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Old 07-17-2017, 06:51 AM
$ Saving College Sophomore
Join Date: Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 865
Default Recommend best Credit Cards?

For years all we've ever had is a personal Visa card (Cabelas). For the second time in a year it got hacked and I was declined when trying to buy gas. Luckily I carry a business card which I was able to use, but that creates some reimbursement hassles.

I think it's time we got a second card, as this could be a real pain if one was shut off while on a long distance trip.

What are some suggestions for cards that have good cash back returns?
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:25 AM
bjl584's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Forum Posts: 5,690

I have a CITI MasterCard.
2% cash back on everything.
No annual fees
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:32 AM
disneysteve's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Forum Posts: 26,091

I think you'll get a dozen different answers.

Some people find cards with quarterly categories are too much to keep track of.
Some of us love those 5% deals and take full advantage of them.

Our main card is a Marriott Rewards Visa (by Chase).
For cash back, we alternate between Discover and Chase Freedom, only using them for the 5% deals. For example, this quarter it is 5% back on restaurants. Since we eat out quite a bit, that 5% can really add up.

* Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
* Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
* There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:37 AM
$ Saving College Senior
Join Date: Sep 2006
Forum Posts: 2,295

If you want to maximize cash back, you may need to carry more than 1 card.
What card(s) will work best for you will depend on the categories where you spend the most.

The Nerd Wallet web site is a good site for info to help you choose.

Personally, I have 2 main cards:

1) Am-Ex Blue Cash Preferred for 6% cash back on groceries. It also offers 3% cash back on gas (I don't usually use it for that). It has a $95 annual fee. Since we eat out only once in a blue moon, groceries is a big category for us, so it's worth the annual fee. Also, I buy pre-paid grocery cards inside the store and use those to fill up at the grocery store for the 6% cash back.

2) Citi Double Cash: 1% when you charge and another 1% when you pay. No annual fee. If you don't want to mess with more than 1 card, this would definitely be one to consider.

I also have a couple minor cards that I use at only 1 retailer, and I also get credit cards for specific bonuses (either cash or travel), but I realize that is more complicated than most people want to get with their ccs.

Personally I don't like the quarterly categories. I think it's rare they would offer a category where we would do better than the 6% we are already getting in the grocery category.

Just remember to redeem the rewards! They won't do you any good sitting there as numbers on your statement.

Sorry to go on and on, but this is a bit of a pet subject of mine.

Short answer is:
- Check out the Nerd Wallet web site
- Consider Citi Double Cash for a simple, one-size-fits-most solution

Last edited by scfr; 07-17-2017 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:18 AM
MonkeyMama's Avatar
$ Saving Assistant Professor
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern California
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Originally Posted by bjl584 View Post
I have a CITI MasterCard.
2% cash back on everything.
No annual fees
Same here. (It's the Citi Double Cash)

We do also use the Am-Ex Blue Card that scfr mentioned. We spend enough on groceries to make it worthwhile. (There's probably no other category that we spend enough on to bother with, so otherwise we prefer the 2% cash back cards).
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:45 PM
$ Saving HS Freshman
Join Date: Oct 2010
Forum Posts: 145

You only have 1 credit card which kind of makes me think you need to have an option that will always be available. That probably is VISA or Mastercard. I was able to use an AMEX almost everywhere for several years, but every once in awhile I went somewhere that didn't accept it.

I just picked up the Fidelity Visa card. I'm still exploring its menus, but I'm sort of under the impression that other credit cards I've used historically have better menus and systems for exploring charges, bill pay, etc. I was able to set up a "pay in full" option so I think I'll be fine. For me, this card fulfilled a few roles - its 2% which is nice and its accepted at Costco. I wondered if I would turn around and try to invest some of the money at Fidelity after I acquired my reward (I have a ROTH and normal IRA there, but I already fully fund the roths). The answer is, I can probably do it easier elsewhere. Fidelity's minimum brokerage is $2500. I'm pretty sure I could open a brokerage at Vanguard for $1K. Ultimately, a taxable is in my future, but it seems like I can open that door cheaper elsewhere. I suspect if you read internet commentaries on qualities of "non-dollar value" benefits like purchase protection and what not - Citi Double Cash probably has better situation specific perks.

Capital One's Quicksilver cards - Depending on the quality of your credit you'll either be provided a VISA or a Mastercard. The VISA is more difficult to acquire and I believe requires a starting credit limit of at least $5K. They are in my experience very stingy with credit - other issuers have offered me so much more credit I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Both offer 1.5% back. Both have if I understand it correctly - no international fee. I worked on mine to build my credit limit up because I want to have it available if I do any international travel again (I had some experiences in Canada about 8 years ago where only Mastercard was accepted at the restaurants I went to).

I used the Amex 6% grocery card for a few years. It isn't the card that it was in the past. It essentially did not have a spend limit in the past. Now it has a $6K limit on rewarding grocery spend and the fee is higher than it was in the past. If you spend $6K in groceries on the Preferred version you will pocket (6000*0.06) - 95 = $265. If you had spent $6K on the 3% version of that same card you would pocket $180. If you spend less than $6K the difference between the two cards diminishes. The "break-even" between the 2 is 0.03x = 0.06x-95 which comes out to I think $263 a month. I've been lead to believe they are cracking down on people use the card to purchase gift cards at grocery stores.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:07 AM
FLA FLA is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: upstate NY
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I like Discover because it's cash back can be in the form of gift cards to places I actually use and you get 25% more. For example, if you have $20 in cash back, you get $25 in a gift card from lands end.
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