Re-organizing cards as spring cleaning

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yfan
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Re: Re-organizing cards as spring cleaning

Postby yfan » Sat May 14, 2016 2:16 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:If OP doesn't spend enough at Costco to merit an Executive membership, it would take a long time for 2% and 4% spending to make up for the fact there's no signup/minimum spend bonus.

But the executive membership has nothing to do with the cobranded card at all. The extra 2% in warehouse purchases that Executive members get is not dependent on their payment method.

But to the extent OP is trying to make a bonus, yes I suppose it'd made more sense to use the CSP.


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Re-organizing cards as spring cleaning

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat May 14, 2016 3:38 pm

yfan wrote:
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:If OP doesn't spend enough at Costco to merit an Executive membership, it would take a long time for 2% and 4% spending to make up for the fact there's no signup/minimum spend bonus.

But the executive membership has nothing to do with the cobranded card at all. The extra 2% in warehouse purchases that Executive members get is not dependent on their payment method.

But to the extent OP is trying to make a bonus, yes I suppose it'd made more sense to use the CSP.

I was interpreting the plan to move from Executive ($110) to Gold Star ($55) as an indication that OP doesn't spend very much at Costco. OP would rather save $55 by downgrading than get back 2% of eligible purchases. That suggests OP's eligible Costco warehouse purchases are under $2,750 per year. There are people like TXviking who will spend a lot on gas and little on warehouse stuff, but I think that's unusual.

If OP can get even 1.5 cpp on CSP, then the Costco Visa only out-earns the CSP by 0.5% on warehouse purchases and 2.5% on gas. It's marginal rewards that matter, and it would take many years for the rewards from light spending that only earns an extra 0.5% or 2.5% to amount to much of anything.

I know gas, and in some states, alcohol can make the calculations more complicated. My point is more that once you have a few decent cards, getting a 3% or 4% category here and there only really matters if you spend very heavily in those categories (and OP doesn't).
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

kdm31091
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Re: Re-organizing cards as spring cleaning

Postby kdm31091 » Sat May 14, 2016 4:31 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
I know gas, and in some states, alcohol can make the calculations more complicated. My point is more that once you have a few decent cards, getting a 3% or 4% category here and there only really matters if you spend very heavily in those categories (and OP doesn't).


Totally agree here. We get very wrapped up in "ooh! 3% on __! 4% on ___!" but in reality it's not going to be a huge difference unless the spend is large. 4% on gas is nice, but not life changing.

TXviking
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Re: Re-organizing cards as spring cleaning

Postby TXviking » Sat May 14, 2016 11:21 pm

Tubpbs wrote:Texas Viking - how do you spend so much on gas a month? What are you doing in that vehicle(s)? Monster trucks? Race cars?

That's a lot of gas spend. 4% is good for you probably with nothing else...


A few data points:
Round trip to work: 110 miles
Round trip to stepson's house: 460 miles
Typical round trip to restaurants/shopping: 30-40 miles

Then there are work sites I frequently go to in VA (1100 miles), TX (1300 miles) etc.

My daily driver is a BMW 335is that gets 20mpg and needs premium. My backup car is a Mercury Grand Marquis with about the same fuel mileage on regular. I somestimes use it for trips where I need lots of luggage or if I have more than one passenger. Both cars have been on multiple long road trips. I also have a motorcycle and a pickup truck (but the pickup takes diesel fuel, which Costco doesn't sell.)

Suffice it to say I'm loving the current low fuel prices.

Callmedory
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Re: Re-organizing cards as spring cleaning

Postby Callmedory » Sun May 15, 2016 10:14 am

Thanks all for your input--and it’s interesting reading about your stuff, too!

About the Citi cash back...yes, the cash back appears to NOT be limited to membership level but to card, looking at page 2 of the mailing from Citi. 4% for gas (anywhere); 3% for restaurant/travel worldwide; 2% Costco; 1% all else. Interesting about the gas--it’s 1%, not 4%, “for gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco” according to the Citi mailing So buying at Vons/Safeway or any other similar place? 1%

For us, we’ll use it mostly for the gas, though we generally spend less than $150/month, because we have to have that card out anyway and that’s actually the majority of our Costco spending.

Now, the “Executive” cash back of 2%, that’s looking like it’s unrelated to the Citi card--and gas purchases do NOT count. Hmmm, rethinking everything. So, being low-purchasers generally:

We’re better off using the Citi Visa for gas, with cash back of 4% for gas--better than the Costco Executive membership.
We’ll get 2% cash back for Costco purchases with the Citi Visa--equal to current Executive membership.
Our Executive membership was giving us cash back enough to pay the difference between regular and Executive, but that was it.

So I guess my question is, what will be the advantage of Executive membership? Will Costco be giving an additional 2%? If not, the additional benefits I can find (long-distance plans, car rentals, travel, etc) don’t really apply to me. Getting Executive membership for the sake of paying the difference seems...odd.

What are the other benefits of Executive membership?


Sorry this got long, I started “researching” my own topic. :beat:



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