Suggestions for rewards cards needed!

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LBJFTW
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:50 pm
Location: Mississippi

Suggestions for rewards cards needed!

Postby LBJFTW » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:16 pm

New member here looking for advice.

My situation is the following:

-I use credit cards for any purchase that I possibly can, and then pay off the balance every month.
-Credit score is 820
-0 debt

Current cards:

Chase Freedom
Associated Bank
American Express Delta Skymiles
Chase Amazon
Bank of America Signature Visa

The Delta card was opened only to get the free miles, and pay for a few flights to get some bonus miles. I'll be closing that card before getting hit with the $95 yearly fee.

The Associated Bank card gives a small 1% unlimited cash back and triple rewards on gas, drugstore and grocery store purchases. It used to give 5%, so I'm considering dropping this one. Reward program details here: https://www.myrewardsaccess.com/Terms.aspx

Chase Amazon is used solely for Amazon.com purchases

Bank of America Signature Visa - Rewards expired awhile ago. I've had this card forever and don't really use it.

Chase freedom give 5% back in certain categories, but you have to sign up for the rewards program every quarter (very simple one button click received in email link) and the bonus categories change every quarter.

My highest spending areas in this order are:

Wal-mart (groceries) $350-400 /month
Dining Out $200-$250 /month
Gas $200-$250 /month

Given the amounts spent per month, what card or combination of cards will best suit my needs and give me the highest rewards possible in the areas that I spend the most in? I don't travel frequently as I used to, so cash rewards would suit me better. Which cards have been confirmed to recognize Wal-mart as a grocery store?

Thanks in advance!
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


CCG
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Location: Austin, TX

Postby CCG » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:28 pm

Welcome to the forum!

The unfortunate news is that there are no credit cards that classify Wal-Mart as a grocery store.

Focusing on dining out and gas the two best options would probably be:

Citi Forward card - Only card to give 5x points on fast food and restaurants. You will not find a better card for eating out. (This is a sponsored offer with CCF's signup bonus)

For gasoline the answer is not as clear cut. The Penfed Visa Platinum Cashback Rewards Card gives 5% for purchases at the pump and 2% at grocery stores. You will need to become a Penfed credit union member and pay a $20 donation, if you are not affiliated with the military, before you will be eligible for the card. Other than that the only other cards that give a straight 5% on gas without tiers or low caps will be gas station specific, such as the BP gas credit card.

If you were spending an average of $1,500 or more per month on all other purchases excluding eating out, then I would recommend the AmEx Blue Cash for it's 5% on gas, groceries, and drugstores. The problem is it is a tiered program and that level of rewards is only given on spending in excess of $6,500 per year. (This link is also a sponsored signup offer).

All the best,
CreditCardGuru

jeffysdad
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Location: Texas

Postby jeffysdad » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:11 pm

I also recommend the Fidelity Amex Investment or Retirement rewards cards, which pay 2% across the board with no cap into a Fidelity account, which is easy and free to open if you don't already have one.

For restaurants you might want to consider the Citi Forward card, but that would get you into having to deal with the Citi website and customer service, both of which are lacking in my opinion.

I would definitely keep the Freedom and Amazon cards, particularly because you can manage both from the same website at Chase. You might consider adding a Sapphire card to get better travel rewards through Chase. Your Sapphire and Freedom points can now be combined on either account to accelerate your reward qualification.

You could do well with the Fidelity card as your main and your Freedom for whatever categories are paying the 5% that quarter.
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.

LBJFTW
Green Member
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Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:50 pm
Location: Mississippi

Postby LBJFTW » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:22 am

Thanks for the replies. I'll definitely check those out! It's too bad that they don't recognize wal-mart as a grocery store.
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

LBJFTW
Green Member
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Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:50 pm
Location: Mississippi

Postby LBJFTW » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:04 pm

I got the Citi Forward card and the PenFed now. 5% back on gas and 5% back at restaurants! Is there a monthly/yearly cap on either of these 2 cards? Is there a card that is 5% year round on grocery purchases? If there was a way to purchase gift cards from a recognized grocery store and then use them at wal-mart, that would be ideal as wal-mart in my area beats out all supermarkets. Anyone have any success doing this? (Trialed it for a month and wal-mart came out ahead.)
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

.r.
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:56 am
Location: West Coast, USA

Postby .r. » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:50 am

I do this all the time for Starbucks Cards, Best Buy, Target, fast food chains, etc. with an HHonors American Express that gives a bonus for grocery/drugstore purchases. That's about all I use the card for except for other bonus categories, and I know I get the bonus points on the grocery/drugstore spend.

I feel like I have seen Wal-Mart gift cards for sale at a grocery or drugstore but I don't remember where. There are more Target stores around here... but if you have seen a grocery store selling them, chances are good that it will work :)

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Elliot Castro
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Location: sfdsf

Postby Elliot Castro » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:47 am

I was browsing the RBC cards over again last night, and noticed there is a new CASH-BACK vista. Seemed at first to be a top-line card, 5% on groceries, and 1% on everything else. Then I noticed the 20$ annual fee. Well, that still certainly seems worth positive equity, however I noticed then that the 5% on groceries is only until the end of March.

When things seem too good to be true, they almost certainly are once you read the small-print :P

LBJFTW
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Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:50 pm
Location: Mississippi

Postby LBJFTW » Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:04 pm

I wanted to revisit this thread. I've been doing very well with the Citi Forward card using it to get 5% cash back on dining and the pen fed for gas at 5%, grocery at 3%, and all other purchases at 1%. I'm going to be doing alot of travel, but I will have to use the company credit card in order to get reimbursed, so I don't think any other cards can help me out unless there was a card that you can transfer miles earned at an airline to. I almost feel bad about using the Penfed to buy Amazon gift cards at Giant Eagle, getting 3% back from that purchase, then getting the fuel perks at $1 - $1.50 off per gallon and then using the PenFed again to give me 5% back in gas only to get another 6% off my Amazon purchase because my friend has a website setup with a Amazon link on it which nets 6% back on all purchases lol. I do much better this way then using the Amazon card. I really need to get a Fidelity card to get 2% back on purchases that are not gas, food, or grocery. Any new cards out that give 5% back on grocery year round with no yearly fee?

Also I wanted to get the same cc cards for my fiance, so I called up Citi Foward and had them add her name to the same account number. I was told that as she uses it, it will count toward her credit score and that it would be no different than had she had a different card with her own account number. Is this true?
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

MOC
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Location: NC

Postby MOC » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:27 am

That is not true. Citi may handle it differently, but on my credit report it is reported as an authorized user. It does help your credit and show the same credit limit, but it does not have the same impact as opening a new account in their name. This is actually really good if your fiancee has a thin credit file and needs the boost. I don't think they do an inquiry or check their credit in general since you are responsible for the charges. Rather than cancel your Amex Delta if you haven't already, you might consider changing it to one of the Gold Rewards Cards or the Amex Blue Cash if you really think you need another cashback card. I don't really see why you would need the Chase Amazon just for Amazon purchases, but if you really do shop there a lot, then it may be beneficial to you. Before you cancel any account, you should make sure it is is not one of your older accounts or a high credit limit. That way you don't lower you average account age or credit limits.

nishant
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Location: Chicago

Postby nishant » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:23 pm

My practice for credit cards is as follows.
1) Sams club, Walmart etc.- Priceline visa- No annual fee 2% cash back
2) Leverage 3 Chase cards- Earn points from Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 fee) and Chase Sapphire Mastercard ( No annual fee) and transfer all to Chase Sapphire preferred to save 25% of rewards on airline bookings
3) Fast food & movies- Citi Forward with points converted to Walmart gift card
4) Online purchase for Walmart & Home depot- Shop discover for 5% cash back
5) Wayfair.com is better than Amazon.com for household items. Bank of America Add it Up gives 3% on Wayfair
6) For Gas- Use Freedom for 2 quarters in year for 5% or effective 6.25% with CSP. Use PenFed for gas for remaining 6 months to get 5%
7) Amex Blue cash Preferred for 6% cash back on groceries.
8) Redcard for Target 5% discount plus free shipping
9) Chase Sapphire Preferred for all foreign transactions and foreign travel without a surcharge
10) Reserve hotels in US Cash + category and use for all hotel bookings for 5% cash back



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