February 2016 Garden Club

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
173 posts
OldMan
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby OldMan » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:40 am

Kevin86475391 wrote:
OldMan wrote:Forgive me Garden for I have sinned! I was being really good too! But someone (at the other end of the interwebs) mention an AARP Card. (that's for us old people, not you youngsters) I didn't mean to look, and I didn't mean to app, but that 3% on Dining was just toooooo tempting. Oh well........................
OldMan wrote:Yep, got the $200 bonus. And while it's only a percent, Dining is #2 spend for me and the Wife. It's all about maximizing bonuses with as few cards as possible now. I'll keep the Discover for the rotating, the Amex for gas, the DC for everything else, and this lets me get the most for Dining now. Pretty happy.


Yeah, dining is one of my biggest spend categories too...indeed probably largest after housing/utilities. That does sound appealing. I've been looking for a way to consistently get more than 2% cash back for dining out. 5% is great when Chase and Discover are doing their categories but that still leaves at least half the year where my 2% DC is the best option. I was planning to start a thread asking for best dining out rewards options soon.

Do you have to be old enough for regular AARP to qualify? I'm not, but I thought I had seen somewhere where some younger people had managed to get it anyway. 3% cashback on dining out would be ideal for me. Unfortunately all the other dining oriented cards I've seen are travel focused with miles or hotel stays as rewards and I do absolutely no traveling at all so definitely want cash back.


My understanding is that you don't have to be a member to apply. From what I've read, you just leave the membership number blank when you apply. Of course, I'm a member so................... I'm old, but it beats the alternative all to hell. :ppp
My Wallet:
Discover IT - $4000;
AMEX BCE $12000;
Citi Double Cash - $6600;
CHASE AARP Visa - $5000;
Banana Republic $1200;
NFM - $20,000;
Sears (Citi) MC - $6000;


kdm31091
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:15 am

If one has a freedom and discover and uses them for 5 percent dining 2 quarters of the year and a double cash the other 2 quarters, youre already averaging 3.5 percent overall for the year. Not much need for AARP.

We often see the higher earn rates and get excited, but there is sometimes no real gain from it.

rockyrock
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby rockyrock » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:49 am

JonE wrote:As I kind of implied previously, I'm about to do something that would probably get me burned at the stake at MyFico. That is to remove all my bills (non-debt bills like Cell Phone, Insurance, stuff like that) from my cards and use auto-pay through my checking account. That's an easier way for me to manage bills plus pay down cards that I would use for general spending and any debt/pending collection/emergency spending I would need to do on the Visa and Discover. The store cards will be sockdrawered until it's time for review.


I'm doing this too. I'm sure I'll be losing a few $$ a month in rewards, but it is much cleaner and simpler. I have a few big ticket items I'm paying down so I'd rather not have the additional card to worry about.
American Express (2005): Premier Rewards Gold & Blue Cash Preferred
Chase: Freedom & UA Club USAA: Signature Visa & American Express
Discover it Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines WEMC Synchrony Sam's MC
Navy FCU Platinum Visa Citi Double Cash & AT&T Access MC

kdm31091
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:52 am

rockyrock wrote:
JonE wrote:As I kind of implied previously, I'm about to do something that would probably get me burned at the stake at MyFico. That is to remove all my bills (non-debt bills like Cell Phone, Insurance, stuff like that) from my cards and use auto-pay through my checking account. That's an easier way for me to manage bills plus pay down cards that I would use for general spending and any debt/pending collection/emergency spending I would need to do on the Visa and Discover. The store cards will be sockdrawered until it's time for review.


I'm doing this too. I'm sure I'll be losing a few $$ a month in rewards, but it is much cleaner and simpler. I have a few big ticket items I'm paying down so I'd rather not have the additional card to worry about.


That's why I like these forums. Sensible people who aren't JUST focused on some tiny gain in rewards. I still cannot believe how many MF people apply for a new card quite often for an extra 0.05% on one thing they spend on. I mean, to each their own, but at some point is it really worth adding more and more cards? I just don't understand it. I fell into the trap for awhile, but am firmly back in reality now!

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Vattené
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby Vattené » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:08 am

kdm31091 wrote:That's why I like these forums. Sensible people who aren't JUST focused on some tiny gain in rewards. I still cannot believe how many MF people apply for a new card quite often for an extra 0.05% on one thing they spend on. I mean, to each their own, but at some point is it really worth adding more and more cards? I just don't understand it. I fell into the trap for awhile, but am firmly back in reality now!

I know you've pointed this out before, but the worst part is having that card is probably encouraging them to spend more because they have a special category and card dedicated to it. They just rationalize it by thinking, "well I spend a lot on X anyway so I might as well get more rewards for it." If someone determines that for a given amount of spending the marginal increase in rewards is worth the extra time, effort, and tracking then more power to them, but in all likelihood they're spending more than they're gaining without even realizing it.
-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

Nixon
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby Nixon » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:13 am

While my previous comment was in jest, I Vehemently disagree with paying bills with direct debit if they will take CCs for no addtl charge. Those things add up.

To that end, If a store (let's say Aldi) won't take a CC but will take a debit. I will use my Discover Debit but will have separate tickets for every item.

They're my rewards and I intend to keep em.
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Vattené
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby Vattené » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:20 am

Nixon wrote:To that end, If a store (let's say Aldi) won't take a CC but will take a debit. I will use my Discover Debit but will have separate tickets for every item.

Aldi takes Discover credit (at least where I am), not that it changes your larger point.
-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

JonE
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby JonE » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:38 pm

Nixon wrote:While my previous comment was in jest, I Vehemently disagree with paying bills with direct debit if they will take CCs for no addtl charge. Those things add up.

To that end, If a store (let's say Aldi) won't take a CC but will take a debit. I will use my Discover Debit but will have separate tickets for every item.

They're my rewards and I intend to keep em.


Normally I agree but I have run the numbers, and my spending would make up for the loss in 'rewards' by moving my bills to auto-pay out of checking. And I could still use the credit cards for debt-type bills (stuff that might be headed for collections) and emergency spending on top of that. Plus it would mostly be for car payment, insurance, rent, student loans and whatever else. Stuff like Netflix, Gas, Groceries, gym membership and wireless phone and internet would still be on the cards.
Current Cards: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Future: TBD

Vermonster
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby Vermonster » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:41 pm

Wow, 7 pages by the end of the first week of the month. I guess everyone has to get the post in for the short month :P (I'm still catching up on missed posts so forgive me if I repeat anything discussed before.)

I took a little break from the forum, and it wasn't great. I did enjoy not feeling like I HAD to be on checking all the time, but I also let all the finance fall to the back of my mind. YNAB made some big changes in the process so I totally dropped the ball on budgeting. I was also a day late on my Amex payment because I kept saying I would check it "tomorrow." I got nailed with a $27 fee, but I did not lose my 0% promo period, or have my standard APR jacked up to the penalty rate. That was a gut wrenching reality check that I walked away from unscathed.

I did get a SP cli on my DC to $4.7k. It is to mostly help with util as I pay down other cards. We are still on track to have no CC debt by the end of March. :lift: But 2 sets of tires and some regular maintenance set us back 2 weeks. Here is to tax season!

I did notice that I am still receiving the +10 points and +10% points on my Freedom. I could have sworn they were doing away with this Dec '15. Anyone else notice this? I also noticed that when I had a stolen TV refunded by Amazon, Chase didn't deduct the +10% promo points. So I effectively netted 21% back on the TV. :money:
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

Kevin86475391
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Re: February 2016 Garden Club

Postby Kevin86475391 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:38 pm

OldMan wrote:My understanding is that you don't have to be a member to apply. From what I've read, you just leave the membership number blank when you apply. Of course, I'm a member so................... I'm old, but it beats the alternative all to hell. :ppp

Thanks for the info! I'll keep this in mind if I apply :)

kdm31091 wrote:If one has a freedom and discover and uses them for 5 percent dining 2 quarters of the year and a double cash the other 2 quarters, youre already averaging 3.5 percent overall for the year. Not much need for AARP.

I suppose that's true if I could count on Freedom and Discover not syncing their quarters like this year, but last year for example they did sync. I usually spend a bit over the max for one, but not nearly enough to benefit from the full value for two (LOL, thankfully. I'm not looking to raise my dining out bill that much). Still, I do like the DC and I guess just using it the other 2-3 quarters is the simpler option. I'm a bit undecided, but I rarely app so chances are I won't.

Vattené wrote:I know you've pointed this out before, but the worst part is having that card is probably encouraging them to spend more because they have a special category and card dedicated to it. They just rationalize it by thinking, "well I spend a lot on X anyway so I might as well get more rewards for it." If someone determines that for a given amount of spending the marginal increase in rewards is worth the extra time, effort, and tracking then more power to them, but in all likelihood they're spending more than they're gaining without even realizing it.


That's why I personally avoid AF cards. As you said there could certainly be an element of increased spending without realizing it, but I don't think I spend more because I'm getting rewards (but maybe I am. That's obviously the definition of subconscious :ppp ). On the other hand, I strongly suspect I would be tempted to spend more on an AF card because I'd feel like I had to 'justify' the AF. Plus with a non-AF card if I do great with keeping my spending down, I'm just happy. Hypothetically with an AF card I feel like if I did great with keeping my spending down I'd just be kicking myself for having the card. And it would certainly demotivate me.

Vermonster wrote:I took a little break from the forum, and it wasn't great. I did enjoy not feeling like I HAD to be on checking all the time, but I also let all the finance fall to the back of my mind. YNAB made some big changes in the process so I totally dropped the ball on budgeting. I was also a day late on my Amex payment because I kept saying I would check it "tomorrow." I got nailed with a $27 fee, but I did not lose my 0% promo period, or have my standard APR jacked up to the penalty rate. That was a gut wrenching reality check that I walked away from unscathed.

Glad you escaped without feeling the sting! I personally find that occasional close calls like that - not necessarily with finances but with anything in general - can often serve as a really useful motivator. Sort of like learning from a mistake but without actually getting hit with the punishment.

Anyway I know what you mean about the, "I'll check tomorrow" mentality. That's part of the reason I really like PIF-ing weekly instead of monthly. If I want to do the, "I'll check tomorrow" thing for a week...well I absolutely can since in general I pay my bills so early/often. I know that system wouldn't work for everyone though, but I really like it.

Vermonster wrote:I did get a SP cli on my DC to $4.7k. It is to mostly help with util as I pay down other cards. We are still on track to have no CC debt by the end of March. :lift: But 2 sets of tires and some regular maintenance set us back 2 weeks. Here is to tax season!

Nice, congrats! :cheers:

Vermonster wrote:I did notice that I am still receiving the +10 points and +10% points on my Freedom. I could have sworn they were doing away with this Dec '15. Anyone else notice this? I also noticed that when I had a stolen TV refunded by Amazon, Chase didn't deduct the +10% promo points. So I effectively netted 21% back on the TV. :money:

Nice! How long has it been though? I feel like deducting points is the sort of thing they might really take their time with. If it's only been a month or two I wouldn't necessarily say you're out of the woods on keeping them. Eh, just my opinion though.



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