Newbie...Choosing the right credit card rewards

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
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tkoo123
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Newbie...Choosing the right credit card rewards

Postby tkoo123 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:46 pm

Hello, I am new to your forum. I have found everyone’s post very informative, excellent advice! Since you all are very knowledgeable on this topic, I would like to ask your help.

This is my situation:

I just opening a freedom acct. (before reading your post) that gives me 0% intro APR until 2/1/2012 on purchases & balance transfers, $100 cash back after 1st purchase, 5% cash back for quarterly bonus categories, and unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. However, the Freedom card bonus categories do not align with the dates that I will be spending for extra gas and traveling expenses, although the $100 is a nice bonus and 0% apr for the next year and will help to delay the wedding expenses.

Upcoming expenses: daughter’s wedding in May at Sandal’s resort in Jamaica (cost with flights and stay will be around $15,000 and celebration/reception at home $5,000)
I would like to put the wedding expenses and regular living expenses on one or more credit card(s) to get the best rewards. I will also be traveling a lot with my new job in the next few months. (Increase gas expense 2/1/2011-4/1/2011.

My existing credit card is with Capital One that we have used for years. I have built up 70,000 miles that I will be using for upcoming travel. After using the miles, I will be closing that acct. since they have charged me $19 fee for a second year. I always pay the balance in full. My credit score is 800 and my husband’s is 850. My top expenses are groceries — Wal-Mart, Bj’s wholesale club & Sam’s warehouse store, gas, and dining out mostly fast food.

From your posts that I have reviewed the Penfed Visa Platinum card or Fidelity Amex Investment credit card seem to be good for the gas rewards. The Penfed Visa Platinum card is also good for groceries rewards. The Fidelity Amex Investment credit is great all around card with 2% and no cap. Is this correct or are there other cards I should be reviewing that will be more lucrative with my situation?

One concern I have is opening too many credit cards, however I thought if my husband and I were to open a few under each other’s names that we wouldn’t be dinged too bad on our credit scores.


Thank you in advance for your help.


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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:49 am

tkoo123 wrote:Upcoming expenses: daughter’s wedding in May at Sandal’s resort in Jamaica (cost with flights and stay will be around $15,000 and celebration/reception at home $5,000)
I would like to put the wedding expenses and regular living expenses on one or more credit card(s) to get the best rewards.


With $20,000 in non-category spending a 2% card would probably be the way to go. The Fidelity Retirement Rewards does offer 2% if you have a brokerage account with them?
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

tkoo123
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Postby tkoo123 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:30 am

Thanks for the advice...I will check into the Fidelity Retirement Rewards. I generally pay off my credit account in full every month. However, I am looking for a card that has 0% to stretch the expense of the wedding over atleast 12 months without having to pay interest. I was getting confused on which cards would be better the higher percent back on spending or cash up front that some of the cards are offering to sign up.

Another upcoming expense is purchasing a car. Is there any cards that let you collect rewards on a car purchase? I have seen the GM card that lets you use points towards one their new cars. I am not sure if I will be buying a used or new car.

Thanks again,

Tina

CCG
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Postby CCG » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:31 pm

Below are my sponsored recommendations:

For fast food and restaurants it is possible to get 2% with the Citi Forward

For groceries I would normally recommend the American Express Blue Cash for its 5% but that does not apply to warehouse or super stores like Walmart or Sam's Club. It is worth checking out nonetheless for its 5% on gas, groceries, drugstores.

For regular purchases the Discover Escape gives an unlimited 2% in rewards.

For sign up bonues which you mentioned, check out this page for travel rewards credit cards. There are several, some offering incentives worth up to $300 for the start of 2011. The best offers do charge an annual fee after the first year.

For balances I generally recommend keeping using a second card for simplicity. The Discover More is currently running two great offers for balance transfers and purchases.

My other recommendations:

For cars the GM card was relaunched for 2011 and has 5% but there is a redemption cap which varies by vehicle. This is applicable to new vehicles only. It is a great credit card deal if you buy new.

Congratulations and good luck with your daughter's wedding!

-CreditCardGuru

tkoo123
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Postby tkoo123 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:46 pm

Thank you for the great advice! I will check at all these options you have mention. There are so many different credit card offers out there that my head was swimming trying to figure out which ones were right for my situation. All the suggestion that I have received on this site have made it a lot easier to make a decision.

Thank you

Tkoo123



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