If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then the major card issuers are completely enamored with each other. No fewer than three of them offer a reward card with very similar terms. The Chase Freedom®, Discover it®, and the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card each offer 1% cash back on all purchases, or 5% bonus cash back for purchases from select categories of merchants that change each quarter.
What makes the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card Different?
The Chase Freedom® and the Discover it® card both have a quarterly limit of $1,500 of spending that is eligible for the 5% cash back. After the first $1,500 of qualifying charges is reached each quarter, additional spending only returns. So during a quarter in which home improvement or airfare is one of the featured bonus categories, cardholder only receive bonuses on the first $1,500 they spend, no more. [click to continue…]
Some of the best reward credit cards have large minimum spending requirements. For example, with the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express, new cardholders receive 10,000 points after making their first purchase, but must spend $5,000 on their card within the first six months of opening an account in order to receive an additional 15,000 points.
For some people, $5,000 over six months is a drop in the bucket, but many cardholders will have trouble spending $30,000 in a calendar year on this card in order to be granted Starwood Gold elite status. Thankfully, reward credit card aficionados like myself have all sorts of tricks to “meet spend.” Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Pay bills with your credit card. Between telephone, television, Internet, gas, water, electricity, trash, and sewer the possibilities are endless. Sure, some of these companies won’t accept credit cards as payment, but many will. [click to continue…]