My Favorite Cash Back Strategy for Currently Available CC's (09/18/2010)

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ccrebate
 
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My Favorite Cash Back Strategy for Currently Available CC's (09/18/2010)

Postby ccrebate » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:41 am

I currently use Penfed Platinum Cash Back Visa for the 5% at any gas station, Citi Forward mainly for 3% cash back at restaurants but also occasionally for Amazon, movies, etc, and finally Fidelity 2% Amex for everything else. I also have the Starwood card but since I do not travel as much as I used to, I do not see any real benefit in using it anymore. For now, I'll take the cash back and run! If anyone knows of a better way to get more cash back in general on groceries or restaurants feel free to comment. As a side note, I am not a fan of rotating categories cards such as Discover More or Chase Freedom or tiered rewards like the Amex Blue Cash. No gimmicks, just flat cash back. Thanks for any input.


jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:15 pm

I am also using the Fidelity Amex for the majority of my purchases. This is my everyday card and I'm really pleased with the website and customer service.

I didn't know about the PenFed card for 5% gas rebates, but I don't qualify for PenFed membership and I only spend about $25/month on gas anyway, so it doesn't matter.

Since last October I've earned nearly $900 now in cashback and other card-related perks (see my thread under rewards). For part of this period I relied on a trio of Citi cards: Forward, Diamond and Universal Card. The rebate on restaurants and on my AT&T bills (Universal) helped a lot, but I found the Citi website to be rather annoying and I didn't like their customer serivce so I bailed on the Citi cards, even though it cost me some in rewards.

As for Chase Freedom, I appear to be grandfathered into the 3% in top three categories cashback for the time being. They also told me I qualify for the 5% in the rotating cagegories. I've been using the card and will see in a month or so if this is true. Freedom is my No. 2 card for places that don't take Amex. I'm also paying for my phone, cable/internet and electricity with this card and getting 3% on those.

I also use the Amazon.com Visa from Chase for 3% back on Amazon purchases as I buy a lot form Amazon. This card also pays 2% in gas, restaurant and drugstore pruchases.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:52 pm

The Penfed Visa Cashback Rewards is their card that gives the 5% on gas. It also gives 2% at grocery stores. Compared to current cards available this could be attractive for some but it doesn't come close to my old Chase Cash Plus that was grandfathered in with 5% on gas, grocery, and drugstores. Like jeffysdad, I don't drive enough for gas rebates to affect me much. But I certainly get my money's worth with the 5% on groceries.

You definitely can't be the Fidelity for non-category spending. There used to be a Charles Schwab card with comparable rewards but it has since been pulled from the market. I believe when the AmEx Plum for business first hit the market it gave 2% if the bill was paid within 10 days but now its only 1.5%. The Discover Escape also gives travel rewards worth 2% but there is a $60 annual fee.

As far as restaurants goes I am still waiting on a card that gives 5% year round. Discover used to have a card that did that several years ago but there have been no others since. I know the Costco AmEx gives 3% on restaurants so either that or the Citi Forward are your best bet for that category it seems.

As for Chase Freedom, I appear to be grandfathered into the 3% in top three categories cashback for the time being. They also told me I qualify for the 5% in the rotating cagegories. I've been using the card and will see in a month or so if this is true. Freedom is my No. 2 card for places that don't take Amex. I'm also paying for my phone, cable/internet and electricity with this card and getting 3% on those.

By the way jeffysdad you may want to check with Chase customer service to see if you qualify for the premium rewards version of your grandfathered card - it offered 3% on the top 6 categories for a very reasonable fee. Unsure if it would be possible for you to add that onto your account now but it's worth checking on if you haven't already. Of course it's certainly not avail on the current version of the Freedom.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby jeffysdad » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:16 am

Thanks, MoP. I didn't know about the premium option for Chase Freedom. I'll check it out.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Postby Generallisimo » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:09 pm

jeffysdad wrote:I didn't know about the PenFed card for 5% gas rebates, but I don't qualify for PenFed membership and I only spend about $25/month on gas anyway, so it doesn't matter.


https://www.penfed.org/howToJoin/overview.asp

Actually, you do qualify for penfed membership; everyone does, it was in the NY Times recently.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/your-money/brokerage-and-bank-accounts/19money.html

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:36 pm

I joined Pen Fed not for their cards, but their low interest rates on used car loans - 3.99% on my last car. I like this latest Amex they have out however to get the best benefits from what I recall you first need to be spending $15k annually and the high cash back promo expires after 12 months.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby Cucumber » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:23 am

I only learned about the Citi Forward recently and it seems like a good deal. Any fine print I should know about????
OBAMA
Stop talking crap about him!

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:03 pm

Being that they ended your 3% for 3 categories, I guess that premium version of the 3/3 deal is definitely gone for good now unfortunately.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:30 am

Yeah. I'm waiting to see if my Freedom 5% points show up on schedule. That card's future in my wallet is in doubt.

Besides Freedom (for the 5% on groceries this quarter), right now I'm using Discover (for the 5% in restaurants this quarter) and FIA Card Services Fidelity Amex (which pays 2% on everything with no caps or tiers).
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:36 pm

I already maxed out my Discover 5% for this quarter. I wish the limit wasn't so low during the 4th quarter. I think it was only for $300 on combined groceries, department stores, apparel stores. That is one benefit on the Freedom is the limit is $1,500 but that's dismal in comparison to their old program.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred



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