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Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-02-2004, 04:06 PM   #1
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Best cash back credit cards?

They all seem to have fine print catches....

What's everyone using?

I don't carry a balance, but I do a lot of purchases/payments through my CC.

Thanks!
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-02-2004, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I have:
  • Discover card - 1% cash back
  • Chase PerfectCard Mastercard - 1% cash back, 3% on gas purchases
  • REI Visa - 1% cash back (easier to use dividend at REI, but you can get the cash eventually)
I've also been thinking about the Fidelity Mastercard which puts 1.5% into a Fidelity account. I jump on an offer like that if Vanguard or even E*Trade offered it.

And I use these cards whenever possible. Time value of money AND cash back. Just be sure to not use them anymore than you would actually buy something with cash. I never carry a balance.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-02-2004, 04:23 PM   #3
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I think it was smartmoney that did a 'best cash back credit card' story a few months back.

This looks like a useful site.

http://www.creditcards.com/

I have a discover platinum and the at&t universal platinum cash rewards card. Use them both interchangeably.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-02-2004, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I have Discover also, Costco's American Express has 1% rebate and my Credit Union's Visa pays 1% also.

I don't carry balances and there are no catches except there semm to be some excluded purchases. I still earn a couple of hundred dollars a year....for free. And never pay interest.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-03-2004, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I have an MBNA 'World Points Platinum Plus' card that gives 10% cash back on groceries (capped at $25/month) until 7/2005 and a Citi 'Dividend Platinum Select' that gives 5% cash back on gas. All adds up
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-03-2004, 04:08 PM   #6
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Hi ganda! Those cards sound very appealing.
Unfortunately, I have been turned down for NEW
credit cards about 6 times in a row, the latest
being today. It's not a problem for me. Actually I find it
kind of humorous. While the credit card companies
churn out new cards to people with no visible
means of support, they turn down a guy with
perfect credit and a high net worth. Why would they turn me down? Two (2) reasons: My taxable income is
below the poverty level now (by design) and I take all of the -o- % APR they offer me ( a lot). But, this
has made me persona non grata with anyone
new. Also, it does no good to explain. " Ve haf our
rules!" they say. Truly, I don't care. Still, it makes you
wonder..................

John Galt
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-03-2004, 05:43 PM   #7
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I once used the cash reward cards and figure Discover is/was one of the best.

I now use a Hilton Honors Visa and a Hilton Honors AMX. With the Visa I get 2 points for every dollar spent and 3 with the AMX. With as little as 7500 points I get a free night.

So best case is for every 2500 I spend on AMX I get a free night. With 2500 on Discover that would be 25 in cash. So I figure I come out way better on the hotel points. I used a free night last month and the normal rate was 119.

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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 05:12 AM   #8
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I've never paid much attention to cash back/rewards
even though I know I should. Seemed like too much fine print and hassle to me. Anyway, for $119 I'd
want to stay a week. Like unclemick, I am a cheap bastard. You could ask my spouse

John Galt
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 05:26 AM   #9
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

If you use your airline miles card a lot, some issuers will waive the annual fee if you threaten to cancel. I dropped mine anyway. For me the miles just aren't worth much anymore - almost every time I want to use them I would have to use 50K to get the flights I want. In some cases I can buy the same flights for $200!

So I'm now using a BankOne no-fee 1% cashback Visa. I've gotten in on some good promotions, like last fall when they gave double cashback for 2 months while Marriott was also giving double points on a Visa promotion - kind of a "double-double dip". There's a double casback promo on now too but only for charges above $600 each month on certain items. It doesn't include hotels so I won't benefit much from it.

There's no hassle getting the cashback - the last check arrived about a week after I requested it...
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 06:37 AM   #10
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Tomcat98,

I've had the same Amex gold card for a long time (something like 25 years); the required monthly payoff keeps me in line better than a Visa. (I also have a Visa with a tiny credit line for cases when they don't take Amex.)

I wonder if I could just call and ask them to switch it to the Hilton Honors Amex. Since I charge about $1,000-2,000 a month, I could be earning some free nights!
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 10:01 AM   #11
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I think I got 7500 points for just signing up on the Hilton AMX. 10000 points for signing up for the Hilton Visa. Of course no yearly fees.

Something else I do (at the advice off this board) is I purchase 1500 worth of Charter One Financial Gift Cards per month. This is the max. They come in 500 increments. When I get the cards I go to my bank and take 498 dollars in cash off each of the cards and deposit it in my checking. The other 2 is the fee. So for 6 bucks a month I get another 3000 Hilton points on my Visa. I tried to purchase on the AMX but they wanted to treat it as a non purchase with hefty fees.

I have found with the cash back cards it gets lost in the sauce and I can't see the advantage. But I will tell you with the hotel rewards it does reduce the cost of a weekend get away or vacation.

JDW

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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 02:48 PM   #12
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

As long as we're talking credit cards, I would be interested in how many and what type the posters
here carry. I guess I still have about 10, with a total
credit availability of over $100,000. I pay no fees
and never pay interest, but I have not studied the best
way to maximize "points". My record is golden but no one new will touch me now.

John Galt
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 04:09 PM   #13
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

I'm betting thats why you cant get any more cards, rather than any income limits. I dont have any income either, although when I fill out a credit card app I say what I used to do (marketing), because I'm still able to do it, and for income I put in about what I generated in capital gains and dividends (and would have paid taxes on).

I dont think much weight goes to income...credit score is king and that gets hammered if you have too much in outstanding balances or too much 'available credit'. You mentioned you've been rotating quite a bit of cash from one zero balance card to another. That coupled with 10 cards is whats killing you.

I have four. A discover, the at&t cash rewards MC, a visa card from my credit union (because they have a once a month cash prize drawing for anyone thats used it that month) and a home depot card I just got because they're periodically letting you get 12 months no payments/no interest. Now that I'm done with my home remodelling, when the 12 months is up i'll pay that one and cancel it.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-04-2004, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

John......if you get a copy of your credit report you'll probably see that you are downgraded (FICO score) becasue you have too much outstanding credit. *And churning of cards, which may lead to the same too much outstanding credit. *

I have 3 main cards: *Visa from my credit union which pays 1% deposited into my checking account annually. *That is my primary card. *Discover I use only at Sam's club and American Express I use only at Costco. *

I have a 12 month free interest for some furniture I bought in March and just opened a Kohl's account for the 10% off initial purchase and monthly coupons. *I'll pay off and close the furniture account before the 12 month is up. *

I don't like having this many cards, but as long as my FICO score is still in the 800 range, I'm not going to worry too much about all the outstanding credit. *
I actually want to open 1 more card just for the discounts (Mervyns), I'm thinking about it.

I pay all off as soon as I used them, excepting the furniture. *

I think having 2 cards is probably a good number.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-05-2004, 04:41 AM   #15
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

KB,
Is there a way of finding out your FICO score without paying someone?
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-05-2004, 08:30 AM   #16
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Google "free fico".

there are some calculators that ask most of the pertinent questions and will give you a range. Some places will give you the actual score as a one-time thing. If you've been turned down for credit, you can get your fico score AND a full credit report for free, as required by law.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-05-2004, 08:49 AM   #17
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Here is a Link to a Calculator that TH referred to. It's only about 10 questions and produces a range.

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/fico/calc.asp
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-08-2004, 02:11 PM   #18
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Quote:

Something else I do (at the advice off this board) is I purchase 1500 worth of Charter One Financial Gift Cards per month. This is the max. They come in 500 increments. When I get the cards I go to my bank and take 498 dollars in cash off each of the cards and deposit it in my checking. The other 2 is the fee. So for 6 bucks a month I get another 3000 Hilton points on my Visa. I tried to purchase on the AMX but they wanted to treat it as a non purchase with hefty fees.
Does Marriott do this with their Visa?

TIA!
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 09-08-2004, 02:35 PM   #19
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Actually this month I tried to purchase giftcards and the issuer has changed the rules. You now must be an exitsting account holder and must go into a branch and do the purchase. Charteronefinancial is not in our area.
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?
Old 10-09-2004, 03:58 AM   #20
 
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Re: Best cash back credit cards?

Reporting back in. Yeah, I have seen my credit report.
Thick as a phonebook. Carry a whole pile of cards
and take all the free money they will give me. I
recently reapplied (3rd try) for a card that offered
a nice "cash back" plus -0- APY for a year. When I applied I was told my chances would be better if I pre-
set a payoff of another card simultaneousl, so I did
(had a -0- rate about to expire anyway). Still waiting
on that . However, the bank that made me so mad
because they refused to consolidate my two (2) cards
into one (same limit - just one card) came back to me.
I cut up both cards in a snit and mailed them back.
Then, they sent me a printout which showed both cards
still open. By that time I had calmed down, so I called them up and asked them to reissue the cards. This is
the good part. Not only did they agree to do so,
yesterday I got a letter informing me they were
increasing my credit limit! Go figure..................

John Galt
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