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Credit cards - need recommendations!
Old 10-12-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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Credit cards - need recommendations!

So, as I slowly fade into the sunset re w*rk situation ...may have 1-2 more OMY left in me ... maybe not ...

I have begun spending more time thinking about post FIRE ...including obtuse, but apparently important things like credit cards.

I stay at Marriott hotels for w*rk travel ...last year I switched my main credit card to the Chase Marriott card ...pretty reasonable given status at the chain and that I would likely be staying with Marriott post FIRE. But ...

It occurs to me there are LOTS of options - almost too many to compare and contrast ...

Several friends have Chase Marriott and Chase Freedom cards ... others have Chase Marriott and IHG (Intercontinental) Master Card and Chase Freedom ... another has a Fidelity card with auto deposit to his brokerage ...etc ... etc. Their strategy basis ranged from "travel" to "cash back" ...

While I risk further confusion, what does the group, here, think?

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:20 AM   #2
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There are quite a few good credit cards out there, and everyone has their favorite. I use AMEX Blue Cash Preferred. Excellent cash rebate program [as a statement credit]: 6% supermarket purchases, 3% Gas purchases, and 1% everything else. There are also a couple of other merchants that they give 3% rebate as well.
I take the statement credit every month; it's usually $75 and sometimes $50, which easily makes the $75 annual fee worthwhile. Like a number of other cards, they also have a great warranty extension program; I recently filed a claim and was paid ONE DAY after I filed the claim.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:21 AM   #3
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My Main Cards:

Everyday - Citi Double Cash (2% cash back total)
Groceries & Gas - Amex Blue Cash Preferred (6% Cash Back Groceries/3% Cash Back Gas)
Novelty - The Ritz Carlton Rewards (Its Metal and Heavy, plus get Marriott/Ritz Rewards)
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:40 PM   #4
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Fidelity AmEx- 2% on everything, with no limit, even works at Costco (for now), no annual fee.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:34 PM   #5
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Chase Sapphire is my steady eddy. I also have had Marriott, IHG, Starwood, JetBlue, Southwest, etc, but the Sapphire is good if you want to have some flexibility on where you are going to use your points.
But I keep a dozen are so in play at a time, so I can pick up the bonus points. However if I only had one card, it would be Sapphire.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:37 PM   #6
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I just keep it simple and am getting 2% travel rewards on Capital One. It amounts to one free airfare to Europe yearly on my new favorite budget airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle.

I traveled extensively for work, and received substantially more free nights staying at Choice Hotels and LaQuinta than Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn and the slightly more expensive brands.

Very often now, I'll stay 1 night at 2 separate Choice Hotels and get 1 free night--plus 2% going into my Rewards account at Capital One.

Another reason I use Capital One is that all international charges are not discounted in a currency conversion. I get full credit for the amount charged.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:39 PM   #7
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Barclays Sallie Mae card.
5% back Gas / Groceries/ Books - no annual fee - real time authorizations shown on web site. Free Fico score ;-)

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Old 10-12-2015, 03:55 PM   #8
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Barclays Sallie Mae card.
5% back Gas / Groceries/ Books - no annual fee - real time authorizations shown on web site. Free Fico score ;-)

-gauss
Also need to mention for that^^ card:
  • 5% is limited to $750 per month for bookstores, $250 for gas & $250 for grocery stores
  • Only earns 1% on all other purchases


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Old 10-12-2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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I personally like cash back because they can't devalue it like often happens with points/miles programs. The Fidelity AmEx 2% is my main card.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:49 PM   #10
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Money magazine has a list of the best for various types of folks.
Part of what is best is what suits you vs someone else.

Example: I travel now and then, so I got SPG (Starwood), because I can stay at a very nice hotel for 3,000 points, most other cards would value that number of points as $30. If I paid cash for the hotel, it would be $110 USD.

So while the points don't rack up fast, they are worth a lot to me. So much so, that I'm going to keep the card even though it has a fee.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:01 PM   #11
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Fido Retirement AMEX. I get 2% cash back on EVERY purchase automatically deposited quarterly into my FIDO cash account.


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Old 10-12-2015, 06:09 PM   #12
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Capital One 1.5% cash back on everything. I've been happy with their services, billing, ease of use, credit limits, etc and the price is right. (Free) I have a couple of others I keep as backup cards but rarely use them.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Chase Sapphire is my steady eddy. I also have had Marriott, IHG, Starwood, JetBlue, Southwest, etc, but the Sapphire is good if you want to have some flexibility on where you are going to use your points.
But I keep a dozen are so in play at a time, so I can pick up the bonus points. However if I only had one card, it would be Sapphire.
Sapphire Preferred is the nuts. It is our main card which takes too much abuse. Obviously, DW & I are into travel points. I understand not everyone would like to do the same, but we've taken 3 international first class trips to asia the last 3 years....It's something we value more than the cash. If I were just going to fly domestic, I would take the cash.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:29 PM   #14
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Escape by Discover is my main card. Not currently available, I am grandfathered but get 2% on all purchases that can be applied against any travel charges.

My secondary card is a VISA that is 1% cash back but I don't do much on that... only where Discover isn't accepted (mostly Quebec in my case).

DS has the Citi Double Cash and I think I would do that if I ever had to give up Discover.

I prefer simple over having to think about which card to use for which purchase.... life is too short to make things too complicated.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:09 PM   #15
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Thanks so much for the comments ...please respond if you haven't ...patterns forming :-)


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Old 10-19-2015, 05:22 AM   #16
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I'm with the Fidelity AmEx group.
Don't know how you can do better than 2% on EVERYTHING and no annual fee.
I wonder... those who prefer the travel points... if you took 2% cash instead, would that not cover your travel and more
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Old 10-19-2015, 07:47 AM   #17
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I'm with the Fidelity AmEx group.
Don't know how you can do better than 2% on EVERYTHING and no annual fee.
I wonder... those who prefer the travel points... if you took 2% cash instead, would that not cover your travel and more
Depends on your travel habits. I put roughly $60-70k on my cards per year (not all my money). Sure, that is $1400, but that will usually only get you an international rt ticket. We fly international first and business class, when I've been able to get the systems to price out my iten, the tickets range from $10-20k per ticket. While we would never drop that much on airplane tickets, we do value it more than $1000-$2000 in cash....certainly, the option which nets you the most money is taking the cash and staying home.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:22 AM   #18
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...certainly, the option which nets you the most money is taking the cash and staying home.
Truer words never spoken! But where's the fun in that?
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:24 AM   #19
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Here's our 3-card system:

1. AMEX Blue Cash: 5% on groceries, gas, and drug stores
2. Fidelity AMEX: 2% on everything else
3. Fidelity VISA: 1.5% wherever AMEX is not accepted.

No annual fees, and we average 3%. About 80% of our spending goes through the cards. We make lots of purchases on Amazon using gift cards purchased at Kroger with the AMEX Blue, which earns the 5% "grocery" credit, plus double fuel points. The AMEX Blue is a grandfathered version with no annual fee and no caps, but you don't get 5% until you've spent $6.5K at 1% at the start of each year.

We prefer cash back vs travel points, mainly just for flexibility. But I still have about a half million miles from my road warrior days at Megacorp, which enables us to travel pretty cheap. We enjoy traveling, so when those miles are gone, I'll research the cards with travel points to see if that brings more value than cash.
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:33 AM   #20
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+1 on Chase Sapphire Preferred (different from the regular Chase Sapphire card). We pair that with the Chase Freedom card for the 5% categories.

Planning on applying for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, too.

We have the Costco Card for AmEx. No idea what will replace that.
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