- Centurion Member
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- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
For gas and grocery spending, you may be able to improve upon your rewards by getting a BCE, BCP, Sallie Mae (Rewards, not Upromise), PenFed Platinum Rewards, or some combination of those. BCP has a $75 AF and PenFed requires a $15 one-time donation to one of two veteran organizations, if you don't otherwise qualify for membership. PenFed membership does not guarantee a card, but your credit puts you in a good position for one. I use a Sallie Mae / BCE combo, but the combined limits on those would not cover all your grocery spending.
If you spend a lot on gas, then the best thing might be to keep the BC as it is, and only use it for gas and grocery expenses, as well as some off-category spending each year to hit the $6,500 threshold. There is also a FICO advantage to keeping the old account open.
You can definitely improve your rewards on spending outside of gas and grocery categories. I'd suggest the Arrival+. It has an AF of $89, but all spending on it (no caps, no categories) earns an effective 2.2% when you use those points to pay for any travel purchase you make with the card. Instead of paying the entire bill from a checking account, you pay the travel portion with your rewards, and the non-travel portion with the checking account as normal.
Note that Barclays, which offers Sallie Mae and Arrival+, generally doesn't let customers open cards more frequently than six months apart, and your great credit might not necessarily exempt you from that restriction.
I like my Discover, and I usually favor it over my Freedom for 5% categories. Unless you happen to shop at some of the more out-of-the-ordinary retailers that have the really cheap gift cards (50% off face value, or more) you may find the simple 1% rewards a bit lacking.
My advice, which may sound complicated but is about as simple as the alternatives, is:
Use each card at least for a small transaction each month to keep them active.
Keep the BC as it is. Use it as your main card until you hit the $6,500 threshold each year. Then use it only for gas and groceries.
Use the Discover where you can get 5%.
Get an Arrival+ (assuming you fly now and then and stay in the occasional hotel) for everything else.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt, Arrival
May close or PC: Prestige, BrooksBros
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech