Author Topic: Credit Card Badassity Fail  (Read 26505 times)

Ottoford

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Credit Card Badassity Fail
« on: April 25, 2016, 11:33:37 AM »
I decided to try out some of the credit cards deals.  I already use Chase Freedom as my primary card. That has 1% Cash back all the time and 5% on various categories on a quarterly basis. 

I went for the AMEX blue cash card to get $150 cash back after 90 days, 3% cash back on groceries, 2% on gas and 10% on wireless phone bill.  After the $150 the groceries and wireless are what I will benefit from the most. I went to my local grocery store and of course they do not accept AMEX!!!! (failure #1) The next closest grocery store is 25 minutes away by car.

We happened to be travelling anyway so we went to the grocery store that was further away and used the AMEX to get the 3%.  Today I noticed that if I used my Chase Freedom card I would've gotten 5% cash back since groceries is the category this quarter (failure #2).

My next concern is the wireless bill.  I have 6 lines of AT&T wireless as I have myself, spouse, parents, in-law and hot spot on my plan.  So 10% cash back on that account would be awesome.  I set the AMEX to pay the bill today.  My concern is that since AT&T merged with Direct TV, which we also have, that it will no longer be billed under the wireless category (potential failure #3).  My hope is that it is and I will also get 10% back on my Direct TV. 

I'll keep practicing. 





forummm

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 11:44:11 AM »
Womp womp.

Those rewards things are kind of a pain to deal with. It's a lot like work instead of being free. They make them complicated on purpose so you sign up for their card but don't actually optimize the rewards. Don't feel too bad :)

charis

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 12:11:26 PM »
Look at it this way, your grocery dollars are worth more on the AMEX now anyway because they are going to the $150 bonus.  So don't worry about that 5% on Chase until you reach your min spending requirement on AMEX to get the bonus.  Then start using the Chase at grocery stores and consider cancelling the AMEX after you get the bonus if you aren't going to use it much.

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 01:03:08 PM »
Potential failure #4: the 10% on cell phone bills is only on the first 2000 for just this year.

You didn't mention either of these restrictions in your post - are you aware of them OP?

CindyBS

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 01:12:47 PM »
Can you work the gift card angle?

We won't max out the $2K on the wireless in less than 12 months on its own, but can buy gift cards from the wireless provider.  So we will max out on the regular bills and then buy GC's which will be used for next year's bills.

Also, do you have a grocery store that sells GC's to other places?  One way I'm maxing out the benefit is to buy GC
s to places like Air bnb, netflix, etc. from the grocery store with the Am Ex card. 

That being said, I am currently going through a big PITA about the Air bnb GC - it won't work and it is taking days for Air bnb to straighten it out.  Meanwhile, I can't book the desired place to stay.

These rewards are definitely some work and are not entirely "free".

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 01:53:54 PM »
Can you work the gift card angle?

We won't max out the $2K on the wireless in less than 12 months on its own, but can buy gift cards from the wireless provider.  So we will max out on the regular bills and then buy GC's which will be used for next year's bills.

Also, do you have a grocery store that sells GC's to other places?  One way I'm maxing out the benefit is to buy GC
s to places like Air bnb, netflix, etc. from the grocery store with the Am Ex card. 

That being said, I am currently going through a big PITA about the Air bnb GC - it won't work and it is taking days for Air bnb to straighten it out.  Meanwhile, I can't book the desired place to stay.

These rewards are definitely some work and are not entirely "free".

There's no need to buy gc to pay for bills. Just make a larger payment than normal. Your balance will just go negative, and then will come back up to zero as you use the service.

CindyBS

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 02:40:48 PM »
Can you work the gift card angle?

We won't max out the $2K on the wireless in less than 12 months on its own, but can buy gift cards from the wireless provider.  So we will max out on the regular bills and then buy GC's which will be used for next year's bills.

Also, do you have a grocery store that sells GC's to other places?  One way I'm maxing out the benefit is to buy GC
s to places like Air bnb, netflix, etc. from the grocery store with the Am Ex card. 

That being said, I am currently going through a big PITA about the Air bnb GC - it won't work and it is taking days for Air bnb to straighten it out.  Meanwhile, I can't book the desired place to stay.

These rewards are definitely some work and are not entirely "free".

There's no need to buy gc to pay for bills. Just make a larger payment than normal. Your balance will just go negative, and then will come back up to zero as you use the service.

Good idea for the wireless.

For the other stuff - the 6% cash back on the card is only for grocery stores, so if I over pay something like Netflix, I don't get the cash back.

Also, the grocery store gives $.10 off a gallon of gas for every $50 you spend.  So the $500 Air bnb gc is really equal to $1 off a gallon of gas (about 12 gallon tank) and 6% cash back on the Am Ex card.

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 02:50:42 PM »
Can you work the gift card angle?

We won't max out the $2K on the wireless in less than 12 months on its own, but can buy gift cards from the wireless provider.  So we will max out on the regular bills and then buy GC's which will be used for next year's bills.

Also, do you have a grocery store that sells GC's to other places?  One way I'm maxing out the benefit is to buy GC
s to places like Air bnb, netflix, etc. from the grocery store with the Am Ex card. 

That being said, I am currently going through a big PITA about the Air bnb GC - it won't work and it is taking days for Air bnb to straighten it out.  Meanwhile, I can't book the desired place to stay.

These rewards are definitely some work and are not entirely "free".

There's no need to buy gc to pay for bills. Just make a larger payment than normal. Your balance will just go negative, and then will come back up to zero as you use the service.

Good idea for the wireless.

For the other stuff - the 6% cash back on the card is only for grocery stores, so if I over pay something like Netflix, I don't get the cash back.

Also, the grocery store gives $.10 off a gallon of gas for every $50 you spend.  So the $500 Air bnb gc is really equal to $1 off a gallon of gas (about 12 gallon tank) and 6% cash back on the Am Ex card.

I know that. I was only talking about the wireless service.

stlbrah

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 03:14:08 PM »
Try the travel cards instead. I used to use amex blue and similar but decided I would rather save thousands of dollars than slowly accumulate peanuts

Ottoford

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 06:26:07 AM »
Quote
Potential failure #4: the 10% on cell phone bills is only on the first 2000 for just this year.

You didn't mention either of these restrictions in your post - are you aware of them OP?

I was not aware of the limit on the cell phone bills.  I spend more than $2k per year on cell phones.  Drats...When I signed up for the card it listed the cell phone cash back, but when I received everything in the mail it was no where to be found.  I had to call them to confirm.

Can you work the gift card angle?

We won't max out the $2K on the wireless in less than 12 months on its own, but can buy gift cards from the wireless provider.  So we will max out on the regular bills and then buy GC's which will be used for next year's bills.

Also, do you have a grocery store that sells GC's to other places?  One way I'm maxing out the benefit is to buy GC
s to places like Air bnb, netflix, etc. from the grocery store with the Am Ex card. 

That being said, I am currently going through a big PITA about the Air bnb GC - it won't work and it is taking days for Air bnb to straighten it out.  Meanwhile, I can't book the desired place to stay.

These rewards are definitely some work and are not entirely "free".
I love the idea of going to a grocery store and buying a gift card for something I will ultimately need, then it's like I'm getting 3% (or 5% in Q2 for Chase Freedom) back on other stuff as well.    Although I don't really spend a lot of money elsewhere.  I try to buy household items or gifts for the nieces and nephews from Amazon which is linked to my Chase Freedom and I use my rewards points for purchases.  I should probably actually get the cash back but instead I Birthday/Christmas shop for free.  I was thrilled last year when I got a new seat and rack for my bicycle using my Chase Freedom points on Amazon.  My brother gets me Amazon prime every year for Christmas so that helps as well. 

We did cancel Netflix recently but I would definitely consider getting a gift card at the grocery store to turn it back on IF they had something that I was interested in watching.  We are still under contract with Direct TV and I don't think the SO will give it up because of the football package. 

Try the travel cards instead. I used to use amex blue and similar but decided I would rather save thousands of dollars than slowly accumulate peanuts

I also got a Wyndham card because after the first purchase I'll get 15,000 points which is good for a free nights stay.  I have to make a trip to NC next month and I am hoping for a free stay at the Days Inn.  I am not sure that a travel card will be too beneficial to me now as I do not travel very much.  Extensive travel is a few years down the road when I finally cut the ties with working.  When extensive travel begins I hope to be on my motorcycle and camping.

Inaya

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 11:58:05 AM »
FYI (and sorry if you figured this out already), but I think you also need to manually activate the wireless cash back deal--see attached screenshot. (I also see there's one for cable--not sure if that's specific to me or everyone has it available.)

That said, I feel your pain. AmEx doesn't recognize Ting as a wireless provider. Nor does it recognize WalMart as a grocery store. And salt to the wound, my local grocery store has a terrible gift card selection.

I've got the 6% version, and barely get enough cash back to cover the annual fee. I'll probably downgrade to the regular 3% version once the year is up. Unless I can talk them into waiving the fee?

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2016, 12:10:42 PM »
FYI (and sorry if you figured this out already), but I think you also need to manually activate the wireless cash back deal--see attached screenshot. (I also see there's one for cable--not sure if that's specific to me or everyone has it available.)

That said, I feel your pain. AmEx doesn't recognize Ting as a wireless provider. Nor does it recognize WalMart as a grocery store. And salt to the wound, my local grocery store has a terrible gift card selection.

I've got the 6% version, and barely get enough cash back to cover the annual fee. I'll probably downgrade to the regular 3% version once the year is up. Unless I can talk them into waiving the fee?

There's two different things going on here.

One is that there is a 10% back on cell phone service payment this calendar year as part of a signup bonus. http://www.doctorofcredit.com/blue-cash-everyday-signup-bonus-10-discount-wireless-good-deal/

The other is that there is an Amex offer for cell phones http://www.doctorofcredit.com/amex-offers-10-off-cellular-bill-cablesatellite-bills-30-targeted/

Inaya you are talking about the Amex Offer. The OP is talking about the signup bonus.

Inaya, I wouldn't downgrade. I'd just cancel and then sign up for the regular version and collect another signup bonus.

Inaya

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2016, 01:09:06 PM »
There's two different things going on here.

One is that there is a 10% back on cell phone service payment this calendar year as part of a signup bonus. http://www.doctorofcredit.com/blue-cash-everyday-signup-bonus-10-discount-wireless-good-deal/

The other is that there is an Amex offer for cell phones http://www.doctorofcredit.com/amex-offers-10-off-cellular-bill-cablesatellite-bills-30-targeted/

Inaya you are talking about the Amex Offer. The OP is talking about the signup bonus.

Inaya, I wouldn't downgrade. I'd just cancel and then sign up for the regular version and collect another signup bonus.


Ah, thanks for the clarification. I apologize if I managed to confuse anyone other than myself.

I didn't think I could sign up for the regular version since I had the 6% version. Good to know; thanks for the suggestion!

protostache

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2016, 01:09:44 PM »
All of these rewards schemes are so complicated. I'm trying to convince my wife to switch from our Chase Sapphire Preferred to a card with our bank that both pays 1.75% cash back on everything and would put us into the highest savings tier automatically every month AND it has no annual fee. Not sure why she's so against it, but I'm working on it.

cschx

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2016, 01:46:22 PM »
This is why I prefer the straight up cash back cards like Fidelity Visa, Citi Doublecash etc. Thrifty Mustachian DIY types are probably going to have limited opportunities for spending in the categories anyway, and you can go crazy trying to follow all those rules. I'll take my 2% cash back on all purchases, thanks.

Of course, travel rewards are a better value if you do a lot of traveling (I don't).

mtn

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2016, 01:52:33 PM »
I needed a new credit card, since my current credit card was/is my first and only has a $1000 limit. So I was sifting through all of the different rewards options, and decided that it was too much to figure out. I went with the Chase Freedom (I think the one without the bonus categories and the straight up 1.5%). Makes it easy. When the new Costco card comes out I'll get that one and keep the Freedom as a backup.


Ottoford

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2016, 02:43:41 PM »
FYI (and sorry if you figured this out already), but I think you also need to manually activate the wireless cash back deal--see attached screenshot. (I also see there's one for cable--not sure if that's specific to me or everyone has it available.)

That said, I feel your pain. AmEx doesn't recognize Ting as a wireless provider. Nor does it recognize WalMart as a grocery store. And salt to the wound, my local grocery store has a terrible gift card selection.

I've got the 6% version, and barely get enough cash back to cover the annual fee. I'll probably downgrade to the regular 3% version once the year is up. Unless I can talk them into waiving the fee?

I asked about Walmart as well.  Especially since there is a Super Walmart nearby that has everything.  I just can't take a fee.  I agree with what you are saying on the 6% not covering the annual fee.  That is why I did not go that route.

I needed a new credit card, since my current credit card was/is my first and only has a $1000 limit. So I was sifting through all of the different rewards options, and decided that it was too much to figure out. I went with the Chase Freedom (I think the one without the bonus categories and the straight up 1.5%). Makes it easy. When the new Costco card comes out I'll get that one and keep the Freedom as a backup.



I have Chase Freedom now which is the 1% cash back and 5% on selected categories each quarter.   I think my next card will be the Chase Freedom unlimited which is 1.5% cash back and a $150 signing bonus after I spend $500 in 3 months.  Every time I log on to my Chase account I see the offer.

What I haven't read about is when I should cancel the cards.  Do I cancel when they are no longer of any use to me?  For example, since I can't use the AMEX at my local grocery store and if the wireless doesn't work because AT&T is now bundled with Direct TV do I get my cash sign up bonus and then cancel the card?  Or do I stick it in a draw?  This credit card churning is new to me and I am treating like a hobby to be learned from for the time being. 

I can't wait to get my first AMEX bill to see what happens with the wireless.  That is really the big one for me.


dsmexpat

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2016, 07:12:43 PM »
The 5% groceries offer isn't as useful as it sounds due to the narrow definition of what a grocery store is. That said I am milking the Discover IT hard. 5% rotating categories, 1% on everything and a double cashback bonus at the end of the first year (so 10% back in the rotating categories). Throw in gas station prepaid visas and that's not bad at all. I'm not trying too hard to churn but I always read the credit card mailers I get and the ones that offer a few hundred dollars of points for a minimum spend will generally get an application and then later a cancellation.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2016, 08:14:54 PM »
Lots of interesting/newcomer type comments in this thread!

I'm on my tablet so this'll be shorter than it might otherwise be.

1 You Americans have AMAZING credit card offers!!
2 Grocery store definition seems a tricky one at first, but it's fairly straightforward - grocery stores are grocery stores, anything else will not be coded as one! Walmart and Costco are not primarily about groceries.
3 Lots and lots of people get to fly business class by doing airline card stuff and say it saved them thousands of dollars. I find that slightly disingenuous: if the thing you buy, you would never pay actual money for, you haven't saved that much. You've had a nice experience, but you have to be realistic vs the price of an economy flight. Same with hotel stuff; you might get a $150 hotel room, but if there is an independent small hotel diem the road that has rooms for $75, you've saved the latter. Debatable, sure, but worth thinking about.
4 Don't cancel free cards. Keep them active by putting a small purchase on every so often
5 Chase have really good offers but you can only apply for a few cards in a rolling two year period I believe it is.
6 Check out fatwallet finance forum, and reddit's churning sub - lots of pro info there.
7 Get and keep an AMEX account! They are great if you ever move overseas - you can transfer! Plus they have some great cars and great customer service.

Ottoford

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2016, 06:41:17 AM »
Lots of interesting/newcomer type comments in this thread!

I'm on my tablet so this'll be shorter than it might otherwise be.

1 You Americans have AMAZING credit card offers!!
2 Grocery store definition seems a tricky one at first, but it's fairly straightforward - grocery stores are grocery stores, anything else will not be coded as one! Walmart and Costco are not primarily about groceries.
3 Lots and lots of people get to fly business class by doing airline card stuff and say it saved them thousands of dollars. I find that slightly disingenuous: if the thing you buy, you would never pay actual money for, you haven't saved that much. You've had a nice experience, but you have to be realistic vs the price of an economy flight. Same with hotel stuff; you might get a $150 hotel room, but if there is an independent small hotel diem the road that has rooms for $75, you've saved the latter. Debatable, sure, but worth thinking about.
4 Don't cancel free cards. Keep them active by putting a small purchase on every so often
5 Chase have really good offers but you can only apply for a few cards in a rolling two year period I believe it is.
6 Check out fatwallet finance forum, and reddit's churning sub - lots of pro info there.
7 Get and keep an AMEX account! They are great if you ever move overseas - you can transfer! Plus they have some great cars and great customer service.

I'm a total newcomer to utilizing the advantages of credit cards.  I figured have excellent credit, I may as well use it to my advantage.

I looked this morning and the AT&T wireless/Direct TV payment I made on 4/25 is listed under the category Communications-Cable & Internet Comm with the supplier as AT&T Phone Payment.  I still do not know if this will apply for the 10% cash back that they offer on wireless services.  I look at MCC codes but I don't see anything specific to wireless.  My bill also posted but there is no rewards balance yet.  Perhaps I have to pay the bill first.  With a $298 monthly wireless bill (6 lines and Direct TV) saving $30 per month (even if it maxes out at $2,000 in wireless per year ) is worth it. 

Thanks for all of the insights.

Inaya

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2016, 07:22:54 AM »
The 5% groceries offer isn't as useful as it sounds due to the narrow definition of what a grocery store is. That said I am milking the Discover IT hard. 5% rotating categories, 1% on everything and a double cashback bonus at the end of the first year (so 10% back in the rotating categories). Throw in gas station prepaid visas and that's not bad at all. I'm not trying too hard to churn but I always read the credit card mailers I get and the ones that offer a few hundred dollars of points for a minimum spend will generally get an application and then later a cancellation.

I love my Discover card. 5% (10% after double) on restaurants is nice since apparently I can't NOT eat out this time of year (feel free to punch me now). Also helps that they have no minimum for using your cash back. It really is a myth that it isn't accepted anywhere. In the two years I've had the card, I can only think of one place in Chicago that didn't accept it. I had some issues in San Diego though, so it might be regional?

The Wal-Mart I go to is a grocery store (they call it a Neighborhood Market) that happens to be Wal-Mart branded--but of course it's coded as warehouse. However, the independently owned company I get my meat from at the farmers market is coded as a grocery store? Also, sometimes my Starbucks card refills (which I haven't refilled in almost a year so no punchy!) were coded as groceries, but sometimes not. It's fairly fiddly.

Inaya, I wouldn't downgrade. I'd just cancel and then sign up for the regular version and collect another signup bonus.

Do you think it would be worth it to try to get them to waive the annual fee on the 6%, or just pick up the 3% and not bother with the hassle?

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2016, 08:11:12 AM »
Inaya, I wouldn't downgrade. I'd just cancel and then sign up for the regular version and collect another signup bonus.

Do you think it would be worth it to try to get them to waive the annual fee on the 6%, or just pick up the 3% and not bother with the hassle?

I probably wouldn't bother simply because I'd want another sign up bonus, but that's just my preference.

mtn

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2016, 08:41:09 AM »
The 5% groceries offer isn't as useful as it sounds due to the narrow definition of what a grocery store is. That said I am milking the Discover IT hard. 5% rotating categories, 1% on everything and a double cashback bonus at the end of the first year (so 10% back in the rotating categories). Throw in gas station prepaid visas and that's not bad at all. I'm not trying too hard to churn but I always read the credit card mailers I get and the ones that offer a few hundred dollars of points for a minimum spend will generally get an application and then later a cancellation.

I love my Discover card. 5% (10% after double) on restaurants is nice since apparently I can't NOT eat out this time of year (feel free to punch me now). Also helps that they have no minimum for using your cash back. It really is a myth that it isn't accepted anywhere. In the two years I've had the card, I can only think of one place in Chicago that didn't accept it. I had some issues in San Diego though, so it might be regional?

The Wal-Mart I go to is a grocery store (they call it a Neighborhood Market) that happens to be Wal-Mart branded--but of course it's coded as warehouse. However, the independently owned company I get my meat from at the farmers market is coded as a grocery store? Also, sometimes my Starbucks card refills (which I haven't refilled in almost a year so no punchy!) were coded as groceries, but sometimes not. It's fairly fiddly.



On Discover: Don't take too much stock in it working everywhere in Chicago. Don't forget, it was originally a Sears card, and back in the 80's Sears was still an integral part of Chicago. They had a tower and everything. Since then, it has been spun off but is still headquartered just up the road in Riverwoods.

I'm just hoping that Aldi, Market Fresh, Pete's, Cermak Produce, and Mariano's are classified as grocery stores by Chase. I don't see how they could be classified as anything else, but still...

charis

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2016, 08:54:00 AM »

On Discover: Don't take too much stock in it working everywhere in Chicago. Don't forget, it was originally a Sears card, and back in the 80's Sears was still an integral part of Chicago. They had a tower and everything. Since then, it has been spun off but is still headquartered just up the road in Riverwoods.

I'm just hoping that Aldi, Market Fresh, Pete's, Cermak Produce, and Mariano's are classified as grocery stores by Chase. I don't see how they could be classified as anything else, but still...

I can tell you that I get the bonus for using Chase freedom at Aldi.

Inaya

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2016, 09:00:20 AM »

On Discover: Don't take too much stock in it working everywhere in Chicago. Don't forget, it was originally a Sears card, and back in the 80's Sears was still an integral part of Chicago. They had a tower and everything. Since then, it has been spun off but is still headquartered just up the road in Riverwoods.

I'm just hoping that Aldi, Market Fresh, Pete's, Cermak Produce, and Mariano's are classified as grocery stores by Chase. I don't see how they could be classified as anything else, but still...


It's STILL the Sears Tower--I don't care what anyone says.

mtn

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2016, 09:02:10 AM »

On Discover: Don't take too much stock in it working everywhere in Chicago. Don't forget, it was originally a Sears card, and back in the 80's Sears was still an integral part of Chicago. They had a tower and everything. Since then, it has been spun off but is still headquartered just up the road in Riverwoods.

I'm just hoping that Aldi, Market Fresh, Pete's, Cermak Produce, and Mariano's are classified as grocery stores by Chase. I don't see how they could be classified as anything else, but still...


It's STILL the Sears Tower--I don't care what anyone says.

I work in the loop and walk past it a few times a week. Used to take Metra to Union station, would hear tourists asking *fairly* often how to get to Willis Tower. Every single person I heard give them directions corrected them. Pretty funny.

(And it is still the Sears tower to me too)

dsmexpat

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2016, 12:36:17 PM »
The Discover IT has been accepted everywhere I've been in the US and also has up to $60 cashback whenever I grab groceries at Walmart. While I don't get the full 10% there the ability to turn what is usually just a $10 trip into $70 (and therefore $1.40 cashback) is pretty nice. Sure, it's not much but given time it adds up.

Ottoford

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2016, 07:05:09 AM »
I've never had a Discover Card before.  That may be worth trying out. 

I think the next two I will explore are the Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5% cash back, no rotating categories) and perhaps a Discover card.

I received my first AMEX statement but there is a one month lag on rewards, so I am going to have to wait another 4 weeks to see if my AT&T charge picks up the 10% wireless.  I'm very impatient.  I want my 10% and my $150!!!

My goal for the AMEX is to use it solely for:
1) Wireless - if 10% cash back works
2) Gas - AMEX will give me 2% on gas when I can't go to Cumberland Farms which is $0.10 off per gallon with the Smart Pay App.  The Cumberland Farms Smart Pay App also give you other free in-store goodies.  Some of which I don't need but they are free so I get them.  So far I've gotten many free bottles of water, two chocolate bars, 16 oz OJ, 16 oz Coke, Coke Zero, bag of chips.  I don't drink soda but someone who comes to my house will. 
3) Groceries - 3% cash back with AMEX.  I will only use this when I'm at a store that accepts AMEX and groceries isn't the Chase freedom bonus category.

All of that is a lot for my head to retain as a newcomer to making credit cards work for me.  It's about all I can handle right now.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2016, 07:15:52 AM »
I received my first AMEX statement but there is a one month lag on rewards, so I am going to have to wait another 4 weeks to see if my AT&T charge picks up the 10% wireless.  I'm very impatient.  I want my 10% and my $150!!!

Oh yeah this drives me nuts. They sometimes have other deals (for instance they had a spend X get Y back deal at Newegg over the holidays last year), and it seems like those take ages to show up. I also hate how they don't break down your cash back according to how it was earned. I always heard how awesome AmEx is, but I'm not really seeing it. It's not a bad card, but I don't love it either.

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2016, 07:28:28 AM »
I received my first AMEX statement but there is a one month lag on rewards, so I am going to have to wait another 4 weeks to see if my AT&T charge picks up the 10% wireless.  I'm very impatient.  I want my 10% and my $150!!!

Oh yeah this drives me nuts. They sometimes have other deals (for instance they had a spend X get Y back deal at Newegg over the holidays last year), and it seems like those take ages to show up. I also hate how they don't break down your cash back according to how it was earned. I always heard how awesome AmEx is, but I'm not really seeing it. It's not a bad card, but I don't love it either.

Stack up on those Amex offers and you'll see how it can be really good.

I have added myself as an authorized user on my first party Amex cards (ridiculous, I know, but they haven't batted an eye) so I can get more Amex offers.
I also have several third party Amex cards.

In total, I have 9 Amex cards. When an Amex offer comes out on Twitter, I can add it to all of them.

Suppose an Amex offer came out for $10/$50 at Office Depot on Twitter. Now I don't normally buy stuff from Office Depot, but that's okay. They sell gift cards.
So I'll go there and buy a bunch of gift cards (Chipotle, Amazon, or eBay (I don't remember if Office Depot in particular has eBay gc's but that's not really the point here)). The eBay gc's I use for my gift card arbitrage business (wait for sales on eBay of other gift cards, buy those, and sell for profit).

If you have a significant other, you can have him/her add you as an AU, and vice versa, to increase the number of Amex cards you have.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2016, 07:01:30 AM »
I received my first AMEX statement but there is a one month lag on rewards, so I am going to have to wait another 4 weeks to see if my AT&T charge picks up the 10% wireless.  I'm very impatient.  I want my 10% and my $150!!!

Oh yeah this drives me nuts. They sometimes have other deals (for instance they had a spend X get Y back deal at Newegg over the holidays last year), and it seems like those take ages to show up. I also hate how they don't break down your cash back according to how it was earned. I always heard how awesome AmEx is, but I'm not really seeing it. It's not a bad card, but I don't love it either.

Stack up on those Amex offers and you'll see how it can be really good.

I have added myself as an authorized user on my first party Amex cards (ridiculous, I know, but they haven't batted an eye) so I can get more Amex offers.
I also have several third party Amex cards.

In total, I have 9 Amex cards. When an Amex offer comes out on Twitter, I can add it to all of them.

Suppose an Amex offer came out for $10/$50 at Office Depot on Twitter. Now I don't normally buy stuff from Office Depot, but that's okay. They sell gift cards.
So I'll go there and buy a bunch of gift cards (Chipotle, Amazon, or eBay (I don't remember if Office Depot in particular has eBay gc's but that's not really the point here)). The eBay gc's I use for my gift card arbitrage business (wait for sales on eBay of other gift cards, buy those, and sell for profit).

If you have a significant other, you can have him/her add you as an AU, and vice versa, to increase the number of Amex cards you have.

I had to Google "gift card arbitrage business: - Now I have something new to read about. 

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2016, 07:39:18 AM »
I received my first AMEX statement but there is a one month lag on rewards, so I am going to have to wait another 4 weeks to see if my AT&T charge picks up the 10% wireless.  I'm very impatient.  I want my 10% and my $150!!!

Oh yeah this drives me nuts. They sometimes have other deals (for instance they had a spend X get Y back deal at Newegg over the holidays last year), and it seems like those take ages to show up. I also hate how they don't break down your cash back according to how it was earned. I always heard how awesome AmEx is, but I'm not really seeing it. It's not a bad card, but I don't love it either.

Stack up on those Amex offers and you'll see how it can be really good.

I have added myself as an authorized user on my first party Amex cards (ridiculous, I know, but they haven't batted an eye) so I can get more Amex offers.
I also have several third party Amex cards.

In total, I have 9 Amex cards. When an Amex offer comes out on Twitter, I can add it to all of them.

Suppose an Amex offer came out for $10/$50 at Office Depot on Twitter. Now I don't normally buy stuff from Office Depot, but that's okay. They sell gift cards.
So I'll go there and buy a bunch of gift cards (Chipotle, Amazon, or eBay (I don't remember if Office Depot in particular has eBay gc's but that's not really the point here)). The eBay gc's I use for my gift card arbitrage business (wait for sales on eBay of other gift cards, buy those, and sell for profit).

If you have a significant other, you can have him/her add you as an AU, and vice versa, to increase the number of Amex cards you have.

I had to Google "gift card arbitrage business: - Now I have something new to read about.

http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2016/04/26/the-art-of-gift-card-churning-in-2016/

Ottoford

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2016, 08:04:41 AM »
It worked!!! I just checked my AMEX app and there is a $29.88 credit applied for my cell phone bill!!  I'm a bit bummed that this caps out at $2,000 since my cell phone bills are closer to $3,600 per year, but I will take what I can get.  Plus it's likes getting 10% off my Direct TV which is now bundled with AT&T.  I thought it would appear as rewards points but I will take the direct credit.

After my second cell phone bill is paid on 5/28 I will also get the $150 cash back.  So far I am really enjoying trying to make credit cards work for me.

Ultimately, I need to cut back on cell phone but it is also my primary business phone.  I live in a rural area and need a microcell in the house for my phone to work.  If I start switching things over now I think it will cause me too much anxiety.  Plus, all the parents are on my plan.  I don't want to stress them out.

johnny847

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2016, 08:06:37 AM »
It worked!!! I just checked my AMEX app and there is a $29.88 credit applied for my cell phone bill!!  I'm a bit bummed that this caps out at $2,000 since my cell phone bills are closer to $3,600 per year, but I will take what I can get.  Plus it's likes getting 10% off my Direct TV which is now bundled with AT&T.  I thought it would appear as rewards points but I will take the direct credit.

After my second cell phone bill is paid on 5/28 I will also get the $150 cash back.  So far I am really enjoying trying to make credit cards work for me.

Ultimately, I need to cut back on cell phone but it is also my primary business phone.  I live in a rural area and need a microcell in the house for my phone to work.  If I start switching things over now I think it will cause me too much anxiety.  Plus, all the parents are on my plan.  I don't want to stress them out.

I'd start a separate thread on this and ask for IP Daley's help.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2016, 08:28:52 AM »
FYI--slightly relevant.

The current Freedom card bonus category is Wholesale Clubs and Groceries. I just purchased tires online from Costco with my Freedom card (can't do that in store) and I got the 5% back. Which is pretty awesome since they're a high price item.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2016, 09:28:14 AM »
FYI--slightly relevant.

The current Freedom card bonus category is Wholesale Clubs and Groceries. I just purchased tires online from Costco with my Freedom card (can't do that in store) and I got the 5% back. Which is pretty awesome since they're a high price item.

I didn't realize it was wholesale clubs also.  I need new tires as well.  There is a BJ's with a tire center nearby.

Thanks!

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2016, 02:24:34 PM »
Thanks for the heads up about the cell phone thing on AmEx!  I just applied that one to my card, and went and switched our AT&T auto pay over to that card.  Too bad it only goes through June.  And yeah, I really don't like how it takes a month to see the rewards earned.  I have only had the AmEx for a little while, and was used to my Discover rewards showing up right away.  But I'm getting a lot more back now, so I can't really complain too much.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2016, 03:07:35 PM »
Thanks for the heads up about the cell phone thing on AmEx!  I just applied that one to my card, and went and switched our AT&T auto pay over to that card.  Too bad it only goes through June.  And yeah, I really don't like how it takes a month to see the rewards earned.  I have only had the AmEx for a little while, and was used to my Discover rewards showing up right away.  But I'm getting a lot more back now, so I can't really complain too much.

The Amex offer only goes through June but you can always prepay your AT&T account for more than your bill. It'll just go negative and then other the following months become positive again.

Just remember the Amex offer is only good for the first $300 in payments.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2016, 03:28:37 PM »
Don't forget about stacking rewards with ebates.

For example: I get 5% off Target when I use my Target card.

Then ebates gives 2% off.  Then I buy things I sale at Target.com.  Then free shipping with the Target card.

So, totaled saved/churned is 7% off, then whatever % off of sales price, and cost of gas/time to drive to store.

The best part for me is avoiding having to wander into suburban sprawl hell to walk around banal zombie land with some %% off.

Another way - buy GC at grocery store for places like Kohl's with the 6% cash back AM Ex card, then tie in the ebates deals.  Watch for shipping costs, it may be cheaper to skip the website and just go to the physical store.

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Re: Credit Card Badassity Fail
« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2016, 08:23:24 AM »
Don't forget about stacking rewards with ebates.

For example: I get 5% off Target when I use my Target card.

Then ebates gives 2% off.  Then I buy things I sale at Target.com.  Then free shipping with the Target card.

So, totaled saved/churned is 7% off, then whatever % off of sales price, and cost of gas/time to drive to store.

The best part for me is avoiding having to wander into suburban sprawl hell to walk around banal zombie land with some %% off.

Another way - buy GC at grocery store for places like Kohl's with the 6% cash back AM Ex card, then tie in the ebates deals.  Watch for shipping costs, it may be cheaper to skip the website and just go to the physical store.

I've got a trip coming up that is requiring me to buy a bunch of stuff--I've been going craigslist as much as I can, but that only takes you so far. So I bought some gift cards on cardpool for 16.5% off with my Freedom card. Then I was about $15 away from free shipping, (shipping was $12), so I added $16 worth of stuff that I wanted but figured wasn't worth $16--but at $4, why not?