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September 11, 2012

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Great read!

I also use and love the Blue Cash Preferred and Chase Freedom cards.

What are your thoughts on the Capital One Cash Rewards Credit Card? 1% on everything with a 50% annual bonus, so essentially a 1.5% card.

This is timely because my Chase Sapphire (which I likewise never use because I have a Fidelity Amex that covers me on almost everything and my wife has the Amex Blue Case Preferred for groceries) is about to come up for renewal.

I was first wondering what happened with the Sapphire rewards that I still have. Was it essentially a 1:1 move to shift them over to the Chase Freedom, and was this done via the same process as applying for the Chase Freedom, or a call made subsequent to the Freedom account going active?

If I don't lose any value in my Sapphire rewards by switching over to the no-fee Chase Freedom, that's a no-brainer! And I'll be sure to do it via the referral link as a thank you for the heads up.

FMF -

I also have the Fidelity Amex card. Though it is not particularly advertised, you do not actually need a Fidelity account to receive the full 2% back. You can cash out your points at various intervals as follows:

Points - Cash
2500 - $12.50 (1%)
5000 - $25.00 (1%)
7500 - $37.50 (1%)
10,000 - $80.00 (1.6%)
15,000 - $120.00 (1.6%)
20,000 - $160.00 (1.6%)
25,000 - $250.00 (2%)
35,000 - $350.00 (2%)
50,000 - $500.00 (2%)

As you can see, if you just wait until you accumulate $250 of rewards, you can receive a check for that amount. No need for a Fidelity account at all. In fact, I just cashed out $350 earlier this week. I do this all on the Fia Card Services site.

(I'm not sure where the 0.5% came from, since even the first stage is 1% as you earn 2 points for each dollar charged.)

FYI, apparently Chase only lets you get the bonus a single time for each card.

So, if you've already got the 50,000 point bonus for the Sapphire Preferred you won't be able to get the bonus again for the same card.

HouseofG -

That's what happened for me. They moved the points across one for one to my Chase Freedom card and I later cashed them out.

Dan -

My thought would be why settle for 1.5% when you can get 2% as a minimum with the Fidelity Amex.

I like to keep it simple.

As long as I am getting something for my purchases in a reward then I am happy.

Thanks, FMF. After posing that question I poked around and saw that Chase makes it really easy to transfer UR points between card accounts (including from and to family or at least spouses).

I only saw mention of Freedom to Sapphire transfers (not the other way around, for some reason), but it sounds doable. I could also just go ahead and transfer all the points 1:1 to Southwest or Marriott rewards (not an option with Freedom) before canceling the Sapphire Preferred.

So, the only drawbacks would be (a) not getting that 7% year end bonus (I'd be canceling the card in the same year as earning the initial bonus) and (b) not getting the 25% bump in point value when using the points (as Sapphire Preferred points) for travel. I guess that's nothing to sneeze at, actually.

I just recently got the Sapphire preferred to get the sign up bonus when I replaced my air conditioner. I'll be cancelling it at the end of the year though unless they waive the annual fee. Worth a shot right?

The great thing about the AMEX Blue Cash is that you can purchase a Visa or Mastercard gift card to pay your utility bills online. I buy a $500 gift card, and when you minus the $5.95 fee, it's still $24.95 back to you which is around 5%. I also use that gift card ar restaurants, drug stores and places I know I won't return anything. I also used the AMEX card to buy $2,000 worth of Home Depot cards to buy a new patio door! There was an instant $120 in savings.

I just received an offer from Discover. I have a Discover card already and apparently, Discover is feeling the movement from their card to other cards so people can get the sign up bonuses. The offer is that if you sign up for the bonus AND spend $3000 monthly from October - February 2013 you receive a $500 cashback bonus. Now to decide whether it is doable. It might be worth it to pay mortgages through ChargeSmart despite the fee that is charged. Has anyone taken advantage of a similar offer before?

So Meijer counts as a grocery store despite their similarity to Wal Mart? Or just groceries?

TN --

Mine does. YMMV. You must do a test charge to confirm how a store's charges are credited to know for sure. Details:

http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2011/10/you-must-do-a-test-charge.html

If you don't want to deal with the Fidelity Amex, try the Priceline Rewards Visa. It's a 2% card (no limits, no tiers) and accepted in more locations than Amex. Once you accumulate $25 in rewards you can apply that to your statement.

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