Any holes in this strategy?

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Any holes in this strategy?

Postby freyj6 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:05 pm

A little background: I have credit in the mid 700s, travel infrequently but plan to do long term international budget travel in the near future. I have a middle class income but will likely make more soon.

Already have or getting soon

Chase Freedom - category spending + transferring points to CSP

Sallie Mae - gas, groceries and amazon when not in Freedom categories

CSP - Travel, dinning, international spending + converting points from Freedom

Amex BCE - Post $250 grocery spending

Down the road

USbank Cash+ - Restaurants and movies. (This one seems amazing at a potential 6.25% back, but seems surprisingly unpopular).

AMEX SimplyCash Business - the 3% categories seem to be rendered useless by other cards, but it's a no fee card with a big signup bonus and a 5% category.

Costco Business - 4% cash back on already cheap Costco gas is hard to pass up.

Anything not covered here? Any cards that are better than these for a certain category? (Hotels aren't a big priority right now.) Anything else I'm missing?

Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

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Postby samhradh » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:16 pm

With CB cards it's about maximizing your category coverage. Also consider the Citi Dividend or Discover it. If you want a CB travel card then the AmEx makes sense if you pick airlines as your 3% category. Otherwise it seems moot with your current cards. Instead of the AmEx I would consider the Chase Business cards to continue building your UR balance and get that same office supply store category covered.

With the Freedom and Sallie Mae CB I'd say the Costco card is also unnecessary. I would put the inquiry elsewhere.

I would get a second no FTF card to cover your bases while abroad. The Arrival is popular right now and I've been happy with it so far.
Citi Forward ($10.1K), AmEx Blue Cash Everyday ($30K), Chase Freedom ($12.4K), Discover it ($5.5K), Barclaycard Arrival ($12.5K), L.L. Bean Visa ($5K). FICO 806 (TU), 812 (EQ), 806 (EX).

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Postby Snowman » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:23 am

If I were you-you've got the CSP, Freedom, and BCE, this covers a good portion of IMO, your everyday spend. The Cash+ was good until it got pretty much nerfed to useless card from what I glean. Like Sam mentioned, Discover is good too.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:52 am

You'll have to have a lot of overpriced popcorn at the movies to make full use of the US Bank Cash+. (Personally I'd just make my own and sneak it in, rather than pay 10 dollars for a bag of popcorn you could get from the grocery store for 50 cents). I thought too that they eliminated the year long bonuses on the Cash + as part of the nerfing - that you only get the extra once per year. So it wouldn't be 6.25% all year in that case, only the first time you redeem 100 would you get 25 extra as a gift card.

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Postby takeshi » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:45 am

freyj6 wrote:Any cards that are better than these for a certain category?

Possibly but it's difficult for us to definitively answer your question without any idea of what your spend is like for these categories.

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Postby wiivile » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:49 am

U.S. Bank Cash+ is still an excellent card for 5% cash back on restaurants+fast food (they need to be your two categories since they're categorized separately) and 2% cash back on groceries OR gas. If you dine out as much as me (every night), it blows all other cards out of the water.

However, if you already have Freedom+CSP, it may not be necessary to get the Cash+ for dining out, as the Freedom gives you 5.5% from April-June and the CSP gives you 2.14% the rest of the year.
    Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature: 11/2013, $15,000 CL
    Chase Freedom Visa: 11/2009, $4,700 CL
    U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: 11/2013, $11,200 CL

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Postby freyj6 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:51 am

@samhradh - I feel like unless you're churning cards (which I may do some of eventually, but I'm trying to get the permanent card first) you have to spend a TON of money to make it worth having more than one annual fee card. To justify getting a Chase Ink card (in the long run) over AMEX SimplyCash Business, I'd have to spend thousands at office supply stores. I currently spend zero. I know they're good options for picking up gift cards -- but since I've already got Amazon covered, I don't know if there are any that would really make it worth the fee.

I actually do have the Arrival already, but I'm planning to drop it unless they wave the annual fee. The CSP/freedom combo seems better. I may get Discover IT at some point if I get bored, but it rarely hits categories I don't have covered with something else.

@Snowman - What's the real deal with USbank Cash+ right now? From what I can tell, even though you can only get one $25 bonus now, it's still essentially a 6.25% cash back on dinning card for the first $2000 spent, which is honestly more than I spend at restaurants right now. After that, I could always just put it on the CSP.

@Member99 - Same as above.

@Takeshi - Something pretty close to this:

Groceries: $200 non-costco, $150 costco
Gas: $150
Rent: $1000
Parking: $200
Amazon: $100
Restaurants: $100
Uncategorized: $300

Thanks everyone!
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

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Postby freyj6 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:43 pm

Let's try this again and see if I can post. Keeps telling me my posts need to be moderated by they never get moderated...
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

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Postby RewardHop » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:42 am

The Cash+ is still one of the best cards for Restaurants/Fast Food year round. As you said its 6.25% on the first $2k spent in 5% categories and then drops down towards 5% the more you spend past $2k.

If you have a Chase Freedom, I would use it during that quarter but there are still the other 3 quarters of the year that Cash+ can't be beat on for Restaurants/Fast Food. Sure it aint as super duper awesome deal as it used to be, but it still beats other cards.
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,
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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Postby light » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:34 pm

Get Sallie Mae for your monthly $100 purchase on Amazon. No annual fee and 5% cash back on Amazon. It doesn't hurt to get one.

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