Credit Card Rewards - Free Money

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Chase Sapphire Reserve is my current rewards card. Annual fee is steep at $450 plus $75 for a card for my wife but you get a $300 statement credit each year for any travel purchase you make over $300 so effectively it’s $225. We charge everything we can so long as there’s not a fee for using a card vs. cash/check and get tons of points for travel or cash back. It’s the best card for travel and includes TSA pre-check as well as a lot of other travel perks.

I disagree that it is your money that you get back. The rewards come from the fees they charge the merchant for using the card (other than the annual fee). If I had paid cash, check, or debit I wouldn’t have paid any less for the goods or services so it’s a no-brainer to use the card as long as the balance is paid in full each month.
 
Joined
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Definitely a feel good thing for sure and I have used for Subaru points ($2k in coupons on purchase of wife 2005 Legacy GT) and Amazon.

That all being said you won't get rich doing this and burned hard if you cannot pay your next months balance for whatever reason. The Chase I had had a late payment due to bounced employer check which resulted in about $250 in interest/late fees over the average balance for a few months!???? The employer paid them but still....

It is a game with rewards but there a definitive risks. The biggest one is making sure you have the emergency savings to cover your typical next bill if hefty(many people charge them up for points). I am pretty sure my CC provider knocked interest rate on card from 16% to 25% after I missed payment likely to collect in future. I do always pay but there is risk involved.
 

gathermewool

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It's a hand me down rebate the card issuer collects in fees from the merchant who raises prices and collects from you and I. I obviously am not living in a glass house here. I'll take it thanks!

I have zero fee cards and frankly didn't shop for high rewards. Just cards we/I have held a long time.

Don’t forget those who have no choice but to maintain a balance and pay many times in interest what merchants are.

I tend to dislike balances with a passion.

Well, unless it’s a 0% interest card. I just opened a NFCU card and transferred all of the balances I would otherwise have had to pay off this month. I haven’t seen a zero-transfer-fee, 0% card in a while, so I took full advantage of it! Now I’ve got 12 months of paying min and then I’ll pay the remainder off just as the promotional period expires.
 
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It's a hand me down rebate the card issuer collects in fees from the merchant who raises prices and collects from you and I. I obviously am not living in a glass house here. I'll take it thanks!

I have zero fee cards and frankly didn't shop for high rewards. Just cards we/I have held a long time.

This, nothing is ever truly free. In the end you're paying for it because the seller has to incorporate into their price.

But you're pretty much forced to use it since everyone else does.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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Amazon- Chase card gives me 5% back, almost covers the sales tax in my state.

NFCU gives me ~ 1.5% on everything, IIRC. Use it mostly.

Chase and Citi have cards with quarterly spiffs of 5% on gas or groceries. This quarter nothing interesting is going on though.

I've briefly held other cards, like a Chase one that gave me $500 for opening and charging $4k in three months. I followed the letter of the law of their offer, waites for my money, got it, and immediately closed the account. I don't think they'll let me open another account for 24 months.

www.reddit.com/r/churning is a useful resource.
 
Joined
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Wells fargo usually offers $400 to open a free checking account, then Chase offers 200 to come back. I've been playing this game for several years, average around $1000/year going between two checking accounts and usually one one new credit card.
 

CKN

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This is how I look at it too. I know Dave Ramsey would not approve ;) but I don't buy anything I wouldn't otherwise so this is no different than sending in a SOPUS rebate or getting a credit check from Menards IMHO.

Yea-but his world is absolute-and for idiots.
 

Nick1994

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I use my Amazon for almost everything except gas which I use a Shell card for. I found the Amazon card had the easiest method for cashing in rewards.
I'm surprised you aren't using Costco for gas in California.

2 years ago I was in Fresno in a big Uhaul and the gas station by my hotel was 60 cents higher than Costco which was 1/2 mile down the road. That saved a lot!

Edit: Just checked GasBuddy, that Chevron next to the Ramada I stayed at right now is $3.39, that Costco is $2.79
 
Joined
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I use Plum from Amex as my only cash back option, I think its 2% if paid in full on time, which I do with all my cards anyway. I usually pay with cash on gas since around here credit is routinely 5% more, negating the rebate.
 
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I'm surprised you aren't using Costco for gas in California.

2 years ago I was in Fresno in a big Uhaul and the gas station by my hotel was 60 cents higher than Costco which was 1/2 mile down the road. That saved a lot!

Edit: Just checked GasBuddy, that Chevron next to the Ramada I stayed at right now is $3.39, that Costco is $2.79
The Costco that is literally next to my house doesn't have a gas station. There are 2 Shell stations pretty much along my drive home from work that are right in the mama bear zone for pricing. Not super expensive, but not so cheap that you have to wait.
 
Joined
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This, nothing is ever truly free. In the end you're paying for it because the seller has to incorporate into their price.

But you're pretty much forced to use it since everyone else does.

Technically it's the people who are paying cash that are subsidizing it as they end up paying more. Prices would be lower for all including cash buyers if the merchant didn't accept credit cards and didn't have to pay any fees.

I use the Fidelity Visa card, 2% back on everything so no need to jump through hoops to figure out which card is best to use in a certain situation. I have it on auto pay so it gets paid in full every month. Sometimes I get lazy and forget to look at the statement for a month or two...

 
Joined
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Currently AMEX has a deal with select small businesses - spend $10 get a $5 credit - up to 10 times. That IS free money!
 
Joined
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This, nothing is ever truly free. In the end you're paying for it because the seller has to incorporate into their price.

But you're pretty much forced to use it since everyone else does.

If I gotta pay, I may as well play. This Year, I redeemed some "Rewards":
Had enough CC rewards from AMEX for $180 in GC's. A new set of Dewalt 20V Hedge Trimmers cost me about $30.00 out of pocket.
Cleaned out almost all of my Speedy Reward points for $220.00 in Lowes GC's
Drained all of my reward cards that would pay rewards in cash to put towards the new Pilot: $390.00 towards the new vehicle.
Not bad
 
Joined
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Yea-but his world is absolute-and for idiots.

I find myself very hesitant to buy I things out like food/coffee/drink paying cash as Ikeep it. Credit card does not cross my mind as it’s too easy even to go to vending.

I think that is his point on getting rid of credit cards.
 

CKN

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I find myself very hesitant to buy I things out like food/coffee/drink paying cash as Ikeep it. Credit card does not cross my mind as it’s too easy even to go to vending.

I think that is his point on getting rid of credit cards.

I got $750.00 back (in 2019) using CostCo's Citi Bank card last year. The bigger rebate percentage is on dining out,travel, and gasoline at CostCo's gas pumps. I'm going on cruises (prior to COVD) eating out and buying gasoline anyway. It's free money-to me.

That's where the blackhole is in his theory. Buying stuff-your going to buy anyway.
 
Joined
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North Carolina
This is how I look at it too. I know Dave Ramsey would not approve ;) but I don't buy anything I wouldn't otherwise so this is no different than sending in a SOPUS rebate or getting a credit check from Menards IMHO.


You have to realize Dave Ramsey's target audience. Those that have not controlled themselves or are self disciplined. That's why he preaches no credit cards. Those people can't control themselves.

For those of us who can. We carry no balance, and use the card as cash, we pay ours every 2 weeks. We get back a nice chunk buying only what we normally buy.
 
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