Citi Forward Card (an my new cashback strategy)...

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jeffysdad
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Citi Forward Card (an my new cashback strategy)...

Postby jeffysdad » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:15 am

Hi. Does anyone have experience with Citi Forward card, which says it offers:
"5 points for every $1 spent on dining, books, movies and music; 1 point for other purchases."

I'm wondering how accurate they are at categorizing "restaurant" purchases as such. I eat out a lot and if I get credited correctly, this will be a good deal for me. (I'm expecting the card in about a week; just got approved.)

The points are for "ThankYou" rewards. I'd prefer plain cashback, but there's a cash option for redemption on the rewards website. By my math, based on the fact that they require 8,000 points to get $50, the rebate works out to 3.125% on restaurant purchases (5 points).

That compares favorably with the 2% cashback I get on all purchases with Fidelity Amex and the 3% I get in top 3 categories on Chase Freedom.

So the new plan is:
Citi Forward for all restaurants (3.125% cashback)
Chase Freedom for utilities/telecom, pet-related spending, grocery (3% cashback capped at $12/mo. or on up to $400 spending)
Chase Amazon for all Amazon.com (3% cashback)
Fidelity Amex (FIA) for all other (2% cashback)

(No fees on any of these, btw)

I've investigated Amex Bluecash, which I have, but not quite as good a deal for me as Chase Freedom, etc. I charge and pay off about $25-28k/year. The plan above, by my guesstimate, would give me a nominal cash rebate of roughly 2.9%, or about $725/year based on $25k of spending.

Anyone have other ideas?

Edit: Got card today. After visiting Citi Thank You rewards website I realize I can get a $50 Citi giftcard for 7,000 points. This appears that it would be like getting cash rebate (which costs 8,000 points), so my rebate percentage on Citi restaurant purchases would be 3.57%, even better. We'll see what they're like to deal with and if they award points correctly.
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 (Amazon.com, 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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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:16 am

That does sound good but I hate how now all the credit cards do that scam where they don't give you point redemption 1 cent for 1 point. It's deceiving because that is what we are used to and now they rip us off by doing what they're doing to you the $50 for 7,000 points. Anyway though yeah that is a totally good deal.

Do they cap the dining/books/movies/music after you spend a certain amount? Do things like iTunes and Netflix count towards it?
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Cucumber
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Postby Cucumber » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:17 am

By the way I remember Discover use to have a restaurant card that had 5% cashback all year long. My mom had it. But then they ended it like 5 years ago because I guess they weren't making money on it. I hope Citi doesn't do that with the Forward card. They had the Dividend card and slashed that in a hurry when they decided it wasn't making them enough money.
OBAMA
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jeffysdad
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point cap...

Postby jeffysdad » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:16 am

I think the Citi Forward is capped at 75,000 points total for a calendar year. I don't think there's a cap on any particular category. I was wondering about itunes and netflix myself. I doubt that they count as the merchants probably categorize their transactions as "services" or something like that rather than "record/book store, theater." But I don't know.

I use the Discover card for restaurants in the fourth quarter. You can make 20 bucks off the 5% rebate as it's capped at $400 in purchases. That's $12 more than I would have made had I bought those restaurant meals with my Fidelity Amex at 2%. Every little bit counts (if you're gonna be neurotic about this stuff.)
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 (Amazon.com, 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.

AnthonyBarone
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Postby AnthonyBarone » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:51 pm

I'll have to check this baby out. Yup I had that Citi Dividend card back in the day and it was a good deal. 5% on grocery/gas/pharmacy. I know the folks at Chase were doing one for a while that gave 3% in top 3 categories of spending but they stopped that too. Don't do that anymore. Maybe we will see these types of cash back credit cards hit the market again after this mess is over.

jeffysdad
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I made $81.86 in cashback in last month...

Postby jeffysdad » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:08 am

on charges totaling $2894.74 on five different cards for a one-month cashback return of not quite 2.83%.

I'm not collecting it immediately, of course, since some reward thresholds need to be met. However, I am getting a check for $50 in a few days from one card for previously and recently accrued points/dollars.

Cards I'm using:

Fidelity Amex (FIA/B of A) (Misc.)
Chase Freedom (utilities, phone/internet, pets)
Chase Amazon.com (Amazon)
Citi Forward (restaurants)
Citi Diamond (gas, groceries, drugs)

I usually spend less than $2k a month so won't be racking up rewards quite so fast in coming months.

Including the $50 I've got coming, I've made (and been paid) $178.75 in cashback since Nov. 8, 2009.
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 (Amazon.com, 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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fffresh
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Postby fffresh » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:31 pm

I am surprised to see the Amazon card makes your list. From what I understand that credit card only gives cardholders 1%.

jeffysdad
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amazon...

Postby jeffysdad » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:51 am

it's 3% on amazon purchases, and i think 2% on dining and some other stuff. During the first month it was double on everything, so amazon purchases got 6%, etc.

I get 2% on the fidelity card for everything, so I only use the amazon for amazon purchases. First reward comes at $25 (after $833 in spending), so it's not a long wait if you shop amazon a lot.
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 (Amazon.com, 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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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:04 pm

I have the card but never use it, except for the occasional "dusting off" of putting a charge or two so there's activity on the account. I'll have to take another look at it. I think I have close to $25 in rewards accumulated too. How much do you need to cash out?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

jeffysdad
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amazon

Postby jeffysdad » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:43 am

you should be able to get a $25 gift cert. for amazon. the lowest check award is $50.
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 (Amazon.com, 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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