5% categories

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attrapereves
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5% categories

Postby attrapereves » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:07 am

Is it just me, or does it seem like the 5% rotating categories on most cards have been getting worse and worse? I've actually been thinking of closing one of my cards because of this.

Right now Discover has Amazon, home improvement, and department stores. Chase has gas (which is a good one, but I really don't drive a lot, so the rewards are minimal). Discover is going to have Amazon again in October (I don't really shop from them a lot). Looks like Chase will have the same thing.

I miss having the drug store category for buying gift cards.

At this point, I'm thinking it's almost better to use one rotating category card, the AMEX BCP for grocery and gas (when it's not 5% elsewhere), and a 1.5/2% card (like DoubleCash or Quicksilver) for everything else.


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: 5% categories

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:21 pm

I like Freedom's 2015 categories. Discover's are okay. Citi Dividend looks pretty bad, apart from airlines.

As long as BCP is your only AF card and you're not looking for travel rewards, I'd wait at least until you see the 2016 categories before closing either Freedom or Discover.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Whatamuji
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Re: 5% categories

Postby Whatamuji » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:37 pm

I'm really not thrilled about the Discover categories for next quarter either. I wonder if they decided to do double Amazon quarters to compete with Chase's Amazon quarter.
Kohls: $300, Discover IT: $1.8k, Capital One Quicksilver: $2k, Amazon Store Card: $2.2k, BoA Cash Rewards: 1k, Chase Freedom: 3.2k, AMEX HHonors 3k

Vermonster
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Re: 5% categories

Postby Vermonster » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:17 pm

Chase has had Amazon 4th quarter for 3 years now. Gas is always one, and Grocery is another. Being able to count on 3 out of 4 quarters is pretty nice. IMHO.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: 5% categories

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:23 pm

Vermonster wrote:Chase has had Amazon 4th quarter for 3 years now. Gas is always one, and Grocery is another. Being able to count on 3 out of 4 quarters is pretty nice. IMHO.

Groceries were not a category in 2014.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

rockyrock
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Re: 5% categories

Postby rockyrock » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:40 am

I plan to max out both Discover and Freedom this and next qtr. Esp Discover as it's 2x for the next 11 months.

Drugstore would be nice but with the addition of Amazon this qtr I'll have no problem maxing it out. I didn't used to buy much from Amazon, but have found buying out everyday things on subscription is so much easier and time saving.
American Express (2005): Premier Rewards Gold & Blue Cash Preferred
Chase: Freedom & UA Club USAA: Signature Visa & American Express
Discover it Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines WEMC Synchrony Sam's MC
Navy FCU Platinum Visa Citi Double Cash & AT&T Access MC

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Vattené
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Re: 5% categories

Postby Vattené » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:55 pm

I've only had a Discover it since Feb 2014, so I haven't been paying attention for long enough to notice a trend. 2015 was pretty comparable to 2014 for both Chase and Discover, though. Discover just rearranged the order (and tweaked the quarters a little, like throwing in Amazon with the "home improvement" quarter).

I've been happy with Discover's quarters. I get most use out of gas and restaurants, less out of home improvement and online shopping but can see how they would be big categories for the right cardholders. I'm not sure what I would have them add as a category that would actually be feasible (something that included Walmart would be great for me, but something that broad would probably be too costly to actually implement...or at the very least people would hit the quarterly cap very fast). It's got to be difficult coming up with categories in which the general public spends enough to find useful.

I wish a card existed that could be to restaurants what Sallie Mae is to gas/groceries. Something with no AF and a high return on restaurants year-round - even if there was a relatively restrictive monthly or quarterly cap - would be super useful to me.

Discover's double rewards for a full year is truly awesome, though. It makes it a great fallback card.
-Vattené
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EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
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AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

takeshi
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Re: 5% categories

Postby takeshi » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:21 am

attrapereves wrote:Is it just me, or does it seem like the 5% rotating categories on most cards have been getting worse and worse?

It's never just any one person on any topic but I haven't found them to be significantly worse for me needs except for US Bank. Regardless of whether others do or not you have to do what works for you. Spend in different categories can and does vary from person to person.

5+% is basically the credit world's equivalent of a loss leader anyway. Caps, other restrictions and nerfing really shouldn't be a surprise IMO.

attrapereves wrote:At this point, I'm thinking it's almost better to use one rotating category card, the AMEX BCP for grocery and gas (when it's not 5% elsewhere)

BCP isn't a rotator.

yfan
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Re: 5% categories

Postby yfan » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:32 pm

attrapereves wrote:Right now Discover has Amazon, home improvement, and department stores. Chase has gas (which is a good one, but I really don't drive a lot, so the rewards are minimal). Discover is going to have Amazon again in October (I don't really shop from them a lot). Looks like Chase will have the same thing.

That two cards have the same category in a given quarter may make it more difficult to take advantage of that category over a longer period of time, but it doesn't make the category itself worse. Independently the offers are still good.

attrapereves wrote:I miss having the drug store category for buying gift cards.

If you mean gift cards to specific stores, like Starbucks or Macy's, a lot of those are available on Amazon. If you mean buying Visa GCs so you can effectively use a category bonus for a non category spend, then the move away from drugstores is probably intentional.

attrapereves wrote:At this point, I'm thinking it's almost better to use one rotating category card, the AMEX BCP for grocery and gas (when it's not 5% elsewhere), and a 1.5/2% card (like DoubleCash or Quicksilver) for everything else.

This is basically what I do. I have a Discover but not the Freedom. Discover's categories are useful to me. I also have an Amex BCE, because the majority of my grocery and gas spend are at Costco anyway, so it makes no sense for me to pay for a BCP. And I alternate the DC and QS for non-category spend.

JonE
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Re: 5% categories

Postby JonE » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:59 pm

It wouldn't break my heart if Freedom essentially became the BCP without the AF. Meaning Gas and Groceries at high reward rates. That's mainly what I use it for even when it's not in the 5%.
Wallet: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
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