Credit Card Forum
  1. #1
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    Default I'll give you the facts, help me chose my best rewards

    -I'm 28
    -I have good income-
    -I have a Capital One Visa, opened 10 years ago, with $6000 limit (highest balance ever was probably $1500)
    -I have a BOA Mastercard, opened 9 years ago, with a $10k limit (highest balance ever was $5200)
    -I have always paid my full balance each month, never been late
    -I have a motorcycle financed that I'll pay off 1.5 years early in a few months

    Nothing else on my credit, last I checked it was around 780 or so.

    I would like to leave open but stop using both of the above cards as they give me no rewards, I have narrowed it down to 3 cards..

    1. Southwest Chase Premier (only because of the 2 free roundtrip flights)
    2. Cap 1 Venture Rewards
    3. AMEX Blue cash preferred (I was always weary about how widely AMEX was accepted..)

    I live in an apartment, have a paid off car and don't plan on making any major purchases any time soon.

    My spending habbits are usually ~$550 grocery, ~$150 gas, ~$400 dining/bars (more bars than anything), ~$200 shopping, then random stuff. I typically spend about $1800 a month on average. All my other bills (rent, cell, insurance, gym) come out of my checking account.

    Assuming the Southwest 2 free roundtrip offer wasn't available, I'd just open the other two.

    Sidenote, could I use bill pay to pay my rent and get credit for it? Hadn't really looked into that.

    I don't want to "damage" my credit but opening too many cards at once but how bad would it really be? Open all 3 (maybe a month or so apart?), close the Southwest one in probably two years and use the two new ones primarily and the other ones very sparingly if any for the foreseeable future?

    Any input would be appreciated!
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  2. #2
    Centurion Member MemberSince99's Avatar
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    Opening a new account may lower your score, or may not, there are a lot of variables so it's difficult to say whether FICo will see the new account as worth more than the points the inquiry will cost you.
    But let's face it - with 780, what will 10 or even 20 points hurt? Even if it costs you 20 points, you're still at 760 which gives you the most favorable terms for a mortgage. And with time the inquiry will drop and your average age of account will grow so not a big deal.
    For your spending, of the three cards you listed, the Amex fits the best at 6% on grcories and 3% on gas.
    You should use your credit cards for billpay where it makes sense to do so (you don't pay more in fees than the rewards you earn for doing it, or simply if you want to run more money through your cards to get CLIs).
    Don't worry about "damaging" your credit. I have opened over 20 cards in the last year and closed 13 of them. My scores are in my sig. You aren't going to do anywhere near that. Everyone is different and YMMV, but I wouldn't lose sleep over killing your score, you'll be fine.
    As to the Cap One and Chase cards, well that's just up to you. I'm not sure I'd open a card just for a couple of free tickets, especially given your concern about your score, but it's your call. I'd suggest based on what you said, apply for the other two. Be advised that Cap One pulls all three bureaus so you will take a hit on each one for that card. Amex tends to pull EXP and only one bureau for people with your credit history. if you don't have other recent inquiries it probably doesn't matter which one you pull first. Chase could pull any of the 3 - they pulled TU for me but I've read many folks where they pulled EXP.
    Also be aware that Amex may F/R you and that is always a possibility with them. It's not that common but it could happen so make sure you don't leave home (especially international) with ONLY your Amex card, because if they do F/R you, they will close you down until the review is complete, typically 10 days to two weeks or more.
    I hope this helps.
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  3. #3
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    Get Amex Blue Cash Preferred(Groceries), PenFed Platinum Rewards(Gas), and Citi Forward(Restaurants/Bars, Entertainment). That will cover most of your spending. If you're looking to cover all spending, get all the cards in my signature. lol
    Credit Cards
    Amex BCE 25K ---- PenFed Platinum Rewards 15.5K --- US Bank Cash+ 12K --- Discover IT 6K --- Citi Dividend 5K --- Chase Freedom 12.5K --- Amex SPG 6K --- Citi Thank You Preferred 15K

    Not Used
    Citi Simplicity - 5K, Sam's Club Discover - 10K

    Future Cards
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    FICOs
    Exp 772 - TU 781 - Equ 781
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashback View Post
    Get Amex Blue Cash Preferred(Groceries), PenFed Platinum Rewards(Gas), and Citi Forward(Restaurants/Bars, Entertainment). That will cover most of your spending. If you're looking to cover all spending, get all the cards in my signature. lol
    I'd basically agree. I might get the US Bank Cash+ for a restaurant card. With that mix, you'll get 6% on groceries, 5% on gas, and 5% on restaurants.
    Gas: PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards (5%)
    Grocery/Gift Cards: AMEX BCP (6%)
    Cell & Restaurants: US Bank Cash + (5%)
    Target: Target (5%)
    Hotels: SPG AMEX, Marriott Rewards Premiere VISA
    Everything Else: Fidelity Investment Rewards AMEX (2%)

    + Discover and Chase Freedom for 5% cash back categories
    Blogging at Sunk Costs Are Irrelevant
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodie123 View Post
    -I'm 28
    -I have good income-
    -I have a Capital One Visa, opened 10 years ago, with $6000 limit (highest balance ever was probably $1500)
    -I have a BOA Mastercard, opened 9 years ago, with a $10k limit (highest balance ever was $5200)
    -I have always paid my full balance each month, never been late
    -I have a motorcycle financed that I'll pay off 1.5 years early in a few months

    Nothing else on my credit, last I checked it was around 780 or so.

    I would like to leave open but stop using both of the above cards as they give me no rewards, I have narrowed it down to 3 cards..

    1. Southwest Chase Premier (only because of the 2 free roundtrip flights)
    2. Cap 1 Venture Rewards
    3. AMEX Blue cash preferred (I was always weary about how widely AMEX was accepted..)

    I live in an apartment, have a paid off car and don't plan on making any major purchases any time soon.

    My spending habbits are usually ~$550 grocery, ~$150 gas, ~$400 dining/bars (more bars than anything), ~$200 shopping, then random stuff. I typically spend about $1800 a month on average. All my other bills (rent, cell, insurance, gym) come out of my checking account.

    Assuming the Southwest 2 free roundtrip offer wasn't available, I'd just open the other two.

    Sidenote, could I use bill pay to pay my rent and get credit for it? Hadn't really looked into that.

    I don't want to "damage" my credit but opening too many cards at once but how bad would it really be? Open all 3 (maybe a month or so apart?), close the Southwest one in probably two years and use the two new ones primarily and the other ones very sparingly if any for the foreseeable future?

    Any input would be appreciated!

    I agree with Cashback and Slug, just remember that big box stores (Walmart, Target and etc) do not count as groceries (6%) for the AMEX BCP.
    We have a similar spending profile so here is my breakdown:
    Assuming you'll do groceries on eligible 6% stores BCP hits right on the spot for you, since you would be spending around $6600/yr on that category and the limit is $6K/yr so you would get around $400 back per yr.
    I would then get the US Bank Cash + for dinning/bars (5%) which would get you around $240 back yr on this category alone. You can then choose Cell or Gas ($1800/yr = $90 cash back) or some other category for your second 5% category and you would still have a 2% category to choose.

    I wouldn't get any airline CC unless you travel a lot, most of your spending (based on your post) would count as 2% "cashback" if you convert the points to cash on the Southwest CC.
    A free US round-trip economy class goes for around $400.00 (depending where you going obviously) and you would only get one time on the 1st yr. Cash back would get you more than that on the first yr (around $800) and every year after assuming the spending continues and nothing changes.
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  6. #6
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    Default

    Thank you guys so much for the credit card reviews! I guess one piece I left out is that I just relocated from Indiana to Rhode Island for work and everyone I know is back home so while I usually only flew twice a year it will be more, but I doubt more than 5-6 times. It seems like more sense to get the BCP first (which I just applied and got approved for so that's one down). As far as other cards, I'm going to research a little more. I still feel like the Venture one will be the best in the interest of getting flights. Dollar for dollar it sounds like it makes sense to diversify a little more, but we'll see. I'm got a few more weeks until that Southwest offer expires (which I guess I should also say is who I usually only fly), so I can keep thinking about that.

    Did I read that right that I don't get the flights right off the bat? I have to wait a year for my second one? Can I use my points to pay half and the rest cash? So then I'd have 4 50% flights just to spread out the spending a little?

    Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemberSince99 View Post
    Opening a new account may lower your score, or may not, there are a lot of variables so it's difficult to say whether FICo will see the new account as worth more than the points the inquiry will cost you.
    But let's face it - with 780, what will 10 or even 20 points hurt? Even if it costs you 20 points, you're still at 760 which gives you the most favorable terms for a mortgage. And with time the inquiry will drop and your average age of account will grow so not a big deal.
    For your spending, of the three cards you listed, the Amex fits the best at 6% on grcories and 3% on gas.
    You should use your credit cards for billpay where it makes sense to do so (you don't pay more in fees than the rewards you earn for doing it, or simply if you want to run more money through your cards to get CLIs).
    Don't worry about "damaging" your credit. I have opened over 20 cards in the last year and closed 13 of them. My scores are in my sig. You aren't going to do anywhere near that. Everyone is different and YMMV, but I wouldn't lose sleep over killing your score, you'll be fine.
    As to the Cap One and Chase cards, well that's just up to you. I'm not sure I'd open a card just for a couple of free tickets, especially given your concern about your score, but it's your call. I'd suggest based on what you said, apply for the other two. Be advised that Cap One pulls all three bureaus so you will take a hit on each one for that card. Amex tends to pull EXP and only one bureau for people with your credit history. if you don't have other recent inquiries it probably doesn't matter which one you pull first. Chase could pull any of the 3 - they pulled TU for me but I've read many folks where they pulled EXP.
    Also be aware that Amex may F/R you and that is always a possibility with them. It's not that common but it could happen so make sure you don't leave home (especially international) with ONLY your Amex card, because if they do F/R you, they will close you down until the review is complete, typically 10 days to two weeks or more.
    I hope this helps.

    It would only hurt OP's score for ~6 months and completely drop off after 12. OP isn't planning on making any large purchases. Wouldn't that mean that the score would rebound in 6 months if the only change to the credit report was 1-2, possibly 3, pulls for new cards? I was generally curious if it is an auto score rebound after the inquiry drops off or not. Thanks for the help!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodie123 View Post
    Thank you guys so much for the credit card reviews! I guess one piece I left out is that I just relocated from Indiana to Rhode Island for work and everyone I know is back home so while I usually only flew twice a year it will be more, but I doubt more than 5-6 times. It seems like more sense to get the BCP first (which I just applied and got approved for so that's one down). As far as other cards, I'm going to research a little more. I still feel like the Venture one will be the best in the interest of getting flights. Dollar for dollar it sounds like it makes sense to diversify a little more, but we'll see. I'm got a few more weeks until that Southwest offer expires (which I guess I should also say is who I usually only fly), so I can keep thinking about that.

    Did I read that right that I don't get the flights right off the bat? I have to wait a year for my second one? Can I use my points to pay half and the rest cash? So then I'd have 4 50% flights just to spread out the spending a little?

    Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it!
    I know CapOne looks good on paper, but I think long term you'll be disappointed with their customer service and them in general. Traveling 5-6 times a year and spending $400 a month on dining and bars, you might be able to make use out of the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It has 2X points on travel and dining, a very nice sign up bonus of 40000 points which can be redeemed for $500 worth of travel through their website after spending 3K in 3 months. The annual fee is a little higher but long term I'd suggest it over the CapOne. Just a thought. Also, congrats on being approved for the BCP. What limit did they give you if you don't mind me asking?
    Amex Platinum
    Amex BCP 15K
    Amex SPG 5K
    Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
    Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Sig 23.5K
    Credit Union Visa Platinum 10K
    Discover IT 5.75K
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robrus1 View Post
    Also, congrats on being approved for the BCP. What limit did they give you if you don't mind me asking?
    Hey, to be honest, I didn't even ask. You would think that would be the only question to ask, but it didn't even cross my mind.

    So I just called them, they said $2000 for 60 days then I call in and can request a limit, I'll probably just do $7000.... Is this typically negotiable if I had brought it up in the beginning?

    I do like the Sapphire too. Is 2% on travel/restaurants the same as 2miles/$1 as far as the capital one card?

    Can you book any airlines through Chase? I typically do Southwest "Wanna get away" tickets.

    I'm still drawn by the 2 free flight promotion. Between the Southwest Premier and the Sapphire I'd be losing 1% on restaurants, but that's around $50 annually or so depending on how I can control myself and with the Southwest I'd get $800 in fares as opposed to $500... I dunno, so many pros/cons my head is going to explode...
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