September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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kdm31091
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:30 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:It is honestly an overrated card. On the other hand, I have their Upromise card which is much less discussed and I do actually like it. It's mostly useful for online shopping. Most merchants are 5%, plus 5% for using the card. 10% back on online purchases is pretty great and it's cold hard cash with no BS (other than taking awhile to post, but that's the same with any portal).

The Upromise card also offers 10% on most travel booking sites (Orbitz, Travelocity etc) meaning to me, it's a better "travel" card than some alternatives.

The online shopping portal looks interesting, though with the Chase portal + CSP and a double-rewards Discover I don't think I'd see much additional value.

I'm moving away from Orbitz and Travelocity, and leaning more towards booking directly with hotels and airlines.


Yeah, it depends on what you prefer to do. At the moment yes, Discover is basically the same thing as the Upromise portal since Discover has double promo going on.

But yeah...I'm glad someone can see that the hype around Sallie really needs to be taken down a notch. Haha


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:47 pm

kdm31091 wrote:Yeah, it depends on what you prefer to do. At the moment yes, Discover is basically the same thing as the Upromise portal since Discover has double promo going on.

But yeah...I'm glad someone can see that the hype around Sallie really needs to be taken down a notch. Haha

I still think Sallie's a pretty good card. It just doesn't make much sense when I spend so much more on groceries than Amazon or gas. I would suggest the card for someone with different spending who wants plain cash back with no AFs, transfer partners, *special offers*, or transaction counting.

The participating Upromise restaurants look like they are all the same ones that I've already got linked to IHG Dining.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

kdm31091
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:46 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:Yeah, it depends on what you prefer to do. At the moment yes, Discover is basically the same thing as the Upromise portal since Discover has double promo going on.

But yeah...I'm glad someone can see that the hype around Sallie really needs to be taken down a notch. Haha

I still think Sallie's a pretty good card. It just doesn't make much sense when I spend so much more on groceries than Amazon or gas. I would suggest the card for someone with different spending who wants plain cash back with no AFs, transfer partners, *special offers*, or transaction counting.

The participating Upromise restaurants look like they are all the same ones that I've already got linked to IHG Dining.


Right, it works for a lot of people.

For me, my gas spend is negligible. I work at a location 2 minutes from my house. I get gas maybe once every 3 weeks. So the spend is very little. Groceries something like $120 a month maybe at the actual grocery store. I get most of them at BJ's, where I have their 5% mastercard anyway, or Target where I use my debit redcard. (Yes Sallie works at some Targets but it's hit or miss, and the redcard will never fail me).

My Amazon spend is pretty small too and Discover has that for the rest of the year anyway (doubled to 10%).

So we're left with bookstores, which maybe I go to Barnes and Noble once a month and that's being generous. So not worth caring about carrying a card for that infrequent purchase. $120 a month at 5% is $6 a month, so with no other spend it would take a long time to even have enough to redeem. The point is that for me, it's not a great option. If it were groceries and dining instead I'd be all over it

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:31 pm

One area where I have to praise Barclaycard is that their rewards are clear, transparent, and information about them is readily available. For Sallie Mae, I multiply the dollars I spend by five and get some number of cents. For Arrival, I just combine 1% spending, 2% spending, portal rewards, and 10% of redemptions.

I just went over my EDP rewards. Bonus rewards (50%) are based on the transaction date, but statement balances and 1/2/3 MR point rewards are based on a transaction's posting date. If I buy something late in a statement period, I get the 50% bonus a month before I get the base rewards. I needed Excel to check the rewards - though they were correct.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:08 pm

I feel like I'm having a Member Moment, constantly changing my mind about cards in general and SM and Brooks Bros in particular. :ppp

Instead of closing cards in a rush and later reapplying, though, I tend to defer decisions about closing or keeping cards indefinitely. In practice, that means I keep cards.

The pros and cons never change - just their relative importance. I'll be logging into Barclaycard anyway, I might regret not having a year-round Amazon card, and Brooks Bros takes a full 2 years to go inactive. So they'll live for now...again...
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

Whatamuji
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby Whatamuji » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:38 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I feel like I'm having a Member Moment, constantly changing my mind about cards in general and SM and Brooks Bros in particular. :ppp

Instead of closing cards in a rush and later reapplying, though, I tend to defer decisions about closing or keeping cards indefinitely. In practice, that means I keep cards.

The pros and cons never change - just their relative importance. I'll be logging into Barclaycard anyway, I might regret not having a year-round Amazon card, and Brooks Bros takes a full 2 years to go inactive. So they'll live for now...again...


Yeah I'd say if you already have the card, you might as well just keep it.
Kohls: $300, Discover IT: $1.8k, Capital One Quicksilver: $2k, Amazon Store Card: $2.2k, BoA Cash Rewards: 1k, Chase Freedom: 3.2k, AMEX HHonors 3k

kdm31091
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:48 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I feel like I'm having a Member Moment, constantly changing my mind about cards in general and SM and Brooks Bros in particular. :ppp

Instead of closing cards in a rush and later reapplying, though, I tend to defer decisions about closing or keeping cards indefinitely. In practice, that means I keep cards.

The pros and cons never change - just their relative importance. I'll be logging into Barclaycard anyway, I might regret not having a year-round Amazon card, and Brooks Bros takes a full 2 years to go inactive. So they'll live for now...again...


A year round Amazon card is only significantly important if you spend there a lot. If you are keeping it just so you know you have it, that doesn't make as much sense. However, there's no fee and nothing wrong with just tossing it on the sock drawer and using it if/when the need arises.

Kevin86475391
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby Kevin86475391 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:55 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I feel like I'm having a Member Moment, constantly changing my mind about cards in general and SM and Brooks Bros in particular. :ppp

Instead of closing cards in a rush and later reapplying, though, I tend to defer decisions about closing or keeping cards indefinitely. In practice, that means I keep cards.

The pros and cons never change - just their relative importance. I'll be logging into Barclaycard anyway, I might regret not having a year-round Amazon card, and Brooks Bros takes a full 2 years to go inactive. So they'll live for now...again...


Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. It would be a waste of an inquiry to close an account just to reopen it several months or a year later. Much better, IMO, to just let it go inactive but monitor it just in case for fraud. That's why I haven't closed the US Bank one I never use. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be re-opening it unless it somehow got a major rewards power up, which seems unlikely, but I figure it's no big deal to just log in once a week and make sure everything's in order. Of course wouldn't do that if it had an annual fee. Perhaps they'll eventually come out with a new, more advantageous rewards card I can convert to.


kdm31091 wrote:A year round Amazon card is only significantly important if you spend there a lot. If you are keeping it just so you know you have it, that doesn't make as much sense. However, there's no fee and nothing wrong with just tossing it on the sock drawer and using it if/when the need arises.


Amazon is one of my biggest spending areas. Except for my neighborhood Kroger it's by far the place I shop the most. Sometimes Target's a close second, but Amazon usually edges them out. On any given week I'm likely to shop in all 3 places at least once. :ppp I spend more money eating out overall, but across so many different restaurants/merchants.

I said I was only considering the Amex BCE as an additional card, but actually I suppose an Amazon card might be worth it for the 5% for quarters when Discover It and Freedom aren't featuring it, especially if it doesn't have an AF. It looks like they're only offering a $20 sign up bonus/gift card right now though, whereas a bit of research indicates they've offered larger amounts in the past. I think I'd probably do it for a bonus of $150+.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:31 pm

I'm in an unusual position, I suppose. Most people, by the time they have 10 cards, have at least one that will objectively never be the best card for a particular transaction. Every single one of my cards can, in some circumstance or another, be useful.

Barclaycard may end up settling the question for me by nerfing the card.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

kdm31091
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Re: September 2015 Garden Club/Cult

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:28 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I'm in an unusual position, I suppose. Most people, by the time they have 10 cards, have at least one that will objectively never be the best card for a particular transaction. Every single one of my cards can, in some circumstance or another, be useful.

Barclaycard may end up settling the question for me by nerfing the card.


I would say a Sallie nerf is pretty much inevitable eventually. What the nerf will be is the question.

Yes, there may be one or two times out of 100 that Sallie (or any infrequently used card) is your best card. The question becomes if the rewards gleaned from those one or two times are worth keeping the account open (and keep in mind the redemption minimums).



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