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I Just Noticed That 14 of My Cards Have Balances

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When I created this thread I wasn't noting the cards that were reporting balances, just those that had balances on the account.

 

With that said... 

 

Since I added myself as an AU on one of my mother's Chase cards that was opened in 1992 (may have dragged my AAoA over 7 years), my FICO 8s have been completely apathetic when I open new cards (5 in the past six months for a total of 6 in the past year), or have balances reporting on numerous cards (as of the date of this FICO score from Barclays I had at least 9 cards reporting balances).

 

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7 hours ago, nooneimportant said:

Have you noticed a larger effect on your mortgage FICOs?

Those random number generators still hate me.  

 

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  1. Amex Hilton Honors Aspire (household spending to hit 150k-point card upgrade bonus) 
     
  2. Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa (2.625% back on one-time and recurring/autopay non-category spending)
     
  3. Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa (5.25% back on online shopping)
     
  4. Citi Thank You Premier MasterCard (the only card TAD has in his wallet)
     
  5. Discovery IT (monthly $2 Amazon gift card)

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6 hours ago, credit_help said:

How large a difference in score did you notice betwen lot of your cards reporting with balances or just one or two?

My FICO 8s don't seem to care anymore.

 

 

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Currently six...

  1. Bank of America Cash Rewards - misc online shopping
  2. Bank of America Travel Rewards - first $5k of MSDs on recent car lease, and misc non-category spending
  3. Chase Freedom - tank of gas for 5% back
  4. Citi TYP (AU) - TAD's work travel expenses, misc household expenses
  5. Discovery IT - remaining $2 from two recent 5% category purchases followed by a payment
  6. US Bank Altitude Reserve - travel and Apple Pay purchases for 4.5% back

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  1. Bank of America Travel Rewards - misc non-category household spending (2.625% back)
  2. Amex Gold - misc restaurant purchases (4x MRs)
  3. Amex Blue Cash Preferred - groceries (6%) and new iMac (less $250 statement credit [upgrade offer])
  4. FenPen Useless Rewards Visa - two purchases totaling just over $500 for $50 back (Aug spending offer)
  5. Chase Freedom - gas purchases (5%)
  6. Citi Thank You Premier - misc incidental household and work purchases (TAD)
  7. Discovery - $2 residual balance after several PayPal purchases (5%) already paid
  8. Barclays Aviator Silver - Gogo wifi purchase to use up remaining $50 annual wifi credit
  9. Amex EveryDay - grocery purchase made in error (used the wrong clear Amex for one purchase) 
  10. Amex Vonboy - new carry-on bag / eBags purchase ($20 back on $100+ spending offer)
  11. Bank of America Cash Rewards - household online purchases (5.25%)
  12. US Bank Altitude Reserve - misc travel purchases and grocery/Apple pay purchases (4.5%)

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22 hours ago, cv91915 said:
  1. Barclays Aviator Silver - Gogo wifi purchase to use up remaining $50 annual wifi credit

[ tell me to nix the subject if you're tired of it ] ...

 

So, cv, are you kicking this card to the curb (sounds like you're no longer putting AA tickets on it after the EQD benefit slash)?

 

For an intrepid AA'er such as yourself, it seems the card still holds strong value (particularly if you're charging $20k+ annually in airfare).

 

I value the 3x miles on AA purchases at 4.2% (a conservative $.014 reward value per mile when redeemed for airline travel).  Plus, the $99 companion cert earned w/ $20k in charges is good for an added 2%+ in my book.  I call it a 6% rebate card (in kind) on the first $20k in air purchases (assuming that minimum threshold is met).

 

 

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1 hour ago, hdporter said:

[ tell me to nix the subject if you're tired of it ] ...

 

So, cv, are you kicking this card to the curb (sounds like you're no longer putting AA tickets on it after the EQD benefit slash)?

 

For an intrepid AA'er such as yourself, it seems the card still holds strong value (particularly if you're charging $20k+ annually in airfare).

 

I value the 3x miles on AA purchases at 4.2% (a conservative $.014 reward value per mile when redeemed for airline travel).  Plus, the $99 companion cert earned w/ $20k in charges is good for an added 2%+ in my book.  I call it a 6% rebate card (in kind) on the first $20k in air purchases (assuming that minimum threshold is met).

 

 

The only thing I've put on this card in 2019 are WiFi purchases to get the statement credits.

 

I have AA miles coming out of my rear end.  The companion certificate is worthless to me...  I'd rather use miles for a companion and make it free than pay $150 (with fees) for a companion ticket.

 

If you downgrade this card to a Red there may not be an upgrade path back to Silver, so I'm paying $100 after the WiFi credits to have the card for another year before deciding if I'm going to cancel or not.

 

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Also... I am considering:

 

Using only miles for personal travel in 2020 and doing all First Class redemptions.  I will end up with no status for 2021...  then...

 

Paying cash for First Class tickets for personal travel for all of 2021.  Between this expenditure and work travel that should bump me back to Executive Platinum for 2022.  

 

Then I'd buy Economy tickets for all of 2022 which should get me upgraded 80%+ of the time for free again.

 

Of course somewhere in there are a couple of new devaluations that could make me rethink the plan.

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1 hour ago, cv91915 said:

The only thing I've put on this card in 2019 are WiFi purchases to get the statement credits.


I have AA miles coming out of my rear end.  The companion certificate is worthless.

I hear you on the mileage front ... even though I burn 200k+ in redemptions each year (300k+ this year), my balance is holding in right around 1 mil miles.  But, then again, the fact that I've got miles to burn keeps them from being far from worthless ...

 

Let's just say that the air travel last week RT Barcelona in Bus/Prem Eco was "priceless"  :)

 

So, yeah, I'm gonna have miles in the hopper for some time to come (and Bev has her own 700k+, plus another 600k+ accumulating on Delta, on which her company flies her BC to Europe 3x-4x per year).  Even factoring potential devaluation down the road, I expect to get good value out of them when I travel less actively, have my lifetime Gold (or Plat) status, and reap from yet another "retirement account"!

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1 hour ago, cv91915 said:
Also... I am considering:

 

Using only miles for personal travel in 2020 and doing all First Class redemptions.  I will end up with no status for 2021...  then...

 

Paying cash for First Class tickets for personal travel for all of 2021.  Between this expenditure and work travel that should bump me back to Executive Platinum for 2022.  

 

Then I'd buy Economy tickets for all of 2022 which should get me upgraded 80%+ of the time for free again.

 

Of course somewhere in there are a couple of new devaluations that could make me rethink the plan.

 

Interesting strategy.  Depending upon your past success with FC upgrades, I trust that a "buy up" to EXP has been weighed as an alternative to the "buy FC" route.  (You have a superior head on your shoulders, so no doubt you've evaluated all the angles ... :)  )

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11 hours ago, hdporter said:

 

Interesting strategy.  Depending upon your past success with FC upgrades, I trust that a "buy up" to EXP has been weighed as an alternative to the "buy FC" route.  (You have a superior head on your shoulders, so no doubt you've evaluated all the angles ... :)  )

I have a detailed history of upgrade success with EP, so it'll be easy to calculate the ROI for any status offer that may be presented.  

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  1. Amex Gold (card canceled/final payment due in November - all restaurant charges for 4X MRs)
  2. Amex BCP (various grocery purchases for 6% cash back)
  3. Amex Green (CLEAR membership, pending $100 partial reimbursement via new card benefit)
  4. Amex Vonboy (TAD's recurring gym fee for a membership he started in 2015 but has literally never used)
  5. Bank of America Cash Rewards (online shopping purchases for 5.25% back)
  6. Bank of America Travel Rewards (non-category purchases for 2.625% back)
  7. Capital One Quicksilver (free BT of some work travel expenses that have already been reimbursed)
  8. Chase Freedom 5 (PayPal purchases for 5x URs)
  9. Discovery IT (Target.com purchase for 5% back)
  10. US Bank Altitude Reserve (multiple airfare purchases and a few miscellaneous Apple Pay purchases for 4.5% back)
  11. US Bank Cash+ (prepaid CA gas/electric bills plus miscellaneous other utility/ISP/streaming payments for 5% back)

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  1. PenFed Useless Rewards (tires/auto service to use $50/$1,000 spending offer)
  2. Citi Expedia (~$2,000 in insurance and misc non-category household purchases to get SUB valued at $500-710)
  3. US Bank Altitude Reserve (misc travel and Apple Pay purchases, including Auntie's new TV, all for 4.5% back)
  4. Amex EveryDay (Best Buy purchases for us [chest freezer, eBay gift cards] and Auntie [$300 of her new iPad] for $30 and 3,000 MR offers)
  5. Chase Freedom (misc PayPal purchases for 5 URs/$)
  6. Citi AA Executive (misc international purchases [no FTF] by TAD on the AU card while he's in Turkey)
  7. Citi TYP AU (misc purchases by TAD, PC to Double Cash in process)
  8. Amex SPG (Sherwin Williams purchase for $25/$100 offer)
  9. Amex Greenie (misc restaurant purchases)
  10. PayPal Extras (misc household purchases for $10/$100 spending offer)
  11. Bank of America Cash Rewards (misc household purchases, mainly online shopping and warehouse clubs for 5.25% / $3.5% back respectively)
  12. Capital One Quicksilver (free BT of misc travel expenses from Altitude Reserve) 
  13. Bank of America Travel Rewards (remainder of non-category spending for 2.625% back)
  14. US Bank Cash+ (ISP bills and prepaid utilities to max $2k quarterly 5% cap)
  15. Discovery IT ($2 residual balance)

Honorable mention:  

  1. TAD's new Amex Greenie (property tax payment to get SUB and $3.32 for my Away order)
  2. TAD's BoA Premium Rewards (AF, to be refunded when PC to World Wildlife Fund 3/2/1 card is complete)

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Posted (edited)

Looks like I peaked at 15 cards with balances.

 

This means that the other 15 13* cards I still have open are basically useless. 

 

Down to 7 with posted balances (all religiously PIF, of course):

  1. Amex Blue Cash Preferred.  Groceries for 6% back (and a $66 Lounge Buddy purchase that should have gone on one of our Greenies).
  2. Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa.  Online shopping for 5.25% back.
  3. Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa.  Non-category spending for 2.625% back.
  4. Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard.  Handful of small miscellaneous purchases by TAD with the AU card while traveling.
  5. Discovery IT.  Three Q4 Amazon purchases for 5% back (assuming they credit the rewards properly).
  6. US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa.  Miscellaneous travel and Apple Pay purchases for 4.5% back.
  7. US Bank Cash+ Visa.  Q4 utility charges for 5% back.

* I recently closed two bowl winders with indefensible annual fees:  the Barclays Arrival+ Mastercard and the Navee Fedrul Flagship Visa.

 

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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I don't see us using fewer than 8 cards every month to maximize rewards and other benefits.

 

The Aviator is a bit of a wildcard here, but there are often 1-2 cards that make cameo appearances on my list for a while, and then disappear back into the storage rack with the others that rarely see daylight.

 

Right now:

  1. Amex Green.  Dining (3X), hotel (3X) and non-category purchases sufficient to meet the $1,000 spending requirement for a 7,500-MR retention bonus.
  2. Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa.  Handful of online shopping purchases (5.25%).
  3. Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa.  Non-category purchases (2.625%)
  4. Barclays Aviator Silver.  Experimental quasi-MS activity to reach American Airlines EQD and EQM bonus thresholds (work in process).
  5. Chase Freedom Visa.  Gas purchases (5X).
  6. Citi Double Cash Mastercard AU (formerly TYP AU).  Whatever nonsense TAD has purchased in the past couple of weeks (2%).
  7. US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa.  Airfare, hotels and ApplePay (100% grocery store) purchases (4.5%).
  8. US Bank Cash+ Visa.  Utility and ISP charges (5%)

 

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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I am just like you.

I use cards for utilities, mortgage, groceries etc.

So about 8-10 different card, plus I am carrying a few BT's.

I just make sure I keep them under 75%.

 

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1 hour ago, althes said:

I am just like you.

I use cards for utilities, mortgage, groceries etc.

So about 8-10 different card, plus I am carrying a few BT's.

I just make sure I keep them under 75%.

 

Before I started this thread it seemed like I was only regularly using 3 or 4 cards, but yeah, it seems like that's 8-10 is about the right number for someone who cares about optimization.

 

I still need to work a couple more BoA 3/2/1 cards into this for ongoing gas and grocery purchases.  Any more on your hit list?

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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Posted (edited)

TAD went an entire billing cycle without putting a single purchase on the only credit card he carries.  😲   

 

He did purchase one tank of gas during this time, but I handed him my Chase Freedom on his way out the door so we could pick up 5X URs on the purchase.

 

He also put one ~$15 purchase on the $25 Home Depot gift card I recently received from PenFed in exchange for more than six years of activity on their ridiculously unrewarding Platinum Rewards Visa.

 

 

OucUvGh.png

 

Edited by cv91915

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Posted (edited)
  1. Amex Blue Cash Preferred.  Grocery purchases for 6% cash back.
  2. Amex Green.  Dining purchases for 3X MRs.
  3. Bank of America Cash Rewards.  Online shopping purchases (including my new limited-purpose laptop) for 5.25% cash back.
  4. Bank of America Travel Rewards.  Non-category spending for 2.625% back.
  5. Barclays Aviator Silver.  Quasi-M$ activity in exchange for 5,000 AA EQMs, and 52% of the required spending toward 3,000 AA EQDs.*
  6. US Bank Cash+.  ISP charges and utility prepayments to exactly max out the $2,000 spending cap for these 5% categories.
  7. US Bank Altitude Reserve.  Miscellaneous travel and ApplePay purchases for 4.5% back.

 

* I am expecting that the requirements for renewing various elite status levels will be revised once travel resumes to relatively normal levels, so this may have been wasted effort/expense.

 

 

Edited by cv91915

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Partial update.

 

My US Bank Altitude Reserve statement just closed with a $0 balance for the first time in recent memory (and I didn't push any payments mid-cycle).

 

Amex recently bribed me with $150 to "re-upgrade" my Blue Cash Everyday back to a Blue Cash preferred, so all of the grocery spending that I was running through Altitude via Apple Pay for 4.5% back is now earning 6% on my BCP. 

 

And or course, I spent zero on travel (also 4.5% back on the Altitude) during the cycle.  In fact, the only pending activity on the Altitude is a refund for a hotel stay in Chicago that I recently canceled.   

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1 - Amex Blue Cash Preferred (groceries for 6% back)

2 - Amex Green (using Amazon offer for 5x MRs/$ up to 2,000 MRs, handful of dining purchases for 3x MRs)

3 - Bank of America Cash Rewards (online shopping for 5.25% back)

4 - Chase Freedom (Lyft ride for 5x URs)

5 - US Bank Cash + (utility/ISP charges for 5% back)

 

Bank of America Travel Rewards normally catches my non-category spending (2.625% back), but there hasn't been much of that...  Our auto insurance company issued a  $10 credit to this card on 4/18, and the balance is still -0.18 after two recurring Ooma charges.

 

I'm not counting my Barclays Aviator Silver, because the current $199 balance is just the annual fee.  It's currently impossible to claw this back back through onboard food purchases, so I'll have some work to do when they start catering food onto aircraft again.  

 

==============================================

 

Honorable mention (TAD's cards):

 

1 - Bank of America World Wildlife Fund (online shopping)

2 - Capital One Vulture (property tax payment to hit SUB)

3 - Citi Double Cash (misc. needs and whims)

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