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Another CC card offer I actually went for
Old 03-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #1
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Another CC card offer I actually went for

I got this offer from Bank of America for their Travel Rewards card:

1.5% back on all purchases
$200 back (in points) if you purchase $1000 in first 3 months
no annual fee
no foreign transaction fees
can get cash back on all points

It was easy to get with our security freeze in place. I just filled out the on line form. A few days later I got a call. I called back and the lady asked some questions, then offered a free lift of the Transunion credit freeze. I spoke to the Transunion rep and that part was done. Was only a little concerned that this was an elaborate scam but nobody had an Eastern European accent.

Got the cards and am ready to go. I wanted to get that Fidelity 2% card but the process and credit freeze lift was too cumbersome. Will probably drop my Chase Sapphire card unless they remove the annual fee for me.

Details on the card here: https://consumer.bankofamerica.com/U...s%20Exact%20SL
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:49 PM   #2
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I use this card (almost*) exclusively for my foreign travel credit card purchases, and it's been really nice. I have a BofA checking account, so I also get a 10% bonus when I redeem the credit.

I also use it when a place doesn't accept AMEX.

Nice with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

* I also carry a PenFed true Chip and PIN card with no foreign transaction fees for the rare occasions in Europe where I really need a PIN to complete a transaction - usually at some kind of ticket machine.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:56 PM   #3
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I switched my Chase CC from the BA connected one to their Freedom card.
No fee
$150 if I spend $1500
1% cash back on all purchases
5% back on gas purchases
I had so many BA miles I will never use since we are not traveling overseas any more.
I will cancel my BA card just before I have to pay the fee.
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:56 PM   #4
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This [travel rewards] card gets really nice if you put a lump of money in an ETF or two with BoA's "Merrill Edge" brokerage--which is a DIY, no broker deal. If you have 100K with BoA/Merrill total for three months, you get a .75 multiplier on the card purchases, so 2.625%. You may need a checking account at BoA too, which counts toward the 100K. (Every so often, including now, BoA runs a "bonus" where you can get 500 or 600 for transferring an IRA over.)

There is a long standing thread over at Bogleheads on this--it may be under "BoA Preferred rewards," or the like. I've been happy with the platinum preferred program. In addition to the multiplier and other things you noted, it gives us no-cost ATM anywhere in US--even at music festivals. Of course, I fully understand that a lot of people have been burnt by BoA in the past. :-)

Edited to add the brackets....
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
Will probably drop my Chase Sapphire card unless they remove the annual fee for me.
I assume you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card because that is the one with an annual fee.

It's not the right card for everyone because not everyone spends enough or travels enough to justify the $95 fee. But for others that can be one of the best travel reward cards around.

It's the one I use exclusively because I transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to airline frequent flyer programs where they're much more valuable. I'm typically earning no less than 2% to as much or more than 8% back in flights on every purchase I make with the card.

Another neat trick is that if you also get the Chase Freedom card (no fee) that card has rotating categories that earn 5%. You can transfer those 5% Chase Points to the Sapphire Preferred program and then transfer the Sapphire points to an airline program where they might be worth 2-4 cents each, meaning 10%-20% rewards on those rotating categories.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:59 PM   #6
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I just recently got my BofA Travel Rewards card, as I have 2 trips planned out of the USA in the next 18 months and didn't feel like the Chase Sapphire was worth the extra fee. (I do pay the fee for the AMEX Blue Cash card, but the 6% back on groceries covers the fee in just a couple of months.)
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:03 PM   #7
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A timely thread for me, I'm just now looking at getting a new card for foreign travel.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
I wanted to get that Fidelity 2% card but the process and credit freeze lift was too cumbersome.
I did get the Fidelity card. Based on my personal and business spending of ~$3K a month, it's $720+ to be used for anything. My Sam's card is used for 5% back on fuel.

Good job on getting a 1.5% back card, that's still pretty good. And no annual fee.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:13 PM   #9
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I did not see anything about cash back for points, just statement credit for travel. I signed up anyway, figuring I can use the points on a rental car, as most of the flying is on Southwest.

Did not know I could move the Chase Freedom points to the Sapphire Ultimate Rewards program. Will have to look into that. Thanks for the tips!

Fido is next up. That one will be good for all the rental insurance bills that otherwise are only good for one percent cash back.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:34 PM   #10
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Does it make sense to carry both a Visa and a MC? Realistically, is there any difference between that and carrying to Visa cards?
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:37 PM   #11
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Can a 1.5% card be better than the Citi Master Card that gives you 1% on purchases and another 1% when you pay for them? That is 2% on everything.

Now and then, I'll go for a card that offers several hundred dollars in return for spending a certain amount. But they usually only give 1% cash back, so eventually I stop using them.

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Old 03-05-2016, 04:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gone4Good View Post
I assume you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card because that is the one with an annual fee.

It's not the right card for everyone because not everyone spends enough or travels enough to justify the $95 fee. But for others that can be one of the best travel reward cards around.

It's the one I use exclusively because I transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to airline frequent flyer programs where they're much more valuable. I'm typically earning no less than 2% to as much or more than 8% back in flights on every purchase I make with the card.

Another neat trick is that if you also get the Chase Freedom card (no fee) that card has rotating categories that earn 5%. You can transfer those 5% Chase Points to the Sapphire Preferred program and then transfer the Sapphire points to an airline program where they might be worth 2-4 cents each, meaning 10%-20% rewards on those rotating categories.
Sounds like you really are up on this stuff. I've always just taken the cash back on the points. We do not take flights very often and it always seems to wind up be a different airlines. Might be a bit different with Alaska Airlines since it flies out of our city and out of SFO too. All I've managed from the airlines so far are some useless magazine subscriptions. Maybe I'll get more active in hunting up bargains especially if it's easy to do.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:34 PM   #13
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We have a couple of each, because each card has a different set of cashback incentives and rewards. I made up a little spreadsheet to keep track of what to purchase, with which card, at any given time. I'm very conscious of not wanting to spend large amounts of precious time, chasing a few scraps of $$!

We also have a couple of AMEXes that I applied for strictly to get the incentive. I don't care for the way they accrue and distribute cash back, so we quit using them.

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Does it make sense to carry both a Visa and a MC?
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:45 PM   #14
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General comment, I'm always impressed by the new angles members here come up with to work the system.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:56 PM   #15
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Does it make sense to carry both a Visa and a MC? Realistically, is there any difference between that and carrying to Visa cards?
I have a MC which is also serves as my Costco ID, and an Amazon Visa simply because it got me $20 off of a purchase. Both give cashback on purchases and both have no annual fee.

I don't need both, but see no reason to cancel one of them as they cost me nothing to own.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:09 PM   #16
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General comment, I'm always impressed by the new angles members here come up with to work the system.
Hey, nothing better than playing or beating the system, that is what we all do.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:20 PM   #17
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Wow, and here I thought I had joined the "cool kids club" because my resolve finally crumbled and I got an Amazon Visa card in 2014, my very first CC after my 1998 divorce.

I'll bet all the cool retirees have at least two cards! And me, I am barely used to having one.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:29 PM   #18
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I did not see anything about cash back for points, just statement credit for travel. I signed up anyway, figuring I can use the points on a rental car, as most of the flying is on Southwest.

Did not know I could move the Chase Freedom points to the Sapphire Ultimate Rewards program. Will have to look into that. Thanks for the tips!

Fido is next up. That one will be good for all the rental insurance bills that otherwise are only good for one percent cash back.
This works perfectly well, and for me statement credit is as good as a cash back card.

You have a year to bank travel charges to take credit against. When your rewards come up, as long as you've stayed at a hotel using the card, used it at a restaurant*, or rented a vehicle with the card, you have something you can take credit against. When you have enough rewards to redeem, you choose "redeem for travel credit" and you are taken to a view that lists all the charges you made in the past year that are eligible for travel credit.

I only use it for foreign expenses or the occasional charge where the vendor won't take American Express (like my doctor's office!) We travel to Europe annually, which is why I got the card - for the no foreign transaction fee along with the sweetener of 1.5% (1.65%) rewards on those charges. So most of my charges are foreign. After a big trip, I'll usually rack up a lot of rewards, and I have the recent travel charges to take it against. And the remaining eligible charges are there for the whole next year to take credit against.

I know most of my overseas restaurant charges show up at in the eligible travel charges list. I haven't really looked at US charges but don't know why they would be treated differently.

There are other things you can apply the points against, but the travel credit is the one that gives you the full benefit of the points.
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:29 PM   #19
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Can a 1.5% card be better than the Citi Master Card that gives you 1% on purchases and another 1% when you pay for them? That is 2% on everything.

Now and then, I'll go for a card that offers several hundred dollars in return for spending a certain amount. But they usually only give 1% cash back, so eventually I stop using them.

Amethyst

Nope, 2% is better than 1.5%.... does it charge foreign transaction fees?


I have a Capital One that is 1.5% on all purchases, no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee... use it for most purchases...


Have a Sam's Club card that gives 5% back on gas (not all stations as it does not give back for Safeway and other major grocery store stations), 3% back on restaurants and travel and 1% back on everything else... we put most of our travel and eating out on this one.... Just went today and got $550 back in green cash... will have to check to see how much we actually charged to get a weighted avg rebate...
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:32 PM   #20
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Wow, and here I thought I had joined the "cool kids club" because my resolve finally crumbled and I got an Amazon Visa card in 2014, my very first CC after my 1998 divorce.

I'll bet all the cool retirees have at least two cards! And me, I am barely used to having one.
We are up to 11 credit cards now....... (counting the various Amazon cards).

Well, one of those Amazon cards is the Amazon Store Card, and so maybe doesn't count. So maybe we're only up to 10.
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