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Old 01-04-2018, 12:47 PM   #21
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To get the best deals you need multiple cards. Here are my recommendations:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ml#post1989897

I looked at your list.... but the USAA is not available to everybody...


I would like to know what people have that IS available without having an account somewhere or some other requirement like auto deposit in said account...
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:52 PM   #22
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I would like to know what people have that IS available without having an account somewhere or some other requirement like auto deposit in said account...
Pretty much any issuer except: USAA, PenFed, NavyFCU and other credit union affiliated banks.

I don't know of any large commercial issuers that "require" what you speak of. I have had Bank of America and Chase cards that didn't require me to have a separate account.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:54 PM   #23
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I always find this web-site to be invaluable for keeping up with the best credit card deals:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/credit-cards/
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:27 PM   #24
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We use Southwest Rapid Rewards by Chase, all points go to Companion Pass. This will be 2nd year DW will fly for free, as long as I am with her. I can change my companion 3 times, I believe, in calendar year.
After we qualify there, we use the Delta Am Ex card to bump the points/miles there.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:48 PM   #25
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Like the OP, for decades I was highly adverse to credit cards. I had one from Sears that I got in 1972 simply to establish some credit and I figured they'd give it to me because at the time I worked for Sears (later it morphed into a M/C). So every few months I'd buy a shirt or something and then pay it off when the bill came in. Later on I got a Visa card via the credit union but that was it for decades.

In the last two years I acted on mailed offers for a Chase Sapphire Preferred for the 1% cash back and it doubles the warranty on stuff that has one. So I used that card when I bought the snow thrower last month. The other new card is a Capital One M/C that offered a $150 cash back if I spent $500 with it in three months (I bought groceries with it so that was easy) and offers 1.5% cash back on purchases.

And lately off and on the Sears M/C has been offering a 10% statement credit for purchases of groceries, gasoline, and restaurant meals so while that was in effect I used it for those items. This month it's online purchases so anything I buy online will go on that card.

Naturally, we pay all these cards off every month and we don't buy anything we weren't going to be buying anyway, but it's sort of like finding a $20 bill in the parking lot every month.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:50 PM   #26
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I use Citi Master Card
2% on everything No annual fee
I have my electric, cable, cell phone etc. automatically debited from it
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:24 PM   #27
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We mostly use our Fidelity Visa card and get back 2% on every purchase. With our expensive Obama health care insurance we actually save over $300 per year using our Fidelity Visa card.

Use American Express for all other stuff. Get miles and free companion ticket every year with this one.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:51 AM   #28
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Are you a Bank of America customer? BofA has a terrific suite of no-fee credit cards. If you have $100,000 in Merrill Edge account, you can supercharge the amount you get in cash back on the credit cards. I have over $100,000 with Merrill Edge in Vanguard ETFs. That gets me 75 per cent bonus on all cash back. For example, I get back 5.25 per cent on all gas purchases, 3.5 per cent on all groceries (including any purchases at Walmart!) and 2.625 per cent on everything else. I get this through the Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards cards. So with two cards, I get back at least 2.625 per cent on everything. And the Travel Rewards card has no foreign transaction fee, so it's great for travel. I have other credit cards as well, but these two are a great two card solution if you can park money in a Merrill Edge account.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:52 AM   #29
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Some general advice. Always carry at lest two credit cards if you're traveling. Sometimes one will be rejected for potential fraud reasons. Sometimes that's easy to remedy (they send you an email/text immediately if they reject and ask you to confirm or not). But other times it's not.

Also, if you rent cars abroad, make sure the card offers primary insurance coverage. Most of the time the insurance coverage is a multiple of the actual rental cost. I've been living in Europe for the last year and have been driving a rental car for all that time. The cost of the car is usually less than Ä10/day, sometimes Ä5 (compact car). The insurance would be >Ä20. And then there would still be a deductible of Ä1500 whereas the CC coverage has no deductible.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:26 AM   #30
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I use Citi Master Card 2% on everything No annual fee. I have my electric, cable, cell phone etc. automatically debited from it
This is a very good way to get cash back on all your bills, and not worry about late fees or writing checks.

One caution: if some business where you used your card gets hacked, they'll re-issue your card with a new number. If it's the card you use for automatic payments, this can be a nightmare. Trust me, happened to me twice!

I finally smartened up and now use one card ONLY for automatic payments, and a different card for routine purchases. This way if one of those random businesses I use my card at is hacked, my automatic payments continue.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:34 AM   #31
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Some general advice. Always carry at lest two credit cards if you're traveling. Sometimes one will be rejected for potential fraud reasons. Sometimes that's easy to remedy (they send you an email/text immediately if they reject and ask you to confirm or not). But other times it's not.
And don't think that notifying them of your travels ahead of time will make any difference. This happened to me, with a long line of customers behind me, none of whom (or the cashier) spoke my language. Not fun.

Cell phones don't work inside many larger stores, so the text may not get to you until it's too late.

When I finally did get to speak with someone, they explained that the "possible fraud" decisions were made by a computer, which apparently isn't tied into the note they put on my account about being out of town travelling. Even listing the exact destinations and dates was no help.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:44 AM   #32
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I like cash back.

I also like to keep it simple.

5% Amazon cash back card used exclusively for Amazon purchases.
Citi double cash back (2% cash back on everything) for all other CC purchases

The Citi card is great. The app for it is super user friendly and easy. I pay it off monthly through the app and I can direct deposit my cash back money whenever I want via the app as well.
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Old 01-08-2018, 04:34 AM   #33
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Just applied for the Amazon 5% signature card.

If you use the Citi 2% card for monthly bill paying (utilities, cell, internet, etc) do you get cash back for that? I guess they aren't really purchases.

Given that, how about using it to pay your monthly mortgage payment?
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:04 AM   #34
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I use it for electric bill (in months where the CC rebate exceeds the $2.00 fee, which is virtually all year for us). Also for Verizon bill. Don't have a mortgage but if the bank allows CC's and doesn't charge exorbitant fees for using them, why not?

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Originally Posted by albireo13 View Post
Just applied for the Amazon 5% signature card.

If you use the Citi 2% card for monthly bill paying (utilities, cell, internet, etc) do you get cash back for that? I guess they aren't really purchases.

Given that, how about using it to pay your monthly mortgage payment?
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:25 PM   #35
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Are you a Bank of America customer? BofA has a terrific suite of no-fee credit cards. If you have $100,000 in Merrill Edge account, you can supercharge the amount you get in cash back on the credit cards. I have over $100,000 with Merrill Edge in Vanguard ETFs. That gets me 75 per cent bonus on all cash back. For example, I get back 5.25 per cent on all gas purchases, 3.5 per cent on all groceries (including any purchases at Walmart!) and 2.625 per cent on everything else. I get this through the Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards cards. So with two cards, I get back at least 2.625 per cent on everything. And the Travel Rewards card has no foreign transaction fee, so it's great for travel. I have other credit cards as well, but these two are a great two card solution if you can park money in a Merrill Edge account.
+++1
Annoyingly it does take a 3 month waiting period to get preferred status.
Merrill gives you 30 free trades per month if you have 200K with them, which makes it nicer. (and a $600 bonus for funding your new merrill account or moving stocks to it, to fund it).
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:36 PM   #36
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Venture Capital. 2% on everything. When redeeming, points can be used for any airline, hotel, car rental or airbnb.
If you redeem for cash you only get 1%. $99 annual fee after the first year. We haven't paid a penny on any of our trips for 3 years now. Well worth the annual fee. They also had a 40k bonus when we signed up.
We spend a quite a bit on business so I honestly don't see us ever paying for a trip again. Points are for life too.
As a bonus their spokeswoman Jennifer Garner is quite hot too.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:15 PM   #37
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Are you a Bank of America customer? BofA has a terrific suite of no-fee credit cards. If you have $100,000 in Merrill Edge account, you can supercharge the amount you get in cash back on the credit cards. I have over $100,000 with Merrill Edge in Vanguard ETFs. That gets me 75 per cent bonus on all cash back. For example, I get back 5.25 per cent on all gas purchases, 3.5 per cent on all groceries (including any purchases at Walmart!) and 2.625 per cent on everything else. I get this through the Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards cards. So with two cards, I get back at least 2.625 per cent on everything. And the Travel Rewards card has no foreign transaction fee, so it's great for travel. I have other credit cards as well, but these two are a great two card solution if you can park money in a Merrill Edge account.
I have those two cards. Maybe itís worth moving $100K over.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:29 PM   #38
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This is a very good way to get cash back on all your bills, and not worry about late fees or writing checks.



One caution: if some business where you used your card gets hacked, they'll re-issue your card with a new number. If it's the card you use for automatic payments, this can be a nightmare. Trust me, happened to me twice!



I finally smartened up and now use one card ONLY for automatic payments, and a different card for routine purchases. This way if one of those random businesses I use my card at is hacked, my automatic payments continue.


GREAT idea to use one card for auto payments only. I hadnít thought of that. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:38 AM   #39
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Hmmm ... I just got a cash rewards CC offer in the mail from BoA. It looke good at first ...

3% cash back on car fuel
2% cash back on groceries
1% back on everything else

The APR was 14%. The one hook was that if there was one late payment, the APR doubled to ~28% indefinitely! You have to be very disciplined about paying off the balance each pay period. There were also late payment fees in there as well.

Read the fine prints!
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:11 AM   #40
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GREAT idea to use one card for auto payments only. I hadnít thought of that. Thanks!
Thatís what I set up after a couple of compromises. I use a couple of older legacy cards that I donít carry anymore.
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