Best Credit Card?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by RyanB, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    We had this topic in the chatroom, so I thought it would be interesting to ask the rest of the board.

    Which credit card issuer provides the best return? I use Discover and get 5% cash back at various places offered each quarter like fuel, grocery store and restaurant purchases and 1% on everything else all the time. I realize that some view these 'reward systems' as sales gimmicks, which they are certainly, but if you're going to purchase the item or service anyway, you might as well get some kind of kickback for it.

    What other benefits do you find with the use of credit cards over a debit - bank card? (easy disputes, travel insurance, etc.)

    Also, what about those cards that offer airline miles? What's the purchase cost to miles ratio on your card?
     
  2. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    I mainly use Costco Visa for gas/restaurants/travel and Citi Double Cash for everything else. I also use Chase Freedom whenever the category-of-the-month is good.

    That combo gives me about 3.5% cash back on average.
     
  3. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Back when I owned my business, I was charging about $30k to $40k/month on my Chase Marriott Visa. I racked up millions of points and am still staying at Marriotts for free. And I am a LIfetime Platinum member, which has some nice perks. Now, my regular personal spending generates enough points that I can't foresee having to pay for too many hotels in the future when there is a Marriott around. I get double points on all purchases, plus a couple of free night certificates on my anniversary.
     
  4. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    If you're an international traveler the CapitalOne Venture card has zero Fx fees and gives you the market rate. Living in Europe but still being paid in the US has made this essential for us. The travel eraser is pretty good too.

    Before moving here my main card was Discover.
     
  5. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    What is a travel eraser?

    We used Chase Sapphire and a Schwab debit card for travels, and to adios nonsense fx fees. Sapphire is "middle of the road" for the cashback game, but the car rental cover was great in Australia to cover a cracked windshield.
     
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  6. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I have cards that give you 1.5% cashback on everything. They are easy to find. I really can't be bothered to figure out more than that though now that I think about it , my Shell card $.05/gallon discount on $2.50/gallon gas only 2%. Other than that, I picked up an AA card with 50k free miles and first year fee waived. I will cancel before the year is out. Same with my Spirit card.
     
  7. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

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    The best is not to have any credit cards at all!
     
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  8. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    That is a viewpoint but many folks pay their balances in full each month and enjoy the perks.
     
  9. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I use a Chase Sapphire Reserve card for 3x points for travel and food, as well as the 150% point redemption value for when I cash in the points for travel (hotels and rental cars). I use their Freedom Unlimited card for 1.5x points on everything else.

    As an airline guy miles aren't necessary, but I usually end up with enough points with Chase to always have hotels and rental cars paid for wherever I go. The nice thing about that is that I'm not locked into specific chains - the points can be used anywhere.
     
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  10. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Yep. That's what we do.
     
  11. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    I think it is actually called Purchase Eraser or something. You get "miles" for every dollar spent and you can use them to cover purchases you have already made. I usually use it to cover our AirBnb rentals we do when visiting other places throughout Europe.
     
  12. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

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    I agree but most people are not responsible with cards... Probably 95% of the US has huge credit card debt.
    People always ask how I afford to fly. My comment is all my cash goes to having fun, not paying 25% interest on credit card debt.
     
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  13. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    Uhh no, 95% is wildly inaccurate.
    https://www.lexingtonlaw.com/blog/credit-cards/average-credit-card-debt-statistics.html
    But 43% is still more than I expected.

    Why not use it responsibly and reap the benefits? I have 2% cash back cards on everything... (that I pay off in full). If you don't have these you're essentially throwing X% of your money away, which doesnt seem all that financially responsible to me. :sosp:
     
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  14. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Citi Double Cash card is 2% cash back on everything. Fidelity Visa is 2% everything as well.
     
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  15. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I do not have a lot of cash on hand, just steady income, and occasionally have to let a balance go for a month or two but generally I am very good about paying in full. My son and his girl are just 20 and I drummed into them to be very careful with credit. I got into trouble years ago on more than one occasion. Not these days, though.
     
  16. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I thought we all did that. :D I haven't paid any credit card interest in probably 15 years but have received lots of cash back.
     
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  17. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    Same here. I can’t book a flight, rent a car or order online without one, but the 2-3% payback is nice, plus I don’t have to deal with cash.

    I know there are downsides to this. The tax man, for example holds me fully accountable.
     
  18. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Barclay jet blue card.
     
  19. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    Then you’re paying 1-5% more than you need to on all your purchases. That’s wasting some pretty good money right there. I personally save over $200 just on groceries each year by using my card.

    For a couple years my apartment was taking payment by credit. I was thoroughly enjoying my 1% discount. Unfortunately they got rid of it a couple years before we moved out.

    It’s free money if you’re only buying what you need.
     
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  20. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Same combination I use when traveling abroad. Sapphire for purchases, Schwab for cash at ATM’s.
     
  21. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If we all did that, there would be none of these big cash back programs. They are subsidized by those who don’t. Kinda likea the rich get richer and the poor get poorer thang.
     
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  22. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The rich keep getting richer, because they keep doing the things that make them rich.
    The poor keep getting poorer, because they keep doing the things that make them poor.
    Neil Boortz
     
  23. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Exactly
     
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  24. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    I do too, but there is a pretty hefty annual fee. Not sure if it's worth it unless you do quite a bit of expensive travel (I do). I'm also glad that they count public transportation as "travel".
     
  25. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I don’t spend money on airfare, but like you said *any* travel is the key - $300 of it comes back to me within a couple of months between all the ride sharing and subway fares that get credited back. I got my wife TSA Precheck. The Priority Pass doesn’t have a lounge in my terminal, but it *does* cover a nice restaurant. So every week when I roll into work I have a $20 breakfast paid for. Being in the city, eating out and and doing the spendy night on the town stuff all gets triple points, which ends up being worth about $600 in cash back each year, or $900 if I spend it on travel (which in my case is hotels and rental cars). So I figure I get my money’s worth out of the card.
     
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  26. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    This is like having 100 guys pick the prettiest girl. Or visa Versa... it depends.

    Personally. i like 2% back everywhere, vs trying to juggle which card gives me 5% here and 3% there this month. But YMMV.
     
  27. crash7

    crash7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And the stores/vendors add 3% to the price of everything to cover the CC transaction costs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  28. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Interest comment. I have never paid a penny in credit card interest and have received over $15,000 in cash back since 2000. I charge about every thing.
     
  29. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    The other thing I use is for is trip insurance, since I occasionally take trips that are paid for far in advance. I've never tried to claim anything though, so I'm not sure how easy that would be.
     
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  30. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Well yeah, and you pay that no matter how you pay...
     
  31. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Considering that debit cards offer many of the issues, plus a lot more. I assume you only pay cash.

    I also assume that buying airfare, renting a car, paying for self service fuel, or hotel rooms must be very interesting for you? :)
     
  32. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

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    I use my debit card, money is there... Not a credit card using someone elses money.
    My comment was for the idiots that charge up cards and pay the high interest and never get them paid off.
     
  33. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Nerdwallet is a great comparison tool so you can see what works best for you and you can do a side by side comparison. Depending on credit, what you buy most of, etc...

    Just don’t use your cards for small purchases from small business. They pay every time it’s swiped plus a percentage, so for a small purchase it kills em...
     
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  34. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    visa Versa? about the Vice card. 5% cash back on vice transactions
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  35. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The ones who put more on each month than they’re paying off, and the ones who only pay the minimum payment. Yeah, those are great ways to slit your throat and get upside down in a hurry.
     
  36. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    I get that. :) No reason to have the discussion, if someone is willing to play their game with the interests, fees.

    But assuming fully paid each month. The fraud protections that exist with credit cards, and do not exist with debit cards are one reason to use someone else's money for the grace period... In fact, it could be argued that using someone elses money, interest free, for as long as possible would be ideal for a lot of situations.

    I can't tell you how many self services pumps, etc just put holds on money for 3-5 days. Sometimes 2-3 times for one purchase. Just ties money up for no reason in a checking account, that could be otherwise doing something more useful. Hotels authorizing $500 per night on a $100/night room, etc. It can easily add up to thousands not available for a while, even before the fraud issues start.
     
  37. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    In line with that, couple weeks ago I went to rent a car. I think it was Alamo. I decline the insurance for two reasons, one I'm covered under my own policy and two my credit card covers me. So the guy at the counter asked me what's the deductible on my collision. Well I carry a $2,000 deductible but I told him $250 cuz I could see where this was going. So he says oh we're going to put an additional hold against your credit card for the amount of your deductible. First time that's ever happened to me and I rent, not a lot, but a few times a year.
     
  38. topgun260

    topgun260 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Anyone have the Amazon Prime Rewards card?

    "The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, issued through Chase, has some enticing rewards: 5 percent back on purchases you make on Amazon and at Whole Foods, as well as 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and qualifying drug stores, plus 1 percent on all other purchases. When you sign up, Amazon also throws in a $70 gift card bonus."
     
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  39. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Once I realized that scrabbling for an additional 2% with cards wasn’t as efficient as simply working hard enough to make more than 2% growth somewhere else, be it income or investments, I found I wasted a lot less time in my life forking around with credit cards and chasing “the best one”

    I can tell you this, the banker you’re paying for his vacations with those things (and raising the prices merchants charge for everything in the process) isn’t even going to get up half an hour or early from bed for 2% on his credit card.

    $200 back on $10K isn’t worth the time when you count all the hours spent just dealing with the FIVE replacement cards and new numbers that Barclays sent me one year because they had clearly INTERNALS fraud going on. There isn’t any other way someone could charge $100 from the exact same gas pump in California to FIVE consecutive new card numbers in five months.

    I still put a few things through cards for REAL perks, like doubling manufacturer warranties on crap that WILL fail as soon as the warranty is up, and letting the card insurer buy me new appliances, for example. Or there’s a card that’s paying for all annual Clear and whatever the other fast pass thing is for travelers. If I still travelled I’d be on that one.

    But the 2% isn’t even worth the hassle.

    Amex lowered one of my card limits a while ago. I finally had to call them for something else and asked why. They told me it was because I “wasn’t using it enough”. Hahaha.

    I told her my credit “score” (there’s an impressive psychological scam based on gamifying debt... wow) and said if she wanted me to, I could cancel it. Because we took that card when costco dropped their Amex, and Amex decided to report that as “new credit” instead of saying I’m a 15 year customer, they actually HARMed by credit rating.

    She kinda didn’t know what to say. I joked, “I’ll keep the stupid useless thing for now.” and hung up on her.

    About the only use I have for Amex is they’re the ONE card that never has any fraud, that they bother me with, anyway. EVERY other card has been replaced for fraud at one time or another.

    And yeah. That 2% back is spiffy if you can put it on autopilot and have stuff get paid and then automatically pay the card off. But then you get to change card numbers with thirty vendors every time the crappy card system is defrauded. A FEW vendors know how to use the recurring charge thing that survives a card number change, but the vast majority don’t, and you have to waste hours changing all that.

    Ain’t worth it. Not to me. I can make 2% more than my spending by doing other things. Not even hard things. A couple hours of research into my investments and dumping the weak stuff will yield WAY more than that stupid 2% cash back.

    That’s all I’m sayin’. I loath debt. I really loathe broken security systems that waste my time. I will happily mess with cash back when some card company hires a concierge to go to all of my vendor websites and changes the card number for me every time they get their asses handed to them by the fraudsters. And they can call the small town vendors who don’t have websites and fix those too, like my propane company.

    Nah. It’s not a chase I need to bother with. I’ll leave $200 worth of free crap for spending $10K with them, on the table, if it means never having to do a large card number update ever again.

    That five time card replacement thing happened when I ran EVERYTHING through that card. I was intensely ****ed off by the fifth one. I called and told them that it had to be internal fraud for that to happen and one more and I was gone. I actually got a call from Barclays security after that and they were actually interested. I explained the whole thing to the security guy and he was genuinely interested. It also stopped and elbever happened again. I hope they pressed charges on their former employee once they figured it out.

    So I will give them credit for that. Behind my credit union, they’ve been the most trouble free card ever since I lost it on their customer service department.

    I have never had a card compromised at a CU. Not any of the four I’ve used. Ever. Banks can suck it. But CU cards don’t have the perks.
     
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  40. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Question was asked a few months back on a consultants board - the overwhelming answer was chase sapphire reserve. The choice was primarily for perks, but the points are good too. $800/year fee is too steep for me.

    Personally, I have cards for spending categories. Household stuff goes on an amazon card, business travel is on a Marriott/Hilton/swa card and flying goes to Mickey. No, not the best choices. They all get paid every month, do this to help with budget management.