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Constance - Make tea, not war
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Constance - Make tea, not war: dear diary

EDIT: I found some things I got wrong -- option two has a "quarterly limitation" on gas and grocery purchases which wasn't specified... option one actually has $250 sign up bonus not $100 as I thought.END EDIT.


Okay, I've decided it's time for me to get a credit card. I think I have a good credit, though I haven't checked it lately... I'm getting some offers in the mail. I've sort of narrowed it down to two, but I'm getting confused at this point.

1) American Express Blue Cash Everyday

This one offers 3% cashback at supermarkets (but superstores like Wal-Mart aren't included, so it's very confusing at to which stores this would apply at); 2% at grocery stores and gas; and 1% everywhere else. Plus $100 bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. No annual fee.

2) Bank of America Cash Rewards

This one offers 3% on gas, 2% on groceries, and 1% everywhere else. Plus $100 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months. No annual fee.

To me it sounds like choice 2 is better. It's the same rewards for grocery shopping, and larger cashback on gas... whereas it's very uncertain what 3% would apply to using Blue Cash Everyday. Plus I only need to spend $500 to get the (same) bonus vs. $1,000. Plus choice 1 is an American Express, which is not everywhere accepted. But online reviews rave about Blue Cash, and downplay Bank of America... Why?

*Other choices to consider - Amazon Rewards card (basically 3% on Amazon.com purchases, 2% on gas station, restaurant, drugstore and office supply store purchases, and 1% on everything else)


Comments
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Bank of America has a poor overall reputation as a bank and this is probably carrying over.

Also, consider that AmEx (unless the policy has changed) strongly prefers that you not carry a balance month-to-month and their fees are set up accordingly.

I personally have two cards, one of which I got on accident and try to never use. I only keep it because having it allows me to deposit checks via my phone or computer.

My primary card is my Amazon Rewards card, which is from Chase. I love it and I've never had problems with them as a credit card company.


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Yes Amazon Rewards looks good too. If I go with AmEx, I may consider getting this as an alternative for where they don't accept AmEx. My mom has Chase Freedom and loves it too.


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Have you considered getting an AmEx charge card as opposed to a credit card? I have 2 credit cards, but I left them behind when I got my AmEx, and I don't see that ever changing.

The benefits you get depends on the card you get; I have the Premium Rewards Gold card so that's what I can speak to knowledgeably. For every dollar you spend on airfare (I think through their site, not in general) you get 3 points, 2 points to a dollar for gas and groceries (I don't remember if it counts my Wal-Mart purchases as I mostly shop at Kroger, which it does count,) and one point per dollar on everything else. Right now, if you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of getting it they'll give you 25.000 points which you can use to buy gift cards for various stores (including Wal-Mart.)

In addition, they have an online shopping portal that has a bunch of stores that you can get 2 or 3 points for every dollar you spend via that link, and sometimes even more than that, and you can choose to pay partially in points and partially with your AmEx to defray the cost of an item if you want to.

There are downsides. There is a yearly fee. It's free for the first year, then $175 yearly thereafter, which is a hefty chunk of change but I got an absolutely free ticket to the Who concert here in February that I paid for 100% with AmEx points and that ticket had a $160+ value, so for me it will just about work out monetarily but I dunno if it would suit you. Not everywhere takes AmEx, so you have to have another form or cash, which can be a pain in the ass.

I adore my AmEx, though. I've accrued a decent amount of points in less than 6 months and I've saved money on things that I have bought via their online store. I heart it. If you decide to get that card, lemme know because I can get more points if I refer you, and if you wanna' talk more in-depth about it you can PM me if you want and I'll do my best to answer.


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Thanks Lacey. I appreciate the information but it isn't a good fit for me. I do plan on paying off the card every month, so charge card could work. But I don't like annual fee; and I don't fly often so airfare category isn't useful. Buying stuff from their online store sounds similar to a feature of my mom's Chase Freedom, and it's certainly a good perk.


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My pleasure! Except for a few times in 2008 I never fly so I don't use that part (and they don't have Southwest or similar airlines to choose from in their store, so even though you get points for it I've noticed the flights cost an arm and a leg.

I've often wondered about the Chase Freedom! One of my credit cards is a Chase Slate, and I rather like it.


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