Everyday Spend and Am Ex (two questions)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by LAM, Mar 8, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    I am trying to review which card I use for my everyday spend. Right now I am using the Club Carlson Signature Visa. For my next two possible trips I have enough CC points to cover my needs as long as I keep the card and get the last night free. I was denied the Arrival card Dec I think because I had two other Barclay cards. I just closed one of them and will close the other one in June when the annual fee hits. What are your thoughts on the Arrival? Other everyday card suggestions? I already have the Fidelity 2% cash back so I could go back to that and just bank the money for travel.

    AmEx question Can you have a AmEx gold and a SPG at one time and get both bonuses? I closed my SPG last year when the fee hit and would like to try for another 30,000 sign up bonus if they offer it later this year? The only AmEx card I have right now is the Hilton.
     
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  2. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    To be clear, you're probably talking about the Arrival World Mastercard, not just the Arrival Mastercard. (The former is 2x on everything and has an annual fee. The latter is 2x on travel and dining only, and has no annual fee.) Assuming you mean the former ... it's a good card and a solid signup bonus, so it's worth getting. The question then becomes whether it's worth *keeping*. In your case, if you already have the 2% Fidelity AMEX, the "breakeven" point for the two cards occurs at $45,000 of spend. Spend more and the Arrival World MC will have a higher yield. Spend less and it'll be the Fidelity AMEX.

    That also makes some assumptions ...
    • All redemptions will be for travel. If not, the 2% cash back will be worth more than the 1x non-travel redemption rate of the Arrival World MC.
    • Not everyplace takes AMEX, but most take MC, so if there's some reason to think that most of your purchases will be at non-AMEX-friendly merchants, that's worth considering.
    • You have sufficient travel expenses (each in excess of $25) to redeem against. (Not generally a problem, but worth mentioning as the $25 thing will trip you up.)
    • Fidelity keeps paying out 2% on the card. (There was recent news that they'd be doing so for at least 18 months, but that's not really "news" unless it's in question in the first place, right?)
    So to say that another way:
    • IF you plan to spend more than $45,000 on the card, AND all of your redemptions will be for travel, THEN the Arrival World MasterCard will pull ahead even after you start paying annual fees for it.
    • Otherwise, stick with the AMEX.
    Yes
     
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  3. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    Thanks Ed for your response. I will not put more than $45,000 on the card without some heavy duty manufactured spend which is not really my cup of tea. I will probably start using the the Fidelity card again.
     
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  4. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Just to make sure this didn't get lost in the details, ... the Arrival World MC is totally worth it in year 1 -- for the signup bonus and no annual fee.
     
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  5. Msyep

    Msyep Active Member

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    What is the Sign up bonus and only The First Year?
     
  6. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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  7. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    An Amex SPG card is a decent choice for non-bonused everyday spend. You can transfer SPG points to lots of airlines if you aren't going to stay at SPG, and get an extra 25% on top of the transfer. As such you might consider this a 2.5% return travel card. But do your own calculations.

    Personally I'd rather spread things around a bit. Ink for cell phone and internet and office supplies and gas. Sapphire for dinging. Individual hotel cards for those hotels. Freedom when there are bonus categories. Hilton Surpass for groceries. Etc. But it gets a bit complicated keeping track, and your fidelity card is going to be hard to beat.

    Yes you can have an Amex Gold and get a bonus on an SPG or vice-versa. Having the Hilton won't affect your ability to earn bonuses for Amex Gold or SPG either. There are "families" of cards like Slate/Green/Gold/Platinum that you can't have ANY of to get the bonus on a new one, but at the moment that's the only rule.
     
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  8. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    That's also solid advice.

    I interpreted the question in the light of "which card ..." (singular) to use for everyday spend. Obviously, if you've got a good handle on your travel patterns, and you can play the game without getting stung, then yeah ... you can build a stable of 20-some cards and min-max every transaction. If it were me, though, I'd stick with the 2% AMEX. Consider this:
    • Tickets purchased via points are non-point-earning and may or may not be covered by trip insurance benefits, etc.
    • Tickets purchased via cash back on an AMEX will earn miles/points and will come with all normal AMEX travel protection benefits.
    It's not a factor that will tip the scales, if there are weightier factors to consider, but it's there nonetheless.
     
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  9. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    My question was really more about carrying/using the least number of cards at a time. CSP for travel and dinning, Freedom for quarterly bonuses, if I get the Amex Gold I will probably do gas and groceries on that so that leaves the "other" expenses for the month. I do not have an Ink (no business to qualify and don't want to create one for the game) I really wish another card had the cellphone/cable bonus. I miss that on the Amex Hilton.
     
  10. Zomby Woof

    Zomby Woof Silver Member

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    If you can do 30 purchases per billing period, then the Everyday Preferred for groceries and gas would be better earning for MR points on groceries (4.5), gas (3) , and other (1.5). You could avoid the Amex Gold (save $80 in annual fee) unless you'd rather have 3 MR for airlines tix vice 2.14 UR. The AMEX Gold first year waives the annual fee so it could be worth it just to get the signup bonus MR.
     
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  11. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    I'd be happy to buy a picture of your thumb to help start your photography business. :)
     
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  12. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Unless international premium cabins are a must, and business cards are out, it'd be hard to beat the Fidelity 2% AMEX and Barclay Arrival World Mastercard.

    Two cards, ... done.
     
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  13. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    If you don't want to carry a wallet with 3 or 4 cards on you, you might not be suited for this game. :)

    Like Ed said, its not that hard to come up with a business. Sell one thing on Amazon and call that a business. In the future you're going to mistakenly buy things and forget to return them quickly enough right? Once in a while? Well, then you're an Amazon reseller.

    More seriously, nobody can tell you where to draw the line in this game. Follow your own judgement.

    And yes, putting cable and cell phone on auto-pay with the Ink is a nice bonus each year.
     
  14. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Yeah, but dangit ... AT&T just lowered my bill by more than a hundred bucks. That's like 6000 UR right out the window! ;-)
     
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  15. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    I see the smiley, but feel compelled to disagree anyway. If someone decides he/she can manage two cards and, for whatever reason, only two, then I think that's responsible hobbying. It's when you don't know, or ignore, your limits that this hobby bites you in the butt.
     
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  16. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    Gosh, that sucks. Maybe AT&T has a reconsideration line you could call...

    (No :) required there, right?)
     
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  17. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    So if you get a strange picture in your e-mail account such as a thumb or foot with a request for a dollar you will know who it is from.:p
     
  18. LAM

    LAM Silver Member

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    Four is okay. But at one time I think I had six different cards in my card case. Along with other stuff, id, insurance, 2 debit cards etc. I think that is when the clasp broke on it.
     
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  19. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    I have a separate wallet for churning, where I keep my Bluebird and the current set of gift cards I need to cycle at Walmart, as well as a few unlikely but potential credit cards, though I keep most of the ones not in my wallet locked up. You'll need to find the right balance for you.
     
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  20. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    If I had a dollar for every strange picture of a thumb or a foot ...
     
  21. Ed Chandler
    Original Member

    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Ditto. I have my "normal" wallet and my "MS that needs to get done here in the next day or so" wallet.
     

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