PRG - Did I choose correctly?

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TheSwarm
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PRG - Did I choose correctly?

Postby TheSwarm » Wed May 28, 2014 1:33 am

Hello,

I don't know many abbreviations used on here, so please bear with me if you are using abbreviations. I was just wondering if I made the right decision for myself.

1 year ago I opened a Blue Sky Rewards card because I received an offer in the mail that was 0% for 15 months. I was surprised because they gave me a $6900 limit right away and I made roughly $18k/yr and was in college. BofA and Chase would only offer me around $1500-2000. Anyways, the only thing I used it for was a down payment on a car even though I had the cash, and I wanted to use the 0%. So my utilization is currently at $3,000 and I balanced transferred it onto a Chase slate that has a limit of $3,500.

At this point I realized these cards probably aren't very beneficial to me. I do fly once or twice per year, but I just wasn't sure the Blue Sky would be a good "go to" card. So I also applied for the PRG and was approved.

I'm hoping to use this as my card for all my normal purchases. Gas, groceries, bills, airline tickets, etc. I never really used credit cards for these things before, but I'm hoping I can at least reap some rewards. I was just wondering if you guys think this is an acceptable card for me. I got the offer that is 0$ annual fee for the first year and I think I get 25,000 points or something if I spend $2,000 within the first couple months of opening the account which shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks

Also is it bad that I opened the Chase Slate and the PRG within 1 week of one another?


TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Wed May 28, 2014 12:08 pm

Also just to add, I had them change my blue sky rewards card into a blue cash everyday. It seemed more useful, but I don't know if the prg will be more beneficial. If not, maybe I'll dump it before the annual fee is required next year.

CalAlumnus13
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Postby CalAlumnus13 » Wed May 28, 2014 12:21 pm

Not a problem that you opened two cards close together---you got approved, after all. I wouldn't open any more cards just yet though since it sounds like you don't have much history.

The PRG is a solid card. Note that it's a charge card, so you must pay it in full every month. The 25,000 MR signup bonus is also very nice, and a year without an annual fee means there's no downside (except, of course, that you'll have to cancel after the first year).

That said, long-term, the EveryDay Preferred with its $95 annual fee makes more sense for your spend categories than the PRG with its $175 annual fee. However, do the math on how much you actually spend. You might find that you don't spend enough to offset the $95 annual fee, making the no-annual-fee EveryDay a better choice. As a rule of thumb, figure that MR points are worth 1.5-2 cents each.
Wallet: AMEX Premier Rewards Gold NPSL | BankAmericard Cash Rewards (Cal Alumni Association) $9.6k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $5k | Capital One Venture $5k | Chase Freedom $3k

Drawer: Discover IT $10k | Chase Slate $6k | BankAmericard $5.9k | Capital One Quicksilver $4.5k | AMEX Hilton HHonors $4.4k

FICOs: EX (per AMEX, 3/18/14): 728 | TU (per Discover, 3/20/14): 753 | EQ (per Capital One, 2/25/14): 720

Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Wed May 28, 2014 12:22 pm

Both are pretty good cards, depending on your spending and what you're interested in. Are you looking for points to use for travel, cash back, or just the maximum percentage of rewards possible?
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Wed May 28, 2014 1:04 pm

I'm just looking for the best overall value in rewards vs fees. I wouldn't mind using the points for cash back or travel.

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Wed May 28, 2014 2:38 pm

I'm really just looking for an everyday everything card and I won't need to carry a balance.

CalAlumnus13
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Postby CalAlumnus13 » Wed May 28, 2014 2:41 pm

There's no one best card for everyone. It depends on what you spend money on, how much money you spend, and how you want to receive rewards (statement credits, statement credits for travel purchases only, and point transfer to airline/hotel programs are the main options).
Wallet: AMEX Premier Rewards Gold NPSL | BankAmericard Cash Rewards (Cal Alumni Association) $9.6k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $5k | Capital One Venture $5k | Chase Freedom $3k

Drawer: Discover IT $10k | Chase Slate $6k | BankAmericard $5.9k | Capital One Quicksilver $4.5k | AMEX Hilton HHonors $4.4k

FICOs: EX (per AMEX, 3/18/14): 728 | TU (per Discover, 3/20/14): 753 | EQ (per Capital One, 2/25/14): 720

TheSwarm
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Postby TheSwarm » Wed May 28, 2014 4:25 pm

Alright cool. So I guess maybe this would be best with an example scenario. Let's say that I will spend $400/month on gas, $200/month on groceries, and roughly $400/month on other misc. purchase. Then maybe I would book 1 or 2 round trip flights per year with hotel reservations.

If this were the ball park, would the bce, prg, or maybe something different be the most beneficial? I'm not as concerned about if the rewards points could be used as cash back, flight miles, or whatever else. Assuming I could make use of those categories.

Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Thu May 29, 2014 9:33 am

TheSwarm wrote:Alright cool. So I guess maybe this would be best with an example scenario. Let's say that I will spend $400/month on gas, $200/month on groceries, and roughly $400/month on other misc. purchase. Then maybe I would book 1 or 2 round trip flights per year with hotel reservations.

If this were the ball park, would the bce, prg, or maybe something different be the most beneficial? I'm not as concerned about if the rewards points could be used as cash back, flight miles, or whatever else. Assuming I could make use of those categories.


For points, I would consider keeping PRG, and maybe looking into Barclaycard Arrival Plus. Cash back, BCP or BCE. All I use my BCP card for is gas and groceries, and I get about $75-$90 a month cash back.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

CalAlumnus13
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Postby CalAlumnus13 » Thu May 29, 2014 5:50 pm

Robrus1 wrote:For points, I would consider keeping PRG, and maybe looking into Barclaycard Arrival Plus. Cash back, BCP or BCE. All I use my BCP card for is gas and groceries, and I get about $75-$90 a month cash back.


I don't agree with this advice. First, the Arrival Plus is really just a "cash back for travel only" card. You can't transfer the points to any airlines or hotels---it's fixed at 2 cents per dollar in value, basically.

With his spend patterns, he should look at the EveryDay Preferred. Here's how a year of spending would equate to points:

Gas: $4,800 x 2 points = 9,600
Groceries: $1,200 x 3 points = 3,600
Other: $4,800 x 1 point = 4,800
50% Bonus for making 30 swipes per month: 9,000
Total: 27,000

Those 27,000 points are redeemable for a statement credit of $270. But a better use is to transfer them to an airline. For instance, you could fly book a LAX-JFK flight on Delta for 25,000 points and $5. That flight costs $420 if you were to pay cash. This is hardly the best use of Membership Rewards points, but it's a practical, real-world usage of them.

So, in summary, this card would get you over $415 in reward value for $10,800 in spend---a reward rate of over 3.4%.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus would get you a flat 2% on everything ($216), redeemable for statement credit toward travel expenses. Based on your spend patterns, you'd be better off with the EDP even if you just your MR points for a statement credit.

Whether the PRG is a better option for you depends on how much you spend on airfare. But it would have to be enough to counterbalance the extra 1x point on groceries, the lack of a 50% bonus for 30 swipes, and the $80 higher annual fee. I doubt it is.

What about the BCP? It's close.

Gas: $4,800 x 3 percent = $144
Groceries: $1,200 x 6 percent = $72
Other: $4,800 x 1 percent = $48
Total: $264

So the BCP would get you $264 in cash back---Close to the EDP, but not quite there. Of course, the EDP has a higher annual fee, which does mean the BCP is the better choice---*If* you only want cash back. If you think you might want to transfer to an airline, I'd go with the EDP, since the difference between the two cards in terms of their cash back rates is relatively small for your spend profile.

What about the no annual fee versions of Blue Cash and EveryDay?
EveryDay
Gas: $4,800 x 1 points = 4,800
Groceries: $1,200 x 2 points = 2,400
Other: $4,800 x 1 point = 4,800
20% Bonus for making 20 swipes per month: 2,400
Total: 14,000

Blue Cash Everyday
Gas: $4,800 x 2 percent = $96
Groceries: $1,200 x 3 percent = $36
Other: $4,800 x 1 percent = $48
Total: $180

Based on your spend, you'd come out ahead with the annual fee (marginally so with the Blue Cash) compared to the no annual fee version.

(Also, you *could* split your spend between multiple cards to maximize your points/cashback per dollar, but that would make it harder to reach the 25,000 points you need for a domestic Delta flight. If you want to pursue the transfer points option, I'd go all-in on the EDP.)
Wallet: AMEX Premier Rewards Gold NPSL | BankAmericard Cash Rewards (Cal Alumni Association) $9.6k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $5k | Capital One Venture $5k | Chase Freedom $3k

Drawer: Discover IT $10k | Chase Slate $6k | BankAmericard $5.9k | Capital One Quicksilver $4.5k | AMEX Hilton HHonors $4.4k

FICOs: EX (per AMEX, 3/18/14): 728 | TU (per Discover, 3/20/14): 753 | EQ (per Capital One, 2/25/14): 720



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