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-   -   Credit Card for Bonuses and Perks (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/credit-card-for-bonuses-and-perks-56718.html)

ferco 06-26-2011 08:06 PM

Credit Card for Bonuses and Perks
 
In the groups experiences, what's the best card for mileage points, skymiles, etc that won't give you the run-a-round....? Delta AMEX, Capital One. I heard of a guy (online) who used his card for the majority of his routine and annual expenses and built up boo coos of points. He even paid his IRS and State taxes as well as his RE taxes with the CC. I don't think he's "bought" a airline ticket in years.....I know the system can work, I just don't know of anyone personally who's doing it.

dpruitt85 06-26-2011 08:12 PM

I have a Charles Schwab credit card that pays 2% on all purchases. It has since been discontinued but I think Fidelity still offers a 2% cash back card. Why not try that and buy the airline tickets instead of relying on "points" or "miles"?

JOHNNIE36 06-27-2011 06:12 AM

I go for the strictly cash back type cards. Best so far is my Amex Business Card that offers 3% cash back on gasoline purchases (was 5%), office supplies and cell phone bills and 1% on everything else. Recently found a Bank of America Small business credit card that's same as AMEX but offers 5% on the gasoline. From what I understand, you really don't have to be a business owner to get either of these cards.

mystang52 06-27-2011 06:17 AM

I'm happy with Chase Sapphire. No annual fee, 1% on purchases, and I think 2 or 3% on gas (in the grand scheme of things not much difference). I cash in the points online for a staement credit.
I don't know if other cards are different, but the "points" are not worth it. 2500 points =a $25 gift card, or a $25 statement credit. I'd rather take the credit.

Texas Proud 06-27-2011 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferco (Post 1083925)
In the groups experiences, what's the best card for mileage points, skymiles, etc that won't give you the run-a-round....? Delta AMEX, Capital One. I heard of a guy (online) who used his card for the majority of his routine and annual expenses and built up boo coos of points. He even paid his IRS and State taxes as well as his RE taxes with the CC. I don't think he's "bought" a airline ticket in years.....I know the system can work, I just don't know of anyone personally who's doing it.


First, I think it it stupid to pay your taxes with a CC... the Treasury (not the IRS) charges a fee... our RE tax would also charge a fee... the fee is more than the benefits you get back....

I pay a lot of my bills with CC and get back between 1% and 5% of the purchase... I do not charge utilities, taxes, house payment with a CC as they all charge you a fee that is greater than the cash back...

I get between $400 and $600 a year back (a guess as I do not track it)...

pimpmyretirement 06-27-2011 08:13 AM

I've found the amazon visa to be ok. 1% cash back (via points converted to statement credit). I think you get a little more for amazon purchases and maybe some other categories.

ferco 06-27-2011 09:15 AM

What's the "best card" for airline points, "free travel", upgrades......

rescueme 06-27-2011 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferco (Post 1084012)
What's the "best card" for airline points, "free travel", upgrades......

Ever try to cash those points in? I have. It is nearly impossible to get any "advertised" trip/upgrade unless you double/triple the points you are cashing in.

I learned a long time ago to take the cash refund over airline points.

When I was still employed (and traveling to Europe every month) I would accumulate a lot of points that the company did not require to "return". I/DW received a lot of free travel to Europe/US, but that was not through my personal charge card. I looked at it as a comp for the many weekends/nights I spent away from home.

I would never get a personal charge card just to score some points - it's not worth it IMHO.

Just my POV.

Lsbcal 06-27-2011 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpruitt85 (Post 1083926)
I have a Charles Schwab credit card that pays 2% on all purchases. It has since been discontinued but I think Fidelity still offers a 2% cash back card. Why not try that and buy the airline tickets instead of relying on "points" or "miles"?

I have the same card. One could call FIA card services to ask about where they might get the card. That 2% back is pretty nice.

I also use a credit union card for 12 purchases per month so that I can get their 2% interest rate on up to 25k of savings.

FIREngineer 06-27-2011 11:03 AM

I'll put my 2 cents in since I haven't seen it mentioned by others. I use Capitol One Cash Rewards. I picked it because it was very straightforward. 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% on everything else. No tiers, or trying to figure out what the extra cash back category for the month is. You can have them send you a check or give you a statement credit whenever you want. You can also set it up so that you get your cash back automatically once your balance meets a threshold you specify (I think the minimum is $25).

I've had the card for about 4 months and so far, no problems. I've already gotten one automatic refund, which went smoothly, the money just showed up as a credit.

Texas Proud 06-27-2011 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FIREngineer (Post 1084041)
I'll put my 2 cents in since I haven't seen it mentioned by others. I use Capitol One Cash Rewards. I picked it because it was very straightforward. 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% on everything else. No tiers, or trying to figure out what the extra cash back category for the month is. You can have them send you a check or give you a statement credit whenever you want. You can also set it up so that you get your cash back automatically once your balance meets a threshold you specify (I think the minimum is $25).

I've had the card for about 4 months and so far, no problems. I've already gotten one automatic refund, which went smoothly, the money just showed up as a credit.


I also have a Cap One card.... and use it a LOT... I chose the bonus reward which is a 25% bonus on your annual rewards... which bring the total rewards to 1.25%...

I do not like the Fidelity and some of the others which require you open an account with them which ties up some of your money... (there was a 1.45% from Immigrant Direct a long time ago... don't know if it is still offered)...


Edit to add: Checked and it is only 1% at Immigrant Direct...

JOHNNIE36 06-27-2011 01:34 PM

Just filled up my gas tank at Sam's Club. Posted price at the pump was $3.429. Used my Bank of America cash rewards card and saved another 5% which equated to another 17 cents. My final price was $3.2576.

Backpacker 06-27-2011 02:10 PM

We finally broke down and got a chase / united visa card last december as we were flying to HI. with that trip and charging all our vehicle gas (gas = double miles), we each have about 44,000 miles. It takes 50,000 to get a ticket, unless you can find one for 25,000 - which seems much harder to come by IMHO. They do have an annual fee which I will not be paying so hoping we can attain enough miles before december when the card gets closed.

Cant really say if its a good card or not as i have not cashed in for tickets yet. I pretty much hate all CC's and pay them off every month.

We have one through my CU that doesnt charge the currency exchange fee and we use that one on our trip to Canada, no annual fee, fixed rate 9.9, no bells and whistles but nice to be able to talk face to face with the issuer if needed.

Danmar 06-27-2011 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferco (Post 1084012)
What's the "best card" for airline points, "free travel", upgrades......

we use 2 Amex cards( Starwood Preferred Guest) and Aeroplan (Air Canada) There is a fee ($500). We put almost everything we can on these cards then redeem the points for First Class Travel. We spend quite a bit and earn maybe 500,000 points per year. Airline points are best used for first class travel as economy class is so cheap anyway. Been to Europe/Asia on our points many times and probably saved $100,000 over the past 5 years of retirement. This works out to 5-10% of purchases. Takes patience and experience but I can assure you it is doable and I believe represents the best deal if you were going to travel first class anyway.

WM 06-27-2011 06:15 PM

I've been looking into this recently too, and here are some things I learned:

1. In general, cards that accumulate airline miles per dollar spent do so at a rate roughly equivalent to getting 2% cash back.

2. Based on #1, you're not going to get fantastic payoffs from the card alone unless you charge a lot of $$.

3. The best dollar value for airline miles comes from using them for business or first-class fares where the number of points you need is maybe 4x the amount of points needed for a coach fare, but the $$ cost would be, say, 10x the amount of the coach fare.

4. The really low-point fares do exist, but they're a lot easier to get and use if you live in a big city (my sister never has a problem getting 25K mile round trip flights between LAX-JFK).

We ended up getting a Capital One Venture card for everyday use, and we're trying it out this year. I've seen that one recommended numerous places but we haven't tried to redeem miles yet.

I also signed up for a British Airways card that had a 100K mile bonus and we'll use that one next year because if we charge at least $30K within the year (which we likely will) we'll get a companion ticket that we'll use in combination with the 100K miles for cheap flights to Europe (not free because you still have to pay fees and surcharges). The 100K promotion is over but there might be others out there.

Another card I've seen recommended twice recently is the Chase Sapphire.

A good site for info on this is thepointsguy.com, he might be the guy mentioned by the OP.

HawkeyeNFO 06-27-2011 06:15 PM

AARP's Visa card is giving 5% cash back on all purchases except travel, which is 7%. This is for the first 6 months, then it goes to 1% and 3% respectively.

My plan is to sign up Mrs NFO for a card next month, when my 6 months is up.

nphx 06-27-2011 09:07 PM

I get 1-3 new cards a year it seems taking a 50k or more mileage bonus to motivate me to do so. 30k is common, 40k comes up once in awhile - the cards to get are the 50k or 100k bonus to sign on.

Also i have a amex starwoods in case nothing else compels me to use an alternate card. the hotel points seem to be a good deal when i go skiing and i have the option to xfer 1 to 1 for many airlines.

Htown Harry 06-27-2011 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferco (Post 1084012)
What's the "best card" for airline points, "free travel", upgrades......


Ferco, the FlyerTalk frequent flyer forum will keep you busy for hours.

MilesBuzz! - FlyerTalk Forums

This blog has a useful information on the pros and cons of various rewards cards:

Free Frequent Flyer Miles

I'm happy with the Starwood Amex card - points can be used at the Sheraton / Weston / W family of hotels or rolled over to multiple airlines as miles.

travelover 06-28-2011 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpruitt85 (Post 1083926)
I have a Charles Schwab credit card that pays 2% on all purchases. It has since been discontinued but I think Fidelity still offers a 2% cash back card. Why not try that and buy the airline tickets instead of relying on "points" or "miles"?

+1 I have the Fidelity card that gets me 2% on everything, including Costco (thanks Nords), plus a Costco Am Ex that gets me 3% on gas and restaurants.

I've given up on frequent flier mile chasing. I felt like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football and having Lucie snatch it away.

RunningBum 06-28-2011 06:33 AM

I looked up the Fido thing and it is 1.5% back on Visa until you get to $15K in a year, then it goes to 2%. I think it is 2% for their AmEx. It had a footnote where it said "no fees" to look at the terms and conditions and I couldn't immediately find those, so I can't see for sure what fees it might have. Seems like there is some gimmick/restriction that you can't sweep money to your account until you get 5000 points, so you might essentially be sitting on a $50 deposit on that account.

I might still go ahead with that, since putting money with Fido isn't much different than having it with VG. Right now I've got the PenFed 1% back deal. It's just credited back against the next month's balance. I thought it was 3% back on gas, but now I'm seeing it's 5% according to their web site.


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