December 2015 Garden Club

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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me2
 
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby me2 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:08 pm

kdm31091 wrote:
JonE wrote:I just think it's a better idea to get cards that fall in line with your spending. On a personal level I have 2 category cards, one of which is my daily driver which all spending goes on save for a few smaller bills. And the other I use sparingly. Plus one very useful store card, and two more that will be SD'd. Future needs, probably a general travel card with restaurant benefits (ala CSP) and a gas, groceries card that could also be used for general, everyday spending (EDP with the 30 swipe points bonus). All of those would fit my needs, and wouldn't put me in a position to get in over my head. I could use the EDP as the everyday driver, and rotate other cards monthly or as needed (CSP for travel, Amazon for prime purchases). That's my idea of maximizing rewards.


I think that makes more sense vs having one card for dining, one card for groceries, one card for this, another for that, etc. To a point, that can make sense (f the separate cards offer % benefits over the others), but often it just dilutes one's spend too much when we're talking about an extra 1% on a couple things here and there. I think your plan sounds good.


I like cash back, period. I have kept multiple cards for a while now, Sallie Mae/Barclay for gas/groceries/books and Amex from Costco for restaurants and travel. But with the latter going away soon, I've applied for an AARP/Chase restaurant card and I'd like my spouse to pick up the AARP/Chase travel card (since we're going to the same places anyway!) Problem is, the link puts up the restaurant application, not the travel. Anyone know where to find a working link?


Vermonster
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby Vermonster » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:30 pm

kdm31091 wrote:I really don't go to department stores too often, nor clothing.


So this is actually something that interests me. A lot of the time people will claim that Discover has better categories due to them being more broad. Ex, Chase had Amazon, Diapers, and Zappos. Disco had Amazon, Dept, and clothing stores.

But as was mentioned in another thread, you can generally save significantly more by not purchasing at a department store. Most online retailers have a damn good pricematch, and many will have ship too store so you can avoid leaving a package at the front door. Clothing isn't exactly a high spend category, unless you are going for big name brands (but why would you need 5% back if you can afford those brands?).

So really I'd kinda like to hear from the people that prefer the broad categories of the Discover. How much of the $1500 was used at a place other than Amazon?
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

kdm31091
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:31 pm

Vermonster wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:I really don't go to department stores too often, nor clothing.


So this is actually something that interests me. A lot of the time people will claim that Discover has better categories due to them being more broad. Ex, Chase had Amazon, Diapers, and Zappos. Disco had Amazon, Dept, and clothing stores.

But as was mentioned in another thread, you can generally save significantly more by not purchasing at a department store. Most online retailers have a damn good pricematch, and many will have ship too store so you can avoid leaving a package at the front door. Clothing isn't exactly a high spend category, unless you are going for big name brands (but why would you need 5% back if you can afford those brands?).

So really I'd kinda like to hear from the people that prefer the broad categories of the Discover. How much of the $1500 was used at a place other than Amazon?


You have a point there. In fact, I only used my Discover a small handful of times this entire quarter (and honestly, I bought zero on amazon, but I never claimed to be a huge amazon spender - I buy things when I need them, and that's it).

Although I do like that Discover offers broader categories much of the time, at the end of the day it's mostly semantics because Freedom and Discover tend to have the same categories during the year ultimately, just at different periods. Q4 of 2015 had very narrow Freedom categories. But in Q1 2016, they match exactly. So it just comes down to what one prefers. I will say though that I find all of the 5% cards have slowly gotten more disappointing as time goes on. I believe we've discussed it on here before. The only really, really useful Discover categories for me that I can use without going out of my way to use are generally restaurants and home improvement. Gas, meh. Amazon, meh unless I have a big planned purchase. I don't spend just for the sake of the category.

I think the whole "you can save more by not shopping at x, as opposed to using your card's special rewards" applies to a lot of cases. People go out of their way to NOT shop at Target or Walmart with their BCP because they don't get the "special grocery rewards" there, but ultimately, if you're saving more money by shopping there, then you still lose by going to a "real" grocery store for your 6%. I'm not saying it's true across the board - of course some things are cheaper at the "real" stores. My point is that you cannot let the categories dictate your spend. It is very easy, many times, to find the item you want 5% cheaper somewhere else and forego the "special" reward especially in the case of department stores like you mentioned. Again, it's not a universal truth, but I do think people tend to let the categories dictate where they go and end up losing more than they gain at times.

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Vattené
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby Vattené » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:11 am

Vermonster wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:I really don't go to department stores too often, nor clothing.


So this is actually something that interests me. A lot of the time people will claim that Discover has better categories due to them being more broad. Ex, Chase had Amazon, Diapers, and Zappos. Disco had Amazon, Dept, and clothing stores.

But as was mentioned in another thread, you can generally save significantly more by not purchasing at a department store. Most online retailers have a damn good pricematch, and many will have ship too store so you can avoid leaving a package at the front door. Clothing isn't exactly a high spend category, unless you are going for big name brands (but why would you need 5% back if you can afford those brands?).

So really I'd kinda like to hear from the people that prefer the broad categories of the Discover. How much of the $1500 was used at a place other than Amazon?

I like department/clothing store shopping, but do try to limit it because it is very rarely necessary. Thanks to Christmas obligations, I've done a little over $500 in Q4 category spending, and just a little over $100 of that as been from Amazon (on Discover - both numbers would be higher if it weren't for Amex Offers). I don't get all the hype over Amazon, and I don't find that it saves me much money.

I like Amazon, and it can be a good place to find a deal, but it's too inconvenient for me to replace much brick and mortar shopping. I have a Prime membership, but I can't wait to get rid of it because there are either too many exceptions to get free shipping or what I would be buying would get free shipping anyway. Typically when I buy something online I don't need it in a hurry; if I needed it that soon I'd just go somewhere and get it. I was excited to see the Prime Pantry and hoping to get some use out of it - if nothing else than to justify my Prime Membership - but it's completely useless to me. Most things are more expensive than I could get elsewhere, and there are so many conditions and restrictions to it that it would end up saving me no time OR money. Right now the only thing my Prime membership is good for is watching Transparent.

I much prefer this year's department stores/clothing stores/Amazon to last year online purchases (which included Amazon), but I like shopping in brick and mortar places over online generally. You can go with people, try stuff on first when you're looking at clothing, and make an enjoyable trip out of it by just looking at stuff. Amazon Prime was nice when I could get it free as a college student, but it's not worth paying anything for to me personally.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

yfan
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby yfan » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:33 pm

Vermonster wrote:So really I'd kinda like to hear from the people that prefer the broad categories of the Discover. How much of the $1500 was used at a place other than Amazon?

Actually, for me a fair bit this year. I did do some clothes shopping during the holiday sales, and bought some gifts at Sears (which I think counted as department store) online that I got some really good deals on. Still, the majority of the category spend was of course Amazon.

I think the trick is to stack sales with the categories. Sure, on everyday shopping, you are probably not going to beat prices from Target or Walmart, even counting a 5% reward. But if you couple the rewards with on-sale items, you do come out ahead. This is actually how I use my Amex BCE as well. While the majority of my grocery shopping is at Costco, what groceries I do get outside are in very large share on-sale items.

JonE
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby JonE » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:26 pm

Before I got the Prime store card, I wouldn't have justified keeping a prime membership. Now with 5% cash back OR special financing on bigger ticket items like the TV I recently bought, along with the free 2-day shipping, I can definitely justify keeping it around, the video service is a bonus.

I have similar issues as you justifying keeping the Walmart card around, and may very well cancel it once everything else is paid off and it won't hit my util much. Along with CareCredit, which is only slightly more useful, but there are better ways to get rewards putting it on a Visa or Discover. I could probably justify a way to keep one or both of those around, but I'm in cost-cutting mode for 2016.
Wallet: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Chopping Block: Synchrony
Future: TBD

kdm31091
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby kdm31091 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:00 pm

Now somehow the famous 18 yr old on myfico got 2 more huge capital one approvals. Why no one on there calls BS, I have no idea. Unless hes using household income. An 18 year old accountant making 80k sounds pretty absurd to me.

yfan
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby yfan » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:36 pm

kdm31091 wrote:Now somehow the famous 18 yr old on myfico got 2 more huge capital one approvals. Why no one on there calls BS, I have no idea. Unless hes using household income. An 18 year old accountant making 80k sounds pretty absurd to me.

Hey maybe he's just having his 37th 18th birthday.

Vermonster
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby Vermonster » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:40 pm

yfan wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:Now somehow the famous 18 yr old on myfico got 2 more huge capital one approvals. Why no one on there calls BS, I have no idea. Unless hes using household income. An 18 year old accountant making 80k sounds pretty absurd to me.

Hey maybe he's just having his 37th 18th birthday.


$100 says he gets financial review at some point in 2016 and lenders start closing or CLD him. We'll see him make a ton of threads about how unfair it is.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

Nixon
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Re: December 2015 Garden Club

Postby Nixon » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:18 pm

kdm31091 wrote:Now somehow the famous 18 yr old on myfico got 2 more huge capital one approvals. Why no one on there calls BS, I have no idea. Unless hes using household income. An 18 year old accountant making 80k sounds pretty absurd to me.


It'll all come crashing when his impending BK7 gets dismissed for lying about his income.
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