kcm7 wrote:Oi, with the CSP.
For whatever reason, it's shown as the top recommended card whenever a lot of people go on Credit Sesame/Karma. My friends and family know I'm a little obsessed with cards, so I'm getting a lot of, "Hey so is the Sapphire a good card?"
And then their eyes glaze over when I respond, "Well it can be, but it costs $95/year. But how much do you spend, how much do you travel, and how much do you travel with these specific airlines and hotels?"
"... But ... it's a good card right?"
I have a feeling lots of people out there are getting the CSP and redeeming for cash back, when they could get possibly MORE cash back on cards without the annual fee.
But it's a good card, right?
It's your last sentence I think holds a lot of value, and it's also the thing lots of so-called credit-educated people miss. For the majority of people (maybe even a good majority) who have reasonably good credit, a few well thought out cards can be a lot more beneficial than snazzy AF cards. First, if you are a member of a warehouse club, look into their branded offering, as those cards often offer good value outside the warehouse too. You are already paying for the membership, use all the benefits! If you are not, consider the following strategy with cards with relatively easy/low redemption thresholds:
- Pick a category that's your biggest regular spend and get a no-AF card that offers around 3% in that category year round. (ED/BCE if this is groceries, BofA Cash Rewards if this is gas).
- Pick a 5% rotating category card with no AF (my recommendation is Discover)
- Get one or two good flat rewards cards - for me these are the Citi DC and QS... QS for Uber and international travel.
Now use these cards wisely. Decide what you want to use them for. Save them up or take smaller, more frequent rewards. Treat yourself, a friend, your significant other, or family. I'd say for 6 to 7 out of 10 customers this would result in better rewards - not to mention more sanity - than racking up AF cards.
Oh, and remember there are other ways to save than credit card rewards. I just picked up some Six Flags Halloween hunt tickets for $37 a pop, and that includes a picnic lunch, without which the tickets would have been $25 a pop. The usual tickets, even online pre-purchase, are $50+. So why were mine $25? AAA. We're going on AAA appreciation day and we got an email from AAA.
We often get pretzeled into the thought process of "The more you spend, the more you save." I think it'd help a lot more if people thought about how to better utilize the tools they already have - current credit cards, memberships they already have that have fringe benefits they aren't using, deal hunting - than going around flashing high-roller CCs that really no one cares about but the holder.