Sorting the cards out...

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melancholy7777
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Location: California

Sorting the cards out...

Postby melancholy7777 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:35 am

First time post here and trying to absorb all the useful information. Trying to better strategize the multiple cards that I have and plan the future with a toddler at home. Most of our spending is groceries (6% AMEX BCP), gas at Safeway (AMEX Costco True Earnings Business 4%), amazon.com (buy GC's from Safeway using BCP), and travel.

Current line-up includes:
AMEX Blue (probably will cancel since no real benefits)
AMEX BCP
AMEX Costco True Earnings Business
SW RR Visa (prob going to cancel since don't fly SW anymore)
United MPE Business Visa (just got this to replace SW RR Visa. 2x pts additionally for gas, food, and office)
Chase Freedom Visa

My usage of CC has been fairly loose. My typical pattern is as below:
- Gas - AMEX Costco 4%
- Groceries - AMEX BCP 6%
- Everything else - AMEX Costco (2% travel/food), but they don't take AMEX, then I will use my default Visa (Currently chase freedom).

My main questions at this point are:
1. For flight airfare - Do I have a more efficient option for purchasing United plane flights with what I currently have other than 2% through AMEX Costco or 2x miles through MPE?
2. General purchases - United MPE business vs 1% cash back from Costco? (does this depend on my formula of how much the United miles are worth to me, i.e. 1-2 cents/mile)
3. For food/restaurants - use United MPE business (2x pts) vs 2% from AMEX costco? (or will this vary depending on my formula of how much United miles are worth to me
4. For Amazon.com purchases - is there a reason to do anything other than continue using purchased amazon.com GC's from safeway for 6% until I hit the max? (I doubt we hit the max, but could optimize more if we thought about it)
5. For the most part, would the main reason to keep the United MPE card be for the perks/benefits rather than purchasing with it specifically to earn more miles?

I see many other cards mentioned that in certain instances, may make more sense for food, travel etc, but would like to have a plan in place for the current cards, then consider future plans.

Appreciate any feedback you can provide.


melancholy7777
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:11 am
Location: California

Postby melancholy7777 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:01 pm

(Bump) just in case.

RewardHop
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Postby RewardHop » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:56 pm

For 2, 3, and 4, I thought I'd throw in some thoughts:
2. Consider the Capital One Qucksilver Visa Sig for 2% back on everything?
3. Consider the US Bank Cash+? 5% CB on Restaurants and you can pick another 5% category (maybe Hotels?)
4. As long as your not hitting the $6k yearly on your BCP, theres no reasoan to change.
[size=60]
Amex BCE: 3% grocery, 2% gas
Bank of America Better Balance Rewards MC: $25/quarter bonus
Barclaycard Rewards Visa Signature: 2% gas, groceries, utilities
Capital One Quicksilver Visa Signature: 1.5% everything
Chase Freedom Visa Signature: 5% rotating
Citi Forward Visa: 5% restaurants/fastfood, movie theaters, amazon.com
Discover It: 5% rotating
SallieMae MC: 5% Groceries, Gas, Amazon
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: 5% electronic stores, restaurants
Sock Drawered: Chase Sapphire, Chase Amazon[/size]

takeshi
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Location: US

Postby takeshi » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:38 pm

melancholy7777 wrote:For the most part, would the main reason to keep the United MPE card be for the perks/benefits rather than purchasing with it specifically to earn more miles?

It is for me but YMMV. That said, I was recently using mine for everything to hit the $25K spend bonus. I don't recall seeing anything in your list that offered better than 2% on airfare.

melancholy7777
Green Member
Green Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:11 am
Location: California

Postby melancholy7777 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:01 am

Appreciate the feedback. It does seem that I could optimize some of the categories such as general purchases at 1.5% and increase food/restaurant to 5%. Travel is still at 2% for me. I guess even though I have built a very good credit rating, have equity, and fairly high credit lines, I am concerned about having too many credit cards open at the same time...

One thing that is somewhat alarming is recently I looked at my AMEX Costco True Earnings business card where I used to get 4% gas for Safeway gas (the costcos near me don't have a gas station), however it seems like the last month or two, my gas at Safeway was no longer considered to be 4%, but instead 1% as a general purchase. Is it possible AMEX changed their policy recently without notice?

RewardHop
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Posts: 307
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Location: USA

Postby RewardHop » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:26 pm

Login to the AMEX web site and see what are those purchases classified as?
(Click the little + sign to the left of the transaction and it will expand it below and you should see "CATEGORY...........................")
[size=60]

Amex BCE: 3% grocery, 2% gas

Bank of America Better Balance Rewards MC: $25/quarter bonus

Barclaycard Rewards Visa Signature: 2% gas, groceries, utilities

Capital One Quicksilver Visa Signature: 1.5% everything

Chase Freedom Visa Signature: 5% rotating

Citi Forward Visa: 5% restaurants/fastfood, movie theaters, amazon.com

Discover It: 5% rotating

SallieMae MC: 5% Groceries, Gas, Amazon

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: 5% electronic stores, restaurants

Sock Drawered: Chase Sapphire, Chase Amazon[/size]



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