A couple years ago I opened a USAA Amex Cash Rewards card and took the route of charging all possible expenditures through it and paying in full. I've got a zero balance WF Visa from forever ago, a closed Chase card with a balance at lifetime 1.9% APR, and just opened a Barclay Arrival for the 40k point bonus and 0% intro on a single big purchase. TU score in 760s.
Double warranty up to 24 months past manufacture or service warranty and $15,000/$75,000 limits per incident and annum. $2500 Purchase Assurance and $300 Price Protection up to 150 days—I'm actually taking advantage of PA for a damaged smartphone after 90 day point. $1M travel accident + trip interruption/baggage delay. Also has concierge service and a couple other things.
Cash rewards is tiered up to only 1.25% past $17k, not awesome at first glance although that 1.25% is uncapped so theoretically it will eclipse something like BCP at high enough levels. That curve is interesting.
Thing is, I'm going to start traveling quite a bit starting this fall for both work and personal reasons, so I'm looking at putting together a more diversified portfolio for a good mix of benefits + rewards. I've never tried FF programs and historically tend to change up carriers quite a bit.
Long story short I'm contemplating looking into applying for Blue Cash Preferred, PRG or Plat to supplement my USAA card:
- BCP for grocery, gas, and everyday purchases for max cash back or PRG for everyday to accumulate MR points
- Amex USAA for one-off purchases that could benefit from protections
- Potential for Platinum for membership travel benefits + 0 FTF
- Arrival as backup + 0 FTF
It would be a lot easier (or harder decision, maybe, I don't know!) if I could see about snagging some extra bonus points on a PRG; I've got a higher than normal BCP bonus available but apparently am not targeted for their charge cards.
In closing, if we took our going market rates and calculated the cost of time investment belaboring these things, are we still coming out ahead?