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-   -   Credit Card rewards (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/credit-card-rewards-16852.html)

Arin38 06-03-2005 08:07 AM

Credit Card rewards
 
Can anyone recommend the best credit card for cash back rewards? I've been searching the net and each card is different: tiered reward rates, annual caps, when and how you get paid. Whew! ???

I would prefer VISA/MC (accepted everywhere) and obviously no annual fee. Don't carry a balance so interest rate is irrelevant. Everything I pay for goes thru my card if possible.

Currently using an MBNA MC and getting golf rewards which I use for golf balls. Seriously considering killing my CC membership to save $6,000 per year. When I look at it as needing to save an additional $150,000 to ER and play, it seems kind of silly. Might as well quit now and save the $6k over my projected 5 yrs until ER and book another $30k plus the wicked returns I'm sure I'll get!

But I digress, anyone have a great card they'd like to recommend??

brewer12345 06-03-2005 08:11 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
I don't thnk I have seen a better general purpose card than Pen Fed's. 1.25% cash rebate on all purchases, including when you charge CDs at Pen Fed. Pretty darned hard to beat.

wildcat 06-03-2005 08:52 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Go to www.bankrate.com

They have good info on reward cards. Has anyone tried the Cap One No Hassle Rewards? I think I recall it being reco'd by some consumer mag.

TromboneAl 06-03-2005 09:12 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
This site:

http://www.creditcardgoodies.com

has good info.* As far as I can tell it's produced by a guy as a hobby. One thing he says is:

Quote:

"The first thing you need to do is decide what is most important to you. My own personal opinion is that cash is always best. Sure, gas points, airline miles, video rentals, show tickets, and other perks are nice... but if you have cash instead, you can buy any of these things on your own schedule at your own leisure - you are not forced to buy one companies products or services. You can always buy phone time, plane tickets, or ever cars if you have cash - but try to buy a car with your frequent flyer credits or your automobile rebate. Doesn't work too well, does it? It's getting harder and harder to find good cash back deals as the companies realize that people actually get cash back, but those deals are still out there."
Another thing you should do is call your current credit card company and see what they can do for you. That's what I did.

MJ 06-03-2005 09:25 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by brewer12345
I don't thnk I have seen a better general purpose card than Pen Fed's. 1.25% cash rebate on all purchases, including when you charge CDs at Pen Fed. Pretty darned hard to beat.

Hey Brewer,
Several weeks ago, I opened a CC with PFCU primarily to purchase $30K CD from them and they told me that this purchase would not entitle me to earn any points. If you bought CDs from them, what kind of transaction was it that earned points.

REWahoo 06-03-2005 09:33 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TromboneAl

Don't know if I totally agree that cash is always better. I was able to do some serious damage on a new car purchase last September with my GM card (the original version card, not the newer one). On a vehicle with a sticker price of $23K, I got $4.1K in discounts from the card plus other GM rebates totalling $12.5K. And that does not include any trade in or the additional amount I got them to knock off the sticker price before applying the points and rebates.

I'm not a big fan of GM products, but at this price I didn't see how I could go wrong. 15K miles and so far, so good.

REW

brewer12345 06-03-2005 09:40 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Permanently Unemployed
Hey Brewer,
Several weeks ago, I opened a CC with PFCU primarily to purchase $30K CD from them and they told me that this purchase would not entitle me to earn any points. If you bought CDs from them, what kind of transaction was it that earned points.

Interesting. I haven't actually tried to do this, so maybe it is their policy not to let you double dip.

BristolBane 06-03-2005 09:53 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
My wife and I currently use the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card. 5% cash back on purchases at grocery stores, drug stores and gas stations. 1% back on everything else. Max of $300 back per calendar year.

http://www.citibank.com/us/cards/car...plat/index.jsp

It looks like I will max that this year so I may need to get my wife to sign up for another one in her name. They are pretty generous with the "grocery store" classification too. For example, we have a store called "Meijer" which is like a Super Walmart (General Merchandise plus a Grocery). We got 5% back there even though we weren't buying groceries.


lazyday 06-03-2005 11:03 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BristolBane
My wife and I currently use the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card.

I have a very similar card, but mine gives reward cards instead of cash. Cash would be a little better, but I figure it's good to be a profitable customer. :)

Instead of cash, I get $50 gift cards for Exxon or Mobil, which is where I usually buy my gas anyway. So, the cards are worth about 95% of cash to me, where I'd imagine Citi pays less than that, and prefers to give reward points instead of cash. Most of my use of this card is at the 5% reward rate, so I'd like to keep Citi happy, since the 5% deal seems too good to be true and I'd like to make it last. I think I've read about some of the best deals being cut back over time.

Brewer, The penfed card sounds interesting for non-grocery/gas purchases. I may look into that.

Bristol--My girlfriend got her own Citi card too, so we can extend the cash back.

lazyday 06-03-2005 11:07 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Oh, and try to get one of the deals if she does get her own card, where she and maybe you get a bonus. Best bonus I've seen was $100 in rewards, when my girlfriend got her card, she got $50 and I got $30 in rewards. Not sure if good bonuses on the cashback version of the card, or if either card is running a bonus right now.

cute fuzzy bunny 06-03-2005 11:27 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
I have one of them citi platinum rewards cards too. I charge all my gas, drug store and grocery purchases to it and most other stuff as well. I get about $25 a month rebated for the 5% stuff and I'll easily max the card before the end of the year. Have an old discover card that I use for sams club purchases since they dont take anything else but that only pays back .25% on warehouse club purchases. Those are the only two I use regularly at this point.

Nords 06-03-2005 11:31 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Fidelity's brokerage offers MBNA's 1.5% cash-back card.

It's interesting that MBNA wouldn't stop sending a paper bill. I understood why when I saw the amount of advertising stuffed inside it...

cute fuzzy bunny 06-03-2005 11:40 AM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Huh, that is. I just got all my cards to quit sending the paper bills (and the damn balance transfer checks that I have to shred). I never read them in paper, just online, so they're welcome to keep sending me advertising on their nickel.

HFWR 06-03-2005 12:04 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by th
Huh, that is.* I just got all my cards to quit sending the paper bills (and the damn balance transfer checks that I have to shred).* I never read them in paper, just online, so they're welcome to keep sending me advertising on their nickel.

Only problem is it IS your nickel; maybe w/o all that crap, they could lower the rate.

cute fuzzy bunny 06-03-2005 12:05 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
I dont pay the rate. I pay them off every month.

So YOU'RE paying for them to send me advertising. YOU get to get mad about it. I'm gettin' me a second cup a coffee. ;)

Nords 06-03-2005 12:23 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
Only problem is it IS your nickel; maybe w/o all that crap, they could lower the rate.

Not my nickel either, and I think MBNA's mailing costs are paid by advertiser fees-- it's a profit center thinly disguised as billing correspondence.

Lowering rates-- that's a good one. We might as well expect them to share their advertising profits. My effective rate with MBNA has been 1.5% going my way, and I'm not complaining.

For you overseas travelers, be aware that MBNA (and probably others) raised their currency-conversion fee from 1% to 3%. At that rate it made more sense in Thailand to get a printout of the hotel bill, walk around the corner to the ATM, and pay it off in wads of 1000-baht notes.

Online or in paper, I'm impressed by how difficult they make it to determine how much you really owe them that month. But it's not hard to find the "minimum payment" amount!

cute fuzzy bunny 06-03-2005 12:27 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
All we need to do is get the health care providers to start sending us unsolicited advertising to help them lower their rates as well...

HFWR 06-03-2005 12:47 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
The analogy (granted, of somewhat limited analogousness) would be to generic v. national brand; i.e. I'm not paying MJ a gazillion dollars to tell me to eat my Wheaties, or a supermodel a bazillion dollars to shake her ass so I'll buy designer jeans.

I'm sure many of the FI/RE/LBYM crowd carry limited debt, as do I. My CitiBank Platinum, however, has no grace period, so even if you pay the full balance each month, some interest accrues. They're about be replaced, BTW. >:(


JB 06-03-2005 01:04 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Permanently Unemployed
Hey Brewer,
Several weeks ago, I opened a CC with PFCU primarily to purchase $30K CD from them and they told me that this purchase would not entitle me to earn any points. If you bought CDs from them, what kind of transaction was it that earned points.

I asked Penfed about this. They recently changed their policy on credit card purchases of CDs -- they are no longer allowed.

Spanky 06-03-2005 03:16 PM

Re: Credit Card rewards
 
I thought the points are offered by the credit issuer - not Penfed


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