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Credit card rewards
Old 08-05-2010, 11:18 AM   #1
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Credit card rewards

Wow... a good week for me...

For my Capital One account, I automatically get a credit once I have $25 in benefits... so got $25 a couple of days ago...

But... my Discover rewards got over $100... so I bought a couple of gift cards valued at $100 for $85...

My Chase rewards got over $200... so I was able to get a $250 check...

All added together... $375 in reward money this week... and only cost me $310 in rewards... sweeeet....



Decided to do a quick calculation (wag)... spent around $15K to get there.... so on average a 2.5% return...
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Wow... a good week for me...

For my Capital One account, I automatically get a credit once I have $25 in benefits... so got $25 a couple of days ago...

But... my Discover rewards got over $100... so I bought a couple of gift cards valued at $100 for $85...

My Chase rewards got over $200... so I was able to get a $250 check...

All added together... $375 in reward money this week... and only cost me $310 in rewards... sweeeet....



Decided to do a quick calculation (wag)... spent around $15K to get there.... so on average a 2.5% return...
I've never thought to do the math here; that is fascinating. I'll have to sit and play at lunch. I have a lot of points saved up!
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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I had mainly been using a Chase Mastercard that gives me 1% back on everything...in $25 increments. I'll usually wait until I have around $100 in rewards, and then have them mail me a check. I think I'll be there, when the current billing cycle closes.

But, early this year, the company that I have my HELOC through (National City, but I think it's PNC now) gave me a Visa that gives me 1% back on most things, but 4% back on gasoline purchases. I think I have about $46 there, but haven't bothered to try redeeming any of it yet.

And, most recently, Fidelity sent me an AMEX card that gives me 2% back, if I fund a Fidelity account with it. I already have a 401k with Schwab and a Roth IRA with Janus, so I think I'll use this towards a brokerage account. I think it currently has about $145 in it.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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I'm getting 2% back with Amex fidelity and 5% on gas, groceries, drug stores with chase. Those random $50 checks are nice for doing something I would be doing regardless.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:06 PM   #5
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I've been using the AmEx Costco card - 3% gas and restaurants, 2% travel and 1% everything else. The rebate only comes once a year, but it is pretty large - unfortunately that means I've been spending.

I've been thinking about getting another card that rebates more than 1% for everything else and then switching up cards based on the type of purchases. I guess I need to run some numbers on it to figure out the best card.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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On a related note, does anyone know what the $4 "Promotion Statement Credit" that I get every month is (BofA Mastercard)? Credit for not getting paper statements?
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:55 PM   #7
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Credit cards are great. They keep track of all of my spending and pay me to borrow money. It's probably the best deal that ever existed.

Having said that, the deal is getting less generous all the time. I was looking forward to taking them deep with 5% on gasoline expenditures when I got my RV, but they're putting some pretty serious restrictions on how many reward you can earn.

I can't really complain. It's free money. But its still less free money then it used to be.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
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I was looking forward to taking them deep with 5% on gasoline expenditures when I got my RV, but they're putting some pretty serious restrictions on how many reward you can earn.
I recommend you take a look at PenFed.org who has a 5% rebate on ALL gas purchases for its Visa card.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:29 PM   #9
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Credit cards are great. They keep track of all of my spending and pay me to borrow money. It's probably the best deal that ever existed.

Having said that, the deal is getting less generous all the time. I was looking forward to taking them deep with 5% on gasoline expenditures when I got my RV, but they're putting some pretty serious restrictions on how many reward you can earn.

I can't really complain. It's free money. But its still less free money then it used to be.

I might have to look at Penfed.... I got my sister to get one of them....


But... I do not think there is a limit to how many CCs you can get... so if you can get a 5% one that has limits... get two or three of them... you just have to keep track of what you spend etc... but worth it for 5%...

OOOORRRRR.... Penfed
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:12 AM   #10
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I recommend you take a look at PenFed.org who has a 5% rebate on ALL gas purchases for its Visa card.
I looked at PenFed before, but I think I'm so far removed from any government employees that I can't qualify . . . even with what seems to be a pretty liberal "six degrees of separation" policy. But maybe I'll look again.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:15 AM   #11
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I looked at PenFed before, but I think I'm so far removed from any government employees that I can't qualify . . . even with what seems to be a pretty liberal "six degrees of separation" policy. But maybe I'll look again.
Check out #7 here: https://www.penfed.org/howToJoin

For a one-time fee of $20 to join the National Military Family Association (a legit group doing good stuff) you can become a Penfed member for life...
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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I'm also a PenFed CC user. I use it for just about every expense including utility bills, DirecTV and internet. I like this one best because the cash reward really is cash because it's deducted from your balance on your statement date. No jumping through hoops to redeem or saving up to reach a certain level.

We also have a couple of Discover cards rewards with that have enough cash built up redeem. I'm just keeping those so that I can add more if they have a special offer. Or I might just get Discover prepaid cards with them.

One of our older Chase cards changed their program and I stopped using the card. I have about $55 sitting in their reward program. It can be redeemed for cash or you can make a purchase and then submit the transaction and have your reward applied to your account.

Like other posters, I like knowing I have bits of cash out there to be used for an extra something. I'll use it for a want rather than a need. I'm thinking a GPS would be a great new toy, just used one on a trip with my sister.

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I looked at PenFed before, but I think I'm so far removed from any government employees that I can't qualify . . . even with what seems to be a pretty liberal "six degrees of separation" policy. But maybe I'll look again.
I joined NMFA in order to join PenFed. Did not need to renew for subsequent years, it's just a one time thing. I think you join through the PenFed application process and I think you do your opening deposit to your PenFed account and the NMFA at the same time. I remember someone posting a hint to be sure to do that transaction as an ACH from a bank, not a charge card as a charge card transaction will be a cash advance. Anyone else remember that, do I have that correct?
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:32 AM   #13
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Check out #7 here: https://www.penfed.org/howToJoin

For a one-time fee of $20 to join the National Military Family Association (a legit group doing good stuff) you can become a Penfed member for life...
I managed to finagle a free membership by telling them all about my father's four years of honorable service in the AF 40 years ago somewhere in the midwest (to avoid being drafted into the army and getting shipped off to 'Nam). I recall that it didn't technically qualify me but they didn't seem to care at the time. But yes, for $20 you too can have the privilege of military affiliation if you don't have your own tenuous connections to the military.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:06 AM   #14
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Having said that, the deal is getting less generous all the time. I was looking forward to taking them deep with 5% on gasoline expenditures when I got my RV, but they're putting some pretty serious restrictions on how many reward you can earn.

I can't really complain. It's free money. But its still less free money then it used to be.
I don't know. I'm getting 2% back on everything month after month with my (now discontinued) Schwab Visa. Yeah, at some point they may pull that deal, but for now I'm getting a few hundred bucks a year back into my taxable brokerage account. Cash back every month beats points and miles to me...
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:39 AM   #15
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Most of our efforts this year have gone into spending on our British Airways Chase visa. They have a program if you spend $30k in a calendar year, you get a free matching frequent flyer ticket when you redeem a tix thru the BA program. As we are going to the UK in Jan and would like to travel business, this seems the cheapest way to fly upgraded.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #16
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Our primary credit card is the Schwab 2% Visa. Great card with rewards instantly posted to our Schwab account every month.

We have also been busy whoring ourselves out to whoever will give us bonus frequent flyer miles. So far:

200K for the British Airways Chase card (100K each)
100K for the United Chase card (50K each)
150K for the Citi AA card (75K each)

All of the cards have some sort of minimum purchase limit to get the bonus miles so we try and use up to the limit before going back to the Schwab. I have a feeling that the miles gravy train isn't going to last too long, so we are taking advantage of it while we can. So far the BA bonus miles alone have saved us $4500.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #17
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200K for the British Airways Chase card (100K each)
100K for the United Chase card (50K each)
150K for the Citi AA card (75K each)
I already got the first two awards. Did you previously apply for the Citi AA cards in 2009 and early 2010 when they were giving 30k miles each? I did, and these new 75k bonus cards state you cannot have previously applied for Citi AA cards. Did you have any luck? I'd love another 150k miles on AA, as those miles are useful.

Recently I got 4 starwood Amex's. 120k starwood points that should get us at least a few weeks of free or very cheap hotels most places in the world.

And we obtained 2 Continental Chase cards. 30k bonus miles each, and $50 statement credit each.

I'm a credit card whore too!

So far I have been accumulating these miles at a rate much faster than I can use them. Guess this will make for some cheap/free travels when we can ER.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:18 PM   #18
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And we obtained 2 Continental Chase cards. 30k bonus miles each, and $50 statement credit each.
Don't these carry annual fees? I know the first year's fee is usually waived, but IMO an annual fee is a dealbreaker.

I look at it this way: even the most restricted domestic travel in the lower 48 usually requires 25,000 miles -- which is usually the equivalent of charging $25,000 on the card. That would net me $500 cash back on my Schwab card, which would more than likely exceed the value of the highly restricted airfare.

I guess if the first year has no fee and you don't mind canceling after the first year it's probably a better deal.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #19
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We use only one card for most of our expenses: Chase's Amazon Visa, which we pay completely off every month. It offers 3% back on any purchases at Amazon (where we do most of our shopping anyway, including movies, books, electronics, but also pretty much anything else, like house items, clothes and sometimes even groceries), 2% back on gas, pharmacy purchases and groceries, and 1% back on anything else. Every two months or so, we get $50 back. Can't complain with that.
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #20
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Don't these carry annual fees? I know the first year's fee is usually waived, but IMO an annual fee is a dealbreaker.

I look at it this way: even the most restricted domestic travel in the lower 48 usually requires 25,000 miles -- which is usually the equivalent of charging $25,000 on the card. That would net me $500 cash back on my Schwab card, which would more than likely exceed the value of the highly restricted airfare.

I guess if the first year has no fee and you don't mind canceling after the first year it's probably a better deal.
Yes, all of the cards with huge bonuses mentioned by me and WanderALot have annual fees. All except the British Airways cards waved those fees the 1st year. The BA card cost $75 each. But the 100k in miles per card are probably worth $1000-1600 at a minimum.

I get the card, spend the minimum to get the bonus points (usually $750-2000 per card) then set a Google Calendar reminder to cancel it around 9 months after I received it.

I agree with you on using a 2% cash back Amex card (I have a fidelity card). Better returns for me versus getting 1 or 1.25% in reward miles due to the flexibility of using cash. And I wouldn't pay an annual fee unless the benefit really paid off big time.
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