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Old 04-09-2019, 09:30 AM   #241
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A few years back, I stocked up on stuff from Amazon before Amazon collected sales tax on sales in my state. I still have lots of boxes of rubber gloves from that purchase. Good to know I don't need to purchase gloves for housecleaning for many years still .
This reminds me of yet another way to "hack" the initial spend requirement for sign-up bonuses. When you buy an item from Amazon and then return it, you can choose how they refund your money: to your credit card, or to your Amazon gift card balance. So, if you find yourself struggling to meet a minimum spend requirement and your deadline is approaching, just buy something expensive from Amazon, return it as soon as possible, and have the refund applied to your Amazon gift card balance. Just to be safe, make sure that Amazon is the seller and that the item falls under the "Free Return" policy.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:33 AM   #242
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No, I don't think so. The 90 day clock starts on the day your account is opened, not on the day you activate your card. I asked about this once when I had to call in due to a problem with the website I was using to apply for a particular card (AmEx, IIRC).
my experience too........just have to hope the bonus offer and your big bills come together in this 90 day window.
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More Wisdom Needed on Non-Activation
Old 04-09-2019, 10:07 AM   #243
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More Wisdom Needed on Non-Activation

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Can you fudge the 90-day clock (for the signup bonus) by activating the card after "waiting a while" (some weeks or months)?
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
No, I don't think so. The 90 day clock starts on the day your account is opened, not on the day you activate your card.
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my experience too........just have to hope the bonus offer and your big bills come together in this 90 day window.
Thanks for that wisdom on the 90-day clock for the signup bonus. That would have been "too easy".

I'll let you in on my self-inflicted problem. I thought that one of my applications was denied when it wasn't. So now I have really too much signup spend money to get to the targets. So the following question is still open for additional wisdom, if anyone has any experience:
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...what do the card companies do if you don't activate your card in a timely fashion? Also, do you still owe the annual fee if you never activate it?
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:25 AM   #244
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Thanks for that wisdom on the 90-day clock for the signup bonus. That would have been "too easy".

I'll let you in on my self-inflicted problem. I thought that one of my applications was denied when it wasn't. So now I have really too much signup spend money to get to the targets. So the following question is still open for additional wisdom, if anyone has any experience:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
...what do the card companies do if you don't activate your card in a timely fashion? Also, do you still owe the annual fee if you never activate it?

Probably best to call them to find out for sure. My impression was that if you don't activate within x wks ,they might think it's lost and cancel it. Could be
wrong tho. Re: self inflicted problem.....best to focus on one and get it done first as you seem to be doing . If you snap at 2 at the same time, you may
satisfy neither................that's why baitfish stay in schools..to confuse the predator.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:38 PM   #245
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T...
I'll let you in on my self-inflicted problem. I thought that one of my applications was denied when it wasn't. So now I have really too much signup spend money to get to the targets. So the following question is still open for additional wisdom, if anyone has any experience:
Too much of a good thing

It may still be worth it to pay a small 2% fee to spend the few thousand needed to qualify. If nothing else, perhaps you could pay towards your income taxes for next year.
It is money you will spend anyhow.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:28 PM   #246
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I've prepaid local utility water bills and garbage bills to meet a spend amount before. Plunk a year or so down. Also pay property and car insurance on an annual basis if allowed.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:40 AM   #247
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I've prepaid local utility water bills and garbage bills to meet a spend amount before. Plunk a year or so down. Also pay property and car insurance on an annual basis if allowed.
+1

Usually at the end of the quarter when the category expires I'll prepay if the categry is utilities if it's gas and the nezt quarter we don't have a card that will activate gas ( this is rare but usually happens once a quarter) I will snag some gas gift cards to get us through that dead qiarter. I know we spend $300 a month for gas so I can buy $900 ofngift cards to get through the next quatter.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:34 AM   #248
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I've prepaid local utility water bills and garbage bills to meet a spend amount before. Plunk a year or so down. Also pay property and car insurance on an annual basis if allowed.
+1 Monthly Kaiser ACA premiums are our largest budget item by far and Kaiser allows us to pre-pay. Avista electric/gas can be pre-payed. Xfinity can be pre-payed. Paying for a Cricket (cell phone) gift card earns 4x fuel points at Kroger stores and can be used to pre-pay Cricket.

If we're going to spend the money anyways why not bunch spending together to meet minimum spending requirements to score awesome sign up bonuses.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:37 AM   #249
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KG, you buy gas gift cards at the grocery store? I haven't ever looked at gas gift cards, are they good at the named gas stations like Shell and Exxon or what?



Also, I didn't know how my utility would respond to paying my winter natural gas bill in August, but I don't suppose they'd mind. But if my CC had a positive balance, they send me a check (with my asking).
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:43 AM   #250
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KG, you buy gas gift cards at the grocery store? I haven't ever looked at gas gift cards, are they good at the named gas stations like Shell and Exxon or what?



Also, I didn't know how my utility would respond to paying my winter natural gas bill in August, but I don't suppose they'd mind. But if my CC had a positive balance, they send me a check (with my asking).
Another perspective.
I use one of my BOA cards to receive the gas 5.25% discount. When another BOA card runs over the 2500 quarterly limit for 5.25% dining, I switch it to the gas card and instead buy gas gift cards for Shell at the grocery store which gives 3.5% discounts.
Works just like a CC.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:27 PM   #251
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Here's a pretty good reward I am getting on my one and only AMEX card.

AMEX has some sort of promotion with local small businesses. Currently, they are offering a $5 credit for items bought at local small businesses that work with them. The minimum purchase is $10 to get the credit. For example, the local doughnut shop offers me 8 donuts for about $12 and change. I get $5 back from Amex. This bring my cost per doughnut to less than $1 each. That is cheap in my area where a dozen donuts costs about $18.

It can be used 10x until about 9/20/2020 when it ends. You might want to check this out.
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:29 AM   #252
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Caution when comparing AMEX to other cards' point systems, though.


AMEX points are not the standard 0.01 on use. Depending on how you spend them, they often bring half that. The only way I was able to get 0.01 was to get a Home Depot gift card. And not Amazon...you need to pay 40% more for an Amazon card. BIL needed a water heater, so I sold him the gift cards, and eeked out 0.01 per point, but it wasn't easy.
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:42 AM   #253
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No longer have any Amex cards, but some years back was able to enjoy an Amex "small business Saturday". At the time I think it was $10 on $10 purchase, Gal also had an Amex and I had great fun hitting a carniceria and several other stores and trotting home with a bunch of pretty much free goodies. Chuckanut's small business promo is the best version from Amex I've seen in about the last 5 years.
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:26 AM   #254
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Caution when comparing AMEX to other cards' point systems, though.


AMEX points are not the standard 0.01 on use. Depending on how you spend them, they often bring half that. The only way I was able to get 0.01 was to get a Home Depot gift card. And not Amazon...you need to pay 40% more for an Amazon card. BIL needed a water heater, so I sold him the gift cards, and eeked out 0.01 per point, but it wasn't easy.
I don't think they were selling the points, but showing that they are doing a small business promotion that's pretty darn good. I have been using it and expect to max out the promotion in the next month.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:11 AM   #255
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I don't think they were selling the points, but showing that they are doing a small business promotion that's pretty darn good. I have been using it and expect to max out the promotion in the next month.
Yes, yes, certainly take advantage of the promotion! I was just pointing out that if someone came across this and began thinking "wow, AMEX offers a "3% card", plus they have these promotions, I'm getting AMEX!", they should know that 3% isn't 3% in the case of AMEX's watered-down points.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:15 AM   #256
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Yes, yes, certainly take advantage of the promotion! I was just pointing out that if someone came across this and began thinking "wow, AMEX offers a "3% card", plus they have these promotions, I'm getting AMEX!", they should know that 3% isn't 3% in the case of AMEX's watered-down points.
I am slightly confused. I do have a couple of Amex cards, one of which does 6% back for groceries, 3% on fuel, and 1% on all others. The cashback % is indeed what is advertised. Can you elaborate because I must be missing something?
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:58 AM   #257
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I don't think you should confuse using points to buy stuff with cash back credits. Amex has a promotion that will result in a statement credit. In addition, if you accumulate points, don't use it to buy stuff! Use it in $25 increments for statement credits.

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Old 07-16-2020, 12:23 PM   #258
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Yes, yes, certainly take advantage of the promotion! I was just pointing out that if someone came across this and began thinking "wow, AMEX offers a "3% card", plus they have these promotions, I'm getting AMEX!", they should know that 3% isn't 3% in the case of AMEX's watered-down points.
You make a good point.

I like the $5 discount. I can put it in my pocket and save it or spend it wherever I chose. They can't devalue it by raising the required points for a free this or that. Give me the the money.

Oh, a few years ago I had a Delta Amex card that gave me a free doughnut and cup of coffee every day for a month.

The funny thing is I don't normally eat doughnuts. But, I do like them.
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:31 PM   #259
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We use a premium card that provides 2 percent cash back on travel purchases.. It also has some good benefits for travel.

Last year we had to cancel a trip to China because of a medical issue. Submitted a $1400 claim to the card insurance. Had the claim paid out, in full, within 10 business days. Very happy. It was the first time in 50 plus years that we have had to cancel a trip!
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:14 PM   #260
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I am slightly confused. I do have a couple of Amex cards, one of which does 6% back for groceries, 3% on fuel, and 1% on all others. The cashback % is indeed what is advertised. Can you elaborate because I must be missing something?
True, they give you 6% on groceries, for instance. So you spend $100 and they give you 600 points. In most cases, that means you can use those points for $6 worth of spending. But that's not my experience with the Amex card I got. When I tried to use the points on Amazon, for instance, I needed to spend 2154 points to get $15.38 worth of goods. So what "should have" cost me 1538 points cost me 2154 points. Another way to look at it is that they added a 40% fee. Maybe you can find a way to spend your points at $0.01 each, and I eventually did (Home Depot gift card). But it wasn't straight-forward to eek out full value for AMEX card points.
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