First Time With 2 CCs - Advice for Maximizing Rewards?

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
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First Time With 2 CCs - Advice for Maximizing Rewards?

Postby VictorSuede » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:23 pm


I've been lurking on the forum for several months, since getting my first credit card in March (a Discover IT). I finally managed to get posting access (for some reason my old account never sent out a verification email), and just in time. I find myself in need of advice. :)

I really love my DiscoverIT. I've been using it just like I would have used my debit card, and ShopDiscover has been great for getting points quick. (Though the last couple rounds of rotating points categories haven't helped me much; Home Improvement was a complete dud for me and I can't drive, so Gas Stations weren't great either.) My only complaint is that sometimes I'll run into a a firm (usually an older one) that won't take Discover.

This happened to me unexpectedly last week with a big purchase (~$500) that I had to make on a deadline, and made me realize I needed to look into getting another type of credit card for those situations where the Discover Card wouldn't be accepted. I've been wanting an American Express for lots of reasons, but the only offers I kept getting in the mail were for Blue Sky (seriously, 3 mailers in one week at one point), until they sent me a Gold Premium Rewards offer this week.

I decided to go for it--honestly, as far as managing my money I'm a bit more comfortable with the idea of using a charge card as my primary instead of a credit card--and applied online late last night. I was pretty surprised when I got instantly approved, but I'm not complaining. :)

So, my question:

So now I've got two rewards cards--one a cashback and the other a points card--and I'm wondering how best to allocate my spending to maximize rewards. My instinct is to shift everything possible to the Amex (I like being forced to pay my balance at the end of the month), except for items I can get through ShopDiscover/Discover's rotating categories and big ticket items I want to pay for over time. Is this the best thing to do, or am I being too simplistic in my thinking?

Victor Suede

My Cards
  • Discover IT (1% Everything; 5% Rotating): $15.7k (Credit Limit Increase: 3/15)
  • American Express Premier Rewards Gold (1 Point per Dollar Everything; 3 Points per Dollar Travel; 2 Points per Dollar Gas and Groceries): NPSL (7/13; Credit Limit Adjustment 8/14)
  • Chase Slate: $500 (4/14)
  • Barclaycard MasterCard (1 Point per Dollar Everything; 2 Points per Dollar Gas, Groceries, Utilities): $2.9k (8/14; Credit Limit Increase 4/15)
  • Citi Simplicity MasterCard: $1.5k (4/15)

Total CL: $20.6k

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