Question about spending

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by dannytata, Apr 17, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    Hi everyone,

    My name is Danny, and I am new to the whole credit card game. I had a question regarding spending every month. I am still a student in college, have no debt, excellent credit, and have a few credit cards already. I can't seem to find information about, or know where to look for, how everyone breaks up their spending for their CCs. I don't have too many bills at the moment, so it's not like I can rack up that many points on my current expenses. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Welcome, dannytata! Credit card spending is a fluid game. Vanilla Reload cards at CVS and office supply stores used to be a great way to generate spending.

    You can still do so with certain cards at Walmart and gift cards from some malls and other places. How much spending are you looking to generate?
     
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  3. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Pizzaman! I was interested in the whole Vanilla Reload cards, but I heard that it's starting to fade out. I was planning on doing a few runs of $5000 at time to get a feel for things. I'm not too informed in the other options out there.

    My girlfriend works for a big consulting firm, and travels a lot for work. I am trying to take care of some of my monthly expenses through this hobby as well as accrue some travel points so that I may go with her from time to time. I currently have the Chase Sapphired Preferred and use that as my one and only for essentially all my purchases. It seems like I may need to diversify a bit more, but I wanted to start off slow.
     
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  4. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    CC spending is something you need to be able to pay off when due.

    If you are a student you need to have a goal, and that goal now should be to finish school. You do not need debt, nor any problem excess CC spending can bring,

    Many find then self unable to meet their obligation, very few in business make real money. Most have a bicycle business they quit peddling and it quits moving.

    Less than 1% make it into that top tax bracket.
     
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  5. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    I guess I should also clarify, I am a veteran and have a steady income. I pay off my credit bills monthly before they are due. I'm a little older than the average student. Also, I am in my last semester! Finally.

    I do appreciate the feedback!
     
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  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Cool, I was. PL 634, but had a kid helping me, he got mixed up in CC, impressed a few girls, heavy in debt, dropped out of Medical School...

    I have college rentals, wife spent 13 years in college, can be brutal.
    I built houses and ran businesses on CC's most of my life,

    Nothing wrong with other peoples money, just have to pay them back...so they will give you more...
     
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  7. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Hey Danny, welcome to Milepoint.

    I'm unclear what you're asking about. One topic is Manufactured Spending, e.g. basically creating fake spending on your credit cards to earn points/miles. This is where Vanilla Reloads (VRs) and such come in. Another is simply using credit cards for your normal spend. Which one of these are you asking about?

    Like others I'd add the obvious caveats--the most important thing is to build up your credit score and history and not accumulate debt. That's priority number 1. Never pay interest or miss a payment or this whole game can quickly become a waste of time or a spiral of debt. Make sure you know what you're doing first.

    In either case, some more information on the specific credit cards you have would be helpful. We don't care about cards that don't accumulate miles/points.
     
  8. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    Hello gconnery,

    Thanks for the welcome. Sorry about the confusion. I'm still trying to get up to speed with the lingo.

    I am curious whether Manufactured Spending is the main way people in the community build up their points. I manage my expenses well and have been debt free all my adult life. My girlfriend is an extreme couponer, haha, so we don't end up spending much aside for luxuries. I usually try to put the tab on my card when my friends all have cash and just have them give me their cash. I put about $1000-$2000 a month on my card.

    My cards:
    Chase Sapphire
    Chase Freedom
    American Express Blue Card
    American Express Costco Card
    Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards Card
    Target RedCard (no points but 5% off Target purchases, big couponing spot)
     
  9. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Yes there are people who are earning the vast majority of their points/miles via MS. I suspect they're in the minority in general.

    I'm one of those people who do *some* MS though honestly the majority of my miles are probably from credit card signup bonuses. Then there are the points earned the hard way, meaning using the associated credit card for stays/flights with the hotel/airline to get the most points/miles out of the deal. This would be #2 for me. And then (for me) third is the miles/points I earn through general bonused spending (using the Sapphire at restaurants, the Bold at 7-Eleven and Gas Stations as well as my monthly cable bill, the SPG for any unbonused categories, the Hilton Surpass for groceries, etc).

    Personally I only *dabble* in MS. I have a Bluebird card, I used to buy VRs but now buy Vanilla Gift Cards instead and unload them at Walmart. I do $1,000 a month in Amazon Payments. Some more on a Buxx card. Some more via Evolve to pay my mortgage. Etc. Once I get the minimum spend done of the two Citi AA Exec cards I've got in progress though, I'm not sure I'll continue with the Bluebird. I suspect its not really worth it. The others are easy and low/no cost so I'll continue with them until they're killed off and see what comes up to replace them.

    Then of course there's the general category of using credit cards all the time and pretty much not carrying cash anymore (except for some change to pay out to others so you can pay their lunch bill on your credit card). You really can pay most of your day to day expenses with a credit card and many/most of your bills which will increase your credit card earnings significantly.

    p.s. Extreme Couponing and Miles/points aren't that different. You'll find as you get into M&P that you'll find some of the same deals she does just to defer some of the expenses you end up paying that you feel guilty about in accumulating miles/points. Its a hobby that requires a lot of your personal time if you're not careful.

    Well, the Sapphire and Freedom are a good start. You'll want to pick up an Ink Cash/Bold/Plus at some point to complete the trifecta but you don't have to hurry getting that. Follow the quarterly bonus charts for the Freedom and make sure you maximize it for the 5X opportunities that work for you without too much effort. Otherwise the Sapphire is a good workhorse and a card you probably want to keep for the long haul.

    If it were me I'd start looking at what to apply for next. Focus on something you'll keep for the long haul that fits with your goals. Want hotel points? Miles? Maybe an SPG Amex or a Citi AA Platinum card. Maybe a United Explorer. Whatever works for you. Then look around for the best offers and apply for a new card every so often.
     
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  10. dannytata

    dannytata Member

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    Thank you for the amazing response! I will definitely take your advice and let you know how it goes.
     
  11. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Use your CS and buy a $500 Visa Debit card, convert it to a MO and deposit it in the bank...pay debt.

    It is that simple, good for 6.000 points a year, later you can move up to one a week good for 24,000 a year,

    When you feel comfortable do 2 cards a week, good for 48,000 a year,

    You will never get it done talking about it.

    Try 500 deal it is that simple.

    Fat woman get fat eating an extra spoonful of food every meal...

    Rich man works a few extra hours every day...

    Poor man does nothing but talks, and has hand out all the time.

    Old man just tells it like it is...
     

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