I’m curious on any strategies that you veterans might employ to stack up the value adds from credit card use. I’ll be paying utility expenses on credit cards monthly. I like air mileage and the amazon.com points.
I put $20 in my wallet and it can stay there a year without being spent. I pay for everything I can on a CC and that pretty much means everything except for the few monthly bill that must be paid for by check. I have several; one for personal and one for each business. I like them because it makes accounting so easy. I track my personal spending the same as I do my business spending. When the statement comes I go through it and assign each transaction to an account–it takes about 10 to 15 minutes per card. The results go into spreadsheet, my accounting is pretty much done and I can get on to more productive things.I’ve been doing this for that last 30 years or so and have never once carried a cc balance or made a late payment; don’t spend money you don’t have.As for points and all of that, other then pretty much going cashless and using the cards for almost everything, I don’t have any special tricks.
I use 2 cards. One is the Capitol One that gives 1.5% back on everything. The other is Chase Ink that gives 3% back on home improvement stores, office supply stores, restaurants and gas. I use the Chase when going to Home Depot, Staples, Gas, ect and get the 3%. Then I use the capitol one at WalMart and anywhere else.
I’ve finally come around to the cash back cards since I can always use money. I used to put everything on my airline cards, but the way they’ve changed the perks and the value of the miles, it just doesn’t make as much sense. I’m not flying every week like I used to so the perks are of less value to me. Furthermore, you can always spend a little more to get the perks that used to be available only for elite travelers (hotels, cars, planes, etc.)Take a look at some of the forums at FlyerTalk or the various blogs about maxing your credit card benefits and see what fits for your lifestyle. You may find that the Southwest Chase card (which I still use) works best for you if you fly Southwest often. If you fly Delta, the Delta Amex still helps you qualify for elite status, but if you’re not flying, it’s not helping. Finally, I use Expensify as an app to automagically track my spending and create reports based on property, trip, or annual criteria. Made filing for taxes a breeze. It’s free for single users but I think the business version has a lot more capabilities.Will
(1) If you qualify for it, I believe the Capital One Spark Card has the best deal out there – 2% cash back on everything. (2) Nerdwallet.com and such sites can really pinpoint the best cards for various spending patterns. Brandon@Sandell