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Okay, this is NOT a promo thread, so if you get $30-$200 in free promos for applying to a cc, please feel free to share, but please don't permeate this thread with best-promo debates.

I am trying to get you guys opinions on the best reward cc strategy.

I am currently using:

1. Citi Dividend Reward at Gas station, Drug stores, and Grocery stores STRICTLY ($1000 spent there is like 5000 points, which is $50 back). 5%
2. Rest of purchases I make with my Chase Perfect Card, as I get my 1% back automatically at beginning of the next statment period.

Are there better strategies than this?

Thanks for your input

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TigerKR said: <blockquote><hr>fotomaniak said: <blockquote><hr>5% promo <a target="_new" href="/redirect/bounce.php?afsr... (more)

turrdog (Mar. 01, 2006 @ 6:20p) |

Does anyone know how much credit history is required to be accepted for one of these 5% rewards cards?

macks (Mar. 05, 2006 @ 11:02a) |

macks said: <blockquote><hr>Does anyone know how much credit history is required to be accepted for one of these 5% rewa... (more)

theman2 (Mar. 05, 2006 @ 9:59p) |

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BenFranklin said: [Q]2. Rest of purchases I make with my Chase Perfect Card, as I get my 1% back automatically at beginning of the next statment period.
Chase Ultimate Cash gives you 1.5% after a certain dollar amount. That is now my default CC.

or penfed cc gives 1.25% back all the time

BenFranklin, I'm with you on your strategy, with just a few minor adjustments:

* The Fidelity M/C from MBNA offers a straight 1.5% rebate (no tiers). Still, you need to maintain a Fidelity brokerage account and fees might apply there (though not in my case; my 401(k) is with Fidelity so every account is free).

* I use Discover at Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions, Gelsons, Pathmark, and other stores which offer $50 on top of regular purchases -- but only if my purchases are < $12.50. (Above that amount, the aforementioned Citi Dividends card offers a higher rate of return with its standard 5% feature.)

Happy hunting!

BenFranklin said: [Q]Citi Dividend Reward at Gas station, Drug stores, and Grocery stores STRICTLY ($1000 spent there is like 5000 points, which is $50 back)

Depending on how much you spend it might be best to use the Citi card the purchases that you use your Perfect card for.

Why? The 1% you accumulate on all purchases can be used to get bigger/better things faster from the Thank You program. If you hit the $300 limit using 5% gas, it doesn't matter.

My AMEX Gold Rewards Plus Card offers 2% back on cell phone payments.

alpinewhite

Chase ultimate cash is a tiered system that starts at low .5%

reckner77
Thanks for your cell phone 2% addition.
But I'm not convinced of your alternative, as the 1% on perfect card does away with all the point-accumulationg loops and just give you them right away on the next statement.

niktobos
Penfed card sounds great, though I don't think everyone here qualifies for the Pentagon Credit Union card. I also haven't any idea whether it's tiered or its redemption amounts.

The point system (and high redemption amounts) are set up in such way that you will next get the whole, exact percent backs (Thanks! You marketing geniuses) from your purchases.

Slight side-comment: Where the heck do these threadcrappers come from? It seem there is always at least one on any thread that votes - on the ratings bar, with out any (if any at all) opposing reasons.

BenFranklin said: [Q]Okay, this is NOT1. Citi Dividend Reward at Gas station, Drug stores, and Grocery stores STRICTLY ($1000 spent there is like 5000 points, which is $50 back). 5%
2. Rest of purchases I make with my Chase Perfect Card, as I get my 1% back automatically at beginning of the next statment period.
I do almost the same thing. I use the Citi Diamond card instead...simply because the annual limit it higher...75K TY points to be exact. With getting 5 points per $ spent at gas stations and supermarkets, we spend enough to accumulate enough points for a a $50GC just about every month...basically $500-$600 a year potentially. If I'm making any purchases that have warranties (electronics, etc) - I generally use my AMEX Blue card since they automatically extend the warranty period 1 year. Free rewards program there too.

faztcobra said: [Q]I do almost the same thing. I use the Citi Diamond card instead...simply because the annual limit it higher...75K TY points to be exact. With getting 5 points per $ spent at gas stations and supermarkets, we spend enough to accumulate enough points for a a $50GC just about every month...basically $500-$600 a year potentially. If I'm making any purchases that have warranties (electronics, etc) - I generally use my AMEX Blue card since they automatically extend the warranty period 1 year. Free rewards program there too.

I use my Citi Diamond for everything but restaurants - I use my Discover Restuarant card there.

The Citi Diamond card does warranty extentions and price matching as well, plus the extra TY points previously mentioned. Some like AMEX for their customer service.

Yep, Citi Diamond card has higher reward limit, though I haven't seen Cash Back options.

But GC is same as cash. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>

I just have the Chase Dividend Platinum Select which gives 1% on everything But 5% on gas food etc

My strategy is slightyly more complicated, but here goes:

Discover Gas Card: ONLY gas (5% rebate) and whatever promo they are offering at the moment

Citi Dividend Platinum Select: ONLY grocery and drug stores (5% rebate)

Marriott Rewards Visa: ONLY Marriott stays (3 MP per $1 at Marriott properties)

Diners Club Corporate Card: Business expenses for air, non-Marriott hotels, and rental cars (technically required by my firm, although you do get 1 DC point per $1 spend, although the reward redemptions don't impress me much)

Bank One Cash Rewards Visa: Everything else that doesn't fit in one of the above categories (1% rebate).

MBNA Worldpoints Mastercard: In addition to the 10% promo (see below) I use the billpay functionality to pay off the other cards and effectively add an extra month or so of float.

A couple of other complications due to promos...

MBNA Worldpoints MasterCard: first $250 each month that doesn't fit in one of the first four above (10% rebate, ends after June 05)

Wachovia Check Card: need 10 transactions in two months or so to qualify for $25 account bonus (see previous thread on $150 Wachovia Checking bonus for TX residents)

I will likely switch from the Bank One Chase Rewards Visa to the MBNA FIDO card for the higher Cash Back percentage after the Worldpoints promo is dead. I already have two accounts with them, so I will likely need to shift credit from the Worldpoint card to open the FIDO card.

My strategy is pretty much the same as all others:

I got the 5% on everything for 1st 3 months on the ATT card. I maxed mine out ($300) in about 2 months, I applied my fiancee for the same one, it just came today, so we'll be using that now.

I use discover 5% for restaurants

Dividend for supermarkets/drug stores

Chase perfect card for gas 6%..they keep renewing the 3 month period for me.



So, everything I am currently purchasing is giving me 5%.

I love it.

I don't quite understand the question since we all have different cards. But what I'm doing is playing a game of wait and see....take the best PROMO* offers first, then fall back on the best reward cc. Also it changes by the month for me. I often confuse myself and use the wrong card, oh well....But what might be more lucrative going forward if bank CD rates continue going higher is 0% BT. Save your credit scores for the best 0% terms. I'm even thinking of cashing some I bonds (since the fixed rate is now higher) to chance going longer term (5 year CDs) instead of just conveniently parking 0% in ING <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>

*We all have PROMO offers from existing cc that are underutilized correct??

BenFranklin said: [Q]

But GC is same as cash. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>Most definitely. I own a home, so I always need something from Home Depot. That's pretty much what we redeem our bonus points for. If I need something from HD, I try and wait until we have a GC on hand.

I employ a similar strategy as the OP:

AT&T Universal Card (Thank you points) 5 points/$ for gas, drugstores, and supermarkets
AMEX TruEarnings Card (Costco) for 3% on restaurants, 2% on travel and 1% on Costco purchases
BankOne Cash Rewards for 1% back on everything else.

I see a number of people use Discover Card for 5% on restaurants. Can someone direct me to this link? I haven't come across this offer before.

Thanks!

nyctransplant said: [Q]I see a number of people use Discover Card for 5% on restaurants. Can someone direct me to this link? I haven't come across this offer before.
Ditto!

Citi Dividend Card 5% for gas/food/Drugstore and 1% for various other goods
AMEX Delta 2pts/$ for CC bill, Delta plane tickets
PayPal debit card 1.5% CashBack for all other purchases/nonelectronic items I don't expect problems with.

Every 6 months or so I'll usually make one small (<$10) charge on each of my other non-reward/not-so-good reward cards just to keep some semblance of activity.


My chase perfect card gives me back 3% on gas purchases... where can I get the Citi one for 5% back on gas/food?

Stuart

monkeywarplane said: [Q]My chase perfect card gives me back 3% on gas purchases... where can I get the Citi one for 5% back on gas/food?

Stuartwww.citicards.com

Good thread. My system is more random and my needs/usage are different than others.

As I don't purchase gas, usually shop in supermarkets, or spend tons in drugstores without my FSA debit card many of the "good" deals pass me by.

However, since I do use a card, I take advantage of specials when they come up.

Currently: Gold AMEX double/triple points on purchases for the months of May/June. I only get triple on things like my cell bill. Double on everything else. Unless I manage to get some of my home renovations done in time, this will only score me a $50 gift card.

Previously: Bank One (now Chase) Amazon cc, for the months of March/April they offered double pts on certain purchases, like cell, cable, movie rentals, supermarkets. Once they credit my double pts this will score me some Amazon gc.

I have been "working" both deals in my favor. Always looking for something to give me a little bit more, but the tiered cards don't look like they would be best for me as my charges are not as high as others, esp. now that I live within my means and pay everything right away.

faztcobra said: [Q]nyctransplant said: [Q]I see a number of people use Discover Card for 5% on restaurants. Can someone direct me to this link? I haven't come across this offer before.
Ditto!
Try this link

Edit: Sorry, I thought you were asking for the link for 5% for gas.

The Discover 5% Gas, Home Improvement, and Restaurant cards can all be found here.

I know these two don't fit in exactly but I thought they'd be relevant:

With the Citi Driver's Edge card you can earn points towards car repairs or car purchases/leases at a less-than-stellar 3%/1% rate. BUT you can also enroll in their Drive Rebates program which basically gives you 1 cent for every mile you drive, up to $500/year. Details are here (scroll down to the Drive Rebates section).

Also, Citi's premier pass card gives you 1 ThankYou point for every mile you fly, but this card has a $75 annual fee.

Your wallet must be pretty FAT carrying that many cards with you.

sinik said: [Q]The Discover 5% Gas, Home Improvement, and Restaurant cards can all be found here.Thanks!

Looks like the first $1500 gets 5% and the percentage goes down after that. Of course, that's equivalent to $125/mo in eating out. Not to shabby. If you spend more than that eating out, you're probably not a die hard FWer.

Rewards: Earn a cash reward on purchases made with your Card. Each year, earn a full 1% (5% for restaurants) of your first $1,500 in purchases; your second $1,500 in purchases earn .50% (3% for restaurants) and purchases in excess of $3,000 earn .25% (1% for restaurants). Transactions must be sent to us under merchant category codes 5812, 5813 and 5814 to qualify as a restaurant purchase.

1. Citi divident for grocery and drug store. (5%)
2. discover card for Gas (5%) and douple for SharperImage GC (10%) or for Staples GC (6.25%)
3. Everything else, use household bank's 2% on everything CC

Current Summary of Good Cashback Credit Cards - did I miss any?

Personally, I use a Citi card for gas/drugs/groceries (flat 5%), my Åmex Platinum (tiered, 1.5% for $6K+, with 0.5% revolve bonus), and Fidelity or PayPal Debit (flat 1.5%) when they don't take Åmex. I didn't see anyone mention MBNA's Stockback card gives a flat 2% for high monthly spending.

citi dividend card is not tiered correct? ppl keep telling me that it is.

ChinkyPuff said: [Q]citi dividend card is not tiered correct? ppl keep telling me that it is.


You are right. But it is capped (300 per year)

If I did not have any promo cards, I would use:
1) Discover for Restaurants (5%)
2) Citi 5% everyday/1% non-everyday for everything else.
I would get several cards in case I max out one(i.e. for myself one universal card one dividend card and the same for my wife).
This seems to be the simplest approach. Only 2 cards in the wallet.

(I was declined for PenFed and don't want to bother with Fidelity. Othewise I would use them).

tooshy said: [Q]*We all have PROMO offers from existing cc that are underutilized correct??
OH YESSSS!
I've forgot about the time when I did not have at least one promo card. Even with some good strategies it takes a while to max out all the offers (HGW, Universal, Driver's, Citi Platinum Select). I have about 15K more to spend on two driver's edge cards (35K if the yearly max is $1000).

My current bonus promos for the current month:

MBNA 10%
Disc Plat (not Gas card) $1/charge/limit $20 (which will be doubled for SI gc)
Delta Double Bonus (>$500 spending for June)
AT&T Platinum (not Cash reward card) 5% travel, restaurant, rental car... til 9/15 - probably use it only for restaurant next month

Next month...I'm hoping for triple Delta bonus (since someone mentioned here about it) and Citi extra 1% (agains since someone mentioned here about it...<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>

I have been using only AMEX BLUE for all my transactions (everyday as well as non-everyday).
Currently i have crossed 6.5 K spending so am enjoying 5% on everyday and 1.5 on non-everyday, however i dont see anyone using AMEX blue ..am i missing out on anything?

rinku1 said: [Q]I have been using only AMEX BLUE for all my transactions (everyday as well as non-everyday).
Currently i have crossed 6.5 K spending so am enjoying 5% on everyday and 1.5 on non-everyday, however i dont see anyone using AMEX blue ..am i missing out on anything?

1) AMEX is not as widely accepted
2) 5% promo Cash Back on everything beats 5% on everyday <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0> and citi keeps coming up with new 5% promos.
3) how much potential Cash Back have you lost while breaking through the tiers?
(I.e. if you've just got Universal card with 5% on everything you would have earned $300 by now. Or you could've used non promo citi card for everyday purchases and promo card for non everyday purchases).

[Q]Also it changes by the month for me. I often confuse myself and use the wrong card, oh well....

That was a problem for me too. What I've done is make a paper wrapper that goes around each active card that says what I'm using it for. The card slides in & out easily so it's not really a hassle. The inactive cards are kept in the safe. I keep a master list showing the terms & ending dates of each promo and indicating which card to go to when the promo is over (in case I'm too busy to even think about it when that happens).

I have been using the Citi Shell MasterCard for over 2 years, but this is good only if you have Shell Gas Stations around you, and you like to see savings instantly on your next bill.
This is what I get:
-No Annual Fee
-5% on all Shell Gas Purchases
-1% on everything else
-I see 5% credit and 1% credit on each bill, and I pay that much less on every bill. So, in other words, where gas is $2.00/gallon, I pay only $1.90/gallon.
-There is no limit to the amount of credit you can earn in a year.

I'm sure you can find additional details from them. These are listed on my card:
Call: 1-866-743-5562
Website: www.shellmc.accountonline.com

Or just go to a Shell gas station.

dealsmafia said: [Q]I have been using the Citi Shell MasterCard for over 2 years, but this is good only if you have Shell Gas Stations around you, and you like to see savings instantly on your next bill.
This is what I get:
-No Annual Fee
-5% on all Shell Gas Purchases
-1% on everything else
-I see 5% credit and 1% credit on each bill, and I pay that much less on every bill. So, in other words, where gas is $2.00/gallon, I pay only $1.90/gallon.
-There is no limit to the amount of credit you can earn in a year.

I'm sure you can find additional details from them. These are listed on my card:
Call: 1-866-743-5562
Website: www.shellmc.accountonline.com

Or just go to a Shell gas station.
Instant Cash Back(or credit towards the next statement) is great, but who wants to be stuck with using just one gas station? Especially the one that does not have the lowest price. Citi dividend card has the same Cash Back %, but you can use any gas station.


MBNA/AAA Mid-Atlantic card: 5% instant rebate at gas stations
MBNA/Fidelity 529 card: 2% cash-back, credited every 3 months into a college savings account

Now that MBNA/HGW promo is expiring, I'll likely look for a new 5% rebate card for grocery/Drugstore/restaurant purchases


fotomaniak said:[Q]how much potential Cash Back have you lost while breaking through the tiers?
(I.e. if you've just got Universal card with 5% on everything you would have earned $300 by now. Or you could've used non promo citi card for everyday purchases and promo card for non everyday purchases).
Yup, instead of $300 Blue users get $30-$60 on their first $6K spent. All that just to get to a rate tier that is standard issue on other cards.

rinku1 said:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have been using only AMEX BLUE for all my transactions (everyday as well as non-everyday).
Currently i have crossed 6.5 K spending so am enjoying 5% on everyday and 1.5 on non-everyday, however i dont see anyone using AMEX blue ..am i missing out on anything?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



1) AMEX is not as widely accepted
2) 5% promo Cash Back on everything beats 5% on everyday and citi keeps coming up with new 5% promos.
3) how much potential Cash Back have you lost while breaking through the tiers?
(I.e. if you've just got Universal card with 5% on everything you would have earned $300 by now. Or you could've used non promo citi card for everyday purchases and promo card for non everyday purchases).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry, I could not understand which Citi card promo or Universal card offer will give me 5% on everything.

Skipping 100 Messages...
macks said: [Q]Does anyone know how much credit history is required to be accepted for one of these 5% rewards cards?

I had less than a year of credit history (almost a year with a basic college student citibank card that I paid in full each month and a providian card that was ~6 months old) when I applied for the citibank dividend card. They only gave me a $1k credit line so I moved $1,800 from my other citibank card. After two months of heavy usage and full payments, I got another 1K when I attempted to increase the CL online.

some seem harder to get, though. Citibank won't give me a drivers edge card for some reason.



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