Advice on rewards cards?

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LBJFTW
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Advice on rewards cards?

Postby LBJFTW » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:43 pm

I pay the following direct from my checking account:

Water/sewer bill - $50 - $75 /mth
Electric - $100-$150 / mth
Gym membership - $70 / mth
Home/Auto insurance - $100 / mth

Does anyone use a card or combination of cards to pay these bills and get say %5 cash back? Just want to make sure I'm not missing out on additional free money of around $250 or so per year, as the current credit card companies that I do business with already like to pay me for purchasing gas, food, hotel stays, travel, and retail items without giving them a dime of interest or fees. :cheers:
Active Cards
PenFed Visa Cash Rewards 23.4K
Citi Forward Visa 15K
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa 15K

Non Active
Delta Skymiles 15K
Bank of America Visa Signature 8K
Associated Bank Visa 5K
Chase Freedom Visa 12K

FICOs
Exp - 802
TU - 806
Equ - 806


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:10 pm

LBJFTW wrote:I pay the following direct from my checking account:

Water/sewer bill - $50 - $75 /mth
Electric - $100-$150 / mth
Gym membership - $70 / mth
Home/Auto insurance - $100 / mth

Does anyone use a card or combination of cards to pay these bills and get say %5 cash back? Just want to make sure I'm not missing out on additional free money of around $250 or so per year, as the current credit card companies that I do business with already like to pay me for purchasing gas, food, hotel stays, travel, and retail items without giving them a dime of interest or fees. :cheers:

Gym memberships are a 5% category on US Bank Cash+. I don't think there's a signup bonus, and the 5% category has restrictions. My gym is city-operated, for example, and the merchant code is a government service so wouldn't qualify for 5%.

I've been putting most monthly utility-type expenses on Freedom (or whatever needs minimum spend). I put my car insurance on EDP, paying Liberty Mutual in an annual lump sum to avoid a CC processing fee.
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

LBJFTW
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby LBJFTW » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:05 pm

My gym is city also.

Bank of America Better Balance Rewards? Put one bill on it, and collect your $100 a year cash back.

Huntington Voice I hear you can choose Utilities for its 3% cash back category?
Active Cards
PenFed Visa Cash Rewards 23.4K
Citi Forward Visa 15K
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa 15K

Non Active
Delta Skymiles 15K
Bank of America Visa Signature 8K
Associated Bank Visa 5K
Chase Freedom Visa 12K

FICOs
Exp - 802
TU - 806
Equ - 806

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:13 pm

LBJFTW wrote:My gym is city also.

Bank of America Better Balance Rewards? Put one bill on it, and collect your $100 a year cash back.

Huntington Voice I hear you can choose Utilities for its 3% cash back category?

Maybe BBR. I've heard some talk that they are watching approvals on that card more closely...especially when someone with good credit has one or several BBRs.

Keep in mind that if a card has only light spending, it can take a while for a high cash back rate to out-earn a nice signup bonus.
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

LBJFTW
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Location: Mississippi

Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby LBJFTW » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:15 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:
LBJFTW wrote:My gym is city also.

Bank of America Better Balance Rewards? Put one bill on it, and collect your $100 a year cash back.

Huntington Voice I hear you can choose Utilities for its 3% cash back category?

Maybe BBR. I've heard some talk that they are watching approvals on that card more closely...especially when someone with good credit has one or several BBRs.

Keep in mind that if a card has only light spending, it can take a while for a high cash back rate to out-earn a nice signup bonus.


With that BBR, can you just pay the balance off each month that is being used for a few utilities and still get the $25 per qtr?
Active Cards
PenFed Visa Cash Rewards 23.4K
Citi Forward Visa 15K
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa 15K

Non Active
Delta Skymiles 15K
Bank of America Visa Signature 8K
Associated Bank Visa 5K
Chase Freedom Visa 12K

FICOs
Exp - 802
TU - 806
Equ - 806

kdm31091
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby kdm31091 » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:46 pm

LBJFTW wrote:I pay the following direct from my checking account:

Water/sewer bill - $50 - $75 /mth
Electric - $100-$150 / mth
Gym membership - $70 / mth
Home/Auto insurance - $100 / mth

Does anyone use a card or combination of cards to pay these bills and get say %5 cash back? Just want to make sure I'm not missing out on additional free money of around $250 or so per year, as the current credit card companies that I do business with already like to pay me for purchasing gas, food, hotel stays, travel, and retail items without giving them a dime of interest or fees. :cheers:


AFAIK, you're out of luck on the water, electric and home insurance. There's no card that will give you more than 2% on those. For gym you can do the cash+ for 5%.

CardAttack
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby CardAttack » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:18 pm

LBJFTW wrote:I pay the following direct from my checking account:

Water/sewer bill - $50 - $75 /mth
Electric - $100-$150 / mth
Gym membership - $70 / mth
Home/Auto insurance - $100 / mth

Does anyone use a card or combination of cards to pay these bills and get say %5 cash back? Just want to make sure I'm not missing out on additional free money of around $250 or so per year, as the current credit card companies that I do business with already like to pay me for purchasing gas, food, hotel stays, travel, and retail items without giving them a dime of interest or fees. :cheers:


Even if you wanted to pay these with a cash rewards card, often these places will charge an extra fee. The fee is usually more than you'd get back in cash rewards.
Amex BCP|Amex Hilton HHonors|AARP Visa|Chase Freedom |BofA BBR|BofA Cash Rewards | BofA Travel Rewards |Citi DC|Discover IT|US Bank Cash +|REI Visa

kdm31091
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby kdm31091 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:38 am

CardAttack wrote:
LBJFTW wrote:I pay the following direct from my checking account:

Water/sewer bill - $50 - $75 /mth
Electric - $100-$150 / mth
Gym membership - $70 / mth
Home/Auto insurance - $100 / mth

Does anyone use a card or combination of cards to pay these bills and get say %5 cash back? Just want to make sure I'm not missing out on additional free money of around $250 or so per year, as the current credit card companies that I do business with already like to pay me for purchasing gas, food, hotel stays, travel, and retail items without giving them a dime of interest or fees. :cheers:


Even if you wanted to pay these with a cash rewards card, often these places will charge an extra fee. The fee is usually more than you'd get back in cash rewards.


Exactly, and all of those bills are relatively small...the potential gains from cash back here are going to be pretty nominal in the grand scheme. OP, I wouldn't worry too much over this.

yfan
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby yfan » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:27 am

I don't see special rewards categories for the expenses you mentioned, especially given that your gym is operated by the city.

If I were you, I would look for savings within the spend rather than at cashback. Put the bills on a flat 2% card and be done with it. Often times, just small adjustments in our habits can save more than 5% on our utility bills, shopping around and really deciding what coverage you really need can trim insurance bills, and you may also be able to find a cheaper gym option.

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Vattené
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Re: Advice on rewards cards?

Postby Vattené » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:01 pm

LBJFTW wrote:I pay the following direct from my checking account:
Water/sewer bill - $50 - $75 /mth
Electric - $100-$150 / mth
Gym membership - $70 / mth
Home/Auto insurance - $100 / mth

Does anyone use a card or combination of cards to pay these bills and get say %5 cash back? Just want to make sure I'm not missing out on additional free money of around $250 or so per year, as the current credit card companies that I do business with already like to pay me for purchasing gas, food, hotel stays, travel, and retail items without giving them a dime of interest or fees. :cheers:



kdm31091 wrote:Exactly, and all of those bills are relatively small...the potential gains from cash back here are going to be pretty nominal in the grand scheme. OP, I wouldn't worry too much over this.


As others have said, it will be hard to find a card that treats these as a higher-earning category. BBR may or may not be worth it to you. If I were you I would at least be putting these on one of your current cards so you're getting 1% cash back or the base rate of points (assuming doing so wouldn't incur a fee that would be higher than the rewards).
-Vattené
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