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Juggling Card for Rewards

Valued Member

Juggling Card for Rewards

Out of curiosity, how many here use 4 - 6 cards that are actively used on a monthly basis to maximize rewards? I do, and it's getting annoying - lol. All is PIF before the statement cycles, which means you can't setup auto pay. I have PenFed for gas @ 5%, Navy FCU for dining @ 3%,  Marvel for entertainment @ 3%, AMEX gold for travel @ 3%, Navy FCU - Flagship for everything else at 2%, Discover for the rotating categories @ 5%, and not to mention Amazon- Chase and Synchrony for 5%. Just curious if there are others that are as annoyingly cheap as I am Smiley Happy I'm seriously the only one I know from my crowd... some type of validation that it's perfectly normal is greatly appreciated.

27 REPLIES
Frequent Contributor

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

After juggling 4 cards for 3 months to max rewards, I have come to the conclusion that I just dont spend enough each month to make it worth my while - the few dollars difference isnt worth my time to have to watch cards that closely.  We will use the Amex EDP for groceries and NFCU cash rewards for the rest.

FICO08 7/27/17 EQ-769, TU-767, EX-761
Gardening unit sometime in 2018
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

I am the Emperor of Cheapitude.  I think a number of people in the FICO scoring and General Credit forums have considered crowning me thus for my notorious frugality and bargain hunting.  (including my resistance to paying anything for my credit reports and credit scores.) So you are not entirely alone.

 

You write:

 

"All is PIF before the statement cycles, which means you can't setup auto pay."

 

Any particular reason you are so set on paying cards to zero before the statement cuts?  It's a bear for some (including you it sounds like).  I just set up autopay on everything and then don't worry about how many cards report balances.

 

I think a helpful way to assess the value of cash back cards is to calculate your total monthly spending, and then estimate that you are saving an average of 2% on all of that by fitting each expense to the proper card (vs. using a Citi Doublecash for all expenses, say).  If you spend an average of 3k per month then you are saving $720 a year (tax free).  Decide if that's worth it.

 

If you open 2-3 credit cards per year with amazing promotions, they can usually make you much more than that, so that's another way to go.

 

Also worth examining is the cost of any cards with an annual fee.  I have found that for myself they are never worth it, though I still open them if there a huge signup bonus.

Valued Member

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

It is annoying to monitor the accounts making sure they're PIF before the statement cycles. I keep utilization at around ~2%. The only card that has a balance is the one with Synchrony- Care Credit, which is @ 0% for 2 years. I know people say that your score doesn't get affected just as long as utilization is < 10%, but that doesn't seem to be the case for me. I lose anywhere from 5 - 10 points when utilization is @ 5%, with an aggregate available limit of ~180k. Hence, which is why I try to PIF before the statement cycles... I'll give your way another shot and set up auto pay for the balance...  maybe I need to do carry a reported balance for a few months so the FICO algorithm picks up on my behavior? 

Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

Well, FICO cares about more than just CC utilization.  It cares also about the number of cards reporting a balance.  It a person has 10 cards and all ten report small balances (at a total utilization of 3%) that would likely scores worse than if 9 reported $0 and the remaining card had a much larger balance (total util of 6% say).

 

But I can always bring All my cards to Zero Except One (AZEO) any time I need the extra points, which is why I don't worry about doing it every month.

Valued Member

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

Thank you for this information. I've read what you're telling me somewhere, but it finally clicked. You're right, there were some cards that reported balances of < $5. Big thanks!


CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

Well, FICO cares about more than just CC utilization.  It cares also about the number of cards reporting a balance.  It a person has 10 cards and all ten report small balances (at a total utilization of 3%) that would likely scores worse than if 9 reported $0 and the remaining card had a much larger balance (total util of 6% say).

 

But I can always bring All my cards to Zero Except One (AZEO) any time I need the extra points, which is why I don't worry about doing it every month.



 

Valued Member

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards


sto0pyd wrote:

Thank you for this information. I've read what you're telling me somewhere, but it finally clicked. You're right, there were some cards that reported balances of < $5. Big thanks!


CreditGuyInDixie wrote:

Well, FICO cares about more than just CC utilization.  It cares also about the number of cards reporting a balance.  It a person has 10 cards and all ten report small balances (at a total utilization of 3%) that would likely scores worse than if 9 reported $0 and the remaining card had a much larger balance (total util of 6% say).

 

But I can always bring All my cards to Zero Except One (AZEO) any time I need the extra points, which is why I don't worry about doing it every month.


Dude... you made my night! Thank you! I was really wondering why my FICO dropped by 15 points....

 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards


sto0pyd wrote:

Out of curiosity, how many here use 4 - 6 cards that are actively used on a monthly basis to maximize rewards? I do, and it's getting annoying - lol. All is PIF before the statement cycles, which means you can't setup auto pay. I have PenFed for gas @ 5%, Navy FCU for dining @ 3%,  Marvel for entertainment @ 3%, AMEX gold for travel @ 3%, Navy FCU - Flagship for everything else at 2%, Discover for the rotating categories @ 5%, and not to mention Amazon- Chase and Synchrony for 5%. Just curious if there are others that are as annoyingly cheap as I am Smiley Happy I'm seriously the only one I know from my crowd... some type of validation that it's perfectly normal is greatly appreciated.


I certainly do. 

 

Citi DC-flat rate card (mostly for bills)

BOA-gasoline (when not using Chase Freedom), groceries (when not using Chase Freedom)

Chase Freedom-gas, groceries during 5% quarters

Amazon store card 

Chase Freedom Unlimited-15 months 0%APR- big purchases, also 1.5% cash back, pretty sweet

Discover-gasoline during 5% quarter, holiday shopping

CapOne QS-oldest card, use to keep activity 

 

Yep, I'm in the same boat.


If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. - Benjamin Franklin |Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards|Chase Amazon Visa Rewards|BOA Cash Rewards|Walmart Mastercard|Commence MC| Citi Double Cash| Amazon Prime Store Card|Discover It|Chase Freedom|Chase Freedom Unlimited|Amex BCE|Wells Fargo Cash Wise|Barclays Cashforward
$83,300 total card credit FICO Equifax-803, FICO Transunion-791, FICO Experian-771 , DTI-3.4%
Established Contributor

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

I juggle these cards and PIF each month

 

AmEX - depending on what offers they're running

Discover - based on the 5% cash back Quarterly category 

PendFed Defender and CapOne Quicksilver get used the most, I have the due dates setup on the 1st and 15th so it's easier for me to manage them

Established Contributor

Re: Juggling Card for Rewards

We use Amex BCP for grocery and usually gas  well as soom big ticket items because of thes limit. Disco depends on the quarter or Disco Deals, Also have Citi DC sometimes just to get 2%. We also have a Cap1 QS.  We have a Cap 1 Spark for the biz but will be changing in June/July to either Chase Ink or Amex Simply Cash both do better than C1.