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I don't carry a balance, and would like to switch to a card that earns me some useful perks. Any suggestions?
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On Mon, 07 Apr 97 21:45:19 -0600, bert wrote:
<<I don't carry a balance, and would like to switch to a card that earns me some useful perks. Any suggestions?
>>

I'd say go for a cashback card, unless you do all sorts
of travelling where frequent flyer miles might pay off.

If you like a certain brand of car and are thinking of buying a new one in the next few years, something like
a GM or Ford card might be good. They give 5% back as
a discount on a new car, but you're locked into that
manufacturer.

If you spend many thousands on your credit card, the GE
Rewards card might be best. It has the highest cashback
percentage, but they recently instituted an outrageous $25 annual fee for people who pay off their balance in full
always. Still, if you spend enough on the card, you could
still come out ahead of Discover.

I'm not sure I'll always be spending enough to make the
GE card payoff better than Discover after the fee,
so I just stick with Discover, and have gotten on the
order of 1% of my spending back the past 2 years.
Unfortunately, Discover isn't taken everywhere, so you
need a backup VISA or MASTER card.

For my backup cards, I have 2 without an annual fee: a
GM Mastercard for the purchases I can't do with DISCOVER,
and a generic Platinum VISA that I can use for the
assorted perks like car rental insurance, extended
warrantees, and flashy prestige.

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On Mon, 07 Apr 97 21:45:19 -0600, bert wrote:
<<

I don't carry a balance, and would like to switch to a card that earns me some useful perks. Any suggestions?

>>
I use the BP Visa (British Petroleum through Bank One) which gives 3% back in free gas with gas purchase and 1% otherwise.

I didn't carry balances and the 3% of something useful to me (gas) beat free flyer mileage and the 1% cash of discover. To get the 3% and free gas, though, you need to have BP stations in your region.

No annual fee.
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On Fri, 02 May 97 14:48:29 -0600, colnago wrote:

<<On Mon, 07 Apr 97 21:45:19 -0600, bert wrote:

<<
I don't carry a balance, and would like to switch to a card that earns me some useful perks. Any suggestions?>>

Colnago,
I absolutely refuse to carry a balance on credit cards. To me, credit cards should be considered a safety net in case of emergency, ie. your car breaks down, and you need to pay for towing, lodging, repairs, etc.

But, you should always pay your balance in full, if possible. This will result in having free use of their money for 30 days (if you find you have a card that doesn't have a grace period, get rid of it, asap!), which is the same as an interest free loan.

Also, one priority of every Fool is to pay down credit card debt as a major priority. To maintain a balance is a costly waste of money, that could be much better served elsewhere.

But...if you DO have a balance, with so much competition out there, try this challenge. You know how you are always getting those offers that tell you if you accept "their" card, you will get a very low interest rate? Well, I challenge you to call up your present card bank, and tell them you want YOUR interest lowered. If they squawk, just say you were offered a better rate by another card, and either they beat it, or you dump them. I guarantee, they will NOT want to lose you, and you will instantly get a lower rate. You will immediately begin to save money! : )

Now, on to the perks:
For those Foolish enough NOT to carry a balance, you are making a huge mistake not to let these cards work for you. In my case, I charge constantly! Sure, why not? If I'm paying the bill when it comes anyway, I might as well use it instead of a check or cash. I use an American Airlines Visa card which awards me airmiles. For years, I've been able to get at least one free round trip ticket to Aruba each year.

And by the way, Citibank does charge an annual fee of $50 for this card. However, I've been able to call up each year and threaten to drop the card if they insist I pay it. They take a look at the activity I give them, and they always send me a $50 gift certificate, which negates the fee.

And don't feel too guilty about it, either. The credit card companies make plenty of dough, even if you pay your bill in full every month. They get a fee from the store or service provider everytime you charge.

Credit cards: A great tool, as long as you know how to use them!

...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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I have a "free for life" AT&T Universal Mastercard that I use only when they do not take discover. For discover, I decided to switch to the "Private Issue" card which then pays me up to 2% back.
I got back about 400 dollars last year all for purchases I would have made anyway. I still ask about
a cash discount before using my credit card because it is more immediate and often you can get
more than the 2%.
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Hi Cash is the best reward; check out Chase Freedom and Capital One No Hassle Mastercard. I recently closed my Discover as the do not give full rebates on discount stores such as Walmart
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charles schwab has a credit card that pays 2% of monthly purchases.
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Okay, I'm going to try not to blow your mind with this, but here's one great option: https://www.chase.com/online/business-credit-cards/ink-busin...

You don't need a business to get one, just put your SSN in place of the EIN. 50,000 bonus points is worth between $500-$1000 (depending on what you spend it on), 2x points on gas, 5x points on cellphone and internet and 5x points when spent at Office Depot and similar places.

The real magic is buying giftcards (including VISA gift cards) at Office Depot, so you get 5x points for everything you buy. If you want to get crazy, you can then redeem them through their online shopping portals (REI, Apple, iTunes, BestBuy, etc are all part of the portal and it's the same prices as you'd always pay) and get even more points.

Sure it seems like a lot of work, but if you can get an extra $5000 per year just by using a card, it's worth it.

----------
http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-blender-on-the-market-crusin...
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You don't need a business to get one, just put your SSN in place of the EIN.

Yes, you do. I'm all for saving money or earning rewards but I won't do it fraudulently.

http://www.squidoo.com/the-best-blender-on-the-market-crusin......

What does a blender have to do with this thread?

PSU
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pehenia,

You wrote, Okay, I'm going to try not to blow your mind with this, but here's one great option: https://www.chase.com/online/business-credit-cards/ink-busin......

You don't need a business to get one, just put your SSN in place of the EIN. 50,000 bonus points is worth between $500-$1000 (depending on what you spend it on), 2x points on gas, 5x points on cellphone and internet and 5x points when spent at Office Depot and similar places.

...


I would point out to readers that you should be careful as consumers when opening "business" accounts. Many consumer protection laws do not apply to businesses. While I think the Fair Credit Billing Act applies, other statutes may not. This can be an issue for both revolving credit accounts and deposit accounts.

- Joel
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I would point out to readers that you should be careful as consumers when opening "business" accounts. Many consumer protection laws do not apply to businesses. While I think the Fair Credit Billing Act applies, other statutes may not. This can be an issue for both revolving credit accounts and deposit accounts.

How about just not opening a business account linked by the other poster even if the online application is designed not to prevent it since doing so is a violation of the terms in the application?

PSU
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Sorry if you thought the Squidoo link was spammy - whenever I make a new post on there I promote it wherever I can. Most forums on the internet have specified "signature" areas where people often promote their websites, blogs, etc., no matter what the topic is. It's basically a calling car. TMF boards doesn't offer up a dedicated signature, so I added it in. I tried to separate it from the body with the dashes so it wouldn't look like I was trying to add it to the post.

As for whether it's fraudulent, that's a strong implication coming from someone with "engineer" in their handle. If you are not mis-representing yourself and are truly an engineer, then you're certainly not an expert on business or tax-law. I'm not either, but here's what I know:

A SSN is a tax identification number (not a personal identification number as so many people think) issued by the Social Security agency. An EIN is a tax identification number issued by the IRS. They both serve the same purpose which is why they're both 9 digits long. Where it becomes grey is sole proprietorship.

If you've ever made money on the side - whether from a rummage sale, ebay/Etsy/Zazzle sale, fixing someone's computer/car/plumbing etc., from ads you put up on your blog - then you should've reported it to the IRS (and if you're telling me you've never made money on the side from anything anywhere or have and always reported it to the IRS then I know who's being fraudulent ;) you're supposed to report it as business income. What kind of business? A sole proprietorship - it's the type of business that every American citizen is by default. You're a sole proprietor already, and so am I.

But I'm not an authority either either, so let me refer you to some places with a little more knowledge than either of us:

http://www.mymoneyblog.com/chase-ink-bold-business-credit-ca...

http://millionmilesecrets.com/2011/06/09/3-ways-you-may-qual...

http://thepointsguy.com/2011/09/chase-launches-50000-point-s...

So anyways, to sum up: it's not fraudulent to consider yourself a business. As an American citizen, you already are one (don't believe me on that, go dig through the IRS website, it's in there) and many people have already gotten business cards using their SSN in place of the EIN.

How could you think it would be fraudulent in the first place? It's a giant bank you're applying with - they check every last thing when you apply. Do you really think you're pulling the wool over their eyes, or taking advantage of them?? If they didn't allow it, they wouldn't do it. Plain and simple.
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Sorry if you thought the Squidoo link was spammy - whenever I make a new post on there I promote it wherever I can....TMF boards doesn't offer up a dedicated signature, so I added it in.

TMF boards do have TOS which you may want to review.

Your assumption that everyone else skirts the rules as you seem to do is incorrect. My #1 rule of personal finance is never screw with the IRS.
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PSUEngineer,

You wrote, How about just not opening a business account linked by the other poster even if the online application is designed not to prevent it since doing so is a violation of the terms in the application?

I looked through the application agreement. I'm no lawyer, but I didn't see anything in there that would be a violation of terms.

The application does ask if you are an owner or officer of a company. But if you operate a business and have any income to report in a schedule C or E, you're legitimately a business owner - even if it's not your primary source of income.

And a SSN is a valid TIN. If you're a sole proprietorship, you only have to have a EIN if you incorporate, employ others, set up a retirement or profit sharing plan or you have to pay excise taxes. See: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1635.pdf

But not everyone on this board are single income W-2 wage earners, so I don't understand why discussing a business card would be off limits. It just doesn't apply to everyone.

- Joel
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But not everyone on this board are single income W-2 wage earners, so I don't understand why discussing a business card would be off limits. It just doesn't apply to everyone.

I believe the problem is that pehenia was not talking about business owners, but was suggesting (or appeared to suggest) that everyone, not just business owners, sign up for this account, even if they don't own a business. Depending on how the terms are written, that could be considered fraud. And even if it isn't, it sounds unethical, at least to me.

I am aware that he will come back and rant at me, just as he ranted at PSUEngineer. So I am not insisting that no one do this. I am merely stating that my opinion is that this is unethical. I am not holding anyone else to my standard (which may seem over the top to many others).

Nancy
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I looked through the application agreement. I'm no lawyer, but I didn't see anything in there that would be a violation of terms.

Did you open the actual application or just read the general informational stuff on the website? If you were to open the actual application, there is an authorization box at the bottom just above the Submit Now button. It says"
-------
By submitting the application:

- I certify that I have read and agree to all terms, conditions, authorizations and disclosures provided with this credit application and that all information provided is true and correct.
- I agree this is a business account and shall only be used for business purposes and not for personal, family or household use.
--------
But not everyone on this board are single income W-2 wage earners, so I don't understand why discussing a business card would be off limits. It just doesn't apply to everyone.

I didn't say it was off-limits. Please point to any of my posts where I said I did. If you go back to pehenia's post, he/she said "You don't need a business to get one, just put your SSN in place of the EIN."
http://boards.fool.com/okay-im-going-to-try-not-to-blow-your...

If you go back to the first post on the thread, the OP didn't ask what is the best business card for perks. By default, I assume a person is asking about personal credit cards, not business credit cards unless specified.

PSU
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If you've ever made money on the side - whether from a rummage sale, ebay/Etsy/Zazzle sale, fixing someone's computer/car/plumbing etc., from ads you put up on your blog - then you should've reported it to the IRS (and if you're telling me you've never made money on the side from anything anywhere or have and always reported it to the IRS then I know who's being fraudulent ;) you're supposed to report it as business income. What kind of business? A sole proprietorship - it's the type of business that every American citizen is by default. You're a sole proprietor already, and so am I.

That's not true.

So anyways, to sum up: it's not fraudulent to consider yourself a business. As an American citizen, you already are one (don't believe me on that, go dig through the IRS website, it's in there) and many people have already gotten business cards using their SSN in place of the EIN.

Do you live in a state that requires all businesses, regardless of size or ownership structure to be registered with the state? Pay an annual filing fee? Because if you go around claiming you're a business, you've just opened yourself to state, county, and city regulation that didn't apply to you 15 minutes ago.

Lara Amber
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As for whether it's fraudulent, that's a strong implication coming from someone with "engineer" in their handle. If you are not mis-representing yourself and are truly an engineer, then you're certainly not an expert on business or tax-law. I'm not either, but here's what I know:

Yes, I'm an engineer. Thankyouverymuch. Your suggestion further up the thread was a suggestion that people open a business credit card even if they are not a business. In other words, use a business card for personal purchases. Since as you say I'm not a business law person, I can't say your suggestion rises to the point of actual fraud that is actionable in court. What your suggestion does is violate the terms of the credit card application. This is a fact that I was pointing out. I'll point it out again even though I already did in my response to joel.
------------
By submitting the application:

- I certify that I have read and agree to all terms, conditions, authorizations and disclosures provided with this credit application and that all information provided is true and correct.
- I agree this is a business account and shall only be used for business purposes and not for personal, family or household use.

-----------

If you've ever made money on the side - whether from a rummage sale, ebay/Etsy/Zazzle sale, fixing someone's computer/car/plumbing etc., from ads you put up on your blog - then you should've reported it to the IRS (and if you're telling me you've never made money on the side from anything anywhere or have and always reported it to the IRS then I know who's being fraudulent ;) you're supposed to report it as business income.

No, I don't make money on the side. If I've ever fixed anyone's computer, plumbing or other household maintenance, I've never taken money for it. I do it because I like to help. I don't have a blog so there are not any ads. Any sales that I may have done in the past during a garage sale or on craigslist are not taxable. I don't mess with the IRS or state tax office. I report all of my use tax to the state which many people do not.

You can make all the accusations about me that you want, you can infer that I'm fraudulent with the IRS and you can say I'm not an engineer but it was not me who suggested to other posters that they ignore the terms of the credit card application.

PSU
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PSU said everything I was going to say...

- Gingko (trained as an engineer but not a PE - and DOES use her business card ONLY for business purposes under my business's TIN).
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Kahuna, CFA
Venture Capital
General Partner
2012 - 2019


I'm glad your crystal ball is working.
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No crystal-ball at all needed.

So you're sure you'll live to 2019.

KCFA has managed Institutional Venture Capital investments since 1977.

Does this mean you were incorrect when you said you retired in 1995?

"I am a retired Investment Professional; I have been retired since October 1995."
http://boards.fool.com/first-i-do-not-very-often-visit-this-...
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PSUEngineer added to your Ignored Fools list. - TMF Server

Apparently, you want to hide from the truth.
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PSUEngineer added to your Ignored Fools list. - TMF Server

Apparently, you want to hide from the truth.
---

Hey! Bastille Day is only a few weeks away!

http://boards.fool.com/see-you-14-july-2006-bastille-day-kah...
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"You can make all the accusations about me that you want, you can infer that I'm fraudulent with the IRS and you can say I'm not an engineer but it was not me who suggested to other posters that they ignore the terms of the credit card application."

If there's going to be a barney, can I hold your coat?
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We charge everything (and pay the bill in full) on an L.L. Bean Visa. We use the points for lots of clothing for our kids, at very low cost.
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My favorite is the AMEX Premier Rewards .... 3x points on travel/2x on gas and groceries/ 1x on all other purchases.....points have added up and you have to pay balance in full each month! I like to travel so this card has been great for me.
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for travel,,Cap One venture ($59 annual fee) gets you 2 miles for every dollar spent and you get very good prices on airfare,,car rentals from their travel site on US travel,,if you want to travel to Europe,,Citibank AA cards are the best value as you can get a roundtrip ticket for 40,000 miles,,
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I am afraid I don't understand. In the same post it is stated that credit cards should be a safety net but later on say that one should charge as much as you can.....

I think that if you think of a credit card as a safety net you are making a potentially huge mistake. Emergencies should be "planned for", in other words assume that they will arise and put money away. 3-6 months of living expenses is a good start.

THe problem with credit cards are emergency funds is there will come the day the the emergency and the regular costs of life overwhelm your ability to pay off the account and even if that only happens for one month it is wasted month being gifted to the CC company.

Put your emergency money in a high-yield savings account so that it can earn a little interest as well.
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Hi, welcome.

I think I can clarify what Tony was saying. Do not carry a balance, pay the bill in full every month. But if your card offers perks, use it. Charge everything you buy, including gas for the car and your groceries, and then pay it off in full so you aren't carrying a balance.

In terms of the safety net, he meant a temporary one, such as having your car break down somewhere. You need to pay the mechanic, you may need to rent a hotel room, buy food, etc. You can use your credit card, but again, pay it off in full every month. He didn't mean that your credit cards ARE your emergency funds, just that they can carry you through a temporary emergency until you get home. Then, if necessary, pull money from your emergency fund, pay the bill, then start putting money into savings again until you're back up to where you were.

Nancy
unfortunately, interest rates for savings are a lot lower than they were.
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If you like to travel, and we do all the time, the Hyatt card is the best no fee, no bull, credit card. We've traveled tons and wound up getting free stays in great places using points. You get 3x points if you stay at a Hyatt. This year we have gotten a free 4 day stay in St. Louis with our son, and a week long, 7 day free, stay at the Hyatt in Phoenix for spring training.

Unlike most others, airline cards are the worst, free means free, no fees no added charges etc. And you cancel and planned stays right up til the day before, and all your points go right back in your account.
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I HAVE HAVE RUN ALL OF MY PURCHASES THROUH A CREDIT CARD. I GOT MY FIRST CREDIT CARD IN 1987. DISCOVER OFFERD A 1% REBATE.
SO HERE ARE THE NUMBERS

1987 TO 2013 = 26 YEARS
1987 TO 2013 = 312 MONTHS
3000 = AVERAGED MONTLY CHARGES
936,000 = TOTAL AMOUNT CHARGED
9,360 = REBATE DOLLARS
125 = INTEREST PAID ON CREDIT CARD CHARGES OVER THE LAST 26 YEARS.

SO I HAVE ALWAYS FOLLOWED CC REBATES. MY BEST CURRENT RECOMMENDATION IS AMAZON'S CARD HANDLED BY CHASE. THESE ARE THE REBATES AND COSTS:
Earn 3 points for every $1 spent at Amazon.com
Earn 2 points for every eligible $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores†
Earn 1 point for every other $1 spent†
Points don't expire, and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn
No annual fee
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Points don't expire, and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn

They may not expire, but if the account is closed for any reason the points will evaporate.

Don't allow to many points or rebates to accumulate on a credit card. Credit card companies have been known to close accounts with high values of rebates just to eliminate the rebates.

Also, please limit the use of capitals. It makes the post difficult to read, and likely to be ignored. Bold or italics can be easily formatted.
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In addition to vkg's points, (particularly the part about excessive capitalization) you are responding to a post from 1997.

Nancy
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I just got a Amazon card. I get 3% with purchases at Amazon and 2% at restraunts and 1% on everything else. I can use the bonus to reduce the cost of a item at Amazon or request it paid to me in cash.
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animator3d,

Why would you respond to a 17 year-old post? Perhaps you should start your own thread.

- Joel
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"Bert - I don't carry a balance, and would like to switch to a card that earns me some useful perks. Any suggestions?"

I'm with you. I also do not carry a balance and use the CC that will give me the most points/rewards.

When searching for the best price, I often find it on Amazon and so I have the Amazon Visa (issued by Chase). Besides getting a great price on what I buy from Amazon, I also get an additional discount for using the Amazon Visa.

Also, I have a BoA Visa and MasterCard which provide great rewards and the convenience of allowing me to setup an automatic cash redemption credit to my checking account.

RHGCMG
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Good information I'm glad I decided to check it out
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I look for cards that help me travel. Currently, I use a Southwest card ($99 per year) since I almost always travel with them. I am thinking about switching to a card that will pay me more points for purchases.

I am considering Marriot Rewards. They have multiple offers but the one I prefer is 5 points at Marriot locations, 2 points at restaurants car rental and airlines, 2 points at office supply stores, internet cable and phone service. 1 point for all other. $99 starting the second year but a free one night stay every year makes it worthwhile.

Also,I had a nice offer from American Express but have misplaced it.
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I know this is a umpteen year old post, but anyways I'm going to respond...

I'm thinking REI credit card for a "perks" card so I can collect REI dividends outside of REI each time I use the card when travelling on per-diem.

-Matt
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I have Been using Citibank mastercard for 2 years at 2% return. Works fine. Before that I mainly used a chase card 1 % back on all purchases or buy what you want.

Need it to be on all purchases otherwise its an unknown.

Anything better? I've seen 5% but its on specific purchases so not great.

Cheers Jeff
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zalwen,

Did you realize you are responding to a 20 year old post? It's usually best to start a new topic, when the old one has been lying dormant this long.

Also it's not very active, but the "Credit as a Tool" board was eventually created to cover this type of topic. Because a lot of the posters here were struggling with debt and we got a lot of flack about discussing the responsible use of credit with that kind of an audience reading our posts. http://boards.fool.com/credit-as-a-tool-113853.aspx?mid=3283...

It's good to get cash back for purchases you would have made anyway. But flaunting that in front of people that have trouble with credit card debt and trouble making wise spending decisions probably isn't ideal.

But FWIW, my Fidelity rewards (2% cash-back) is my fall-back card. I also have a Bank of America card that gives me 5.75% on gas and 3.50% on wholesale and groceries stores. And Chase Freedom & Discover give those quarterly 5% categories.

Also while good arbitrage opportunities for 0% balance transfers have been gone for a years, there are a number of institutions that will give you cash and other perks for opening and using an account - credit or deposit. If anything, those perks have gone up in recent years.

And for the nay-sayers, I do pay off my balances every months. In fact I save nearly half my gross pay, so I think my spending is probably under control...

- Joel
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Are you open to paying an annual fee? And what kind of perks are you interested in e.g. Airmiles? Cashback?
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CelticCali,

You wrote, Are you open to paying an annual fee? And what kind of perks are you interested in e.g. Airmiles? Cashback?

Why are you responding to a 20+ year old post?

That person posted all of 4 times back in April of 1997. I think your response will fall on deaf (if not dead) ears.

- Joel
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