For Those of You Interested in a 2% Card...

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
37 posts
FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:55 am

cashback wrote:Now you're getting into the spending cap management. You can do this with other cards too. BCP at grocery stores, Dividend at drug stores, maybe IT if they offer a category where you can buy gift cards. There are quite a few options available.

Dividend is often scoffed at on these forums but is one of my fav's for this. Unlike the other rotating cards, it is capped at 6K per year, not 1.5K per quarter. I just bought 6k worth of gift cards with it at the drug store to use for the next 6 or 7 months.

You only want to use these for purchases you can't get 5% on. I go through about 1K a month.


Discover gives 5% back inside of gas stations. I have been in some stations that sell gift cards to restaurants and whatnot. That is an option as well. Also, don't forget that Lowe's sells giftcards to many places. That will help during the home improvement quarter.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape


Sevenfeet
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Postby Sevenfeet » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:55 am

Again, all this is well and good, but I would rather use something that didn't require so much work.

There's a reason why there aren't more 2% cards out there. It's harder for the lender to make money off of them. Of the original blog post on this site, two of those products are dead, the Cap 1 Venture card isn't really a true 2% but it works out that way if you use it for travel. I don't need travel rewards mainly since I travel for a living so I rack up Delta Miles (currently Diamond) and hotel miles anyway. The last vacation my wife and I took was paid for by Delta miles (in which I still have a ton left) and we stayed at a b&b, not a hotel.

The Priceline Visa looks more like a card designed to keep you in the Priceline travel universe and just looked too complicated for my taste. And of course the NASA card is forced yearly savings for your cash back reward...some may like that, others will not.

That leaves the Fidelity product, which on paper looks pretty good. 2% back on everything since the cash back money gets dumped to a Fidelity financial vehicle, be it savings, kid's college fund, or IRA. The problem with this product is that FIA is managing it and there were tons of bad reviews on their site about the fact that FIA's customer service is lacking and the anti-fraud detection software they are using isn't very smart, triggering often in ordinary shopping. If you're going to use this as a "catch-all" card for everything your 5% and 3% cards aren't already doing, you'd not want the use of this card to be holding you up in the typical local store.

For now, I'll probably stick with the plan of getting an Amex BCP soon to compliment the PenFed card I've already applied for. That should handle gas & groceries. Everything else is either Chase Freedom categories and BofA Cash Rewards straight to my savings account.
Cards:
American Express Platinum (NPSL)
Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)
Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)
Fidelity American Express ($20K)
American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)
Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)
Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)
US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)
Discover IT ($4K)

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:57 am

DavidNY wrote:In order to get a bonus of $3k/year at 4% (allowing 1% for card fees) you need to buy $75k of cards, or 150 $500 cards annually.

How do you do this without hitting bonus spending caps?


I'm assuming that he is combining all of the rewards that he makes, not just through the gift cards. I think I can clear 3k this year as well.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:01 am

FutureBillionaire wrote:I'm assuming that he is combining all of the rewards that he makes, not just through the gift cards. I think I can clear 3k this year as well.


OK, that makes sense. I couldn't see it all coming from gift cards, especially now that BCP is getting capped.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:02 am

I'm with cashback. It's worth the effort. I don't even do the 500 bucks cards yet. I have made money just buying gift cards to restaurants I eat at and stores I shop at. I get fuel points that go towards cost reductions for gas at the Kroger near my house. I get cash back on my purchases, plus discounts on gas. I just bought a gift card for Darden restaurants for 50 bucks with my BCP. I'm going to get 6% cash back on that, plus .20 off per gallon of gas just for that one card. I can use the card at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Longhorn steakhouse. Awesome deal.

I buy Amazon gift cards too. The great thing about those is the ability to upload them to my Amazon account and thus never lose any value. I am an Amazon Prime member and shop there frequently. I also use the video service when I want to rent movies. I get cash back on my amazon cards, plus gas discounts. Also, it is cheaper to rent through amazon than through dish network and even Vudu.

Taking the time to do the research and play the game helps us make and save money. I'm all about that in this economy.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

Sevenfeet
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Postby Sevenfeet » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:24 am

Yeah, but if I've got an Amex BCP, I'm not using it to buy restaurant gift cards at grocery stores. I have a family of four and I will max out the $6K cap in only four months of grocery shopping! You have four different cards in your restaurant category in your sig, and some of them are good for 5%. That's pretty good by itself without eating into your BCP cap.

I guess if that works for you, fine. But I cannot see my family doing this to an extreme outside of enforcing budget discipline (Starbucks cards for my wife).
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

cashback
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Postby cashback » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:34 am

FutureBillionaire wrote:I'm assuming that he is combining all of the rewards that he makes, not just through the gift cards. I think I can clear 3k this year as well.


Yes... It is combined rewards, not just rewards from gift cards

FutureBillionaire wrote:Taking the time to do the research and play the game helps us make and save money. I'm all about that in this economy.


Im with you on that... Wages are going down and goods are increasing in price. I can put in a little effort to get 3K+ tax free income from regular spending...


Im not saying to use gift cards for everything, just use them when you can't get 5%. With the cards I have, most of my spending does fall under a 5% category. Gift cards are only used when they don't (Wal Mart. Sam's, etc)
Credit Cards
Amex BCE 25K ---- PenFed Platinum Rewards 15.5K --- US Bank Cash+ 12K --- Discover IT 6K --- Citi Dividend 5K --- Chase Freedom 12.5K --- Amex SPG 6K --- Citi Thank You Preferred 15K

Not Used
Citi Simplicity - 5K, Sam's Club Discover - 10K

Future Cards
Sallie Mae World Mastercard

FICOs
Exp 772 - TU 781 - Equ 781

slug
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Location: NC

Postby slug » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:01 am

I like the gift card discussion. Just not sure I want to carry around a $500 gift card. Personally, I would carry a lot of anxiety with that card.

With regard to the Fidelity AMEX, I have had fine CS with them since I got the card. I have never had a fraud issue with the card to be able to speak to that component of the concern, but overall I'm quite pleased with it.
Gas: PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards (5%)
Grocery/Gift Cards: AMEX BCP (6%)
Cell & Restaurants: US Bank Cash + (5%)
Target: Target (5%)
Hotels: SPG AMEX, Marriott Rewards Premiere VISA
Everything Else: Fidelity Investment Rewards AMEX (2%)

+ Discover and Chase Freedom for 5% cash back categories


Blogging at Sunk Costs Are Irrelevant

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:11 am

Sevenfeet wrote:Yeah, but if I've got an Amex BCP, I'm not using it to buy restaurant gift cards at grocery stores. I have a family of four and I will max out the $6K cap in only four months of grocery shopping! You have four different cards in your restaurant category in your sig, and some of them are good for 5%. That's pretty good by itself without eating into your BCP cap.

I guess if that works for you, fine. But I cannot see my family doing this to an extreme outside of enforcing budget discipline (Starbucks cards for my wife).


I use what is best based on my bill cycle date. I only ever want to use 10% of available credit on any card, just in case something goes haywire. Also, I use the gift card option for restaurants when I know I need to fill up my tank. Otherwise, I go with other cards. I shop at Express and Amazon a lot, so I get gift cards for those places depending on the bill cycle and how full my gas tank is.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:54 pm

Sevenfeet wrote:That leaves the Fidelity product .... The problem with this product is that FIA is managing it .... BofA Cash Rewards straight to my savings account.


Same company/customer service.



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