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Choosing the Best Rewards Card for My Spouse


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Not sure where you live but if you can swing it, CNB Visa Infinite might do the trick as it covers a large number of merchant codes at 3x.

Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on gasoline, grocery, 
airline, hotel, taxi (including Uber and Lyft), 
limousine, rental car, train, bus, restaurant,
fast food, and takeout food dining purchases

It sucks cause you have high spend in both travel and general... that's a hard to optimize for with 1 card. My money is on CSR at this point.

Edited by generallissimo
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I recently picked up a Navy Federal Flagship, for the $500 SUB.  

 

This card pays 3x for travel and 2x for everything else.  There are multiple redemption options where points are worth $0.01 each.

 

The $49 AF is waived for the first year, so that wouldn't be a factor for at least the first several months of 2019.  Assuming an entire year of spending:

 

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The AF waiver in year one is the key to this card finishing at the top of the heap so far.  Once the AF kicks in it completely changes the rewards dynamic for this spending profile, so we wouldn't actually put the entire year of spending on this card.

 

Below you can see how the AF in years 2+ entirely wipes out the value of the extra point earned for travel purchases - even for someone whose spending mix skews heavily toward travel.

 

I won't pay a $49 AF for a flat 2% card, but I would consider having TAD use an AU card on this account until the anniversary date for 2.6%, at which point we'd either close the card or downgrade/sock drawer it.

 

fJffu7b.png

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CV - Have you looked at anything in the Citi portfolio?  Knowing you travel AA a bunch, you would have the option to move points to AA miles (among other travel partners).  Another option might be the Alliant 3%/2.5% cash card.  

 

I know you were trying to keep it simple, but I think the CSR is still better than the Navy because you are comparing the best case NFCU (year 1, no AF) against the worst case CSR (using the points for 1.5% travel rather than transfer redemption).  If you made even one redemption at a slightly higher than 1.5% rate, you end up ahead of the NFCU best case.

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51 minutes ago, CTSoxFan said:

CV - Have you looked at anything in the Citi portfolio?  Knowing you travel AA a bunch, you would have the option to move points to AA miles (among other travel partners).  Another option might be the Alliant 3%/2.5% cash card.  

 

I know you were trying to keep it simple, but I think the CSR is still better than the Navy because you are comparing the best case NFCU (year 1, no AF) against the worst case CSR (using the points for 1.5% travel rather than transfer redemption).  If you made even one redemption at a slightly higher than 1.5% rate, you end up ahead of the NFCU best case.

I'm nearly finished cycling through the cards we already have, and then I'll look at cards we don't.  

 

I will say that with about 1.2 million on hand, we don't need more AA miles.  :)  But we never seem to have a similarly huge surplus of hotel points. 

 

TAD recently got a Thank You Premier, and I'm expecting that to do pretty well when I do the rewards calculations.

 

The Flagship clearly has zero viability as a long-term card.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/12/2018 at 12:48 PM, cv91915 said:

We have a Cash Rewards Visa and a Travel Rewards Visa...  and TAD has a Premium Rewards card but it's almost a year old so it's nearly time to close it.  

 

I may open up a Premium Rewards Visa of my own this week for a SUB, and I could add an AU to that.

 

(And yes to status)

 

That's the winner (Premium Rewards Visa). As long as you claim the Airline Reimbursement every year.

Edited by mec
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The Ebates Visa pays a flat 1% on all purchases, but it also pays an extra 3% on qualifying online purchases that start from the Ebates shopping portal.  That's what drew me in, but you might have noticed that:

 

([Ebates earning rate for a given merchant] + 3% back on Ebates Visa) < most other shopping portals' earning rate for the same merchant

 

Add in the rewards from another credit card used in conjunction with a different shopping portal, and you'll really struggle for reasons to pull this card out of the drawer for any reason.

 

Aside from that, TAD would use the Ebates portal for online shopping approximately 0% of the time, so the math on this one is pretty easy.

 

P4RTV4Y.png

 

Definitely one of the very weakest cards I have!

 

Not that it matters, but I give a slight edge to the W*****t MasterCard because it pays rewards as a statement credit on the statement in which they were earned, vs. Ebates which pays quarterly.

 

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa is still at the very bottom.  :lol:  

 

Fj1hiYn.png

 

 

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