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Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?

CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?

Hey folks

 

I'm poking around looking for something more than 2%, call me spoiled but the DC may not be cutting it anymore. 

I'm curious if anyone has used cards for this purpose. 

 

Ideas:

-combining Chase Freedom with a US Back Cash+ or BofA Cash rewards to adjust your categories to fill the holes left by the quarterly Freedom

-Alliant Visa Signature at 3% for a year than 2.5% (not my favorite option)

 

 

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES 8
kdm31091
Super Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?

There are ways to get more than 2%, although most involve hoops, requirements, juggling cards, etc. Discover It Miles is 3% on everything but only for one year. BoA Travel/Premium cards can get you 2.62% on everything, but with asset requirements.

 

Consider also that an incremental 0.5% or so on noncategory spending may not be substantial compared to signing up for a card with a $200+ bonus. An extra fraction of a percent takes a long time to add up to $200 for example.

Message 2 of 9
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?

OP you also have the top-of-the-line AMEX MR cards, and CSR for UR. Those AF are substantial.  The rewards points and perks are valuable for travel. Non-category spend on these cards is still contributing to the oodles of points you need for any useful travel redemption. 

How much are you spending on DC vs the Platinum, Gold, and CSR?

 

The reason for this line of questioning; once you step into the world of Platinum and CSR ( especially when you get both ) the AF are a big factor you have bought into. A strictly cash back strategy, on the other hand, does best with no AF to earn out of. 

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
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Message 3 of 9
CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?


@NRB525 wrote:

OP you also have the top-of-the-line AMEX MR cards, and CSR for UR. Those AF are substantial.  The rewards points and perks are valuable for travel. Non-category spend on these cards is still contributing to the oodles of points you need for any useful travel redemption. 

How much are you spending on DC vs the Platinum, Gold, and CSR?

 

The reason for this line of questioning; once you step into the world of Platinum and CSR ( especially when you get both ) the AF are a big factor you have bought into. A strictly cash back strategy, on the other hand, does best with no AF to earn out of. 


Your thinking is exactly where the other side of my mind has been. I've actually been forgoing the DC and just putting no cat spending on the Platinum. I still get value out of the cards maybe you're right, just "keep in the family" as it were.

 

Thanks!

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 4 of 9
CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?


@kdm31091 wrote:

There are ways to get more than 2%, although most involve hoops, requirements, juggling cards, etc. Discover It Miles is 3% on everything but only for one year. BoA Travel/Premium cards can get you 2.62% on everything, but with asset requirements.

 

Consider also that an incremental 0.5% or so on noncategory spending may not be substantial compared to signing up for a card with a $200+ bonus. An extra fraction of a percent takes a long time to add up to $200 for example.


Yea this is why I really don't think I'd open a new account jsut for .5% unless there were other perks/rewards. I agree.

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 5 of 9
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?


@NRB525 wrote:

OP you also have the top-of-the-line AMEX MR cards, and CSR for UR. Those AF are substantial.  The rewards points and perks are valuable for travel. Non-category spend on these cards is still contributing to the oodles of points you need for any useful travel redemption. 

How much are you spending on DC vs the Platinum, Gold, and CSR?

 

The reason for this line of questioning; once you step into the world of Platinum and CSR ( especially when you get both ) the AF are a big factor you have bought into. A strictly cash back strategy, on the other hand, does best with no AF to earn out of. 


Yes.   And with the CSR, the Freedom Unlimited will give you 2.25% "cashback" when used for travel (or 1.5UR).  To go to another extreme, you could get the Citi Premier, earn TYP with DC and use them for 2.5% cashback for travel.

Message 6 of 9
GeorgiaBulldog
Regular Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?

OP, if you are big on cash back, why not open a Schwab Platinum and close your existing Plat (provided you're past the 1 year mark/haven't gotten any retention offers recently if you're past that). Schwab Plat will allow you to deposit MR to a Schwab account at 1.25 cents per point. Throw a Blue Biz Plus in the mix and you've got 2.5% back minimum on general spend (and 5% on restaurants and groceries from your Gold).
Favorite cards: AMEX Schwab Platinum, Gold, Blue Business Plus | BofA BBR | Chase Hyatt | FNBO Travelite, Ducks Unlimited
Message 7 of 9
Citylights18
Established Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?

Citi Premier also is only a $95 dollar AF card that effectively steps up the DC to 2.5%.

 

Rakuten setup for MR has potential in a couple of categories. Shopping is 3% which we all know about however the majority of travel spend goes into booking flights and hotels. They are also offering cash back on restaurants from their app which can be stacked since its through their portal when using the Rakuten VISA. All of this with a no AF card.

 

One could therefore go into Rakuten, click through a Raise shopping portal (x1 MR), buy a hotels.com gift card with Rakuten (x3 MR) and for Raise cashback (x6.5) to pay for a 40% discounted hotel which counts toward earning a hotel reward (1 free per 10 stays). If you were to instead pay with a Chase Sapphire instead of the x4 MR all you would be getting is x1 MR and x1 UR.

Official travel point totals as of 7/17/20 (361,553 Total Points)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 152,226
World of Hyatt 94,737
AMEX Membership Rewards 63,796
AA Advantage 15,244
United MileagePlus 13,316
British Airways Avios 11,332
Citi Thank You 2,850
Hilton Honors 2,157
NASA Platinum Rewards 1883
Marriott Bonvoy 1,350
Jet Blue TrueBlue 885
Southwest Rapid Rewards 762
Expedia Points 740
Delta Sky Miles 175
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100
Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)
Message 8 of 9
CBartowski
Frequent Contributor

Re: Enhanced Cash Back Cards for Catchall purchases?


@GeorgiaBulldog wrote:
OP, if you are big on cash back, why not open a Schwab Platinum and close your existing Plat (provided you're past the 1 year mark/haven't gotten any retention offers recently if you're past that). Schwab Plat will allow you to deposit MR to a Schwab account at 1.25 cents per point. Throw a Blue Biz Plus in the mix and you've got 2.5% back minimum on general spend (and 5% on restaurants and groceries from your Gold).

So that's actually already my plan, I dont have a business of any kind so probably wont be able to get the the BBP. The only reason I have the vanilla Plat now was for the 100k, couldnt pass that up! And honestly I still like the flexible redemptions for UR and MRs for travel, was just searching for a potential better way to do the non cat spend.

 

Thanks!

CARDS:
AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom Flex | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000 -- MB Boundless | $11,900 -- CFU | $3,600

BANKS:
NFCU | USAA | PenFed | Schwab Bank | First Bank | Chase
Message 9 of 9
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