Best cash back credit card combo?

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Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
39 posts
dacat11
 
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Postby dacat11 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:48 pm

I got the Amex BCP card for groceries/warehouse club purchases. Since it does have a 6k limit, I am using the Chase Freedom card for Q1, then will switch to the Amex. Also using the Discover card right now for gas.
I also got the Barclay Arrival + for travel and most everything else. Keeping track of the rotating categories isn't that bad. Found using the wallaby app is helpful to help you choose the best card to use.
:cheers:


luvbullmarkets
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Postby luvbullmarkets » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:10 pm

dacat11 wrote:I got the Amex BCP card for groceries/warehouse club purchases. Since it does have a 6k limit, I am using the Chase Freedom card for Q1, then will switch to the Amex. Also using the Discover card right now for gas.
I also got the Barclay Arrival + for travel and most everything else. Keeping track of the rotating categories isn't that bad. Found using the wallaby app is helpful to help you choose the best card to use.


Welcome dacat11.

I just want to point out AMEX BCP is not eligible for 6% cash back at warehouse club stores. You will only be earning 6% at stores that are coded as "grocery stores" by AMEX. Also thank you for mentioning wallaby. I shall download that app onto my phone.
Amex PRG, Amex EveryDay, Amex BCE, Barclaycard Arrival, CSP, Chase Freedom, Discover it, Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex, Wells Fargo Visa Signature

"Attack this day with a level of enthusiasm unknown to mankind." - Jack Harbaugh

flroots
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Postby flroots » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:47 am

dacat11 wrote:I got the Amex BCP card for groceries/warehouse club purchases. Since it does have a 6k limit, I am using the Chase Freedom card for Q1, then will switch to the Amex. Also using the Discover card right now for gas.
I also got the Barclay Arrival + for travel and most everything else. Keeping track of the rotating categories isn't that bad. Found using the wallaby app is helpful to help you choose the best card to use.
How do you use BCP for warehouse purchases? In our area it doesn't work at Walmart, Target, or Sam's Club. Fortunately our Sallie Mae returns 5% cash back at all of those places (using Walmart gift card at Sam's Club).

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:32 pm

Maybe the OP just meant he or she uses BCP at Costco to earn a simple 1% there, not wanting the hassle of a second Amex.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

Fastphilly
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Postby Fastphilly » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:08 pm

flroots wrote:I've read that others put many of their bills onto their credit cards rather than using a checking account. I need to look into that. I do know that my car insurance is paid with my USAA MC. I can shift that to Citi Double Cash to double the rewards.


Smart move. Just remember though that some utility companies and car insurance companies charge processing fees to the consumer so that fee may put you in the red on your cash reward for the transaction.
In Wallet:
SM Credit Union Platinum Visa 15K (opened 2004)
Citi Double Cash MasterCard 6.6K (opened 2015)
Chase Freedom Visa 5K (2009) (morphed from Providian/Wa Mu)

flroots
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Postby flroots » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:22 am

Fastphilly wrote:Smart move. Just remember though that some utility companies and car insurance companies charge processing fees to the consumer so that fee may put you in the red on your cash reward for the transaction.
Thanks. Yes, that's something to watch out for. I've learned that I can get the 5% cash back at Sam's Club by purchasing Walmart gift cards at Walmart with my Sallie Mae card which then get used at Sam's Club. The same thing works at walmart.com.

flroots
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Postby flroots » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:44 am

I just had a very troubling experience with my Blue Cash Preferred. I wished to redeem my rewards as a statement credit. I tried doing it online and got a window which raised questions since an icon for Bonefish Grill appeared in the middle of the window. I called customer service 3 times. In the first 2 cases they said I could redeem online, but offered no explanation for the issue raised. In the 3rd case she said the website did not (yet) support online redemption and a rep must redeem for me. I told her she did not pass my sanity test; I believe she was lying to me just to get rid of me. She also refused to escalate the issue; finally I hung up. I finally got the direct number for tech support. He walked me through the steps and offered $50 to compensate me for my troubles. At this point I'm considering retiring (spelled downgrade to BCE) the card for the following reasons:
  • Very tedious and confusing steps to do simple online redemption for statement credit
  • Takes 2 months between transaction and cash back redemption
  • No online way to see if transaction earned 6% at the time of posting
  • Very incompetent customer support
On the other hand, Sallie Mae MasterCard website allows you to see rewards earned at the instant transaction posted. One can then receive cash back as statement credit in the very next statement. My question is the BCP worth the aggravation?

Wildcat_1
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Postby Wildcat_1 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:05 pm

I think it really depends on what you are looking to get out of the cards along with spending habits per category.

As you and others have noted the 'grocery' category can cater for a number of things once you take into account the plethora of gift cards they sell these days. Due to this the Grocery category can corner a big part of everyday spending IMO. Cards like BCP and EDP are great (although could be better if they weren't capped) due to the high limit of reward within this particular category and are much easier to use (again IMO) than a card with a $250 per month cap. I know that with regular groceries plus a couple of gas cards (fuel point bennys at grocery stores), iTunes cards, Amazon cards etc it is WAY TOO EASY to exceed that small cap.

Something to consider is BCP (or BCE) , EDP (or ED), Citi Double Cash and Chase Freedom (some prefer DiscoverIT). This gives you a good selection of cash back with some miles thrown in, plus if you add a CSP (Sapphire Preferred) to the mix at some point then the Freedom points become way more valuable as Ultimate Rewards. In fact if you went for the non annual versions (depending on your spend requirements and want for reward redemption) of the cards above then the only card you would pay out of pocket for would be the CSP as and if you needed it.

The above cards would also give you a nice total category cap in Groceries (covered by BCE/BCP, ED/EDP & category bonus on Freedom) with a solid 2% cash back on anything non bonused. If you then dine out and travel you can use the CSP for 2x UR points (3x dining on 1st Friday of every month) or book travel through Chase (gain an extra point) to give you some miles in the game as well should you want some extra flexibility.

Of course if you find you are spending more in some of the highly rewarded categories like Groceries & Gas you may find more value from the annual fee versions, either way these are solid cards IMO.

Just a thought.

Lastly, as long as you are trying to redeem AMEX in $25 increments you should have no issues at all, just be aware it has to be in $25, never seen a problem.

WC

flroots wrote:I just had a very troubling experience with my Blue Cash Preferred. I wished to redeem my rewards as a statement credit. I tried doing it online and got a window which raised questions since an icon for Bonefish Grill appeared in the middle of the window. I called customer service 3 times. In the first 2 cases they said I could redeem online, but offered no explanation for the issue raised. In the 3rd case she said the website did not (yet) support online redemption and a rep must redeem for me. I told her she did not pass my sanity test; I believe she was lying to me just to get rid of me. She also refused to escalate the issue; finally I hung up. I finally got the direct number for tech support. He walked me through the steps and offered $50 to compensate me for my troubles. At this point I'm considering retiring (spelled downgrade to BCE) the card for the following reasons:
  • Very tedious and confusing steps to do simple online redemption for statement credit
  • Takes 2 months between transaction and cash back redemption
  • No online way to see if transaction earned 6% at the time of posting
  • Very incompetent customer support
On the other hand, Sallie Mae MasterCard website allows you to see rewards earned at the instant transaction posted. One can then receive cash back as statement credit in the very next statement. My question is the BCP worth the aggravation?

CreditKangaroo
 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:18 pm
Location: PA

Postby CreditKangaroo » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:22 pm

I use my Sallie Mae for gas, groceries, and Amazon, my Citi Forward (RIP) for restaurants (and sometimes Amazon if I'm redeeming points), and my Capital One Quicksilver for everything else. There are obviously a few better options for the "everything else" like Citi's Double Cash or the Fidelity Amex, but I'm not looking to open any new accounts right now. I like this combo though.



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