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credit cards rewards programs
Old 05-23-2009, 08:58 AM   #1
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credit cards rewards programs

Just received a letter from Am. Ex. that they are reducing my rewards on gas purchases from 5% back to 3% back. Anyone else seeing this happening?
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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Still 5% on PenFed Visa. I see they just added a "5% back on travel" card.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:02 AM   #3
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I got a letter last week from Discover card that they are increasing my Cashback rewards from 1% to 2% on all purchases (up to $1000 max) that I make at military facilities (PX, Comm etc) from Memorial Day until Labor day.

I realize that this is only a possible bonus increase of only $10. They must not have gotten the word that cashback incentives should be reduced.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:25 AM   #4
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Still 5% on PenFed Visa. I see they just added a "5% back on travel" card.
Yeah that was nice. I needed to get an airline ticket. Just as they offered it.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Buckeye, see my post #5 yesterday under "Capital One increasing our .....". This thread was about credit card problems, etc.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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My Chase Freedom that I use for 3% cash back on groceries is changing to just 1%. Also, the $50 bonus if you reach $200 in rewards is ending June 30th. I just made it to $195, so I'll easily make it to $200 and then get $250 and probably never use the card again.

I'll switch to buying groceries on the PenFed card that I use for 5% rebate on gas. It has 2% on groceries and 1.25% on everything else.

That's too bad that Chase is dropping the 3% on groceries. This upcoming check for $250 is at least the 4th or 5th time I've gotten the $250. When I use the Chase card I transfer the same amount to a savings account so I know I've spent it. So little effort required and I enjoyed the extra cash every once in a while.

Such silly games we play for our cash rewards.
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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Such silly games we play for our cash rewards.
If you want to play some more, check out Associated Bank
5% Reward Cards.... A comprehensive list!

The phone no. listed leads you to a recording. I would be a little bit concerned about leaving info there. Find out the bank's no. and talk to a real breathing being instead.....be very clear about what you want and make them repeat it and get person's name.

If you get card, I would make just a few market purchases at first, wait for the bill, and confirm you're getting what you think you should in rewards before using it regularly. If you don't get proper rewards, escalate to a supervisor and ask that they give you the right rewards and fix the computer link. Keep doing the small purchase tests till it's fixed.

Program is administered by Citi for Associated Bank.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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National City* 4-3-2-1 Everyday Rewards (cashback)
No notifications yet. I am watching...

I applied for the card before they eliminated NY as eligible for credit card accounts. I am still waiting for them to try to give me the boot for some weird reason. It hasn't happened yet.

All quiet on the western front (issuing bank is based in OH).

*Now owned by PNC
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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I have the Chase Freedom. Sounds like I'll soon be saying "I had the Chase Freedom". Guess I'm back in the market for a new high dollar cash rewards card. Penfed might be the one for me. I also saw Fidelity had one for 2% back on everything and they deposit it into an IRA for you. I haven't received the letter yet, but I'll make a move if/when I do get it.

It's great that we have a competitive market for credit cards - always a better option out there!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
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I had an interesting call from Chase the other day. I have a Chase rewards card (1% on all purchases) that I rarely use anymore since I have been using the PenFed card for the last year or so. Chase wanted to know what they could do to make their rewards card more competitive so I would use it more. I explained the PenFed rewards program and said that I would use the card that has the best rewards benefit. They offered to add 6% for gas purchases (but dropping to 3% after 180 days). They switched me to the new rewards program but the PenFed visa will still be my primary card unless Chase increases their reward offer (gas is not a big expense for me since I no longer have the long commute everyday).
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:21 AM   #11
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I also saw Fidelity had one for 2% back on everything and they deposit it into an IRA for you. I haven't received the letter yet, but I'll make a move if/when I do get it.
Schwab does this too. I have their card -- it was an easy choice since I already had a Schwab account. In fact, I think the Fidelity card was 1.5% until Schwab upped the ante to 2%, if I recall correctly.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:27 AM   #12
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Schwab does this too. I have their card -- it was an easy choice since I already had a Schwab account. In fact, I think the Fidelity card was 1.5% until Schwab upped the ante to 2%, if I recall correctly.
Fidelity has two cards - Visa & AMEX.

The Visa is at 1.5%, the AMEX is at 2%.

As for me? I took the Visa and have my cashback deposited directed to my Fidelity MM account, for current expenses (BTW, $375 thus far, this year).

While AMEX is a better cash-back program, I've found that more places (including global travel) accept Visa. I don't need two cards; I just have the one and the Fidelity Visa does it for me....
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #13
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Yep, looks like fidelity's visa is only 1.5% now.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:00 PM   #14
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I don't think has been mentioned here yet, but I've read and
heard several places that rewards program are one of the things
that credit-card companies are likely to cut back, to make up for
the lost revenues from the new law that cuts back on their sleazy
business practices and exploitation of dumb-asses.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:03 PM   #15
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I don't think has been mentioned here yet, but I've read and
heard several places that rewards program are one of the things
that credit-card companies are likely to cut back, to make up for
the lost revenues from the new law that cuts back on their sleazy
business practices and exploitation of dumb-asses.
Heard that too, but I'm not sure it makes sense.

I imagine the rewards are meant to increase transactions (it does for me). So if they make 3% avg on the transaction, and give 1% avg rewards (or thereabouts) it is a profit center for them. I'm pretty sure that is why they do it in the first place, being greedy capitalists. So why would they cut back?

Heck, they might *increase* the rewards if they can't make money elsewhere. Make the rewards high enough, and maybe even W2R will get a credit card


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Old 05-26-2009, 03:28 PM   #16
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So why would they cut back?
I agree that they won't. If it required subsidization from the less credit worthy they never would have offered it and never would have competed so much with each other over it.

It was a classic divide and conquer attempt: get one group of credit card holders nervous about a bill that mostly helped a different group. Of course, much of the media (and some of us) fell for it without much critical thinking.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:32 PM   #17
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It was a classic divide and conquer attempt: get one group of credit card holders nervous about a bill that mostly helped a different group. Of course, much of the media (and some of us) fell for it without much critical thinking.
I think it was fearmongering from the CC industry; at least I hope that's all it was. The fact is, if they were the brutal heartless capitalists that people say they are, they wouldn't be keeping the "freeloaders" who pay in full each month if they weren't profitable. Sure, not as profitable as someone financing a $15,000 CC loan as 22%, but still...
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:34 PM   #18
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Yep, looks like fidelity's visa is only 1.5% now.
I've had mine for a bit over 2 years. Always was at 1.5%.

They only added AMEX during the last year. That was always advertised at 2%, but initially it was for IRA/529 funding. Now they have expanded that to contribute to any type of Fidelity account.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:01 PM   #19
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I've had mine for a bit over 2 years. Always was at 1.5%.

They only added AMEX during the last year. That was always advertised at 2%, but initially it was for IRA/529 funding. Now they have expanded that to contribute to any type of Fidelity account.
They apparently upped the Visa to 2% in December 2008 for a while, but that has since expired and it is currently 1.5% on the first $15,000 and 2% after that. But with the current offer you can get the cashback deposited into your fidelity money market account. Under the December 2008 2% Visa offer, I think you could only get the money deposited into an IRA or 529 or something (some form of tax deferred account IIRC).

Either way, it is tempting. I may do the AMEX at fido if I can determine that Walmart accepts AMEX locally since that is where I buy 1/2 my monthly CC purchases. And maybe the penfed 5% card on gas purchases for that.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:05 PM   #20
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I'd like to update the thread a little. I got the 2% fidelity cashback American Express card a couple months ago and it has worked out really well. Nice high credit limit and 2% back on everything. I have yet to encounter a place that doesn't take Amex when I was trying to use it (which was a concern prior to applying for the Amex).

My Chase Freedom still gives 3% on top 3 categories and allows $250 in rewards for $200 worth of rewards points, even though it was rumored to be changing. Apparently it has been changing selectively for some customers. I use mine very heavily for certain purchases, so maybe I'm a good customer and they haven't gotten rid of the 250 rewards for 200 deal.

I also found out one of my Chase cards I rarely use has 5% cash back on gas groceries and drug store so I use it once again for those purchases.

I have also gotten back into applying for CC's just to take advantage of sign up bonuses. We did a bunch of apps for Aadvantage cards from citicards and ended up with 2 cards for me and 2 for DW. Each card has a 30,000 mile bonus for signing up and spending $750 minimum, so there goes 120,000 miles on AAdvantage. That equals ~5 round trips to Mexico, or 3 round trips to southern South America or Europe, or 4 round trips to central America or northern South America (at the lowest redemption rates). And we can actually find really good flight times and connections in general using AAdvantage miles, unlike other FF programs (such as Delta's ). Looks like we'll be enjoying a South American summer sometime around February, just not sure where we will go exactly. Argentina, Peru, Brazil, and Chile are in the running, but that is a discussion for another thread!
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