posted: Jan. 16, 2012 @ 7:56p
I received an offer in the mail for a "BankAmericard Cash rewards" Visa credit card from Bank of America several weeks ago and finally took a look at it and am now on the fence about whether or not to apply (I am currently using Chase Freedom's 1% on everything for everything except Gas and Restaurants - for those, I use my Costco AMEX, which gives me 3% and 2%, respectively). This is a targeted offer and lists a 15-digit "personal secure code". The card offers the following:
- No annual fee
- 3% CB on gas
- 2% CB on groceries
- 1% CB on everything else (unlimited)
- $100 CB bonus (after $500 spent in first 90 days)
- 10% bonus on all CB if it is deposited into my BofA checking acct
- Can enroll card in "Add It Up"
A bit of background: I don't have a typical FWF income (currently am a bit under $50k), so I can't rack up thousands of dollars in charges consistently every month (and can't pay rent with credit card without getting hit with a $30 fee). My SSN is also very young, but I do have a several-year credit history with BofA and my CK score is around 730. My credit card balances are always paid in full.
I currently have bank accounts with BofA (no physical locations in my current state), WF (they treated me poorly, so I only have the account because I didn't want to close it), and USBank (have treated me very well and have a branch just up the street if I need anything).
My current credit card lineup is:
- (using) Chase Freedom Visa - 1% CB on everything, 5% CB on rotating quarterly categories (currently Amazon.com and gas). This is my primary card and I use it for everything except gas. I like it because I get points instead of direct Cash Back and the points can be used so that they have a greater value than $0.01/point (i.e. getting travel and sale GCs from chase ultimate rewards).
- (using) Costco AMEX - 3% CB on gas, 2% CB on restaurants and travel, 1% CB on everything. I only use this card for gas and dining out. The downside to this card is that I believe the CB is only issued once/year in February or March and it is in the form of something like a merchandise credit that can only be used at Costco. I don't buy much stuff from Costco anymore.
- (not using) USBank FlexPerks Visa - 1% CB on everything. This was my primary card until I got my Chase Freedom card. I don't use this card anymore.
- (not using) Regular BofA visa. No real perks to it other than it can be enrolled in "Add It Up" (buying stuff through their online portal for a discount), which I have never used. I don't use this card anymore.
I am very interested in programs that offer points with more "potential" than a simple 1point:1cent conversion (and that preferably don't expire yearly), which is why the Chase Freedom card appealed to me (not to mention the 30,000 point bonus after spending the first $500!). I remember reading about a BofA Visa offering $200 back with $500 spent and about the Fidelity Visa (AMEX) offering 1.5% (2%) back on everything, but don't know if this is better than either of those. There's also always the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with the 50,000 points after spending $3000 in 3 months that is appealing to me, but I've been hesitant to apply for cards that have annual fees.
Your thoughts are very much appreciated. Please let me know if there is any other information that would help clarify my dilemma. Thanks!
Edit: The terms state that Calendar Quarters are Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept, Oct-Dec. The 2% groceries and 3% gas are "bonus categories" processed as 1% base + 1% (or 2%) bonus and the bonus percentages are available "for the first $1,500 of combined net purchases made during each calendar quarter." Grocery MCC codes are 5411, 5422, 5441, 5451, 5462, and 5499. Gas station MCC codes are 5541 and 5542.
Edit 2: Modified my lineup of current cards to provide more details and make it easier to read.