Author Topic: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?  (Read 3920 times)

missundecided

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I have to get some orthodontia done, to the tune of $4,500, with a $2500 deposit. The remaining $2000 will be split into monthly payments. My initial plan was to use a rewards CC at the dentistís, and then reimburse myself with my 2014 AND 2015 limited FSAs (since itís a multi-year expense) and my HSA.

The card I was planning to use was my Barclaycard Arrival, before the annual fee kicks in (Iíd downgrade when that happens) and while itís still 0% APR. In order to take advantage of this, I would pay the down payment before August, but this would only net me $55 cash back (@2.2%), and then only 1.1% on the subsequent payments after the card has been downgraded (total $75 cash back). As you can imagine, Iíve already gotten the $440 bonus award because Iíve had it for nearly a year. Also, once my intro year is up, itís no longer 0% APR but this doesnít concern me much because I will not carry debt month to month. (While itís been on 0%, Iíve been only paying the minimum and squirrelling the difference until that time comes.)

But then I got to thinking. Wouldnít it better for me to get a new card to get a sign-up bonus for the known $2,500 expense? It would be awesome if it was ALSO, like the Barclaycard was, 0% APR for the first year so I can keep the limited FSA/HSA reimbursements in my interest-bearing account (hahahaha), but I think my priority at this point is getting a good bonus. (Having some kind of cashback on spending would be nice too.)

Cards I already have are Chase Freedom and BankAmericard Cash Rewards. I use these for the cash rewards, not travel. According to my credit score that Barclays has provided me, my FICO is in the 770s, as of March.

Based on this, can you think of any cards that might help me optimize this large upcoming expense? I'm definitely not interested in hotel rewards, for what it's worth. Chase Sapphire has come up a lot in my searches, but I don't know if the fact I already have a Chase account makes a difference.

Would love to hear your suggestions, and am happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Ohio Teacher

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 04:11:55 PM »
I opened the Chase Ink Bold right before I paid a large expected expense last year.  You get the equivalent of $500 after spending $5000 within 3 months.  It's one of the cards MMM recommends.  If you use it to pay the entire bill, you would almost clear the bonus just like that. 

You open a business card with the name and business name being your name and the ID number being your SS#.  Anyone can be a business: it's called a sole proprietorship.   And you don't really need to have profits or even revenue, just make sure you have something to tell them if they call.  I said I was going to sell things online, which was technically true, though not the reason for getting the card.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 04:13:28 PM by Ohio Teacher »

missundecided

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 07:02:43 PM »
Thanks for the tip! And I do sell stuff on eBay, even though it's basically the equivalent of $3/month. I don't have an eBay storefront though. Based on the info you provided, that shouldn't be a problem?

How does the redemption process work?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 07:16:23 PM by missundecided »

Ohio Teacher

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 07:52:07 PM »
There should not be an issue.  The only difference is that the Ink Bold is underwritten (correct terminology?) by Business Lending instead of the regular consumer credit division.  So, in my case, I did have to speak with a live person before they would approve me.

The redemption will be easy for you.  The Ink Bold uses Ultimate Rewards just like your Freedom, although you will need to use a different user ID for the Bold, separate from and in addition to your personal Chase account(s).

Good news!  The offer is up to 60,000 points ($600) for a limited time.

horsepoor

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 11:27:43 PM »
Chase Sapphire Preferred is $400 bonus for a $3K spend.  Mine just came in the mail today.

Amex Blue Sky is advertised as a travel rewards card with 30,000 miles bonus with a $500 spend.  However, you can redeem for $50 cash for each 6,500 points, or redeem at a slightly better rate for gift cards (e.g. just checked and a $250 Lowe's card is 25,000 points), while the travel rewards are at the best rate ($500 travel for 37,500 points).  It is a 0% introductory rate card; CSP is not.  Just make sure you can use Amex before getting this one.  I've found that many smaller vendors can't accept it.

Jamesqf

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 12:48:28 AM »
FWIW, I just got an ad in the mail for a Barclay card that offers 24 months at 0% interest.  No sign-up bonus, though.

missundecided

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 10:25:07 AM »
I think the AmEx Blue Sky bonus is a targeted offer.

horsepoor

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Re: How to optimize a big upcoming payment using CC sign-up bonus?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 07:53:31 PM »
Hmm, yeah.  I just googled and it gives me a 7,500 point bonus with $1,000 spend.  I think I did get it through a mail offer.