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carduser78

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Choosing a new credit card for rewards benefits
I've been using a credit card for all purchases for years and paying it off weekly. I would like to change to a new card with better cash back rewards. What is the best way to do this so I don't affect my excellent credit score negatively?

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What are your goals?

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First, keep the card you have but use it 2-3 times annually.  You want to keep this card for its age and you don't want the bank to close it for non-use.  What type of rewards are you looking for?  Travel credit, hotel room upgrades, cash exclusive events?  Once you decide, start comparison shopping  before you apply for them.  Check the sign up bonuses and be sure to meet the minimum spending to get that bonus.  Add your wife as an authorized user to maximum reward points.

My thing is travel.  I have the Chase Preferred, Chase Reserve and American Express Platinum.  I have 2 authorized users. I earn double and triple points on food and travel. I charge everything and pay my bill weekly.  My utilization is usually below 3%.  For 2016, I  earned approximately 250,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards.  I will use the reward points for 3 round trip tickets to London for the family in 2017.  I will apply the remaining balance towards the hotel.    I could use the 250,000 points as $2500 cash. The Chase Reserve offers a $300 travel credit that can be applied to most things--I used it towards my hotel bill for 2016.  

For American Express, I've earned about 50,000 Rewards Points.  I plan to take the family to the Grand Canyon with these points.

I don't have a CITI card but many swear by their rewards program.  And no, I am not advertising or selling these products. I just want to give you an idea of what you can do with credit cards from different companies.

Whatever you decide, do your research and take advantage of any sign up bonus.

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mindjazz

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Excellent advice. Briarwood knows his stuff.  I use my credit cards to pay for almost all my monthly expenses, and then always pay my cards in full. I use different cards for different features. Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% back at grocery stores up to 6k. I purchase wine and gift cards there also.  If I'm doing a home improvement project or a big expenditure, that's when I start shopping for special sign up bonuses. Chase Marriott cards, personal and business ( even though I don't have a business), I applied for and received 80,000 points on each card. I took a few days and stayed at the Marriott for free using my points. Citi Double Cash is nice also at 1.99%/2% earning. I earned over $500 and used the money to buy myself some luxury items.

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Why Chase Rewards?

Lets say you charge 1000 dollars each month with a 1% back that's  10 dollars,   Really is it really worth it?  

Yeah you end up getting 120 dollars for the year.   but how much are you really charging each month, and should you be charging that much?

Are you buying things that are not needed?

I use the following, 
Cash if I have it on me ( go to the bank to get it if branch is close by )

Debit Card next as long as we have $'s in the account and most of the time we do,  (  I'm always paying off bills earlie or moving monies around )

Chase Freedom Card next, as a Catch all,  Wife uses it the most.   I use it when I feel lik it and know I will get the bigger bang of 5% back. 

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