Some thoughts on popular cards (and which ones to get)

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
11 posts
freyj6
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:29 am
Location: United States

Some thoughts on popular cards (and which ones to get)

Postby freyj6 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:10 pm

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.

Quicksilver

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.

USBank Cash+

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.

/brain dump

Anyway, best card depends on the person/situation/blah blah blah. I think these are some good rules of thumb.

Cheers
Current Strategy

Chase Freedom + Discover IT + Churning


takeshi
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1733
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:12 pm
Location: US

Postby takeshi » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:06 am

freyj6 wrote: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.

...and Blue Cash beats BCP over a certain threshold of spend (~$12,500, IIRC) on the Blue Cash's 5% categories.

wiivile
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: New York, NY

Postby wiivile » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:34 am

freyj6 wrote:USBank Cash+

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.

/brain dump

Anyway, best card depends on the person/situation/blah blah blah. I think these are some good rules of thumb.

Cheers


Yes, the U.S. Bank Cash+ is the best restaurant card, but how is it 6.25%? I thought it was a 5% category...
    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

linuxmachine
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:10 pm
Location: los angeles

Postby linuxmachine » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:14 pm

wiivile wrote:Yes, the U.S. Bank Cash+ is the best restaurant card, but how is it 6.25%? I thought it was a 5% category...


you get an extra $25 if you redeem $100 (it has to be a $100+ redemption I believe), but this is only once a year.

To the OP:
For me, all the target categories from amex/chase cards easily take up over half of my spend. at some point, you have to consider how much is left over and whether it's really worth juggling an extra card. Plus, if you are already bought into the Chase ecosystem (checking, freedom, CSP), you are comparing 2.2 from the Arrival vs 1.37 from Chase (1.1 from Freedom+Checking and 1.25 exchange rate on airfare via CSP). You'd need to spend over 10k on the Arrival to make up for the fee, and then it's about $85 per 10k spent on the Arrival that you're gaining. I'd rather put the points in Chase UR and load up on the points instead, since I can transfer them to hotels/airlines, and more points increases the chances that I can redeem sooner rather than later. i.e. being 2k points short of 25k needed to book Avios for RT to Hawaii.

wiivile
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: New York, NY

Postby wiivile » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:42 pm

linuxmachine wrote:you get an extra $25 if you redeem $100 (it has to be a $100+ redemption I believe), but this is only once a year.


So how does this add up to 6.25%...?
    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

linuxmachine
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:10 pm
Location: los angeles

Postby linuxmachine » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:14 pm

wiivile wrote:So how does this add up to 6.25%...?


2000 @ 5% cash back = $100
$100 + $25 = $125
$125/$2000 = 6.25%

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.


make sense now? :ppp

wiivile
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: New York, NY

Postby wiivile » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:02 pm

linuxmachine wrote:2000 @ 5% cash back = $100
$100 + $25 = $125
$125/$2000 = 6.25%



make sense now? :ppp


OK, but if you can only do that once a year up to $2000 spending I don't think it's really 6.25%...
    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

benhollberg
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:51 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Postby benhollberg » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:18 pm

wiivile wrote:OK, but if you can only do that once a year up to $2000 spending I don't think it's really 6.25%...


Agreed, they need to say 6.25% up to $2,000 spend. Then xx after that. Such as other cards do with categories that are limited.

Also I think left out in the original post, the AMEX PRG.
American Express Platinum Card
American Express TrueEarnings Card from Costco
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred World MasterCard
Discover It

Nachos Libres
Green Member
Green Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:16 am
Location: Tyler, TX

Postby Nachos Libres » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:19 pm

For my family and our current situation the Arrival AF is the best card IMO.

It is so very hard to figure out which card would give us the best bang for the buck - and I love the analysis that every one does because it really helps figuring out which card is best. I checked out the Amex Rewards and found that for cruises they don't have anything with Disney (Chase UR doesn't either) and so it seems I get the best redemption for Disney cruises with the Arrival (please tell me if I'm wrong). We also don't fly (have 3 small children and it is just more economical to drive) so all we use our rewards are for Disney cruises and occasional hotels.

I did just choose the Freedom card for the quarterly category spending and also maybe as a supplement to the CSP if we ever decide to drop the Arrival (or maybe I would just pick up the Everyday card like you mentioned), but since all my kids are really young I see Disney cruises and car trips in my future for years to come so I think the Arrival will be our main go to card for quite a while.

linuxmachine
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:10 pm
Location: los angeles

Postby linuxmachine » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:15 pm

wiivile wrote:OK, but if you can only do that once a year up to $2000 spending I don't think it's really 6.25%...


Aw c'mon...I even bolded the key part of the post. It explicitly mentions 6.25% on the FIRST 2k.



Return to “Rewards”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests