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In some other FW forums, people have mentioned that you can sign up for a Chase card benefiting charities like St. Judes Children's Hospital, Elks, the Worlds Wildlife fund, National Geographic AND tie in a rewards program like Rewards Plus. Has anyone had any luck with this?

Some post seem to even think you can still get the signing bonus too, although Chase only seems to offer the $50 with their Rewards Plus MC not their Visa. All of the affinity cards however seem to be Visa (except for National Geographic). I wonder if it is possible to get the $50 on a Visa with Rewards Plus.

If you sign up for Chase, you might as well ask if you can do this. I am sure the charities would love it!!! Let us know what happens.

Thanks Chase for letting us combine a charity card with a rewards program!! (assuming it works)

OP, here is a link to the Citi AMEX cards: Upcoming Citi AMEX cards. Click on the AMEX logo on the upper right of this page.

I respectfully diagree with the original poster's rankings, although that is because I spend less than the full rewards limits yearly. I just converted my Diamond Rewards () to Dividend Select (). I prefer cash, and the sooner I get it back at the highest fulfillment rate (1pt = $1) the better. Let me explain.

The Diamond Preferred won't give you back full value (1pt = $1) for cash rebates. I didn't care much for the gift card offerings of Diamond Preferred Network, so I just got gas cards at the full value (1 pt = $1) but then I loose on new 5% gas purchases because I'm not purchasing the gas on the credit card.

Now with Dividend Select I can get $50 back on each $1000 in purchases ($300 limit). I also have an ATT Universal Cash Rewards MC (), in case I reach the $300 limit on the Citi Dividend. It pays back in the same $50 increments as Citi Dividend. Also all Citi Cards (inc. ATT Univeral Cards) have virtual account number capabilities, which Chase does not currently offer.

I won't apply for the Chase Rewards Plus MC () or Visa () as you need to accumulate $100 in rewards (spend $2000) before reward is given at full value (1pt = $1).

This stategy gives me plenty of 5% rewards, but gets me my money back faster, which works for my spending habits.

(For non-5% purchases, I use my Chase PerfectCard, which has unlimited 1% back, which is credited to my account each month - no need to buildup reward dollars before payback).

Just offering my opinion - if you think I could do better, let me know, I am always looking to save some dollars!

Mathfaster... THANKS! You are awesome. In street terms.... you've got the goods!

connell... Thank you for your analysis. I know exactly where you are coming from. I tend to assume three things in my ratings. 1) If a high rewards limit is good, a higher one is even better 2) everyone is patient (which is not true, of course, nor is it always smart to be patient with $$) and 3) people try to apply to the fewest CC's possible. None the less..... that is where my ratings come from. Maybe I'll have to start including how many points it takes to redeem rewards. Although I am trying to keep my descriptions short and sweet, and if I may make a confession... I never noticed the differences you pointed out. Thanks!

Anyone know how many points it takes to get a free ticket with Chase or Citi? Is it 25K?

FFGuru, the Citi Simplicity Rewards Card only gives 5% to Gas and Drugstores (no Supermarkets), and it's only good for 1 year. You may want to edit the OP.

chokaay said: FFGuru, the Citi Simplicity Rewards Card only gives 5% to Gas and Drugstores (no Supermarkets), and it's only good for 1 year. You may want to edit the OP.

It would help if I learned to read, wouldn't it Good catch. Thanks for correcting me! I'll correct the OP. Oh, and I think you meant the Citi Cash Card. I didn't review the Rewards card seeing as it limits the 5% to one year.

I'd also like to add the Shell Platinum Select Mastercard from Citi (although technically it's not a Cash Back card unless you fill up at Shell). 15% on Shell Gas and 3% back on everything else for the first 60 days. Afterwards it drops to 5% on Shell Gas and 1% on everything else. NO annual limit; gas credits to NEXT MONTHLY STATEMENT (must be used for Shell Gas); includes all Citibank Platinum benefits (except virtual numbers).

IMO, this is a great no hassle rebate card (if you fill up a lot on Shell Gas), and has been around forever (way before reward cards started getting popular).


EDIT: Another card worth mentioning, but doesn't quite earn the 5% Cash Back required by this thread, is the Chase PerfectCard Mastercard. It basically has similar benefits as the Shell Platinum Select Mastercard above, (including the no annual limit), but it gets 6% Cash Back on Gas for the first 90 days, then drops to 3% on Gas and 1% on everything else. Cash Back is credited to next monthly statement. (This was the line of cards that replaced the Shell Mastercard after they switched to Citibank from Chase, which is why the benefits are so similar.)


EDIT2: Might I also suggest including some 3% cards as well. There are some 3% cards that can beat some 5% cards, or serve as solid back-up cards when the 5% tier(s) are full. One card that comes to mind is the AMEX/Costco TrueEarnings Card which gets 3% on restaurants, 2% on travel, and 1% on everything else.


EDIT3: For full details, please read the terms & conditions in each card's webpage.

Does Discover restaurant card include CashBack at Burger King and TacoBell? Also, what about purchases in Cafeteria and Starbucks?

OP, thanks for the summary. Nice to have these cards in one place. If you think it approrpriate, if any of these cards offer 0% APR for purchases, 0% for balance transfers, no balance transfer fees, on signup that would be icing on the cake to add to the descriptions.

Nevermind...

MaxRC said: I have a thought that I want to share with some of the other big spenders out there. I currently charge 20K per month on my credit cards, mainly due to business expenses. Currently I am using a Chase Perfect card because of its no-limit 1% rebate, which has worked out well.

But I am always looking for more.


BoA Power rewards gives 2% Cash Back if you save up 50K points (spend $50K dollars). If you spend 20K per month that should be no problem for you.

Original Poster,

The link you gave for the Citibank Diamond Preferred Rewards card indeed does only give you 5 points per dollar at Gas Stations, supermarkets, and drugstores for the first 12 months of cardmembership. Citibank was very sneaky. The original landing page does not indicate the expiration of the everyday spend after 12 months but if you click on apply and then the link for terms and conditions and scroll down you will indeed see that it mentions the 12 months for Gas stations, supermarkets, and drugstores. ON the other hand, the AT&T Universal Rewards card continues to offer the 5X ThankYou Points for gas stations, supermarkets, and drugstores, for the life of the card. However, as a relatively new AT&T Universal Card cardholder I can say I find the thankyou network less than satisfactory. Out of 3 credit card statements they have only managed to transfer the points to my thankyou account once. Additionally, the thankyou merchant partner points even though they were transferred don't show up in my thankyou network account, and half of my purchases haven't even shown up that were made through the thankyou network. So I much prefer utilizing the Chase Rewards Plus or Cash Plus cards.

Joe1690 said: Original Poster,

The link you gave for the Citibank Diamond Preferred Rewards card indeed does only give you 5 points per dollar at Gas Stations, supermarkets, and drugstores for the first 12 months of cardmembership. Citibank was very sneaky. The original landing page does not indicate the expiration of the everyday spend after 12 months but if you click on apply and then the link for terms and conditions and scroll down you will indeed see that it mentions the 12 months for Gas stations, supermarkets, and drugstores. ON the other hand, the AT&T Universal Rewards card continues to offer the 5X ThankYou Points for gas stations, supermarkets, and drugstores, for the life of the card. However, as a relatively new AT&T Universal Card cardholder I can say I find the thankyou network less than satisfactory. Out of 3 credit card statements they have only managed to transfer the points to my thankyou account once. Additionally, the thankyou merchant partner points even though they were transferred don't show up in my thankyou network account, and half of my purchases haven't even shown up that were made through the thankyou network. So I much prefer utilizing the Chase Rewards Plus or Cash Plus cards.


Have them switch your card, if you can, to the AT&T Universal Cash Rewards Card. No thank you network. 5% Cash Back up to $300/calendar year for gas, groceries, drugstores, 1% for everything else and once your reward totals $50 they send you all your reward dollars. No $50 mulitples. I have this card and have not had any problems with rewards or getting the cash.

Joe1690 said: Original Poster,

The link you gave for the Citibank Diamond Preferred Rewards card indeed does only give you 5 points per dollar at Gas Stations, supermarkets, and drugstores for the first 12 months of cardmembership. Citibank was very sneaky. The original landing page does not indicate the expiration of the everyday spend after 12 months but if you click on apply and then the link for terms and conditions and scroll down you will indeed see that it mentions the 12 months for Gas stations, supermarkets, and drugstores. ON the other hand, the AT&T Universal Rewards card continues to offer the 5X ThankYou Points for gas stations, supermarkets, and drugstores, for the life of the card. However, as a relatively new AT&T Universal Card cardholder I can say I find the thankyou network less than satisfactory. Out of 3 credit card statements they have only managed to transfer the points to my thankyou account once. Additionally, the thankyou merchant partner points even though they were transferred don't show up in my thankyou network account, and half of my purchases haven't even shown up that were made through the thankyou network. So I much prefer utilizing the Chase Rewards Plus or Cash Plus cards.


Thanks so much! I could have sworn that I checked both places when I originally posted the link, and there was no 12 month limit there either. I am glad you checked though. I have since changed my op to reflect this... downgraded the card to and I'll remove it completely in about a week since I am not linking cards with promotional 5% offers. Thanks again

chokaay said: I'd also like to add the Shell Platinum Select Mastercard from Citi (although technically it's not a Cash Back card unless you fill up at Shell). 15% on Shell Gas and 3% back on everything else for the first 60 days. Afterwards it drops to 5% on Shell Gas and 1% on everything else. NO annual limit; gas credits to NEXT MONTHLY STATEMENT (must be used for Shell Gas); includes all Citibank Platinum benefits (except virtual numbers).



How about buying Shell gift card in shell gas station? Does it count as "Shell Gas" purchase?
Thanks.

Called twice now for the Chase Rewards Plus Mastercard, both times the csr I spoke to didnt have all the details that were included on the offering - one thought it was a Rewards Platinum card, the other thought it was a Visa card - and neither of them saw any mention of the 5,000 point bonus. I called the number thats on the printed version of that ad in that other thread, 1-866-347-8534 and gave the offer code XZY.


FFGuru said: Chase Rewards Plus MasterCard (Thanks joe1690)
A new card with an excellent $750 annual reward limit*. That means you can spend up to $15,000 on the Big 3 per year while earning 5%. The $50 signing bonus just sweetens the deal. If all you want is cash rewards, this is probably your best Big 3 card, but you can use points for merchandise and travel too. If you are looking for a broad rewards program, you may consider Citi's Diamond Preffered as well. Chase.com doesn’t mention this card, but you can find application & bonus info on this this FW link.

tucker2 said: Called twice now for the Chase Rewards Plus Mastercard, both times the csr I spoke to didnt have all the details that were included on the offering - one thought it was a Rewards Platinum card, the other thought it was a Visa card - and neither of them saw any mention of the 5,000 point bonus. I called the number thats on the printed version of that ad in that other thread, 1-866-347-8534 and gave the offer code XZY.

Sorry for the difficulties. People seem to have had similar problems with Cash plus. People who were persistent however did succeed. I would just try calling back and trying again. Some people speculate that the offer code is targeted, so you don't want to give out your zip code etc until after the rep has confirmed that you got the $50 code.

I would try posting on the Rewards Plus MC thread.... the one I linked in my OP. See if they have any suggestions or if they are having similar problems. I just got the information from them. Let us all know the outcome.

On the Chase Rewards Plus MC thread,, someone mentioned using the code XZY and it worked. They didn't seem to have any problems. I'd try calling again if I were having any problems.

coolpizza said: chokaay said: I'd also like to add the Shell Platinum Select Mastercard from Citi (although technically it's not a Cash Back card unless you fill up at Shell). 15% on Shell Gas and 3% back on everything else for the first 60 days. Afterwards it drops to 5% on Shell Gas and 1% on everything else. NO annual limit; gas credits to NEXT MONTHLY STATEMENT (must be used for Shell Gas); includes all Citibank Platinum benefits (except virtual numbers).



How about buying Shell gift card in shell gas station? Does it count as "Shell Gas" purchase?
Thanks.


Is the Shell gift card only good for gas? Then you really wouldn't be gaining anything.... but it would probably work.

The grocery store Safeway sells just about every type of gift card you can think of from iTunes to Best Buy. I haven't looked into if they mark up the cards at all, but I have often thought about buying gift cards there for 5% off.

FFGuru said: Is the Shell gift card only good for gas ?Nope, can be used for anything that a Shell station cashier can ring up inside, including repair services.

FFGuru said: I haven't looked into if they mark up the cards at all, but I have often thought about buying gift cards there for 5% off.Buy Shell GCs at Walgreens with Discover Platinum and you get 10% CashBack until 3/31/06 if you pre-enroll in that promotion.

Planning on getting the Chase Rewards MC as soon as I read the confusion has died down (with the telephone reps), or there's an online link.

But my real question is, why do the airline affinity cards still exist? They give only 1 mile/$, have $50-100 annual fee, and have blackout dates (or capacity controls since they're just regular miles). With these 5% cards, spending $5000 gives you a ticket with no blackouts or limited seats, and no annual fee. Am I missing something?

I have always wondered the same thing. Cash is king.

libralibra said: Planning on getting the Chase Rewards MC as soon as I read the confusion has died down (with the telephone reps), or there's an online link.

But my real question is, why do the airline affinity cards still exist? They give only 1 mile/$, have $50-100 annual fee, and have blackout dates (or capacity controls since they're just regular miles). With these 5% cards, spending $5000 gives you a ticket with no blackouts or limited seats, and no annual fee. Am I missing something?
I think that's why many still prefer cash rewards over miles, but lately I'm open to both.

My reasons: great ongoing bonuses like the Delta double miles promotion, business credit (e.g. AMEX Delta Gold) can earn application bonuses aside from personal bonuses already received, miles are not counted as purchase discount on your income taxes. It is the bonuses that draw me back to the card.

tooshy said: miles are not counted as purchase discount on your income taxes.
Purchase discounts (miles, cash, alien bodies) are not taxed and are not reportable to the IRS. Am I missing something?

Cheap said: tooshy said: miles are not counted as purchase discount on your income taxes.
Purchase discounts (miles, cash, alien bodies) are not taxed and are not reportable to the IRS. Am I missing something?
My understanding is cash rewards earned may need to be considered as an expense discount on items deducted for tax purposes. I think the loophole with miles is in the T&C, where it says miles have no cash value.

If you can substantiate otherwise, it would be welcome news to me.

Cheap said: Purchase discounts (miles, cash, alien bodies) are not taxed and are not reportable to the IRS. Am I missing something?
When it comes to personal expenses, that's absolutely correct. Please note, however, that rebates obtained in connection with business expenses for which you are reimbursed in full are almost certainly taxable.

geo123 said: Cheap said: Purchase discounts (miles, cash, alien bodies) are not taxed and are not reportable to the IRS. Am I missing something?
When it comes to personal expenses, that's absolutely correct. Please note, however, that rebates obtained in connection with business expenses for which you are reimbursed in full are almost certainly taxable.
I had this understanding also, except in a recent discussion in this forum, LH2004 pointed out examples where personal expenses if deducted would be affected.

geo123 said: Cheap said: Purchase discounts (miles, cash, alien bodies) are not taxed and are not reportable to the IRS. Am I missing something?
When it comes to personal expenses, that's absolutely correct. Please note, however, that rebates obtained in connection with business expenses for which you are reimbursed in full are almost certainly taxable.
Except with miles correct?

tooshy said: My understanding is cash rewards earned may need to be considered as an expense discount on items deducted for tax purposes.
What's an "expense discount"? As Cheap correctly stated above, cash rebates and rewards obtained in connection with items used for personal consumption are treated as discounts off the purchase price of the item and are not, therefore, reportable to the IRS or taxable to you. Please note that they do reduce your basis in the items to which they apply, which becomes important if you later resell the items at a gain.

geo123 said: tooshy said: My understanding is cash rewards earned may need to be considered as an expense discount on items deducted for tax purposes.
What's an "expense discount"? As Cheap corrected stated above, cash rebates and rewards obtained in connection with items used for personal consumption are treated as discounts off the purchase price of the item and are not, therefore, reportable to the IRS or taxable to you. Please note that they do reduce your basis in the items to which they apply, which becomes important if you later resell the items at a gain.
Maybe that is not the precise language, I meant discount off the purchase price.

Don't try to obfuscate...the gist....grrrr!

tooshy said: I had this understanding also, except in a recent discussion in this forum, LH2004 pointed out examples where personal expenses if deducted would be affected.
I am not sure I understand what you mean by the above sentence. The fact that rebates and rewards obtained in connection with items used for personal consumption are not taxable does not mean that you do not have to pay tax if you sell the item and recognize a taxable gain.

As for the thread, is this the thread you are talking about? What is your question about it?

Edit: Tooshy, let's not discuss this in the thread, since such a discussion is beyond its scope. Instead, please PM me if you have specific questions or just post your question in the eBay thread I posed above.

geo123 said: tooshy said: I had this understanding also, except in a recent discussion in this forum, LH2004 pointed out examples where personal expenses if deducted would be affected.
I am not sure I understand what you mean by the above sentence. The fact that rebates and rewards obtained in connection with items used for personal consumption are not taxable does not mean that you do not have to pay tax if you sell the item and recognize and taxable gain.

As for the thread, is this the thread you are talking about? What is your question about it?
That is not the thread. I wasn't thinking of gain/loss. LH2004's example (if I recall or understand correctly) was an itemized Sch A medical deduction, that would have to show the rebate subtracted from the purchase price of the item being deducted.

edit: No further discussions needed...

tooshy said: I wasn't thinking of gain/loss. LH2004's example (if I recall or understand correctly) was an itemized Sch A medical deduction, that would have to show the rebate subtracted from the purchase price of the item being deducted.
Of course, and this is not confined to the just the value of medical services. If you are deducting any item on your returns, the reward/rebate that you received in connection with the item reduces the deductible value of such item.

Except with miles correct?
Yes, the IRS has announced that it will not attempt to tax frequent flyer miles received from business travel but used for personal travel. The IRS cited as its reason the timing and valuation of the benefit as well as the complexities involved in determining the source of the reward. Please note that this also means that you cannot use your miles as a deductible charitable donation.

Once again, this is ONLY a concern if you are obtaining rewards or rebates in connection with business expenses for which you are reimbursed in full or in connection with any expenses which are otherwise deducted on your tax returns.

Also add the Advanta Platinum Business Rewards Mastercard that provides 5% back on gasoline, office supplies, technology items, and utilities, 1% on everything else. Max $25/month. Watch for merchants that code as general retail (such as Dell), so you need to be selective about using it.
libralibra said: But my real question is, why do the airline affinity cards still exist? They give only 1 mile/$, have $50-100 annual fee, and have blackout dates (or capacity controls since they're just regular miles). With these 5% cards, spending $5000 gives you a ticket with no blackouts or limited seats, and no annual fee. Am I missing something?Not everybody travels only domestically. Priced a flight to Europe or India in high season? In that case, miles are king, if you can use them. Or you can nearly always spend twice the miles to fly on the last available seat. Ever have to go to a funeral last minute? Its often 5 times the price, but only twice the miles. Or flying business or first class. Lots of reasons for miles over cash.

With tiered rebates, bonus rebates, etc., there may not be an easy way to determine the proper "discount" for a specific item. I say forget about it.

nm

Morty said: Also add the Advanta Platinum Business Rewards Mastercard that provides 5% back on gasoline, office supplies, technology items, and utilities, 1% on everything else. Max $25/month. Watch for merchants that code as general retail (such as Dell), so you need to be selective about using it.
libralibra said: But my real question is, why do the airline affinity cards still exist? They give only 1 mile/$, have $50-100 annual fee, and have blackout dates (or capacity controls since they're just regular miles). With these 5% cards, spending $5000 gives you a ticket with no blackouts or limited seats, and no annual fee. Am I missing something?Not everybody travels only domestically. Priced a flight to Europe or India in high season? In that case, miles are king, if you can use them. Or you can nearly always spend twice the miles to fly on the last available seat. Ever have to go to a funeral last minute? Its often 5 times the price, but only twice the miles. Or flying business or first class. Lots of reasons for miles over cash.
Great post....too bad I can't vote. One question...based on the T&C of Advanta's Business card program, is there a clause that discourages personal use of a business card. As to whether you choose to do that and comingle personal w/business, that's another matter...

Great point about using miles for last minute flight bookings!!

c3 said: With tiered rebates, bonus rebates, etc., there may not be an easy way to determine the proper "discount" for a specific item. I say forget about it.I thought about that....whether the IRS will buy that as a reason I don't think so. My guess, if audited, is there could be a flat 1% accross the board determination for non miles cards deductible expenses. Those that earned only miles would probably be excused.

Original poster,

While I recently pointed out to you that the Citibank Diamond Preferred Card only offered 5X points at Gas Stations, supermarkets, and drugstores, and appreciate you removing the card from your list could you kindly add the corresponding AT&T version called the AT&T Universal Rewards card which offers you 5X thankyou points at Gas Stations, Supermarkets, Drugstores, and on AT&T purchases for the life of the card in addition to some calling benefits each month. This card was exactly the same as the Diamond Preferred until they changed the Diamond Preferred to 12 months for 5X spend from lifetime. Although not a great card it does have potential due to the airline tickets and thankyou network merchants access where you can earn up to 40 points per dollar spent with select retailers by clicking on the corresponding link.

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