New to the forums. Have a few questions on how to maximize my rewards.

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
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New to the forums. Have a few questions on how to maximize my rewards.

Postby pooter03 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:29 am

Just found this site yesterday when I was researching travel cards. I've been using rewards cards for years, have excellent credit, never carry a balance, and a decent salary. I was hoping to get some answers to questions I had. Thanks in advance!

First, here are my current collection of cards is as follows:
The following 2 I share with my fiancee. Our goal is to use the rewards/points for travel mostly.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred for groceries and gas.
Citi Forward for restaurants.

Cards for purchases just for me (this will change once we get married). I use the points either to dump into my Fidelity account or to buy things online.
Amazon Rewards for Amazon (go figure) and general purchases
Fidelity Amex for general purchases (2% goes to my Fidelity account)

My questions:
1. I'm pretty sure I know the answer already, but there is no penalty for having too many cards? I want to get to the point where every purchase I make gets max rewards.
2. I was considering getting a Target card for 5% off as we shop their frequently. However I heard you can use the Amex Blue to purchase gift cards at groceries and keep the 6%, is that true? Or would they not include gift cards. If it is true, I'm going to completely change the way I shop. :)
3. We are looking for the best possible mileage card. In any given year, we take a vacation, as well as travel to Florida once or twice. This year we also have to fly to South Carolina for a wedding, as well as a trip to Europe for our honeymoon. I'm torn between the United Mileageplus and the Chase Saphire for the initial mileage bonuses. Which would be the better deal in the long run? Or is there another card I should consider (I'm also considering the Venture card for the long haul, but really want those bonus mileage from the first two cards.)
4. Is there a better restaurant card than the Citi Forward? I like 5x the points, but I really haven't found much to spend them on, especially since the value of some of the reward changes.

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Postby Money card » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:35 am

let's what we can do. your correct no penality in having 2 many cards , just if you don't pay in full then theres a penality. But you pay yours
in full so your fine.
2 do you mean using your Blue cash perfered at a target that has a bigger selection of grocerys, you want to buy as an example a RubyTuesdays gift card at target? or do you mean going to say a shoprite and buying a Ruby Tuesdays gift card with your Blue cash perfered?

3 looks like to me that you travel 3 times a year all vacation I would say that these 3 cards are the best
1. the Chase Sapphire perfered
2. the Venture I hope you mean the Blue level
3. the Citibank Thank you premiere all of these are good cards.

for you between the 2 cards you metioned the chase Sapphire far and away is more approipate for you. for the president of a large compay
that travels on business this becomes a different situation. But for you who travels to Florida twice a year on vacation
the chase sapphire is a good card.
4 Discover has a card called the More it has rotating categorys 5% back we had our restaurant in the 2nd quarter we also got 5% on movies but rember this theres a cap of 1500 and it's Discover so it's not as widely accepted as the citibank forward card.
but you get 2 or 3 different categorys in the 5% back but with citi I believe it's just restaurants and amazon.

now to get back to the Target, let's say you went to one that is more thought of a grocery, you purchased Ruby Tuesday gift cards
well let's look. let's say at your Dairy Queen serves both food and ice cream, you purchased a gift card after 7 pm
it still comes back under restaurants, just like if you bought some clothes at walmart and you used your Blue cash perfered
it would show up under 1% because wal mart is a discount store but if you went to Jc pennys then you would get 3% back. as this is a department store.

target being the same as wal mart isn't a grocery store they are categorized as a discount store and fall under merchandise 1% cash back.

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Postby jeffysdad » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:53 am

Try the US Bank Cash+ card. You can select two reward categories for 5% back and one category for 2% back. I have mine set up for 5% on restaurants and utility/phone/internet bills and 2% on drug stores. When you redeem $100 cashback at a time you get a $25 US Bank gift card bonus.

I also have BCP, so that takes care of groceries and gas for me.

Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred and get Chase Freedom, especially if you bank at Chase because then you get a few extra points.
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 (, 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 murakami » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:38 am

I agree on pulling in either Sapphire or Citi ThankYou Premier.

A few thing to think about with the Citi ThankYou Premier is:

1) you can transfer the points from Citi Forward to Premier (I think that puts a 90 day expiration on them, so do it when you are ready to use them) which can then be redeemed for a 33% bonus on travel
2) you can get a yearly companion ticket for travel anywhere in the US-48 (have to book through the Citi vendor which doesn't have the same selection of Expedia)

Negatives are that they do not have any milage transfer partners and after the free first year, the AF is 125$

I am still in the free first year of both this card and Sapphire. I will be keeping Sapphire without a doubt, I might keep this as well for the companion ticket .

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Postby Gamma » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:46 am

1. I seen people with 8 credit cards before and only uses 3 of them. I would define "too many" credit cards if you don't actively use 2 credit cards, unless you have a good reason for that.
2. I have the Target card myself and I love it! That is also true about buying gift cards in grocery stores and getting the 6% cash back; however, I suggest you don't because from stories I have read in other forums. They tend to close your account if you mainly use your card for grocery purchases, having them lose profit. I used to do that, but stopped because I don't want to risk them closing it and it's my main cash back card :)

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