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Old 12-02-2013, 11:06 AM   #61
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Hopeful's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
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We are happy with our Capital One Venture card, but it all comes down to how much you spend each year. It is 2% back and there is a $59 annual fee, but we easily overcome that with our spending levels as compared to a 1% or 1.5% card. We are sure to charge just about everything, and can easily charge over 50k a year. This gives us around $1000 cash back a year.

It is a travel reward card, but with no restrictions or expiration. You just log on and find any travel/airline/hotel/car rental charges in the last 3 months and they apply a credit. Also has the added benefit of no foreign transaction fees. It works for us.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:18 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by jetpack View Post
I like the flat 1.5% CapitalOne card. Most of my charges are not in any categories, and I really don't want to go chasing different specials.

I guess if you were to maximize, you'd keep track of all the 5% deals, and use the appropriate card for such.
Or find a good 5% deal where you can buy gift cards...still a pain, but doing 80/20 keeps you sane.

Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Sounds great! Collecting rewards points is going to be my next hobby. What would be a sample vacation on $250K reward points?

I was thinking of trying to rack up reward points so when we sell our house we can stay in hotels for free until we buy a new house. I love all blogs on how to get points for free.
depends on how you want to travel. DW and I are targeting India next year. We'll fly int'l first class most likely (assuming we can snag seats), worst case int'l business. Probably run $200-$300 for the pair of roundtrip tickets. Could cover hotels, but I want to stay in a place like the Oberoi overlooking the Taj....

To cover a vacation like that totally with points for 10-14 days, you would probably need about 500k. Hard to tell as hotels (and now the airlines) are inflating (or devaluing) their points. Travel style can make a big difference.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:50 AM   #63
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Location: Rio Grande Valley
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Recent PenFed article about their chip and pin cards.

Just what are chip credit cards? | PenFed Blog

Sounds like they're rolling these out more generally? I need a pin-enabled chip credit card (with no foreign transaction fee and hopefully some type of credit or cash back) for our next Europe trip.

AFAIK, PenFed is still the only game in town in terms of having "real" chip and pin - that is, the pin can be used in a kiosk in Europe for ticket purchases.

I have a BofA chip and signature cards that works just fine for most European transactions, but it cannot be used in railway kiosks, etc., because it doesn't have a pin for credit transactions (just for cash withdrawals which has high fees).
Retired since summer 1999.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:52 AM   #64
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Old thread, but since it's been bumped, I'll add our cash back routine:

For gas, groceries and drug stores, we get 5% using the AMEX Blue Cash. We're grandfathered on an older version with no annual fee. For everything else, we get 2% using the Fidelity AMEX. And for any merchant who does not accept AMEX, we get 1.5-2.0% using the Fidelity VISA. DW is well-trained on this routine.

Also... there is a fairly well-documented method to get 12% using the AMEX Blue Cash card to buy gift cards at Kroger. You get 5% immediately from AMEX for the "grocery" purchase. Then, Kroger gives 2X fuel points on all gift card purchases. The resulting discount at the pump is equal to an additional 7% off the original gift card purchase. Total discount = 12%.

Just last week, I saved $120 on a $1,000 purchase at Best Buy using this method. Also, all my Amazon purchases last Christmas were made with gift cards I purchased at Kroger with the AMEX card.

There is a newer version of the AMEX Blue Cash that pays 6% on groceries, but it has a $75 annual fee and a $6K cap on "grocery" purchases. So I stayed with my older card which has no annual fee, no "grocery" cap, but pays a slightly lower 5%.
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...
AA: 55% stock, 15% real estate, 27% bonds, 3% cash
WR: 2.7% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
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