Sixgun wrote:Greetings CCF,
I'm 30yr old and have had my credit built as a minor. Could have taken it a bit more serious early in life, but I've got pretty good standing at the moment. The reason I'm posting is because I'd like some advice from you all about a better way I could go about using my credit cards..
Income is around 50k
This year so far I've spent 22k on my Regions CC which I've paid 0 interest this year as it's paid in full almost every month.
I've got three lines of credit right now,
Regions 0bal, 8k/Wells Fargo 0 bal, 6k/ and a Installment Car Loan 11k in Nov13 which I hope to have paid by Jan/Feb 2015.
Score vaires, but on avg have heard from low to mid 7s.
No Mortgage history.
I love my CC and use it daily. Have to request replacements every 4-6months since it gets worn out so easily.. But I prefer being able to pay local so I can insure bills are paid on time. Hate Checks and Snail Mail. Also some months I do not have the ability to pay in full. Using regions just allows me to transfer money into the cc account at all times of the day/night/holidays, etc..
Regions offers a 1% return which really only calculates to .005 or .0065 since I redeem them before a certain amount.. So the beneifts are bullish. The card I'm using is the Signature Rewards.
My Question/s: Is there a CC that has a higher reward or bonus points that can be paid locally? Is there any down sides you can think of by spending more than 50% of your income on a CC? Anything I should be doing differently?
Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum! Hoping you learn something and become a regular here! This is the best credit card forum on the www and I've learned a lot from a lot of different people.
Can you get better rewards than you are getting now? Absolutely! For most of us here... 1% is the absolute minimum we would consider acceptable in a card(and by 1% we mean a real 1% not nerfed). Many of us never get less than 2% from any card.Some of us average 3 or even 4% if our spending is right and our cards match our spend right. If you consider the number of cards I've opened this year with signup bonuses, I've probably averaged more than 5% back.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "paying local" though. If you insist on going into a brick-and-mortar bank and doing it that way... well I'm not sure I can help you because I'm not sure what banks are in your area. From reading your post though, it seems like you pay your bills via your Regions bank account (either via "pushing" it or by way of the bank's in-house bill pay service). Really, in today's 21st century banking world, local is really not quicker than a bank 2000 miles away. I use ACH transactions all the time because my money is at 7 banks, I have investments with different companies and I have 11 credit card accounts. I've yet to have a late payment on any credit card account. For example, if I make a payment on my Chase Freedom account paying with my Charles Schwab account, it gets credited just as quickly as if I had paid my Wells Fargo credit card with my Wells Fargo checking account. The money may come out of the Schwab account a little slower than it would with the exclusively Wells Fargo transaction, but from the credit card company's perspective, it's paid (the only caveat is if you pay on the due date, you often have a time deadline with some companies when paying online- in Chase's case it is 6pm EST I believe).
So if you broaden your horizons and look for the best possible deals, you can really bank some serious cash/rewards. I don't know your spending habits but they basically fall into several types of cards:
- all-purpose rewards- These cards will give you a certain percentage regardless of what you spend. Examples are the Cap One Quicksilver which gives 1.5% on everything or the Fidelity Amex which gives 2% on everything.
- quarterly categories These typically give you 5% on certain categories which change each quarter. For example, the Chase Freedom and Discover It are 5% at gas stations this quarter.
- certain categories all the time These cards are the "bread-and-butter" cards for many of us. The Bank of America Cash rewards gives 3% on gas and 2% on groceries. The Amex BCP gives 6% on groceries. The Sallie Mae card gives 5% on both gas and groceries. Most of these cards have limits to what you can earn, so some of us have multiple cards getting the highest rewards possible.
- travel cards- If you travel, you can earn substantial rewards with these cards. If you don't, they could be a waste.
Almost all the cards above are at least 1% everywhere and really, you shouldn't be getting anything less.
As for your question about downsides... well if you are spending more than you would be spending if you were paying cash- you're not really gaining anything. If you are spending more than you are earning, you are definitely not helping yourself any.