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Old 02-22-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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Ok, so I put most of my purchases on my costco amex which I adore - just cashed in my rewards and received over $500 cash

I got my target redcard which has saved me over $30 so far and it's only a couple months old.

I need one more card as my amex back up - a visa or mastercard for folks who don't take my adored amex.

I have a chase visa now that does nothing for me - I'd be charging about $6k per year on it and it's not for gas...mostly random stuff and a little eating out not covered on amex.

The cashback offers seem inconsequential since most of these charges fall in the 1% category. There is a chase freedom offer for $150 cash for $500 purchases in 1st three months which I would qualify for and variable % cash back that seems best so far...

Is there another kind of reward I should look into? I assume points for hotels aren't beneficial since my points would be relatively low? Or unless I build them up over a couple of years. I occasionally need a room but usually use priceline on those occasions.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #2
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Here is a link you may find to be useful...

http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/credi..._CashBackCards

I searched on cashback cards.

Look at the right side for a menu that allows you to Modify Search for other types of rewards (besides cashback).

Have fun
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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I have an LL Bean VISA card that gets me free shipping, monogramming and LL Bean gift certificates that I use at Christmas, mostly. I also have an REI VISA card that gives 1% cash back or I can use it at their store along with member rebates. Most of my purchases go on a Fidelity Amex @ 2%.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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I think it has been changed from when I got one... but the Chase Freedom card gave 3% cash back on a number of categories...

I think the new one is like Discover where you sign up for some 5% cash back groups with a very limited max... (don't know if Chase has the max amount as I do not have that one)...

You also can get a Capital One where you can choose to get a bonus back that is another .25% every year... so the total is 1.25%...
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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Is there another kind of reward I should look into? I assume points for hotels aren't beneficial since my points would be relatively low? Or unless I build them up over a couple of years. I occasionally need a room but usually use priceline on those occasions.
Spouse's Marriott rewards program has generally been a bust, unless we burned their junk mail for heating during the bitter Hawaii winters.

You sound like you've already won the game with your Costco Amex, and I only get turned away on that a couple times a year. Maybe you just want something with a low limit and a low interest rate from a bank or credit union where you already do business, and you don't have to worry about squeezing out every last basis point of yield.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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I took advantage of the PenFed Amex card offer not long ago. Got a $100 gift card soon after using it, and 30,000 extra points.
Used 20,000 of those points for two nights in a good hotel, and still have the rest available. No fee the first year, so this was a terrific deal.

Mostly I use my PenFed Visa, which gives me loads of cash back every month.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:34 PM   #7
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Chase Continental OnePass card will get you 50k bonus miles right now after your first purchase. I just used it to get two free plane tickets to California....normal cost was $2,000+ and I paid $0. Great deal.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:45 PM   #8
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I have a similar situation to you but I use the Costco card for Gas, Restaurants and Costco, and I use the Fidelity Amex (2% with monthly cash back) for everything else. I couldn't find a visa/mc with anything that I got excited about so I just use an old airline MC left over from when I traveled frequently for work to use for those that don't take Amex. I might put $150 a year on it, so I'm not missing much. I can't offer much of a suggestion other that it probably doesn't really matter much.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
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I have a similar situation to you but I use the Costco card for Gas, Restaurants and Costco, and I use the Fidelity Amex (2% with monthly cash back) for everything else. I couldn't find a visa/mc with anything that I got excited about so I just use an old airline MC left over from when I traveled frequently for work to use for those that don't take Amex. I might put $150 a year on it, so I'm not missing much. I can't offer much of a suggestion other that it probably doesn't really matter much.
Does your airline card have a yearly fee? If not, which one are you using?
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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Does your airline card have a yearly fee? If not, which one are you using?
Funny that you asked. It has a yearly fee that was implemented three years or so ago, but I've never paid it. Every month* before the fee hits I call them up and tell them I want to close the account because of the annual fee. They've waived it everytime if I agree not to close the account.

It's the Citibank AA card and I've had it since 1993. I figure it will end at some point and I'll move on to something else.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:19 PM   #11
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I have the COSTCO AMEX card and like it. I do find places that will not take AMEX and I have a MC from Wells Fargo, used to give 1% back and that was fine for me. I am really irritated by Wells Fargo/MC as they just increased the points from 10,000 to 13,000 for $100 cash back. I will probably get a Case Visa, looks like a good deal. Don't have to close out the MC, just let it idle, it may be that Chase will start playing games. It will be harder to figure out when the Visa is better than the AMEX card, I like to keep things simple and used to just use it @ COSTCO, fuel, restaurants & travel.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:44 PM   #12
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Looks like the chase card may be the winner, overall I'm not a points fan and I already earn too many southwest rewards that I don't use since air travel is time consuming and time is one thing I don't have! I can't believe I have free air tix and I don't use them...what's wrong with me!

Thanks for the input everyone...
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:53 PM   #13
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I've had the Costco Amex for several years now, my average cash-back refund has been $856; DW's refunds have been similar. Nice chunk of change every March, which we promptly send to Uncle Sam in April.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:36 PM   #14
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I've had the Costco Amex for several years now, my average cash-back refund has been $856; DW's refunds have been similar. Nice chunk of change every March, which we promptly send to Uncle Sam in April.
Uncle Sam may claim yours but DW considers our joint AMEX refund to be her discretionary fund
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:44 PM   #15
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Check out https://www.thankyou.com/ for a list of rewards you can get with a Citicard. Lots of choices.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:36 AM   #16
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I have a similar situation to you but I use the Costco card for Gas, Restaurants and Costco, and I use the Fidelity Amex (2% with monthly cash back) for everything else.
This Fidelity Amex looks like the best deal out there: 2%.

I hate the "changing categories", points and all the BS marketing scams.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:49 AM   #17
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Funny that you asked. It has a yearly fee that was implemented three years or so ago, but I've never paid it. Every month* before the fee hits I call them up and tell them I want to close the account because of the annual fee. They've waived it everytime if I agree not to close the account.

It's the Citibank AA card and I've had it since 1993. I figure it will end at some point and I'll move on to something else.
Thanks. That is my card as well; and, I am getting ready to cancel in favor of the Capital One travel card (2% cash back for airline and hotel; no annual or foreign currency fees). I will see if Citibank with waive my fee; if so, I'll keep their card another year.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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I prefer Discover because their website/statements looks very organized (it does make a difference) and their various 5% sign-up bonuses. Sometimes places still don't take Discover, and sometimes my card gets declined because their security is pretty viligant and I need to call them to verify transactions.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:20 PM   #19
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I prefer Discover because their website/statements looks very organized (it does make a difference) and their various 5% sign-up bonuses. Sometimes places still don't take Discover, and sometimes my card gets declined because their security is pretty viligant and I need to call them to verify transactions.

I just don't like the fact that you have to sign up for those 5% bonuses... and that the rate for everything else is like .25%...

I have tried to get my mom to sign up for the 5% bonuses as she does use Discover all the time.... without success.... so in a way, they are screwing their customers (my opinion) because all other CCs all you need to do is buy something....
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:24 PM   #20
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In general, you need to look at the type of rewards you want and see if the value of the reward per dollar spent is better than the cash back.

If you had a 1% cash back card, for example, and you could get a travel reward worth $300 for 25,000 points, that's better than using a cash back card and getting $250 back. But if the travel reward were worth less than $250, then the cash is obviously better.

I get 2% back on everything across the board (on a card no longer offered), and I don't think I can really beat that in most cases with other types of "rewards" cards. And it goes into my account directly as cash each month, and it can't get more hassle-free than that.

I would caution, though: I think you're better off with the cash back in all cases if the "reward" isn't something you would have otherwise bought.
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