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Best Credit Card that offers Points/Rewards?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Zoetastic, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Zoetastic

    Zoetastic Well-Known Member

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    So, recently I realized that I've had my main credit card for quite a while. It doesn't give me any points/rewards of any kind...
    Seems sort of silly that I'm not getting anything out of it (especially since I pay it off every month so a low interest rate is great, but totally not necessary)

    So I am now considering getting a better credit card that gives points/rewards and using this credit card for all of my regular monthly expenses that i have to pay (gas, groceries, certain bills, etc). That way I would at least be getting some sort of advantage...

    A co-worker of mine highly recommended that I get an American Express card. I could use the points for air travel (assuming I racked up enough of them) but I expect I'd probbaly end up getting gift cards to give as gifts to others (or hey, maybe to myself:D. )

    Any suggestions/recommendations on credit cards that have a kick-arse points/rewards program? Or, am I totally off my rocker for considering this option?

    Thanks!
    ZB
     
    #1 Zoetastic, Jul 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  2. vanDutton

    vanDutton Active Member

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    Personally, I think credit cards are a bad idea - especially if, as you said, you pay it off every month, What's the point? You can't beat them at their own game, that's why they are still in business.

    BTW, I had three at one point, and only have one left, and it will be paid off at the end of this year - maybe sooner. The account itself cannot be charged on, because it's closed. I don't think going into debt is a good idea in any situation other than a house.

    Note: This is an opinion based on personal experiences and research. Dave Ramsey IS an influence on my financial life, and should be in yours too.
     
  3. Shamie

    Shamie Senior Member

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    I use 3 cards.

    1. The Shell Mastercard gives 5% back on gas purchases, and 1% back elsewhere. There is no charge if you use it 10 times a year at a Shell station. With the high price of gasoline, it is like a 20 cent discount per gallon.

    2. The Costco American Express card, gives 2% rebate for travel and eating out; 3% off gasoline, and 1% elsewhere, including Costco.

    3. The Citibank Diamond Rewards Mastercard, which gives a 2% reward for Food Stores and Drugstores, 1% elsewhere.

    I also pay the card in full each month, so there is no cost for using the cards. (unless I am buying more stuff then I would have if I had paid in cash - which is pretty likely).
     
  4. OrangeTiger

    OrangeTiger Active Member

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    Addition: Or your education.
     
  5. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    No, not true at all. They are in business because of the people who carry a balance. If you google it, you'll find estimates that anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of cardholders carry a balance. Because of them, I get a free ride. :cool:

    We easily collect more than $500 annually in rewards from basic purchases on credit cards that wouldn't normally have earned any rewards (eg. groceries, hair cuts, life insurance, newspaper delivery, utility bills, etc.) and have been for more than ten years.

    I can't recommend the cards, because we're in Canada, so they'd be different.

    Shortly after we first got married, we used the rewards from 5 years worth of normal credit card savings to get $3500 off the purchase of a new GM vehicle. Then we switched to something called a Classic II, which originally gave us rewards at either Zellers, The Bay, Radio Shack, La Vie En Rose, or a few other stores, then it added registered educations savings plans (ie. investments at the Royal bank) and other rewards like movie tickets, Starbucks, etc. Lately, we've been saving for air travel (with the option of alternate choices), because the reward rate is at 5% as compared to the Classic II which was 1%.

    We've never paid an annual or monthly fee. The one we have now technically is supposed to charge one, but we simply ask them if it's possible for them to waive the fee, and they do. :confused:

    I recommend talking to your bank about it once you've done some research. Since our credit card is linked with our bank account, we have it set to automatically transfer the balance over from our checking account each month on a set date. That way, we never miss a payment.
     
  6. hornguy

    hornguy Well-Known Member

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    Plus if you're diligent in paying it off in full every month on the dot your credit rating will get SOO MUCH BETTER, helping you immensely when you do want to get a loan on a house or car.
     
  7. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    This I disagree with, quite strongly. Look into education loans and federal grants, loans, and scholarships. Educational loans have favorable interest rates, you can ask for forbearance while you find a job, and you can put payment on hold while you go to/back to school. None of that is the case with credit card bills. Also, credit card companies can jack your rate, and demand immediate payment for large chunks of change.


    :nod: Yuppers. I put normal charges on an AmEx Blue card. No annual fee, pay it off before the bill comes due.
     
  8. hemburger

    hemburger Well-Known Member

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    If you order a lot of books, consider amazon.com's visa card. I use it like most of the posters so far on this thread: pay it in full before the billing cycle. It's a point system and once you've accumulated enough, they send $25 reward certificates. However, I do think Amex and discover are giving better rewards through cashback schemes.
     
  9. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    I could get so into this thread but it's a futile effort. There have already been a dozen things said in this thread that could send me off into a rebuttal of dissertation proportions. You can't make someone quit smoking, they have to want to do it on their own. Same with personal finance.

    vanDutton forgot to post the link to the man that literally changed my life on 11/03/07 when I read the book The Total Money Makeover in one day: www.daveramsey.com
     
  10. sodomojo

    sodomojo Active Member

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    Changed my life too. Debt free except for the house, with a 15k emergency fund, and saving 15% for retirement. We do however have a Marriott Rewards cc, but when we use it, we right it down in the check book and at the end of the month, we reconcile it, and pay it all off then. I know Dave doesn't like that, but thats one thing we do that he doesn't endorse. The rest of his stuff we follow.
     
  11. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    My feeling too. Always pay it off in full on time...simple.

    Ditto. Airmiles Mastercard/AMEX Gold points paid for our Canon Rebel xti.
    yeah, same.

    Same here, extremely valuable way of consolidating expenses and paying on time.



    note: we got a Canadian Tire Card just to avoid getting Canadian Tire money LOL. Nothing worse than getting hung up in line while some joker pays for a $300 item with their CDN Tire money. <---only a Canuck will get that one.
     
    #11 Gordo, Jul 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  12. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    We keep trying!!! For some reason, we've been rejected.

    We're starting to rethink the whole thing though. At one point, we calculated that the CT rewards were a higher percentage than our Avion VISA, but I think they only are for gas, not the in-store purchases (except for the special "spend $40 get bonus $10 in CT money" like last Saturday). Going to have to go over those bills again. :confused:
     
  13. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    If you want a mortgage, you need a credit history. If you're going to have a credit history, have a good one.

    I'm sorry we're too stupid for your time. :blank:
     
  14. sodomojo

    sodomojo Active Member

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    Nope, Dave endorses a company called Churchill Mortgage that will loan you the money with a credit score of 0, like Dave has.
     
  15. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    I can understand that certain people might have difficulty balancing their income vs. output, but it doesn't mean it's a bad idea for everyone to take advantage of more convenient spending methods. I've had a credit card since I was 18 years old, but I've never been in debt. I've always had the restraint to never charge more to it than what I knew I had in the bank to cover the balance. I suppose I have a stronger sense of panic than others might have. There was one time I was late in my payment and had to pay $26 interest on my VISA; I was still upset with myself three months later.
    I wouldn't want to have to rely on just one company to get a loan from. Banks and credit unions are extremely competitive with their interest rates when they can see what a favorable credit rating you have.
     
  16. Zoetastic

    Zoetastic Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the input you guys.

    i want to clarify something.. im not asking about credit cards so that i can go into debt... that's why i pay it off at the end of every month..

    also i dont know if it's worth mentioning.. but i have ZERO debt. my car is paid off, any credit cards i have had in the past are paid off. i put money into 401k and savings accts.

    the only reason i was asking about a rewards/points program is because if im going to be spending money every month on purchases that i have to make (gas, groceries, rent, etc) then it seems like i might as well get a little something out of it if i can (like cashback, "free" gift cards or airplane miles).
     
  17. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    I don't worship at the alter of the FICO gods, it seems you do.

    And not everyone is too stupid...
     
  18. OrangeTiger

    OrangeTiger Active Member

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    I'm quite confused? I stated that your education is one of two things that I consider going into debt worthy of [the other being a home]? Nowhere in my statement did credit cards come into play. Certainly these programs that you speak of are quite better options than credit cards, and I myself am using two of them, so I am hardly in a position to rebut your argument.
    :doh:
     
  19. Shamie

    Shamie Senior Member

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    A good Fico score is invaluble, since many expenses which would appear totally non related to good credit, are based on your Fico Score. Auto insurance is a prime example. Many auto insurance companies now use FICO in determing your auto insurance rate. A high Fico score lowers your rate, and a low Fico score increases your costs. I don't see any advantage in pretending Fico doesn't exists.
     
  20. DFS

    DFS Well-Known Member

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    My apologies, I just couldn't disagree more.
     

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