Credit Card combos

New / Eng michalumni
Sep 5, 2018 34 Comments

Hi all,

Wondering what credit cards folks use here to get the best rewards. I use the following.

Amazon chase card — use at Amazon and Whole Foods. 5% back.

Combo of Wells Fargo cards — propel American Express to collect 3x points on dining out and gas stations. Also pay for Netflix with this. I then transfer the points to the Wells Fargo signature rewards which can be redeemed for 1.5x on travel. This leads to 4.5% back if used on airline tickets.

For everything else I use the Alliant cash back card. To get this card you need to be a part of the Alliant credit union. Going on their website you can join the credit union by making a $10 donation to one of their charities. No annual fee year 1 and 3% cash back on everything. Total 3% cash back.

This means I am mostly getting my expenses back at between 3-5%, that’s a good amount of TC back, especially given it’s post tax TC.

Does anyone have any improvements to optimize my cards?

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TOP 34 Comments
  • Booking.com FatShady
    Best combo I know of is no credit card at all.
    Sep 5, 2018 12
    • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
      Eh? That figure sounds way off. How much do you spend per month?
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Booking.com FatShady
      There are no free CCs here in Europe that give you points (that I know of).
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
      Lloyd’s Premier Duo Avios Rewards MasterCard/Amex account is nearly free and gives you decent rewards.

      Rewards in general are much worse in Europe due to anticompetitive EU regulations.
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Facebook public
      Ohhhh sorry, yes europe doesn't do or reward credit. Sorry should have clarified this is primarily a US thing. All my european friends have us credit cards.
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Tier 1
      That’s a splendiferous idea. You could get a US card with no transaction fee and use it in Europe
      Sep 5, 2018
  • Amazon
    TC = 1 mil

    Amazon

    BIO
    I love Rocket.
    TC = 1 milmore
    Costco card for gas and dinning. Everything else citi double cash
    Sep 5, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Mgmt
    PhntmThvs

    Amazon Mgmt

    BIO
    TAKE YOUR HEART
    PhntmThvsmore
    I used to obsess over optimizing this stuff until I realized by juggling 4-6 credit cards I was only saving up to a few hundred a year more. The hassle of carrying the cards, picking the right ones, managing the payments wasn't worth it to me. If you want to keep your life simple just get a 2% flat rate cash back card that has no annual fee. Or even a 1.5% one. If you spend $20000 on it per year you're only missing out on $100 a year versus the 2%.
    Sep 6, 2018 0
  • New / Eng TY!
    American Express Platinum.

    At several occasions there has been some girl that comments on the metal card.

    The girls reaction is 😱😳😉😘

    Once I was on a date with a girl I meet in Europe and when I handed my card to the waiter he said “Oh shit, there is a lot of money on this card” and tapped it against the table.

    The girls reaction was 😯🤑👙💦

    And the best part is that my TC is quite low actually...

    My reaction is 😢😩😫😭🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️
    Sep 5, 2018 0
  • Salesforce YaEE06
    Chase Sapphire reserve, freedom, freedom unlimited. Overall effective yield of 3.6% for me last year with this combo, that’s net (after all fees)
    Sep 5, 2018 0
  • Roku / Eng Rkuo
    Got Southwest companion pass after getting 110k points by signing up for Chase Southwest Premier & Plus. This means someone travels for free with me anywhere on Southwest.

    Chase Freedom - 6% (5% quarterly bonus + 1%)
    Chase Freedom Unlimited - 1.5%
    Chase Reserve - 3%

    I transfer all Chase points to Southwest at a redemption value of 1.5 cents per point, then double it to 3 cents per point due to companion pass. That means my effective cash back in Southwest flights is

    Chase Freedom - 18% on quarterly categories
    Chase Freedom Unlimited - 4.5% on everything else
    Chase Reserve - 9% on food and travel
    Sep 5, 2018 6
    • eBay CEbi00
      How do you maximize the quarterly categories to the fullest for freedom card ?
      Sep 5, 2018
    • New / Eng michalumni
      OP
      Yes as another follow up to this — how do you stay at hotels using this strategy? Is that fully out of pocket or is there a complimentary way to also use cards to rack up hotel points?
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Roku / Eng Rkuo
      Out of pocket for hotel. But Amex credit card has good hotel offers like $50 off $200, $60 off $300. CheapTickets.com always has 16% off promo
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Roku / Eng Rkuo
      To maximize chase freedom you can buy gift cards. This quarter includes Walgreens, last quarter included grocery stores.
      Sep 5, 2018
    • New / Eng michalumni
      OP
      One last point is do you actually use the return in southwest tickets? My guess is I spend 25k/year on credit cards. I would imagine I get 3k-4K back using this combo — southwest tickets are cheap anyhow. Even for my family of 4 (we won’t buy a ticket for the baby) 2 Trips a year is under 2k.
      Sep 6, 2018
  • Google 🐾catar
    I have Sapphire reserve for everyday use and churn everything else. I'm on my 12th credit card since moving to US a few years ago.
    Sep 5, 2018 5
    • Amazon sockeye
      Get the freedom and use it in all the areas your Sapphire doesn't get any special bonus. Then transfer the points on the freedom to the sapphire so you can take advantage of the better points redemption options on the sapphire.

      I would check whether you churn strategy is really worth the effort you put into it. What if you put the same effort into a side gig, or worked a little overtime to try and get a promotion. I bet the time you spend churning isn't the best use of your time unless you just think it's fun.
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Google 🐾catar
      It doesn't take much time at all, just a 30 second application every couple of months, and closing some accounts once or twice a year.
      Sep 5, 2018
    • New / Eng michalumni
      OP
      Does this churning hit your credit rating every time you get new cards?
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Google 🐾catar
      It builds my credit! Low utilization and high number of accounts. I'm around 800 right now. Pretty good for an immigrant.
      Sep 5, 2018
    • Amazon dqJw06
      If it’s just building credit, I just got my parents to add me as an authorized user for a card they still have open for 20+ years. Right after, my score shot up by 50 points.
      Sep 11, 2018
  • Juniper Poco Loco
    SPG for everything.

    Costco for restaurant and Costco. I also use Uber card for restaurants.👍

    Cash+ for electronic stores and movie theaters

    Discover and Chase Freedom for their quarterly sirens categories.

    I also churn big bonus sign ups cards as appropriate.
    Sep 6, 2018 0
  • Amazon dqJw06
    Uber 4% restaurants and Uber eats, 3% flights and hotels, 2% on online shopping and Uber rides, 1% else.

    No fee, and $100 if you spend $500 after 3 months.

    Food-wise, this is pretty much one of if not the best card if you eat out a lot.
    Sep 11, 2018 0
  • Google Qudbbdixjr
    Keep getting sign on bonuses. There are many cards offer 150~200 when you spend 500. Which is 30% ~ 40% return. No cash back / points can do this high.
    Keep track of your credit report. It won't hurt your score too much and recovers quickly if you take care of it.
    Sep 7, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Creative
    Amazon/CSR/FreedomUnlimited
    Sep 5, 2018 0