<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Credit Card & Bank Rewards
 

Viewing the 'Credit Card & Bank Rewards' Category

Credit Card Reward Tally 2018

January 2nd, 2019 at 05:48 am

2018 TALLY:

$561 Travel Rewards (Capital One Venture, Moi)
-----------
$561 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

Other Rewards:
$150 Citi Price Rewind
$ 10 Hulu Credits (American Express)

Ongoing rewards (through 11/30):

+$315 AmExRewards (6% cash back groceries/3% fuel)

+$88 Target rewards (5% discount Target purchases; mostly groceries)

+$149 Visa Rewards (3% cash back fuel/restaurants)

+$823 Citi 2% card (2% back everywhere - health insurance/medical is the big expenses that we charge, is more than our mortgage payments)

Grand Total = $2,096

I just want to add that historical figures below do also include bank bonuses. They just don't generally work very well for us so I do not utilize as much. (We did -0- bank bonuses in 2017/2018).

Year 2011 = $4,164
Year 2012 = $2,782
Year 2013 = $2,623
Year 2014 = $3,128
Year 2015 = $2,585
Year 2016 = $1,906
Year 2017 = $3,578
Year 2018 = $2,096

Total 7 Years = $22,862
***Mostly Tax-Free Income***


Note: I have been tracking since 2011 because that's when the rewards got CRAZY. I have always utilized cash back on credit cards. It's just been extra rewarding during the past decade or so.

***CAVEAT - I absolutely do not recommend utilizing credit card rewards in this manner, unless you are in full control of your credit card spending. We treat our credit cards like debit cards; only charging if we have the cash on hand already. We've never paid a cent of late fees or interest.***

Prelim Credit Card Tally 2018

December 8th, 2018 at 05:53 am

I don't have December monthly reward totals yet, of course. But I figured I would update all my numbers and see where we are at. This will make it easy to update/finalize at the end of this month.

2018 TALLY:

$561 Gift Cards (Capital One Venture, Moi)
-----------
$561 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

Other Rewards:
$150 Citi Price Rewind
$ 10 Hulu Credits (American Express)

Ongoing rewards (through 11/30):

+$276 AmExRewards (6% cash back groceries/3% fuel)

+$88 Target rewards (5% discount Target purchases; mostly groceries)

+$141 Visa Rewards (3% cash back fuel/restaurants)

+$705 Citi 2% card (2% back everywhere - health insurance/medical is the big expenses that we charge, is more than our mortgage payments)

Grand Total = $1,932

I just want to add that historical figures below do also include bank bonuses. They just don't generally work very well for us so I do not utilize as much. (We did -0- bank bonuses in 2017/2018).

Year 2011 = $4,164
Year 2012 = $2,782
Year 2013 = $2,623
Year 2014 = $3,128
Year 2015 = $2,585
Year 2016 = $1,906
Year 2017 = $3,578
Year 2018 = $1,932

Total 7 Years = $22,698
***Mostly Tax-Free Income***


Note: I have been tracking since 2011 because that's when the rewards got CRAZY. I have always utilized cash back on credit cards. It's just been extra rewarding during the past decade or so.

***CAVEAT - I absolutely do not recommend utilizing credit card rewards in this manner, unless you are in full control of your credit card spending. We treat our credit cards like debit cards; only charging if we have the cash on hand already. We've never paid a cent of late fees or interest.***

Credit Card Rewards Update

December 7th, 2018 at 07:42 pm

2018 TALLY:

$561 Gift Cards (Capital One Venture, Moi)
$150 Citi Price Rewind
$ 10 Hulu Credits (American Express)
-----------
$721 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I submitted a "price rewind" (price match) for a Black Friday deal. The cell phone MH had bought was $150 off for Black Friday. So I got a $150 credit for that. Woohoo!

I submitted the washer/dryer purchase, because you never know. Generally Citi tracks the price match, but when we saw the $150-off for the phone we just wanted to be sure it was counted. Washer/Dryer were Black Friday deals. So far Citi is showing I am owed a refund of $8, for those purchases. They track for two months. For smaller amounts like that, they will just send me the money when the two months are up.

I haven't had any energy/time to chase rewards this year. It will be interesting to see how it comes out in the final tally.

I think I can beat 2016, so it wasn't even our lowest year. I probably have around $100/month in rewards, or another $1,200-ish to add to my 2018 tally.

Year 2011 = $4,164
Year 2012 = $2,782
Year 2013 = $2,623
Year 2014 = $3,128
Year 2015 = $2,585
Year 2016 = $1,906

Credit Card Rewards Update

October 27th, 2018 at 08:38 am

2018 TALLY:

$561 Gift Cards (Capital One Venture, Moi)
$ 10 Hulu Credits (American Express)
-----------
$571 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was just paying bills and saw a Hulu Reward offer on our American Express card. Should get $5 back per month, for next 4 months. $10 this year and $10 next year? (We Pay Hulu around $10 per month in lieu of cable).

That reminds me, I need to set up a couple of Citi Price Rewinds (where Citi automatically price matches for 60 days). We had a couple of big purchases this month. I always set up big purchases even if I never expect to get anything. Was just looking and nothing has come within even $100 of the charger we picked up at Costco. But who knows, someone could have some super crazy sale in the next few weeks.

EARLIER POST FROM 2018:

I think I probably would have mostly passed (on one-time bonuses) this year given all my employment upheaval. Life has been CRAZY this year and I am being ultra protective of my credit score since I work in the financial industry. It's always been like 800+, but I just don't feel like it's the year to open 5 new credit cards in my name. Might raise some eyebrows during any employment consideration. (& I am probably just being overly cautious, but that is how I roll). & I did open 4 cards in MH's name last year so I am giving him a break. But anyway, this travel reward was easy and too good do pass up with our travel plans.

In the end, my new employer never ran a background check or a credit check on me. I actually am kind of horrified about their being so lax on this front and will probably chastise them a bit about this in the future. It's on my infinite list of things to address.

Credit Card Rewards Update

July 15th, 2018 at 07:50 am

2018 TALLY:

$561 Gift Cards (Capital One Venture, Moi)
-----------
$561 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

POST FROM 2017:


***CAVEAT - I absolutely do not recommend utilizing credit card rewards in this manner, unless you are in full control of your credit card spending. We treat our credit cards like debit cards; only charging if we have the cash on hand already. We've never paid a cent of late fees or interest.***

At this point in my life I just pay the balances off the end of every month so that we go into each new month with -$0- credit card debt. This is really simple because there is no remembering bills or due dates or any of that. I just go in and pay them all the last day of every month. I have set all my credit cards to close for the month around the 28th of the month, so that the statement is closed by the last day of every month and every charge for the month has been posted. (I can just voluntarily pre-pay any charges that didn't make it on the statement for the last week of the month). From an accounting standpoint, anything else would drive me crazy, maybe especially since we do have so many credit cards that we use every month for rewards. This way, I just don't have to really keep track of anything and I know they will always be paid several weeks before due date. This also keeps all of our charges on a monthly cycle, which lines up with our monthly paychecks and my monthly accounting.

I expect 2018 to be more like 2016, but you never know. I don't feel like we need to put as much emphasis on the credit card rewards with MH working and with interest rates (on our savings) increasing. We really relied on these to boost our income and to stretch our dollars further when MH was home with the kids. I also have something like $1,000 unused gift cards laying around, which is about $1,000 more than usual. (In the past we mostly redeemed cash back, but those are harder to come by and it seems it was mostly gift cards and travel rewards for this year).


I figured I'd post that as a reminder and/or to fill in newer readers.

I think I probably would have mostly passed (on one-time bonuses) this year given all my employment upheaval. Life has been CRAZY this year and I am being ultra protective of my credit score since I work in the financial industry. It's always been like 800+, but I just don't feel like it's the year to open 5 new credit cards in my name. Might raise some eyebrows during any employment consideration. (& I am probably just being overly cautious, but that is how I roll). & I did open 4 cards in MH's name last year so I am giving him a break. But anyway, this travel reward was easy and too good do pass up with our travel plans.

I needed to spend $3,000 to earn $560, have already done so:

$2,082 Medical bills/insurance
$ 621 Auto Insurance
$ 275 Professional Dues
$ 13 Misc.
-------
$3,000 Spending
-------

I didn't plan it that way. I would have just pre-paid a couple of months of health insurance to hit the $3k spend. Super easy and takes me just a few minutes to earn rewards. But in this case I just happened to receive a pile of bills right after I applied for the card.

It's been long enough that I was not thinking. I would have just pre-paid the $13 (difference) to my medical insurance but I forgot (and would be a pain to make a separate $13 payment). I instead just used the card for some online shopping that I was doing regardless, to get up to the $3,000 spend. I wasn't thinking that means they won't bill me until the items ship. So it wasn't the smartest way to rack up immediate rewards, but I guess waiting another day or two doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Gift Card Balances July 2018

July 15th, 2018 at 07:47 am

Just tracking my gift cards. Not *all* credit card rewards, but most of them are.


GIFTS:
------
$ 20 x4 Target


MOVIES:
--------
$25 Regal?


RESTAURANTS:
------------
$25 Red Lobster


RETAIL:
---------
$100 Staples ($50x2)**School supplies next summer?**
$200 Home Depot ($50x4) **need taller ladder**


Note: Edited over time to remove used gift cards.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I still have 4 of 5 Target gift cards (to use as gifts). We may tap one or two of those for school supplies.

Yesterday I found a movie gift card. ??? I have no idea where it came from. It's in some sort of packaging so I don't think it has been used. (It may be that it's been used already. Will see...)

I expect to use up some of the Staples cards in the next month for school supplies.

It's on MH's infinite chore list to buy a taller ladder with the Home Depot gift cards.

Gift Card Balances February 2018

February 25th, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Just tracking my gift cards. Not *all* credit card rewards, but most of them are.


GIFTS:
------
$ 20 x5 Target


MOVIES:
--------

RESTAURANTS:
------------
$25 Red Lobster


RETAIL:
---------
$100 Staples ($50x2)**School supplies next summer?**
$200 Home Depot ($50x4) **need taller ladder**
$75 Kohls ($50 + $25) **to replace kids' shoes?**


Note: Edited over time to remove used gift cards.

December Savings

January 1st, 2018 at 08:28 am

Received $50 bank interest for the month of December.

Credit card rewards:
--Redeemed $25 credit card rewards (cash back) from our gas/grocery card.
--Redeemed $70 cash back on Citi card.
--Redeemed $10 cash back on dining/gas card.

Savings (From my paycheck):
+$ 200 to investments

Snowball to investments (MH Paycheck):
+$ 600

Mid-Term Savings (cash saved for non-annual expenses/emergency):
-$ 500 Computer (for DL)

Short-Term Savings (for non-monthly expenses within the year):
-$ 720 Home Insurance
-$ 535 Disability Insurance
-$ 450 Flood Insurance
-$ 240 School Lunches (5 months x2)
-$ 215 Umbrella Insurance
-$ 115 Auto repairs
-$ 90 Dental
-$ 76 Medical

------------------------------------------------------------------

December was a bit of a mess. Not sure what to do with that, but trying to summarize the way I usually do.

I abandoned saving anything. Not for any of the usual reasons (we didn't spend anything substantial on the holidays). But I was doing a credit card reward and paid ahead several large bills. It made my life complicated in December but I knew we'd have some extra cash inflows to offset. Usually it's just so much at the end of the year that I try to spread it out or pay bills closer to due date (though most the rest of the year I generally try to stay more ahead of the curve). So the outcome is we had a huge cash outflow in December, but I have got all the bills paid ahead and won't be cash flowing $2,000 in January and February. (I just looked at last year and saw I put off most these bills to January and even February last year).

It hurts for now, but we will quickly build up cash in the next few months.

I've been slowly getting further ahead on bills. The mortgage is paid one full month ahead. Credit cards are paid in full the end of every month. Getting these end-of-year bills tamed I think is the last stop for me. I am fully transitioned to just paying bills when I receive them (or even earlier in many cases). This is what I did in early adulthood, but with online bill pay and cutting our income in half, I would more and more just set the bills to pay on their due dates. (I liked that I could get the bill paid when I received it but could set the due date to later and utilize the float). With more means, I've been going back in the other direction. Rather than save more cash and into an emergency fund, I am giving us some space and buffer.

When sitting down and trying to get to December balanced out, I abandoned all savings for this month and used credit card rewards to cover bills. In the end I had $200 left in the checkbook, so I went back and put that $200 into investments. That was all we saved this month. We did receive enough cash for Christmas to cover the rest.

I did also throw an extra $225 at the mortgage. That was what I had decided at some point (to get below $159k), and I had enough cash to cover that.

I did also donate my work Christmas bonus ($200), per our annual tradition. I earmarked this sum entirely for the local animal shelters.

One other note: I believe that our flood insurance (FEMA) is the only bill I *have to* pay by snail mail. I initially held onto the bill because I wanted to throw it on a specific one-time credit card (for rewards) and then got lazy and ended up mailing it closer to its due date (maybe a couple of days before, but I remember it sitting here for maybe two weeks in the meantime). Wouldn't you know it? It got lost in the mail! (Which is precisely why I avoid snail mail for anything important; this is the second hugely important item to be lost in the past 2 months). Anyway, I think I got it squared away about 3 weeks later, but in the meantime my mortgage holder was freaking out I didn't have proof of insurance. & lord knows I did not enjoy going without flood insurance for 2 weeks.

So anyway, all this to say, I am paying that bill the minute I get it next year, or about 30 days earlier. Yeesh!

Big picture: I am about $1,750 short of sidebar goals for the year. (I've updated sidebar). This is equivalent to the amount we redirected to spontaneous Europe trip. I am fine and happy with how the year shook out. Our savings goals are always very aggressive, and I am okay with directing that sum to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot that 50% MH's check went into his 401k, or $600. I guess in the end we invested more than I was thinking when I typed this up.

Final Credit Card Tally 2017

December 31st, 2017 at 06:56 am

2017 TALLY:

$500 Gift Cards (AmEx Gold, Moi)
$525 Gift Cards (AmEx Gold, MH)
$545 Gift Cards (Citi Thank You, MH)
$499 Travel Rewards (Capital One Venture,MH)
$200 Cash (WF Wise, MH)
-----------
$2,269 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

Other Rewards:
$21 Citi Price Rewinds
$30 AmEx insurance payment rebate
$ 5 AmEx for mobile app login

Ongoing rewards:

+$355 AmExRewards (6% cash back groceries/3% fuel)

+$114 Target rewards (5% discount Target purchases; mostly groceries)

+$86 Visa Rewards (3% cash back fuel/restaurants)

+$698 Citi 2% card (2% back everywhere - health insurance/medical is the big expenses that we charge, is more than our mortgage payments)

Grand Total = $3,578

I just want to add that historical figures below do also include bank bonuses. They just don't generally work very well for us so I do not utilize as much. (We did -0- bank bonuses in 2017).

Year 2011 = $4,164
Year 2012 = $2,782
Year 2013 = $2,623
Year 2014 = $3,128
Year 2015 = $2,585
Year 2016 = $1,906
Year 2017 = $3,578

Total 6 Years = $20,766
***Mostly Tax-Free Income***


Note: I have been tracking since 2011 because that's when the rewards got CRAZY. I have always utilized cash back on credit cards. It's just been extra rewarding during the past decade or so.

***CAVEAT - I absolutely do not recommend utilizing credit card rewards in this manner, unless you are in full control of your credit card spending. We treat our credit cards like debit cards; only charging if we have the cash on hand already. We've never paid a cent of late fees or interest.***

At this point in my life I just pay the balances off the end of every month so that we go into each new month with -$0- credit card debt. This is really simple because there is no remembering bills or due dates or any of that. I just go in and pay them all the last day of every month. I have set all my credit cards to close for the month around the 28th of the month, so that the statement is closed by the last day of every month and every charge for the month has been posted. (I can just voluntarily pre-pay any charges that didn't make it on the statement for the last week of the month). From an accounting standpoint, anything else would drive me crazy, maybe especially since we do have so many credit cards that we use every month for rewards. This way, I just don't have to really keep track of anything and I know they will always be paid several weeks before due date. This also keeps all of our charges on a monthly cycle, which lines up with our monthly paychecks and my monthly accounting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I expect 2018 to be more like 2016, but you never know. I don't feel like we need to put as much emphasis on the credit card rewards with MH working and with interest rates (on our savings) increasing. We really relied on these to boost our income and to stretch our dollars further when MH was home with the kids. I also have something like $1,000 unused gift cards laying around, which is about $1,000 more than usual. (In the past we mostly redeemed cash back, but those are harder to come by and it seems it was mostly gift cards and travel rewards for this year). If all I can do is gift cards next year, I imagine I would probably scale back but might consider focusing on those more for charity. If I had gotten this last $500 in time for Christmas, I would have donated those gift cards.