I made a spreadsheet!

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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MB131174
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I made a spreadsheet!

Postby MB131174 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:19 pm

So I'm trying to decide which card to make my everyday card once I've met all sign up bonus requirements. I decided to make a spreadsheet to help rate cards on various features. The results surprised me. I rated cards on: limit, acceptance, easy to redeem benefits (not necessarily most lucrative - you'll know what I mean if you've ever tried to book a seat using FF miles), customer service, benefits (such as purchase protection, etc.) and a bonus point if no FTF. I rated my yet to be received Diners Club as best as I could. I know the limit, already called customer service (and was highly impressed), and based easy to use rewards on what I was able to read on the website. Well, it boiled down to this order: Diners Club with 21 points, Discover with 19, Citi AA with 17, PNC Visa with 16 and AmEx Green dead last at 12. If Discover had a higher limit than $2,000 (Diners Club has $15,000), it would have won.

Not sure if it will turn out good, but here it is (5 being best, 1 being worst. If a tie for first, all got 5 points)

card / limit / acceptance / easy rewards redemption / benefits / cust svc / no ftf bonus / total

DISCOVER 1 2 5 5 5 1 19
DINERS CLUB 5 5 3 3 5 1 22
AMEX GREEN 2 1 2 5 3 0 13
CITI AADVANTAGE 3 5 1 2 2 0 13
PNC VISA 4 5 4 1 1 0 15
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:04 pm

Some changes you might consider, if you're set on only having one card for everyday use (I carry all of mine):

Visa and MC deserve 5s for acceptance, but Discover and Amex probably deserve 3s. Maybe Amex deserves a 2, but not a 1.

To get the FTF bonus, a card should also need to be Chip+PIN. No FTF on a Discover when you can't even request a chip (I asked a few weeks ago) is pretty useless.

Edit: I tried that for my cards and quickly found the results were pretty meaningless. For example, Sallie Mae is great for groceries/gas/books, but I would never use it as a travel card. Discover is great for online shopping, and very few websites don't take it.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

MB131174
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Postby MB131174 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:07 pm

5/4/3/2/1 was not a rating. If there was a tie for first, second place was skipped. Kinda like a race, ya know? So for acceptance AmEx came in dead last, obviously, so it got a 1. 5 = first place, 4 = second place, 3 = third place, 2 = next to last place, 1 = you suck at life.

Chip & Siggy works just fine overseas, 99% of the time. The "I absolutely NEED Chip & PIN!" is overblown. I travel to Europe all the time and never have issues. PIN is nice, but Siggy gets the job done. In fact, in some parts you're better off carrying cash! In Bremen, Germany, I found most places, even the post office, only took cash and German debit cards. A lot of places didn't accept credit cards. Even my friend's Dutch debit card didn't work in most places there. We made a lot of ATM stops. And honestly, a lot of places are smart enough to swipe non-chip cards. The bonus was if there was no FTF, period.

I would never want to carry all my cards. 1) wallet is too thick & 2) spending spread out over too many cards causes me to overspend b/c I don't have a quick snapshot of what my total balances are.

It was made based on what's important to me. So clearly this isn't right for everyone.
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PlyrStar93
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Postby PlyrStar93 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:13 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:No FTF on a Discover when you can't even request a chip (I asked a few weeks ago) is pretty useless.

Discover may be less useful abroad than Visa/MasterCard is primarily because of the network. Even if it is accepted on Diners Club network, it still is minority based on what I have read.

On the other side, Discover is pretty useful in China running the UnionPay network, while Visa and MasterCard may be much more difficult to use. Discover can be used virtually anywhere UnionPay cards are accepted there, no need of chip.
Citi Forward Visa $5000 10/2012 | American Express Blue Cash Everyday $8000 2/2014 | Discover it $7000 5/2014
Chase Freedom Visa Signature $7000 6/2014 | Citi ThankYou Premier Visa Signature $5000 1/2015
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:59 pm

All good points.

In my review, I used different weightings. I put a bit more emphasis on rewards, customer service, and benefits - and a bit less emphasis on limits and network acceptance. I got Sallie Mae and Discover at the top, and both Amex cards tied at the bottom. I'm still definitely keeping my BCE but a general travel card like CSP or Arrival+ would be way more useful for me than the PRG.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:20 pm

It pretty much comes down to the rewards $ for me but everyone has their own priorities. I wouldn't find factoring in acceptance to be of much use. Either a card is accepted at a retailer or I use the next best card for that spend. Customer service is an overall consideration but it really doesn't affect my everyday spend. FTF only really matters when I'm traveling internationally so, again, not relevant to my everyday spend. Limits would only matter for major purchases -- again, not everyday spend for me. However limits, spend, etc all vary from person to person so you have to weigh the factors as they matter to you.

If scoring like this works for you then definitely go with it.



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