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October 03, 2007


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Thanks to your earlier blog on this card, I was able to "trade" my old regular Chase card to a Freedom Rewards card you describe above. I should be receiving my card any day now and will use it as my primary card as soon as it comes.

I went back and recomputed a couple months of my old Citibank dividend card bills and would have earned about 25-30% more each month, and that's not even figuring in the additional fast food and utilities that I will charge on the cards when they come. I suspect I might earn up to 50% more a month with this card. So I guess that's a long way of saying "Thanks, FMF".

Kevin --

Great! I'm glad to hear it!

I love the Freedom card - we have been getting $500/year cash back on average.

I think our top 3 categories are the old ones (groceries/gas) and they set a limit of $600/month purchases on these (a little under what we spend) so we get 3% on $600 every month and 1% on the rest. Then we wait until we have $200 which you can then cash out for $250. So we hit that about twice a year. Easy money!

The AmEx Blue Cash only pays out rewards once per year rather than the "every $50/$200 of rewards" that most rewards cards pay. That's a deal-breaker for me.

Dan --

I saw your comment on this issue in an earlier post. See the response left there by Chris:

Personally, if one card earned me $500 and another earned me $400, I could wait for a year to get the $500 versus getting the $400 every few months. It's not like your $400 will earn you an extra $100 in that amount of time (especially at today's interest rates). Also, if you want to maximize the Chase rewards, you will need to let the accumulate to get the $50 bonus.

I hadn't seen Chris's post. That makes sense as you wouldn't get ("Chase rewards percent" + "bank percent") but instead ("Chase rewards percent" + ("bank percent" * "rewards percent")) which is much smaller than "AmEx rewards percent." It's counterintuitive to me but correct--thanks, Chris.


One thing I don't like about the Chase Freedom Visa and the Amex Blue Cash is that I haven't found a "generate short-term virtual numbers" feature. As someone who's had his card number stolen in the past, I liked this feature of the Citi Platinum Dividend card when purchasing from potentially sketchy Internet sites.

Dan --

I know that last comment is from you -- your IP address is the same as the previous comment. Do you have a particular beef with this post or are your simply drumming up negative comments one at a time? It seems strange to me you had one problem, that was addressed publicly, then you came back with another negative comment but tried to do it anonymously, like you didn't want to be identified.

Hi, FMF, actually, I incorrectly assumed that the Name/Email fields would autocomplete for the second post. Afterwards, there's no way to edit posts and I didn't want to spam the comments with a "hey, it's me above" post.

In any case, I have all three of the above cards and had two concerns with the Chase and AmEx--the "end of year rewards" issue and the "no virtual numbers issue. I was totally off-base on the first, so I mentioned the second issue hoping that someone would find a solution to that as well on this pretty cool blog.

Well, the problem of no virtual numbers is an issue with the majority of cards today, so if that's your primary concern (or at least a major one), you're going to be limited in what you can choose from. That said, I'd guess that as credit card and identity theft become more common, additional cards will add these features.

For me, I generally stick with well-known sites when I buy online and I haven't had a problem yet.

I was spoiled with the Citi card, which I've used for a long time until I saw your and Consumerist's posts on credit cards and decided to switch.
I feel like there used to be virtual AmEx numbers--I remember receiving a AmEx USB smart card reader for that purpose in the mail around 2004 or so. But I guess they discontinued that program.

Hey FMF - I'm using the same hybrid approach now. I considered waiting until my AmEx anniversary date, but I found a way to benefit from the Freedom card now and still come out with a net win.

Here's what I'm doing to split the spending - I've set up my cable, internet and cell phone bills to pay on the Chase Freedom card, getting me 3% on those instead of the Blue Cash's 1.5% (it's really getting 3.75% on the Chase card if you factor in the extra $50 for every $200 -- 25% more cash back). I am also using my Chase Freedom card for fast food restaurants for the same reason.

Outside of those purchases, I use my AmEx card for everything else, since 5%/1.5% is still better than 3.75%/1.25%.

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