BofA Cash Rewards Visa/Mastercard (and other products)

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
28 posts
MemberSince99
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4913
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Location: WI

Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:16 am

Bksuper wrote:This card is terrible! It has 1% base rewards (beaten by the many No AF unlimited 2% on everything cards), 2% on groceries (that can be matched by aforementioned 2% cards, except without a cap, unlike this card, and beaten by countless cards), and 3% on gas (which is beaten by the PenFed PRG and SallieMae/Barclay Mastercard, the former also not having a cap and beating the groceries). Strictly inferior in every category. The PenFed card even beats it in every single category* by itself (no cards to supplement) and without a cap!
*Except for base rewards, which it matches.


It matches the BCE by Amex, which many consider an excellent card in terms of rewards. Interesting.


MemberSince99
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 4913
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
Location: WI

Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:24 am

Holy cow if you guys are figuring out your budget for the year based on the rewards of credit cards, I don't know whether you applaud you or cringe.

Rewards are a gimmick to try to trick you into using their card on a habitual basis and hopefully carrying a balance and paying interest in the process. Nothing more. Most lenders are cutting rewards as fast as the storms are hitting us this winter.

I've come to feel that the rewards are nice and I'll sure take them, but they are just a bonus. The real reasons I use credit cards are to maintain my credit and to protect my bank account from thieves who could drain it if they get my debit card. That's it. The rewards if any are just a bonus on top of that. It's way too much work to try to figure out that ok on this month I get x% on this but next month I have to use this card instead, but I can only use it up to the 21st so a balance doesn't hit then I have to switch to this card, and so on, it just makes my head swim. And for what a few dollars? I'd rather lose the complication and not worry about it, but maybe that's just me.

Bksuper
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:22 pm
Location: California

Postby Bksuper » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:31 am

To be fair, the BCE offers a hefty signup bonus and reverses the gas and groceries category, plus has department stores, so its actually a fair choice for groceries, as it supplements the SallieMae card with rewards that match the harder to get (and have to pay $20 to apply) PenFed, while offering backdating and a relationship with amex (better than with BofA) for no AF and no strings.

Yeah, doing a budget based on rewards categories is backwards, but basing your credit card portfolio off of what is in your budget is a good idea.
Sole Ownership Cards:
1st Financial Bank Platinum Student Visa, $500 CL, Open Since 3/2012
Citi Forward Student Visa, $6k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Costco TrueEarnings Amex, $6k CL, Backdates to 1/2012
SallieMae Rewards Barclay Mastercard, $2.5k CL, Open Since 4/2013
Jointly Owned Cards (co-owner with mom, not AU, used and paid only by me):
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, $2k CL, Open Since 8/2012
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, $13.5k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Authorized User (Parents Pay/Use)
Costco TrueEarnings Amex $29.4k CL, AU since 11/2012

Sevenfeet
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:14 am

cashback wrote:Vanilla Reloads and Blue Bird. You can pay anything with that combination.


I had to google this. So let me get this straight...Bluebird is a pseudo-bank operated by Amex. Pseudo meaning its not FDIC insured like a regular bank and I don't think you receive interest for having your money there. But you can direct deposit pay checks to it and use ever the Bluebird card against it like an ATM card (with anti-fraud benefits) or write checks against it, which means you can use it for car loans and mortgages, things typically not chargeable to credit cards.

But I guess where the savings are happen with the vanilla reload cards. Buy them at a place like CVS on a card you do receive cash back on, load it into Bluebird online and then pay your bill, essentially not doing direct deposit. Have I gotten that right?

If so, it still a bit more work for rewards, and I cannot do this for my mortgage through the terms with my credit union. But it might be useful for paying babysitters and my car note (about $10k a year total). Hmmmm....
Cards:
American Express Platinum (NPSL)
Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)
Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)
Fidelity American Express ($20K)
American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)
Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)
Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)
US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)
Discover IT ($4K)

Sevenfeet
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:16 am

An update: After I started cruising this board for a month, I became convinced that the proper plan to change my family's credit situation could be achieved. My wife and I make good money (over $150K) but we'd also racked up a fair amount of debt on our cards due to my son's long term health issues, my wife's long stint in her PhD program (where her income dropped) and poor decisions. I felt that if we could do a plan to get us out of the interest payment debacle we'd put ourselves in with the higher than comfortable amounts on our cards, we could put ourselves in a much better position in 2014. Getting cash back on the purchases was a bonus which meant focusing on the specific products necessary to achieve the goal.

But first things first; I had to convince one of the two credit cards we carry (Amex Platinum was the third) to increase our limit and I hadn't asked for a CLI in years. We found a very receptive agent at Chase who increased our limit from $13.5K (with 95% util!) to $25K, and transformed our lowly Slate card to a Freedom. Armed with this, I went to BofA and asked for a CLI there too. We had the same situation...$13.5K CL, 95% utilization. BofA gave me $20K (which is what I asked for), and moved that product to their Cash Rewards card. Overnight we'd gone from $26K to $45K mainly because despite our high utilization numbers, I still managed to have a squeaky clean credit report, and therefore scores at all three agencies at about 745 and FICO at 723.

Next was PenFed, a place we had no history at. I wanted PenFed PRV for a dual role...to swallow $28K of our debt I considered toxic for a 18 month 0% interest burn down period, and for their cash rewards program for gas and groceries. It was the most important part of the plan. Well PenFed came through yesterday and gave me the entire $28K I asked for. Now we're at $73K CL and really in a better position. My wife is thrilled. We can spend the next year eliminating this debt under a plan we consider practical for our budget while getting some cash back along the way.

Next stop in the plan is to do two things, check on a refi for the house and round out the credit cards for a few additional cash back cards. The house refi will depend on a few things but even if that doesn't happen, I cannot complain that much about our mortgage situation...it's good now as it is, but I can do a little better at our CU. As far as what next card to get, I have a 2% card, USBank Cash +, Discover IT and Amex BCP on the hot list. I figured out from Quicken that we are likely spending upwards of $40K or more a year in cash flow for purchases not in the usual categories offered by cash back cards. So while we were getting 1% from Chase and 1.1% from BofA on these purchases, a 2% card makes a lot more sense. I will approach Fidelity about that since my 401K is already with them and I have six figures under management there. My wife has wanted to add more to her IRA and this is actually a nice painless way to force us to do more savings...we might add as much as $1000 a year just by doing nothing special.

Then I want to approach US Bank for their Cash + product for some additional 5%s (I'm eyeing restaurants and utilities) and the Amex BCP card, which ironically with their new caps has the lowest money saving potential of all the products and probably the Discover IT. Since I want to properly manage our inquiries, I'll wait until after I determine our mortgage refi status to go for these and I will likely have my wife to apply for them. This will be interesting since my wife has one baddie we're still disputing now. Somehow in the last four years she has a Comenity store charge off...for $19. Yes, this is completely bogus and ridiculous but we found out that it was sinking her scores by about 60 points compared to mine. But the CLI we earlier received got her scores back to 700 at EQ. Doing the balance transfer to Penfed will temporarily goose her scores since a lot of her charges will disappear since she's not on the Penfed...it's just me for now. At that point she should be able to go for those three products without issue, even with the baddie since I think her scores will climb to the mid 750s.

So to review:

Old state: Amex Platinum, Chase Slate, BofA World Mastercard (total $26K CL, 95% util)
Current state: Amex Platinum, Chase Freedom, BofA Cash Rewards Mastercard, Penfed PRV (total $73K CL, 40% util)
Future additions: Fidelity (me), US Bank Cash + (wife), Amex BCP (wife), Discover IT (wife) (total $??? CL)

I think getting to $100K of CL and under 30% utilization is not out of the realm of possibility, even at the beginning of our principal burn-down schedule. Total cash back bonus at future state is estimated at $2000+ annually. And we have thousands in interest charges that we'll not pay this year. Thanks to all here for your help in making this possible.
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

FutureBillionaire
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:37 pm
Location: Down South

Postby FutureBillionaire » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:23 am

The US Bank is doing away with Bill pay. It is supposed to get a cell phone category. Just an fyi before you apply.

I'm excited for you and your family. Keep us posted and let us know if we can help in any way.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

Sevenfeet
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:07 pm

FutureBillionaire wrote:The US Bank is doing away with Bill pay. It is supposed to get a cell phone category. Just an fyi before you apply.

I'm excited for you and your family. Keep us posted and let us know if we can help in any way.


Thanks for the notice on bill pay. That's disappointing, but nothing lasts forever, and not surprising since you have to specify every quarter what your categories are...and they say in the application that they are subject to change.. The other 5% categories are still enough to be worth getting the card though.
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

FutureBillionaire
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:37 pm
Location: Down South

Postby FutureBillionaire » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:19 pm

Sevenfeet wrote:Thanks for the notice on bill pay. That's disappointing, but nothing lasts forever, and not surprising since you have to specify every quarter what your categories are...and they say in the application that they are subject to change.. The other 5% categories are still enough to be worth getting the card though.


They are solid. I recommend the card, just as much as I originally did.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape



Return to “Visa & MasterCard”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests