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the ULTIMATE 2-card combo

spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo


@Aim_High wrote:

Glad to help, @spiritcraft1.  I believe that most of us on My Fico that have qualified for Preferred Rewards elected to do it via Merrill Lynch instead of leaving large deposits to languish in regular banking accounts.  Most banks and credit unions have much lower interest rates on regular checking and savings as compared to even money market accounts.  On the other hand, moving an IRA or some stock or mutual fund investments you don't plan to touch lets you qualify with assets you've already got invested for a better return. 

 

I did move about $20K to banking accounts temporarily as a part of setting up Preferred Rewards and reaping a SUB.  I got one SUB for opening banking accounts, one for opening the Merrill Lynch accounts, and another for opening the Premium Rewards card!  All told, it added up to $1,175.  See this link  for my Premium Rewards approval and data points from July 2020. 

 

Part of my strategy besides lender diversity is to also have diversity in how I can earn rewards.  I don't want to be tied down to MRs, URs, TYs, or even cash but have the option to select alternative earnings.  That's actually part of how I came up with those "two-card combos" for a high earnings rate in different currencies with just a couple of cards.  So while I have the PR/CCR combo, it doesn't get the majority of my spend right now.  (I am spreading my spend right now between cards.) 


Good idea.  I could move some passive investments over from TD.  That would make sense.


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 11 of 18
kerplunk
Frequent Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo

Just logged in to say that I really enjoy reading Aim_High's threads. 

 

My two card combo has been:

1. Navy Federal Flagship Rewards

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited

 

My limit for NFCU is close to $70K, and I use that for almost everything I purchase now. I keep CFU in my wallet as a backup, but it rarely gets used. So, while technically 2 cards, it's really one. I may swap the CFU with Citi Custom Cash... if only I could PC my Double Cash.

Message 12 of 18
spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo


@Aim_High wrote:

Glad to help, @spiritcraft1.  I believe that most of us on My Fico that have qualified for Preferred Rewards elected to do it via Merrill Lynch instead of leaving large deposits to languish in regular banking accounts.  Most banks and credit unions have much lower interest rates on regular checking and savings as compared to even money market accounts.  On the other hand, moving an IRA or some stock or mutual fund investments you don't plan to touch lets you qualify with assets you've already got invested for a better return. 

 

I did move about $20K to banking accounts temporarily as a part of setting up Preferred Rewards and reaping a SUB.  I got one SUB for opening banking accounts, one for opening the Merrill Lynch accounts, and another for opening the Premium Rewards card!  All told, it added up to $1,175.  See this link  for my Premium Rewards approval and data points from July 2020. 

 

Part of my strategy besides lender diversity is to also have diversity in how I can earn rewards.  I don't want to be tied down to MRs, URs, TYs, or even cash but have the option to select alternative earnings.  That's actually part of how I came up with those "two-card combos" for a high earnings rate in different currencies with just a couple of cards.  So while I have the PR/CCR combo, it doesn't get the majority of my spend right now.  (I am spreading my spend right now between cards.) 


I opened both BofA Checking and a Merrill account.  I like your suggestions here.  I will be transferring assets and some funds, the exact mix not yet determined, to achieve the highest rewards status.  Transferring funds to BofA seems to be a challenge but maybe I have to call them?  It requires a debit card with a known PIN.  I have not used a debit / ATM card in at least 5 years... they are all in the sockdrawer safe. Smiley Happy.

 

If I could get my hands on the Premium Rewards card, that would be excellent.  My stats are good aside from being 5/12 but that puts me ahead of the rumored 7/12.  I love the way these BofA cards can grow.

 

So the Premium Rewards points...  are they 1 point to $1c?  How do you redeem yours?  Thanks again.


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 13 of 18
Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo


@spiritcraft1 wrote:


I opened both BofA Checking and a Merrill account.  I like your suggestions here.  I will be transferring assets and some funds, the exact mix not yet determined, to achieve the highest rewards status.  Transferring funds to BofA seems to be a challenge but maybe I have to call them?  It requires a debit card with a known PIN.  I have not used a debit / ATM card in at least 5 years... they are all in the sockdrawer safe. Smiley Happy.

 

If I could get my hands on the Premium Rewards card, that would be excellent.  My stats are good aside from being 5/12 but that puts me ahead of the rumored 7/12.  I love the way these BofA cards can grow.

 

So the Premium Rewards points...  are they 1 point to $1c?  How do you redeem yours?  Thanks again.


Sorry for the delay in response, @spiritcraft1.  I've been traveling this week. 

 

Kind of in-line with my theme of this "Two-Card Combo" thread, I've been targeting building some card combos that work well together so that if I wanted to, I could just simplify and downsize.  But moreover, it gives me flexibility and diversity in rewards opportunities.  Even though I acquired Platinum Honors status and the Premium Rewards card, my Premium Rewards and Cash Rewards cards don't get heavy spending right now.  I've reached BofA's $99.9K total exposure, which seems to be a glass ceiling of sorts for most of us who don't have heavy spending or high investments with them.  So I'm not trying for a CLI.  I like spreading my spend around and I've focused on some of my other cards for various reasons.  My AOD FCU Visa is still slightly out-earning my Premium Rewards card with 3% back on everything, but I like having both cards in case something happens to the other.  What I'm leading up to is that I haven't spend a lot of time redeeming rewards on these cards lately, but I looked up some answers for you.   My plan has been to normally just redeem all these points for cash credit, although there are other ways I've outlined below.

 

Yes, points on both cards are worth 1 point = 1 ccp regardless of which manner you choose to redeem.  

 

Auto Redemption is available on both cards.  The minimum for either is $25, and the rewards are credited to your deposit account.

 

Unlike with some other lenders where you can pool your points, it appears to me that both my Cash Rewards and Premium Rewards points are redeemed separately.   But there was an option (ONLY) on my Premium Rewards card to transfer the points earned.  However it asked for an account number and appeared it wanted another banking account number (not credit card number) so that points could be shared with other household members with separate deposit accounts. 

 

I learned something else.  Bank of America used to require $25 minimum for redemption on the Cash Rewards cards, but they eased that a couple of years ago to "no minimum" for credit card account statement credit or deposit to banking accounts.  Cash Rewards does require a minimum of $25 for a paper check or to redeem to a 529 account.  However, my Premium Rewards card still requires a minimum of 2500 points ($25.00) to redeem for any option.

 

So, rewards from my Cash Rewards card can be redeemed for credit card statement credit, BofA banking account credit or investment account credit, a paper check, or transfer to a 529 account.  

 

Rewards from my Premium Rewards card can also be redeemed in all of the same ways as rewards from my Cash Rewards card.  In addition, Premium Rewards can be redeemed for travel through the travel center, I imagine the same travel portal I would see if I had the Travel Rewards credit card.  (Redemption for flights, hotels, rental cars.)  Also, Premium Rewards points can be redeemed for Gift cards at a wide variety of merchants.  (Gift Cards are at even number denominations mostly starting at $25 and going to $50 or $100 increments.) 

 

Some selected screen shots are below.  As I mentioned, I haven't redeemed a lot of points lately, so this was a good review for me as well. 

 

Customized Cash Rewards redemption page:

 

BofA_CR_Redemption.jpg

 

Premium Rewards card redemption pages:

 

 

BofA_PR_Redemption0.jpg

 

Travel Portal:

 

BofA_PR_Redemption1.jpg

 

Premium Rewards Cash Redemption options:

 

BofA_PR_Redemption2.jpg



Length of Credit > 35 years; Total Credit Limits > $600K
AoOA > 28 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Nov 2021)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 14 of 18
spiritcraft1
Valued Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo


@Aim_High wrote:

@spiritcraft1 wrote:


I opened both BofA Checking and a Merrill account.  I like your suggestions here.  I will be transferring assets and some funds, the exact mix not yet determined, to achieve the highest rewards status.  Transferring funds to BofA seems to be a challenge but maybe I have to call them?  It requires a debit card with a known PIN.  I have not used a debit / ATM card in at least 5 years... they are all in the sockdrawer safe. Smiley Happy.

 

If I could get my hands on the Premium Rewards card, that would be excellent.  My stats are good aside from being 5/12 but that puts me ahead of the rumored 7/12.  I love the way these BofA cards can grow.

 

So the Premium Rewards points...  are they 1 point to $1c?  How do you redeem yours?  Thanks again.


Sorry for the delay in response, @spiritcraft1.  I've been traveling this week. 

 

Kind of in-line with my theme of this "Two-Card Combo" thread, I've been targeting building some card combos that work well together so that if I wanted to, I could just simplify and downsize.  But moreover, it gives me flexibility and diversity in rewards opportunities.  Even though I acquired Platinum Honors status and the Premium Rewards card, my Premium Rewards and Cash Rewards cards don't get heavy spending right now.  I've reached BofA's $99.9K total exposure, which seems to be a glass ceiling of sorts for most of us who don't have heavy spending or high investments with them.  So I'm not trying for a CLI.  I like spreading my spend around and I've focused on some of my other cards for various reasons.  My AOD FCU Visa is still slightly out-earning my Premium Rewards card with 3% back on everything, but I like having both cards in case something happens to the other.  What I'm leading up to is that I haven't spend a lot of time redeeming rewards on these cards lately, but I looked up some answers for you.   My plan has been to normally just redeem all these points for cash credit, although there are other ways I've outlined below.

 

Yes, points on both cards are worth 1 point = 1 ccp regardless of which manner you choose to redeem.  

 

Auto Redemption is available on both cards.  The minimum for either is $25, and the rewards are credited to your deposit account.

 

Unlike with some other lenders where you can pool your points, it appears to me that both my Cash Rewards and Premium Rewards points are redeemed separately.   But there was an option (ONLY) on my Premium Rewards card to transfer the points earned.  However it asked for an account number and appeared it wanted another banking account number (not credit card number) so that points could be shared with other household members with separate deposit accounts. 

 

I learned something else.  Bank of America used to require $25 minimum for redemption on the Cash Rewards cards, but they eased that a couple of years ago to "no minimum" for credit card account statement credit or deposit to banking accounts.  Cash Rewards does require a minimum of $25 for a paper check or to redeem to a 529 account.  However, my Premium Rewards card still requires a minimum of 2500 points ($25.00) to redeem for any option.

 

So, rewards from my Cash Rewards card can be redeemed for credit card statement credit, BofA banking account credit or investment account credit, a paper check, or transfer to a 529 account.  

 

Rewards from my Premium Rewards card can also be redeemed in all of the same ways as rewards from my Cash Rewards card.  In addition, Premium Rewards can be redeemed for travel through the travel center, I imagine the same travel portal I would see if I had the Travel Rewards credit card.  (Redemption for flights, hotels, rental cars.)  Also, Premium Rewards points can be redeemed for Gift cards at a wide variety of merchants.  (Gift Cards are at even number denominations mostly starting at $25 and going to $50 or $100 increments.) 

 

Some selected screen shots are below.  As I mentioned, I haven't redeemed a lot of points lately, so this was a good review for me as well. 

 

Customized Cash Rewards redemption page:

 

BofA_CR_Redemption.jpg

 

Premium Rewards card redemption pages:

 

 

BofA_PR_Redemption0.jpg

 

Travel Portal:

 

BofA_PR_Redemption1.jpg

 

Premium Rewards Cash Redemption options:

 

BofA_PR_Redemption2.jpg


You have gone beyond the call here, thank you so much!  Your info was very helpful.  It seems like redeeming is pretty straight forward.  My typical MO is to let Cashback or points build up until it seems to be time to redeem.  That goes for business and personal.  I have so many 2% cards between the DW and I and both personal and biz that it is something I get around to eventually.  I know it would be best to cash in regularly and I actually do so with "risky lenders" like Amazon Sync.  In short, I don't see anything wrong with the many options BofA provides for redemptions.  Only gift cards would be a pain for instance.

 

I am meeting with a BofA banker at a branch tomorrow AM as I had some issues with setting up "transfers" within the checking account I opened Thursday.  It seems I have to bring some ID in and hopefully I get that taken care of.  If so, I can start transferring assets to Merrill and some cash into BofA to get that status going.  As for the card, I suppose I will have to give it a shot fairly soon because I will have a new AMEX reporting in a month or so and am thinking of calling AOD to see about their card.  I have been a member there for a year and have significant funds there between their Kasasa accounts.  If they tell me to pound sand, it will be quickly onto plan B.  At least they pull EQ where I am 0/12 and 2/24  (one INQ being theirs).

 

Back to BofA, if they reject me being 5/12, then I can just wait 5 months and try again.  I am not desperate because I (we) are earning MR points, Marriott points and CB at a very nice clip.  It would be nice to land the AOD card and a Premium Rewards card but all is certainly not lost if one or both of those fail.  Income, assets and nearly zero DTI should help my case or at least help to counteract (5) 6 month old cards.

 

Thanks again for everything you share within this thread and your answers to me questions, it is greatly appreciated.


|Biz | AU

Rebuilding from a sudden, swift and complete credit disaster in early 2014 | Starting Scores 2017 = High 300's - Low 400's
8-1-18 -
Current F08 -
Current 2,4,5 -
Current F09 -

No PG Biz Credit in Order of Approval - Uline, Quill, Grainger, SupplyWorks, MSC, Amsterdam, Citi Tractor Supply Rev .8k, Amazon Net 55 $5.5k, NewEgg Net 30 10k, Richelieu 2k, Wurth Supply 2k, Global Ind 2k, Sam's Club Store 11.k, Shell Fleet 19.5k, Citi Exxon 2.5k, Dell Biz Revolving $15k
Message 15 of 18
ChargedUp
Senior Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo

AOD Signature Visa and Chase Freedom Flex.

 

The AOD card is extremely versatile with the 3% everything, no FTF and low interest rate if for some reason I did need to carry a balance.

 

CFF adding the 5% top category spend, along with the 5% rotating categories (which could stack here!), Chase offers and paying out in UR's which could also be cashed out 1 for 1 is pretty amazing coming from an actual bank.

AODFCU 3% Visa ($10K), Amex PRG (NPSL), Amex Blue Cash ($27K), Amex Simply Cash+ ($4K), Amex Business Cash ($22.5K), Discover ($29.7K), Cap 1 Union Plus MC ($2750), Chase FU Visa Sig ($12K), Chase F Visa Sig ($8.3K), Chase CSP Visa Sig($6.5K), FCB/Elan Rewards Visa Sig($15K), Buckle ($1.3K), BofA AAA Rewards ($84.5K), Paypal credit ($10K), BBVA Clearpoints ($7.5K), Cap 1 Savor ($13K), PenFed PCR ($5K), Bank of the West CB MC ($3K), PNC Cash Rewards ($14K), NASAFCU Rewards Visa ($20K), BOC/Elan Max Cash MC ($25K), BoA Business Customized Cash Rewards MC ($8k), Chase Amazon Visa ($35K)
Message 16 of 18
kerplunk
Frequent Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo


@ChargedUp wrote:

AOD Signature Visa and Chase Freedom Flex.

 

The AOD card is extremely versatile with the 3% everything, no FTF and low interest rate if for some reason I did need to carry a balance.

 

CFF adding the 5% top category spend, along with the 5% rotating categories (which could stack here!), Chase offers and paying out in UR's which could also be cashed out 1 for 1 is pretty amazing coming from an actual bank.


Biggest issue with AOD is their conservative credit limits. Would you really carry a balance with only $10K TCL?

Message 17 of 18
MrDisco99
Valued Contributor

Re: the ULTIMATE 2-card combo

I'm on team Amex Gold+BBP.  This still forms the core of my rewards strategy.

 

I do stray from time to time when I'm working a SUB or someone is doing a special offer on other cards... like right now I'm doing restaurants on the Freedom Flex because their top category promo means I get 7x points.  And I usually take advantage of quarterly categories on CFF and Affinity... and all my Amazon spend goes on Affinity and gas on the Citi Custom Cash.

 

But if I had to simplify, I could do just the Gold + BBP and be happy.

 


GOALS:
Message 18 of 18
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