Card strategy: updated

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freyj6
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Card strategy: updated

Postby freyj6 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Hey guys,


Anyway, here's an updated version of my card strategy based on the recommendations I got here and some more poking around:

No Fee Cards:

Chase Freedom: (all category spending)
Sallie Mae: (Groceries and gas when not on Freedom. Will buy Amazon gift cards with Freedom since UR > cash back).
BCE: (Post $250 grocery spending -- I've realized I may not need this though because half my grocery spending is at Costco and I can do that with AMEX gift cards).
(optional) Discover IT (Categories seem pretty useless to me with Sallie Mae and Freedom, but I'll probably get it for FTF and fico monitoring).
(optional)USbank Cash+ (My restuarant spending is low enough that I'll essentially get 6.25% back, and Freedom usually has a restaurant category, so the once-a-year $25 should be plenty).

Fee Cards:
CSP: (Travel and all international spending. Also dinning if I don't get the Cash+ and it's not under Freedom's categories).
Barclaycard Arrival: (I got this one 3 months ago -- I'm going to see if they'll wave the annual fee and or give me a retention bonus if I tell them I'm thinking of switching to the CSP. If they do, I'll wait on the CSP, since the Arrival seems to be almost as good.)
Chase Ink Plus (Will get for signup bonus then drop down to the basic ink for no annual fee but still the 5% category for transfering to the CSP.)

I think that's basically got me covered. One thing I've debated a bit is whether to keep the CSP or the Ink Plus permanently. The CSP's categories seem slightly less useful because I plan to pay for most of my travel with points or UR transfers, so I won't be earning the x2 UR on travel anyway, and for non-international dinning, I think USbank Cash+ is still better). But then again, the CSP + Ink Classic covers the same categories.

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning


takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:16 pm

freyj6 wrote:One thing I've debated a bit is whether to keep the CSP or the Ink Plus permanently

If you intend to transfer UR points to travel partners you'll need to keep one of them (or add an Ink Bold or Cash).

freyj6 wrote:Discover IT (Categories seem pretty useless to me with Sallie Mae and Freedom, but I'll probably get it for FTF and fico monitoring).

Be sure to carefully look at the categories. For example: while Freedom and it both include movies this quarter, the Freedom is only for movie theaters. The it includes theaters, rentals (physical and online) and movie ticket services.

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Vattené
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Location: US

Postby Vattené » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:53 pm

takeshi wrote:The it includes theaters, rentals (physical and online) and movie ticket services.

That really surprised me, as I would have expected it to just cover theaters. Netflix even qualifies in this category!
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now

freyj6
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:29 am
Location: United States

Postby freyj6 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:53 pm

takeshi wrote:If you intend to transfer UR points to travel partners you'll need to keep one of them (or add an Ink Bold or Cash).

.....

Be sure to carefully look at the categories. For example: while Freedom and it both include movies this quarter, the Freedom is only for movie theaters. The it includes theaters, rentals (physical and online) and movie ticket services.


That's interesting about the IT. It's not really relevant to me since I don't really rent movies. But still, I think I may get the card for the sign-up bonus, and the fico monitoring/FTF (if I decide to drop Barclaycard later).


I understand that about needing either the CSP or the Ink Plus/Bold. What I'm debating is which one to keep in the long run, because IMO it makes no sense to keep both. I'm leaning towards the following:

CSP + Ink Cash (downgraded from Ink Plus after getting sign-up bonus). That would cover the office supplies category while still only paying one annual fee. I think that the CSP's 2.14 on travel and dinning beats the Ink Plus's 2.0 on hotels and gas.

The only issue I have with the CSP is that I plan to be able to do most of my travel with points only. With the 5% Freedom categories and some spending on the CSP, it would be easy to rack up close to $1000 a year UR points. So if I'm paying with points, I'm not benefiting at all from the 2.14 rewards rate on travel. If that ends up being the case then the Ink Plus might be a better decision.

Thanks!
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning

freyj6
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:29 am
Location: United States

Postby freyj6 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:19 pm

Actually, just dug this up.

Airlines
Auto/truck/RV rental
Limos and taxis
Lodging
Travel agencies
Railways
Tolls and bridges
Parking (lots, meters, garages)
Bus
Time shares

I think I'll go with the CSP for sure. That's a hell of a "travel" category.
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning



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