Is this a good plan to maximize rewards?

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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Is this a good plan to maximize rewards?

Postby croll326 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:39 am

My family currently uses a Discover Cash Back card for all purchases possible. We get 1% cash back plus any bonus category. I am looking to maximize my rewards by adding and using multiple cards.

I am looking to add the Amex Blue Cash Preferred for all grocery purchases. We would be right around the $6,000 limit @ its 6% back. Nothing else would be purchased on this card.

We would use the Discover when we can get 5% back or when we are purchasing through "" to get %5 back or more.

I am also looking to get a Chase Freedom to hopefully get 4 more rotating categories with 5% back to use in addition to Discover.

I am also looking to add the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred for all purchases not made on the above cards as well as monthly bills - cell phone, TV and internet, gym memberships, and anythign else.

Any reason to think about the AMEX Everyday Preferred being in my mix?

We have no outstanding credit card debt as we pay them off each month unless we are on a 0% interest plan so interest rates do not worry me.

I just looked, an we charged $23,000 on our Discover card in the last 12 months according to the Discover spending analyzer.

My FICO is 814 according to Discover and my wife's is over 800 for sure.

I am not a fan of annual fees but am willing to pay to get increased rewards.

I appreciate your help with this decision as it is my first post on this forum.

Some of the below cards might be closed before the companies are out of business but they still might appear on our reports.

Current cards for my wife include: Chase Freedom, Macy's AMEX, Kohls, Amex Blue, Amex ONE, JC Penny, Express, Helzburg Diamonds, Discover Cash Back
Current cards for me: Babies R Us MC, Best Buy Card, Capital One Quicksilver, Amex ONE, Amex Blue, Amex Corporate card, Discover Cash Back, Citi Sears Platinum Card, Roomful Express Furniture Store Card.

Most of these cards are hardly ever used. Do we have too many? Will 2 more cards hurt anything? Like I said above, the only balance is on the Sears card because we bought a matress for 0% interest.

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Postby takeshi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:52 am

While you indicated that you'd probably hit the limit on BCP groceries it would help if you'd post your major spend categories and the volume of spend on them. Generally speaking you probably want to ensure that you're getting the max rewards on your biggest categories versus using a shotgun approach to categories.

croll326 wrote:Any reason to think about the AMEX Everyday Preferred being in my mix?

If MR points are useful to you then the EDP could be a contender. Take a look at their transfer partners.

croll326 wrote:Do we have too many?

It's a subjective matter and we can't tell you that. You have to determine that. Are you able to manage them? Are they useful to you? Just a couple of considerations but there may be other factors that matter to you.

croll326 wrote:Will 2 more cards hurt anything?

AAoA and inquiries are impacted by new accounts but since you're both already AmEx members a new BCP or EDP would be backdated so that may help with AAoA.

The limits from the new cards could actually help. It's impossible for us to really say. I'd guess with what you've posted that it wouldn't hurt but that's just a guess.

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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:21 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby croll326 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:17 pm

We have no issues managing all of our cards. We aren't tempted by having them. Actually they all just sit in our safe except the Discover card that we use all the time.

I think my approach is going to be the Amex Blue Cash preferred first to start using on groceries and department stores where the 3% is the best we can do. AFter $500 spending we get $150 bonus cash. After that I think I will get a Chase Sapphire Preferred. Once I hit the $3000 bonus amount and get my wife on as an authorized user I will get the 45,000 bonus points. Finally, after a while I would like a Chase Freedom card to take full advantage of Ultimate Rewards.

On a side note, I have an old Amex Blue card. I could upgrade it and get the Blue Cash Preferred but I wouldn't qualify for the $150 bonus cash.

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