Help me be smarter with my card choices

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
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4x4
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Help me be smarter with my card choices

Postby 4x4 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:28 pm

Just came across this site today as I was searching for the answer to adding a teen to my card or getting his own account to start establishing credit. It will just be used for gas or emergencies...but after reading around it has me thinking about my own cards and how I could be smarter.

#1) I have had a GM MasterCard for years...have used it a 3 times to redeem 1000-2000 bucks off a new gm vehicle...I dont use the card often anymore, really just for Christmas time or some large purchase I dont want to put my on kroger card. I will keep this card as I have 1200 or so credit right now and get offers to bump it up to 3K even though I have no current need for a new vehicle....

2) We do all our grocery shopping at Krogers. Our Krogers has a gas station as well. At one point you got more off with having the credit card versus the shoppers card but I am not sure if that is the case anymore. I put almost everything on this card and with my 2012 yearly statement saw I charged 44K on it...I do not carry a balance ever on either of these cards....I mainly use the Kroger card for kroger discounts in store instead of carrying the shoppers card too, the gas discounts, and the quarterly checks we get back to be used on groceries. I usually get back about $100 but sometimes up to 150. With gas, my truck has a 31 gallon tank and I used a tank a week so looking at $400 there each month that I either get the .03 off or if we have fuel points get 10,20, or 30 cents off...My wife rarely fills up at krogers so its just me using that benefit. My son just turned 16 and also had a 31 gallon tank but just drives to school and back...He may use 2 tanks a month at the most...

So in my mind I thought with the gas discount and grocery checks back I was doing good...now I think I am not maximizing what I could be getting. I also stayed away from mileage rewards and hotel rewards in favor for something that we know we will use in the grocery credits. My average monthly spend on my kroger card is 2000-2500 a month. I have a my wireless bill auto-charged to it as well but could add more to take advantage of some other cards cash back offers.

So In my case what would others recommend? I am not sure if Krogers takes Amex but looks like the blue cash would be a good start. Not sure if it would be worth getting the penfed for gas too? I will have three people on my account, myself, my son and wife. I worry that if we all have 3 cards that they will get confused on what card to use for what but open to suggestions.

If any more info is needed please let me know. Thanks in advance!


Money card
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Postby Money card » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:08 pm

I would say don't bother getting the Blue cash preferred card because you spend way to much at krogers, right now American Express
has a cap of 6,000, you mentioned that you spend between 2,000 to 2,500 so in 3 months you would be over the limit they, would only give you 1% back.
As far as gas stations goes Kroger isn't a stand alone so you wouldn't even get the 3% back. if you get gas at places like Hess, gulf ,citgo etc then this is a different situation. But not Krogers.
If your looking for a cash back card what do you think about the Bank of America cash rewards card 3% back on gas 2% on grocerys
1 everyplace else? i'm not sure if krogers would count when you get your gas this is something you would have to ask before applying.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:55 pm

I highly recommend that you get the AMEX BCP AND the Penfed Platinum rewards. The Platinum rewards gives you 5x points on gas and 3x points on groceries. You will get much more bang for your buck with a combination of those two cards. I have the Kroger card and it is TERRIBLE compared to the amex cards or the penfed. You will make much more cash back even if you just acquired the penfed card.

You will have to get the penfed card in order to get the most bang for your buck. The other cards that offer groceries are capped on a quarterly basis. So, if you don't get the penfed, you will need to acquire the amex bcp/bce AND the us bank +, the bank of america 123 rewards, or other cards that offer cash back on groceries.

Let us know if you need anymore help.
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

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:56 pm

Money card wrote:I would say don't bother getting the Blue cash perfered card because you spend way to much at krogers, right now American Express
has a cap of 6,000, you metioned that you spend between 2,000 to 2,500 so in 3 months you would be over the limit they, would only give you 1% back.
As far as gas stations goes Kroger isn't a stand alone so you wouldn't even get the 3% back. if you get gas at places like Hess, gulf ,citgo ect then this is a different situation. But not Krogers.
If your looking for a cash back card what do you think about the Bank of America cash rewards card 3% back on gas 2% on grocerys
1 everyplace else? i'm not sure if krogers would count when you get your gas this is something you would have to ask before applying.


You do get cash back on Kroger gas stations with these other cards. I have pretty much every card that gives cash on gas and groceries and I get the bonus for gas. Plus, the fuel points don't hurt either.
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

4x4
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Postby 4x4 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:21 pm

So you are saying use the AMEX until I reach the 6K spend and then use the penfed? Looks like penfed is only really good for 5% fuel cash back with no cap? How should I use the combination of the three cards, Amex BCP, penfed and the kroger card after I hit my 6K spend?

4x4
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Postby 4x4 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:10 pm

More thoughts?

Money card
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Postby Money card » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:04 pm

use the Blue cash first keep track of your spending with the receipts, before you hit the 6,000 like around 5,900 I would then suggest the penfed for the rest of the year. use your krogers when ever you want . I guess the gas and the grocerys get added together, even though
there is no cap on the gas. so when you get your receipts keep track, don't go over 6,000. If grocerys are separate from gas then you will only need to keep track of the grocerys.

Daniel
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Postby Daniel » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:33 pm

Money card wrote:use the Blue cash first keep track of your spending with the receipts, before you hit the 6,000 like around 5,900 I would then suggest the penfed for the rest of the year. use your krogers when ever you want . I guess the gas and the grocerys get added together, even though
there is no cap on the gas. so when you get your receipts keep track, don't go over 6,000. If grocerys are separate from gas then you will only need to keep track of the grocerys.


I think you are right money. If you really wanted to make this easy, just link your account to Mint and you can know easily when your Grocery reciepts hit 6k. Granted it isn't 100% accurate, but it should be 90% of the value for 10% of the work.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:05 pm

4x4 wrote:So you are saying use the AMEX until I reach the 6K spend and then use the penfed? Looks like penfed is only really good for 5% fuel cash back with no cap? How should I use the combination of the three cards, Amex BCP, penfed and the kroger card after I hit my 6K spend?


Yes. Use the penfed for gas all the time. Use the 3x points on penfed either if you want to keep your utilization low or when you run past the 6k on the BCP.
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

FutureBillionaire
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Posts: 1590
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:37 pm
Location: Down South

Postby FutureBillionaire » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:06 pm

Daniel wrote:I think you are right money. If you really wanted to make this easy, just link your account to Mint and you can know easily when your Grocery reciepts hit 6k. Granted it isn't 100% accurate, but it should be 90% of the value for 10% of the work.


I agree with what you both are saying here.
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



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