Credit Card Rewards - Free Money

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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.

Two weeks? That's a little excessive don't you think? I just have mine paid in full every month automatically. My fico is over 800, and that's the real one, shopping around for some mortgages with these low rates these days.
 
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Note that some cards offer 3% on a category (say online purchases) but only for the first $1500 or so of each calendar quarter. Buy that big TV and then your reward goes to 1%.
 

Nick1994

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Two weeks? That's a little excessive don't you think? I just have mine paid in full every month automatically. My fico is over 800, and that's the real one, shopping around for some mortgages with these low rates these days.
Not exactly. Best to keep your credit card utilization under 10%, and depending on spending needs and credit card limits, it might make sense to pay it off more frequently. I pay off mine every couple weeks too.
 

Zee09

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Not exactly. Best to keep your credit card utilization under 10%, and depending on spending needs and credit card limits, it might make sense to pay it off more frequently. I pay off mine every couple weeks too.
When I buy big I zip in the next day or so and pay off the CC charge.
I am only using the CC as a convenience and not as a loan...
 
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I use Amex Blue preferred ALOT, but I only count it as 4.4% - consider the $95 against the $360 grocery reward.
I want a pair of Custom Cash's as soon as CR's finish resetting for the month.
The most rewarding thing we do is go through Kroger for gas points - free gas is great!

I do think we're just in business with Amex, and the merchant never has to pay for Brinks for us.

I wonder if Kroger actually uses 4x and such as a funding tactic vs just a promotion.
 
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I get roughly $1000 cash back every year on my credit cards, I use it to buy a treat for myself that I may not normally buy or really need at least at the moment, if that makes any sense. Like I may buy a new Mac mini this year with the M1 even though my current is only two years old with an i5 processor for no other reason it’s free and I’ll still have money left over.

2% back on every purchase using Citicard and wellsfargo all year long.
5% cash back on rotating categories with discover and chase. Which includes walmart and just about any holiday gift I buy online until Jan
3% cash back all the time on groceries with Amex
 
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Interesting this thread popped back up. Since I last posted, I've pretty much switched to two cards for simplicity sake:

Citi Double Cash Back 2% off everything, and I have a Wells Fargo Active CashBack (2% everything) on the way.

For a while I was doing the rotating reward cards but it got to be a hassle. I still have to remember to use my credit union debit card 15 times each month and I earn 3.3% APY on my checking & savings balance which adds up to more than any rewards card can give me each month.

Lately I've been getting a lot of $200-300 promos for signing up for new cards. The aforementioned Wells Fargo card has a $200 reward for signing up as long as you spend $1k in the first 90 days. I've done that with 3 or 4 cards this year-- Amex, BOA, Wells Fargo, etc. Sign up, collect bonus, wait the statutory waiting period, then cancel card. Also did that with a couple online savings accounts that give $250+ for sign-up. Sign up, deposit 10/20/25K or whatever, wait 90 days (usually), then cancel and move your money back. Even Robinhood, the online trading platform gave me $250 to put $15K there for a month, didn't even have to invest it. I've probably earned well over $1k just signing up for stuff, waiting, then closing.

I don't ever remember sign up promotions being this good or plentiful.
 
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Interesting this thread popped back up. Since I last posted, I've pretty much switched to two cards for simplicity sake:

Citi Double Cash Back 2% off everything, and I have a Wells Fargo Active CashBack (2% everything) on the way.

For a while I was doing the rotating reward cards but it got to be a hassle. I still have to remember to use my credit union debit card 15 times each month and I earn 3.3% APY on my checking & savings balance which adds up to more than any rewards card can give me each month.

Lately I've been getting a lot of $200-300 promos for signing up for new cards. The aforementioned Wells Fargo card has a $200 reward for signing up as long as you spend $1k in the first 90 days. I've done that with 3 or 4 cards this year-- Amex, BOA, Wells Fargo, etc. Sign up, collect bonus, wait the statutory waiting period, then cancel card. Also did that with a couple online savings accounts that give $250+ for sign-up. Sign up, deposit 10/20/25K or whatever, wait 90 days (usually), then cancel and move your money back. Even Robinhood, the online trading platform gave me $250 to put $15K there for a month, didn't even have to invest it. I've probably earned well over $1k just signing up for stuff, waiting, then closing.

I don't ever remember sign up promotions being this good or plentiful.
3.3% on any balance on the debit? Ours was only the promotional rate up to the first $25k. Too much hassle for me and it’s 25 debit transactions I believe on mine. But if yours is 3.3% with no cap, I would do it for sure.
 
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3.3% on any balance on the debit? Ours was only the promotional rate up to the first $25k. Too much hassle for me and it’s 25 debit transactions I believe on mine. But if yours is 3.3% with no cap, I would do it for sure.
Mine is the same, up to $25k, but only 15 debit transaction requirement. I’d rather keep up with that than do the “which card/category gives me 5% this month” card shuffle. $60-something per month in interest is more than I get out of any rewards card.

I’m strategic in what I use those 15 debit transactions for- $2 soda or small purchases, anything larger than $20 gets put on a 2% cash back card.
 
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I have since added a Fidelity Elan card which gave me $500 to sign up and generous points that are bumped up from the usual gift cards and such when taken as a direct deposit in a Fidelity account. Nice because I have contracted some work, bought some expensive house stuff, etc with the card. Since June or so, nearly $2000 in cash (including the bonus)
 
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I have a Sam’s club cc. It gives me 5% on fuel 3% on travel and dining and 1% on everything else. We use it as our source for payment on everything and pay the balance monthly. We usually get between $700 & $800 cash back each year. It’s well worth it and costs me nothing.

Just my $0.02
 
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I’d rather just pay less up front. Any time they are kicking back money to you it is just money you initially paid up front in higher prices and you aren’t exactly getting it all back. Same thing with grocery store rewards.

Also paying off your CC before the due date makes no sense.
 
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I’d rather just pay less up front. Any time they are kicking back money to you it is just money you initially paid up front in higher prices and you aren’t exactly getting it all back. Same thing with grocery store rewards.

Also paying off your CC before the due date makes no sense.

Merchants set their prices assuming the cost of the Visa/Mastercard/etc. interchange fee. You're paying it anyways, why not try and get some of it back?

Also it absolutely makes sense to pay your credit card off midway or before the statement closes (which is before a due date even becomes available) if you plan to use credit anytime soon. The credit scoring model is flawed and doesn't take into account people paying their balances off each month. So if you rack up $3k on a $5k credit card, you're reported as 60% utilization to the credit bureaus even if you pay the whole balance off when it comes due. That 60% utilization will ding your credit score, sometimes significantly.

If you have no need to use credit for the next month, then by all means, use the bank's money as long as possible and pay it off only when it becomes due.
 
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Merchants set their prices assuming the cost of the Visa/Mastercard/etc. interchange fee. You're paying it anyways, why not try and get some of it back?

Also it absolutely makes sense to pay your credit card off midway or before the statement closes (which is before a due date even becomes available) if you plan to use credit anytime soon. The credit scoring model is flawed and doesn't take into account people paying their balances off each month. So if you rack up $3k on a $5k credit card, you're reported as 60% utilization to the credit bureaus even if you pay the whole balance off when it comes due. That 60% utilization will ding your credit score, sometimes significantly.

If you have no need to use credit for the next month, then by all means, use the bank's money as long as possible and pay it off only when it becomes due.

I highly doubt there are many situations where people are using 60% of their available credit with the intent of paying it off the next pay period. The vast majority of the time someone using that much of their available credit is not paying it off for a while.
 
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Getting older becoming harder to remember payment and something. Set-up every recurring payment on auto-payment except phone bill (I'd never trust phone company and lawyers). Only have two CC - Citi/Costco and Amex. Costco is closet grocery store/gas station for me just 1.3 miles, which is no brainer. No other store of any sort is closer than Costco.
Keeping Amex for rental car, provides cheap LDW coverage, $17 for two weeks, IIRC.
 
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we like and use CC too mainly for a cash back but one tends to over spend by using CC in general
 

Nick1994

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I’d rather just pay less up front. Any time they are kicking back money to you it is just money you initially paid up front in higher prices and you aren’t exactly getting it all back. Same thing with grocery store rewards.

Also paying off your CC before the due date makes no sense.
Credit card utilization makes up a big portion of your credit score. If I don’t pay mine off before the statement date it definitely reflects 10-15 points.

Some people have lower limits as well which is an even bigger impact. I put probably $40k on credit cards last year and didn’t pay a cent in interest.
 
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I’d rather just pay less up front. Any time they are kicking back money to you it is just money you initially paid up front in higher prices and you aren’t exactly getting it all back. Same thing with grocery store rewards.

Also paying off your CC before the due date makes no sense.
Yes, the public pays it up front including yourself. So for everyone thank you for that as the credit companies give me 2%to 5% cash back on everything I buy in life and I pay the same price as someone who pays cash.
I then pay the full amount off every month at the last moment since I am also earning interest on the money that I am using to pay the balance.
Yes as to another post in here, we have citi 2% cash back but wife and I just got paid $200 each from Wells Fargo for accepting their 2% cash back card plus other perks here and there of up to 10%
On top of that my previous post outlines the 5% cash back cards as well, which for example for the entire holiday season is 5% at Amazon, Walmart and Target online plus another card with 5% at Walmart stores and as always 3% on all grocery’s with AMEX .

All free money, no catch! I love paying huge bills with them.

Warning credit cards will suck the life out of you if you do not pay them in full every month. It’s a legal loan shark.
 
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Credit card utilization makes up a big portion of your credit score. If I don’t pay mine off before the statement date it definitely reflects 10-15 points.

Of course.

Someone said earlier they pay a lump sum several times a month rather than waiting until the due date and paying it all. I’m saying that makes no sense, other than in very unique circumstances.

I have three cards, I haven’t carried a balance in at least a decade and I probably put 90% of my spending on them. I also never pay them until a day or two before due.
 
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I highly doubt there are many situations where people are using 60% of their available credit with the intent of paying it off the next pay period. The vast majority of the time someone using that much of their available credit is not paying it off for a while.
Used to happen to me all the time. I have an older card with 2k limit. 50-100% usage per month was the norm. I switched to a flat 2% card for most purchases recently which has a much higher limit, but if I was looking to use credit in the near future even 20% utilization is worse than <10%. Makes sense to pay before the statement closes in certain scenarios.
 
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