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Old 11-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #21
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What cracks me up about my rewards card is that with 25,000 points I can either get $250 cash back or a $200 gift card. Hmm, tough decision....
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:56 PM   #22
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It reminds me of the movie willow where the would be apprentices were to pick the finger that held the magic and the wizard held out four fingers. The correct answer was to pick your own finger.

For me, the best card is whatever card I recently applied for and have to meet spend to get the bonus. More complicated, but its a hobby. I average about 10% on my spend this way.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Delaney View Post
I like Discover and it really is accepted virtually everywhere now. Some of the features I like are:
-You can pick your due date.
-You can easily pay online with reminders, etc.
-You can use the cashback immediately on Amazon.com ... even if its just a few dollars.
-The 5% cashback can be stacked with shopping cashback. For example for Oct-Dec, you get 5% cashback on online purchases PLUS you can get 5% cashback from Walmart.com (for example)
-You can get $50 after your first purchase if you sign up using a referral. (Let me know if you'd like a referral.)
+1 We use Discover at Amazon all the time and end up paying nothing because of the cash back reward.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #24
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What cracks me up about my rewards card is that with 25,000 points I can either get $250 cash back or a $200 gift card. Hmm, tough decision....
Some of those "specials" are just mystifying aren't they...are they trying to test our stupidity or prove theirs? . I use chase and they have quarterly 5% offerings, which I use quite often. You can really snag some excellent cash back shopping through their online mall. Got 7% cash back from a recent Blue Nile diamond purchase, plus no sales tax. I think I am going to show my GF the price of the exact same GIA specs of the diamond that Zales had which was $2,000 more expensive. That way she won't think I am such a cheapo!
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:55 AM   #25
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For me, the best card is whatever card I recently applied for and have to meet spend to get the bonus. More complicated, but its a hobby. I average about 10% on my spend this way.
Yep, you put it exactly right. I do it casually, but am working our spend in the SPG Amex right now. Would you mind letting me know of any good hotel cards or transferable to hotel cards that might come up on your radar this and next quarter? We are doing a trip cross-country in May and I'm looking for a few places to splurge on hotel rooms for my team in between campgrounds.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:38 AM   #26
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Yep, you put it exactly right. I do it casually, but am working our spend in the SPG Amex right now. Would you mind letting me know of any good hotel cards or transferable to hotel cards that might come up on your radar this and next quarter? We are doing a trip cross-country in May and I'm looking for a few places to splurge on hotel rooms for my team in between campgrounds.
Here is something you might find useful if several of your crew have different collections of points/miles/etc. Full disclosure, I have not played with this much yet; and, I probably found this link right here on this forum: Mileage Converter - WebFlyer :: The Frequent Flyer Authority
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Yep, you put it exactly right. I do it casually, but am working our spend in the SPG Amex right now. Would you mind letting me know of any good hotel cards or transferable to hotel cards that might come up on your radar this and next quarter? We are doing a trip cross-country in May and I'm looking for a few places to splurge on hotel rooms for my team in between campgrounds.
You are hep to the Barclays Arrival card, right? $1000 spend gets you a $400 statement credit good on travel (air, train, boat) or lodging. Oh, and 10% bonus for travel expenditure, so you end up with a $440 credit. $89 annual fee, waived the first year. Easy to claim the credits in our experience.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #28
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Add me to the list of Discover users. We use the card for every purchase we make and pay it off religiously when the bill comes. I carry about $20 for emergencies but only ever really use it for waitress tips at restaurants. Like another poster mentioned, I use the accrued earnings for restaurant gift cards ($45 for a $50 card) and wife and I enjoy the free meals much more than if we were paying for them. Makes for a nice treat couple of times per month.

I have been noticing merchants really grimacing lately when I use the Discover for larger purchases. Many years ago I really negotiated a great price on a high-end zero-turn commercial lawn mower at an independent dealer ; I thought he was literally going to be sick when I paid for it with the Discover. He made mention (several times) about Discover charging merchants more than Visa or MasterCard.

I have a very good friend that introduced me to Discover and the rewards many years ago. When the real-estate market was red-hot this friend built (general contracted) a couple of higher end homes (personal and a spec home) and paid for all materials on her Discover card. Her limit was a decent sized one but on months when big material bills were expected she actually paid extra on the card (effectively increasing her limit) by tens of thousands of dollars just before the materials were charged. She paid for several international vacation trips from those rewards.

Incidentally, Discover no longer allows one to overpay / prepay the card in that manner anymore.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #29
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Yep, you put it exactly right. I do it casually, but am working our spend in the SPG Amex right now. Would you mind letting me know of any good hotel cards or transferable to hotel cards that might come up on your radar this and next quarter? We are doing a trip cross-country in May and I'm looking for a few places to splurge on hotel rooms for my team in between campgrounds.
Chase has all the best ones, and the Chase slots are valuable for other cards (Ink, UA, CSP, arguably Freedom or BA). I have w/Chase Ink, BA, UA, Hyatt and Marriott (Ritz with the fee waived is the better offer). Chase's hotel portfolion includes Hyatt, Marriott/Ritz, Fairmount, Hyatt and IHG (good keeper).

Folks are getting good value out of Club Carlson (US Bank issued, Radisson, Park Inn and Country Suites). If you have a lot of inquiries you may need to freeze some secondary credit bureau's (see flyertalk). The big perk is cardholders get the last night of their stay free. So if you are parked for a couple days you can go two for one.

The Citi Hilton Reserve has a $95 AF with two "weekend" nights at almost any of their properties as the sign on (excludes a couple Waldorf's and resorts, a short list). With the Hilton devaluation its tough to go for hhonor's points on their higher level property, so the two days can be a decent pull. If you are looking more at middle america Hampton Inn's or the like, then the point devaluation wasn't so bad and the no annual fee Citi card (usually 50K) is an option, as is the Hilton Amex. Citi seems to let you have a lot of cards, and after the AA cards the slots aren't as precious as a Chase card IMHO.

We can't decide on our 2014 trip, so I haven't been able to decide what's next.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:08 PM   #30
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Thanks for these tips for me, y'all, and I'll be getting to work on them very soon, since we've just closed a few and I'm ready to get started on another round of apps.

Really appreciate folks like Sesq and Calmloki, and CoolChange to share their info. I try to keep up, but it is easy to miss finer points on card bonuses and useful links.

Yay, ER team!
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #31
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I like the Chase Sapphire card for points convertible to cold cash.
Pros
When I signed up and billed $3k in 3 months, got $400 back. Still available I think.
2% on travel and dining, 1% on other
Very good banking services integrated with Amazon Rewards.
Can call up a knowledgeable agent who sounds well educated and knows their stuff.
The clerks love the heft of the little card (it is blue with some metal in it). I get to make jokes about it.
I think they are very up on security.
No fees and good exchange rates outside US
Plenty of US branches

Cons
Annual membership charge
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:58 PM   #32
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The capitalOne was the best I could find at 1.5% for everything after the Schwab 2% went away.
Agreed.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:46 PM   #33
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Not sure this one is still offered but you can customize it w/ two 5% and one 2% category each quarter. The rest gets 1%. Recently they capped the 5% quarterly spending at
2K/quarter. https://www.usbank.com/credit-cards/...signature.html
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #34
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Saphire Preferred. In the past 12months I was able to rack up 180,000 points/miles....now i just need to find time to use them. Once I use them I will cancel the card and avoid the $95 annual fee and move onto something else.

Planning a trip to New Zealand on Chase...thanks Chase.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #35
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Looks like there are a couple recent threads on the penfed card, and a thread from 2010...but anyone using a great rewards credit card for cash back as a reward? We don't like to fly so airline miles don't seem to be up our alley.

Our current gives 2% on restaurants and travel with 1% on everything else, but there has to be better. Looking at Nerdwallet a lot of those posters have card A for 5% gas, card B for groceries, etc. whereas I am not so sure that is for us. One card for all would be better. But some of those have monthly or quarterly rotating categories (some you must sign up for) for the higher rewards. I suppose that would be OK, but something that is across the board would be easier.

The Amazon card (3% on amazon purchases, 2% on restaurants and groceries, and 1% on everything else) or the capital one quicksilver seem to be forerunners in my search so far.

Not sure I want to mess with Discover or American Express because of their limited scope of acceptance at all retailers.

One would think with wealth and great credit there would be special cards out there.
To whoever has a PenFed credit card.

Do you have to specifically request a chip and pin version of their VISA cards? I see several credit cards on their site, but the images don't show a chips on any of their cards. Yet PenFed is listed as the only (or almost only) place you can get a chip and pin card in the US.

Do you specify you want the chip and pin version? Or do you convert the card after you get one? How does that work?

The web site doesn't talk about this option at all, so I appreciate any info.

Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #36
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Audrey, I have two (non-chip) PenFed CCs. Here's what I found on their web site under "Account Services"- a link to request they convert my card to a chip enabled card. (See below).

Clicking on that link takes you to another page, also shown below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PIN conversion.JPG (71.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg PIN conversion 2.JPG (67.6 KB, 12 views)
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:37 PM   #37
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I don't know if this is the best, but last night I converted my standard Discover card (used since I first got a "real" job) to Discover It. They'll tell you if you ask about pros/cons, the cons don't apply to me but I liked the FICO score and a little bit better cash back.

I usually forget to use the "Discover Store" (except for Apple things).
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:53 PM   #38
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Audrey, I have two (non-chip) PenFed CCs. Here's what I found on their web site under "Account Services"- a link to request they convert my card to a chip enabled card. (See below).

Clicking on that link takes you to another page, also shown below.
Excellent, thanks!

As far as I can tell, only another credit union or two make these cards available for US accounts. And no regular banks.

When I get ready next year, I'll probably open an account with them if no regular banks are yet offering chip cards with pins.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:03 PM   #39
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I like the Chase Sapphire card for points convertible to cold cash.
Pros
When I signed up and billed $3k in 3 months, got $400 back. Still available I think.
2% on travel and dining, 1% on other
Very good banking services integrated with Amazon Rewards.
Can call up a knowledgeable agent who sounds well educated and knows their stuff.
The clerks love the heft of the little card (it is blue with some metal in it). I get to make jokes about it.
I think they are very up on security.
No fees and good exchange rates outside US
Plenty of US branches

Cons
Annual membership charge
We have a Chase Sapphire without an annual fee. I believe a couple of the benefits are less generous bit we still get a good amount of cash back.

As a small biz owner I skip Discover and Amex. Their merchant fees are horrible - and I feel empathy for shop owners.

Although yes, they could simply choose not to accept them.

SIS
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:09 PM   #40
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I use the Discover store when I remember. I've bought contacts and appliances through there so that is a nice little extra $10 - $25 on the 5% cash back.
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