Author Topic: Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC  (Read 2210 times)

oraclesimo

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Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC
« on: October 12, 2016, 09:34:10 PM »
Hello all. Two things I'm hoping to adjust going forward, wondered if you all could offer suggestions.

EMERGENCY FUND: SO and I have saved a decent rainy day fund into a savings account at our local bank and we are hoping to move it into a better option. I've seen people suggest Ally Bank or a money market account with Vanguard. Would be nice to make a little bit in interest. What do you all use?

CREDIT CARD: After using a cash and envelope budgeting system for a while, we want to switch to the cash-back credit rewards card paired with Mint to track spending. What are some cards you guys use for maximum cash back?

Thank you!


Nothlit

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Re: Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 10:09:40 PM »
I don't personally maintain much of an emergency fund, but if I were going to, I'd probably set up some sort of CD ladder to at least get as much out of the paltry interest rates as I could. Ally has CDs around 1.2% vs. their savings account which is 1%.

As for credit cards, if you want to start simple, I think one of the best plain-old cash back cards you could get right now is the Citi Double Cash card. It has 2% cash back on everything & no annual fee. There are other cards that offer 3% (sometimes more) on certain categories of purchases, but many have annual fees and it can get tedious trying to remember which card to use for which purchases to maximize cash back. If you want to go beyond simple cash back and start chasing bonus offers and other types of credit card rewards, /r/churning on reddit is a good place to browse.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 10:14:51 PM »
The best credit card will depends on what you spend the most on. Here's a great guide, I love nerd wallet: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/top-credit-cards/nerdwallets-best-rewards-credit-cards/

For us, we spend mainly on groceries, gas, and hotels. And we shop a lot at costco and on amazon. So we have 3 cards we divide stuff up between.

American Express Preferred, 6% back on groceries up to $6k per year
Citi Costco Visa-> love this one. Gets us 4% back on gas (up to $7k/yr), and 3% on hotels and flights, and 2% at costco
Amazon Visa-> 3% back on amazon. We only use this on amazon, we put our subscribe and save on it, and the occasional other items we buy through amazon

Anyway, like I said, that's what we do, but your best option will vary depending on how you spend!

Radagast

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Re: Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2016, 12:08:50 AM »
Vanguard's tax-exempt money market fund is yielding 0.7% or more now, which is pretty good if you are in a high tax bracket. Honestly there are lots of options and it probably won't matter all that much. Short term bond funds, high interest savings accounts, series i savings bonds. CD's are good but more hassle. A high interest checking account may be best if you can make the transactions. We use a no interest savings account because my wife doesn't think money exists outside of Wells Fargo.

For most spending by people on this forum probably the best three are the aforementioned Citi 2x cash back, the American Express blue cash preferred 6x groceries 3x gas minus fee, and the Fidelity 2x visa if you want to invest at Fidelity. We have the Blue Cash Preferred and the Fidelity 2x Visa because I wanted cards from two different credit providers. The Citi 2x is also AmEx, which would make it akward if I also had the AmEx Blue Cash preferred and the merchant didn't accept AmEx. So Fidelity 2x Visa it was. Cash back goes to their US stock index fund ( which needs an additional 2500 deposit to open).

oraclesimo

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Re: Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2016, 08:50:46 PM »
Thanks all. Going to pick up that Citi 2x card. Sounds like exactly what we're looking for.

Hotstreak

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Re: Maximize emergency fund and cash-back CC
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 10:24:00 AM »
I use Ally Bank.  It's been easy to park funds there.  I have a LOC at my bank I can draw on immediately, since it would take a few days for the money to transfer from Ally.