Looking for a good catch-all card...

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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TheLethargicAge
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Looking for a good catch-all card...

Postby TheLethargicAge » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:26 pm

I've boiled it down to the following options:

Priceline Visa - 2x points on everything
CO Cash Rewards - 1% on everything + 50% annual bonus

Concerns:

Priceline Visa - it's issue by Barclaycard and I don't know how stingy they are with credit limits and from what I understand their customer service is not very good. The way they make you redeem the points for statement credits doesn't seem very flexible at all (you need to have enough points to offset the charge in full plus the charge has to be on your current statement). And even though the current redemption rate is 1:1, there's always the risk they might change it to less favorable terms.

Capital One - I'd apply for the Visa Signature version, but the 3 inquiries are a major concern, plus they're pretty stingy with CLs from what I hear.

I currently have a 762 FICO (EQ) with 15% utilization. I'm planning to apply after I pay off the last card on the debt payment plan, which should take about 3 months. By then my utilization should be under 10%.

What other options worth checking out?
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)


CC Deville
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Postby CC Deville » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:28 pm

You already have an AMEX BCP, Chase Freedom and US Bank Cash +....what do you hope to gain with another cashback card that you are not already getting from these prime cards? In my humble opinion, both Barclays and Capital One are a step back....

The other options are Discover IT (very similar to Chase Freedom with 1% base cash back and quarterly 5% catagories); PenFed Platinum Rewards (anybody can join-5 points per dollar at gas stations paid at the pump, 3 points at grocery stores and 1 point on everything else) and Bank of America BankAmericard Cash Rewards (3% at gasoline stations, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else up to $1,500 COMBINED spend).

It is smart to have two, maybe three cash back cards but anymore will be difficult to gain the maximum rewards.

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:48 pm

TheLethargicAge wrote:Priceline Visa - 2x points on everything


It's a decent card, but the CL may be less than you'd like.

TheLethargicAge wrote:CO Cash Rewards - 1% on everything + 50% annual bonus


Only apply if you're OK with really low CLs.

Bank of America Travel Rewards give 1.5%.The bonus is 1.65% if it goes to a BofA checking account, plus it has no AF, no FTF and it has the EMV chip.

The Fidelity Amex is also a nice 2% card but has limited acceptance compared with Visa.

Sevenfeet
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Postby Sevenfeet » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:00 pm

CC Deville wrote:You already have an AMEX BCP, Chase Freedom and US Bank Cash +....what do you hope to gain with another cashback card that you are not already getting from these prime cards? In my humble opinion, both Barclays and Capital One are a step back....


I can answer that. When I looked at all of my transactional purchase data for 2012 in Quicken, I organized everything my major spending categories, much like we get from Chase Freedom, Discover IT, US Bank Cash +, etc. It allowed me to prioritize the cards I was going to app for. But then I noticed a very big category I hadn't counted on...the "uncategorized" section of my spending.

Here's what my major categories looked like:

Groceries: $20K (including beer/wine)
Utilities: $9K (Power, Gas, Cell Phone, Internet, etc)
Restaurants: $7.3K
Insurance: $5.3K (not counting home owners rolled into the mortgage)
Fuel: $4.3K

"Uncategorized stuff": $40K

Yup, all that stuff that didn't fit into one of those credit cards' cash back categories was my largest spending hole by far. That means a "catch-all" all card that does better than 1% cash back and make a sizable difference. In my case, having the Fidelity Amex 2% cash back card changes the $400 a year for cash back to nearly $800 (not everyplace takes Amex, I use the BofA card at 1.1% for those situations). And that means that just choosing the right card to app for might make a decent difference in your rewards dollars over a year.
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)

TheLethargicAge
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Postby TheLethargicAge » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:01 pm

CC Deville wrote:You already have an AMEX BCP, Chase Freedom and US Bank Cash +....what do you hope to gain with another cashback card that you are not already getting from these prime cards?


To increase my base rewards rate from 1% to 1.5%-2%.
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:04 pm

TheLethargicAge wrote:To increase my base rewards rate from 1% to 1.5%-2%.


Get the penfed rewards cards and buy gift cards from the grocery store for your random spending. Plus, 5x points on gas can't be beat. It's all year round 2. That is a must have card, IMO.
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

TheLethargicAge
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Postby TheLethargicAge » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:05 pm

DavidNY wrote:
TheLethargicAge wrote:CO Cash Rewards - 1% on everything + 50% annual bonus


Only apply if you're OK with really low CLs.


Even with 762 FICO, 4.5 year AAoA, and under 10% utilization?
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:09 pm

TheLethargicAge wrote:Even with 762 FICO, 4.5 year AAoA, and under 10% utilization?


Even with a good CL, I don't know why you'd want to deal with CO when BofA has a 1.5% Visa card available.

TheLethargicAge
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Postby TheLethargicAge » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:12 pm

DavidNY wrote:Even with a good CL, I don't know why you'd want to deal with CO when BofA has a 1.5% Visa card available.


Yes, but it can only redeemed against travel purchases. I have no use for that.

Unless you're referring to this card, https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/bankamericard-privileges-cash-rewards-credit-card.go
Blue Cash Preferred ($24K), Costco TrueEarnings ($8K), Better Balance Rewards ($6K), CashForward ($15K), Sallie Mae Rewards ($10K), Quicksilver ($17K), AARP Rewards ($15K), Freedom ($15K), Double Cash ($16.5K), It ($28.5K), Fidelity Investment Rewards ($18K), Cash+ ($11K)

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:20 pm

TheLethargicAge wrote:Yes, but it can only redeemed against travel purchases. I have no use for that.

Unless you're referring to this card, https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/bankamericard-privileges-cash-rewards-credit-card.go


You are correct, I forgot about that limitation on the no-AF card, however travel not involving airplanes is hardly ever a 5% bonus category so my catch-all cards would have those purchases.

They are pretty liberal with what qualifies for travel:

A Travel Credit will only be available to redeem for purchases
from the Travel Center or for qualifying travel purchases
made elsewhere as defined by the following merchant category codes ("MCC"):
(a). Airlines, Air Carriers (MCC Codes
3000-3299, 4511) or (b). Lodging-Hotels, Motels, Resorts (MCC codes 3501-3999, 7011) or (c). Car Rental Agencies (MCC
codes 3351-3441, 7512, 4121) or (d) Cruise Lines (MCC code 4411) or Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (MCC codes
4722, 4416, 4417) or (e) Passenger Railways (MCC code 4112) or (f)Transportation-Suburban and Local Commuter
Passenger, including Ferries (MCC Code 4111) or (g) Bus Lines (MCC codes 4131, 4722) or (h) Transportation Services—
not elsewhere classified (MCC code 4
789 or (i) Real Estate Agents and Managers—Rentals (MCC code 6513) or (j)
Timeshares (MCC code 7012) or (k) Campgrounds and Trailer Parks (MCC Code 7033) or (l)Motor Home and Recreational
Vehicle Rental (MCC Code 7519) or (m) Tourist Attractions and Exhibits (MCC Code 7991, 5971) or (n) Amusement
Parks, Carnivals, Circuses, Fortune Tellers (MCC Code 7996)
or (o) Aquariums, Dolphinariums, Zoos, and Seaquariums
(MCC Code 7998) or (p) Boat Leases an
d Boat Rentals (MCC Code 4457) or
(q) Recreation Services-not elsewhere
classified (MCC 7999).


If you just need a flat 2% Visa card, I'd recommend the Priceline.



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