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SteveL 09-12-2011 02:14 PM

End of FIA Visa and 2% Cash Back
 
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.

ziggy29 09-12-2011 03:22 PM

And they get my account canceled effective November 1.

clifp 09-12-2011 03:53 PM

I groaned when the card was transferred to BofA, and then they immediately cut some minor benefits.

I guess I knew that 2% was too good to last but I expected even BofA to give it more than month. I haven't got the latest letter. I am canceling Nov 1. also :(

So what are the best card deals out there? I guess the PenFed Visa rewards card (1% 5% on gas) is a worthy contender. I was amazed at how the easy the process was for applying, the system remembered all of my info from Home Equity Loan of several years ago. I finished the application and got approved in 5 minutes. My credit limited dropped from $30K on my Schwab card, to 19.5K but they will have no practical impact on my life.

FIREd 09-12-2011 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp
So what are the best card deals out there?

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.

But, if you do a lot of online shopping like I do, you can get some additional cash back using their "membershop" (like 7% cash back from Sears, 4% from JC Penney, 2% from Apple, 8% from Norton, 4% from Barnes and Noble, etc...).

ziggy29 09-12-2011 04:17 PM

Yeah, just changed a bunch of my autopays to my USAA Amex and just got their Mastercard for the places that don't take Amex (has a similar rewards plan). It's not much better than the watered down B of A deal, but a little bit, and I'd much rather give them the business than B of A. Didn't really need another $20K credit line, but I guess that doesn't hurt as long as I don't feel compelled to run it up. (I felt dirty about doing business with B of A anyway. May cost a few bucks a month, but big deal.)

Once I confirm we're not on any more autopays with the B of A card I'm going to ditch it, may not even wait until November 1 -- may just make a clean break. At least these are pretty new accounts so it won't slam my credit score too much. I have an old no-reward Visa with my CU that has been open for 21 years and I make sure I charge $10 a quarter on that one to keep it active. :)

Gone4Good 09-12-2011 04:29 PM

My Chase Freedom card pays 1.1% on everything, 5% on revolving categories, plus an extra 10 "points" for every purchase. I don't know how much all of that works out to on a percentage basis, but it's pretty decent.

Andre1969 09-12-2011 04:32 PM

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!

Buckeye 09-12-2011 05:12 PM

I cancelled as soon as I saw "BofA." We just had a local story involving an elderly couple and cancer and foreclosure and mistakes made by BofA. The worst part of the story was BofA tacking all the late fees, etc. onto the loan which they so generously modified from 30 to 40 years. All the fees were the result of BofA stupidity!!! BofA finally got it right and refunded the couple's loan fees AND lawyers' fees and the second article. They suck.

HawkeyeNFO 09-12-2011 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clifp (Post 1111116)
So what are the best card deals out there?

Well, I'm still quite happy getting 5% cash back on everything (yes everything) I spend: https://www.aarpcreditcard.com/Organic/?CELL=64H2

Can't say I really miss the Schwab card, because I haven't been using it.

ziggy29 09-12-2011 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 1111146)
Well, I'm still quite happy getting 5% cash back on everything (yes everything) I spend: AARP

Sure, for a whopping 6 months, and that assumes you qualify for AARP membership. After that you get 1% back and 3% on travel. Not bad, but nothing close to the "teaser rate" you advertise here. And you have to qualify for -- and want to have -- AARP membership to get it.

HawkeyeNFO 09-12-2011 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ziggy29 (Post 1111150)
Sure, for a whopping 6 months, and that assumes you qualify for AARP membership. After that you get 1% back and 3% on travel. Not bad, but nothing close to the "teaser rate" you advertise here. And you have to qualify for -- and want to have -- AARP membership to get it.

"I would agree with you if you weren't wrong!" -Patch Adams

After 5.5 months, have your SO sign up. That means nearly a year of 5% rebates. Then cancel your card, and sign up again in 5 months, now you're up to nearly 1.5 years. Etc, etc.

Membership? They'll give you a card (and more importantly the rebates) without a membership.

And even if you did want a membership, anyone who pays the fee qualifies. There is no age restriction. Look it up.

Hey, their politics stink, but I didn't get their credit card for that. I did it for the economics!

ziggy29 09-12-2011 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 1111155)
Membership? They'll give you a card (and more importantly the rebates) without a membership.

And even if you did want a membership, anyone who pays the fee qualifies. There is no age restriction. Look it up.


That's an unusual "affinity" card if so. Usually membership is required. If that's not the case I stand corrected, but it would be unusual. My understanding is that AARP membership required being age 50. If not, that explains why I've had a few junk mail AARP invitations, which I assumed were mistakes (or 4+ years premature).

ziggy29 09-12-2011 06:34 PM

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.

I was tempted by that one but I decided to get the one with a flat 1 point (1%) cash back rate. When I did the math I think the break even point was $31,000 a year (who says you never use high school algebra in real life?); more than $31K a year, yours is better; less than $31K, the flat 1% is better. I don't usually charge quite that much in a year, and even if I came close I decided I didn't want the temptation of charging more than I normally would have just to get the higher cash back bonus.

Still for folks that charge considerably more than $31K a year that would seem to be a decent option.

Gone4Good 09-12-2011 08:12 PM

Just did the calc, and the Chase Freedom card net me 1.8% back so far this year, including all the bells and whistles.

Plus 5% back on gas from Pen Fed.

ERD50 09-12-2011 08:25 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!

Me too. Is this going to change, or is it separate from the other offers?

-ERD50

ziggy29 09-12-2011 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 1111189)
Me too. Is this going to change, or is it separate from the other offers?

All I will say is I wish you luck, but don't hold your breath.

Tadpole 09-13-2011 05:50 AM

I figure that most of the cards will need to eliminate or reduce cash back features over the next couple of years. I have PenFed and buy all my gasoline using it. I also have BoA as a result of the MNBA merger years ago. I use it for on-line purchases because of the Shop-Safe feature. I pay all CC at the end of the month so have never paid for any of the services. If PenFed had such a feature, I would permanently leave BoA. But PenFed does not expect to have this feature and are "investigating it".

panacea 09-13-2011 06:38 AM

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!


Ditto- we use the Fidelity AMEX for 2% and also the Chase Freedom for when the 5% deal, which changes every quarter. Seems like a really good strategy until I'm standing in line trying to remember what the super special category is! :facepalm:

Andre1969 09-13-2011 06:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ERD50 (Post 1111189)
Me too. Is this going to change, or is it separate from the other offers?

-ERD50

I dunno...hope it stays around awhile. I've already gotten $500 in checks for using this card, and about to hit the point that I get another $250. I think I've had this card about a year and a half now. Kinda scary to think this is going to mean that I've charged $37,500 on this card, in that amount of time!

Texas Proud 09-13-2011 09:39 AM

Since I had a thread askng the same question.... here is what I found ... no teaser rate, no having to sign up every 6 months or so....

Cap One has a new card out that give 1.5% back on every purchase... you get 1% up front and the rest on an annual basis... it used to be 1.25%, but they recently increase it...

Don't know if you can get the old Freedom card from Chase. It has 3% back on the highest categories you used (3 if you were not a Chase customer, 5 or 6 if you were)... if you use it for only a few of the categories, you are getting 3% back...

Just looked... I can not find the old Freedom card as an option...

FUEGO 09-13-2011 12:01 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 03:28 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 04:39 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 07:35 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 08:25 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 09:44 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 09:23 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 09:56 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 10:26 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 10:34 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 12:18 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 09-26-2011 11:58 PM

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 11:07 AM

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 11:53 AM

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 02:56 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 05:20 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 01:05 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 03:10 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 03:44 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 07:14 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.


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