Leveraging credit cards to get the full benefit of sign up bonuses and rewards programs is really satisfying! My current “everyday” credit cards are below, although it’s always fun to re-evaluate the market and see if there are new cards with rad sign-up bonuses or superior
credit card rewards programs.
Current Credit Card Rewards Setup
I run almost every expense through 2 credit cards to maximize rewards:
- Escape by Discover for “double miles” travel rewards (equivelent to 2% cash & can be used towards Amazon.com purchases)
- Chase Freedom Visa for 5% cash back category purchases and any non-Discover transactions
The Escape card also came with a gracious bonus of 1000 extra points per month for the first 25 months (this pays the yearly fee for the first few years).
The Chase card is probably the best general-use cash back card around, so it’s my natural 2nd choice if Discover isn’t accepted.
It’s usually possible to find a cash bonus offer for signing up with Chase, for example, I was awarded $300 for reaching their required spending level for the first 3 months after signing up. These offers occasionally shown up in the mail or can be found with a bit of searching online.
Chase Checking Bonus
Because Chase is in love with the cash bonus customer acquisition model and I am in love with cash, I recently signed up for a Chase checking account and was given a $200 cash bonus. The only difficult requirement to qualify for this offer is a minimum balance or monthly direct deposit every month for 6 months. Because I don’t want to leave the $1,500 minimum deposit sitting at Chase for 6 months, I am spending 5 minutes per month to transfer $500 from my online savings (Sallie Mae Money Market) to Chase checking, and then back again. This transfer is classified as a direct deposit, fulfilling the monthly $500 direct deposit requirement.
After the required 6 month account age I will likely close it down so that I can cruise through their 6 month waiting period, and then once again sign up and get another cash bonus offer. I wonder if I can do this twice a year forever?
Chase Checking + Credit Card Rewards Bonus
Lastly, a cool bonus that I didn’t know about showed up in my mailbox today – because I have both the Chase Freedom card and the Chase checking account, I will automatically receive 2 perks on my credit card purchases:
- 10% extra points (1 additional point for every $10 spent)
- 10 bonus points for every transaction
This won’t be a huge bump, but will give me a few extra dollars while the Chase checking account is open.
Get a Cash Back Credit Card – Apply HERE