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October 08, 2011


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Any word from the PerkStreet people about a savings account? Back in June, PerkStreet's COO mentioned on their blog that they hoped to have the savings account rolled out before the end of the year.

Ken --

I didn't ask. But if you want to find out, you can reach them on Twitter. They are at @perkstreet.

I'm curious why you see this as a better deal than the Fidelity American Express card tied to a cash management account. Both would require you to open an additional account, but the Fidelity combo doesn't require an account balance to get the 2% rewards. I don't have either, but have been debating the Fidelity account.

David --

If you read the link above that details my credit card strategy, you'll see that I already have two Amex cards. I say there that I really don't want to have a third and hence I want an option other than the Fidelity Amex.

I gave up Schwab and started using Capital One Venture card which gives 2 miles per dollar. The miles can be applied to travel transactions on the statement (effectively cash). There is a annual fee starting from year 2 of $59.

I've been using the Discover Escape Card. It also offers 2 pt/dollar of spend which equates to 2% cash back on travel expenses. You don't redeem the points for travel like some cards, but rather when you charge a travel related expense on your Discover Escape, you can request a statement credit with the points you have built up. That means you can shop for the best travel rates and not need to book through the credit card's rewards search engine. So, you need some travel charges to get the full 2% benefit, but in practice, a hotel here and there more than covers it. Also, that means you're earning points even when you book travel and redeem a statement credit unlike some cards.

I thought Discover wouldn't be accepted as many places, but I've found only 3 places in the last year that didn't take Discover.

Down sides?

1.) $60 annual fee. (Offset right now with the bonus: 1k points($10)/mo for the first 25 months you make a charge)

2.) Discover isn't really accepted internationally. Good for day-to-day spending, though.

So, yeah, the annual fee sucks, but more than offset, IMO, by the benefits. Plus, you have all of the protections afforded to you by a credit card like grace periods and security protections which a debit card would not have.

I should also note that you can redeem your points on the Discover Escape for statement credit if you DON'T have any travel related expenses booked on the card, but the redemption rate is effectively 1%. Thus, you need some travel charges occasionally. Like I said, a hotel here and there or a plane ticket from time to time and you're ok.

You can also redeem for gift cards at a rate between 1% and 2%.

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