What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by Moondawg »

EnjoyIt wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:31 am
Moondawg wrote: Sun Jan 15, 2023 6:56 pm Our rewards strategy feels pretty lackluster now that I'm looking at it... not even sure if it is still a strategy.

- Amex Gold - Almost all of our spend goes here, with wife as an authorized user (200k points)
- Chase Amazon Prime Rewards - All Amazon/Whole Foods purchases go here (usually redeem these for cash back, no points now)
- Apple Card - Some spend here, but not much and only out of convenience/necessity (cash back has been nice, but meh)
- Gemini Card - Used to use this similar to Amex with all spend here to get bitcoin, but no more spend goes here (~$500 in BTC)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred - No spend here (84k points)
- Chase Marriott Bonvoy - No spend here (137k points, don't use any of the other benefits)
- Chase Hyatt - No spend here (132k points, don't use any of the other benefits)
- Capital One Venture - No spend here (17k points)

I'm not exactly sure how we landed here, but after random churn experiments and strategic applications for cards based on our spend, I think we're mostly thinking we'd use our points for some insanely aspirational trip when we retire in 20+ years.

Unless there's some sensible cards to churn next, we will probably just keep majority of our spend on amex gold. Dumb?
The bold above is mine.
I'm sorry but that is a poor idea. These points get devalued relatively quickly. My advice, use them within the next year or two.

One of my professors who traveled a bit for speaking gigs plus vacations accumulated hundreds of thousands of airline points during his career. Like you he planned to use them for some great post retirement trips. Over the last few years of his career the airline industry devalued and devalued those points. Before the devalue he could have gotten multiple Business class trips overseas, today those points are worth 1 business class overseas trip.

Don't waste your points. Use them in 2023/2024.
Yeah, little research after seeing your post above proves this out. Especially since Bonvoy and Hyatt points are forfeited for "inactivity" on your account.

Looks like we'll be planning a trip and closing the Bonvoy card this year, but will likely find ways to keep that Hyatt card (WAY better value right now than Bonvoy). Thanks for straightening me out!
Leesbro63
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Leesbro63 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:52 pm
Leesbro63 wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:36 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:12 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 2:40 pm
:sharebeer Although, we both got rejected. No dice :oops:
Let me guess, your credit is too good? :shock: :D

It’s a story I have heard many times. So I have never felt the need to risk my “no declines” streak by apply for a C1 card.
I'm one of those. Citi turned me down with an 827 credit score. The reason was that I didn't utilize enough of my credit (which is true).
Do you have a strategy to get approved?
My wife (800+ like you) is planning on closing accounts. Reducing outstanding credit availability. Is this really the right path? What’s the magic to get this card ;)
It’s not that important to me. Citi can go pound salt.
vas
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by vas »

Planning some vacation travel this Spring / Summer and expecting to have $25K to $30K in associated costs. I've been using a cash back card for years but this seems like a good opportunity to switch to a travel rewards approach. I'm considering applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture cards. These have a 60,000 and 75,000 point bonus plus 2x miles on purchases. Does that seem like a reasonable approach? Are there other cards I should consider given the plans spend? Not sure if it makes sense to apply for more than two cards.
“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong.” - H. L. Mencken
lakpr
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by lakpr »

vas wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 10:06 am Planning some vacation travel this Spring / Summer and expecting to have $25K to $30K in associated costs. I've been using a cash back card for years but this seems like a good opportunity to switch to a travel rewards approach. I'm considering applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture cards. These have a 60,000 and 75,000 point bonus plus 2x miles on purchases. Does that seem like a reasonable approach? Are there other cards I should consider given the plans spend? Not sure if it makes sense to apply for more than two cards.
If the total costs are going to be $25k to $30k, I feel you will be a lot better served with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, than Preferred. It has higher annual fee, but it also has higher rewards (as in 3x points vs. 2x points with Preferred), as well as $300 reimbursement in travel related expenses per year. So the effective annual fee comes to be only $250 per year (an increase in cost over Sapphire Preferred by only $155), and you have the ability to utilize the points earned at 1.5 cents per point when you book travel through Chase Portal. If you can swing the $4000 purchase prior to booking the travel (and Chase is pretty prompt in crediting the rewards points), you can utilize those points towards that travel. Pay taxes to IRS for that $4000 as soon as you are approved, if you can't think of anything!! You will get that $4000 back from the IRS after you file your taxes -- April 15th, which is probably earlier than your travel dates -- unless you file for extension of course. Then again, if you are planning to drop $25k on travel, meeting the $4k minimum spend in organic spend, in a hurry, should not be an issue at all.

Edited to add: forgot about the free Global Entry or TSA Pre-check, which is easily worth another $100
thejerseyrock
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by thejerseyrock »

Ive read a lot of this thread (not all, obviously) and I have a question...

The feedback from this thread makes it pretty clear what are the best personal card strategies. And thank you..ive already made a couple moves there.

But one thing I didn't see discussed as much is the right strategy for an entrepreneur business owner.

What are the best cards, and what is the best credit card reward strategy for a small business owner with high expenses? almost no travel. I work from home.

For example, at one point I was spending thousands per month (variable) on Facebook ads, and to this day have thousands in (fixed) monthly expenses in web hosting, web design, email marketing services, etc.

feedback on the best card for this kind of situation?

thank you
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Ketawa
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Ketawa »

thejerseyrock wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:20 pm Ive read a lot of this thread (not all, obviously) and I have a question...

The feedback from this thread makes it pretty clear what are the best personal card strategies. And thank you..ive already made a couple moves there.

But one thing I didn't see discussed as much is the right strategy for an entrepreneur business owner.

What are the best cards, and what is the best credit card reward strategy for a small business owner with high expenses? almost no travel. I work from home.

For example, at one point I was spending thousands per month (variable) on Facebook ads, and to this day have thousands in (fixed) monthly expenses in web hosting, web design, email marketing services, etc.

feedback on the best card for this kind of situation?

thank you
Probably best to check out r/churning or the current list of best credit card bonuses on Doctor Of Credit.
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dual
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by dual »

feedback on the best card for this kind of situation?
I have a card from Bank of America called “unlimited, cash rewards”. As the name implies, There’s no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn. But it’s my personal card. Issued to my Social Security number.

Do you want a personal card or a card for your business?
thejerseyrock
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by thejerseyrock »

yes, great card, already have bofa cash awards.,.. im now thinking about best strategies for business
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

lakpr wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 11:34 am... and you have the ability to utilize the points earned at 1.5 cents per point when you book travel through Chase Portal. ...
We have a Sapphire Preferred account and, while I was traveling for business, I made good use of a Reserve account. We've found some good deals on the Chase travel site but those were good deals in their own right, not because we got a 1.25 or 1.5 multiple on UR points.

We've recently found it more more valuable to transfer points to a Chase travel partner at a 1:1 rate than to book the same reservation through Chase at 1.25 or 1.5. A Hyatt Place room that goes for $450 on Expedia (Chase) costs only 15,000 points ($150) if booked on the Hyatt site using their points.

It behooves you to open an account with the hotel or airline you're considering booking, to see if it's cheaper to use their points, or to book through Chase. You need a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred account, at a minimum, to be able to transfer UR points.
iykyk
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by iykyk »

I leverage Capital One's Venture X. The value has been stellar.
EnjoyIt
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Ketawa wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:25 pm
thejerseyrock wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 10:20 pm Ive read a lot of this thread (not all, obviously) and I have a question...

The feedback from this thread makes it pretty clear what are the best personal card strategies. And thank you..ive already made a couple moves there.

But one thing I didn't see discussed as much is the right strategy for an entrepreneur business owner.

What are the best cards, and what is the best credit card reward strategy for a small business owner with high expenses? almost no travel. I work from home.

For example, at one point I was spending thousands per month (variable) on Facebook ads, and to this day have thousands in (fixed) monthly expenses in web hosting, web design, email marketing services, etc.

feedback on the best card for this kind of situation?

thank you
Probably best to check out r/churning or the current list of best credit card bonuses on Doctor Of Credit.
Chase has an ink cash card that pays 5 points per $1 on internet services and shipping services.

There is a yearly $25k limit but you can have more than 1 card by downgrading. What I would do is get it, and pair it with the chase saphire reserve so that each point is worth 1.5 cents effectively giving g you 7.5% cash back for travel.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | viewtopic.php?p=1139732#p1139732
jco
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by jco »

iykyk wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:43 am I leverage Capital One's Venture X. The value has been stellar.
How are you effectively using the value? I haven't found a great way to get more than 1cpp on purchases. There's one Wyndham hotel that would give us approximately 2cpp that we could use for a weekend trip locally. I haven't looked much into international flights though. The card is still a decent value, regardless, but I'm not sure I want to make it my everyday card unless I can find a better use for the miles.

For those who don't know, the card earns 2x miles for every dollar spend and is basically a $0 Annual Fee card if you book one trip per year ($400 Annual Fee, $300 travel credit, 10,000 annual point bonus (=$100 worth of travel), $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit every four years, Priority Pass and Capital One Lounge Access, primary rental car insurance, etc.
BashDash
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BashDash »

Is there anyway I am missing to accrue Hyatt points...wife and I both already have Chase Reserve bonus.....need another 150k points for a hotel stay this summer.....would like to book soon....think I missed the boat already....only way I see is the Hyatt Credit Card that gets a quick 30k but need another 15k in spend to get 30k more points.....

Am I missing a strategy ? Thanks!
ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

BashDash wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:13 am Is there anyway I am missing to accrue Hyatt points...wife and I both already have Chase Reserve bonus.....need another 150k points for a hotel stay this summer.....would like to book soon....think I missed the boat already....only way I see is the Hyatt Credit Card that gets a quick 30k but need another 15k in spend to get 30k more points.....

Am I missing a strategy ? Thanks!
If you can claim having a business, get the Chase Ink Cash and/or Chase Ink Unlimited for 90k points each w/ $3k spend, and pool those points with your CSR to transfer to Hyatt.
BashDash
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BashDash »

Don't think I can really claim a business other than selling small items on ebay which I don't think would count?
ZinCO
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ZinCO »

BashDash wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:19 am Don't think I can really claim a business other than selling small items on ebay which I don't think would count?
It would as long as you apply as a Sole Proprietor using your SSN, and are honest about your revenues (even if forward-looking, and people have been approved with revenue of $0 before).
BashDash
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BashDash »

interesting. thanks for the info.
spammagnet
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by spammagnet »

ZinCO wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:15 amIf you can claim having a business, get the Chase Ink Cash and/or Chase Ink Unlimited for 90k points each w/ $3k spend, and pool those points with your CSR to transfer to Hyatt.
That's exactly what I did at the end of last year to get 90K points, and what we're using the points for. DW has a CSP, which we keep solely for the purpose of being able to transfer UR points to Chase travel partners.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by abuss368 »

2% cash back deposited every month to checking account.

One simple credit card.

One simple checking account.

Time for other things in life.

Best.
Tony
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
FizzyWomack
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by FizzyWomack »

We focus on cash back…and not paying annual fees!

Ducks Unlimited Credit Card: Gives 5% back on gas*

Citi Custom Cash #1: 5% back on restaurants

Citi Custom Cash #2: 5% back on grocery**

Fidelity: 2% back on anything else outside of those categories! I try and put all cash back from all cards to Fidelity

*I think the DU took away the 5% back for new applicants to the card
**My wife is the authorized user on CCC #1 and I am the AU on hers. The card gives 5% back on your highest spend category each month so we just use the right card depending on if we are eating out or shopping for.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

ZinCO wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:23 am
BashDash wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:19 am Don't think I can really claim a business other than selling small items on ebay which I don't think would count?
It would as long as you apply as a Sole Proprietor using your SSN, and are honest about your revenues (even if forward-looking, and people have been approved with revenue of $0 before).
How do you go about doing this? Need a BH guide lol
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
arsenal_fan
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by arsenal_fan »

abuss368 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm 2% cash back deposited every month to checking account.

One simple credit card.

One simple checking account.

Time for other things in life.

Best.
Tony
Clicking on that unsubscribe button will save you time from replying as well as being bothered by notifications.
wineandplaya
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Da5id
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Da5id »

abuss368 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm 2% cash back deposited every month to checking account.

One simple credit card.

One simple checking account.

Time for other things in life.
I don't find playing with credit cards burdensome, though I get wanting simplicity. But when travelling in particular, and for life in general, having a second credit card seems really valuable. In case one is lost/denied/compromised/etc. So I'm not convinced that one credit card is a great solution for most people even if they don't want to play the rewards game.
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guitarguy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy »

Moondawg wrote: Mon Jan 16, 2023 5:57 pm since Bonvoy and Hyatt points are forfeited for "inactivity" on your account.
We had a big trip to Manhattan for our anniversary booked for May 2020, staying in the Park Hyatt on points. We all know what happened to that trip. :annoyed

Since then we've had another baby, and have a monster pile of Hyatt points just wasting away as we travel only to Nana's house now and nowhere near a luxury hotel.

But - you can purchase a small amount of points (I think a while back we purchased something like 1000 points for $20) to avoid forfeiting them. Kinda stinks to have to do that...but in a pinch it's a useful solution to hold onto any points that would otherwise expire.
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guitarguy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy »

BashDash wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:19 am Don't think I can really claim a business other than selling small items on ebay which I don't think would count?
Oh it counts. A friend of mine inherited $500k+ worth of collectible hummel figurine things from his grandmother. They are quite small. :mrgreen:

He quit his job (admittedly he didn't have a super successful career) and turned that into a full time business selling them on ebay.

Your biz may be smaller in scale, but it doesn't mean it's not legit. Get a TIN and go for it.

Just be honest about revenue and expectations...if you're selling a handful of old baby items...well that may not be feasible to call a business.
michaeljc70
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

It seems a lot of reward strategies are focused on travel and fuel. If you only take a couple of vacations a year and only drive 4k miles a year like I do I don't think it is worth bothering to maximize those categories. I spent $700 on fuel in the last year so 5% vs. 2% is a difference of $21.

I tend to use the Citi Double Cash and then maximize set it and forget it quarterly categories. For example, I know in the 4th quarter Discover has 5% cashback at Amazon so I set my Discover card as the default for my Amazon account 10/1 and don't have to do anything until I switch it back to the 2% card 1/1. Same with the Apple/Samsung Pay 5% category. I set that as the default card on my phone for that quarter.
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guitarguy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by guitarguy »

Da5id wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:00 am
abuss368 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm 2% cash back deposited every month to checking account.

One simple credit card.

One simple checking account.

Time for other things in life.
I don't find playing with credit cards burdensome, though I get wanting simplicity. But when travelling in particular, and for life in general, having a second credit card seems really valuable. In case one is lost/denied/compromised/etc. So I'm not convinced that one credit card is a great solution for most people even if they don't want to play the rewards game.
Agreed 100%. In addition to travel and of course when we're not bonus chasing...we have one for gas, one for groceries, one for Amazon (online only...zero effort), and one for everything else. It may be slightly more complex than 1 card...but it's super easy to navigate.

We don't do any of the quarterly category cards...I find those annoying personally.
tashnewbie
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tashnewbie »

wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
How did you put $60k on the 0% card? Did you do a balance transfer from another card, manufactured spend, something else?
boston10
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by boston10 »

michaeljc70 wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:38 am It seems a lot of reward strategies are focused on travel and fuel. If you only take a couple of vacations a year and only drive 4k miles a year like I do I don't think it is worth bothering to maximize those categories. I spent $700 on fuel in the last year so 5% vs. 2% is a difference of $21.

I tend to use the Citi Double Cash and then maximize set it and forget it quarterly categories. For example, I know in the 4th quarter Discover has 5% cashback at Amazon so I set my Discover card as the default for my Amazon account 10/1 and don't have to do anything until I switch it back to the 2% card 1/1. Same with the Apple/Samsung Pay 5% category. I set that as the default card on my phone for that quarter.
It's more accurate to say that a lot of credit card companies' reward strategies are centered around travel. So you see tons of travel-related credit card marketing. The reason is that it attracts high income earners that aren't credit card rewards hypermilers like most of us.

The tricky thing is coming up with a strategy that maximizes rewards on everyday spend. My target is 5% rewards on all spending, with a minimum of 2.625%, and strategic use of sign-up bonuses.
Nyc10036
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Nyc10036 »

Da5id wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:00 am
abuss368 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm 2% cash back deposited every month to checking account.

One simple credit card.

One simple checking account.

Time for other things in life.
I don't find playing with credit cards burdensome, though I get wanting simplicity. But when travelling in particular, and for life in general, having a second credit card seems really valuable. In case one is lost/denied/compromised/etc. So I'm not convinced that one credit card is a great solution for most people even if they don't want to play the rewards game.
Definitely at the minimum two 2% credit card.
Fidelity Reward Visa and Citi Double Cash

.
Mudpuppy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Mudpuppy »

Da5id wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 8:00 am
abuss368 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm 2% cash back deposited every month to checking account.

One simple credit card.

One simple checking account.

Time for other things in life.
I don't find playing with credit cards burdensome, though I get wanting simplicity. But when travelling in particular, and for life in general, having a second credit card seems really valuable. In case one is lost/denied/compromised/etc. So I'm not convinced that one credit card is a great solution for most people even if they don't want to play the rewards game.
I always have multiple cards with multiple networks. Many many years ago, I was at a guest at a professional dinner where the host was told they didn't accept that particular credit card network (I forget if it was Discover or AmEx) and the host did not have another card on hand. The host had to ask one of the guests to pay for everyone and then reimburse the paying guest later. That was embarrassing to watch. I can only imagine what it would be like to experience.
fuddbogle
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by fuddbogle »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:10 pm
ZinCO wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:23 am
BashDash wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:19 am Don't think I can really claim a business other than selling small items on ebay which I don't think would count?
It would as long as you apply as a Sole Proprietor using your SSN, and are honest about your revenues (even if forward-looking, and people have been approved with revenue of $0 before).
How do you go about doing this? Need a BH guide lol
I"m not the biggest TPG fan but:

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/guide-to ... dit-cards/

I have (and had) quite a few "Biz" cards. I usually put "projected" income for my business. Unfortunately, I've never met projections. :D
wineandplaya
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

tashnewbie wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:13 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
How did you put $60k on the 0% card? Did you do a balance transfer from another card, manufactured spend, something else?
$60k is over 3 cards. About half of it was balance transfer from two Chase Freedom cards (for myself and spouse) where the 0 % period was coming to an end. I figured that paying a 3 % fee for 18 months interest free period was a good deal. The other half has been mostly paying estimated taxes either with a newly opened 0 % apr card or paying taxes with a 2 % card, then balance transfer.

Lately, Bank of America has been sending me 0 % balance transfer checks for an existing card with them which has a $20k credit limit. So I'll probably do that next. That's pretty easy money and won't even result in any credit pull. Maxing out credit cards does result in our credit scores cratering.
CletusCaddy
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by CletusCaddy »

wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:09 pm
tashnewbie wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 10:13 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
How did you put $60k on the 0% card? Did you do a balance transfer from another card, manufactured spend, something else?
$60k is over 3 cards. About half of it was balance transfer from two Chase Freedom cards (for myself and spouse) where the 0 % period was coming to an end. I figured that paying a 3 % fee for 18 months interest free period was a good deal. The other half has been mostly paying estimated taxes either with a newly opened 0 % apr card or paying taxes with a 2 % card, then balance transfer.

Lately, Bank of America has been sending me 0 % balance transfer checks for an existing card with them which has a $20k credit limit. So I'll probably do that next. That's pretty easy money and won't even result in any credit pull. Maxing out credit cards does result in our credit scores cratering.
No credit pull but using that credit limit to any significant degree will tank your credit, which is even worse.
michaeljc70
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I got a Discover 0% APR offer for 9 months. My limit is only $8800 though. I've had the card 25+ years. Had a good income when working and excellent credit (retired now). Almost all my cards have fairly low limits. It seems (at least in my case) it isn't like the old days where they kept automatically giving more and more credit. My Citi cards have a $15k and $8k limit. Chase and Amex have a $10k limit. Those are the only cards I have. Credit score on Credit Karma = 820. Might request a credit line increase from Discover.

Edit: What a joke. I did request an increase and they upped it $500.
FireToBiz
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2022 9:09 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by FireToBiz »

wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
wineandplaya
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:56 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
My spouse and I each had visa cards with the local credit union. They had a permanent 0 % APR for 18mo balance transfer offer which we both exploited. That's actually closer to 20mo if you also include the interest free period of the card we did the balance transfer from. The third card is a Citi Custom Cash with 15mo intro period.

With I bonds having a 9.61 % rate last year, I figured this scheme would net me around $5k, with no real risks. And if inflation stays high I can keep the I bonds longer, e.g. use them as my emergency fund since the lockup period is over then. The dip in the credit score doesn't matter for us.
Nyc10036
Posts: 1569
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Nyc10036 »

wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:44 am
FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:56 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
My spouse and I each had visa cards with the local credit union. They had a permanent 0 % APR for 18mo balance transfer offer which we both exploited. That's actually closer to 20mo if you also include the interest free period of the card we did the balance transfer from. The third card is a Citi Custom Cash with 15mo intro period.

With I bonds having a 9.61 % rate last year, I figured this scheme would net me around $5k, with no real risks. And if inflation stays high I can keep the I bonds longer, e.g. use them as my emergency fund since the lockup period is over then. The dip in the credit score doesn't matter for us.
I am still not quite understanding this method.
How are you getting all the $60K upfront from the credit union VISA card to go buy the I-bonds with?
tashnewbie
Posts: 3412
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:44 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by tashnewbie »

Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:31 am
wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:44 am
FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:56 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
My spouse and I each had visa cards with the local credit union. They had a permanent 0 % APR for 18mo balance transfer offer which we both exploited. That's actually closer to 20mo if you also include the interest free period of the card we did the balance transfer from. The third card is a Citi Custom Cash with 15mo intro period.

With I bonds having a 9.61 % rate last year, I figured this scheme would net me around $5k, with no real risks. And if inflation stays high I can keep the I bonds longer, e.g. use them as my emergency fund since the lockup period is over then. The dip in the credit score doesn't matter for us.
I am still not quite understanding this method.
How are you getting all the $60K upfront from the credit union VISA card to go buy the I-bonds with?
I'm wondering the same thing.

@wineandplaya - did you make estimated tax payments with these 0% APR cards (or transfer the balance to one of them), get a refund from the IRS, and then use that money to buy I bonds or other fixed income?

I think I've heard of someone else on the forum (@whodidntante, maybe?) using a low interest rate HELOC to get cash to invest in fixed income that has a guaranteed return that exceeds the HELOC rate.
wineandplaya
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:31 am
wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:44 am
FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:56 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
My spouse and I each had visa cards with the local credit union. They had a permanent 0 % APR for 18mo balance transfer offer which we both exploited. That's actually closer to 20mo if you also include the interest free period of the card we did the balance transfer from. The third card is a Citi Custom Cash with 15mo intro period.

With I bonds having a 9.61 % rate last year, I figured this scheme would net me around $5k, with no real risks. And if inflation stays high I can keep the I bonds longer, e.g. use them as my emergency fund since the lockup period is over then. The dip in the credit score doesn't matter for us.
I am still not quite understanding this method.
How are you getting all the $60K upfront from the credit union VISA card to go buy the I-bonds with?
The purchases were spread out over 3-4 months. I'm self-employed and have to pay about $12k in federal taxes every quarter. I usually pay those with a 2 % cashback card. The fee for paying federal taxes with CC is less than 2 % and you get almost two months interest free (I have adjusted the due date of my CC to start a new cycle around the 15th each month). Those balances, and all other revolving CC balances, can easily be transferred to a 0 % APR if there if an offer comes my way. You can avoid the balance transfer fee if you open up a new card, and get a signup bonus at the same time. So that's preferable. The credit limit for a new card might not be so high however and I've opened too many new cards lately anyway.

If you're not self-employed, but say (1) you have an existing 2 % card with $25,000 credit line and (2) you have or expect a 15+ mo 0 % APR balance transfer offer on a different credit card, also with at least $25,000 credit, you can do as follows:

1. Go to the IRS website, https://www.irs.gov/payments/pay-your-t ... redit-card, and pick an official payment processor. Credit card fees start at 1.85 % currently.

2. Pay $25,000 for a filing extension (4868) using your 2 % card. Ideally, you'd do it in the very beginning of a payment cycle.

3. File your taxes, opt for $5k in I bonds with your taxes.

4. When the tax return arrives, buy another 2 x $10k in I bonds

5. Before the credit card payment comes due, transfer the $25k credit card balance to your 0 % APR card. Take into account that the transfer can take a few days. Make sure you understand how 0 % APR offers work - you'll likely incur interest for any new purchases on the card so don't use for any new purchases. Make sure you make minimum payments on the card.

YMMV of coarse. It's easy to mess up any of the steps above and you'll be hit by interest or worse. It's also quite a bit of work if you haven't done it before. Dealing with Treasurydirect is a pain. It might also not be as lucrative anymore since the 9.61 % I bonds rate is gone now. I did it for the cash, but also because I might want to keep the I bonds longer (for a house downpayment a few years from now). I also derive certain pleasure from taking money from banks that are trying to lure people into credit card debt:)
Nyc10036
Posts: 1569
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Nyc10036 »

wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:13 am
Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:31 am
wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:44 am
FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:56 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
My spouse and I each had visa cards with the local credit union. They had a permanent 0 % APR for 18mo balance transfer offer which we both exploited. That's actually closer to 20mo if you also include the interest free period of the card we did the balance transfer from. The third card is a Citi Custom Cash with 15mo intro period.

With I bonds having a 9.61 % rate last year, I figured this scheme would net me around $5k, with no real risks. And if inflation stays high I can keep the I bonds longer, e.g. use them as my emergency fund since the lockup period is over then. The dip in the credit score doesn't matter for us.
I am still not quite understanding this method.
How are you getting all the $60K upfront from the credit union VISA card to go buy the I-bonds with?
The purchases were spread out over 3-4 months. I'm self-employed and have to pay about $12k in federal taxes every quarter. I usually pay those with a 2 % cashback card. The fee for paying federal taxes with CC is less than 2 % and you get almost two months interest free (I have adjusted the due date of my CC to start a new cycle around the 15th each month). Those balances, and all other revolving CC balances, can easily be transferred to a 0 % APR if there if an offer comes my way. You can avoid the balance transfer fee if you open up a new card, and get a signup bonus at the same time. So that's preferable. The credit limit for a new card might not be so high however and I've opened too many new cards lately anyway.

If you're not self-employed, but say (1) you have an existing 2 % card with $25,000 credit line and (2) you have or expect a 15+ mo 0 % APR balance transfer offer on a different credit card, also with at least $25,000 credit, you can do as follows:

1. Go to the IRS website, https://www.irs.gov/payments/pay-your-t ... redit-card, and pick an official payment processor. Credit card fees start at 1.85 % currently.

2. Pay $25,000 for a filing extension (4868) using your 2 % card. Ideally, you'd do it in the very beginning of a payment cycle.

3. File your taxes, opt for $5k in I bonds with your taxes.

4. When the tax return arrives, buy another 2 x $10k in I bonds

5. Before the credit card payment comes due, transfer the $25k credit card balance to your 0 % APR card. Take into account that the transfer can take a few days. Make sure you understand how 0 % APR offers work - you'll likely incur interest for any new purchases on the card so don't use for any new purchases. Make sure you make minimum payments on the card.

YMMV of coarse. It's easy to mess up any of the steps above and you'll be hit by interest or worse. It's also quite a bit of work if you haven't done it before. Dealing with Treasurydirect is a pain. It might also not be as lucrative anymore since the 9.61 % I bonds rate is gone now. I did it for the cash, but also because I might want to keep the I bonds longer (for a house downpayment a few years from now). I also derive certain pleasure from taking money from banks that are trying to lure people into credit card debt:)
Thank you for the explanation.

It sounds like you deliberately overpay your estimated taxes using the 0% credit card?

I am not understanding #3 and #4.
#3 you are asking for the tax overpayment to be put towards iBonds?
What is #4 ?
FireToBiz
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2022 9:09 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by FireToBiz »

wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:44 am
FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:56 am
wineandplaya wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:12 am My current strategy, in addition to chasing sign up bonuses and good reward rates has been to try to max out on 0 % API offerings. Currently carrying around $60k at 0 % API, matched with $60k in I-bonds. If inflation stays high, I'll probably add another $30k and maybe roll over existing debt somewhere else if the offers keep coming.
Where exactly do you get $60K at 0% API, and for how long? My guess is this is not just one account, right?
My spouse and I each had visa cards with the local credit union. They had a permanent 0 % APR for 18mo balance transfer offer which we both exploited. That's actually closer to 20mo if you also include the interest free period of the card we did the balance transfer from. The third card is a Citi Custom Cash with 15mo intro period.

With I bonds having a 9.61 % rate last year, I figured this scheme would net me around $5k, with no real risks. And if inflation stays high I can keep the I bonds longer, e.g. use them as my emergency fund since the lockup period is over then. The dip in the credit score doesn't matter for us.
I see, interesting. Does opening the credit union card hits credit score? (e.g. it does drop the average credit age, right?)
wineandplaya
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:22 pm
Thank you for the explanation.

It sounds like you deliberately overpay your estimated taxes using the 0% credit card?

I am not understanding #3 and #4.
#3 you are asking for the tax overpayment to be put towards iBonds?
What is #4 ?
Correct, you deliberately overpay your taxes. #4: when you get your refund check from the IRS, you use the money to buy I bonds.

FireToBiz wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:40 pm I see, interesting. Does opening the credit union card hits credit score? (e.g. it does drop the average credit age, right?)
No, these were old cards, that we had for a few years. It's common for banks to send 0 % APR balance transfer offers for existing cards; I've gotten such offers for at least three of my cards. There is no credit pull, no impact on a average age. What happens is that your credit utilization shoots up, which causes your score to drop. But your score will recover as soon as you pay down the balances.
Pu239
Posts: 521
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Pu239 »

wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:13 am I also derive certain pleasure from taking money from banks that are trying to lure people into credit card debt:)
I've never viewed credit unions as being the bad guys. Wouldn't the mega banks be preferable targets?
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Nyc10036
Posts: 1569
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Nyc10036 »

wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:23 pm
Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:22 pm
Thank you for the explanation.

It sounds like you deliberately overpay your estimated taxes using the 0% credit card?

I am not understanding #3 and #4.
#3 you are asking for the tax overpayment to be put towards iBonds?
What is #4 ?
Correct, you deliberately overpay your taxes. #4: when you get your refund check from the IRS, you use the money to buy I bonds.
If #3 where you wrote File your taxes, opt for $5k in I bonds with your taxes. = opt to use your refund to buy iBonds,
what is #4 where you write 4. When the tax return arrives, buy another 2 x $10k in I bonds ?


What is the difference between #3 and #4 ? Aren't they the same thing the refund?

.
Last edited by Nyc10036 on Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
wineandplaya
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

Pu239 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:47 pm
wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:13 am I also derive certain pleasure from taking money from banks that are trying to lure people into credit card debt:)
I've never viewed credit unions as being the bad guys. Wouldn't the mega banks be preferable targets?
Granted. Now you made me feel a little bit guilty..
wineandplaya
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:42 am

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by wineandplaya »

Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:06 pm
wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:23 pm
Nyc10036 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:22 pm
Thank you for the explanation.

It sounds like you deliberately overpay your estimated taxes using the 0% credit card?

I am not understanding #3 and #4.
#3 you are asking for the tax overpayment to be put towards iBonds?
What is #4 ?
Correct, you deliberately overpay your taxes. #4: when you get your refund check from the IRS, you use the money to buy I bonds.
If #3 where you wrote File your taxes, opt for $5k in I bonds with your taxes. = opt to use your refund to buy iBonds,
what is #4 where you write 4. When the tax return arrives, buy another 2 x $10k in I bonds ?
Where is that $20K coming from?
You've made your tax refund this year $25k larger by making an extra tax payment of $25k. $5k of those will arrive in the form of paper I bonds. $20k will arrive to your bank account (in addition to whatever you had gotten otherwise).
Pu239
Posts: 521
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:24 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Pu239 »

wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:13 pm
Pu239 wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:47 pm
wineandplaya wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:13 am I also derive certain pleasure from taking money from banks that are trying to lure people into credit card debt:)
I've never viewed credit unions as being the bad guys. Wouldn't the mega banks be preferable targets?
Granted. Now you made me feel a little bit guilty..
To be fair, some of the credit union BT card are deals are hard to resist if you qualify. For example, America First CU in Utah and Evergreen CU in Maine both offer 3% cash back for balance transfers up to $300 and $450, respectively. I wouldn't be surprised if similar deals are out there. Some CUs offer 0% APR with no BT fees. I like the tax overpayment concept. Works even better with 2%+ cash back cards for those fortunate owners.
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
Bones212
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2022 2:07 pm

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Bones212 »

Very simple strategy

Alliant CC : 2.5% off everything for my business.

Amazon Store Cars : 5% off all Amazon purchases. Mostly business.


Costco Card: 4% off gas. They usually have the cheapest gas by nearly 30 cents a gallon and I own a dealership.

Shop Your Way CC: Right now 10% off gas, groceries and restaurants until March 31st.

Kroger Pay: 6% off purchases which we will use for groceries from April until the end of the year.

Citi Doublecash : 2% off everything.

I do sometimes get bonus cars such as the Visa Ink card which now gives a $900 balance if you spend $6000. When I hit the limit I immediately credit part of the outstanding balance with that balance, Autopay the remainder and stop using it.

If there is an annual fee I will put a reminder to cancel on the calendar I have in front of the pantry. Putting it there forces me to take action and I can plan for several months out.
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