Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/)
-   FIRE and Money (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/)
-   -   End of FIA Visa and 2% Cash Back (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/end-of-fia-visa-and-2-cash-back-57902.html)

FUEGO 09-13-2011 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andre1969 (Post 1111131)
I have a fidelity AMEX that's run by FIA, and I get the 2% cash back. I haven't received any notification yet, but I guess it'll be coming to an end, eventually? I knew it seemed too good to be true!

Yep, I have this too and I guess it will get scrapped by getting transferred to BofA and switched to a craptacular cashback rewards program.

Right now I have the CapitalOne Venture card that gives 2% cashback. Catch is that there is an annual fee of $59, but they waived it the first year (and gave me $1100 each for DW and me for sign up bonuses). I don't think I will renew the card. I believe they offer a free card called VentureOne Rewards Card that gives 1.25% cashback. These are Visas. The one catch is that you theoretically have to use the rewards on previously purchased travel or travel purchased via their web portal (at market rates) to get the full redemption rate. In practice, something as simple as a tank of gas is considered travel so you can get reimbursed for a tank of gas every month or two (as you accumulate points).

sms88 09-17-2011 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveL (Post 1111049)
Originally it was a Schwab Visa run by FIA, then Schwab dropped it and it was just FIA. Today, as I expected, the letter from BofA announcing conversion of my card to a B of A visa eff. 11/1, and the termination of the 2% cash back eff. 10/31. There is a replacement cash rewards program that isn't much. Also, we get a new VISA number which is a big pain.

Even though it no longer makes sense to use the new BOA Visa card because the rewards program is so poor, there is one advantage to keeping it even while switching to a different card for purchases. It qualifies you for their free museum weekends, Museums on Us®.

I will be switching all my automatic payments back to a USAA card that I stopped using (USAA has also worsened the rewards, but not as much as BOA is worsening them). I'll keep the BOA card and make an occasional charge so they don't cancel it.

It was clear that the 2% cash back was not going to last long even back when Schwab was running it. The people with this card are the least likely people dumb enough to pay the finance charges that paid the 2%. It's surprising it lasted as long as it did. 2% is more than Visa gets from the merchant in transaction fees.

clifp 09-17-2011 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sms88 (Post 1112549)
It qualifies you for their free museum weekends, Museums on Us®.



It was clear that the 2% cash back was not going to last long even back when Schwab was running it. The people with this card are the least likely people dumb enough to pay the finance charges that paid the 2%. It's surprising it lasted as long as it did. 2% is more than Visa gets from the merchant in transaction fees.


Could to know about the museums. I actually have two Schwab Visa cards I'll keep the one with high balance and cancel the other. I thought Visa charged between 2-3.5% for transaction for small and medium business Still your point is well taken Schwab customers are not generally the type to incur finance charges.

sms88 09-17-2011 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 1112558)
Could to know about the museums. I actually have two Schwab Visa cards I'll keep the one with high balance and cancel the other. I thought Visa charged between 2-3.5% for transaction for small and medium business Still your point is well taken Schwab customers are not generally the type to incur finance charges.

The program that Costco has for business members is between 1.37% and 1.48% for card-swiped transactions, plus a 12˘-20˘ transaction fee, though rewards cards are slightly higher (but still much less than 2-3.5%). But the issuing bank doesn't get all that money anyway, a large percentage goes to Visa or Mastercard.

In one sense, all these rewards cards drive up the cost of doing business for merchants, but it's now built into the whole pricing structure. It's the cash customers that end up subsidizing all these rewards (along with those people that carry a balance and pay interest).

It was good while it lasted, but all the 2% cards I've ever had have not lasted very long.

Nords 09-18-2011 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveL (Post 1111049)
Originally it was a Schwab Visa run by FIA, then Schwab dropped it and it was just FIA. Today, as I expected, the letter from BofA announcing conversion of my card to a B of A visa eff. 11/1, and the termination of the 2% cash back eff. 10/31. There is a replacement cash rewards program that isn't much. Also, we get a new VISA number which is a big pain.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FD (Post 1111121)
Depending on your spending habits, it may not be the best deal but I use the USAA cash reward Mastercard offering 0.45%-1.25% cash back on all purchases based on how much you charge on your card each year.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andre1969 (Post 1111131)
I have a fidelity AMEX that's run by FIA, and I get the 2% cash back. I haven't received any notification yet, but I guess it'll be coming to an end, eventually? I knew it seemed too good to be true!

Quote:

Originally Posted by CFPMatt (Post 1111232)
Ditto- we use the Fidelity AMEX for 2% and also the Chase Freedom for when the 5% deal, which changes every quarter.

Aw, crap. I've been seeing that "BofA" in the URL whenever I log in to FIA, and wondering when this was going to bite me.

The best thing about the Fidelity Amex is using it at Costco. That doubled our 2% rebates when we got the card.

I guess I'll be going back to our USAA MC (I'll never have a credit limit that high ever again), especially for its 1% overseas currency-conversion fee. I wonder who else is offering Amex for Costco... maybe we'll even sign up through Costco.

travelover 09-18-2011 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords (Post 1112649)
.........The best thing about the Fidelity Amex is using it at Costco. That doubled our 2% rebates when we got the card ...........

+1 I feel like I'm pulling off a minor crime when I swipe my Costco AmEx to identify myself, then switch to the Fido AmEx to pay.

madcityacct 09-19-2011 10:23 PM

Just got an offer for the Chase Freedom card. No annual fee, $300 cash back with first purchase, 5% in specific categories, and 1% for everything else.

Bye bye BoA. The 2% was nice while it lasted!

ERD50 09-19-2011 10:56 PM

Fidelity is still offering the 2% AMEX card on their site:

Fidelity Rewards American Express® Cards

Hopefully, this means it won't be discontinued anytime soon.

-ERD50

tulak 09-24-2011 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madcityacct (Post 1113159)
Just got an offer for the Chase Freedom card. No annual fee, $300 cash back with first purchase, 5% in specific categories, and 1% for everything else.

Bye bye BoA. The 2% was nice while it lasted!

From their website:


Foreign Transactions: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Ouch. This is what I'm going to miss the most with the Schwab Card. I seem to remember Penfed only charges 1%, but I need to double-check.

tulak 09-24-2011 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 1114436)
From their website:


Foreign Transactions: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Ouch. This is what I'm going to miss the most with the Schwab Card. I seem to remember Penfed only charges 1%, but I need to double-check.

Just looked up Penfed's foreign transaction fee. It's 2%.

Nords 09-25-2011 01:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 1114436)
I seem to remember Penfed only charges 1%, but I need to double-check.[/FONT]

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 1114438)
Just looked up Penfed's foreign transaction fee. It's 2%.

USAA's foreign currency fee is only 1%.
https://content.usaa.com/mcontent/st...currency%20fee (page 6 of this 28-page PDF)

Anyone can apply to USAA for a credit card. You don't have to be a member, and you don't have to be military or have a military relative.

captain3d 09-27-2011 12:58 AM

So before the schwab card expires...what can we stock up on that will earn the 2% cash back?

I just ordered a whole foods gift card to see if it qualifies. Any other store, gas gift cards? what about prepaid visa cards etc do they qualify for the 2%?

Any outside the box ideas to prepay for stuff on the 2% card? Time to go and buy that emergency food supply kit I have been planning for a while I guess.

phil

FUEGO 09-27-2011 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by captain3d (Post 1115247)
So before the schwab card expires...what can we stock up on that will earn the 2% cash back?

I just ordered a whole foods gift card to see if it qualifies. Any other store, gas gift cards? what about prepaid visa cards etc do they qualify for the 2%?

Any outside the box ideas to prepay for stuff on the 2% card? Time to go and buy that emergency food supply kit I have been planning for a while I guess.

phil

Recently I had to meet some steep minimum spending requirements for a number of credit card sign up bonuses. Things I prepaid included:

Multiple $500 gift cards for walmart, home depot, lowe's etc. Stuff I spend money on anyway.
Electric bill - had to pay $5 fee but 2% cashback exceeded $5 fee.
Kids lunch money - they take CC's online now.
Water/sewer trash bill - no fee.
Nat Gas bill - no fee for CCs
Internet bill (through cable company)

Now I'm sitting on 3-4 thousand in prepaid bills and gift cards.

captain3d 09-28-2011 12:53 PM

ok so gift cards are not seen as cash advances etc. Great. I will give it a go.

Just a few days left on this great card.

phil

smjsl 09-29-2011 03:56 PM

Thanks sms88 - did not know about the Museums options.

BoA card does not look too bad - 2% on groceries, 3% on gas (1% on everything else). So, I actually plan on continuing to use it at least for groceries (where 2% Amex is not accepted) and gas (don't spend enough on gas to get a whole separate card just for gas). And I may also use it for 1% purchases where 2% Amex is not accepted - hopefully just a few places.

Foreign txn fee is a bummer though. Another thing I liked about Schwab / FIA card is the shop-safe online card number generator which would generate new card numbers for you for online (or any other) purchases. Not sure if my new 2% Fidelity Amex card would have that (since it's also an FIA card) or whether BofA would continue to have that option...

P.S. Schwab card benefits continued for over a year after FIA took over - I sure am glad I had not canceled it...

steelyman 09-29-2011 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smjsl (Post 1116309)
Another thing I liked about Schwab / FIA card is the shop-safe online card number generator which would generate new card numbers for you for online (or any other) purchases.

I've been a Discover card user ever since they were first offered - they may have been among the first cash-back cards - and have used the secure number generator they've offered for the past several years and loved it. Sadly, they sent a notice out recently that this service will be discontinued. Wonder if they are running out of numbers??

ziggy29 09-30-2011 02:05 PM

Just called to cancel today. Could have waited another month, but I'd just soon get it over with and make the clean break now...

clifp 09-30-2011 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 1116713)
Just called to cancel today. Could have waited another month, but I'd just soon get it over with and make the clean break now...

Since I had two Schwab/FIA/BOA :mad::mad::mad: credit cards, I will certainly cancel the one with small credit limit. However the other one has $29K limit, won't canceling it hurt my credit score because I'll be having a higher credit utilization ratio?

ziggy29 09-30-2011 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 1116793)
Since I had two Schwab/FIA/BOA :mad::mad::mad: credit cards, I will certainly cancel the one with small credit limit. However the other one has $29K limit, won't canceling it hurt my credit score because I'll be having a higher credit utilization ratio?

Depends on what your utilization ratio will be without them. If you think your utilization ratio would still be quite low without them, that part of the score won't get hurt:

Credit Card Utilization and Average Credit Scores

For example, our typical usage is less than $3K per month and even after canceling this card we have over $50K in available credit, so we'll still have a utilization ratio well under 10% so I didn't think that would hurt much. Plus, this one was open for less than 3 years and my "average" account was more than 8 years old, so again, I don't see much of a hit.

For what it's worth, I still have one too, but an older account with a higher limit. And the terms on that one didn't change and really aren't any different than what the Schwab card was becoming so I saw no need to have them both -- not to mention I make a better "consumer statement" by canceling this one.

HpRyder 09-30-2011 08:14 PM

I think I'll take the BOA Privilege card for the free 1st yr & link it to the BOA HOA checking account I've never used. Then after the years up I'll switch to a Fido card.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:20 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.