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Finance Corner => General Discussion => Topic started by: Joel on November 02, 2016, 01:41:45 PM

Title: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on November 02, 2016, 01:41:45 PM
What credit card reward strategies do you guys employ?
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: asromzek on November 02, 2016, 01:44:53 PM
Chase Amazon card (PIF) for 100% of our transactions. 3% cashback on Amazon purchases, 2% on fuel & restaurants, 1% on all other purchases. We were going to start looking for other types of rewards cards soon, so I'll be watching this thread.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on November 02, 2016, 01:49:00 PM
I'll start. We have 7 cards:

Citi Double Cash - Earns 2% rewards on all purchases. This is our default card for all purchases, unless the rewards for another card are higher.

Chase Freedom 5% - Earns 5% rewards on rotating categories. We use this card whenever there is a 5% category where we would normally make purchases. Frequently, that means gasoline, eating out, and Amazon depending on what quarter it is.

Discover 5% - Earns 5% rewards on rotating categories. Same as the Chase, we only use this card for planned purchases when the category earns 5%.

Target - Earns 5% discount from all Target purchases. My wife loves to shop at Target. It only made sense to get the card and get 5% off all purchases.

Costco Citi Card - Earns 4% on gas purchases and 3% on restaurant and travel purchases. We use this for all purchases of gas and restaurants (unless Chase or Discover offers 5% for that quarter). By going through this exercise, I reminded myself that this card earns 3% at restaurants. When we got it, the Chase or Discover card was earning 5% at restaurants, so we used those cards, and I seem to have forgotten.

Chase Amazon Card - Earns 3% back on Amazon purchases. We only use this card if Chase or Discover does not offer 5% for that quarter.

Capital One Quicksilver - Earns 1.5% on all purchases and has no foreign transaction fees. We only use this card when we are traveling abroad to avoid foreign transaction fees.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Billy_McSkintos on November 02, 2016, 01:53:15 PM

We recently got rid of a few credit cards we never use so down to 2 now.

Discover (PIF) - 2% on everything We use the point every month to buy stuff we want or stuff we need from Amazon


Costco Citi (PIF) - 4% Gasoline and (?%) Costco purchases
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: jenmas on November 02, 2016, 03:33:55 PM
My Citi Double Cash is my default card for everything except groceries, gas, and certain department stores.

For Groceries, gas, and certain department stores (Kohl's, Macy's, and I think JC Penny in my area) I use my Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back on groceries, 3% cash back on gas and the stores, 1% on everything else).

Based on rotating categories, I will sub in my Chase Freedom for the 5% quarterly specials

For large technology purchases, I will use my Best Buy store card for the cash back in the form of gift certificates.

I also have an AMEX traditional charge card that I use a lot when I go on long business trips because it has no pre-set spending limit though it does have foreign transaction fees which suck.

If my international business travel becomes more consistent than hey can you go to X for 3 months but then changing their minds a week later, I may upgrade my traditional green card to the AMEX Platinum because even though the annual fee is $450, I would be able to get lounge access in many many airports, plus it would reimburse for my Global Entry fee, and I think I may also get some free checked bags (though that is an expensable cost usually).

My default overseas card is my ancient Capital One World card which has crappy cash back but no foreign transaction fees which generally are 2.5% so it's a better deal.

Edited to add: I also have the Target Redcard so 5% off all purchases at Target.

Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Alex on November 02, 2016, 04:18:36 PM
USAA reward card - flat 1.5%.

I also have a Discover card that I use around the holidays for 5% off Amazon and other online stuff.

Every now and then I get a card for the signup bonus and then close it afterwards.

That's about it.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Brooklyn on November 05, 2016, 01:13:21 PM
Amazon store card which is 5% back on all Amazon Purchases.

Citi Costco Visa Card - 4% Gas, 3% travel, 2% Costco Purchases & 1% on everything else.

Discover and Chase Freedom for the rotating 5%.

Citi Double Cash as a catch all for everything else.

Also, this emoji is legion!  parrot
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: isildo on November 23, 2016, 11:25:34 AM
Citi Double Cash and Chase Freedom for 99% of all purchases. DH does the vast majority of our spending and he values the simplicity. I also have a Target card--I don't shop at Target often but 5% is 5%!
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Shark on December 02, 2016, 10:35:30 AM
Citi Double Cash at 2% for everything except Amazon.

On Amazon we use their card for 5% and try to also be patient and get things lumped together on Subscribe and Save where possible to get an additional 15%.

I spend so little at Amazon though I've considered dropping that card to simplify down to having just the one card.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on December 02, 2016, 10:57:50 AM
I just received my 5% rewards activation for my Discover card, which prompted me to research the category for the Chase Freedom card. I found a lot of speculation online that the Chase Freedom 5% category program will be ending after 2016. Has anyone else heard anything?
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: asromzek on December 02, 2016, 11:26:17 AM
I noticed that Ally is offering a cash back credit card. Does anyone smarter than me see any gotchas with this card?
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: asromzek on December 02, 2016, 11:32:42 AM
To clarify that at 10% number, they have a good example in their terms.

As an example: $10,000 spent in purchases x 2% = a cash back reward of $200, plus the 10% bonus reward equals a cash
back reward total of $220 into your eligible Ally Bank account.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on December 02, 2016, 01:02:43 PM
To clarify that at 10% number, they have a good example in their terms.

As an example: $10,000 spent in purchases x 2% = a cash back reward of $200, plus the 10% bonus reward equals a cash
back reward total of $220 into your eligible Ally Bank account.

Yup so that makes it 1.1% on all purchases and 2.2% at gas stations and restaurants. Since I get 4% at gas stations and 3% at restaurants with my Costco Citi Card and 2% on all purchases with my Citi Double Card, it doesn't offer anything better than my current system.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: asromzek on December 02, 2016, 01:08:46 PM
To clarify that at 10% number, they have a good example in their terms.

As an example: $10,000 spent in purchases x 2% = a cash back reward of $200, plus the 10% bonus reward equals a cash
back reward total of $220 into your eligible Ally Bank account.

Yup so that makes it 1.1% on all purchases and 2.2% at gas stations and restaurants. Since I get 4% at gas stations and 3% at restaurants with my Costco Citi Card and 2% on all purchases with my Citi Double Card, it doesn't offer anything better than my current system.

I may have to look into getting one of those cards.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on December 02, 2016, 01:11:58 PM
Capital One also offers 1.5% on all purchases (with no foreign transaction fees) and Chase has a card that earns 1.5% on all purchases as well. Both of which would likely be better than the Ally Bank card.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Mike on December 02, 2016, 01:48:56 PM
Capital One also offers 1.5% on all purchases.

This is the card that I use. I like to keep things simple and only use one credit card, so we use the Capital One card for most purchases. I also have a debit card and a little cash.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Nancyscotty on December 02, 2016, 07:59:37 PM
Citi double cash back for for all purchases. I've been throwing the rewards into their own category and have more than $1000 saved in less than a year. I like the citi card for online purchases because of the security offered by their virtual acct number
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: John on December 17, 2016, 03:01:05 PM
We recently (in the last 3 months or so) switched to Chase Amazon for all our purchases from the Chase Freedom card. We make many purchases from Amazon so it just seemed more logical to use/get the points from there.

We have several other credit/store cards that we may use for one off purchases like Target card at Target, but 99% of our spending is on the Chase Amazon card now. In fact, a strategy I like to employ is to charge all our utilities, doctor bills, and whatever else I can pay with a credit card online to the Amazon card. We do have a few companies that charge for this option so we either write a check or draft from our Checking account, but most we are able to charge to the card.

It also means I typically pay one credit card a month for most everything in my budget, and we get many more point than we would just using it for day to day transactions.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on December 19, 2016, 02:26:30 PM
Does anyone focus on earning travel rewards instead of cash back? I'm considering trying to fund our vacations with rewards instead of getting the cash back, but it needs to be a better bang for my buck than what I currently am getting. Since we are hoping to buy a house in the next few years, I don't want to partake in the opening of a bunch of credit card accounts for the sign-up bonuses though.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: heyboots on December 20, 2016, 02:24:45 PM
Every quarter I print out a little card to keep in my wallet to remind me what cards get extra cashback for certain kinds of purchases.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on December 20, 2016, 11:28:49 PM
I just signed up for the chase sapphire reserve card.
- $1,500 in travel rewards with $4,000 in spending within 3 months
- $300 in reimbursement for travel spending
- $100 global entry or $85 tsa precheck reimbursement
- 4.5% travel rewards on travel and restaurant spending
- 1.5% travel reward on all other spending
- Chase freedom rewards can be transferred, so you get 7.5% rewards on the 5% categories.

$450 annual fee is waived for the first year. I will be canceling before the fee is due.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: jenmas on December 21, 2016, 07:35:50 AM
Every quarter I print out a little card to keep in my wallet to remind me what cards get extra cashback for certain kinds of purchases.

There is an app called Wallaby and you can tell it which cards you have and it uses GPS to tell you which is the best card to use in each store you are in.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Alex on December 21, 2016, 12:10:23 PM
Does anyone focus on earning travel rewards instead of cash back? I'm considering trying to fund our vacations with rewards instead of getting the cash back, but it needs to be a better bang for my buck than what I currently am getting. Since we are hoping to buy a house in the next few years, I don't want to partake in the opening of a bunch of credit card accounts for the sign-up bonuses though.

It's definitely a better idea if you know you're going to be traveling. Just have to be careful with gotchas -- cashback doesn't have many gotchas. :)
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: brennan on December 28, 2016, 07:06:24 AM
I guess I've been on a little opening spree for the past year or so. Not as much as some people I've seen, but just here or there when I see good signup bonuses.

I have currently:

Chase Sapphire Preferred This was previously used as a catch-all after getting the signup bonus. I need to keep this one active to get Chase UR points.
Chase Freedom Used for whatever 5% category is rotating through this quarter.
Sallie Mae Rewards This card gives 5% back on gas, groceries, and Amazon. It's unfortunately going away next March, though...
US Bank Cash+ This card gives 5% cashback on two chosen categories and 2% on a third category. I mainly use this to get 5% back on gym memberships, department stores, and charity at the end of the year.
Chase Freedom Unlimited I just got this for the signup bonus last month, but this will replace the Sapphire Preferred as my catch-all card.
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus I just got this for the signup bonus last month, but will cancel the card before the annual fee kicks in next year.
Capital One Quicksilver This is my oldest card, so I just keep it open to keep my credit score up.

I guess when the Sallie Mae finally kicks the bucket I'll have to look for another gas/groceries/Amazon combination!
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: asromzek on January 11, 2017, 03:59:48 PM
I got an email from Chase today letting me know that my Amazon credit card rewards bumped from 3% to 5% for Amazon.com purchases. Still the same 2% for restaurants/gas and 1% for other stuff.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Joel on January 11, 2017, 04:21:42 PM
I got an email from Chase today letting me know that my Amazon credit card rewards bumped from 3% to 5% for Amazon.com purchases. Still the same 2% for restaurants/gas and 1% for other stuff.

The only catch is you must have an Amazon Prime membership to be eligible for the 5% rewards.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: asromzek on January 11, 2017, 04:34:33 PM
Yup, since we already have a Prime membership, it was a pleasant surprise. Which is rare when talking about credit card stuff...

With our normal spending, we earn roughly $20 to $30 a month in cash back, and pay the card in full so no interest is ever accumulated. The cash back just about pays for the Prime account over 3 to 4 months. Not the best cashback rates out there, but it gets the job done.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Doomspark on January 12, 2017, 07:44:48 AM
I signed up for the Amazon card yesterday.  I already had a Prime membership, so this looks like a nice way to defer a portion of the sales tax on purchases. Plus the $70.00 credit is no bad thing.
Title: Re: Credit Card Rewards Strategies
Post by: Harvell on July 31, 2017, 02:50:10 AM
Chase Amazon card (PIF) for 100% of our transactions. 3% cashback on Amazon purchases, 2% on fuel & restaurants, 1% on all other purchases. We were going to for other types of rewards cards soon, so I'll be watching this thread.

That sounds like a good start! I should be getting my Amazon card soon.