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More free credit card money. $500
Old 11-06-2015, 08:59 AM   #1
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More free credit card money. $500

https://www.capitalone.com/credit-ca...ss/spark-cash/

I have rentals, so for a business name used my actual name and as a sole proprietor ignored the place it asks for a TIN or EIN number and used my regular social security number where requested. This card is advertised for users with excellent credit, and the interest rates are fierce, so only get the card if you never carry a balance. $59 annual fee, waived first year.

On the good side, $500 bonus for spending $4500 in three months, a flat 2% cash back, and it is a Visa, so most places will accept it. I'm planning to use it at Costco when they make their change to Visa next year - a nice 1% bump over the normal in-store executive card use. (credit to Nords for that tip) Figure after the annual fee kicks in it will take $11,800 in spending on the card before it is better than the Fidelity Visa, and then a maximum of only $16/year better. I'm in for that $500 bonus though...
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:23 AM   #2
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I did the free perks credit card thing I don't remember the details but if I spent 1000 for 3 months I would get 3 nights free at a hotel that we were going to anyway. It sure was less than 500 dollars I think we saved 129 a night for 2 nights, I cancelled the card after, I an too worried about all the stolen I'd stuff we have 2 credit cards now, one from usaa ( I was a soldier many moons ago), and a discover card. And I worry about having 2
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #3
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Spark has been excellent for us.
I have the previous version of this 2% back card with no annual fee.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #4
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I signed the DW up for the "American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card" as recommended in the latest Consumer Reports (Rewards Cards That Will Maximize Your Benefits - Consumer Reports). 6% statement credit on groceries and $250 statement credit if you spend $1000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $75, but given you get the $250, you have over 3 years free, not to mention 6% on groceries and 3% on gas...should be a slam-dunk for us since she'd been using the debit card with zilch incentives.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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I recently revamped my cc portfolio ; got several new cards, including the blue preferred.

I use the Amex blue preferred for groceries (6%), the BofA cash rewards for gas (3.3%), US Bank Visa signature (5% on cell phone bill), Chase freedom and Discover IT for 5% rotating categories and great rebate shopping portals, citi double cash back for 2% back on everything else, and BofA Travel rewards visa for no foreign transaction fees when traveling.

Using these in conjunction with FatFat Wallet, eBates, and mrRebates is helping me get a bunch of cash back. My sign up bonuses totalled $550, and the only card with an annual fee is the Amex Blue Preferred.

I've been using Wallaby to help me optimize my usage, but it's pretty instinctual now to know which card to use.

And I use adMoney app as a checkbook and record all transactions as they occur.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:51 AM   #6
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I'm changing how I use my credit cards with rewards now with the introduction of the Citi Everywhere card that replaces the Costco AMEX card and beefed up rewards - 4% gas, 3% dining and travel, 2% Costco, 1% everything else.

I'm trying to decide if it makes sense to get the American Express Blue Preferred card. Sign up bonus is only $150 now, but they have an extra promotion of 10% rewards on major cellphone company charges up to $200 by the end of 2016, so I might eek out more than $150 if I buy a new phone through a cellphone provider plus autopay our monthly phone bills.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:47 AM   #7
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Any credit card deal sub $500 is a waste of time. Also...any deal less than 50,000 points/miles is a waste of time.

If you havent been playing the credit card game its time to get up to speed. You're leaving thousands of dollars on the table each year. There are plenty of resources out there.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredinnyc View Post
I did the free perks credit card thing I don't remember the details but if I spent 1000 for 3 months I would get 3 nights free at a hotel that we were going to anyway. It sure was less than 500 dollars I think we saved 129 a night for 2 nights, I cancelled the card after, I an too worried about all the stolen I'd stuff we have 2 credit cards now, one from usaa ( I was a soldier many moons ago), and a discover card. And I worry about having 2
Not sure why you worry.
Just check your statement each month, if your card is falsely used, phone them and they will cancel the charge (some send you a letter to sign, or say they will and never do).
I had this happen couple of years ago on both Visa and MC. Phoned each and they both sent new cards and cancelled the fraud charges.
No cost.

This is way better than debit cards, where fraud empties your bank account, and you are out the money while the bank decides over weeks if they will return your money.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
Any credit card deal sub $500 is a waste of time. Also...any deal less than 50,000 points/miles is a waste of time.

If you havent been playing the credit card game its time to get up to speed. You're leaving thousands of dollars on the table each year. There are plenty of resources out there.
LOL! I'm retired! I've left far more thousands of dollars on the table each year by not working.

I'll settle for nice high % rewards on categories I always buy.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
LOL! I'm retired! I've left far more dollars on the table each year by not working.

I'll settle for nice high % rewards on categories I always buy.


Yeah, some of the more aggressive credit card reward harvesting strategies actually sound like work.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #11
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LOL! I'm retired! I've left far more dollars on the table each year by not working.

I'll settle for nice high % rewards on categories I always buy.
+1

Didn't give up a $250k a year job to sit around chasing credit card deals...not when I could be doing other stuff like posting to ER.org.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
https://www.capitalone.com/credit-ca...ss/spark-cash/

I have rentals, so for a business name used my actual name and as a sole proprietor ignored the place it asks for a TIN or EIN number and used my regular social security number where requested. This card is advertised for users with excellent credit, and the interest rates are fierce, so only get the card if you never carry a balance. $59 annual fee, waived first year.

On the good side, $500 bonus for spending $4500 in three months, a flat 2% cash back, and it is a Visa, so most places will accept it. I'm planning to use it at Costco when they make their change to Visa next year - a nice 1% bump over the normal in-store executive card use. (credit to Nords for that tip) Figure after the annual fee kicks in it will take $11,800 in spending on the card before it is better than the Fidelity Visa, and then a maximum of only $16/year better. I'm in for that $500 bonus though...
The Costco VISA is now going to give you 2% at Costco and at Costco.com, so you won't need to use another card there anymore.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:42 PM   #13
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One way to maximize your CC points and cash back is to use this tool from The Points Guy.

A word of warning, TPG makes its money by having people apply for and get credit cards offering all sorts of 'deals' either in points or cash. Churn and Burn is what it is all about. So, if you have concerns about this, and/or will be tempted to end up with dozens of credit cards, excess credit card debt, and maybe a poorer credit score, it's probably better to ignore the app.

That said, I use the app and have found that it does help me maximize my points and cash back. Recently, it reminded me that I can get 5% back on meals ordered out using my Discover card.

You do have to enter what type of card you have but you do not have to enter your account number(s) - which I don't. But, if you want you can enter account numbers and let it keep track of your rewards and see just how much you are 'earning' by using the best card mix. I am not that fanatical about it so I don't give them my account information.

Like I said they will try and sell/suggest 'better' credit cards for you to have. So make sure your LBYM hat is on securely.

https://app.thepointsguy.com/maximiz...aign=maximizer
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:22 AM   #14
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I read some amusing conversations recently from the credit card churning crowd. They are lamenting the recent crackdowns by Amex and Chase. A new Chase 5/24 rule denies you a new credit card if you've opened five or more in the past 24 months - any credit card or store card. Some of these folks will open 9 cards in two months to get the sign up bonuses.
Chase to Limit Credit Card Approvals (5/24) on Co-Branded Cards - Doctor Of Credit
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:53 AM   #15
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I signed the DW up for the "American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card" as recommended in the latest Consumer Reports (Rewards Cards That Will Maximize Your Benefits - Consumer Reports). 6% statement credit on groceries and $250 statement credit if you spend $1000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $75, but given you get the $250, you have over 3 years free, not to mention 6% on groceries and 3% on gas...should be a slam-dunk for us since she'd been using the debit card with zilch incentives.
I'm approaching 2 years with this card and it is great. The monthly cash back is anywhere from 50-75 bucks based on my use. I view it as 11 months of rebates, and one month devoted to the $75 annual fee.
But above and beyond rebates, AMEX also offers other one-time statement credit incentives. Merely click a button from a select list of merchants (list always changing so I check each month) and you can get an instant credit. For example: $100 credit if spend $500 or more on NCL cruise line. We had already reserved such a cruise, and I just charged my final cruise payment. Bam! one day later I have a $100 credit posted to my account. By far the best credit card I've ever had.
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:27 PM   #16
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If you take your rewards for the last 12 months less the $75 fee and divide the result by your charges for the same period what is the percentage of rewards? What would it be without the NCL special deal?
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:59 PM   #17
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If you take your rewards for the last 12 months less the $75 fee and divide the result by your charges for the same period what is the percentage of rewards? What would it be without the NCL special deal?
I can look up annual summary on my card activities: 2015 Total billed $41,980
Total Cash Rebates $825 just shy of 2%
Billed total of course includes the annual fee. Rebates do NOT include the $50 total I got in those miscellaneous additional bonus credits, so adding that in brings it to a tad over 2%. [the NCL rebate was in this year]
AMEX rebate is 1% for most charges, 6% groceries and 3% gas and some select merchants.

Edit to add: gotta confess I never did this analysis before. But until the question was asked, I didn't even know I could get this info from the website.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:23 PM   #18
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I have other cards that give me 2% cash rewards on everything. I'll mainly be using this for the 6% grocery and 3% major department store rewards. And the temp 10% cell provider bonus. But I see to pay attention to the incentives!
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:58 PM   #19
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All this talk of credit incentives made my husband go look at his ancient AMEX card, and lo and behold - there was a 10% cellphone provider incentive good for up to $30!

I had a bill about to be paid from my bank in two days - was able to pay it via his AMEX. DH has another bill coming due on the 19th.

This will tide us over until I get my new AMEX Blue Preferred.

This incentives game is going to drive us nuts!!! Do we really have to check offers every month?!?!?
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:16 PM   #20
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BTW - we had $1,533 in cash or credit rewards in 2015. All of these cash rewards cards are no annual fee, and we did not have any sign up bonuses last year. Even without any bonuses it ends up as a significant chunk of change!

Most of it is Fidelity 2% card, but also Bank of America Travel Rewards at 1.65% (my foreign spend), PenFed VISA at 5% on gas, Costco at 3% gas, 2% travel and dining, Bank of America Cash Rewards at 2.2% for groceries, and Amazon Store card at 5% on Amazon purchases.

I couldn't count the Chase Amazon VISA cards that give you 3% back as points on Amazon purchases because those don't show up in my Quicken account and their end of year summary didn't include that info(). Mid 2015 we switched to the Amazon Store Card which does show up in Quicken.

I also didn't include frequent flier cards since I don't use them for anything but flying perks.
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