Saturday, April 19, 2008

more credit cards

I think Malcolm Gladwell would classify me as a Maven when it comes to this. But here's the plan to be even more of a cheap-ass:

Primary card: Chase Freedom Rewards Visa
3% reward on top 3 categories from grocery, gas and convenience, fast food/quick service restaurants, utilities, drug stores, department stores, pets, phone, cable/satellite/internet, local commuting, gym, movie theatres, movie rentals, dry cleaners, salon/spa. 1% reward on everything else. I'll be using this more for grocery, gas, and a mystery third category. It also features automatic payment (so I don't have to worry about it) and a bonus $50 reward if I wait till I get $200 in rewards (virtually unattainable since rewards expire after 3 years).

Secondary card: Discover Miles Card
2% on travel and restaurants - the two things I probably spend a ton on see how I book random trips to DC just to hang out for a day and see a concert. 1% on everything else. And if you're wondering why I'm not speaking in terms of miles, its because 1 mile = 1 cent, and they reimburse your travel expenses based on dollar amount, or you can just get cash (which means it's just a regular rewards card).

Tertiary card: Chase Freedom Rewards Mastercard
This is the same card as the primary card, but I got two just to exploit it a bit more. I'll be using this one for automated bill payments for three categories of utilities, phone, and cable/internet/satellite. That should have a monthly balance of about $200, which saves me about $4 a month. I will then blow that money by flying out to DC to see a concert.

Convenience card: Citi Dividend Mastercard
1% reward, 2% on a number of categories that are redundant with Chase (I think it's grocery, gas, convenience, drug store, utilities). Still an awesome card, but no longer needed given the others. It's the "convenience" card because I have the card number memorized and it has the PayPass key fob that is accepted virtually nowhere. Silly Americans and their unjustified fear of contactless payment...

Travel card: First Internet Bank Visa
No reward, but it's the rare card that only charges a 1% fee on international transactions. If you like being raped with the 3% charge most other banks charge, that's all you. Their ATM is even better. That also charges only the 1%, which they then REIMBURSE up to $6. In Egypt I think we got away with just a dollar of fees. Good times.

Retired card: AMEX Blue
It's a trick. Unless you spend well over $1,000 a month on your card, it makes no sense to use it. Greg, I'm talking to YOU.

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