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:
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:
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:
Discover Referral Link: