Citi Double Cash and ???

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kdm31091
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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby kdm31091 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:00 pm

Keep in mind also that diminishing returns applies especially to cash back cards. For example, if you are dumping all of your spend on a Citi Double Cash and getting 2% on everything, the only gain a BOA Cash Rewards will give you is an extra 1% on gas, which is capped at 500 a month/1500 a quarter. So at the very most, an extra $5 a month on gas vs just putting it on the double cash. $5 a month may not be worth a HP and AAOA ding for the new account, IMO.

Sallie Mae is no longer available so unless you were saying you already have it, it's not really relevant at this point.

BCP costs $75 a year, but it does give an extra 4% on groceries over your double cash. If you're going to apply for something new, at least you gain a fairly large reward increase on groceries with BCP. However, you need to spend quite a bit on groceries each month to make it worthwhile with the fee. There's always BCE as well, but that again is only an extra 1% on groceries about your double cash. Your tolerance for what's worth a HP obviously is going to vary, but anything that only offers a 1% increase in rewards on one category is IMO not worth it unless your spend in that category is very significant (and keep in mind, BCE/BCP are capped).


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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby Tubpbs » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:23 pm

kdm31091 wrote:Keep in mind also that diminishing returns applies especially to cash back cards. For example, if you are dumping all of your spend on a Citi Double Cash and getting 2% on everything, the only gain a BOA Cash Rewards will give you is an extra 1% on gas, which is capped at 500 a month/1500 a quarter. So at the very most, an extra $5 a month on gas vs just putting it on the double cash. $5 a month may not be worth a HP and AAOA ding for the new account, IMO.

Sallie Mae is no longer available so unless you were saying you already have it, it's not really relevant at this point.

BCP costs $75 a year, but it does give an extra 4% on groceries over your double cash. If you're going to apply for something new, at least you gain a fairly large reward increase on groceries with BCP. However, you need to spend quite a bit on groceries each month to make it worthwhile with the fee. There's always BCE as well, but that again is only an extra 1% on groceries about your double cash. Your tolerance for what's worth a HP obviously is going to vary, but anything that only offers a 1% increase in rewards on one category is IMO not worth it unless your spend in that category is very significant (and keep in mind, BCE/BCP are capped).


While I completely 100% agree with the premise of the post, I would like to point out not an inaccuracy, but something that could be considered deceiving (obviously not intentionally and nothing was misrepresented, just two ways of expressing something).

1% more is not 1% more rewards. It's technically 50% more rewards... But your point with the $5 a month sums things up very well and eliminates the percentage confusion that could come along with the post.

Well said.
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kdm31091
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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby kdm31091 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:09 pm

Tubpbs wrote:
kdm31091 wrote:Keep in mind also that diminishing returns applies especially to cash back cards. For example, if you are dumping all of your spend on a Citi Double Cash and getting 2% on everything, the only gain a BOA Cash Rewards will give you is an extra 1% on gas, which is capped at 500 a month/1500 a quarter. So at the very most, an extra $5 a month on gas vs just putting it on the double cash. $5 a month may not be worth a HP and AAOA ding for the new account, IMO.

Sallie Mae is no longer available so unless you were saying you already have it, it's not really relevant at this point.

BCP costs $75 a year, but it does give an extra 4% on groceries over your double cash. If you're going to apply for something new, at least you gain a fairly large reward increase on groceries with BCP. However, you need to spend quite a bit on groceries each month to make it worthwhile with the fee. There's always BCE as well, but that again is only an extra 1% on groceries about your double cash. Your tolerance for what's worth a HP obviously is going to vary, but anything that only offers a 1% increase in rewards on one category is IMO not worth it unless your spend in that category is very significant (and keep in mind, BCE/BCP are capped).


While I completely 100% agree with the premise of the post, I would like to point out not an inaccuracy, but something that could be considered deceiving (obviously not intentionally and nothing was misrepresented, just two ways of expressing something).

1% more is not 1% more rewards. It's technically 50% more rewards... But your point with the $5 a month sums things up very well and eliminates the percentage confusion that could come along with the post.

Well said.


True, it's technically not 1% more, but hopefully my math made the point. I think it's important to run the numbers, either way.

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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby Tubpbs » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:55 pm

I do completely agree with your point though.

It's like spending 10 hours of your valuable time to save $20...yes, you saved $20, but you wasted 10 hours of your time, free time or otherwise, it's still worth much more than $2/hr.
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kdm31091
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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby kdm31091 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:12 pm

Tubpbs wrote:I do completely agree with your point though.

It's like spending 10 hours of your valuable time to save $20...yes, you saved $20, but you wasted 10 hours of your time, free time or otherwise, it's still worth much more than $2/hr.


Which is why I think it's crazy when people agonize over minute difference in rewards. Constant debates of Quicksilver vs Double Cash etc. I've engaged in the debates too, but at the end of the day, it's a tiny difference. Certainly nothing worth worrying much about -- just use whichever you prefer!

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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby NuHere » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:19 am

Thank you everyone. Your posts are very helpful!

Sorry about my wording. Yes, I meant that Sallie Mae doesn't accept new application, not that it stopped offering 5% to existing card holders.

BCP vs BCE .... after doing some cumbersome calculating, I realized BCP makes more sense after spending over $50 on groceries a week (only to find an article later that said exactly the same... talking about wasting time, haha). I spend about $75 or more a week, so BCP would make more sense.

kdm... you're right. I don't think BoA Cash Rewards would make much sense for me.

takeshi... can you tell me what it means that BoA is a nonstarter?

The biggest expense for me is travel (subway and train pass)... about $390 a month. I don't have a car, no gas expenses.

My thinking was I'd get Double Cash for everything and BCP for groceries.

I wasn't up on the reward/cash back/points/miles game for years. I've had my Capital One Signature card for a long time. It gives me 1.25 point per dollar. I usually fly internationally once, maximum twice a year. So every couple (or more) of years, that card gave me a free trip to Europe. I always book the cheapest flight available and I have recently read here (in the Best Travel Card For Me thread) that points are really maximized by those who travel high end, frequently, first class, etc. Economy traveler like me might be better off with a cash back card.

The reason I'm considering Double Cash is because I have CO Venture now (came with a nice 40,000 point sign up bonus) and the first no annual fee year will be up soon. It gives me 2 points per dollar with $59 annual fee from now on... so in my mind, Double Cash is essentially the same minus the fee.

Another option I'm considering is applying for Chase Sapphire because of its sign up bonus. Even though I'd be earning two points only on travel expenses and 1 point on everything else, the sign up bonus combined with all of my spending for a year would make it a better deal than the combo of Double Cash and BCP... for the first no fee year. After that, at my level of spending I think Double Cash and BCP would be the way to go.

kdm31091
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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby kdm31091 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:48 pm

NuHere wrote:Thank you everyone. Your posts are very helpful!

Sorry about my wording. Yes, I meant that Sallie Mae doesn't accept new application, not that it stopped offering 5% to existing card holders.

BCP vs BCE .... after doing some cumbersome calculating, I realized BCP makes more sense after spending over $50 on groceries a week (only to find an article later that said exactly the same... talking about wasting time, haha). I spend about $75 or more a week, so BCP would make more sense.

kdm... you're right. I don't think BoA Cash Rewards would make much sense for me.

takeshi... can you tell me what it means that BoA is a nonstarter?

The biggest expense for me is travel (subway and train pass)... about $390 a month. I don't have a car, no gas expenses.

My thinking was I'd get Double Cash for everything and BCP for groceries.

I wasn't up on the reward/cash back/points/miles game for years. I've had my Capital One Signature card for a long time. It gives me 1.25 point per dollar. I usually fly internationally once, maximum twice a year. So every couple (or more) of years, that card gave me a free trip to Europe. I always book the cheapest flight available and I have recently read here (in the Best Travel Card For Me thread) that points are really maximized by those who travel high end, frequently, first class, etc. Economy traveler like me might be better off with a cash back card.

The reason I'm considering Double Cash is because I have CO Venture now (came with a nice 40,000 point sign up bonus) and the first no annual fee year will be up soon. It gives me 2 points per dollar with $59 annual fee from now on... so in my mind, Double Cash is essentially the same minus the fee.

Another option I'm considering is applying for Chase Sapphire because of its sign up bonus. Even though I'd be earning two points only on travel expenses and 1 point on everything else, the sign up bonus combined with all of my spending for a year would make it a better deal than the combo of Double Cash and BCP... for the first no fee year. After that, at my level of spending I think Double Cash and BCP would be the way to go.


Yes generally speaking the cash back cards are going to be of more benefit if your prefer economy travel. Points typically work best for first class flights. Not that you can't redeem for economy of course, but the value isn't as compelling. So applying for a CSP is going to cause the same issue -- the points just won't be as worthwhile for economy redemption. Also, the volume of travel you do isn't great. One or two trips a year is probably not enough to really justify paying for AF cards. Just in my opinion. Especially since travel plans can and do change, you don't want to be spending all year in the hopes of one yearly trip and it ends up not happening etc and your points aren't useful. Of course, CSP's points can be cashed out without the value being nerfed, but you're still paying an AF.

Now that's not a bad thing, as I am in the same boat. I don't really give a flying fig about my seat. I just want to get from A to B. So the points game makes little sense for me.

The Venture is the same as a Double Cash essentially. You're paying a fee for a 2% restricted card and the 2% can be had unrestricted for free with a Double Cash. Unless FTF is very important (as DC does have one), I see no reason to keep a Venture long term over a DC. Your plan of DC + BCP makes sense, IMO.

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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby RewardsHunter17 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:53 pm

I have a Double Cash, and I have to say that is very useful for when I have spending that doesn't fit into one of my rewards cards. Unfortunately the limit on it isn't great so I usually have to make multiple payments per month to use it.

kdm31091
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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby kdm31091 » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:46 am

RewardsHunter17 wrote:I have a Double Cash, and I have to say that is very useful for when I have spending that doesn't fit into one of my rewards cards. Unfortunately the limit on it isn't great so I usually have to make multiple payments per month to use it.


I'm really not finding the structure on Double Cash to be agreeable. Don't get me wrong, 2% on everything is nice, but you have to let the statement post, pay the balance, and wait another cycle for the other half of the rewards. It's not the end of the world, but it's more annoying than it should be. Of course you can pay before the statement cut, but even that doesn't always work -- I recently paid a few days before the statement, and am still stuck waiting another cycle for the rest of what I'm owed. It's just a lot of hassle for an extra 0.5% over the hassle-free Quicksilver.

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Re: Citi Double Cash and ???

Postby Tubpbs » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:58 am

kdm31091 wrote:
RewardsHunter17 wrote:I have a Double Cash, and I have to say that is very useful for when I have spending that doesn't fit into one of my rewards cards. Unfortunately the limit on it isn't great so I usually have to make multiple payments per month to use it.


I'm really not finding the structure on Double Cash to be agreeable. Don't get me wrong, 2% on everything is nice, but you have to let the statement post, pay the balance, and wait another cycle for the other half of the rewards. It's not the end of the world, but it's more annoying than it should be. Of course you can pay before the statement cut, but even that doesn't always work -- I recently paid a few days before the statement, and am still stuck waiting another cycle for the rest of what I'm owed. It's just a lot of hassle for an extra 0.5% over the hassle-free Quicksilver.


What is your position on MR? While I certainly hear what you're saying... If rewards maximization is your plan, I don't see the hassle. The terms are clear and the rewards have to post... I'd certainly rather have them immediately than wait and I'd prefer the 2% be on purchases instead of 1 & 1, but barring that, the card is excellent for what it's for.

I'm curious how you feel about the MR wait. How often do you redeem your cash back? Is it about having the cash back? Or redeeming it? Or more about keeping track of it for the extra time?
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