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Trying to decide on a better credit card

Ancalagon
Established Member

Trying to decide on a better credit card

Currently I'm using a credit union issued Visa with not stellar rewards, but it does however have great APR, credit limit $5,000.  Visa Platinum Rewards.  It's not doing much for me though so I'm looking to branch out, most likely to American Express Blue Cash Preferred or Everyday.  I pay my balance in full each month on my current card.

 

I have 10k in student loans that aren't due until 2013, and I just got approved for a car loan by my credit union for $10k.  I'm downsizing from my paid-off Accord to a Civic that gets better mileage, so the loan is just working capital to buy the Civic until I sell the Accord.

 

My Experian score is 784, which I'm pretty happy with at 24.  I'm not opposed to a credit card with annual fees, but the fees would have to be justified by the rewards and benefits.

 

What should I be looking at and on what timeline?

Message 1 of 29
28 REPLIES 28
flowfaster
Established Contributor

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

I would say a Citi forward, or Chase freedom card would be best for you. I guess it depends on what you spend the most money on? Give us some more info on your spending habits. Like if you shop a lot on amazon get the Citi forward card.
Amex BCP/BC/Zync - Amex Business GR - Barclays NFL Visa Sig 49ers/Arrival - BoA BBR - Cap 1 Quicksilver - Citi Forward/Preferred - Chase Amazon/Freedom/Ink Plus - Discover IT - Fidelity Amex - GECRB Amazon/Walmart - PenFed PRV - Target - USAA Amex - US Bank CASH+/Club Carlson
Message 2 of 29
Ancalagon
Established Member

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

The bulk of my purchasing right now is gas and student loans, but I'm going to be spending ballpark $4k on an engagement ring in the next month or two.  I have $5k in cash right now but I'll likely put the ring on credit and then pay it off right away, especially if it's going to reward me for big spending on a new card.

 

I'm not a huge spender in general, mostly restaurant, grocery, and gas, with semi regular tech items from places like Newegg.

Message 3 of 29
shiftomnimega
Regular Contributor

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

If you eat out more than in, then go with the Citi Forward.  If you buy groceries than eat out, then go with Blue Cash Preferred. 


Message 4 of 29
raenys
Frequent Contributor

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

It sounds like the BCP will serve you well with 6% back groceries and 3% gas.

It will have an AF, but if you spend enough in those catagories, you will come out ahead anyway. My gas goson my business Gold, so BCP does not serve me well. I stick with the BCE for 3% groceries.

 

The best dining card for rewards is Citi Forward.

 

Chase Freedom is great for 5% rotating catagories. They catagories change quarterly and you can get a lot of bonus points  (3x, 10x, etc.) with Chase shopping partners. 

 

 

I have all three and use them to maximize my rewards.

Message 5 of 29
Ancalagon
Established Member

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

Based on my Excel analysis, BCP and BCE come out very close when factoring in the AF.  $3,500 gas and $2,000 grocery puts me at a $20 difference in favor of the BCP ($150 v $130).  I spend about $2k in gas a year, the future wife is very similar, but our gas expenses will go down a lot when we're not each driving 60 miles round trip and also when driving a car that averages 32MPG instead of 22MPG.

 

I've considered Chase Freedom, but I'm much more of a "set it and forget it" (thanks, Ronco) type of person when it comes to things like this.  Can I move from BCE to BCP if I monitor my purchasing trends for a year and see that it benefits me, or would that require a new application?

Message 6 of 29
raenys
Frequent Contributor

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

BCP gives 3% at dep't stores.

BCE gives 2% at dep't stores.

 

You may want to factor that in (may or may not be minor to you).

 

 

Message 7 of 29
Ancalagon
Established Member

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card

So BCP for groceries + gas and Citi Forward for the rest.

 

And for when I'm married circa May of next year, I can add the wife to these accounts?

 

I don't see myself as having a problem getting approved for either, and we wouldn't be buying a house until May 2013 at the absolute earliest.

Message 8 of 29
ptr2593
Valued Contributor

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card


@Ancalagon wrote:

So BCP for groceries + gas and Citi Forward for the rest.

 

And for when I'm married circa May of next year, I can add the wife to these accounts?

 

I don't see myself as having a problem getting approved for either, and we wouldn't be buying a house until May 2013 at the absolute earliest.



Depending on what specifically the "rest" is, you might consider a different rewards card.  Perhaps one with specific rewards such as travel rewards.  You can add your girlfriend/fiance now if you want.  You don't have to wait until you get married.

In My Wallet:
AMEX BCE, Citi Forward, Chase Freedom

In My Sockdrawer:
AMEX Clear, Citi Platinum Select, US Bank Platinum, J.Crew
Message 9 of 29
Walt_K
Senior Contributor

Re: Trying to decide on a better credit card


@Ancalagon wrote:

The bulk of my purchasing right now is gas and student loans, but I'm going to be spending ballpark $4k on an engagement ring in the next month or two.  I have $5k in cash right now but I'll likely put the ring on credit and then pay it off right away, especially if it's going to reward me for big spending on a new card.

 

I'm not a huge spender in general, mostly restaurant, grocery, and gas, with semi regular tech items from places like Newegg.



I would consider Chase Sapphire Preferred.  The signup bonus if 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points.  The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.  The $4K for the engagement ring will get you most of the way toward the spend requirement to earn the 50K bonus points.  You can either save those points toward free travel, perhaps for your honeymoon, or you can redeem them for $500 cash.  If you don't like the annual fee, you can convert to a different card next year once it is due. 


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


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Message 10 of 29
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