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3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

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xenon3030
Established Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

None of them. 3 cards are insufficient to cover a wide range of expenses.

 

I previously had a post on the way to obtain ~5% cashback on almost all expenses, without paying AF. You may find it in this forum.

 

PS: I could get 5% on all expenses, except a few bills after retiring PPK Smiley Sad


Fico8: EX~EQ~TU~810 (12 month goal~840).
BOA (Custom Cash Rewards, Better Cash Rewards, Premium Rewards), Chase (CFF, CSP, Amazon), US Bank (Cash+, Altitude Go,Ralphs), Affinity CR, Discover, Citi (Premier), Amex (BCE, HH), Walmart/Cap1, Barclay View.
Message 11 of 31
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins


@longtimelurker wrote:

Roughly what I was going to say!   MyFico needs to get rid of the x-fecta mania.   It's like FoTM but goes on forever.

 

As @Aim_High says, it depends how well the cards work together, and even the Chase trifecta won't be right for a lot of people.  And if you artificially restrict yourself to three cards, statistically it more likely the cards coming from two or three different vendors will work better for you.

 

Another factor against getting all cards from one issuer is that the issuer may want to limit their exposure with you.  Many frugal spenders are also low income (yes, frugal millionaires are out there but....) and so a limit could soon be reached.


A CSR improves the value of the rewards earned on an Ink Cash. An Amex Gold or Green opens up new bonus categories to a Platinum customer.

 

But you don't get any of that combining something like an EveryDay, Cash Magnet, and Blue Cash Everyday. You just end up with a bunch of mediocre (to an enthusiast with good credit, at least) rewards cards that overlap on category and conflict on currency.

 

Getting decent "fecta" value generally means paying at least one annual fee.

Personal spend: Amex Gold, Amex Schwab Plat., BofA PR+CCR(x2), Costco
Business use: Amex Bus. Plat., BBP, Lowes Amex AU, CFU AU
Perks: Delta Plat., United Explorer, IHG49, Hyatt, "Old SPG"
Mostly SD: Freedom Flex, Freedom, Arrival
Upgrade/Downgrade games: EDP, BCE


Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 12 of 31
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

I'm going to assume that I don't have 250k+ assets at BofA and like the condition says, a three card strategy is being used (no "Here's my patented 12 card strategy to get 5% on everything"):

 

- SoFi MC* for 2% cashback catchall, no international transaction fee

 

(* could really be anything but no international transaction fee is nice)

 

- WF Autograph for 3% dining, travel, transit, streaming, gas, cell phone

 

- Citi Custom Cash for a 5% category (which most of the time will be groceries)

 

I could see running this kind of setup in retirement in a limited income where spend needs to be jammed down fairly low.

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k | AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 15k | Bilt Rewards MC 14k | Capital One Venture X 12k | Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k | AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k | Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL | Amex Rose Gold NPSL | Amex Green NPSL | Citi Premier 8.9k | SoFi MC World Elite 8k | Petal2 VISA 7.8k | PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k | Citi AA Mileup 6.9k | Capital One SavorOne 5.5k | DiscoverIt Cashback 5k | Amazon/Synchrony 5k | Hotels.com 5k | AMEX Delta Blue 3k | Target 800 | Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 13 of 31
Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins


@notmyrealname23 wrote:

I'm going to assume that I don't have 250k+ assets at BofA and like the condition says, a three card strategy is being used (no "Here's my patented 12 card strategy to get 5% on everything"):

 

- SoFi MC* for 2% cashback catchall, no international transaction fee

 

(* could really be anything but no international transaction fee is nice)

 

- WF Autograph for 3% dining, travel, transit, streaming, gas, cell phone

 

- Citi Custom Cash for a 5% category (which most of the time will be groceries)

 

I could see running this kind of setup in retirement in a limited income where spend needs to be jammed down fairly low.


Not a bad lineup @notmyrealname23, although I think SoFi may not be the best 2% card choice. I just saw some adverse posts about it although not personally familiar.  But we both agree on importance of a baseline 2% or better card as the foundation. 

Ironically, I added my Chase Sapphire Reserve in the last few years specifically because I wanted a good travel card in retirement! Lol Smiley Tongue ... instead of downsizing and simplifying.  But I know many people do need to downsize and watch budget in retirement.  

Fortunately, Bank of America "only" needs $100K instead of $250K for Platinum Honors but the no-assets or no-AF presumption for the thread is a fair point! 



Length of Credit > 39 years; Total Credit Limits > $700K
AoOA > 29 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Oct 2022)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 14 of 31
Namaste7
Established Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

For BofA Platinum Honors customers, the UCR and two CCR's are a no brainer. Your minimum CB percentage is 2.625%, groceries and warehouses are 3.5%, and a flexible category is 5.25%. 

~~MMXX~~
Garden Goal$: Financial Independence (FI)
I love five-digit credit card approvals, SP CLIs, and big rewards
Message 15 of 31
cws-21
Frequent Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

I think one of the best no annual fee three card setups for cash back, though not all from the same bank, would include the Affinity Cash Rewards, Citi Custom Cash, and AOD Visa Signature (or a 2% card).

Message 16 of 31
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins


@Aim_High wrote:

@notmyrealname23 wrote:

I'm going to assume that I don't have 250k+ assets at BofA and like the condition says, a three card strategy is being used (no "Here's my patented 12 card strategy to get 5% on everything"):

 

- SoFi MC* for 2% cashback catchall, no international transaction fee

 

(* could really be anything but no international transaction fee is nice)

 

- WF Autograph for 3% dining, travel, transit, streaming, gas, cell phone

 

- Citi Custom Cash for a 5% category (which most of the time will be groceries)

 

I could see running this kind of setup in retirement in a limited income where spend needs to be jammed down fairly low.


Not a bad lineup @notmyrealname23, although I think SoFi may not be the best 2% card choice. I just saw some adverse posts about it although not personally familiar.  But we both agree on importance of a baseline 2% or better card as the foundation. 

Ironically, I added my Chase Sapphire Reserve in the last few years specifically because I wanted a good travel card in retirement! Lol Smiley Tongue ... instead of downsizing and simplifying.  But I know many people do need to downsize and watch budget in retirement.  

Fortunately, Bank of America "only" needs $100K instead of $250K for Platinum Honors but the no-assets or no-AF presumption for the thread is a fair point! 


I have the SoFi card, acquired it because it beats my Fidelity VISA in international transactions (and I spent some time out of the country in 2021). I haven't used it lately because it's dominated by my VentureX but it's been 100% fine overseas and locally. SoFi regularly chips 10 cents worth of points at me when I check my portfolio there or bump up my credit score.

 

The part that usually annoys people is cashback goes into a SoFi account or you lose half of it as a statement credit, but since I use them as a broker it's not really much of a nuisance for me. The SoFi savings account is also a reasonable high yield option (3%) and their checking account isn't terrible (2.5%) with direct deposit. Even without direct deposit it's a 1.2% checking account (which beats many high yield checking accounts). I don't know what other folks beef is with SoFi but I don't have one.

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k | AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 15k | Bilt Rewards MC 14k | Capital One Venture X 12k | Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k | AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k | Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL | Amex Rose Gold NPSL | Amex Green NPSL | Citi Premier 8.9k | SoFi MC World Elite 8k | Petal2 VISA 7.8k | PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k | Citi AA Mileup 6.9k | Capital One SavorOne 5.5k | DiscoverIt Cashback 5k | Amazon/Synchrony 5k | Hotels.com 5k | AMEX Delta Blue 3k | Target 800 | Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 17 of 31
MrDisco99
Valued Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

Why stay with one bank?  Best to diversify.

Message 18 of 31
cws-21
Frequent Contributor

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins


@MrDisco99 wrote:

Why stay with one bank?  Best to diversify.


I agree. Actually, I purposely try to only have one card with an issuer unless a second card will significantly benefit me in some way.

Message 19 of 31
Reithe
Valued Member

Re: 3 card No AF lineup; which bank wins

There's nothing particularly special about a "trifecta" and people who don't spend that much to begin with may not get as much value from juggling multiple credit cards, especially if the issuer doesn't allow pooling of rewards points. For "frugal" spenders, two cards would be fine: a flat-rate card and a card that offers bonus points in their highest spending categories. Wells Fargo Active Cash & Amex Blue Cash Everyday are a solid cash back combo with no AF. 

Current Cards:

Current Banks & Credit Unions:

Message 20 of 31
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