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Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

Valued Contributor

Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

So I did some research, and Chase Freedom and Discover essentially share rotating categories...

 

So would it be a killer if I just used Freedom for everything, as my all around, to accrue rewards as quick as possible, and sock drawer the rest?

BofA Cash Rewards VS - $25k | Citi Double Cash World MC - $18.9k | Amex BCE - $50k | Discover it - $50k | Chase Freedom Unlimited VS- $10k | Barclay Ring $5k |
Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?


smc733 wrote:

So I did some research, and Chase Freedom and Discover essentially share rotating categories...

 

So would it be a killer if I just used Freedom for everything, as my all around, to accrue rewards as quick as possible, and sock drawer the rest?


No it is not.   I have both too, and usually I use my Freedom more than Discover because I will earn extra pts with chase by having the banking accts with them.

Also you need to considerate which Rewards Redemption Option is you like most when you redeem your pts.

In my case, I use my Discover mainly (March ~ May) due to the promo offer and I use my Freedom at places can't use Discover.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's very tough with small income ~ The Rewards are big little helper to me.
Message 2 of 15
New Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

One thing I think is underutilized with Discover is ShopDiscover. It enables you to shop online at nearly every store you would normally want to get in your car and drive to. And it gives 5%-10%-15%-20%, depending on what store you pick. This is a BONUS  cashback to the normal cashback you get.

Crawl-Garden-Walk-Garden-Fly-Garden
Message 3 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?


chriscowboy wrote:

One thing I think is underutilized with Discover is ShopDiscover. It enables you to shop online at nearly every store you would normally want to get in your car and drive to. And it gives 5%-10%-15%-20%, depending on what store you pick. This is a BONUS  cashback to the normal cashback you get.


Yes, I do use that at Wal-Mart.com because of their sight to store shipping option.  I do not shop online unless it has Free Shipping and able to return to the store without restocking fees.   If not, it is not worth it for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's very tough with small income ~ The Rewards are big little helper to me.
Message 4 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

I nearly always hit the cap on the rewards categories.  If you do as well, I would use the Discover until you hit the cap for the promo period, then just use Chase for all your purchases until the next quarter.


Starting Score: EQ: 665 - TU: 687
Current Score: EQ: 749 - TU: ---
Goal Score: EQ: 760 - TU: 760


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 5 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

See, the thing is, I might spend $600 max in one month to start, so that's why I'm thinking it might be best to just use the Freedom, which lets me cut checks at $20, as opposed to Discover/Citi which require $50

BofA Cash Rewards VS - $25k | Citi Double Cash World MC - $18.9k | Amex BCE - $50k | Discover it - $50k | Chase Freedom Unlimited VS- $10k | Barclay Ring $5k |
Message 6 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

makes perfect sense to me...

Citi Hilton Reserve 22.3K | Citi Thank You 8.2K | CSP 15.5K | Chase Freedom 10K | Chase BA 15K | Chase United 8.5K | Chase Marriott 5K | Discover IT 9K | Club Carlson 13K | Amex SPG 20K | BofA Cash Rewards 11K | BofA Cash Rewards 50K
Message 7 of 15
New Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

 


smc733 wrote:

So would it be a killer if I just used Freedom for everything, as my all around, to accrue rewards as quick as possible, and sock drawer the rest?


 

At first, no.  However, after 2 or 3 months of disuse of the Discover card, FICO will start lowering your score by a few points...after 6 months of disuse FICO will lower it by a lot (showing a lack of activity on a credit card is a slight, then a moderate, negative).

 

I used to have a Chase Freedom, and I focused on purchases with that single card, and subsequently the above happened to my score.  At first I had no idea why I was losing a few points every month, then eventually 10 to 15 points for a month or two...eventually I pulled a Score Report and the only negative on it was, "lack of usage of credit cards". Charge something small to a different card, FICO goes back up in a month or two.

 

One day last year Chase arbitrarily changed my 3% cash back to a points system, and rejected my requests to change it back.  However, I did get my $250 lbs of flesh ($200 plus $50 bonus) from them before leaving.

 

 

Message 8 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

 


gbreadman wrote:

 


smc733 wrote:

So would it be a killer if I just used Freedom for everything, as my all around, to accrue rewards as quick as possible, and sock drawer the rest?


 

At first, no.  However, after 2 or 3 months of disuse of the Discover card, FICO will start lowering your score by a few points...after 6 months of disuse FICO will lower it by a lot (showing a lack of activity on a credit card is a slight, then a moderate, negative).

 

I used to have a Chase Freedom, and I focused on purchases with that single card, and subsequently the above happened to my score.  At first I had no idea why I was losing a few points every month, then eventually 10 to 15 points for a month or two...eventually I pulled a Score Report and the only negative on it was, "lack of usage of credit cards". Charge something small to a different card, FICO goes back up in a month or two.

 

One day last year Chase arbitrarily changed my 3% cash back to a points system, and rejected my requests to change it back.  However, I did get my $250 lbs of flesh ($200 plus $50 bonus) from them before leaving.

 

 


 

This doesn't sound right. I have not heard of points being lost for not using all of your cards. AFAIK, you need to have activity and it doesn't matter on which card. I can be wrong though.

 

Were you looking at FICO report or FAKO?

Citi Hilton Reserve 22.3K | Citi Thank You 8.2K | CSP 15.5K | Chase Freedom 10K | Chase BA 15K | Chase United 8.5K | Chase Marriott 5K | Discover IT 9K | Club Carlson 13K | Amex SPG 20K | BofA Cash Rewards 11K | BofA Cash Rewards 50K
Message 9 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: Damn 5% Categories... is it bad to just choose one?

 


gbreadman wrote:

 


smc733 wrote:

So would it be a killer if I just used Freedom for everything, as my all around, to accrue rewards as quick as possible, and sock drawer the rest?


 

At first, no.  However, after 2 or 3 months of disuse of the Discover card, FICO will start lowering your score by a few points...after 6 months of disuse FICO will lower it by a lot (showing a lack of activity on a credit card is a slight, then a moderate, negative).

 

I used to have a Chase Freedom, and I focused on purchases with that single card, and subsequently the above happened to my score.  At first I had no idea why I was losing a few points every month, then eventually 10 to 15 points for a month or two...eventually I pulled a Score Report and the only negative on it was, "lack of usage of credit cards". Charge something small to a different card, FICO goes back up in a month or two.

 

One day last year Chase arbitrarily changed my 3% cash back to a points system, and rejected my requests to change it back.  However, I did get my $250 lbs of flesh ($200 plus $50 bonus) from them before leaving.

 

 


 

This is not true.  FICO scores have no memory as far as utilization.  If you let your cards all report a 0 balance for a month, you've already done maximum "damage" if you can even call it that.  Let an account report a $20 balance the next month, and you get your 10 points or however many back immediately.

 

Chase changed their rewards program.  You couldn't switch back, because the old rewards structure no longer existed.  It happened to everybody, and the OP was asking about the current structure, anyway (the 5% in categories the same as Discover's rewards).


Starting Score: EQ: 665 - TU: 687
Current Score: EQ: 749 - TU: ---
Goal Score: EQ: 760 - TU: 760


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 10 of 15