This year my goal has been to earn more cash back and I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of that so far. I have been utilizing my 5% rotating categories with my Chase Freedom and Discover It, using my Blue Cash Preferred for groceries, my Citi Double Cash for non-bonus spending and my shopping portals. It’s been about 3 months since I have gotten a new card and even longer since Kristin got a new one. With some increased bonuses, I decided it was time for a couple of new cards. So what were my 3 new cards? How much will I earn from these?
I base my applications with larger bills that need to be paid, so I reduce the need to manufacture spend. A little over a month ago, I had my appendix removed, so I have a few medical bills coming my way. Great thing about this (if there is a great thing about unexpected bills), I can pay with my credit card and reimburse myself with my HSA. This means, I will easily meet my minimum spending requirement and earn rewards in the process!
Card 1: Chase Ink Cash
The Chase Ink Cash is a business card and recently the bonus was increased to $300 (30,000 UR points) with a spend requirement of $3,000 in the first 90 days. It has no annual fee, that makes this card is a keeper. It had great 5% bonus categories as well.
Earning 5% back on my cell phone bill, internet and office supply stores like Staples is great! In a year span, just from my cell phone and internet bill, I will earn about ($178.20) 17,820 Ultimate Reward points. That’s great amount for just paying bills! If you have a premium Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus, you can transfer these to airlines or hotels and get even more value from them!
So why did I get this?
The bonus alone was worth opening this card and the bonus categories are great to earn even more. Plus, this will help boost my Ultimate Reward account as well. These are some of the best flexible reward points out there!
Card 2 and 3: American Express Premier Reward Gold Card x 2 cards
I haven’t put much thought into American Express points since I don’t value them as highly as Chase, but I felt this offer was too good to pass up. The usually bonus is 25,000 points after spending $2,000! So, I will get double that for half the spend! I got one for myself and for Kristin.
This does carry an annual fee of $175 (will be going up to $195 on June 1), but the first year is waived. This is a charge card not a credit card, but you should treat all your credit cards like a charge card and never carry a balance on them anyways!
This has decent earning power, but I didn’t get this card for the earning rate. In addition to the 50,000 points, starting June 1, I will be able to get $100 airfare credit each calendar year. I will be able to get this twice and earn an extra $200 for my air travel. I have read purchasing gift cards trigger this, so I will probably buy a $100 gift card to use at a later time.
So why did I open 2 of the same cards?
Each bonus alone is worth at least $500 and that’s before you take into consideration the 2 $100 airfare credits I will receive. My wife and her best friend are planning a trip next year and I can use these points to purchase airfare, hotel or Airbnb gift cards. Since neither one of us have had this card, I opened one for each of us.
American Express will occasionally have transfer bonuses when you transfer to a particular airline or on gift cards. Although I don’t have an immediate need for them now, I have plenty of options when using these points. They help diversify my points portfolio even more and hopefully help my wife plan a great trip!
My bonus offer:
My wife and I both have Discover cards, but her’s has stayed in the drawer for a little while now. Discover recently sent us an offer in the mail, trying to make it a card we use again.
If we spend $500 each month from June to October we will earn an extra $75 in bonus cash! The $2,500 spending over those 5 months will yield another $25 minimum. Since you can redeem for 11-100% more for gift cards, this offer is worth $125 to $200, minimum. The bonus earning of $75, is earning rate of 3%, which exceeds my Citi Double Cash. So, all non category spending for those months for the first $500 will go on her Discover Card.
Now one dilemma:
I am more than halfway to meeting my Chase Ink bonus with a few more medical bills slowly trickling in I’ll have it met soon. Since I earn 5% back on cell phone payments, should I prepay my cell phone bill for a few months and earn 5% back or pay medical bills earning only 1%? I will earn 1 points per dollar spent on the American Express either way, since I use my Blue Cash Preferred for gas and groceries.
If I prepay my cell phone bill, I will roughly earn an extra 7,500 points which is worth at least $75. Plus I will be able to hit the American Express bonus with my medical bill.
My total earnings from my 3 new cards and bonus offer:
Chase Ink Cash- 33,000 points minimum after reaching bonus worth at least $330 cash. If I prepay cell phone bill, I could have a minimum of 39,000 points worth at least $390.
American Express Premier Gold Rewards x 2 cards- 102,000 points after reaching bonus worth at least $1020 in travel or gift cards, plus $400 for 4 $100 airfare credits. Making this bonus worth at least $1,420!
Discover: $100 minimum of Discover Cash after reaching bonus spend is worth at least $100 and max of $200.
Total value: Worth a minimum $1,850. It will be even more if I utilize transfer parters!
I could open one more to finish out my medical payments, any recommendations on which one you would open and why? Also, would you prepay the cell phone bill?