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February 04, 2009


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You need to choose whether you value rewards or 0%. Bottom line. You aren't going to get both!

There are plenty Citibank Cards with good rewards programs. I recommend Driver's Edge.

Question on the Blue Cash card which you may or may not know. I know Costco only takes American Express, but does that mean it only takes the Costco AmEx card, or would it take Blue Cash too?

As for this reader, I don't know how helpful I can be as I don't track credit card deals that closely. My guess is that finding a truly good rewards card with 0% APR would be pretty difficult, that you can have one or the other. If that's true, do the math, figure out which is more valuable (0% APR or the rewards), then go with that.

Then work like heck to make sure that 0% APR is irrelevant in the future because you don't have credit card debt anymore, then find the best rewards card you can.

But don't cancel the Citi card if you're in good standing. No point in potentially negatively affecting your credit rating. Just throw it in a drawer.

I assume this person has a substantial balance. There are no rewards cards that make up for paying high interest rates on a balance, so the priority should be the 0% APR until such time as there is no balance, then go for a card with rewards.

Dan --

Costco takes the Blue Cash card. I use mine there all the time.

In regards to Costco, they take any Amex card. The benefit to having the costco/amex card is your membership info is right on there. Well that and the cash back.

As far as good reward cards go, I personally use the Chase Freedom card. It's not 0%, my rate is 8.24%, but they have plenty of good vendors in the program. Even so, we always get gift cards.

But like Dan said above, don't cancel it. I would add don't cancel it until you replace the available credit on another card. Then you could consider cancelling.

Don't cancel the card... just switch cards... There are pleanty of better cash back cards out there.

If you are looking to get rid of your points they do offer gift cards you can buy at a discount.

Most of the gift cards are for luxury places and restaurants but, last I checked, they have KMart and Sears gift cards you can buy that are discounted in increments ($50 card for $45, $100 card for $90, etc.) If you shop there frequently and you have a bunch of points, you can stockpile these for a better discount potential than using your cash back card. I think they used to have Target - I wish they still did.

I also used some of my points to buy gift cards as actual gifts.

Another thing: I think (not 100%) you can use a card other than the one used to accumulate the points to purchase the discounted cards. You could get creative with this if you want, assuming it is possible.

Agree with previous posters who mention not canceling the card, just get a different one. If you want to keep your credit card active, find one that has the benefits you are looking for, and keep this card for emergencies, but use it twice a year so they don't cancel it on you.

You can have both 0% and a good cash-back program at the same time... just not on the same card. I often hear blog posters advise not worrying about cash-back until you have all your credit card debt payed off. I am still working on paying off some of my credit card debt and that frequently gets pushed around from one 0% offer to another. On the other hand, I still have plenty of other expenses that go on my Chase Freedom card and subsequently get paid off on a monthly basis. So put your revolving debt on a low/no interest card and put everything else on a good rewards card. The obvious disclaimer is to make sure you aren't increasing your revolving debt (unless you want to).

If you want to stay with Citi and don't need the 0% then you could look into switching your account to a Citi Dividend Cash rewards card. They pay flat 1% on everything plus 2% on certain categories. Its not the highest paying rewards but its a decent rate and they pay straight cash. I've had one a while and I'm happy with Citi. I now use it as my backup card for places that don't take Amex.


Hey, thanks for your help guys. A few days after I sent this in I actually rolled over my card to a PremierPass card - 2.99% APR and the THANKYOU network (which is helpful to me because I can use it for airfare). I don't have a substantial balance, really -- $1200 or so -- so I just "consolidated" my Citi cards into one PremierPass. I can keep my ExtraCash accrued with no expiration and now am getting ThankYou points for my purchases.

I've had an incredible experience, honestly, with Citi. I'm glad I can stay with them without losing out.

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