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Looking for a good reward credit card
Old 09-06-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
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Looking for a good reward credit card

OK... my luck has finally run out...

Years ago I had a Citi and a Chase card that gave 5% back on groceries, drugs store and gas purchases... the Citi was changed a few years back and I had heard that a number of people who had a Chase card also changed.. my Chase card did not and I have enjoyed the 5% back for a long time...


UNTIL THIS MONTH... I kept getting mailings over the years about converting my Rewards card to a Freedom card (I also have one of these, but with different rewards)... now, they have done it... it has happened over the weekend as I did see my old info last week and today it is under the new Freedom name (it was a bit of a surprise when I saw charges on my Freedom card that we did not make... until I noticed we now have TWO Freedom cards)....

My new Freedom card is not that good for rewards... they have taken the Discover program where you have to sign up for a limited amount of higher credits... I don't like doing that and trying to remember what program is running now and have I met my limit...

This is the second time that Chase has converted a card to a new program that is supposed to help me... I have a Sapphire card which I did not ask for which replaced a card that also had a good program attached... I have not used that card in over two years...

SOOO, long story, but I want to try and determine what am I going to do going forward... I can use our Cap One card and get 1.25% on everything... get my wife a card from the old Freedom card which gives 3% on your top categories (never got her one since the other cards were better)... or find another card that is good...

Any suggestions on current cards that I can get to maximize my rewards?? I do not want a flight card or a car card... cold hard cash is the only way to go...
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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I think there was a recent thread at Bogleheads on this very subject.

Anyway, I use Fidelity Amex for 2% on every purchase and Costco Amex for 3% on restaurants and gasoline. REI VISA @1% so I can save up for that Gortex bathing suit I have always wanted.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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An interesting update...

While I was looking I came across a Cap One card that gives a 50% bonus at the end of your year... I get 25% now... which means a 1.25% on all purchases...

So, I called Cap One and asked how to get to the 50% for a 1.5% on everything... they said that the program does not start until tomorrow, but they would upgrade me today since I was already on the list to get the option to upgrade...

Now my base card will be Cap One at 1.5% on everything with no limit...

Still looking...
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I think there was a recent thread at Bogleheads on this very subject.

Anyway, I use Fidelity Amex for 2% on every purchase and Costco Amex for 3% on restaurants and gasoline. REI VISA @1% so I can save up for that Gortex bathing suit I have always wanted.
Do you have to be a memeber of Costco If so, that is not an option...

I will have to look at the Fidelity... now have an account with them with the 401(k).... 2% on everything is better than 1.5% on everything....
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:49 PM   #5
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Do you have to be a member of Costco ........
I don't know - maybe someone else can answer or offer an alternative.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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Penfed. 5% on gas paid at pump. 1% on everything else.

https://www.penfed.org/productsAndRa...ewardCards.asp

-CC
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Old 09-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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I second the Fidelity AMEX card with 2% on everything. No hidden stuff, no signing up, no limits (the Discover card programs had goofy limits, like $15 rebate limit, so it was good for only $300 of purchases). So far this year, I've earned about $200 in rebates from Fidelity.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:08 PM   #8
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So the Fidelty rebates - can you cash them out? Or how do they make you use them?
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:19 PM   #9
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My Fidleity rebates automatically get posted to my brokerage account (core account) when they total $50. I'm free to use the funds however I please. I'm not sure if you have to have an account with Fidelity to get this card, or not - a quick search on their website would tell you.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Got a good deal on a CITI Thank You card a few months ago.
Basics of the card are fine, no fee, yada, yada.
Got 6000 points for spending $300 the first month. From that point the first year is double points for one year (2 points for $1 spent) They have numerous merchants who pay 3 for one, 4 for 1, etc.
Huge number of ways to spend the points.
DW just got a $100 Kohls Card for 10,000 points.
When this card goes back to one point per dollar in a year, it may be time to dump it. For now pretty good.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:22 PM   #11
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The current Chase Freedom card is one of the best out there.

You get 5% cash back on groceries and gas, and 1% on everything else, PLUS you get $200 cash if you spend $500 in the 1st 3 months of getting the card.

Why don't you cancel the card you have and maybe reapply in another month? Assume you have good credit.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
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Just to clarify, the 5% cash back on groceries and gas is for the current quarter only. Each quarter, they feature different spending categories which qualify for the 5% cash back.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:23 PM   #13
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When this card goes back to one point per dollar in a year, it may be time to dump it. For now pretty good.
Yeah, I suspect my (formerly) Schwab 2% card will be watered down soon now that it has been taken over by (ugh) B of A. When it does it will likely be time to go elsewhere or stick with my 1% card from USAA, as I'd rather give them the business than B of A if the terms are roughly the same.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:24 PM   #14
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So the Fidelty rebates - can you cash them out? Or how do they make you use them?
As for me, I have both my AMEX and VISA FIDO card redemptions deposited directly to my FIDO Income Management Account (I believe it's been replaced by MyCash, but works in a similar manner).

From there, I can ETF any amount to another bank/CU.

BTW, the FIDO Visa only pays 1.5% on all purchases, but goes to 2% cash back (same as the AMEX) once you charge over $15k/year.

I keep the Visa as the backup to those places that do not accept AMEX.
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:36 PM   #15
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Just to clarify, the 5% cash back on groceries and gas is for the current quarter only. Each quarter, they feature different spending categories which qualify for the 5% cash back.

Yes... that is the problem... I HAD 5% cash back on groceries and gas year round... without signing up for the rebate (remember, if you do not sign up, you get the base rebate of 1%)....

If they are like Discover, then there is a limit to the rebate... will have to check on this..

Just checked... and it is for gas, hotels etc... but at least it is for $1500 of purchases instead of the Discover $200 or $300 they have... still, a downgrade for me....


OH... and it looks like they made the change on my rewards last month, so I spent money expecting 5% and am only getting 1%...
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:06 PM   #16
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Well, looking at the options... I am adding my wife to the old Freedom card which pays 3% on the top 5 of 12 spending categories... and with the $250 back when you get to $200 that is 3.75%... can't beat that on a regular basis from any other card... never put her on the account since there were better cards...

But, I now have two credit cards from Chase where they have changed the program on me that I will either not use (the first one I have not used in over two years) or use only for the 5% cash back (which my wife can not usually keep track of so we waste money)....

The other interesting thing I learned is that the phone rep thanked me for being a customer since 2007... well, you would have seen it has been since 1993 IF you had not made changes to my old card and made me stop using it... guess those extra 14 years don't mean much....
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:41 PM   #17
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I know you mentioned "no flight card", but I have a Continental / Chase card. $1 spent = 1 airmile. If you ever fly, this card may be worth a lot of cold hard cash...
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Any suggestions on current cards that I can get to maximize my rewards?? I do not want a flight card or a car card... cold hard cash is the only way to go...
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #18
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I've got four credit cards of which I generally use three. #1 card I use is my BOA debit card (no rewards). #2 is American Express Business card I only use at Costco's and that gives me 5% cash back on gas at Costco's and 1% on everything else. Hard to find any other discount gas stations that take AMEX. #3 is BOA Visa card that I got within the last four months. It gives me 5% cash back on gas and 1% on everything else. I got it for the gas rebate. Today I bought gas for $3.489 and the 5% cash back is the same as buying it for $3.31. We're not talking fortunes here but it feels like you pulled a fast one buying it for so much less. Fourth card is a Sears. Don't use it much. I'd love a card that offers 5% back on groceries but not one that plays games by changing the categories every couple months.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:06 AM   #19
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I know you mentioned "no flight card", but I have a Continental / Chase card. $1 spent = 1 airmile. If you ever fly, this card may be worth a lot of cold hard cash...
I tend to find that when I fly it is cheaper to buy the ticket than use miles since they are not worth that much on a discount ticket... I currently have about 250,000 miles at Continental and really don't need that much more... (well, the wife wants to take the family to Australia so I could use a few more ). At the end of the day, the actual rebate is probably between 1% and 3% according to the cost of your ticket. I was hoping to get back to my 5%.... wishful thinking....

Also, don't they charge an annual fee for that card
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:12 AM   #20
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I tend to find that when I fly it is cheaper to buy the ticket than use miles since they are not worth that much on a discount ticket...
Same here. Usually we're better off electing the cash back instead of using the miles, especially since using the miles tend to be very restrictive in terms of travel dates, times and available seats.

In theory, many of the frequent flier programs with affinity cards offer a free domestic round trip at 25,000 miles. Generally that means charging $25,000 -- from which I can still (for now) get $500 cash back with a 2% card. I can usually find a decent domestic round trip for well under $500. Even at 1%, that would be $250 back, and while a lot of domestic round trips are over $250, again, they aren't always heavily available unless you are willing to burn 50,000 miles (finding an appropriate flight with the restricted 25,000 mile option can be difficult).

Even where it's not strictly the "maximum bang for the buck" option, there's nothing more flexible than cash back.
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