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- Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:29 am
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Crazy deals, manufactured spending and churning aside, here are some thoughts about some of the most popular cards.
CSP vs Arrival vs EveryDay Preferred
Except for people with huge spending who can also get good value from points, most people are only going to keep one of these cards long term.
If you can get a value of ~2 for your points, I'd say Everyday Preferred wins for most people. 9/6/3% back is tough to beat. If you spend a ton of travel CSP with another gas and grocery card is a close second. Also, since the Everyday is an all-your-spending kind of card, getting good value out of so many MR points might be tough.
In the case that you can get better value out of UR than MR, CSP + Freedom + gas/groceries card comes out ahead. This is the route I'm going, personally, because I think I'll have trouble getting good value out of ~100,000 MR points every year.
Arrival is best if you can't consistently get a value of around 1.5+ from either CSP or Everyday, or if you just don't want to deal with any hassle. It's also worth noting that if you don't want to carry an annual fee card, the Fidelity AMEX beats the Arrival until you have around 40k spending per year.
FTF is also a factor, but also easily covered by another card (like quicksilver) if you're not spending a ton of time/money abroad.
Blue Cash Preferred and Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae + BCE beats BCP for grocery spending up to $4500 per year. The Everyday Preferred is better than both if you're able to get a value of 1.5+ from MR.
Ink Plus, Ink Cash and Ink Bold
Even if you're not spending much at office supply stores, these might be worth getting over CSP for some people simply because Chase seems to give retention bonuses for them. Despite that fact, very few people need to carry both CSP and one of the paid Ink cards. If you have CSP (and don't spend a ridiculous amount at office supply stores) just downgrade to the Ink Cash and transfer the points.
Cap1's service sucks, but this really is a decent no-hassle card, especially for low spenders who don't want to juggle points. It beats the Arrival up to $12,500 on uncategorized spending; if you're middle class and have your other categories covered with other cards, it's not too bad.
This card is still really good -- not sure why it's not talked about more. It's essentially 6.25% back for your first $2000 on dinning; pretty good for a no-fee card. Spend more on dining? Get a 2nd card.
Anyway, best card depends on the person/situation/blah blah blah. I think these are some good rules of thumb.
Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning