many come with a signup bonus, it doesn't take any extra time on my end to choose the correct card for the purchase, and I get an extra $400/year because of optimally using my cards (which, by the 4% rule, is like adding an extra $10,000 to my savings).

lakpr
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by lakpr » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:07 pm

The OP might consider becoming a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union (anyone can become a member by donating at least $17 to National Military Families Association), and open an "Access America" checking account. Then apply for one or more of their credit cards.

The Platinum Rewards Visa gives you essentially 4.25% cash back on gas purchases, 2.55% on grocery purchases, and 0.8% on everything else. The only restriction is that you get your "cash back" in terms of Visa gift cards of $50 denomination each (so redeem in multiples of 5880 points only). I have this card, and currently this is the best card for "gas" and "groceries" categories which are the biggest monthly expenses for most consumers outside of housing.

The Power Cash Rewards Visa gives you 2% -- 1.5% only without the Access America checking account -- everywhere, and I believe (I say 'believe' since I don't have this card) the redemption is automatic monthly into that checking account.

ALL of their cards have no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Gray
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by Gray » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:33 pm

DoubleCash is the best out there IMO in terms of getting the money back without games.

mega317
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by mega317 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:58 pm

There is an incredible thread here with all range of possible strategies: viewtopic.php?t=192008

It depends how complicated you want to get. I think it would be totally reasonable to only use the Quicksilver for everything. You could use that abroad and Fidelity in the US to get 2% on everything. On top of that you can then add cards to get more than 2% on various categories. I'd at least keep the Freedom for the rotating categories.

student
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by student » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:39 am

Start with Citi Double Cash or Fidelity for 2%. Use it in combination with your freedom card. If you want to play a bit of the game, add AMEX Everyday which gives you 3% groceries and Uber credit card which gives you 4% dining.

Since you say you do foreign travel, you may want to consider Chase Sapphire Reserve. Although it has a $450 annual fee, it is really $150 as it automatically reimburses you $300 travel expenses such as airline ticket. It also reimburses you for global entry fee. It gives you unlimited priority pass lounge excess for you and unlimited number of guests. It is not that useful in the US but a great perk in other part of the word. It also gives 3% for travel. If you redeem it for travel via Chase Portal, it gives you 50% bonus. Also you can transfer the points from Freedom to this card and earn extra 50% on those if redeem in this way.

euroswiss
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by euroswiss » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:29 am

rocket354 wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:53 pm
The Citi Doublecash card is 2% (1% when you purchase, another 1% when you pay the bill). I like it better than Fidelity because that card, unless it's changed recently, you can only redeem into Fidelity investment accounts. With the Citi I just do a direct deposit into my checking account. There is usually no signup bonus with the Citi.
Yes, this changed several years ago - you can now auto-deposit into any Fido account, not just 529s or IRAs

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Alexa9
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:40 am

If you travel, look for cards with 40k bonus points or free flights. What is your hub in your city? Might look at their card. Hotel cards can also be lucrative for a mostly free vacation.
Capital One Venture
Barclaycard Arrival Plus
Chase Sapphire Preferred/Premier
Citi Prestige
AMEX Gold/Platinum/Delta
American Airlines
Southwest
Alaska
United
Hilton

am
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by am » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:08 am

student wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:39 am
Start with Citi Double Cash or Fidelity for 2%. Use it in combination with your freedom card. If you want to play a bit of the game, add AMEX Everyday which gives you 3% groceries and Uber credit card which gives you 4% dining.

Since you say you do foreign travel, you may want to consider Chase Sapphire Reserve. Although it has a $450 annual fee, it is really $150 as it automatically reimburses you $300 travel expenses such as airline ticket. It also reimburses you for global entry fee. It gives you unlimited priority pass lounge excess for you and unlimited number of guests. It is not that useful in the US but a great perk in other part of the word. It also gives 3% for travel. If you redeem it for travel via Chase Portal, it gives you 50% bonus. Also you can transfer the points from Freedom to this card and earn extra 50% on those if redeem in this way.
I’d add that the chase sapphire reserve is very useful for dining out. It’s 3% cash back which becomes 4.5% cash back if used to book travel through chase travel portal. I found the rates on the portal to generally be competitive. If you combine with chase freedom unlimited and use points on portal, it becomes 2.25% rewards on everything! I personally do not think I can beat this combo assuming you travel. If not than would recommend fidelity visa 2% cash back for everyday, 5% cash back chase freedom in quarterly categories, and the new Uber card for dining and travel.

There are so many lucrative sign up bonuses out there that a lot of times I’m working in these instead of my usual lineup of cards. Just finished the chase Hyatt card which will get us a bunch of free nights. Was lucky to get 100k personal Amex Platinum bonus offer and working on this right now.

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midareff
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by midareff » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:14 am

ved wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:27 pm
Hi all,

I currently have Chase Freedom credit card - get 1% cash back on all purchases, and I believe 5% back on quarterly selected categories/vendors.
I have had this for years (decades?). I charge pretty much everything to that, and pay off the bill every month. Don't eat out much, or travel much.

I am looking to see if there are better cards out there for me. I don't do much chasing of signing bonus (maybe I Should?)

We have occasional foreign travel - maybe once a year or two. So, I need a card with no transaction fee. I am looking at CapitalOne QuickSilver card. Is there any other card that 's better than this for no foreign transaction fee?

Also, for general use, I am thinking of replacing the Chase Freedom with Fidelity Visa card - this has 2% cashback on all purchases. Is this a good choice/switch? Any other cards I should consider?

Thanks
The Fidelity 2% Visa is excellent. It can be set to auto-pay in full monthly and can also be set to auto redeem into a Fidelity MM account monthly. There are others out there if you want to play the game.. AMEX Blue Preferred for 6% back on first $6K of groceries @ a $95 annual fee. .. nets 4.4%. PenFed 5% statement credit on gas and then there is new Uber Visa which advertises 4% on restaurant and 3% on travel. We play the game and exclusive of sign up bonus monies have been averaging about $2300 a year cash back.

aristotelian
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by aristotelian » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:45 am

CapOne Quicksilver is my go to all purpose card. I like the combo of no foreign fees and 1.5% cash back. My wife wouldn't have the patience to mess around with categories. The Fidelity one is interesting but I have been with VG and Schwab and don't really want another account cluttering up my spreadsheet.

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FrugalProfessor
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by FrugalProfessor » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:47 am

I think the best single card on the market is the USAA 2.5% cash back card. I've had either the Fidelity & Citi 2% cards for close to a decade.

My new strategy is to park $100k of Vanguard funds at merril edge, then do the following:
5.25% cash back on gas (BoA cash rewards card)
3.5% cash back on dining&travel (BoA premium rewards card)
3.5% cash back on groceries & costco (BoA cash rewards card)
2.625% cash back on everything else (BoA premium rewards card)

Not too shabby. The premium rewards has a $95 fee that can be totally recouped with the purchase of a $100 American Airlines gift card (https://www.doctorofcredit.com/triggers ... The_Credit). If you don't want to jump through that hoop, the BoA travel rewards is a decent alternative to the BoA premium rewards card.
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Helo80
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by Helo80 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:09 pm

ved wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:27 pm
Also, for general use, I am thinking of replacing the Chase Freedom with Fidelity Visa card - this has 2% cashback on all purchases. Is this a good choice/switch? Any other cards I should consider?

Chase Freedom for 5% cash back categories
Discover IT - for 5% cash back in other categories
Citi Double Cash Back - 2% general cash back
Gas card -- several out there that do 3% to 5% cash back at gas stations.

If you're not a big traveler and have no need for airline miles, I think the above is your best bet.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:13 pm

lakpr wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:07 pm
I have this card, and currently this is the best card for "gas" and "groceries" categories which are the biggest monthly expenses for most consumers outside of housing.
Incorrect. The BoA Cash Rewards CC, with BoA / ME preferred honors status, is the best year round card for those two categories. 5.25% on gas stations (includes purchases made inside the store) and 3.5% on grocery / wholesale club purchases.

lakpr
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by lakpr » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:03 pm

Not everyone has 100K$ to invest in Merrill Edge investment account. My household incone is approximately $175K and I consider myself middle class, but I dont have that much money that I can transfer.

Determined
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by Determined » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:51 pm

I just started using rewards credit cards intentionally. I have no regular need for airline miles. I have the Citi DoubleCash because I don't want to fuss, but I did just get the Chase Freedom to get the sign up bonus while I use the 5% category for quarter 4. I will probably get something else next month when my daughter's tuition is due so I can meet the minimum immediately for the cash bonus.

I learned all of this here. I was aware of the offers but was suspcious. Hwever, I don't spend any differently when I use a credit card instead of debit/cash/check.

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whodidntante
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:40 pm

2% is the best you can get on general spend without joining a credit union, paying an annual fee, using limited time offers, or having "status" (usually that means money/investments at the bank).

Fidelity Rewards will give you 2%, and occasionally 3% in the form of a spending offer, when redeemed to a Fidelity account. I tend to get these once per year after I cycle my spending to another card. But Fidelity Rewards currently has a $100 new card bonus, which is the highest ever AFAIK. I used this card a lot previously, but now I can get better rewards because I fall into one of the categories above.

Some people prefer Citi doublecash but Fidelity Rewards is better with a 2% reward and a chance of 3%, and a $100 bonus. Citibank is also aggressive about calling certain transactions a cash advance, which might not impact anyone else here but it matters to me.

RDHlooking4FIRE
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by RDHlooking4FIRE » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:40 pm

I use citi double cash for most things - 2% back

And amex for groceries and gas - 6% back.

technovelist
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by technovelist » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:45 pm

Signing bonuses can be very lucrative. I've run up hundreds of thousands of airline miles that way, just by shifting spending from one card to another. I heartily recommend them if you are going to be traveling.

The expert on this (besides flyertalk.com, which I see has already been mentioned), is thepointsguy.com.
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: What Credit Card is good for me?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:13 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:40 pm
2% is the best you can get on general spend without joining a credit union, paying an annual fee, using limited time offers, or having "status" (usually that means money/investments at the bank).

Fidelity Rewards will give you 2%, and occasionally 3% in the form of a spending offer, when redeemed to a Fidelity account. I tend to get these once per year after I cycle my spending to another card. But Fidelity Rewards currently has a $100 new card bonus, which is the highest ever AFAIK. I used this card a lot previously, but now I can get better rewards because I fall into one of the categories above.

Some people prefer Citi doublecash but Fidelity Rewards is better with a 2% reward and a chance of 3%, and a $100 bonus. Citibank is also aggressive about calling certain transactions a cash advance, which might not impact anyone else here but it matters to me.
I have both Fidelity and Citi double cash. Some things to know. You do need to somewhat jump through hoops with Fidelity. You don't get to cash out until you get to $50 in rewards and if it doesn't go to a Fidelity account, it's only 1% (like statement credit). Yes, I know you can direct it to a fidelity account then transfer it out......like I said, jumping through hoops.

Citi will do statement credit or ACH to your checking account with zero hassle and any amount. I have never had anything considered a cash advance and have bought tens of thousands of dollars of visa, master card and amex gift cards with double cash.
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