Author Topic: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)  (Read 1822 times)

neo von retorch

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Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« on: December 14, 2016, 04:11:19 PM »
So I just got the letter of doom - Sallie Mae card is being replaced March 1, 2017. No more 5% gas stations, 5% Amazon, 5% groceries.

Now I have an Amex Blue Cash so I get 6% groceries and can start using this for 3% off gas. Looks like next best thing for Amazon is their own Visa at 3%. Anyone have better suggestions?

El Gringo

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 02:54:13 PM »
Ugh, I came here for the same question. Just got the same letter yesterday. I loved that card. I have the Amex Blue Cash Everyday which gives me 3% groceries, but don't pay the fee for the Blue Cash Preferred. I was thinking about getting the rotating 5% cards (Chase and Discover) as well as the U.S. Bank Cash+ (https://www.nerdwallet.com/card-details/card-name/US-Bank-Cash-Rewards-Visa-Platinum?trk=cc_lm), as well as Amazon's at 3%. But I'd only gradually get them, as I can't take that many credit inquiries. Also a pain to juggle between all those cards. That Sallie Mae card was awesome....too good to last.

dandarc

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 02:57:00 PM »
Costco Visa is 4% on gas - of course, you have to be a Costco member.
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ketchup

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 03:07:10 PM »
Dammit, GF and I both have this card.  Haven't gotten letters yet.  Posting to follow...

kpd905

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 05:00:50 PM »
Are you willing to open a few cards a year?  Because if you just make all of your spending go toward a sign up bonus, you'll get somewhere between 20-50% back on all of your spending.
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meerkat

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2016, 06:07:35 AM »
Posting to follow. I'd like to find one good card to replace this one with - it took a while to train my husband on using this one. He still doesn't really "get" the idea behind using credit card rewards so he would only use the Sallie Mae card for groceries and sometimes for gas. I tried telling him that 1% > 0% but he was not convinced to move all of our spending over. If I want him to regularly use a different card I'd like it to be as easy as possible.
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El Gringo

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2016, 10:43:35 AM »
Meerkat - I use the Citi DoubleCash card as my base credit card - it's 2% cash back on all things (and then I used this SallieMae for groceries, gas, and Amazon purchases)

ender

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 02:09:33 PM »
Now I have an Amex Blue Cash so I get 6% groceries and can start using this for 3% off gas. Looks like next best thing for Amazon is their own Visa at 3%. Anyone have better suggestions?

How much do you spend on Amazon? A lot of the Amex cards can give you signup bonuses and airline credits which you can convert to Amazon credit.

Also, the Amazon store card is better if you are looking for the best off Amazon (5%, but can only be used there). It's different than the Amazon Visa - both are separate cards.

adamR18

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2016, 06:12:29 PM »
As a Sam's Club member, it looks like their card will give 5% back on gas. If you are already a member of Sam's, it may be worth it to look into that card.

neo von retorch

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2016, 08:13:07 PM »
I'll have to look up what I spend. Also don't have Prime which is required to get the 5%. Ungh.

SomedayStache

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2016, 09:50:29 AM »
Following

Revelry

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2016, 11:07:44 AM »
I'll have to look up what I spend. Also don't have Prime which is required to get the 5%. Ungh.

US Bank Cash+ has categories for 5% of which you can select two.  They're not very useful categories, but one is "Bookstores" which Amazon codes as.  Capped at $2000 spend per quarter.

That said, I do use multiple cards to maximize rewards and it's not something I recommend (especially with a spouse).  If you have one spend category that dwarfs the others then find a card to maximize that.  Otherwise go with a 2% cashback card (we use the Fidelity Visa and I wish I had 100k to park in Merrill Lynch to upgrade the BofA Travel Rewards to 2.625%). 

therethere

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2016, 11:16:31 AM »
I find the Blue Cash Preferred card is worth the annual fee for us at $300/month in groceries. Utilizing a few Amex Offers a year more than makes up for the annual fee, especially if you have a second card for an authorized user. I only use it for groceries, amex offers, and items I would like an extended warranty for. 2% card for everything else.
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El Gringo

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2016, 10:50:56 AM »
I just discovered this no-annual fee credit card that gives 5% cash back on travel (https://www.penfed.org/travel-rewards-american-express/). You have to become a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union first, which apparently I can qualify for by giving a one-time donation to a military/vet organization. Does anyone have any experience with PenFed? This seems like a sweet deal, particularly because I travel internationally for work and buy the airfare on my own credit card and am later reimbursed

Nords

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2016, 01:21:38 PM »
You have to become a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union first, which apparently I can qualify for by giving a one-time donation to a military/vet organization. Does anyone have any experience with PenFed?
PenFed has some of the worst customer service I've ever experienced. 

They have (or had) great CD rates and great mortgage rates, but then I had problems with redeeming the CDs and horrible problems with refinancing the mortgage.  Another time when I tried to open a CD account as a conservator for my Dad, they insisted that they could only work with a guardian.  Their branch (and his supervisor) had no idea what the difference was between guardians & conservators-- and they didn't care.

Without going into more of the details, I've had bad customer service in three different areas with three completely different groups of people.  If you never need customer service then you'll have no problems.  But if you ever need customer service (because their website isn't working, or an employee doesn't do their job correctly) then you're screwed.

After three strikes I've moved our CDs elsewhere and I'm looking for a different lender.

However the PenFed credit card may be managed by some other company.  (Much like Fidelity's credit card used to be managed by a Bank of America subsidiary.)  If you're pretty confident that you'll never need to do anything with PenFed about your credit card, other than apply for membership, then you should be all right.
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El Gringo

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2016, 01:57:52 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I pretty only planned to use the card for points. But now I'm realizing that it appears that it's not cash back, but rather points. I can't tell, but it seems like it used to be cash back, but then they changed it. I'm not really interested in a points system.

meerkat

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2016, 12:59:52 PM »
Meerkat - I use the Citi DoubleCash card as my base credit card - it's 2% cash back on all things (and then I used this SallieMae for groceries, gas, and Amazon purchases)

Dumb question, but if I opened up another credit card (probably the Citi DoubleCash card) is there a way to automate payments so it's fully paid off regularly? Husband wants a card that will basically function like our debit card does in that money goes into it automatically and he can use it for spending, end of story. Right now I pay our other credit card manually. I imagine the credit card companies don't have a vested interest in making it easy for you to pay off your balance regularly since they make their money off of late fees. Or am I assuming incorrectly? I don't want to just set up automatic payment of a fixed amount since our spending would vary from month to month.
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MonkeyJenga

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2016, 01:34:06 PM »
Meerkat - I use the Citi DoubleCash card as my base credit card - it's 2% cash back on all things (and then I used this SallieMae for groceries, gas, and Amazon purchases)

Dumb question, but if I opened up another credit card (probably the Citi DoubleCash card) is there a way to automate payments so it's fully paid off regularly? Husband wants a card that will basically function like our debit card does in that money goes into it automatically and he can use it for spending, end of story. Right now I pay our other credit card manually. I imagine the credit card companies don't have a vested interest in making it easy for you to pay off your balance regularly since they make their money off of late fees. Or am I assuming incorrectly? I don't want to just set up automatic payment of a fixed amount since our spending would vary from month to month.

Credit card companies want customers who pay their bills regularly. They make a lot of money off of transaction fees charged to retailers. I've never encountered a CC that doesn't have an easy auto-pay setting. You can go online or call them to set it up.
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Nords

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2016, 04:38:58 PM »
Meerkat - I use the Citi DoubleCash card as my base credit card - it's 2% cash back on all things (and then I used this SallieMae for groceries, gas, and Amazon purchases)

Dumb question, but if I opened up another credit card (probably the Citi DoubleCash card) is there a way to automate payments so it's fully paid off regularly? Husband wants a card that will basically function like our debit card does in that money goes into it automatically and he can use it for spending, end of story. Right now I pay our other credit card manually. I imagine the credit card companies don't have a vested interest in making it easy for you to pay off your balance regularly since they make their money off of late fees. Or am I assuming incorrectly? I don't want to just set up automatic payment of a fixed amount since our spending would vary from month to month.
I'm using a Citi Visa (the Costco one) and the Citi website lets you set up the automatic payment of the full amount on the statement.  I'm pretty sure you can even choose the date of the month on which your payment is due and the date on which the payment is deducted from your checking account.

It's full of alert options, too, so you can remind yourself to have enough cash in your checking account before Citi vacuums it out. 

After two years with months of slow travel, I now have all three of our credit cards in auto-payment autopilot.  I used to rigorously review the charges and reconcile the data with Quicken, but now I just scan the statement and then throw away the receipts.  If Amazon ever decided to scam me with random $1.99 Kindle charges then it'd take me months to figure it out. 
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meerkat

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2016, 05:42:01 PM »
Thanks!

If Amazon ever decided to scam me with random $1.99 Kindle charges then it'd take me months to figure it out.

A few years ago I joked that someone could scam us by using our card info for periodic gas fill ups and subs and we'd never notice. Even so, I think joining the forums and doing a case study is what made me realize I had signed up for an Audible subscription a few months prior and hadn't used it at all.
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El Gringo

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2016, 09:32:27 AM »
Dumb question, but if I opened up another credit card (probably the Citi DoubleCash card) is there a way to automate payments so it's fully paid off regularly? Husband wants a card that will basically function like our debit card does in that money goes into it automatically and he can use it for spending, end of story. Right now I pay our other credit card manually. I imagine the credit card companies don't have a vested interest in making it easy for you to pay off your balance regularly since they make their money off of late fees. Or am I assuming incorrectly? I don't want to just set up automatic payment of a fixed amount since our spending would vary from month to month.

I have probably 5 credit cards and all off them - including the Citi DoubleCash are on automatic payments to pay off in full every month. I couldn't imagine manually making sure that they are paid off every month!

(Though, in response to others - I log in to Personal Capital every day, and Mint every few days, and take a look at my recent purchases, which enables me to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

DailyGrindFree

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Re: Credit Card Points (replace Sallie Mae 5% Amazon)
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2017, 08:09:09 AM »
Dumb question, but if I opened up another credit card (probably the Citi DoubleCash card) is there a way to automate payments so it's fully paid off regularly? Husband wants a card that will basically function like our debit card does in that money goes into it automatically and he can use it for spending, end of story. Right now I pay our other credit card manually. I imagine the credit card companies don't have a vested interest in making it easy for you to pay off your balance regularly since they make their money off of late fees. Or am I assuming incorrectly? I don't want to just set up automatic payment of a fixed amount since our spending would vary from month to month.

I have probably 5 credit cards and all off them - including the Citi DoubleCash are on automatic payments to pay off in full every month. I couldn't imagine manually making sure that they are paid off every month!

(Though, in response to others - I log in to Personal Capital every day, and Mint every few days, and take a look at my recent purchases, which enables me to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

Right on. I do the same.
I started getting a few additional cards lately, just for the bonus points. They all are setup on automatic payments to pay off in full every month. I also regularly do check Personal Capital to make sure there aren't any suspicious charges.
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