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Cash Back Swing Cards

Saeren
Mega Contributor

Re: Cash Back Swing Cards


@Citylights18 wrote:

@Saeren wrote:

@Citylights18 wrote:

@Saeren wrote:

Other than my flat rate cards, I have the BCP for 6% on groceries and in app purchases more than $4, Savor for 3% on dining, Marvel for 3% on video game stores, BBVA for 3% on utilities, Rewards+ for 10 points for each purchase under $4 (this card is great for micro transactions on mobile games), Apple Card for 3% on Apple products, Amazon Store Card for 5% on Amazon, Discover It for 5% on rotating categories, and Target for 5% at Target. 

Of course I have the AOD card now so if that lasts, all of my 3% cards are no longer necessary. 

You can quickly run into rewards being diluted if you get a bunch of cards with minimum redemption thresholds but the only cards I have that has that issue are my BCP and Rewards+ since BBVA I could technically just make a small purchase and erase it with points so it isn't a big deal. 

Obviously this hinges on keeping track of which card to use for what but the WalletFlo website tracks all of that for me. It's not perfect (Rewards+ isn't my best grocery card, that's BCP, and BBVA only has one 3% category but they haven't implemented a way to designate that yet) but the cheat sheet is still handy. 


I have WalletFlo too and what I figured out how to do is load all the cards on there like I had them to see how they'd compare. The Freedom Unlimited they are giving me a value of 2.59% on everyday purchases. With a Double Cash it might beat that number. From the looks of that number you have with Groceries on the Rewards+ it would be 3.24%.

 

But yes if you go with too many cards than its $10 cash back in each annually. Rewards+ is interesting because I'll do a lot of small purchases at the laundrymat, 7-11 purchases ect. The sign up bonus is not that bad either 15,000 points (from the WalletFlo tool worth $243 dollars). Oh wait you can't transfer with the Rewards+ but at $150 that is still a repectable bonus and then you're getting 2-3 at gas/groceries. Of course I could always try for a Citi Prestige down th road and maximize Rewards+ points.

 

US Bank Cash+ I've been looking at has the 5x in fast food but they mean chains and not food trucks and local places. In some markets fast food is your restaurants. Utilities for me is just my electric bill. Car insurance falls under bills and utiities with Chase but I don't think so with US Bank. I may be shut out with them from what I'm reading with 10/24 inquires on Experian.

 

The ultimate might be Affinity FCU Cash Rewards where w/ rotators they are giving you an annualized 7.5% Amazon, 3% Restaurant, Gas and Grocery. Thats like an Amazon Store Card and NFCU More Rewards combined into one. 


Yeah I wish you could set specific cash back rates and categories on WalletFlo but I keep track of most of it in my head anyway. 

Cash+ is my goal card but outside of the $140 internet bill, it won't get regular use (my cell was going to go on there but I'm paying off my phone which will drop my bill to $15). Electronic stores includes Newegg and I do plan to build a new computer this year so I will probably max out or come close to maxing out the $2K for that quarter.

 

I probably would be better served by the Affinity card but I have done too much with CUs these past few months. I'll think about it when I leave the garden in October if it's still around. 


The flaw I see is the Affinity card is while its a direct replacement of the Amazon 5% discount its not a direct replacemet of the Amazon store and cc cards 0% financing offers.

 

Also that SUB of $200 on $3000 spend is one of the very worst ratios I've ever seen, especially in this economy where people aren't spending at the same rate as before. Many cards are giving you $200 for $1000, even if that requirement was $1500 it wouldn't be so bad.


Yeah the lack of deferred interest options is obviously a thing but you can always use the Affinity card for PIF and keep a Synchrony or Chase Amazon around for financing. I have had my Amazon Store Card since 12/2018 and haven't used it for anything but the 5% so far. When I build that new computer I may use it so I can get a better video card. 

The $3K spend target is a bit much for me. Would suck to throw away $200 so I would find some way to pull it off but yeah, I don't like that requirement either. 





Message 21 of 26
kdm31091
Super Contributor

Re: Cash Back Swing Cards

3k in 3 months is not the easiest requirement but it's certainly not outrageous. 1k a month is probably doable for many if they use it as their main card. Again, another problem with trying to use so many cards, it makes it harder to hit those thresholds. If you are going to use the card so lightly that 1k a month is an issue, you may not stand to get much in rewards out of the card anyway.

 

If your spend is regularly so low that 1k a month is considered an onerous requirement you would probably do better to only use a couple cards at least IMO.  If you're left with putting $50 a month on 20 different cards you are not ending up with much and in a way it's defeating the purpose of having the rewards cards, since you can rarely redeem much of anything (especially on cards with thresholds).

Message 22 of 26
Citylights18
Established Contributor

Re: Cash Back Swing Cards

The new Citi Premier card is offering 3x groceries and 3x gas starting August 22rd. If you value Citi points at 1.7 then it might be better overall than trying to carry a BCP since they have the same AF.

 

5x Afinity FCU CR Rotator (up to 7%-10%)

5x Freedom Categories (6.25%)

3x Citi Premier Groceries (5.1%)

3x Citi Premier Gas (5.1%)

5x Discover Rotating (5%)

5x US Bank Utilities (5%)

3x USB Altitude Reserve Mobile Wallet (4.5%)

10x Citi Rewards+ Small Purchases (3%)

2x CSP Dining/Travel (2.5%)

1.5x CFU non-cat spend (1.9%)

 

The only thing is it starts to get tough to ensure you'll get something out of all your travel cards when you're carrying 3 of them. I've used the CSP to book third party hotel bookings, with discounted rates and earning miles. Citi Premier will give you $100 dollar credit against a $500 stay on the Thank You travel portal but that dilutes the potential rewards from third parties. Are you better off taking a lower earning rate for gas and groceries when its not covered by the rotators, save the AF but have something very effective for earning points over in app purchases but take a travel earning redemption off the table?

Official travel point totals as of 1/21/20 (402,672 Total Points)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 147,239
World of Hyatt 92,558
Southwest Rapid Rewards 61,000
AMEX Membership Rewards 53,751
AA Advantage 15,244
United MileagePlus 13,316
British Airways Avios 11,332
Hilton Honors 2,081
NASA Platinum Rewards 1883
Citi Thank You 1,670
Marriott Bonvoy 1,350
Expedia Points 740
Jet Blue TrueBlue 285
Delta Sky Miles 123
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100
Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)
Message 23 of 26
kdm31091
Super Contributor

Re: Cash Back Swing Cards

At some point maximizing every purchase and trying to get enough points to actually get anything in one system (especially travel) become mutually exclusive. You cannot really maximize every purchase on each system and get enough to reasonably achieve anything unless you are really spending a ton every month.

 

If we're talking about cash back these issues are a bit less magnified, but still can run into issues with minimum redemption etc. But it sounds like you know what you're doing and you just have to decide which points you want to go after and if you're okay with it taking a long time to reach anything (which IMO if you're spreading among 3 systems, it could take a long time).  The whole purpose of rewards is to actually get something out of it, and I think sometimes it's self defeating trying to maximize each purchase.

Message 24 of 26
Kforce
Valued Contributor

Re: Cash Back Swing Cards

 


@kdm31091 wrote:

At some point maximizing every purchase and trying to get enough points to actually get anything in one system (especially travel) become mutually exclusive. You cannot really maximize every purchase on each system and get enough to reasonably achieve anything unless you are really spending a ton every month.

 

If we're talking about cash back these issues are a bit less magnified, but still can run into issues with minimum redemption etc. But it sounds like you know what you're doing and you just have to decide which points you want to go after and if you're okay with it taking a long time to reach anything (which IMO if you're spreading among 3 systems, it could take a long time).  The whole purpose of rewards is to actually get something out of it, and I think sometimes it's self defeating trying to maximize each purchase.


+100
I am currently only using two cashback cards.

The 3% USAlliance and the 5% USBank Cash+

For the last two months I have averaged $125 rewards on the USAliance and $25 on the Cash+.

$150 a month, every month, no waiting 9 months, or saving points for some future great deal.

Just monthly money in the bank with no large credit sitting in a creditors database too be lost or devalued.

If I believed the USAlliance was here for good, I would get rid of all but 3 cards

I love the simplicity, and monthly satisfaction, of only a couple or three cards.

FNBO Cashback Visa (20k) / Bank-West Cashback MC (20k) / USAlliance 3% Visa (20k)
Two Old CU cards (20k each) -- (Sock Drawer) / Secret 3% MC (20k)
Ficos : 830 / AAoA : 9 yrs / AoOA : 24 Yrs / AoYA : 0
Message 25 of 26
Citylights18
Established Contributor

Re: Cash Back Swing Cards

The point earning systems to me are superior than cash back.

 

With the Chase-Hyatt relationship for 1 chase point I can get 3 on an economy Hyatt hotel since when you reedem not only are you not paying for the hotel you don't have to pay the resort fee either. So 5,000 Chase points for a $125 Hyatt house hotel nets about a 3 to 1 value. For luxury Chase hotels that value can go as high as 4.7 quite easily.

 

Then that 1.5% points back you're getting on the Freedom becomes 4.5% to 7% over in Hyatt. When I'm hitting those 5x bonuses on the Freedom or Lyft ride sharing its the equivalent of 15% to 23.5% in Hyatt. For someone who spends more on hotels than what they do for food I don't think much of concern about having to wait to redeem.

Official travel point totals as of 1/21/20 (402,672 Total Points)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 147,239
World of Hyatt 92,558
Southwest Rapid Rewards 61,000
AMEX Membership Rewards 53,751
AA Advantage 15,244
United MileagePlus 13,316
British Airways Avios 11,332
Hilton Honors 2,081
NASA Platinum Rewards 1883
Citi Thank You 1,670
Marriott Bonvoy 1,350
Expedia Points 740
Jet Blue TrueBlue 285
Delta Sky Miles 123
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100
Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)
Message 26 of 26
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