rewards from credit cards, which 1?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Ender, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. Ender

    Ender Well-Known Member

    WIth so many programs out there on credit cards - which is ranked high for doing rewards and points and such? For exanple, the Delta CC gives you miles on theirs and Discover gives you a certain % back. What has been the experiences of those here?

    Or are the majority of us trying to get good credit in the first place before considering this? =) I am just looking out for my near future when I do hit prime and start applying, i want to do that strategically.

    I wanted to consider everything from:

    1) APR
    2) Annual Fee
    3) credit limit stinginess/laxness and upgrades
    4) acceptance (visa, mc, amex, etc.)
    5) balance transfer rates
    6) incentives, meaning coupons, discounts, price matching, etc.
    7) points on airlines and how generous it works
    8) % cash back rewards
    9) etc., anything else??
  2. Gregory

    Gregory Well-Known Member

    I enjoy my AMEX Rewards Plus Gold Card -
    1 - No APR - you must pay in full each month (however - you do have the option to select a item to pay over time)
    2 - The annual fee is $150 (yikes) - BUT you get your Membership Rewards Program for free
    3 - No preset limit
    4 - I have run into a few merchants that do not accept Amex
    5 - No BT
    6 - With the free enrollment into Membership Rewards - I get double points for every dollar I spend for the first year, and 1.5 points for every dollar after that.
    7 - I transfer my M.R. points to my SW Airlines Rapid Rewards card.
    8 - You can earn cash back by trading in your M.R. points, but it is quite a bit of points (50,000, I think?)?

    Just my opinion!
  3. dave

    dave Well-Known Member


    I doubt that you will find a single card that will give all of these benefits and there is no guarantee that the terms won't change. Some credit card companies are notorious for attracting new customers with low rates and then suddenly jacking up the APR into the 20s when the cardholder, taking advantage of the favorable terms, starts carrying a substantial balance. Several people here have posted complaints about this practice.

    You have to have several cards as a buffer against such predatory practices. Flexibility is key.

    Rewards cards generally come with annual fees and the APR tend to run higher than for cards that don't offer rewards. The key is to revolve balances on low rate cards and use rewards cards for normal monthly spending that you can pay in full each month to avoid finance charges. If you charge a big ticket item on a rewards card, you should plan to transfer the balance to another card so that you get the rewards and avoid high interest.

    I have several cards but the ones I use the most are these:

    Citibank Plat. No annual fee. 11.9 fixed. Carrying a balance at 6.9 until December. I have never charged anything on this card. I use it exclusively for balance transfers.

    Nextcard 7.49 variable but next month going to 9.99 fixed. No annual fee. This card offers rewards. It is my best all round card. The rewards program fee of $39 was waived for the first year. Used for balance transfers and purchases. (Rates are the same for both).

    MBNA Plat. 12.99 for purchases and cash advances. No annual fee. 3.9 until September for balance transfers and cash advances. Used only for balance transfer at this time. The cash advance rate is very attractive compared to Citibanks 19.9% and Nextcard's 21% rates and the 3% transaction fee is capped at $40 if the advance is taken by access check rather than through a bank.

    Citibank Aadvantage. 16.4. Annual fee $50. Offers travel rewards. I charged the downpayment on a car and transferred the balance to MBNA to avoid high interest.
  4. creditwork

    creditwork Well-Known Member

    I have to warn you, must cards will not give you the rewards on balance transfer offers. I have a Delta Skymiles from Amex. I use a First USA United Airline miles card to earn reward miles.
  5. mj

    mj Well-Known Member

    The last post was a good one -- when you get a rewards card, plan on treating it as a CHARGE card.

    Few, if any, offer a low-enough APR to make it worth your while to revolve, and none that I know of offer points/miles for bal xfers.

    Somebody (Chase maybe?) offered a novel approach to this a while back - they called it the mileage builder or something like that. They marketed it to travelers and encouraged them to rack-up the miles using their rewards cards- then xfer the balance to this account (I think it was a line of credit).

    That's kind of what we do. Macy's Visa earns Macy's $ but at 19.4 no way would I revolve. Those balances, if not paid in full, go to a 9.9 card (First Omaha).

    Amex (Gold Rewards + & Corporate) and Diners Club are all pay-in-full, so no biggie there.

    ***I TAKE SOME OF THAT BACK*** now that I think about it, Amex Blue is linked to my membership rewards and has a 9.9 - so that's a good revolving card to have (no points for BT's tho).

    The other poster who listed off the Amex Rewards+ Gold Card bennies was dead-on. Also, purchase protection, best value guarantee, etc. are nice.

    Diners offers the most flexibilities in redeeming points (and less flexibility on earning them - not as widely accepted).

    Best of luck-

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