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June 01, 2011

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Please look at the new Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. It does have $75 fee, but it gives 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% cash back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% back everywhere else. There is a $100 cash back bonus with $500 in eligible purchases in the first 60 days. I am looking into using this in combination with Schwab Visa (2% everywhere), and Chase business cash back (3% CASH BACK ON FUEL, HOME IMPROVEMENT, RESTAURANTS AND OFFICE SUPPLY PURCHASES).

The whole credit card system needs to be revamped. Lots of changes are in need. Pretty much a complete overhaul of the system

Just make sure you're getting the correct cash back. I used to use the Chase Freedom Plus when they gave 3% back in the top 6 categories. But stores where I spent the most money: Lowes, Trader Joe's, Stater Brothers, and several restaurants were classified as "other" so all I got was the 1% back. After 9 months of strategically using the Chase Freedom Plus on my top spending areas and Schwab's card on everything else I only got back a total of 1.32% from Chase. If I had just stuck with Schwab's card I would have had 2%.

Rajs --

Really? I hadn't heard of that one. I will need to check it out.

Ben --

Your best bet is to always make test charges the first month you have your card. Then look at your statement to see how the merchant is classified. Then you can plan your charges accordingly.

The new Blue from Amex is just launched. I think Amex is really trying to get some of the customers it lost when it cut the cash back. FMF and myself included.

I have used Chase Freedom and consistently get $600 - $800 cash back per year. We use it for everything and major purchases. Make sure to sign up for the quarterly promotion categories which net you 5% cash back. Also, you can shop for things you would normally buy in the rewards mall to get extra cash back.

If your looking for a card to replace your restaurant purchases, go with the Citi Forward card. It pays 5% for restaurants and has about $85 in bonus money available right now for $250 of purchases in the first 3 months and signing up for paperless billing. It's not cash back but they have a $100 Home Depot gift card that doesn't cost a premium in points. That is one gift card that never lasts very long around my place !!

Actually in looking again, almost all their 50 or so gift cards no longer have a premium in points if you wait until you can do the $100. I don't think it always used to be that way. Options include Walmart, Sunoco, Lowe's, CVS,and Kohl's just to name a few.

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