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Credit Card Rewards Update

July 18th, 2017 at 01:47 pm

2017 TALLY:

$500 (AmEx Gold, Moi)
$500 (Citi Thank You, MH)
$484 Travel Rewards Cards (Capital One Venture,MH)
$200 Cash (WF Wise, MH)
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$1,684 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

**In addition, various monthly rewards that I will tally at 12/31.

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In the end, we are on track for one of our best years: on track for $3,000. I think what put us over the edge is using travel rewards. We usually stick to cash and gift cards. Travel rewards don't do much for us because we mostly avoid flying and can get a free hotel room regardless, so not something I expect to do a lot of in the long run.

I just activated the Citi card. That one is a bit of an experiment. It seems MH should be able to get $500, but we've done that one so much it makes me wary. (Technically you are supposed to wait 24 months in between).

Will see!

Anyway, I logged in online and that credit card is going to close tomorrow (monthly cycle). I was going to pre-pay a couple of months of health insurance, so figured I'd wait a day or two so I don't have to actually pay those for an extra month.

In the meantime, MH got a direct mail offer for American Express Gold. Spend $1,000, get $250. I find those really hard to come by. But I thought I recalled those were a "once in a lifetime" reward. MH got a kindle in 2010? Was from an AmEx Gold reward.

Anyway, since MH *just* applied for three cards, I figured I'd look up the rewards and see if I really want to bother. In the end I found this:

https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/amex-premier-rewards-gold-...

$500 reward if you spend $2,000. I tried a few different browsers and I got the $500 offer to pop up! I really don't recall ever having this card and I did check my blog. I figured they would deny me since I never get these offers. But in the end I was accepted! Woohoo!

I've got three months to do the spend. I usually just charge up these cards when I get them. Very little brain power. But in this case, I am going to pre-pay 2 months of health insurance already. Do I want to pre-pay 4 months, right now? I suppose it probably doesn't really matter. It just complicates life in the interim. Maybe it is easier to just wait 30-45 days before I do that one.

I have to remember to close this card within a year. It has an insane annual fee for the second year. I will make some notes in Quicken and in my calendar so that I do not forget.

Oh, the rewards are still very so-so on this card, but last time we enjoyed them more than I thought we would. So I will stock up on dining out gift cards and some gift cards to give as gifts.

On the Citi, MH was starting to eye the Best Buy gift cards and was thinking of funding some larger purchases. So might be $500 "ridiculous electronics splurging" (which we tend to do with these rewards) and $500 "restaurants and gifts."

I don't know that I see the point of doing any more rewards this year, except my 24-month clock has reset on Citi and I should really take advantage if I can find a $500 reward for that one. MH's was a direct mail offer. It would figure if that one would work right now. I really only do these things "one at a time" generally. Maybe it is just something I will keep an eye out for once the dust settles on these two rewards.

Edited to add: Look what I saw just posted TODAY?

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-card-details/citi.a...

It's $4,000 spend for $500 reward. We usually spend $3k for these rewards so definitely will pass.

4 Responses to “Credit Card Rewards Update”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    You certainly are wise to figure out the system and use it to your advantage.

  2. Myfinancekits Says:

    You need to be careful about reward credit cards as they have the tendency of luring someone into spending more than what he can pay. Spending with the aim of enjoy the rewards may not be a good habit. Although you may get the rewards but you may end up paying much more in term of interest

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Myfinancekits ~ absolutely! Always good to remind others to proceed with caution.

    {Hell would freeze over before we could charge something we could not pay. Which is why I am fine with it. I also don't "spend" to make rewards. I just charge bills I was going to pay anyway, like health insurance}.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I opened a new card recently - Chase AARP - spend $500, get $200. I'll either be charging the cremation or property taxes to it. I was surprised to see I hadn't opened a new card since January. Smile

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