How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
7 posts
mmorrison
Green Member
Green Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:31 pm

How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby mmorrison » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:24 pm

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to effectively use multiple credit cards in order to achieve the maximum benefits from them. Currently I have:

USAA Amex: 5% cash back on gas/military base purchases, 2% cash back on groceries, 1% cashback all other purchases ($49 annual fee)
NFCU Flagship Visa: 1 point/per dollar plus 2% if balance is paid off at the end of the month ($49 annual fee)
DiscoverIt: 5% cashback in rotating categories (I recently got this one to transfer my capital one balance too because CO was charging me 22%+ apr)
Capital One Venureone: 2pts/per dollar. ($50? Annual fee)
Capital Quicksilver: 1.5% cashback on purchases
AMEX BCP: 6% cashback on groceries (plus other stuff I can't remember)

Those are the cards I currently have, I've just transferred the capital one cards to my discover and those will be paid off during the 18 month 0% APR period.

My question is, what are some tips to use my cards in order to best maximize the rewards? Currently I use my USAA card for my groceries/gas because I get 5% cashback, and my BCP for all other grocery purchases. My NFCU is used to paid all my bills, which is a significant portion of my income each month but I don't feel like I'm getting the "most" out of my cards. Any tips? Thanks in advance!


MemberSince99
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4913
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Location: WI

Re: How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:09 am

Unless I'm missing something here, isn't it just obvious? If you are after every single penny possible of rewards just put every spend on the card that gives you the best rewards for that spend.

If' there is some magical formula that allows people to get better returns than that, I sure don't know of it so I won't be able to help there. Otherwise it's pretty simple stuff really.

oldsoldier
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:34 pm
Location: TN

Re: How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby oldsoldier » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:54 am

It's really not hard to figure out but if your not sure there is an app that you could try called Wallet Up. It recommends what card you should use. You load the cards you have and it recommends the one you should use based on the rewards your card offers.
BoA Cash Rewards $13,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred $14,000
BoA Better Balance $12,000
Amex Every Day $24,000
Discover It $17,000
NFCU Platinum Visa $25,200
Barclay Arrival WMC $10,000
Cap One QuickSilver WMC $6,200
WF Cash back Visa Sig $11,000
Citi Thank You Premier $11,600

takeshi
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1733
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:12 pm
Location: US

Re: How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby takeshi » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:01 am

It really makes more sense to look at your spend categories and volumes and using rewards cards that maximize rewards on that spend. There's no great secret or mystery to that but you need to have an idea of where you're money is going. You haven't provided such details so we really can't help you out much. Ideally you'd be selecting rewards cards using that information as well.

mmorrison wrote:I've just transferred the capital one cards to my discover and those will be paid off during the 18 month 0% APR period.

Stop using the Discover then. If you're carrying a balance you no longer have a grace period on purchases. If you're getting hit with interest then you're killing your rewards.

mmorrison wrote:Currently I use my USAA card for my groceries/gas because I get 5% cashback, and my BCP for all other grocery purchases.

How are you splitting groceries on these 2 cards?

You really just need to run the numbers for your spend. One card is 5% with a $49 AF and the other is 6% with a $75 AF. Factor all that into your number crunching. A quick calculation indicates to me that somewhere between $200 and $300 monthly on groceries is where the BCP takes the lead -- though it's just over half a percent even when you hit the BCP's cap. Don't rely on my math and definitely confirm for yourself.


At a glance it seems like you should reconsider your lineup but, again, without spend and volume data it's difficult to provide a meaningful recommendation. Are you really getting a total benefit from all those cards with AF's (another matter where you just need to run the numbers).

mmorrison
Green Member
Green Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:31 pm

Re: How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby mmorrison » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:06 pm

takeshi wrote:How are you splitting groceries on these 2 cards?

Well since I only get the 5% cashback on the grocery store on post, I'm limited to the foods I can purchase there. I get about 80% of my groceries on post and the other 20% are things I usually buy at kroger/food lion etc.

takeshi wrote: A quick calculation indicates to me that somewhere between $200 and $300 monthly on groceries is where the BCP takes the lead -- though it's just over half a percent even when you hit the BCP's cap. Don't rely on my math and definitely confirm for yourself.

I spend about $350-400 a month on groceries between the two cards. Probably 250-300 on the USAA Amex and the rest on my BCP.

takeshi wrote:At a glance it seems like you should reconsider your lineup...

What are some suggestions out there? I was just recently graduated college, last year, and am slowly transitioning into adulthood and not really "educated" on all the good cards out there. My credit is solid and I make a decent income so getting approved usually isn't hard for me.

My monthly spending goes a little like this:
$675 - Rent (paid by credit card)
$140- Internet/TV (paid by credit card)
$350-400 - groceries (paid by credit card)
$500 - Auto loan (direct from checking account) (can't use a credit card)
$400- student loan repayment (direct from checking) (can't use a credit card)
$70 - dental/healthcare (paid by credit card)
$20 - gym membership
$450 - paying off old credit card balances (direct from checking)
$90 - Electricity (paid by credit card)
$110- Car insurance (paid from checking, can't use credit card)
$65- Cellphone (paid by credit card)
$30- waterbill (paid by credit card)

Then I put another $500 a month into my IRA and savings account. I'm only asking about ways to maximize my credit cards is because I've read on forms where people use their BCP to buy gift cards at one store to use at another in order to maximize their % back. I was wondering if there are other tricks out there like that to help "boost" my cashback earnings.

Ghoshida
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:42 am
Location: USA

Re: How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby Ghoshida » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:15 am

takeshi wrote:
mmorrison wrote:I've just transferred the capital one cards to my discover and those will be paid off during the 18 month 0% APR period.

Stop using the Discover then. If you're carrying a balance you no longer have a grace period on purchases. If you're getting hit with interest then you're killing your rewards.



I believe OP can still use his / her Discover if it is within the 0% APR promo period, because it's a recent card.

OP, ask Discover by phone / chat to ensure that your current purchase APR is 0% and that the BT won't affect your purchases in terms of interest. Generally a BT means any new purchase is charged interest from day 1. If you're still within promo period then you still have the grace period. Then call up Discover to activate the double cash back for next year. If you are not aware, Discover is running a promo where they will double your cashback from next cycle and post all of that at the end of 12 months, but you might have to call them to activate it. Next quarter is 5% on department stores + Amazon.

I'm not sure if the Cap One Venture is serving you any purpose because you seem to have other 2% cards (NFCU?) You might want to drop it / downgrade it to a zero fee card, keep the line but save the AF.

I'm not familiar with military cards but for your kind of spend, since you already have the BCP, you could apply for the Barclays Sallie Mae Mastercard, 5% on gas and groceries at any store (hopefully your post's store is counted) and 5% on bookstore (including physical goods from Amazon). It's limited to first $250 / $250 / $750 per month but with either your BCP or your USAA, it should be good enough; you could keep one of the AF cards and downgrade the other to a non-AF card.
AMEX BCE | PRG || Barclaycard Sallie Mae || Capital One QuickSilver | Venture || Chase Freedom | Sapphire Preferred || Citi Dividend || Discover It || UFCU Great Rate || US Bank Cash+ #1 | Cash+ #2 | Club Carlson Plat | REI || Total CL $144.2k + PRG NPSL, not counting AU

Ghoshida
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:42 am
Location: USA

Re: How to get the "best" out of multiple credit cards

Postby Ghoshida » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:22 am

mmorrison wrote:What are some suggestions out there? I was just recently graduated college, last year, and am slowly transitioning into adulthood and not really "educated" on all the good cards out there. My credit is solid and I make a decent income so getting approved usually isn't hard for me.

My monthly spending goes a little like this:
$675 - Rent (paid by credit card)
$140- Internet/TV (paid by credit card)
$350-400 - groceries (paid by credit card)
$500 - Auto loan (direct from checking account) (can't use a credit card)
$400- student loan repayment (direct from checking) (can't use a credit card)
$70 - dental/healthcare (paid by credit card)
$20 - gym membership
$450 - paying off old credit card balances (direct from checking)
$90 - Electricity (paid by credit card)
$110- Car insurance (paid from checking, can't use credit card)
$65- Cellphone (paid by credit card)
$30- waterbill (paid by credit card)

Then I put another $500 a month into my IRA and savings account. I'm only asking about ways to maximize my credit cards is because I've read on forms where people use their BCP to buy gift cards at one store to use at another in order to maximize their % back. I was wondering if there are other tricks out there like that to help "boost" my cashback earnings.



I believe you have some good general cashback cards (2% already or Discover at least 2% once you activate the 12-month 2X cashback) and your spending are mostly in the necessary spending categories.

For the utilities, there's Huntington Voice offering 3X cashback but you need to check if you're in an eligible area of coverage for them.

In general, here's a good link comparing many different cards for different spend categories:
http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit- ... -p/3986754
AMEX BCE | PRG || Barclaycard Sallie Mae || Capital One QuickSilver | Venture || Chase Freedom | Sapphire Preferred || Citi Dividend || Discover It || UFCU Great Rate || US Bank Cash+ #1 | Cash+ #2 | Club Carlson Plat | REI || Total CL $144.2k + PRG NPSL, not counting AU



Return to “General Credit Card Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests