Cashback, Cashback, Cashback: Cash is King

Old Nov 23, 15, 10:44 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Upper Sternistan
Posts: 7,648
Cashback, Cashback, Cashback: Cash is King

Sure, this theme comes up with every round of devaluations, but I think in this climate, it's even more true than in the past.

Outside of special situations, I'm convinced that 2% cashback is the way to go for credit card spend.

Those special situations?
-Sign up bonuses
-Spend bonuses (retention offers; reaching tier levels)
-Category bonuses (GGD, air travel, or restaurants, for example)
-Spend to get points/miles for a non-speculative, specific award, either at better than 2c/point, or to cap off a base of points to get an award
-(I'm sure I'm not thinking of something here - is Amex offers worth mentioning?)

Beyond that, a 2% CB card is, in fact, money in the bank.

Why am I pronouncing now to be different?

Given the recent devaluations (American's recent devaluations, Delta's general devaluation and erosion of elite benefits, SPG's buyout and likely dismantling, United's general decline on several fronts, etc.) I'm just no longer willing to speculate that I can currently generate more value than 2% CB, outside of any of the special situations listed above.

So I'll still carry a restaurant card (probably Hyatt) and a GGD card (currently Discover, after the ApplePay promo probably Amex Hilton) in my wallet and I'll still use a Prestige for hotels and some other travel, but for the vast majority of my spend, even MS, it'll be Barclays Arrival or Citi DoubleCash.
josephstern is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 11:16 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: ATL
Programs: DL, Marriott
Posts: 728
Agreed but those first 3 bullet points are pretty much 100% of my spend which is why I still don't have a cash back card (unless you consider Freedom, which I'm using to store UR to transfer, not cash out). So to me, they're not really 'special' but rather, the norm.
pritomd is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 7:47 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
-(I'm sure I'm not thinking of something here - is Amex offers worth mentioning?)
for me, they're worth it. since BCE and BCP are capped at $3K and $6K that earns the 3% and 6% bonus, beyond the capped amount, I get only 1% on all purchases. But with AGC, BBuy, newegg, amazon, offers that I've gotten, $credits ran into several hundreds(depending on # of AUs) plus bonus 1% RD. With other am3x cards +AUs with offers, it's a sure winner!
Mamibear is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 7:54 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Cincinnati
Programs: AA, Hyatt
Posts: 371
Yeah BCP is great for that first 6k in spending, then it goes in the sock drawer.

I use my PenFed Platinum Rewards card for my MS right now. 2.551% cash back based on the points needed for the Gift Card rewards from them (or Amazon Gift Card) when used at a grocery store. That's my best option there. I also use it for gas because it is a 4.2517% cash back card there.

Everywhere else is my Double cash unless they take apple pay, then I use my discover to get that 22% before the end of the year.
shitrus is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 9:11 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Upper Sternistan
Posts: 7,648
Originally Posted by pritomd View Post
Agreed but those first 3 bullet points are pretty much 100% of my spend which is why I still don't have a cash back card (unless you consider Freedom, which I'm using to store UR to transfer, not cash out). So to me, they're not really 'special' but rather, the norm.
That's pretty impressive to have all of your spend in bonus categories. No clothes? Insurance? Books?
josephstern is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 1:54 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: ATL
Programs: DL, Marriott
Posts: 728
Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
That's pretty impressive to have all of your spend in bonus categories. No clothes? Insurance? Books?
Spend in non bonus earning categories is so low (<5%) or infrequent (once a quarter?) that I haven't motivated myself to get another card
pritomd is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 6:49 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 286
The benefits of Ms isn't just cash back. It's point value. Just today I got 10 cpp for ultimate rewards points for an AA flight booked via avios.

AA wants $1001 for a fully refundable RT ticket from the 27th to 30th of this month. I booked on ba for 27,900 avios and 33.60 for 3 tickets.

I realize it's not always ideal but the value of this award negates a year of 2% earnings to me.
isriam is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 7:53 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,458
YMMV.

Last edited by Chelski; Jan 9, 16 at 11:02 am
Chelski is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread