Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Ivygirl
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Ivygirl »

smitcat wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:30 am
Ivygirl wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:19 am
smitcat wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:08 pm
Ivygirl wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:18 pm
Da5id wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:50 pm

It is a fair assumption that anything a business is doing they believe will result in them making money in the long term. Of course, that is on average. Credit card companies do best on people who carry a balance and/or pay late fines and such. If that isn't you, perhaps you can win the game. But you have lots of reasons you give in this thread why you don't want to do rewards credit cards, so why not just decide that they aren't for you and move on?
I'm not the OP, but speaking for myself, I know a reason to have this conversation, rather than just moving on. Homo sapiens is our name, and wisdom is our game. It's a worthy endeavor to solve The Mystery of the Free Money that Isn't Really.
"It's a worthy endeavor to solve The Mystery of the Free Money that Isn't Really."

There really is free money for some ...and for others there is not.
Mystery solved.
We knew that when we started talking. A little money does not stop homo sapiens from asking questions. Will it stop you?

I've participated in discussions on this subject in various places for several years. Early on no one was asking any questions at all, even though the premise was so ridiculous, that giant banks with the ethics of the Sheriff of Nottingham would want to give away money. It was only a few years ago they crashed the financial system and gave themselves bonuses while we were made terrified and unemployed by their actions. They need watching.

Payment by plastic card makes sense for everybody. It makes sense for the merchant, who gains a frictionless method of payment and lessens his risk of robbery or embezzlement. It makes sense for the epidemiologist, because cash is nasty. It makes sense for the purchaser, because it is fast, convenient, and secure online. What doesn't make sense is using this system to pick winners and force losers to pay them. It's not just.
What doesn't make sense is using this system to pick winners and force losers to pay them. It's not just."

The large majority of people who use credit systems pay for the all of services of that system - there are also 2 smaller groups of folks who do not support the system who 'gain' more than the majority.
As in most things in life there are choices to be made and those choices fall on the individual not the system.
Thankfully we all have these choices

"I've participated in discussions on this subject in various places for several years. Early on no one was asking any questions at all, even though the premise was so ridiculous, that giant banks with the ethics of the Sheriff of Nottingham would want to give away money. It was only a few years ago they crashed the financial system and gave themselves bonuses while we were made terrified and unemployed by their actions. They need watching"
FWIW - I do know more about these systems than most, for perhaps 20 years now. Where I am any questions were common long ago and the system was fairly well known to most everyone. Not sure why some would not be aware of this long long ago.
I think you said I am right, but we should try to profit by it if we can.

Not sapiens.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by JoeRetire »

sureshoe wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:17 am
anon_investor wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:58 am A lot of larger daycare operations (like our kids') require direct debit now for the best pricing (they charge a processing fee or higher pricing if using paper checks or credit card).
That really irritates me. I understand they want to ensure payment, but it is so grating to share bank info and authorization. I've never had an EFT problem, but it always sits in the back of my mind.
No need to be irritated. Sounds like you would always have the choice not to share any bank info or authorization.
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smitcat
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by smitcat »

Ivygirl wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:23 pm
smitcat wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:30 am
Ivygirl wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:19 am
smitcat wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:08 pm
Ivygirl wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:18 pm
I'm not the OP, but speaking for myself, I know a reason to have this conversation, rather than just moving on. Homo sapiens is our name, and wisdom is our game. It's a worthy endeavor to solve The Mystery of the Free Money that Isn't Really.
"It's a worthy endeavor to solve The Mystery of the Free Money that Isn't Really."

There really is free money for some ...and for others there is not.
Mystery solved.
We knew that when we started talking. A little money does not stop homo sapiens from asking questions. Will it stop you?

I've participated in discussions on this subject in various places for several years. Early on no one was asking any questions at all, even though the premise was so ridiculous, that giant banks with the ethics of the Sheriff of Nottingham would want to give away money. It was only a few years ago they crashed the financial system and gave themselves bonuses while we were made terrified and unemployed by their actions. They need watching.

Payment by plastic card makes sense for everybody. It makes sense for the merchant, who gains a frictionless method of payment and lessens his risk of robbery or embezzlement. It makes sense for the epidemiologist, because cash is nasty. It makes sense for the purchaser, because it is fast, convenient, and secure online. What doesn't make sense is using this system to pick winners and force losers to pay them. It's not just.
What doesn't make sense is using this system to pick winners and force losers to pay them. It's not just."

The large majority of people who use credit systems pay for the all of services of that system - there are also 2 smaller groups of folks who do not support the system who 'gain' more than the majority.
As in most things in life there are choices to be made and those choices fall on the individual not the system.
Thankfully we all have these choices

"I've participated in discussions on this subject in various places for several years. Early on no one was asking any questions at all, even though the premise was so ridiculous, that giant banks with the ethics of the Sheriff of Nottingham would want to give away money. It was only a few years ago they crashed the financial system and gave themselves bonuses while we were made terrified and unemployed by their actions. They need watching"
FWIW - I do know more about these systems than most, for perhaps 20 years now. Where I am any questions were common long ago and the system was fairly well known to most everyone. Not sure why some would not be aware of this long long ago.
I think you said I am right, but we should try to profit by it if we can.

Not sapiens.
I am not sure I do not know what you issue is with credit cards.
You have not provided any specific issue(s) but it is apparent that you have a problem with them for some reason.
Is it possible that you could articulate exactly what you see as the problem(s)?
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sunny_socal
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by sunny_socal »

Didn't read the 5 pages.

My list:
1) Costco 3%, 4% card for gas & restaurants. Executive membership, $100 fee but I 'make' $150/year in Exec bonuses so I come out ahead. That's in addition to the $600/year costco cash back.
2) Alliant 2.5% card for everything else. These days there is no fee.

I get about $3000/year in tax-free money. Seems like a no brainer to carry such cards.
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anon_investor
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by anon_investor »

sunny_socal wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:18 pm Didn't read the 5 pages.

My list:
1) Costco 3%, 4% card for gas & restaurants. Executive membership, $100 fee but I 'make' $150/year in Exec bonuses so I come out ahead. That's in addition to the $600/year costco cash back.
2) Alliant 2.5% card for everything else. These days there is no fee.

I get about $3000/year in tax-free money. Seems like a no brainer to carry such cards.
Tax-free free money is the BEST kind!
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dodecahedron
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by dodecahedron »

VictoriaF wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:52 am On the forth hand, I have just booked another local stay, which is not a mattress run. I have an IHG certificate for one free night, which is expiring in the end of December 2021. And so I booked a night at Willard Intercontinental, https://washington.intercontinental.com/ , located (almost) next to the White House and frequented by movers and shakers.
Cool that you scored a free night at the legendary Willard. My grandmother worked there (hostess in the coffee shop) 100 years ago!

Every time I have looked at redeeming a free night certificate at the Willard, it shows up as not eligible, because stays there typically run over 40,000 points.

But I have still been quite happy with my free nights at nice IHG hotels in Manhattan.
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AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

muffins14 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:43 am
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:24 pm My next thing is an HSA. Never had one but understand the advantages. Will post the details once I get them. There are a lot of different options. I always just used a PPO w flex Spending.

If you truly believe that getting 2% cash back on a credit card will overwhelm your self-control and you will over-spend on items, should you not also be worried that with an HSA you will overspend on healthcare utilization since you have the juicy pre-tax dollar amounts to spend?
I actually am in favor of health care spending. That’s one area where I want to incentivize spending rather than saving. Ending up unexpectedly in the hospital this holiday weekend due to asthma exacerbation however illustrated the risks of HDHPs. I certainly would not want to be on the hook for a high percentage of the costs that the two EMS rides, ER visit, teams of senior doctors, numerous high tech tests, expensive medicines and fancy facilities will cost my current PPO insurer. You will all be - well, many of you will be -glad to learn I have no Covid, cancer, blood clots or thousands of other horrors they tested for.

One’s ability or interest in health expense negotiation go out the window when you can’t breathe.

But the state of the art facilities and expert staff earned a huge vote of thanks from me this Thanksgiving day as I write you from my hospital bed with an oxygen tube in my nose.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by VictoriaF »

dodecahedron wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:47 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:52 am On the forth hand, I have just booked another local stay, which is not a mattress run. I have an IHG certificate for one free night, which is expiring in the end of December 2021. And so I booked a night at Willard Intercontinental, https://washington.intercontinental.com/ , located (almost) next to the White House and frequented by movers and shakers.
Cool that you scored a free night at the legendary Willard. My grandmother worked there (hostess in the coffee shop) 100 years ago!

Every time I have looked at redeeming a free night certificate at the Willard, it shows up as not eligible, because stays there typically run over 40,000 points.

But I have still been quite happy with my free nights at nice IHG hotels in Manhattan.
As of this writing, Willard had point-bookable rooms for less than 40k points for the dates between December 19th and 24th. If you or others have an expiring certificate, it's an option.

Victoria
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dodecahedron
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by dodecahedron »

VictoriaF wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:48 am
dodecahedron wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:47 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:52 am On the forth hand, I have just booked another local stay, which is not a mattress run. I have an IHG certificate for one free night, which is expiring in the end of December 2021. And so I booked a night at Willard Intercontinental, https://washington.intercontinental.com/ , located (almost) next to the White House and frequented by movers and shakers.
Cool that you scored a free night at the legendary Willard. My grandmother worked there (hostess in the coffee shop) 100 years ago!

Every time I have looked at redeeming a free night certificate at the Willard, it shows up as not eligible, because stays there typically run over 40,000 points.

But I have still been quite happy with my free nights at nice IHG hotels in Manhattan.
As of this writing, Willard had point-bookable rooms for less than 40k points for the dates between December 19th and 24th. If you or others have an expiring certificate, it's an option.

Victoria
Those dates don't work for me, so will have to pass. Fortunately my certificate is good through next August. I am sure I will find a worthy use, if not the Willard.
FedGuy
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by FedGuy »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:20 pmEnding up unexpectedly in the hospital this holiday weekend due to asthma exacerbation however illustrated the risks of HDHPs. I certainly would not want to be on the hook for a high percentage of the costs that the two EMS rides, ER visit, teams of senior doctors, numerous high tech tests, expensive medicines and fancy facilities will cost my current PPO insurer.
Don't HDHPs have catestrophic spending limits so you can't (in theory) be charged more than $5,000-$7,000 or so for something like that? That's obviously not a trivial amount of money, but I've heard horror stories of people getting charged $100,000 (after insurance) for an operation, so $5-7k seems like a good deal to me.
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AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

FedGuy wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:13 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:20 pmEnding up unexpectedly in the hospital this holiday weekend due to asthma exacerbation however illustrated the risks of HDHPs. I certainly would not want to be on the hook for a high percentage of the costs that the two EMS rides, ER visit, teams of senior doctors, numerous high tech tests, expensive medicines and fancy facilities will cost my current PPO insurer.
Don't HDHPs have catestrophic spending limits so you can't (in theory) be charged more than $5,000-$7,000 or so for something like that? That's obviously not a trivial amount of money, but I've heard horror stories of people getting charged $100,000 (after insurance) for an operation, so $5-7k seems like a good deal to me.
I honestly don’t know exactly how it works. It’s open enrollment so I’m still in the learning process. I know that in addition to deductibles there is coinsurance with patients paying up to 40 percent. A 5-7k cap makes a ton of sense. Would this be considered catastrophic in an HDHP? It was only an “exacerbation of asthma”. Who knows. In a Covid environment they of course don’t cut corners. And they have to rule out a lot of things, which they did.

But it’s been literally teams of senior docs, chiefs of specialties, attendings, residents, specialists, PAs, nurses, I mean I’d say a total of 50 people were involved over three days and no one was asking me if they could work on this. But I also had peace of mind, perhaps misplaced, that I can cover whatever my portion is. I didn’t go into my CT scan thinking, can I get this cheaper somewhere else? All my focus was on getting better and I did. In case anyone is wondering I see doctors, do preventive wellness and am conscientious.

An otherwise very healthy relative had heart procedures in her 80s that cost $225,000 and her portion after Medicare and supplemental insurance through her former job was around $200. It’s a strange system but when you need it it’s nice that it’s there.
Last edited by AnnetteLouisan on Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SnowBog
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by SnowBog »

Not sure how we veered into HDHP in a cash back thread...

You'll have to look into the details of your plan options, as plans vary drastically from each other.

In my - very limited - experience with my employer plans - the overall coverage, out of pocket max, etc. were similar between HDHPs and non-HDHPs. As I recall, if I had a costly medical issue - there was almost no difference between them.

The primary difference is in a HDHP, you generally pay 100% of costs until meeting your "high deductible" (often with some exceptions like preventative care).

To put this in practical terms, years ago we had fairly steady and reasonably high medical costs for things going on in our family. Before switching to a HDHP, we would have our co-pay amounts due every month - for many months - until we hit our deductible later in the year. When we switched to the HDHP our initial costs early in the year went up significantly (since we paid the full [discounted] amount not just the co-pay), but we'd hit the deductible much earlier and by year end had spent roughly the same amount. In other words, instead of spending say $7k spread out over many months we spent $7k much quicker in the HDHP model.

But again, the devil is in the details, make sure you compare your plan options.
schmitz
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Re: Card

Post by schmitz »

Afty wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:31 pm I think using a 2% cash back card is a nice middle ground. There’s no gaming the various categories or optimizing your points, which might address your concern about encouraging overspending. Also there are no games about point values; cash is straightforward.

Back of the envelope, if your annual spend is $40k including your house, let’s say you put 50% of that on a 2% cash back credit card. That’s $400/yr. So not a huge amount, but not nothing either.

Any recommendations on a simple 2% cash back credit card?

By simple I mean, no annual fees or any fees of any kind, no rotating categories, etc. just straight up 2% on all purchases.
muffins14
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Re: Card

Post by muffins14 »

schmitz wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:01 pm
Afty wrote: Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:31 pm I think using a 2% cash back card is a nice middle ground. There’s no gaming the various categories or optimizing your points, which might address your concern about encouraging overspending. Also there are no games about point values; cash is straightforward.

Back of the envelope, if your annual spend is $40k including your house, let’s say you put 50% of that on a 2% cash back credit card. That’s $400/yr. So not a huge amount, but not nothing either.

Any recommendations on a simple 2% cash back credit card?

By simple I mean, no annual fees or any fees of any kind, no rotating categories, etc. just straight up 2% on all purchases.
Fidelity has one, citi too, and BofA
amitb00
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by amitb00 »

Citi bank double cash
Fidelity visa
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JoeRetire
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Re: Card

Post by JoeRetire »

schmitz wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:01 pm Any recommendations on a simple 2% cash back credit card?
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/cred ... back-cards
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Goodadvice
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Goodadvice »

I’m a 67 year old, financially fine and have long ago retired and more recently given up my little “somethin’ to do” type part time jobs. I have very strong spending discipline (as does my wife). We are glad to use cash back reward credit cards. As a previous poster said, “if you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table”. If you have self control with spending, use the card. Additionally I’ve been getting offers from other card companies giving statement credits or cash back if you open up a credit card account with them. They generally will give you one or two hundred bucks if you charge a thousand or so on their card within a few months. This is pretty easy to do. Once you no longer need that card, you can cancel it and no suffer a penalty. Cards that are attached to a hotel or airline program are frequently most lucrative. A flight or a hotel booking isn’t looked at as income. I believe “statement credits” are looked at the same way. If you take a “cash back” offer, you will generally receive a 1099.
You won’t get rich doing this, but it’s like getting little part time jobs…..without going to work. Also, stagger them between husband and wife. When you cancel one after taking advantage of the “offer”, you’re not eligible to get a similar offer again for 18 months or longer. That’s when the spouse jumps in and gets another airline or hotel linked credit card.
I’m far more wary of the programs that require you to transfer “new money” to one of their accounts.
NYCaviator
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by NYCaviator »

I'll offer a different viewpoint than many folks here.

There are countless websites touting the benefits of points, miles, and cash back cards. They have flashy photos of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and champagne in international first class, etc. 99.9% of those sites are paid referral fees for pushing those cards, so of course they act like its so easy to live like a jet setter by clicking on their affiliate link. It is probably one of the sneakiest forms of advertising.

The truth is that unless you spend a TON of money on your cards, the only real value comes form the sign up bonus. And even then, points have become so devalued that you're going to have to spend a lot of time searching for a good deal and you'll maybe get one way in first class. Only you can decide if its worth it to churn cards.
smitcat
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by smitcat »

NYCaviator wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:01 pm I'll offer a different viewpoint than many folks here.

There are countless websites touting the benefits of points, miles, and cash back cards. They have flashy photos of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and champagne in international first class, etc. 99.9% of those sites are paid referral fees for pushing those cards, so of course they act like its so easy to live like a jet setter by clicking on their affiliate link. It is probably one of the sneakiest forms of advertising.

The truth is that unless you spend a TON of money on your cards, the only real value comes form the sign up bonus. And even then, points have become so devalued that you're going to have to spend a lot of time searching for a good deal and you'll maybe get one way in first class. Only you can decide if its worth it to churn cards.
"And even then, points have become so devalued that you're going to have to spend a lot of time searching for a good deal and you'll maybe get one way in first class."

FWIW - we will use points for hotel rooms in Orlando next week, a few weeks ago we used points for hotel rooms in Aruba.
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anon_investor
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by anon_investor »

NYCaviator wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:01 pm I'll offer a different viewpoint than many folks here.

There are countless websites touting the benefits of points, miles, and cash back cards. They have flashy photos of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and champagne in international first class, etc. 99.9% of those sites are paid referral fees for pushing those cards, so of course they act like its so easy to live like a jet setter by clicking on their affiliate link. It is probably one of the sneakiest forms of advertising.

The truth is that unless you spend a TON of money on your cards, the only real value comes form the sign up bonus. And even then, points have become so devalued that you're going to have to spend a lot of time searching for a good deal and you'll maybe get one way in first class. Only you can decide if its worth it to churn cards.
Cash back basically gives you a % rebate on all your purchases. It gives you money that would otherwise not be there and can cost you $0.
Vanguard User
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Vanguard User »

I use Citi 2% CB on everything.
Amex Preferred: 6% CB groceries and 3% gas, $95 annual fee.

Is there something better?
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anon_investor
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by anon_investor »

Vanguard User wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:16 pm I use Citi 2% CB on everything.
Amex Preferred: 6% CB groceries and 3% gas, $95 annual fee.

Is there something better?
If you have $100k of ETFs to park at Merrill Edge you can get a 75% boost to Bank of America CCs. I did this and get 2.62%/3.5%/5.25% cash back depending on categories. You can do this with 2 no annual fee Bank of America credit cards.
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Michael Patrick
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Michael Patrick »

I have a Visa card through my credit union that offers 2% on everything. I use that as my main card. I have a Chase Visa card and a Discover card that have the rotating 5% quarterly categories. If a purchase I want to make is in one of the categories, I'll use that card.

I don't let the cash back drive purchases. I decide I want to buy something, and then figure out which way to pay is the most advantageous.
Dave55
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Dave55 »

Annette having used airline, hotel and retail credit cards for the past 30 some odd years, I never once bought anything on any of the cards to gain points.

Dave
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anon_investor
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by anon_investor »

Michael Patrick wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:26 pm I don't let the cash back drive purchases. I decide I want to buy something, and then figure out which way to pay is the most advantageous.
^^^THIS!!!
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AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

At the risk of oversimplifying the synthesis of these very thoughtful comments, the bottom line here seems to be a macro concept:

Like almost everything else in life, whether food, work, leisure, entertainment or money, if you can handle it, it’s a good thing, if you can’t, it’s not.

And each of us has to figure out which group we fall into.

For anyone interested I found some credit card documentaries last night. I am not endorsing them, just letting you know in case of interest - all free on YouTube. They seem mostly to be about difficulties managing credit and all are more than a few years old.

1. In debt we trust
2. Spent: looking for change
3. The overspent American
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Cubicle
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Cubicle »

I'm spending that money anyways. My biggest headache now is at the register I have to take 5 seconds to think what card will give me the biggest cash back. I carry 5 cards, was only 3 cards 3 months ago, & this old brain is not what it used to be.

I never knew of people who would spend just because they can get cash back.
"Oh look another bajillion point declin-Ooooh!!! A coupon for pizza!!!!" <--- This is what everyone's IPS should be. ✓✓✓
Da5id
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Da5id »

Cubicle wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:07 am I'm spending that money anyways. My biggest headache now is at the register I have to take 5 seconds to think what card will give me the biggest cash back. I carry 5 cards, was only 3 cards 3 months ago, & this old brain is not what it used to be.

I never knew of people who would spend just because they can get cash back.
I keep a cheat sheet in my wallet so I remember what the quarterly category is and which card to use for what. I don't usually need to consult it, but nice to have if I'm in doubt.

As to not spending more, maybe. Certainly studies show the average person spends more with credit cards than cash for a few reasons.

I believe I at one point spent Amazon credit gotten buying gift cards for 5% back differently than other money. E.g. I was not inclined to shop around due to the credit balance. I decided to stop buying gift cards partly because of that, but I've also been cutting down on Amazon spending anyway.
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AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

I never knew of people who would react to the idea of magical tax free significant percentages of money in any other way than as a bull with a red flag being waved would do. Hard to imagine anything I need less when shopping. I think I’m in the camp of I need to stick to my knitting and not do something I’d have to change my personality to benefit from. Considering what I just went through for a few I bonds… :oops:

Sorry for the tortured sentence construction there.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by ResearchMed »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:25 am I never knew of people who would react to the idea of magical tax free significant percentages of money in any other way than as a bull with a red flag being waved would do. Hard to imagine anything I need less when shopping. I think I’m in the camp of I need to stick to my knitting and not do something I’d have to change my personality to benefit from.

Sorry for the tortured sentence construction there.
My goodness.
Nothing "magical" about it.

And not everyone thinks the way you do... or apparently feels the way you do about charge cards or awards/rebates.
I mean, you state you do use an Amex card.
But you don't use the Membership Rewards, apparently not even to reduce the payments due each month.
Some here think it's hard to imagine anything less <whatever> than that.

And by all means, don't change your personality because *others* do use charge cards and also keep and use the rewards/rebates/etc.

:confused

Don't keep criticizing others for their choices, and chances are others won't keep responding back in kind.
If ever there was an "agree to disagree" topic, this must be right up there, and in so many previous threads as well.

Indeed, as you wrote earlier this morning,
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:46 am Like almost everything else in life, whether food, work, leisure, entertainment or money, if you can handle it, it’s a good thing, if you can’t, it’s not.

And each of us has to figure out which group we fall into.
Why not leave it at that?


On a different topic, I hope you are recovering well! :happy

RM
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

I’m not at all criticizing others for their choices. Im sorry it came off that way. I’m recognizing that these programs take skills (and maybe a certain background or mindset) to use and I don’t have them. I avoid membership rewards on Amex and many other things as well in life so I won’t be tempted. Know yourself is the first commandment. And my favorite line, most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. Tacitus I think. Or Seneca.
Last edited by AnnetteLouisan on Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:58 am, edited 6 times in total.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by JoeRetire »

NYCaviator wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:01 pm The truth is that unless you spend a TON of money on your cards, the only real value comes form the sign up bonus.
Cash back has real value.
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by anon_investor »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:51 am I’m not at all criticizing others for their choices. I’m recognizing that these programs take skills to use and I don’t have them.
You're a lawyer, I am too. I make sure to understand the rules for my credit card rewards and cash back so I can utilize the best strategy (for me). No different than what you do as a lawyer. There are things I can do to maximize cash back that I forgo because of the extra hassle, but I don't leave the easy money on the table. But what one considers a "too much of a hassle" varies from person to person, so YMMV.
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by PalmQueen »

Hi -
I was late getting on the cash-back credit card wagon, but now that I have a couple I always use them rather than cards that earn points or nothing.

It's really your call which ones work for you, but the one piece of advice I would offer is to have at least 2 cards and have them from different issuers. So in addition to an AMEX card, I'd also have a card from VISA or MasterCard. That way if fraud is flagged on one of your cards you'll have a backup to use until your replacement card arrives.

I'm sorry you're in the hospital and hope your recovery is full and fast.
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Da5id »

NYCaviator wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:01 pm The truth is that unless you spend a TON of money on your cards, the only real value comes form the sign up bonus.
I probably net about $500 from my cards just in cash back (Costco, Citi Double, Amex for groceries), more last year from CSR pay yourself back. That isn't enough to change my life. But for some people that tax free money does make a difference. Maybe it is the holiday shopping for a year, or pays for a car repair. So not real value to you, but perhaps to others it is.

I agree sign up bonuses are bigger bang for the buck, but that game isn't for everyone with the minimum spends and such.
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by Vanguard User »

anon_investor wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:22 pm
Vanguard User wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:16 pm I use Citi 2% CB on everything.
Amex Preferred: 6% CB groceries and 3% gas, $95 annual fee.

Is there something better?
If you have $100k of ETFs to park at Merrill Edge you can get a 75% boost to Bank of America CCs. I did this and get 2.62%/3.5%/5.25% cash back depending on categories. You can do this with 2 no annual fee Bank of America credit cards.
I have MF’s only.
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

PalmQueen wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:02 pm Hi -
I was late getting on the cash-back credit card wagon, but now that I have a couple I always use them rather than cards that earn points or nothing.

It's really your call which ones work for you, but the one piece of advice I would offer is to have at least 2 cards and have them from different issuers. So in addition to an AMEX card, I'd also have a card from VISA or MasterCard. That way if fraud is flagged on one of your cards you'll have a backup to use until your replacement card arrives.

I'm sorry you're in the hospital and hope your recovery is full and fast.
Thanks! Just got back home. It was just asthma, but due to the times we are living in they had to be 1,000 percent sure it wasn’t something else. And it wasn’t! Can’t say enough about the state of the art medical care, testing, machines, medicines and medical professionals.

I have visa and master card bank debit cards with an optional charge feature in addition to the Amex.
So now I feel like doing some binge shopping! Lol no.. still no…
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Re: Cash Back and Rewards Cards - Just Say No?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread has run its course and is locked (no progress in the discussion, rehashing old topics, no added value to continue). See: Locked Topics
Moderators or site admins may lock a topic (set it so no more replies may be added) when a violation of posting policy has occurred. Occasionally, even if there are no overt violations of posting policy, a topic (or thread) will reach a point where the information content of the discussion has been essentially exhausted and further replies are much more likely to cause distress to the community than add anything of value.
A relevant thread: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
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