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.