Do folks "garden" here?

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
22 posts
FutureBillionaire
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Do folks "garden" here?

Postby FutureBillionaire » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:55 pm

I'm a myfico member too. Folks over there like to talk about gardening and whatnot. Do any of you do it here? The only reason I keep my inquires below double digits and minizmize the number of credit cards that I have is to keep my existing creditors from wanting to shut me down or reduce my limits.

Any thoughts?
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape


haikuginger
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Location: Norman, OK

Postby haikuginger » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:20 pm

People do garden here. It's not like FlyerTalk, where it's all about the churn.

Sevenfeet
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Postby Sevenfeet » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Churning for rewards isn't worth the time, effort or monetary gain in my book, especially considering what it constantly does to your credit.
Cards:
American Express Platinum (NPSL)
Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)
Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)
Fidelity American Express ($20K)
American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)
Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)
Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)
US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)
Discover IT ($4K)

s.jessica
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Location: Iowa

Postby s.jessica » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:59 pm

All I can say is, it's not easy. I was told the goal should be to acquire about 3 to 5 decent cards. What happens is when you are just starting out or rebuilding there are very few good options, you might have to start with a secured card or something that won't grow with you. The real crappy deal is when you have to dump your first card because it's secured, has an annual fee or something ridicules and apply for another card. I want to try to hang on to my AAoA, but just how is it possible? You have one card for a year, add a second card, now you have an AAoA of 6 months! Wait a year, add two more cards, now you have 4 cards with an AAoA of 1 year. Now I'm in a situation where I have several cards, low limits and no rewards, maybe a couple with AF, what do I do? The answer I'm getting is dump the AF cards and apply for a couple new ones. What I wish someone could answer is, how do I get a maximum AAoA and still have 5 or 6 decent cards?

My big question has always been, how long do you have to hang out in the garden to be considered gardening? I really wouldn't consider having 2 cards for a year without applying for anything else gardening. If you want to see a true example of gardening, my mom has had 1 card with a 7.5K limit for at least 12 years. A few years back some friends wanted to talk her into applying for something with rewards, but she wouldn't budge - she said one card and one card only, that's all anyone should have and she's perfectly satisfied with her current card. All she cares about is she can use it to buy a few things and not have to write a check.

I guess for now I can't garden, I have to keep churning until I get to a couple of the better cards, but I think someone said to wait at least six months between card applications which seems reasonable at this point.

TheLethargicAge
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Location: Miami, Cuba

Postby TheLethargicAge » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:05 pm

Sevenfeet wrote:Churning for rewards isn't worth the time, effort or monetary gain in my book, especially considering what it constantly does to your credit.


I wonder what Weird Al Yankovic would have to say about that. "I churn rewards day and night, living in a Fico paradise..." Sorry, couldn't help it :ppp

Just out of curiosity, I noticed your Chase Freedom is a MasterCard. Is it a World Mastercard?
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)

TheLethargicAge
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Location: Miami, Cuba

Postby TheLethargicAge » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:07 pm

As for the topic at hand, I think nobody epitomizes gardening any more than my mom. Sixteen years with the same credit card, 40K+ CL, never applied for another one (and it's a World Elite MC, to boot).
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:16 pm

I don't believe I garden. I try to wait 6 months between app sprees. I make sure my utilization is low as well. I think I'm in between the folks at flyertalk and the folks at my fico. I will go for great rewards, but I need cards I will hang onto. That's the only reason I haven't apped for that southwest card yet.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

dickey1331
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Location: Houston, TX

Postby dickey1331 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:29 pm

Ive had my Chase Slate card for 6 years. I would get rid of it but its my longest card and my second credit card ever. My first was First Financial Bank and was closed in 2011.
Platinum Delta Skymiles $12,900
Marriott Rewards Premier $12,000
Discover IT $12,000
USAA Cash Rewards $11,000
American Express Blue Cash Preferred $10,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred $6,500
Best Buy $6,000
Chase Freedom $4,500
Zales $4,000
Amazon Prime $4,000

Sevenfeet
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Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:20 pm

TheLethargicAge wrote:I wonder what Weird Al Yankovic would have to say about that. "I churn rewards day and night, living in a Fico paradise..." Sorry, couldn't help it :ppp

Just out of curiosity, I noticed your Chase Freedom is a MasterCard. Is it a World Mastercard?


My Chase Freedom is technically a World MasterCard but it is not marketed as such. Chase does not participate in the World Elite program, although they do have Visa Signature on that side of the Freedom fence. I didn't specifically ask for a MasterCard but it came out of a product change from the original Chase MasterCard my wife had had since 1998.

As for the wisdom of churning, well, I came to these boards with a specific set of goals.

1. To find a 0% card my family could load up a fair amount of balance transfer debt ($28K worth)
2. To determine which cash reward cards to either product change or acquire with the goal of savings money on purchases we already make.
3. To increase our overall credit limit to give us long term flexibility and better our long term credit scores.

In the end, I got lucky in that the Penfed PRV card solved three problems in one card...balance transfer, large CL and cash rewards. After that I picked targeted cards based upon what Quicken told me what our category spending was for 2012. We identified groceries, restaurants, drugstores as major categories. I wanted strong "rotating category" cards so we chose to product change our Chase Slate to a Freedom, and look at Discover (a card I used to carry in the 90s). And finally, I realized from my data that "non-category" spending was the largest single thing we could put on credit cards. That made getting a 2% card a priority.

So it worked out like this:

New Cards:
Amex BCP (Groceries),
Penfed (Gas + Groceries)
US Bank Cash + (restaurants)
Discover (rotating, ShopDiscover)
Fidelity Amex (2% everything else)

Product Changes:
Chase Slate->Freedom (rotating)
BofA World MasterCard->Cash Rewards (used for stores not accepting Fidelity Amex, we get a small 10% bonus for BofA being our regular bank)

Unchanged: Amex Platinum

You can easily see my priorities. A lot of the churn from credit card initial offers are in the travel card side of the house and I don't own any travel cards save my Amex Platinum which serves that function well. I don't need to be chasing 40K miles with the Chase Sapphire Preferred when I already have 500K miles at Delta right now since I travel for a living. I easily accrued 150K miles last year alone without doing anything special. I don't need to do credit machinations to get the next trip to Cancun.

This app spree for me was very out of the ordinary and I do not expect to ever repeat it. My wife is already uneasy having 8 cards in the family and trying to remember what card to use for what purchase. But I do estimate that I will save about $2500 next year in rewards accrual. That for me is worth the extra work.
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

marzbarz
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Location: San Antonio

Postby marzbarz » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:35 pm

The 5 cards listed in my signature will be it for me, until another game changer comes along. The only new cards in there are my BCE & the CSP. Everything else is 5 years old or more. I have 3 hard inquires, with one about to drop this month.

I am all about gardening...
AMEX Blue Cash: $23,500
CITI Doublecash (World Elite MC): $11,200
CAPONE Quicksilver (VISA Signature): $12,500
CHASE Freedom (VISA Signature): $20,000
USAA Rewards (World MC): $13,500
USAA Rewards (VISA): $18,500



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