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Money Matters
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
SuperFan86
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Best Rewards Credit Card(s)?

I have had a standard bank Visa credit card for many years but recently started looking at my statements realizing I could benefit from a rewards card.

My habit is that put everything on the card every month. Gas, groceries, eating out, and general expenses all go on the same card. I never carry a balance unless it is for a few weeks between bill cycles on a large purchase (maybe once a year). I spend about 500-800 a month.

Credit score is excellent.

After some research I see a lot of indicators that the Chase freedom Visa cash back card provides the most bang for your buck for a single card.

I have always been a big fan of American Express Blue for its extended protection on purchases and it looks like the rewards program seems pretty good.

Anyone have experience with cards or can provide recommendations?

I have 2 options:
1) Go with a single card that provides good benefits for everything, or

2) Find a couple cards that excel at do well in their own category. I would consider getting a stand alone and a gas card.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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I like the AMEX Costco cards. You pay $35 for Costco membership and you get a free AMEX card that pays at least 1% to 2% back in cash.

If you have any kind of business, you can get the AMEX Costco green card that pays up to 4% for gas and 3% for most dining and 2% for travel.

Plus AMEX is one of the most consumer protective cards if you have any disputes or bad charges, based on my limited experience in such matters with Visa, MC, and AMEX.

Here is Costco AMEX green:

http://www201.americanexpress.com/bu...s-credit-card/

Here's Costco AMEX gray:
http://www212.americanexpress.com/ds...00cef4ad94RCRD
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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http://www.creditcards.com/specials.php
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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Good website
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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I don't think that's a good website, it's skewed for their own referral $$.

- Fidelity Amex gives 2% cash back on everything, no limit. Schwab used to have a 2% visa but I don't think you can apply anymore.
- Costco business Amex gives 4% gas, 3% restaurant, 2% travel.
- Hyatt Amex gives you 2 free rooms anywhere in the world ($700/nt Paris room anyone?) for $75 first year membership fee.
- Chase AARP is offering 5% cash back for first 6 months.

As someone that accumulated over a million miles/points on various programs I personally don't do credit cards with point systems anymore. The points are always subject to devaluation and redeeming them without restriction is troublesome. That's why a straight 2% cash back card + Costco Amex is all you really need to carry. If you can juggle multiple cards targeted toward drugstore/supermarkets etc then go for it, but I would still stick with cash payouts.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:58 AM   #6
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^ completely disagree.

Most hotel reward cards or the similar give you a lot more. As you jokingly mentioned, about Paris, I've used intercontinental points at a 1000/night hotel. No way can any cashback give you that kind of bang for your buck.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:02 AM   #7
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I'm a SPG plat with 300k+ points earned through their credit cards and other sources, as well as Hyatt, Hilton, and other major chains. It's true that the points are a great value when used overseas, but the value differs for each person's redemption pattern. I value points at about 6% when used overseas, 1.5% when used in the states. I don't travel to Europe that much so the value changes accordingly.

In the last few years we've seen a ton of devaluation with hotel category bumps, higher redemption requirement, peak/off peak pricing, capacity control etc. Just puts a bad flavor in my mouth as a mileage fanatic. To me, 2% straight cash is much more preferable. I earned ~$2500 in cash back last year. God knows how long it would've taken me to redeem those if they were miles/points instead and do it in time before they devalue.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
I don't think that's a good website, it's skewed for their own referral $$.

- Fidelity Amex gives 2% cash back on everything, no limit. Schwab used to have a 2% visa but I don't think you can apply anymore.
- Costco business Amex gives 4% gas, 3% restaurant, 2% travel.
- Hyatt Amex gives you 2 free rooms anywhere in the world ($700/nt Paris room anyone?) for $75 first year membership fee.
- Chase AARP is offering 5% cash back for first 6 months.

As someone that accumulated over a million miles/points on various programs I personally don't do credit cards with point systems anymore. The points are always subject to devaluation and redeeming them without restriction is troublesome. That's why a straight 2% cash back card + Costco Amex is all you really need to carry. If you can juggle multiple cards targeted toward drugstore/supermarkets etc then go for it, but I would still stick with cash payouts.
Sure there are better deals out there and this is another piece of information that allows some to make a better decision
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
I'm a SPG plat with 300k+ points earned through their credit cards and other sources, as well as Hyatt, Hilton, and other major chains. It's true that the points are a great value when used overseas, but the value differs for each person's redemption pattern. I value points at about 6% when used overseas, 1.5% when used in the states. I don't travel to Europe that much so the value changes accordingly.

In the last few years we've seen a ton of devaluation with hotel category bumps, higher redemption requirement, peak/off peak pricing, capacity control etc. Just puts a bad flavor in my mouth as a mileage fanatic. To me, 2% straight cash is much more preferable. I earned ~$2500 in cash back last year. God knows how long it would've taken me to redeem those if they were miles/points instead and do it in time before they devalue.
Now cash back is a good option to which is what I use with my cards to include mileage points, additional savings to be used for my son's college fund. You definitely have to be smart because with a little tweaking you can get all of that additional funding out there. It just takes discipline!!
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:18 PM   #10
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It's great that you're planning for your kid's college fund, they will be quite expensive! Make an account at upromise. It allows you to link you credit cards and if you use the card to pay for a meal at a participating merchant, you get additional cash back as well. It's not much but I've earned ~$25 so far, haha. Not going to turn down free money.

Discipline is indeed important. I've setup a 529 account for my kid and funded it feverishly the first 2 years to hit my contribution target. Now I'm comfortable to let it ride till when she goes to school.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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I have Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex. 2% cash back flat rate on all purchases, no limits. Easily the best general credit card out there.

I use Chase Freedom for the 5% cash back rewards in revolving categories.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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I carry two cards: Amex Platinum & Chase Sapphire

The Chase card doesn't have an annual fee which makes it nice, their concierge is sort of iffy though.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #13
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bumping this up. My wedding is coming up and I'll be spending lots of $$, so I'm looking into opening a new credit card to take advantage of 0% APR and getting the perks for reward points and/or cash back.

I had the Schwab credit card with 2% cash back and it was great. They've since abandoned their credit card and it went to Bank of America.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:04 PM   #14
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Priceline visa is the new 2% card.
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