So my situation is this, I have excellent credit 760, and have largely avoided using cards for sometime now, instead opting to pay cash using my debit card. since i pay cash for everything i want to just put it on a card and pay it off every month. however this is only valuable to me depending on the points. if i get nothing, or nothing valuable, i might as well just keep on paying cash.
I currently have and use only one card. The AMEX blue cash preferred, that offers 6/3/1 cash back. Ideally if i could use this for all my purchases i would just out of sheer convenience of having one card.
i love amex for their customer service. the problem really comes in two places. one is i can't use this for everything because as we all know, amex isn't accepted everywhere. normally i wouldn't care about this but some of my regular spending is done at some of these places. and number two is, my goal was to put all my spending on the card, to maximize rewards instead of using a debit card. now if i can't do that or my rewards potential is diminished, i start to get discouraged and less interested in the whole game, and i might as well go back to just using my debit card.
this leads me to where i'm at now. which is essentially, trying to pick the fewest and best cards to cover and reward all my spending, or just forget this whole thing. (I'm an all or nothing guy). so below i'll outline my options as i see them. and then where i would love to get the most benefits, aka where i spent most.
one more thing, i plan on doing a lot of spending soon, and most of this year, so that is why i want to get this settled as soon as possible. i'm kind of holding out until i get this all set up.
Option 1. cash back
so this option is really about maximizing the cash back. i love what the blue card offers me. but i would need to supplement this with a visa or mc to really cover all my spending. the problem is that there is no visa or mc equivalent to the blue cash preferred. yes i know there are other cash back cards, but they aren't really cash back. they are either point cards, who's percentage for cash back isn't great. or they are limited or capped cash back cards, or they are minimum point system to redeem cash back cards. nothing straight up like amex offers.
so from this i considered getting a fidelity visa 1.5 cash back and and the fidelity amex at 2 percent. between these 3 cards i would cover everything and get no less than 1.5 cash back on everything. but the fidelity has a targeted redemption rate. its not 2% on everything. its 2% every 2500 dollars. i strongly considered this but what really discouraged me was that after reading the reviews, i got the distinct impression that their website was confusing to use, and their customer service is terrible. people who use this card say its the worst they've ever used. it doesn't seem like a can of worms i want to open. otherwise i would had done this.
- city forward
this card does seem like a good choice for me, as most of my spending is at a grocery stores and gas (which the amex covers) and iTunes, restaurants, and amazon. if this covered clothing, and actually gave cash back the way the amex does, i would be all over it. but doesn't. it too has a limit to get a reward and it's cash back percentage rate doesn't seem all that high and seems like some work to actually retrieve. unlike amex that just sends it to my (now you know why i love them)
this is the closest thing i can see to the amex. unless someone else knows something i don't. this is the last card i started researching so i don't know tons about it, and from my research sites aren't raving about it. it doesn't do anything the amex doesn't other than cover the 1% that i would get with the amex at places that don't accept it. but i'm not totally sure how this pays out. some have said you can get up to 2.5% back by waiting to cash out until you have $300 in rewards. the other thing about this card is i have a BOA account already, and i get and extra 10% for that or 1.1%. and i have a boa card, which i'm assuming they could just upgrade, so i don't have to apply for anything new.
two things that are paramount me to me are simplicity of ease of use, and customer service. if i have to spend hours on the phone and constantly chase and monitor things it basically becomes more hassle than it is worth. (i already have a headache trying to research a solution because i want ideally one card that takes care of everything).
so the other option is to forget this whole thing. get and amex platinum or gold premier rewards card when a great intro offer presents itself and just use that and forget about it, and use the debit card as usual for purchases that don't accept amex. i really which amex was as widely accepted everywhere, that would greatly solve my problems. and i would gladly use nothing else because their customer service is bar none. and that goes a long way.
anyway since i've been reading all your comments. i would love some direction. thanks a bunch and sorry for the long post.