Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

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CarefulBuilder14
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Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:12 pm

I recently made a $200-ish purchase on homedepot.com. At first, I was happy at the prospect of getting 20% cash back with Discover (5% rotating + 5% portal) x 2 for the double-rewards bonus.

Then I remembered having some old HD gift cards I got as a random gift. I did briefly consider using the Discover card, and holding off on using the gift cards for another time. I don't go there often, though, so I decided it was best to make use of the gift cards and hold onto my money.

It got me thinking, though...what limited-time CC rewards would it take for me to delay using a gift card? Do others have guidelines for this?
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Ray
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Re: Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby Ray » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:25 pm

Sorry, I don't have an opinion on your gift cards vs. CC rewards quandary -- if you're sure they'll both be good forever -- which is a big IF.

But your post brought up another question. I'm researching and on the verge of applying for the Discover card. I
understand the Discover terms "5% rotating" and "double rewards bonus" ... but what do you mean by "+ 5% portal" ?

Thanks!

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:41 pm

Ray wrote:Sorry, I don't have an opinion on your gift cards vs. CC rewards quandary -- if you're sure they'll both be good forever -- which is a big IF.

But your post brought up another question. I'm researching and on the verge of applying for the Discover card. I
understand the Discover terms "5% rotating" and "double rewards bonus" ... but what do you mean by "+ 5% portal" ?

Thanks!

There's a part of the Discover website (Discover Deals) that has links to the websites of various retailers. If you click a link, and then buy something on that retailer's website using your Discover card, then Discover gives you additional rewards. Some merchandise at some websites may be excluded, or there may be other restrictions, so read the fine print.

Some other cards have similar programs. I've even gotten away with getting points through the Barclaycard Arrival portal when I used a different card at checkout. I don't know if the Discover and Arrival portals will conflict with each other, but the Amex Offers and Arrival portal do "stack" in value.

I tend to just use Discover for special things like that, since EDP and CSP get most of my everyday spending. It's a great card, though.
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: Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:43 am

To me, I'd always exhaust the gift cards first. Yes, Discover is giving great cash back deals at the moment, but you still have to spend money and you get a portion back. With a gift card you keep 100% of your money and you spend what's on the card. No contest, IMO.

rockyrock
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Re: Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby rockyrock » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:54 am

Normally I would use the GCs. In this case though I would have seriously considered the other option as 20% is quite a bit. We shop at HD several times a year so the cards would get used for sure.
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Vermonster
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Re: Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby Vermonster » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:54 am

I see what KDM is saying, But I also tend to favor options that will expire. Gift cards will last forever (as long as you don't misplace them), but this 20% discount won't. You will spend the money anyway, so why not take advantage of this 20% now, and use the gift cards when you don't have the option of a 20% discount?
Say you make 2 $500 purchases over the next two years. One in the 20% period, one outside of it.
-If you use gift cards first, you spend $500 out of pocket for $1000 worth of goods.
-If you use 20% first, you spend $400 out of pocket for $1000 worth of goods.

Either way you still take advantage of the "100% discount" of gift cards.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Gift cards vs. great CC rewards

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:56 am

Purely from a time value of money perspective, I know that getting something I need now for 20% off is great, even if I have to wait a year or two to use the gift card. I will eventually have more stuff to buy at HD.

Still, I don't really like having money/purchasing power tied up in gift cards. I've had a $25 gift card for a restaurant I've never been to sitting in my wallet since 2014. I also have a Starbuck's gift card and Costco Cash card, but those I do use. I've shared my distaste for Shell gift cards before.

And to be clear: I don't buy gift cards on my own (except for Costco Cash to meet IHG min spend, which I may repeat for other new cards). I get some as gifts, won a bunch in a raffle, and get them randomly. I'm not in the habit of optimized spending via buying retail gift cards at grocery stores or gas stations.

I'll have to think about this a bit more before making any rules for my own use.
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



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