Credit card recommendation

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
Posts: 3877
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Credit card recommendation

Post by Triple digit golfer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:25 am

Sorry, another credit card post.

I currently use a BP Chase Visa card giving me 5% on BP gas, 2% on travel and dining (rarely used), and 1% on everything else (groceries mostly).

Annually, I spend about $3,600 on groceries, $1,800 on gas, $650 on cell phone bill paid with credit card, and maybe around $600 at department stores.

I also pay car repairs and I could probably start paying car insurance and even some utilities with it.

Are there any cards out there where I could do better?

I was looking at the Chase Freedom card but I don't think it'll amount to much. The rewards are unclear. It says 3% on popular categories and 1% on everything else, but it doesn't specify what is "popular categories."

Any recommendations?

livesoft
Posts: 69575
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:34 am

You need a card that pays at least 2% and preferably 5% on groceries since that is your major spending class.

Suppose you reserved one card for groceries, one for gas, one for eating out, etc.

We use a Citibank Dividend platinum for groceries. 2% cash back.

Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
Posts: 3877
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Post by Triple digit golfer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:49 am

I suppose I could open the Chase Freedom card and use that for groceries and other stuff for the 3%, and keep using the BP Visa for gas to get the 5%.

I think the Chase Freedom is 3% in your top three categories and 1% on everything else.

Both cards have the "1% on everything else" clause so I think maybe the solution is BP Visa for gas at 5%, and Chase Freedom for everything else, hoping most of it is 3%, but if it's 1% it won't matter anyway.

Now the question is: Is it really worth it to save a few bucks a year?

Probably, yes.

Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
Posts: 3877
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Post by Triple digit golfer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:06 pm

I just researched the Chase Freedom Card and the Discover More Card. Both look great on the surface, but when you look a little further, they're not as they seem. The "rotating categories" thing sucks.

Chase Freedom
3% cash back on rotating categories
1% cash back on everything else, no spending tiers.

Discover More
5% cash back on rotating categories
1% cash back on everything else, with spending tiers.

Is there a card out there that offers 2-3% on everything, without rotating categories, minimums, tiers, or any other caveats? I have my doubts. They're called "rewards" for a reason; you have to earn them and it isn't as easy as just using your card and getting 3%, no strings.

chaz
Posts: 13604
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:44 pm

Post by chaz » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:07 pm

I use the Chase Freedom card.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

livesoft
Posts: 69575
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Post by livesoft » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:33 pm

As long as you know what the rotating categories are in advance, it would not bother me. Of course, if I was a card-issuer, I would rotate the 5% to whatever category you spent the least money (possibly zero) on each month. :twisted:

I use multiple cards, so that I don't have to track spending categories within a card. One card for groceries tells me each month what I spent at the grocery store. One card for gas tells me each month what I spent on gas.

MidwestEng
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:15 pm

Post by MidwestEng » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:33 pm

Schwab and Fidelity each have 2% back on everything cards.

I'm too new to post a link, but you should be able to find some info by searching for:

Schwab Bank Invest First Visa
Fidelity Rewards American Express

I have the Schwab one. It requires you to set up a brokerage account with them where the rewards are deposited, but you can withdraw them. I imagine the Fidelity card has a similar requirement.
Last edited by MidwestEng on Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
Posts: 3877
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Post by Triple digit golfer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:39 pm

livesoft wrote:As long as you know what the rotating categories are in advance, it would not bother me. Of course, if I was a card-issuer, I would rotate the 5% to whatever category you spent the least money (possibly zero) on each month. :twisted:

I use multiple cards, so that I don't have to track spending categories within a card. One card for groceries tells me each month what I spent at the grocery store. One card for gas tells me each month what I spent on gas.
That's what I'm going to do...have one card for gas (my 5% cash back Visa), and I guess one at 2% for everything else. Maybe the Fidelity or Schwab cards...except I don't want a Schwab or Fidelity brokerage account, so as long as I could get that cash out, I'd be set.

I don't care to deal with rotating categories. So I think the solution may be using one that offers 2% on everything, and using it for all of my non gasoline purchases.

It's like a puzzle trying to work out the best scenarios.

Carl53
Posts: 1875
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:26 pm

Post by Carl53 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:40 pm

I have the BP Visa also (5% reward on BP gas, 2% for dining and travel and 1% everything else). I recently added a PenFed Platinum Reward Visa (5% reward on any gas, 2% on groceries, and 1.25% on everything else). I now use a mix of the 2 cards. I especially like using the PFVisa while buying gas at a grocery (Krogers) that offers a discount of 10 cents or more per gallon. It's like you are double dipping.

Also, I like the fact that PF automatically credits your bill for the rewards earned that month.

User avatar
Hat
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:27 pm

PenFed cash back reduction

Post by Hat » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:00 am

Carl53 wrote:I recently added a PenFed Platinum Reward Visa (5% reward on any gas, 2% on groceries, and 1.25% on everything else).
The PenFed card now only pays 1% on everything else. The 5% gas and 2% groceries remain unchanged.

User avatar
Fbone
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:12 pm

Post by Fbone » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:49 am

Fidelity's Investment Rewards AMEX doesnt need a brokerage acct. You can have the rewards deposited into their mySmart checking account. FDIC insured with no-fee ATMs. 2% on everything. It's identical to an online bank with billpay etc.
They also have a Visa but its only 1.5% for <$15,000 then 2% above that.
Both can auto transfer when $2500 spends is achieved for $50 deposits.
Both issued by FIA and they can and will transfer credit limits between existing accounts.

TheEternalVortex
Posts: 2558
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:17 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by TheEternalVortex » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:01 am

Orchard Bank has a 2% MasterCard that isn't tied to any particular account (they send you checks) has only a $25 reimbursement minimum.

But it may be difficult to get one.

Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
Posts: 3877
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Post by Triple digit golfer » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:54 pm

Another is the Capital One No Hassle Rewards card. 2% on gas and groceries, 1% on everything else.

regions
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:25 pm

Post by regions » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:57 pm

www(dot)nerdwallet(dot)com

Check this site out.

Bobby Ingersoll
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:03 pm

Post by Bobby Ingersoll » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:27 pm

Run a search for Credit Card Tune-Up.

Plug in your specific spending habits and it will give you the top rewards choices suited for your spending. I have noticed it does not have every card (PenFed, Schwab).


For simplicity, go for the Schwab. 2% cash back put into a Schwab brokerage monthly. Brokerage carries no fees, and you can transfer the funds out for free whenever you want.

tj
Posts: 2751
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Post by tj » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:48 pm

As long as you know what the rotating categories are in advance, it would not bother me. Of course, if I was a card-issuer, I would rotate the 5% to whatever category you spent the least money (possibly zero) on each month.

CHASE 3% BONUS CATEGORIES

Jan 1 - March 30
Dining, Education, Childcare, Utilities

April 1st - June 30th
Home Improvement, Lawn and Garden, Home Furnishings and Drugstores

July 1st - September 30th
Gas, Airlines, Auto Rental and Hotels

October 1st - December 31st
Grocery Stores, Department Stores and Movies


DISCOVER 5% BONUS CATEGORIES
Jan - March - Travel
March - Groecery & Drug Stores
April - June - Home Improvement, Department Stores, Clothing Stores
July - September - Gas, Hotels, Movie Theaters & rentals, Theme Parks
Oct- December - Restaurants, Department Stores, Clothing Stores

Live Free or Diehard
Posts: 517
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:12 pm

Post by Live Free or Diehard » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:25 am

tj wrote:
CHASE 3% BONUS CATEGORIES

Jan 1 - March 30
Dining, Education, Childcare, Utilities

April 1st - June 30th
Home Improvement, Lawn and Garden, Home Furnishings and Drugstores

July 1st - September 30th
Gas, Airlines, Auto Rental and Hotels

October 1st - December 31st
Grocery Stores, Department Stores and Movies
I went out to Chase's website to look at the bonus categories for April 1st - June 30th and it says the bonus is 5%, instead of 3%.

skylar
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:28 am

Credit union?

Post by skylar » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:47 am

Have you checked out credit union cards you might be eligible for? I've got a Chase Freedom card, but got frustrated with how the redemption system works and now with the rotating categories. My credit union has a 1% cash-back rewards card and credits the rewards every month on the statement, which I find far more convenient than the guess-work with Chase.

Skylar

dcfriedrich
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:43 pm

Schwab

Post by dcfriedrich » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:01 am

I am a huge fan of Schwab. 2% cashback on all purchases, no maximum. The amount is automatically deposited into my account each month, no silly phone calls needed to redeem points.

Schwab has also been my best experience with any credit card. We easily get a hold of customer service and the last two disputes were settled on the phone with Schwab because they called in a three-way conversation on the spot.

As a personal preference, I like to use all my purchases on one card to simplify our monthly budget management. It is very easy to overspend with a credit card if you have not pre-determined how much you want to spend.

User avatar
Evac
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:18 am
Location: Tampa, FL

Find the best reward credit card

Post by Evac » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:07 pm

NERDWALLET,COM

This site combs thru 400 cards to find the best one for you. Enter the amount you generally charge each month, what kinds of things you buy, and your estimated credit score. Presto: a list of cards, for the best low-rate or balance-transfer cards.

Coolest Feature: Filter results by the kind of rewards you prefer - say, airline miles or cash back.

Developed by: Stanford-educated hedge fund analyst.

Source Info: Money Magazine article

User avatar
Sunny Sarkar
Posts: 2418
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:02 am
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Contact:

Re: Schwab

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:51 pm

dcfriedrich wrote:I am a huge fan of Schwab. 2% cashback on all purchases, no maximum. The amount is automatically deposited into my account each month, no silly phone calls needed to redeem points.
Just calculated that I'm getting between 2.7% to 3.4% cash back over the last several months from the PenFed Visa card (5% gas, 2%supermarkets, 1.25% all else).

Also, automatically credited to account statement - no action needed from the user.

If I'm not mistaken, Taylor uses this card too.

dcfriedrich
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:43 pm

Post by dcfriedrich » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:55 pm

I've been using Mint.com since 4/17/2009. According Mint's purchase categorization of my credit card charges I have spent :

5.3% on Gas
29.27 on Groceries
65.4% on everything else
(based on 4/2009 through present totals, no abnormal charges)

So the PenFed wouldn't work for me. Of course what I really should do is get a card only for gas.

tj
Posts: 2751
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Post by tj » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:19 pm

So the PenFed wouldn't work for me. Of course what I really should do is get a card only for gas.
I spend about $150/mo on gas. at least. At 5% back that's $90. The fee to join is $20 for the NMFA and $5 to fund a PenFed Share account. It pays for itself in the first year, easily.


I got my penfed card today, the activation process was completely uatomated---with discover or chase they make you talk to people and try to sell you protection plans. My PenFed cardalso has a higher limit than my other cards combined...I'm happy, but I get better return wtih the chase freedom on most purchases (1.1%)

Post Reply