Author Topic: Should I get this rewards card?  (Read 7109 times)

milla

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Should I get this rewards card?
« on: May 20, 2014, 04:19:09 PM »
I just got an offer in the mail for a Wells Fargo Home Rebate Card. Essentially they apply my rewards to the principal on my mortgage.
I currently use rewards cards, mostly Chase Freedom, which we cash in and save and Costco Amex, which pays for our membership. Mortgage principal isn't something that we care much about right now although we will later on. There's a "bonus" of $100 if I spend $1000 in 3 months.. which I think I can do. We don't usually spend much. My husband did just sign up for a Capital One with rewards for the signing bonus so we have to spend $500 on that one, too.

Does anyone have this card? Is cash better than mortgage principal reduction? Help me decide.

Emilyngh

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 04:58:17 PM »
I just got an offer in the mail for a Wells Fargo Home Rebate Card. Essentially they apply my rewards to the principal on my mortgage.
I currently use rewards cards, mostly Chase Freedom, which we cash in and save and Costco Amex, which pays for our membership. Mortgage principal isn't something that we care much about right now although we will later on. There's a "bonus" of $100 if I spend $1000 in 3 months.. which I think I can do. We don't usually spend much. My husband did just sign up for a Capital One with rewards for the signing bonus so we have to spend $500 on that one, too.

Does anyone have this card? Is cash better than mortgage principal reduction? Help me decide.

What is the reward percent?   Unless it's much higher than you'd get with a cash card, or you were planning on paying down your mortgage anyway (which it sounds like you're not), I wouldn't.

TomTX

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 07:19:32 PM »
Not unless it's more than 2% back....

milla

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 10:22:40 PM »
Upon closer examination it's 5% for the first six months only. After that it's 2% which isn't as sexy... I think I'm gonna skip it. We do plan on paying down principal but not until we've hit other milestones in our savings.

wtjbatman

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 10:55:47 PM »
Upon closer examination it's 5% for the first six months only. After that it's 2% which isn't as sexy... I think I'm gonna skip it. We do plan on paying down principal but not until we've hit other milestones in our savings.

That actually seems really sweet. You can't really find a CC that offers a guaranteed reward greater than 2%, unless it's in a specific category (say, groceries) that usually expires after a few months.

For instance I use a Fidelity Investment Rewards card because it's 2% on any purchase, and it's considered one of the better cash back cards. Although, if you have other debts you are trying to pay down... try something like my Fidelity card. You can transfer the cash deposits back out of your Fidelity account and into your bank account easy enough.

milla

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 11:28:29 PM »
I don't have other debts, I'm gonna check out that Fidelity card. Thanks.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2014, 02:11:51 PM »
I always evaluate based on the % cash back versus the annual fee.  Personally, since I'm single, not a big spender, and run a lot of my expenses through "Target Red Card" (immediate 5% discount), I will not agree to any annual fee (everyone's situation is different).

Personally I like Capital One Quicksilver which is a seamless 1.5% cash back with no annual fee, no minimum distribution (doesn't have to be $20 or $50 increments...), basically no bs.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 02:15:17 PM »
Upon closer examination it's 5% for the first six months only. After that it's 2% which isn't as sexy... I think I'm gonna skip it. We do plan on paying down principal but not until we've hit other milestones in our savings.

That actually seems really sweet. You can't really find a CC that offers a guaranteed reward greater than 2%, unless it's in a specific category (say, groceries) that usually expires after a few months.

For instance I use a Fidelity Investment Rewards card because it's 2% on any purchase, and it's considered one of the better cash back cards. Although, if you have other debts you are trying to pay down... try something like my Fidelity card. You can transfer the cash deposits back out of your Fidelity account and into your bank account easy enough.

I've looked into this card and the problem with it at the time was Fidelity pays terrible rates on cash deposits so beware...

wtjbatman

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 02:44:18 PM »
Upon closer examination it's 5% for the first six months only. After that it's 2% which isn't as sexy... I think I'm gonna skip it. We do plan on paying down principal but not until we've hit other milestones in our savings.

That actually seems really sweet. You can't really find a CC that offers a guaranteed reward greater than 2%, unless it's in a specific category (say, groceries) that usually expires after a few months.

For instance I use a Fidelity Investment Rewards card because it's 2% on any purchase, and it's considered one of the better cash back cards. Although, if you have other debts you are trying to pay down... try something like my Fidelity card. You can transfer the cash deposits back out of your Fidelity account and into your bank account easy enough.

I've looked into this card and the problem with it at the time was Fidelity pays terrible rates on cash deposits so beware...

I'm not sure what you're saying. You get 2% cashback, which is basically 2 cents/2 points for every dollar you spend. Once it reaches 5,000 points ($50) or more, you can have it automatically sent to your Fidelity account. You can then either invest it in that Fidelity account, or transfer it out to your bank account which takes a day or two.

Edit: I think I see what you're saying. I checked out my rewards page and looked at the "Send me a check or direct deposit" option, and yes, that method only pays out at half the rate. Never do that. Instead, open a Fidelity account (free), have it transferred there automatically (free) whenever you earn enough points, then withdraw/transfer to your bank (free).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 02:47:24 PM by wtjbatman »

frugaliknowit

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 02:49:17 PM »
Minimum balances (penalties for low balances), interest rates paid on the accounts...it's an equation and not a "slam dunk".  If you are getting paid a non-competitive interest rate on the bank account, that is an opportunity cost which needs to be factored in.

wtjbatman

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 02:54:43 PM »
Minimum balances (penalties for low balances), interest rates paid on the accounts...it's an equation and not a "slam dunk".  If you are getting paid a non-competitive interest rate on the bank account, that is an opportunity cost which needs to be factored in.

There is no minimum balance on a Fidelity cash management account. And why do you care about the interest rate paid on the account? As soon as the money is transferred from the credit card rewards program into your Fidelity account, put in a transfer to your bank. It's not a difficult "equation".

I missed your post about the Capital One Quicksilver. If you sign up for a new card, the initial bonus is nice. Otherwise, there is no reason to choose the Quicksilver's 1.5% cashback over the 2% of the Fidelity Investment card. I suggest you research your options more.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 03:00:47 PM by wtjbatman »

Guizmo

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2014, 09:36:03 PM »
Minimum balances (penalties for low balances), interest rates paid on the accounts...it's an equation and not a "slam dunk".  If you are getting paid a non-competitive interest rate on the bank account, that is an opportunity cost which needs to be factored in.

There is no minimum balance on a Fidelity cash management account. And why do you care about the interest rate paid on the account? As soon as the money is transferred from the credit card rewards program into your Fidelity account, put in a transfer to your bank. It's not a difficult "equation".

I missed your post about the Capital One Quicksilver. If you sign up for a new card, the initial bonus is nice. Otherwise, there is no reason to choose the Quicksilver's 1.5% cashback over the 2% of the Fidelity Investment card. I suggest you research your options more.

The fidelity page i just read states that it is 1.5 points per dollar spent on the first 15,000k. I definitely don't spend more than that a year, so for me quicksilver would be much better.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 04:14:08 AM »
Oh, thanks, I didn't see that buried in the heap of fine print.

Here's another:  $0.00 - $4,999.99    0.07%    0.07%   
$5,000.00 - AND ABOVE    0.07%    0.07%

With Kasasa checking account(s), you can earn 2-3%.
If you're not doing a lot of volume, is it really worth the trouble?

Another point is that many small merchants do not take Amex.  This is why I avoid using Amex and Discover.  Not worth the trouble unless you are doing lots of volume (like if you are a high income/high consuming family or you are in the process of a major home renovation where you will be buying most of the materials).

wtjbatman

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 05:17:08 AM »
Minimum balances (penalties for low balances), interest rates paid on the accounts...it's an equation and not a "slam dunk".  If you are getting paid a non-competitive interest rate on the bank account, that is an opportunity cost which needs to be factored in.

There is no minimum balance on a Fidelity cash management account. And why do you care about the interest rate paid on the account? As soon as the money is transferred from the credit card rewards program into your Fidelity account, put in a transfer to your bank. It's not a difficult "equation".

I missed your post about the Capital One Quicksilver. If you sign up for a new card, the initial bonus is nice. Otherwise, there is no reason to choose the Quicksilver's 1.5% cashback over the 2% of the Fidelity Investment card. I suggest you research your options more.

The fidelity page i just read states that it is 1.5 points per dollar spent on the first 15,000k. I definitely don't spend more than that a year, so for me quicksilver would be much better.

That's for the Visa version. The Amex version is a flat 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases.

Guizmo

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 08:18:03 AM »
Ummm.... In that case, I think I'll get it.

Pixelshot

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Re: Should I get this rewards card?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2014, 08:22:39 AM »
...Another point is that many small merchants do not take Amex.  This is why I avoid using Amex and Discover...

I was worried about that when I started using the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred for all of my purchases. After a few months, I have to say that my worries were unfounded. I actually can't think of a single merchant I use regularly that doesn't take AMEX. Not to say that hasn't happened, but I find that for me it covers probably 95% of purchases.