Reviewing the finances... CREDIT CARDS - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-06-2016, 04:48 PM   #1
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default Reviewing the finances... CREDIT CARDS

Let's talk Credit Cards. The wife and I have room for improvement in getting our money to work better for us.
All current CC debt is paid off. We have IRA's, my wifes 401, my military TSP, a quickly accessible money market account, a house we bought in 2005 and are just now back to even, 2 cars that we own, and my guaranteed retirement.
I will probably be retired from the Navy as a LCDR on 01July2020... and then I'll have to grow up and get a real job. She's a nurse and works about 15hrs/week now increasing to 30hrs/wk in Sept. We're bringing in plenty of money, just need to be smarter in general about it.

Our current USAA credit cards are nothing special and we usually spend our rewards points at Christmas time... I think we get 1% points.
We are putting my wife on my CC since it's been open longer and are going to cancel hers... and open up a new CC or two that makes more sense and works for us.

I've been researching cards for a few days think I'm gonna get both of these.
AMEX Blue Cash Preferred... 6% cash back on groceries and 3% cash back on gas
Citi Double Cash Card... 1% on all purchases, 1% when you pay... basically 2% on everything

We've got the discipline to manage it, and plan to put everything on CC's and pay off each month... maximize points... kinda seems like free money, or getting a small "sale price" on everything pending how you look at it.

What say you?
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 05:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
Posts: 797
Total Cats: 175
Default

That's similar to how we do as well.

My wife and I each have personal cards from pre-marriage. We also have a joint Chase Freedom (1% all the time + %5 on quarterly categories)
I also have an Amazon card which is 3% on all amazon purchases, 1% everything else(I think, I only use it on amazon).
We are talking about adding the new Costco Visa when it rolls out. Its 1% everything, 2% Costco, 3% restaurants/travel, 4% gas. Seems pretty good.

Joint savings, joint checking, each have a 401k and both have indiviual checking and savings accounts. Most of this is automated transfers after paychecks deposit into our individual accounts.
Plenty of money in the joint savings stream for house repairs, appliances and vacations. Current retirement plans are totally separate.
It seems second nature "managing" all this now. I don't find any hassle with it. But I am getting pressure to simplify and combine/downsize.

Numerous Costco trips canceled after we got there without a debit card. Neither of us carries one. Everything goes on credit, and for the most part gets paid off twice/month on paydays.
doward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 06:21 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 291
Total Cats: 12
Default

If I remember correctly, you should be able to get 1.5% with your USAA card. One nice thing, which most active duty folks don't know is that as a result of the Servicemembers's Civil Relief Act, most credit card companies will waive all annual fees for military. This opens up some more options that usually don't really makes sense, but can if you don't have to pay for it. For example, I know that American Express will waive the $500 yearly fee for an AMEX Platinum and I've heard that Master Card will waive the $1000 yearly fee for the Gold Card as well as the lower fees for a black or titanium. I know the Gold Card comes with $200 of free travel dollars and 2% cash back on everything. Not the greatest perks, but but it's a pretty cool package. Other than those, the two cards you mention are some of the most highly regarded with the addition of the Chase Sapphire if you prefer travel rewards to cash back. Nerdwallet.com is the goto for comparisons.
shooterschmidty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 06:23 PM   #4
Elite Member
iTrader: (17)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Posts: 2,791
Total Cats: 130
Default

It's funny how some people seem to go into a panic when I mention charging everything on a credit card. No point in paying for it now when you can pay for it in a month and get some rewards off of it (as long as you're not stupid with it).

I've got the same Amazon card as doward I use on all my Amazon purchases for 3% cash back and everything else goes to my BOA Cash Rewards for 2% on groceries, 3% on gas, and 1% on everything else. It's amazing how quick you can run up a couple $100 in rewards even with a pretty modest income level.
pdexta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 06:33 PM   #5
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Marylandistan
Posts: 841
Total Cats: 44
Default

I charge ALLTHETHINGS on my card. Pay the balance every month to avoid interest and get paid to use the card. Works for me but the wife is terrible with it.

Years ago when finances were tight, i played the 0% transfer game. That was before they charged a transfer fee.
stratosteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 06:48 PM   #6
Senior Member
iTrader: (8)
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Azusa, CA
Posts: 1,376
Total Cats: 80
Default

I used to use chase and discover cards with the 5% quarter rotating bonus category but I get too lazy to keep up with which to use with gas and which to use with groceries month after month. I now juts put everything on my bofa cash rewards card and amazon purchases on their store card which is 5% back.

I'm also eyeing that new costco citi visa card to become my new go to credit card for most purchases.
cyotani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 07:32 PM   #7
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default

How did I miss the Amazon option... gotta homework that now. I'd also considered the Costco card, but we do most of our groceries at the Commissary. I live on base and can see the commissary from my front-yard, so the Costco card might not be the best option. But it looks pretty tight for somebody needing to feed a couple teenage boys in bulk or whatever. I don't think I want more than 3 cards, and we need to keep our current USAA one for the history... maybe put our quarterly car insurance payment on it to keep it from getting dusty.
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 200
Total Cats: 21
Default

I do Fidelity Amex (supposedly it's switching to a visa this year) for general use. 2% cash back on everything, it has to go to a fidelity cash account but electronic transfers to your bank are free. Chase freedom and discover for rotating 5% categories. 3% Amazon card. Amex blue for 3% at grocery stores. 5% at target with red card. Penfed has a 5% gas card.
slowcarfast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 08:08 PM   #9
Elite Member
iTrader: (21)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,684
Total Cats: 555
Default

We use a Chase card (2% cashback?), but they're all pretty similar these days. One other tip: check out local credit unions for great rates on everything from IRAs to checking to savings. I put my IRA in this year, and they were paying nearly triple what the banks could do.
rleete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 08:21 PM   #10
I take big bites
iTrader: (1)
 
turbofan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hurricane, UT
Posts: 6,924
Total Cats: 526
Default

My now ex-wife and I used to have the Chase Freedom with rotating 5% categories; Discover with rotating 5% categories, and the Costco AmEx card. With that system we'd easily get $500+ per year in free cash rewards.

Now I have the Discover It card (same program as before) and an AmEx Gold cash card... decided to try out the points thing. Going to pick up the Costco card when it becomes available though and stop there.

Good way to make some money and build credit!
turbofan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 08:59 PM   #11
I take big bites
iTrader: (1)
 
turbofan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hurricane, UT
Posts: 6,924
Total Cats: 526
Default

As a bit of an update, I did some maths.

My AmEx Gold rewards cash card was advertised as being an "even better" offer than the Blue Cash card. I'm always wary of cards that offer 'points' rather than simple cash back, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

When redeeming for cash, it's poorer than the cash back percentage offers. One point is only worth .006 cents. So for each dollar you spend, you get .006 cents back, making it an order of magnitude poorer in return than even a 1% cash back return card.

Even when redeeming for gift cards, the highest value I've seen is .0085 cents per point, when redeeming for iTunes gift cards, or Best Western. I currently have a reservation for Best Western in San Diego next month, so I know where I'm spending my rewards bonus!

That being said, I got 50,000 points just for signing up. So a $300 cash back bonus isn't bad. I'll probably hang on to the card til the new Costco one comes out, but dump it or use it much much less after that.
turbofan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 09:14 PM   #12
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
williams805's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Goleta, Southern California
Posts: 510
Total Cats: 25
Default

I thought that closing an account showed up as negative on a credit report? Is that not true?

Years ago I was thinking a financing a motorcycle. They told me my revolving credit line was too high. That I needed to close an account to qualify. So I did. That's the way I remember it anyhow.

Fast forward to 3 years ago when I financed my RV. They said something about having a closed account and that not looking good. It wasn't enough to stop them from financing me, but I had no idea closing that account years earlier was a bad idea.
williams805 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2016, 09:22 PM   #13
I take big bites
iTrader: (1)
 
turbofan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hurricane, UT
Posts: 6,924
Total Cats: 526
Default

It's best to leave an account open for a while after paying it off before closing it, so that'd be my plan. Average account life affects your credit score, so if all your accounts are only a year or two old it brings your score down, and I suppose they must still consider closed accounts in the 'average' calculation because closing them hurts you there.

That being said, it's not a huge deal in my experience. I have had several accounts opened and closed and I still have an excellent credit score.
turbofan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2016, 12:00 AM   #14
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: KY
Posts: 699
Total Cats: 50
Default

One of my friends just convinced me to get a Chase Sapphire card. They're currently doing a 50,000 bonus points offer, which is $500 cash or $625 when redeemed for travel. Even without the bonus offer, the rewards and benefits are as good or better than most rewards cards out there.

https://creditcards.chase.com/credit...ID=91225595186
jpreston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2016, 02:12 AM   #15
Elite Member
iTrader: (10)
 
IcantDo55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: VA Beach
Posts: 1,764
Total Cats: 18
Default

Look like your rich enough for another Miata build!
IcantDo55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2016, 02:15 PM   #16
Elite Member
iTrader: (17)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Posts: 2,791
Total Cats: 130
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
I'm always wary of cards that offer 'points' rather than simple cash back, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

When redeeming for cash, it's poorer than the cash back percentage offers.
That's been my experience too. I use to put everything on a Capital One card that used points. The point system pretty much worked out to 1%, a point was worth a penny. Then they rolled out there "DOUBLE THE POINTS!" crap. Shortly thereafter I logged on to cash out the 25k point $250 gift card I'd been working towards and it was now listed at 50k points, ahh hosed. I cashed out what I could and moved all my charges to a cash reward card so at least I know what my rewards are actually worth.
pdexta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2016, 05:24 PM   #17
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default

Holy shizzle... have learned a lot. Biggest lesson... you actually have to read pretty in depth into the "terms and conditions" to know what you're buying. For example... gas stations attached to other stores (Costco, Walmart, etc...) don't count. Also, Target isn't a "department store" nor a "grocery store", so I'm not sure if anything there gets me point... lots of gotcha's. Typically, for "TRAVEL", like airline tickets and rental cars, you must book directly with the vendor... no Orbitz or Expedia. I've tried to break it down based on the (now) 3 cards I'm thinking about getting, plus what to use them for IN BOLD. This is in addition to keeping my lame USAA card that I've had for 15 years that will get quarterly usage for insurance payments.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred...
Signup bonus for us is $250, and my yearly fee may be waived for military.
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/c...shPreferred-LM
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/c...fo/retail.html
6% groceries (I'm assuming for now that the Commissary counts)
3% gas

3% department stores (specific list of stores we almost never shop in)
1% everything else

Amazon Visa from Chase
Signup bonus is a $70 gift card, no annual fee
https://www.amazon.com/iss/credit/re...&plattr=CBFOOT
https://www.chase.com/index.jsp?pg_n...ne_Rewards_FAQ
3% Amz
2% gas station, drugstores, office supply stores, restaurants
1% everything else


Citi Double Cash Card...
https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/cr...sh-credit-card
Can't seem to find any gotcha's or limits on categories.
2% everything else

Each card also has other bonus stuff, like automatic rental car insurance when you use the card to rent a car... other stuff like that. So far however, I haven't found a website that really breaks it down what you're getting with each card. There are some "comparo" websites, but they all look like scams. http://www.wsj.com/articles/credit-c...ire-1408732727

Apparently, this one isn't bad... gonna hit it up tonight: http://www.creditcardtuneup.com/
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2016, 05:53 PM   #18
I take big bites
iTrader: (1)
 
turbofan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hurricane, UT
Posts: 6,924
Total Cats: 526
Default

Why all the strikeouts?

I'll likely end up dumping my AmEx Gold Cash and pick up the Blue Cash card at some point.
turbofan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2016, 08:31 PM   #19
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (7)
 
samnavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
Posts: 6,020
Total Cats: 175
Default

Strikeouts because I won't use that card for that stuff... why use the Amazon for gas at 2% when the AMEX gets me 3%. I'm thinking that the whole idea here is to basically get a sale price on everything... 1% of my gas bill over the course of a year might only be $30, but it's something. The wife and I will generate a list of the places we shop and what we buy... each card will be used for specific things. The Amazon card will only be used on Amazon. I just looked, and we spent $6k there last year. Normally, we use our debit card on Amazon... whammy, I just picked up a 3% sale on everything I buy there. And because of that, we'll probably spend more there this year... the shipping gets faster all the time, and they literally now have everything.
samnavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 11:00 AM   #20
y8s
2 Props,3 Dildos,& 1 Cat
iTrader: (8)
 
y8s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Fake Virginia
Posts: 19,038
Total Cats: 407
Default

We like to travel so we get the card for the airline we use (Virgin America--soon to vanish into the Alaskan wild?). Most bills go on that so at least one of us or more can fly x-country for free when we go. They do have an annual fee but it eliminates the checked luggage fees which pays for itself in one trip for one person.

We also have the Chase Freedom with categories, mostly for amazon 5% (it does double to 10% sometimes) around the holidays. An amazon card would also work since we buy ALL THE THINGS on amazon.

We also have a Target card to get 5% and free shipping (when lazy) every time.

And an REI card.

And a GAP card. They're always giving **** away cheap (and Old Navy and Banana Republic). With kids it's YUUUUGE for cheap clothes.

Basically if there's a better deal from a store's specific card, we'll get it if we shop there frequently enough. **** AMEX though. Always fees.
y8s is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTB any plug and pay ecu for a 1996 j0sh WTB 3 05-24-2016 03:18 AM
Car cranks over but won't fire, no spark or fuel boileralum ECUs and Tuning 11 05-13-2016 10:10 AM
Veteran (9yrs) member back once again miatacross Meet and Greet 14 05-07-2016 02:03 PM
Do external wastegate HOUSINGS rust? LownSlow616 Fabulous Fabrication 3 05-05-2016 03:01 PM
When your Camaro friend talks shit about how slow miatas are. ApexAddict Media 6 04-30-2016 05:36 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:33 PM.