What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

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

Post by travellight » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:45 pm

ZinCO wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:07 am
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:04 am
I currently get 2.25% on BoA Premium rewards as I am Platinum Honors.


I see that https://www.pay1040.com/ charges 1.87% for making Federal Tax payments. I actually have a fairly significant estimated tax payment to make because of Vanguard distributions :(

It seems like I can get .38% (2.25 - 1.87) of my payment back, so it would benefit me to pay pretty much the entire amount I have due by CC (subject to credit limits, of course). Is there any mistake in my reasoning ?

PS: actually it would be a little more than 0.38%, since I can get approximately 2.2%/12 or so in interest from online banking until I need to pay.
It's an even better deal if you qualify for 2.625% back on the Premium Rewards card. Been doing this for years (with the Travel Rewards card before Premium Rewards existed). That is, as long as you have to pay the taxes anyway...
I use my Alliant visa which I learned about from this thread; it pays 3% cash back.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:22 pm

While the discussion is primarily about how to get the best deal, I'd like to mention a strategy that may not be obvious. (I have one 2% cash back card - that's all I need.)

I just started my very first Health savings account. The fund provider issued a debit card for the convenience of minimizing the paperwork. That's nice, but I can do more.

In place of the debit card, I will be using my 2% cash back card for all expenses. It's a no-brainer.

(The idea was mentioned in this thread in 2016, but it's worth mentioning again.)
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gvsucavie03
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:27 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:22 pm
While the discussion is primarily about how to get the best deal, I'd like to mention a strategy that may not be obvious. (I have one 2% cash back card - that's all I need.)

I just started my very first Health savings account. The fund provider issued a debit card for the convenience of minimizing the paperwork. That's nice, but I can do more.

In place of the debit card, I will be using my 2% cash back card for all expenses. It's a no-brainer.

(The idea was mentioned in this thread in 2016, but it's worth mentioning again.)
You can pay for medical expenses tax-free out of your HSA.

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

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:29 pm

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:27 pm
LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:22 pm
While the discussion is primarily about how to get the best deal, I'd like to mention a strategy that may not be obvious. (I have one 2% cash back card - that's all I need.)

I just started my very first Health savings account. The fund provider issued a debit card for the convenience of minimizing the paperwork. That's nice, but I can do more.

In place of the debit card, I will be using my 2% cash back card for all expenses. It's a no-brainer.

(The idea was mentioned in this thread in 2016, but it's worth mentioning again.)
You can pay for medical expenses tax-free out of your HSA.
But she can also let the HSA (which has new contributions each year, if still eligible) grow tax-deferred... or grow "tax-free" if later used for medical expenses.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:44 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:29 pm
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:27 pm
LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:22 pm
While the discussion is primarily about how to get the best deal, I'd like to mention a strategy that may not be obvious. (I have one 2% cash back card - that's all I need.)

I just started my very first Health savings account. The fund provider issued a debit card for the convenience of minimizing the paperwork. That's nice, but I can do more.

In place of the debit card, I will be using my 2% cash back card for all expenses. It's a no-brainer.

(The idea was mentioned in this thread in 2016, but it's worth mentioning again.)
You can pay for medical expenses tax-free out of your HSA.
But she can also let the HSA (which has new contributions each year, if still eligible) grow tax-deferred... or grow "tax-free" if later used for medical expenses.

RM
And you can always get reimbursed out of the HSA (if you want) or just leave it in there.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:57 pm

All good points. I should explain that I'm starting off with a zero balance. There's nothing in my HSA I can use at this time. So, a cash-back credit card makes the best use of my current situation.

As noted in several suggestions, I'll build up my HSA and let the tax-deferred status go to work for me. There are several strategies here, including an investment account option. When ready, I'll start a discussion in another thread to keep this one focused on credit cards.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 28fe6 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:25 pm

I just got my $50 credit for my Uber card, towards my Amazon Prime renewal. This is one of the few cards I can see myself continuing to use regularly even after getting the opening bonus. Food is my biggest spending category, so 4% is great, plus no problems using internationally, and $50/ year towards Amazon prime. Great card for low spenders like me.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:03 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am
Is there a way us to verify if our new Barclay Arrival card (partner of AA) IS a "chip and PIN" rather than regular "chip and signature"?

Thanks.

RM
I believe all Barclaycards issued have chip and pin capability. No card issued in the United States is a chip and pin only card.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by drk » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:48 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:57 pm
As noted in several suggestions, I'll build up my HSA and let the tax-deferred status go to work for me.
A minor correction: tax-free status.

I co-sign your plan: I do the same with my medical expenses.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:58 pm

You are certainly correct. I've never had an HSA before - rookie mistake.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:34 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:03 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am
Is there a way us to verify if our new Barclay Arrival card (partner of AA) IS a "chip and PIN" rather than regular "chip and signature"?

Thanks.

RM
I believe all Barclaycards issued have chip and pin capability. No card issued in the United States is a chip and pin only card.
Thanks.
We hope so, and that's one big reason we added this card.
(The bonus points were hefty, too, but we could have selected a different card for bonus points.)

We'll be in Europe this spring, so perhaps we'll have a chance to test it somewhere.
Of most interest is some sort of place where there is no person, and a chip & PIN is required... that's when we'd want this, of course!

Uh, "chip and pin capability" -- what do you mean by "capability? Do we have to do something to activate a real PIN?

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

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:32 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:34 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:03 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am
Is there a way us to verify if our new Barclay Arrival card (partner of AA) IS a "chip and PIN" rather than regular "chip and signature"?

Thanks.

RM
I believe all Barclaycards issued have chip and pin capability. No card issued in the United States is a chip and pin only card.
Thanks.
We hope so, and that's one big reason we added this card.
(The bonus points were hefty, too, but we could have selected a different card for bonus points.)

We'll be in Europe this spring, so perhaps we'll have a chance to test it somewhere.
Of most interest is some sort of place where there is no person, and a chip & PIN is required... that's when we'd want this, of course!

Uh, "chip and pin capability" -- what do you mean by "capability? Do we have to do something to activate a real PIN?

RM
You will need to set a PIN and also use the card as chip and signature first.

Be advised barclaycards will always default to chip and signature and only after that failing will it allow you to use a PIN.

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

Post by Rainier » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:51 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am
Is there a way us to verify if our new Barclay Arrival card (partner of AA) IS a "chip and PIN" rather than regular "chip and signature"?

Thanks.

RM
Call them. But I believe all BarclayCards are Chip and PIN.

BTW, even with a Chip and PIN you don't always have to enter a PIN. Most of the times you still sign, PIN only gets used at unmanned stations like train ticket machines

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by xb7 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:44 am

"BTW, even with a Chip and PIN you don't always have to enter a PIN. Most of the times you still sign, PIN only gets used at unmanned stations like train ticket machines"
I hiked the Portuguese Camino in 2017 with an English friend, and was using at the time a USAA card that they had assured me was "Chip and Pin" --- well, it did have a chip in it anyway. And I did have a pin for it. But.
My friend and I would go to pay our bill in a restaurant at the same time using the little card reader unit that they carry to your table there. He would enter his card and then key in his pin. I would enter my card, and then they would print something out for me to sign. This happened multiple times, so I didn't get the impression that most of the times he signed for things.

To be clear, I'm not saying that you're 'wrong' --- just that my limited experience suggested otherwise. I still find all of this stuff unpredictable and mysterious.

I too have had just a couple of experiences of going to a train station in a small town --- where there is no staffed ticket booth --- and finding that I couldn't buy a ticket at a machine. My current hope is that going forward some of these will take Google Pay or Samsung Pay, as those are being used in Europe as well as in the U.S. I'm slowly becoming comfortable with using Samsung Pay at various types of terminals --- because it's not limited to just NFC-capable pay points, but anywhere that you slide a magnetic strip. Though I think that latter is also more of a U.S. thing as Europe has had chipped cards longer than we!

While I have no experience with using one of these electronic payment methods overseas, I've read in a couple of places that it should work (though don't know about train kiosks ...), such as this:
https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/chip-pin/

And this:
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card ... n-card.php

One side benefit to learning to get comfortable with "pay by phone" is that it's more secure. It's never fun to get that call saying that fraud has been detected on your credit card, and I figure this can reduce the odds of that at least a little bit!

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Lacrocious » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:16 am

We did England/France in 2017 with Barclay Arrival - Chip & Signature + Chip & Pin secondary. It worked as stated. Restaurants printed a receipt to sign (Chip & Signature), while kiosks for bus/tube/tickets were Pin. The only gas station we used required all pumps to come inside before pumping - so it was Chip & Signature as well.

They can tell you are not a local by the signature requirement. Might have to look closer at the Uber card.
- L

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

Post by fareastwarriors » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:45 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:34 pm
fareastwarriors wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:25 am
Southwest Companion offer.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/southwest ... nt-offers/

Is the annual fee waived for the first year? Does anyone know?
No, it is not. I highly recommend Doctor of Credit for resources as opposed to The Points Guy, who is the Edward Jones of the points and miles world. He will only talk about it if it earns him a sales commission.

Here is the link to Doctor of Credit:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/new-chas ... ough-2019/

Thanks. I read both but didn't get a chance to look through it carefully when I posted.

Got approved for it. Sweet!
:)

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:04 am

Was booking a car rental yesterday for an upcoming trip to Florida and discovered a benefit of my jetBlue Plus Mastercard I did not know I had. Turns out this card is a World Elite Mastercard and as such it entitles the cardholder to, among other benefits, elite level status with three car rental companies (AVIS, National and SIXT). Since I was planning to rent with SIXT, I called the MC world elite phone number (855-802-1387) and asked them to reach out to SIXT and request my status get upgraded to elite status. The CS rep volunteered to send the same request to AVIS and National. You only need to provide them with your membership numbers for each company.

This article covers the benefits of the world elite Mastercard's:

https://wallethub.com/edu/world-elite-mastercard/52556/

The specific benefits of elite status with SIXT are detailed here:

https://www.sixt.com/rental-services/si ... sixt-card/

The ones which appeal most to me are the free double upgrade in U.S. locations and free additional drivers for all rentals in the U.S. (in addition of course to discounted rental rates).
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by deskjockey » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:21 pm

Rainier wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:51 am
BTW, even with a Chip and PIN you don't always have to enter a PIN. Most of the times you still sign, PIN only gets used at unmanned stations like train ticket machines
Unfortunately, that's incorrect. Most cards in the US are what's called "signature priority" cards, which is the behavior you describe, but all cards in Europe (and elsewhere around the globe) are PIN priority cards--it defaults to having you input the PIN so long as the equipment has a number pad. If there is no number pad, it will print out a signature slip.

The problem with a lot of signature priority cards is that they don't always work very well in PIN-only environments, like kiosks. It has something to do with how they're set up--someone once explained it to me, but it was too techie for me to really care. A few U.S. card issuers are starting to offer PIN-priority cards that eliminate this problem overseas. The State Department Credit Union is one such issuer, for example (for unsurprising reasons, given their target audience).

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:23 am

deskjockey wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Rainier wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:51 am
BTW, even with a Chip and PIN you don't always have to enter a PIN. Most of the times you still sign, PIN only gets used at unmanned stations like train ticket machines
Unfortunately, that's incorrect. Most cards in the US are what's called "signature priority" cards, which is the behavior you describe, but all cards in Europe (and elsewhere around the globe) are PIN priority cards--it defaults to having you input the PIN so long as the equipment has a number pad. If there is no number pad, it will print out a signature slip.

The problem with a lot of signature priority cards is that they don't always work very well in PIN-only environments, like kiosks. It has something to do with how they're set up--someone once explained it to me, but it was too techie for me to really care. A few U.S. card issuers are starting to offer PIN-priority cards that eliminate this problem overseas. The State Department Credit Union is one such issuer, for example (for unsurprising reasons, given their target audience).
There are actually two types of PINs a card can use, online PIN {PIN is verified via network}, and offline PIN {PIN is stored encrypted on card's chip}.

Some kiosks aren't connected to the network in real time, so these authorize the transaction using an offline PIN up to a certain amount. If your card used here doesn't support offline PIN, no train ticket for you. Offline PIN means that the PIN can only be changed at a location that can sync your PIN to the card, such as an ATM or POS equipment equipped for this.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by criticalmass » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:31 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:03 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am
Is there a way us to verify if our new Barclay Arrival card (partner of AA) IS a "chip and PIN" rather than regular "chip and signature"?

Thanks.

RM
I believe all Barclaycards issued have chip and pin capability. No card issued in the United States is a chip and pin only card.
That last sentence is not correct. For example, my USA issued Diners Club Mastercard is a chip and pin only card. Even if I use it at Walmart in USA, a PIN is required to make a credit purchase. It also has a FTF and rewards are watered down now, so I happily use a USAA card most of the time anyway. United Nations FCU, State Department FCU also issue PIN preferring cards.

Other issues like PenFed, USAA, Navy FCU issue chip and pin, but these will default to signature or no signature if the point of sale accepts that. In other words, a PIN is only requested if the point of sale absolutely requires a PIN. Many of these issuers have decent rewards. My favorite is the USAA 2.5% cash back card, which sadly is no longer available for new applicants. USAA cards used to be PIN preferring, but new cards prefer signature.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by JBTX » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:52 am

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:27 pm
LadyGeek wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:22 pm
While the discussion is primarily about how to get the best deal, I'd like to mention a strategy that may not be obvious. (I have one 2% cash back card - that's all I need.)

I just started my very first Health savings account. The fund provider issued a debit card for the convenience of minimizing the paperwork. That's nice, but I can do more.

In place of the debit card, I will be using my 2% cash back card for all expenses. It's a no-brainer.

(The idea was mentioned in this thread in 2016, but it's worth mentioning again.)
You can pay for medical expenses tax-free out of your HSA.
When I had an HSA, I just paid medical expenses with a rewards credit card or check. Then at the end of the year I just pulled the entire amount back out of the HSA. I didn't keep the HSA balance in there for liquidity reasons and nickel and dime fees, but if I had it to do over again I would have left it in.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:27 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:04 am
Was booking a car rental yesterday for an upcoming trip to Florida and discovered a benefit of my jetBlue Plus Mastercard I did not know I had. Turns out this card is a World Elite Mastercard and as such it entitles the cardholder to, among other benefits, elite level status with three car rental companies (AVIS, National and SIXT). Since I was planning to rent with SIXT, I called the MC world elite phone number (855-802-1387) and asked them to reach out to SIXT and request my status get upgraded to elite status. The CS rep volunteered to send the same request to AVIS and National.
Thanks for mentioning this. My new Arrivals Plus is a MC World Elite card and I occasionally rent with Sixt (in Europe), so I will be upgrading my status with them. :sharebeer

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:49 am

criticalmass wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:31 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:03 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:38 am
Is there a way us to verify if our new Barclay Arrival card (partner of AA) IS a "chip and PIN" rather than regular "chip and signature"?

Thanks.

RM
I believe all Barclaycards issued have chip and pin capability. No card issued in the United States is a chip and pin only card.
That last sentence is not correct. For example, my USA issued Diners Club Mastercard is a chip and pin only card. Even if I use it at Walmart in USA, a PIN is required to make a credit purchase. It also has a FTF and rewards are watered down now, so I happily use a USAA card most of the time anyway. United Nations FCU, State Department FCU also issue PIN preferring cards.

Other issues like PenFed, USAA, Navy FCU issue chip and pin, but these will default to signature or no signature if the point of sale accepts that. In other words, a PIN is only requested if the point of sale absolutely requires a PIN. Many of these issuers have decent rewards. My favorite is the USAA 2.5% cash back card, which sadly is no longer available for new applicants. USAA cards used to be PIN preferring, but new cards prefer signature.
Well, technically Diners Club cards are no longer issued in the US, although if you already have one I guess you can hold onto it :happy

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by JBTX » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:52 pm

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/new-way- ... atapoints/

Looks like Chase is approving Sapphire Preferred and bypassing 5/24 for selected accounts. I noticed an offer when i signed onto my chase login and immediately got approved, I am over 5/24. Went on credit karma for DW and got one approved for her - I think she is over 5/24 but I am not sure

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by furnace » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:01 pm

Can we reward the community by starting a new "2019" thread?

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:27 pm

That would make searching for info harder. I would think you'd want continuity, as the strategy doesn't change all that much.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Forestervt2 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:24 pm

My rewards strategy for credit card rewards
1- Several times a year I apply for new cards to benefit form signup bonuses or rewards points.
2- Quarterly rotating 5% rewards cards offered by chase and discover.
3- Ducks unlimited card 5% cash back on gas purchases. I am surprised this card is not recommended more often, as there seem to be no or high limits and you do not have to be a member.
4- BOA- cash rewards cards(2). My Roth IRA with Merrill edge (using vanguard funds) qualifies for an effective 5.25% cash back on dining and online shopping. Because BOA classified Walmart as a grocery store, purchases receive 3.5%. We do most of our grocery shopping at Walmart because we have limited options in our town, so the Amex 6% card is not a good option for us.
5- BOA travel rewards 2.6% card for all other purchases. It can be a learning experience to redeem points for travel purchases mainly because you are never sure what actually codes as travel. However is still seems worth it over a 2% card.
Any ideas to improve?

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by NoHeat » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:10 pm

Question: Will BoA convert the travel-rewards card into a cash-rewards card, if you request it?

I’ve got one cash card that I use for gas, and a travel card that I’m no longer using.

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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:59 pm

We started a new one. Since our real estate taxes have never been escrowed, I stopped having the monthly rewards credited to the checking account. Letting them build up and will pay one bill completely and a large amount (or more) of the second. I simply "escrow" the remaining school taxes. Helps with cash flows. The rewards balance appears when signing into Wells Fargo with the bank account so I know the balance any time I sign on.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:41 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:34 am

...DW and I do have over a dozen CC's that we keep open. They are all for specific purposes, and it takes almost zero share of my mind to manage them (I know which cards to use in which circumstances and all are set to autopay the statement balance in full). We have signed up for a few cards in the last year, but they were all airline cards. Yes, we got sign up bonus miles, but took the cards out for the other benefits (free checked bags and priority seating).

Main cards we use are:

Fidelity VISA - 2% cash back (everything not going on another card get charged here - it's our general purpose CC)
CSR - all travel and restaurants get charged here (unless Chase Freedom or Discover are offering bonus in restaurant spend in a particular quarter)
Amazon Prime Store Card - 5% cash back on Amazon purchases
Pen Fed Cash Rewards - 5% cash back on gas
AMEX Blue Preferred - 6% cash back on groceries
Discover/Chase Freedom - for 5% bonus categories

On top of these, we have several airline credit cards and my DW has a bunch of retail store credit cards.
Update to my earlier post on this thread with some details on our 2018 relative spend by card:

~47% Fidelity VISA
~28% CSR
~9% Airline-branded Cards
~4% AMEX Blue Preferred
~4% Discover/Chase Freedom 5% category spend
~3% Pen Fed (gas)
~3% Store-branded Cards
~2% Amazon

Relative % spend was very similar to 2017.

Total cash back and/or point value (as applicable) for 2018 >$4,500 (net of all CC annual fees). No bonus cash back or points included in this amount.

Lastly, ~80% of our total spend went on our credit cards with the remainder coming directly from our checkbook. Primary non-credit card spend is for real estate taxes, auto leases, cash withdrawals or largely other one-off stuff.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:31 am

I don't pretend to be a very sophisticated credit card strategist but sometimes offers seem to make sense to me. I have business expenses to pay with a CC and love to travel for pleasure and do so frequently and for work occasionally.

I have a Chase Sapphire that I will cancel when it comes up again for renewal as my wife just got one- We have used the Priority Pass many times when things went wrong during travel or for long layovers on int'l travel. We have had good luck using the credits and Ultimate Rewards points. She will get enough points for two RT from the deal as well.

I have a United Chase card that included free bags that I will continue to use as we often travel with scuba gear that needs to be checked or other sporting gear. United is the dominant carrier in our area.

Just received the Southwest card offered with companion pass after $4k spend. We were in the process of booking trip to Costa Rica so the $4k spend was easy and wife should fly free starting in March. SW is about to start flying to HI and we will get in at least one trip before companion pass expires. In addition, we have two trips to children and a sailing trip at the end of the year that will all be able to use companion. Don't know whether I will keep that card or not, depends how I feel about flying SW as I have not done much of it.
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BeneIRA
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:24 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:31 am
I don't pretend to be a very sophisticated credit card strategist but sometimes offers seem to make sense to me. I have business expenses to pay with a CC and love to travel for pleasure and do so frequently and for work occasionally.

I have a Chase Sapphire that I will cancel when it comes up again for renewal as my wife just got one- We have used the Priority Pass many times when things went wrong during travel or for long layovers on int'l travel. We have had good luck using the credits and Ultimate Rewards points. She will get enough points for two RT from the deal as well.

I have a United Chase card that included free bags that I will continue to use as we often travel with scuba gear that needs to be checked or other sporting gear. United is the dominant carrier in our area.

Just received the Southwest card offered with companion pass after $4k spend. We were in the process of booking trip to Costa Rica so the $4k spend was easy and wife should fly free starting in March. SW is about to start flying to HI and we will get in at least one trip before companion pass expires. In addition, we have two trips to children and a sailing trip at the end of the year that will all be able to use companion. Don't know whether I will keep that card or not, depends how I feel about flying SW as I have not done much of it.
After the annual fee posts, make sure to downgrade/product change to another card, don't cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can make it into a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, but if you cancel, given the 5/24 rule, you won't get another Chase card.

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

Post by Bfwolf » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:33 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:24 pm
WhyNotUs wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:31 am
I don't pretend to be a very sophisticated credit card strategist but sometimes offers seem to make sense to me. I have business expenses to pay with a CC and love to travel for pleasure and do so frequently and for work occasionally.

I have a Chase Sapphire that I will cancel when it comes up again for renewal as my wife just got one- We have used the Priority Pass many times when things went wrong during travel or for long layovers on int'l travel. We have had good luck using the credits and Ultimate Rewards points. She will get enough points for two RT from the deal as well.

I have a United Chase card that included free bags that I will continue to use as we often travel with scuba gear that needs to be checked or other sporting gear. United is the dominant carrier in our area.

Just received the Southwest card offered with companion pass after $4k spend. We were in the process of booking trip to Costa Rica so the $4k spend was easy and wife should fly free starting in March. SW is about to start flying to HI and we will get in at least one trip before companion pass expires. In addition, we have two trips to children and a sailing trip at the end of the year that will all be able to use companion. Don't know whether I will keep that card or not, depends how I feel about flying SW as I have not done much of it.
After the annual fee posts, make sure to downgrade/product change to another card, don't cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can make it into a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, but if you cancel, given the 5/24 rule, you won't get another Chase card.
How does canceling a card impact the 5/24 rule, which is based on how many cards you've opened?

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

Post by Ketawa » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:33 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:24 pm
After the annual fee posts, make sure to downgrade/product change to another card, don't cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can make it into a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, but if you cancel, given the 5/24 rule, you won't get another Chase card.
How does canceling a card impact the 5/24 rule, which is based on how many cards you've opened?
Cancelling a card has no effect on the 5/24 rule. The idea here is that rather than cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve, convert it to a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Either of those cards can be useful, depending on how you spend and what you can do with Ultimate Rewards points. If you don't convert, you might not be able to get one of them due to the 5/24 rule. If you are under 5/24 and considering a new card, neither has a very good signup bonus, so you will generally be better off with a different card that has a better signup bonus.

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

Post by travellight » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:01 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:52 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:33 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:24 pm
After the annual fee posts, make sure to downgrade/product change to another card, don't cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can make it into a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, but if you cancel, given the 5/24 rule, you won't get another Chase card.
How does canceling a card impact the 5/24 rule, which is based on how many cards you've opened?
Cancelling a card has no effect on the 5/24 rule. The idea here is that rather than cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve, convert it to a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Either of those cards can be useful, depending on how you spend and what you can do with Ultimate Rewards points. If you don't convert, you might not be able to get one of them due to the 5/24 rule. If you are under 5/24 and considering a new card, neither has a very good signup bonus, so you will generally be better off with a different card that has a better signup bonus.
I was under the impression that closing a card also was counted towards the five. What I saw online :


“Chase counts all new accounts it sees on your personal credit card report toward its 5/24 total. Accounts that may count in the Chase 5/24: New personal credit cards that you open at any bank. Even if you later close these accounts, they still are counted.May 8, 2018“

I guess that could be interpreted as closing the account doesn’t matter though, it was the opening that counted whether or not you kept it open or closed it. What I would like to know then is what date accounts? Is it the date that you opened the account or the date that you close it? If you close an account that you had opened two years earlier, it would not count in the 524 rule if they counted the opening date not the closing date.
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02nz
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by 02nz » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:37 pm

travellight wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:01 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:52 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:33 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:24 pm
After the annual fee posts, make sure to downgrade/product change to another card, don't cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can make it into a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, but if you cancel, given the 5/24 rule, you won't get another Chase card.
How does canceling a card impact the 5/24 rule, which is based on how many cards you've opened?
Cancelling a card has no effect on the 5/24 rule. The idea here is that rather than cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve, convert it to a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Either of those cards can be useful, depending on how you spend and what you can do with Ultimate Rewards points. If you don't convert, you might not be able to get one of them due to the 5/24 rule. If you are under 5/24 and considering a new card, neither has a very good signup bonus, so you will generally be better off with a different card that has a better signup bonus.
I was under the impression that closing a card also was counted towards the five. What I saw online :


“Chase counts all new accounts it sees on your personal credit card report toward its 5/24 total. Accounts that may count in the Chase 5/24: New personal credit cards that you open at any bank. Even if you later close these accounts, they still are counted.May 8, 2018“

I guess that could be interpreted as closing the account doesn’t matter though, it was the opening that counted whether or not you kept it open or closed it. What I would like to know then is what date accounts? Is it the date that you opened the account or the date that you close it? If you close an account that you had opened two years earlier, it would not count in the 524 rule if they counted the opening date not the closing date.
The 5/24 rule looks at the number of accounts opened within that 24-month window. Closing the account doesn't matter, if it was opened within the past 24 months it still counts toward the 5, and if it was opened more than 24 months ago, it doesn't count and closing it won't make it count.

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

Post by BeneIRA » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:32 pm

travellight wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:01 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:52 pm
Bfwolf wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:33 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:24 pm
After the annual fee posts, make sure to downgrade/product change to another card, don't cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can make it into a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, but if you cancel, given the 5/24 rule, you won't get another Chase card.
How does canceling a card impact the 5/24 rule, which is based on how many cards you've opened?
Cancelling a card has no effect on the 5/24 rule. The idea here is that rather than cancel the Chase Sapphire Reserve, convert it to a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Either of those cards can be useful, depending on how you spend and what you can do with Ultimate Rewards points. If you don't convert, you might not be able to get one of them due to the 5/24 rule. If you are under 5/24 and considering a new card, neither has a very good signup bonus, so you will generally be better off with a different card that has a better signup bonus.
I was under the impression that closing a card also was counted towards the five. What I saw online :


“Chase counts all new accounts it sees on your personal credit card report toward its 5/24 total. Accounts that may count in the Chase 5/24: New personal credit cards that you open at any bank. Even if you later close these accounts, they still are counted.May 8, 2018“

I guess that could be interpreted as closing the account doesn’t matter though, it was the opening that counted whether or not you kept it open or closed it. What I would like to know then is what date accounts? Is it the date that you opened the account or the date that you close it? If you close an account that you had opened two years earlier, it would not count in the 524 rule if they counted the opening date not the closing date.
Product Changing is not opening a new account. It is simply changing the card you have now to a different one. You keep the same account number and everything. It will not show as a new account. It does not impact 5/24. If you have a mainline Chase card open and cancel it, getting back in due to the 5/24 rule is difficult. If you have a card such as the Southwest Plus Card and don't value the points very highly, cancelling that isn't a big deal because you can't product change it to a non-Southwest card anyway, so you are trapped. With a mainline Chase card, you can PC to any other mainline card.

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

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:29 am

TravelforFun wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:19 am
jumbopapa wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:58 am
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:26 pm
sco wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:07 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:27 pm

It's great that you can time it like that. I'm sitting here waiting for January to come.

TravelforFun
For a while you could apply for the Business and personal Southwest cards from chase, and get bonuses from both. I think that they stopped this. I would apply in Dec and then get all the points posted in January. repeat it in 2 years, which was part of their 5/24 plan..

Now i think you just get one or the other bonuses, not both.

I've never flown enough to get A list, but I used the companion pass a lot. And don't forget you can change who your companion is 3-4 times a year.
You can still apply for the business and personal Southwest cards from Chase. I just applied and got them both this month.

TravelforFun
He is saying that you can't get both bonuses, not that you can't get both cards.
Yes you can. Two different bonuses on two different cards.

TravelforFun
Just got my Companion Pass good until December 2020.

TravelforFun

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

Post by ginmqi » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:12 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:41 am
Update to my earlier post on this thread with some details on our 2018 relative spend by card:

~47% Fidelity VISA
~28% CSR
~9% Airline-branded Cards
~4% AMEX Blue Preferred
~4% Discover/Chase Freedom 5% category spend
~3% Pen Fed (gas)
~3% Store-branded Cards
~2% Amazon

Relative % spend was very similar to 2017.

Total cash back and/or point value (as applicable) for 2018 >$4,500 (net of all CC annual fees). No bonus cash back or points included in this amount.

Lastly, ~80% of our total spend went on our credit cards with the remainder coming directly from our checkbook. Primary non-credit card spend is for real estate taxes, auto leases, cash withdrawals or largely other one-off stuff.
Very nice. I know people who optimize their spend as well and get great value....you're spending that money anyway, why not set up a strategy that can reap some easy discounts/cashback on the way?

I'm currently a mild player (compared to some of the heavy duty people on the various forums and blogs )FlyerTalk, r/churning on reddit, etc. etc.)

Have a CSR, a CFU (downgraded from CSP). Opened and closed some Barclays cards (Arrivals+, AAdvantage Aviator, Frontier, Hawaiian). Really bummed chase has the 48-month rule with the sapphire cards. They are catching on to us!

Now getting into the chase business card game. Just got my 2nd Chase Ink Preferred and getting another Chase Ink Unlimited to get those bonuses. I should still be at 3/24 after these two.

So gonna look at potentially some more chase cards to work with (World of Hyatt, SW Companion Pass...but gonna have to wait until I can maximize the CP so that I essentially get it for 2 years...ie, having the bonus/eligiblity hit right around January or so).

I might go for Amex cards in a couple years....we'll see.

And then probably settle for a strategy of just min-maxing pure category spends with % cash back and no AF cards....maybe keep 1 higher AF card like the CSR purely for the travel bonus and the $300 travel credit annually.

I know Alliant has a 3% cashback card 1st year then 2.5% on everything after that, but looks like you have to be their CU member (hate to keep track of so many diff bank accounts).

I'm looking to get the Fidelity VISA for the straight 2%, any other straight cashback that's better than 2%?

MikeG62
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:30 am

ginmqi wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:12 am

...I know Alliant has a 3% cashback card 1st year then 2.5% on everything after that, but looks like you have to be their CU member (hate to keep track of so many diff bank accounts).

I'm looking to get the Fidelity VISA for the straight 2%, any other straight cashback that's better than 2%?
Well as you point out, the Alliant CC would pay more than 2% cash back. Don't know anything about their customer service or whether folks have had issues using the card while traveling for example. I applied for that card over a year ago, but since I am retired Alliant wanted a full and complete copy of my tax return before approving me for their card. Naturally, I killed the application. After all, if looking at my credit report was not sufficient for them (FICO score above 800 and never not paid a CC in full on the due date), then I'll pass on that card.

Citibank has a double cash back card (total of 2% cash back). So basically the same CB value as the Fidelity card. I think the Citi card has some benefits the Fidelity card does not (purchase protection and I think longer extended warranty on purchases). However, I had read on this board of some folks whose charges were denied while traveling (apparently Citi has a low bar for not approving charges that their algorithms believe could be fraudulent). Never - not once - had this problem with Fidelity. Also, have heard of some (including a friend of mine) who were approved by Citi with appallingly low credit limits. My Fidelity credit limit is high enough ($45K) that I've never come remotely close to hitting it. I'd add that with the Fidelity card, the cash back posts to my brokerage account like clockwork every month in the first few days of each month.

Others may feel differently (prefer the Citi card of Fidelity or some other card) and YMMV. This is my experience.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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

Post by latesaver » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:24 pm


The 5/24 rule looks at the number of accounts opened within that 24-month window. Closing the account doesn't matter, if it was opened within the past 24 months it still counts toward the 5, and if it was opened more than 24 months ago, it doesn't count and closing it won't make it count.
What if i have only opened 3 cards in the last 24 months, one of which is the CSR which is still open today. Can i close the CSR today and the next day open a new CSR to get the signup bonus? Technically this wouldn't violate the 5/24 rule.

THY4373
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:42 pm

latesaver wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:24 pm

The 5/24 rule looks at the number of accounts opened within that 24-month window. Closing the account doesn't matter, if it was opened within the past 24 months it still counts toward the 5, and if it was opened more than 24 months ago, it doesn't count and closing it won't make it count.
What if i have only opened 3 cards in the last 24 months, one of which is the CSR which is still open today. Can i close the CSR today and the next day open a new CSR to get the signup bonus? Technically this wouldn't violate the 5/24 rule.
No while not violating 5/24 you'd be violating the 48-month rule for a CSR bonus: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/why-did- ... onths-ago/

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

Post by Accrual » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:45 pm

Applied for CSR this past weekend and was denied with a CS: 800+ and Income: 100k. Under 5/24. Anyone have a clue as to why I would be denied? Account flagged for churning?

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

Post by Bwlonge » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:46 pm

Accrual wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:45 pm
Applied for CSR this past weekend and was denied with a CS: 800+ and Income: 100k. Under 5/24. Anyone have a clue as to why I would be denied? Account flagged for churning?
They'll send a letter with reasons listed.

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

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:03 pm

Accrual wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:45 pm
Applied for CSR this past weekend and was denied with a CS: 800+ and Income: 100k. Under 5/24. Anyone have a clue as to why I would be denied? Account flagged for churning?
There are many reasons for a denial including too high cc balances, new job, too many inquiries, etc. They will explain.

TravelforFun

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

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:40 pm

Accrual wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:45 pm
Applied for CSR this past weekend and was denied with a CS: 800+ and Income: 100k. Under 5/24. Anyone have a clue as to why I would be denied? Account flagged for churning?
If you are under 5/24 and don’t have some debt issues call them and see if you can get it approved.

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

Post by JBTX » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:45 pm

Bwlonge wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:46 pm
Accrual wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:45 pm
Applied for CSR this past weekend and was denied with a CS: 800+ and Income: 100k. Under 5/24. Anyone have a clue as to why I would be denied? Account flagged for churning?
They'll send a letter with reasons listed.
Google chase credit card reconsideration phone number and call and ask. Is your credit frozen? You may be able to explain further and get approval.

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

Post by ginmqi » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:00 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:30 am
ginmqi wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:12 am

...I know Alliant has a 3% cashback card 1st year then 2.5% on everything after that, but looks like you have to be their CU member (hate to keep track of so many diff bank accounts).

I'm looking to get the Fidelity VISA for the straight 2%, any other straight cashback that's better than 2%?
Well as you point out, the Alliant CC would pay more than 2% cash back. Don't know anything about their customer service or whether folks have had issues using the card while traveling for example. I applied for that card over a year ago, but since I am retired Alliant wanted a full and complete copy of my tax return before approving me for their card. Naturally, I killed the application. After all, if looking at my credit report was not sufficient for them (FICO score above 800 and never not paid a CC in full on the due date), then I'll pass on that card.

Citibank has a double cash back card (total of 2% cash back). So basically the same CB value as the Fidelity card. I think the Citi card has some benefits the Fidelity card does not (purchase protection and I think longer extended warranty on purchases). However, I had read on this board of some folks whose charges were denied while traveling (apparently Citi has a low bar for not approving charges that their algorithms believe could be fraudulent). Never - not once - had this problem with Fidelity. Also, have heard of some (including a friend of mine) who were approved by Citi with appallingly low credit limits. My Fidelity credit limit is high enough ($45K) that I've never come remotely close to hitting it. I'd add that with the Fidelity card, the cash back posts to my brokerage account like clockwork every month in the first few days of each month.

Others may feel differently (prefer the Citi card of Fidelity or some other card) and YMMV. This is my experience.
Thanks for the reply! I was looking into the fee schedule of Alliant and I see things like a dormant account fee and inactivity fee, which is a bit worrisome as I would need another online account to keep track of and the fees for really not using them would get me a bit irked.

Looks like I'll still need to consider them, and of course do the either Citibank double cashback or the Fidelity visa....

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

Post by SpaghettiMonster » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:23 pm

My cards are:
Citi Sears Card - for about the past 3 years, they've offered 10% back on gas/groceries/restaurants for at least $200/month up to a max of $1500/month. For quarters without this offer, they've offered 5-10% back on travel or online purchases.
USAA AMEX - got this one a very long time ago. 3% back on gas, 2% back on groceries, 1% on everything else.
Chase Amazon Visa - 5% back on Amazon purchases, 1% on everything else. I pretty much only use this at Costco warehouses/gas stations.
Citi Double Rewards - 2% back.

We don't travel much, so we're more interested in cash back cards.

Calico
Posts: 375
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Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Post by Calico » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:40 pm

I feel like such a novice! I have one credit card, that's it. I get 1.5% on everything (Capital One Quicksilver). That's the extent of my strategy. Such good information here though from others.

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