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Valued Contributor
trumpet-205
Posts: 2,324
Registered: ‎11-11-2010
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Re: Best restaurant card


bribro wrote:

My favorite restaurant card is my Chase Ink Bold, which I use to buy $500 Visa gift cards at Office Depot for 5x points. When you net out the fee ($4.95) you are getting ~4.1% cash back on all purchases, including restaurants. If you instead convert the UR points to say MileagePlus miles, which I often redeem for $.03-$.04/mile, you're looking at 15% "cash back" equivalent value on all purchases.


I got to check my local Office Depot then. $5 fee for $500 Visa GC is indeed a good way to churn UR points.

 

In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi Dividend (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)
Established Contributor
ztnjpv
Posts: 726
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
0

Re: Best restaurant card

[ Edited ]

US Bank Cash + if you can get it. That;'s what I use. 

 

The key here in to also get the gold checking which gives you a 25% bonus on base cash back of 1%. That puts you at 5.25%. THEN, if you figure only redeeming rewards at exactly $100 per redemption, you get that $25 bonus gift card per $100 dollars for a total of $125 cash back.

 

If you work out the hypothetical math of only using the Cash + for restaurants to isolate the true cash back value of restaurants, it would work like this:

 

It would take you just over $1904 spent at restaurants to earn $100 cash back based on 5.25%. $100 divided by $1904 equals .0525. OTOH, if you factor that $25 gift card into the rewards, that $1904 of spending actually gets you $125 back. So $125 divided by $1904 is a whopping 6.565!! Now, if my math is slightly off in terms of conceptualizing the rewards, I apologize. But it's over 6% no matter how you look at it. 

 

You can't beat that. And it's CASH not redemption for gift cards. Moreover, the Forward doesn't always give you 5 cents per 5 points. The redemption offers can be a little weird and less lucrative than 1:1 from what I've heard (unless you have the TY Preferred or Premier as well). And even if you find gift cards that give that 1:1, they may not be that useful. to you. 

 

The advantage that the Citi Forward has is that it's good for fast food and cafes as well while the Cash + separates the full-service places and fast food into two categories. Personally, I don't spend very much at all on fast food and cafes compared to sit down places. I'll spend almost $4000 per year at sit down places while maybe a few hundred at fast food and cafes. BUT, if you want the ultimate ULTIMATE dining card, use both food categories as your 5% categories on the Cash +. Personally I would never do that. Bill pay is easily the most lucrative 5% category....so lucrative in fact that I worry the program will be altered at some point. 


Starting Scores (Sept 2011): All lower-mid 600s. CURRENTLY: TU FICO: 801 (3/28/14), EQ FICO 808 (3/28/14), EX FICO 798 (9/4/13) (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Established Contributor
ztnjpv
Posts: 726
Registered: ‎02-01-2012
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Re: Best restaurant card

[ Edited ]

FutureBillionaire said:

 

"I don't like that you have to choose two categories for food on this card.  I recommend the Forward or the Discover Miles."

 

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

 

Yeah, that can seem like a drawback but it really depends on your personal spending. I'll do a fast food joint maybe once per month. If I have the wife and kids with me, I might drop $12-15. Big deal I say. That's 75 CENTS PER MONTH on $15 for someone with my tastes. Heck, I spend more on tips at restaurants than I do on fast food. :smileyvery-happy:

 

I spend more on Starbucks than fast food but it's still not that much...maybe 2-4 coffees per month. Even at $5 per coffee (high side), that's $10-$20....or 50 cents to a dollar per MONTH. Not a big loss for me. And again, it's TY points with the Forward so it's not as good as cash IMHO in most useful cases. Even with the help of TY Preferred or Premier to get better redemption, the loss of 5% on fast food and cafes isn't that big of deal to me.

 

Now, for someone in the City who might get 2-4 Starbucks per DAY, it might matter more. To each his own. Personally, I carry a Starbucks gift card in my wallet that I buy at stores I get 5% cash back on. That solves that little dilemma. But real sit-down restaurants are where you really make cash back. Nice dinner for two with the wife will cost me $60-100 with the tip. That's more than I'll spend on fast food for a few to many months. And I do that almost every week. Moreover, I take cash from others and pay the bill when we eat out in groups. I just did this last night for $170. I got the money from others and I get cash back on the whole thing. :smileywink:


Starting Scores (Sept 2011): All lower-mid 600s. CURRENTLY: TU FICO: 801 (3/28/14), EQ FICO 808 (3/28/14), EX FICO 798 (9/4/13) (PSECU). Goal: Achieved! Now Maintain!
Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,114
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Best restaurant card


bribro wrote:

My favorite restaurant card is my Chase Ink Bold, which I use to buy $500 Visa gift cards at Office Depot for 5x points. When you net out the fee ($4.95) you are getting ~4.1% cash back on all purchases, including restaurants. If you instead convert the UR points to say MileagePlus miles, which I often redeem for $.03-$.04/mile, you're looking at 15% "cash back" equivalent value on all purchases.


Right, one of my favorite purchases whenever I'm at Office Depot.  Basically, almost 5X UR points on anything.

Valued Contributor
AndySoCal
Posts: 1,895
Registered: ‎04-07-2009
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Re: Best restaurant card

I would suggest Discover open road 2% at Restraunts and Gas.

Equifax My FICO score 815 5/28/2012, 818 on 7/28/2014 . Average of Accounts 12 years and no Installment accounts. MyFICO TU 810 6/26/2012 809 4/21/2013 MyFICO XPN -805. 2/26/2014 Discover TU FICO 813 App free since 9/2011
Valued Contributor
bs6054
Posts: 1,673
Registered: ‎11-11-2012
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Re: Best restaurant card


AndySoCal wrote:

I would suggest Discover open road 2% at Restraunts and Gas.


Why?

Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,114
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Best restaurant card


bs6054 wrote:

AndySoCal wrote:

I would suggest Discover open road 2% at Restraunts and Gas.


Why?


For restaurants that take Discover exlusively?

Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Best restaurant card

In terms of pure value, you could transfer TY points to Hilton at a rate of 1:1.5. Therefore 1,000 TY points will give you 1,500 with Hilton.

 

Combined with an AXON7 at a high-end hotel (Conrad Tokyo or Maldives for example), it could be an incredible value.

 

Currently a 4 night stay later this month runs at $765 per night. 4 nights with an AXON will cost 145,000 points or $3,060. That's a value of 2.1 cpp. The 1.5:1 ratio would give you 3.17 cents per TY point, and then x5 from the foward is almost 16 cents per dollar spent on food.

 

Obviously this is an extreme example, but if you stay in any high-end hilton properties it could be a good deal.

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Valued Contributor
trumpet-205
Posts: 2,324
Registered: ‎11-11-2010
0

Re: Best restaurant card

[ Edited ]

AndySoCal wrote:

I would suggest Discover open road 2% at Restraunts and Gas.


Open Road is not a good card to begin with. It has $250 purchase limit for gas and restaurants, so maximum of $5 cashback per month. Few restaurants take Discover.

 

Plus given how Discover now push for IT card extensively, I'd say Open Road will get axed very soon.

In My Wallet:
Citi Forward (12/2010) | Citi Dividend (05/2011) | Chase Freedom (11/2011) | GECRB/PayPal (05/2012)
Discover it (07/2012) | AMEX BCP (09/2012) | TD/Target REDCard (10/2012) | Chase Ink Classic (11/2012)
BofA BBR (04/2013) | FNBO/Overstock.com (02/2014) | Barclaycard Arrival (04/2014) | FIA/Fidelity AMEX (04/2014)
Valued Contributor
AndySoCal
Posts: 1,895
Registered: ‎04-07-2009
0

Re: Best restaurant card

Its two percent cash back year round. The restraunts I eat at take Discover a few examples are Outback, Olive Garden, Denney's .We will see  about  what Discover does with Open Road  so far no norifications.

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