My Take on Credit Cards

I have always been a big proponent of having and keeping a normal job.  One of the reasons I do that is because it makes it really easy to pay bills on time with a “No Variance” source of income, and that has helped me build one helluva credit score.  A credit score is an AP opportunity. Said another way, you should be absolutely killing any opportunity that has a 5% edge.

How many credit cards do I have?  Good question… I have no plans to count.  I got most of them from a new account bonus offer and I’ve been collecting them over time.   I do credit cards a little different than what most other hustlers recommend.  I aim at cash, not travel.  If travel is your thing, I can refer you to some sites or people who would love to talk in detail about things like product changes and exchange rates between frequent flyer programs…  But I hate airplanes and hotels.  I’d much rather stay at home and count my money all day.

Anyway, here is what the first quarter of 2019 looked like for me:

Credit Cards.PNG

Now, a few notes… 

Many of these cards are rotating 5% cash back categories, so the strategy changes every quarter.

Amazon:  Install a chrome extension called Wikibuy.  It does two things:

-          Checks retailers outside Amazon to see if there is a lower price (including shipping)

-          You can set an alert to tell you when the price drops on Amazon.

How would you know a price might drop?   

Here is another useful web site: 

https://camelcamelcamel.com/

You can put an Amazon URL in their search bar, and it will show you pricing history on Amazon.

US Bank:  You get to choose 5% categories every quarter and they have several unusual options.  I’ve never seen utilities as an option before on any other card.  It’s not unusual for utility companies to charge you X to pay by credit card.  That will cut into the cash back, but you should check to see if you can make multiple advance payments at once.  i.e. a $3 fee on a $100 bill is 3%, but if I pay $500 and am only subject to a $3 fee, that’s only 0.6%. 

Bank of America:  This one is sweet.  I know 3% doesn’t sound awesome, but you can stack it with other offers for online shopping.  https://www.cashbackholic.com/ is worth looking at.  It compares cash back portals so you can maximize your money.

Wells Fargo:  Wells cards include insurance for the thousand-dollar-all-glass phone you have in your back pocket.   You can probably get a couple more percent cash back elsewhere, but I’d bet it’s not worth it.  First off, you should only be paying about $40 a month for cell service.  If your bill is higher than that, you are doing something wrong.  Also, if you can drop a $12 a month phone insurance fee, that should be about a 30% earn in terms of monthly billing.

Any In-Store Promotions:  Does your supermarket have a discount on gasoline via their rewards club?  If so, use it.  Did Arby’s mail you some coupons?  Dude, Arby’s has the meat! (If you are a vegetarian, try their poppers.)  The point is, in store rewards programs and coupons just compound your savings.

Gift Cards: Most credit card companies say they are excluded from cash back, but I think it’s one of those deals where they have to catch you. I would take a shot if you are struggling to fill up a category and have cash to burn.

Gas Stations: You can usually save even more if you use gas station apps to pay. Phillips 66 is good, they will give you $0.10 off per gallon if you pay with their app with links to, you’ll never guess… Chase.

Referrals are the only way I make any money from this site, so if you like what you are reading and feel like using one of my links, I would appreciate it.

Chase Referral Link:

https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/PLILTPHGXV

Discover Referral Link:

http://refer.discover.com/s/qqax6c