Any rewards programs significantly better than Discover?

All about Discover & Diners Club - talk about their credit card deals such as the More, Miles, Escape, and others.
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cc_is_cash
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Any rewards programs significantly better than Discover?

Postby cc_is_cash » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:17 pm

The one drawback of Discover is the need to go through the $1,500 intervals to build up to the 1% cash back level. But since we charge $2,500-3,500/mo, we get there very quickly. But I find Discover's true benefits to be:

1. The 5% bonuses that many good cards are now copying.

2. Shop Discover with 5-15% cash back bonuses from select merchants.

3. When you redeem gift cards, you get 20+% more dollars for the cash back amount you use (the opposite of BofA AMEX :rolleyes :) . Some of the gift cards can be redeemed electronically and they can be used right away (great when shopping online!)

Are there any other niceties I am not aware of?

So far customer service experiences have been good, and they handled a fraud case swiftly and with no headaches. I like their secure numbers, but I think they just discontinued it for the second time. Maybe it's not the best card for light users, but then rewards don't matter much for them. For those using the card enough, I haven't found anything that is better in any meaningful way. Have you? Capital One, Chase Freedom, and BofA Cash Rewards seem quite good too, but at face value they look like they are a notch below Discover (and if BofA is using misleading ads, it might be more than a notch lower ;) )

Having said that, I know a couple of people who have had bad experiences with Discover. But in the grand scheme of things, they seem OK and certainly no worse than others. What do you think?


CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:21 pm

You need to look at what types of purchases you are making each month. If you buy a lot of gasoline and groceries then the BofA BankAmericard Cash Reward card and the Chase Freedom are the best bets. BofA because you get 3% on gas, 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else up to $1500 per quarter. Chase has been great this year because they are currently offering 5% on gas and will again during the summer. Next quarter's Chase Freedom bonus is groceries. Chase and BofA also offer an additional 10% bonus everytime you elect to have your cash reward deposited into your Chase or BofA checking accounts, respectfully. Chase generally also offers very healthy sign up bonus to new cardholders. If you know where to look, there is currently a $300 sign up bonus (but the account will have a high APR). There is also the Citibank Dividend; however, I feel that the Chase Freedom is better. Right now Dividend's bonus cash back is health and fitness...yay.

Discover was the only cash back card for many years; however, they have been surpassed by pretty much everybody else. If Discover were smart, they would get rid of the .25% and .50% tiers and just start at 1%. Also, last year Discover only offered the 5% back on groceries for one month and this year not at all. That is a major turn off for me. Next quarter's bonus is movies and something else. I mean really? Movies? I might see one movie a year at best......

Steer clear of Capital One....even with prime credit you likley won't get a very high credit line and 1.5% cash back isn't all that great.

I have never had a problem with Discover other than the fact that they are conservative with their credit lines and you will find yourself having to use a Visa or MasterCard everyonce in a while because the merchant doesn't accept Discover. Reading some of your other posts, it sounds as if though you have only Amex cards. If you elect to get the Discover, you will be left with two payment cards that are not accepted everywhere like Visa and MasterCard (although these days most places take all four or a combo of three).

So to recap in my opinion the cash back cards are rated as follows:

1) BankAmericard Cash Rewards (if you do a lot of grocery/gasoline purchases)
2) Chase Freedom (overall the best cash back card in the industry)
3) Citibank Dividend
4) Discover
5) Capital One Cash Rewards

There are other banks that offer cash back cards too...FNBO, Commerce Bank, Wells Fargo, 5/3, PNC etc. But those are usually just 1% and limited to certain geographic areas etc. You will need to do your homework to decide what fits you best. Just keep in mind that every single one of these cash back cards has changed over the years. So don't get too attached to any reward program because it might just change.

cc_is_cash
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Postby cc_is_cash » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:24 pm

Sorry if it wasn't clear from my post, but I do have a Discover now and it is our main card. Since we are left with only Discover and AMEX cards, we do need a VISA as it is sometimes (though rarely) the only card accepted.

Your comment about the quarterly 5% cashbacks prompted me to check the Discover calendar. They have the 5% gas for both Q1 and Q3 this year. I am sure these companies are watching each other very carefully and trying to match various perks.

I will chose between Chase Freedom and BofA cash rewards. I found the $300 Chase bonus link. BofA's bonus is $100. One factor for BofA is that I have checking and savings accounts with them. But then Chase is mailing out sign up bonuses for checking and saving accounts too. So maybe I can open a Chase bank account and apply for a Freedom card for a double bonus :)

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Postby Money card » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:11 am

Have you had a chance to look at Citibank? They have I believe it's called a Dividend, looks like a nice cash back card? It too has rotating categories like the Freedom.

So which Discover card do you have the Open Road or Discover More card?

What do you use your Discover for? Malls, gas, groceries, drug stores, getting your car oiled and lube?

cc_is_cash
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Postby cc_is_cash » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:42 pm

Citibank seems OK too, but for some reason I am not tempted.

I have the regular Discover, the silver one. We use it for everything: gas, groceries, restaurants, etc., and even school tuition and day camp for the kids.

irvine801
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Postby irvine801 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:38 am

If u have a checking with Chase and a Freedom you will earn more points. It's like ten percent extra or something like that and 10 bonus points per trans just for having checking with them. Something like that but I would look into Chase if u want to open a checking account with then. The redemption is legit as well :)
-American Express Zync.
-Discover IT. 4.5k limit 7.99%
-MC Citi diamond preferred. 1500 limit
-Visa Chase freedom. 2k limit.(23.24%, NOT IN USE)
-Miles by discover 1.5k limit.7.99%
-Best buy store card. 1500 limit
-Mt. America visa 1k limit

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:39 am

Irvine is right. The Chase extra bonus for checking customers is 10 points per transaction and an additional 10% of points earned. So if you earned 10 points on a $10 purchase you would get one more point, plus the 10 points for the transaction for a total of 21 points, each equal to a penny.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:06 pm

CC, why do you have the Citi card ranked ahead of Discover More?
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:56 pm

FutureBillionaire wrote:CC, why do you have the Citi card ranked ahead of Discover More?


1) Citibank starts at 1% vs. Discover's tiers of .25% .25% and .50%. 2) Citibank usually offers the 5% bonus on groceries at least for one quarter (Discover offered it only one month last year and is not offering it at all this year) and 3) Citibank uses the Visa/MasterCard logo and therefore accepted in more places. Discover has excellent customer service; however, they are not the best cash back card anymore by a longshot-in my opinion. I put my Discover on ice back in 2005 using it now mostly for the 5% on gas and if I want $20 at the grocery store without going to the bank. I am putting my Dividend on ice as soon as BofA upgrades my Visa Signature with World Points to the BankAmericard Cash Rewards and will continue to use Freedom for its 5% gas and grocery bonuses.

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Postby Money card » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:21 pm

cc_is_cash wrote:Citibank seems OK too, but for some reason I am not tempted.

I have the regular Discover, the silver one. We use it for everything: gas, groceries, restaurants, etc., and even school tuition and day camp for the kids.


When you say you have a regular Discover what does that mean? I understand for the design you have a platinum.

But which Discover do you have- the Motiva, the More or Open Road?

I have the More card.



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