Thursday, March 12, 2009

Juggling My Cash Back

Ok, the picture is a bit silly. I am trying to get the maximum cash back reward from my Discover Card while I am transitioning to my new Chase Card. After cashing in $40 worth of rewards yesterday, I still have $13.86 worth of rewards trapped on my card. I can't redeem them until it reaches $20 and as my Anonymous commenter reminded me, Discover is changing their policy in May so that I have to reach $50 before I can cash them in. So far this month I have spent $158. 1% of that equals $1.58 for a total reward of $15.44. That means I need to spend another $456 this month in order to cash out before the deadline. I'm not sure my April statement will count for the $20 cutoff or the $50 cutoff since the ending date is May 6th. There is no way I can spend $456 in the next 3 weeks...I mean I could but I'd rather not.

Discover has 5% reward categories, this month it is warehouse stores. I don't shop at warehouse stores so that won't help me. If I don't reach the $20 mark I think I will just keep the card and check the 5% categories periodically. April-June will be Home Improvement stores. Maybe that will be useful. July will be gas. I know I will need gas in July. By using the Discover card only when I need something from their 5% category I should earn $50 without too much trouble. And if I still haven't reached it by December I can do some Christmas shopping through the Shop Discover site to get 5%-20% rewards. I doubt I will ever buy something from their 20% reward category but if I ever need to send flowers I hope I remember to do it through their web site.

The Chase representative who got me to sign up for my new Chase card called me today to tell me to use my card today or tomorrow so that she can add the $50 sign up bonus on to my account. I told her I was afraid to use the card because the guy with the heavy accent signed me up for the Protection Plan and who knows what else. She promised to fix any strange charges that may appear. I couldn't think of what to buy since I just went grocery shopping and I am not going to run errands until Saturday. I didn't want to buy something extra just to use my new card, but then I thought I could buy some gas. I always need gas so I put $10 worth in my car. Problem solved now gimmee my $50 reward! :)


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Juggling is complicated! The pic makes it look easy though :)

Do you need new tires or anything like that? They would be nice to get 5% back on if they have a category for that (same as gas?).

Daizy said...

I believe that would be the 'automotive' category. I don't see it any time soon but I don't need tires either. I do need an oil change though. Theme parks is coming too now that I already went to a theme park. Airline tickets would be nice sometime, I'll keep an eye out for that.

Anonymous said...

Even after May 1 you can redeem your Discover cash back bonus for $20. You just have to redeem for a gift card or eCertificate which includes a Discover gift card.

The $50 figure is only if you want cash or a statement credit.

Sharon S said...

Hi there-the 50$ reward is well worth having, but I would find it a problem having to spend on a card regularly to get a small reward back.

Unknown said...

Hello Daizy,

As a fellow money (miser)& blogger myself I came across your blog a little while ago...I read some very interesting and great posts!

So I have a little offer for you....

The company I work for would like to pay you to put a text link to a credit card site on your blog. I have not seen any other deals already, but would love to make you an offer anyway. I'm sure we can come up with some good terms?!

The website is called and we will be launching a new fantastic looking credit card review and comparison service which is free to our customers; let me know your thoughts.

So let the bartering begin??!

Oh and keep up the great work!

Alex Preece
Bad with my money, great with other peoples!
(I am based in London, England so excuse the weird times you get this email!)
Giant Investments
T: 01273 224002

Anonymous said...

If the warehouse stores offer stored value cards, buy $460 worth and you can use them in the months going forward, while collecting the cash back from Discover now.

Or, do the same thing at your favorite grocery store. Buy $460 worth of stored value /(gift cards) for the grocery store, which is redeemable for food, something you definitely will be using.

I used to game my Discover card this way in order to keep a "0%" promo: I had to spend $50 a month on the card to keep it, so I bought a $50 gift card to my grocery store every month.

Lizzie @ her homeworld said...

Complex, head hurts!

Anonymous said...

No, the grocery gift cards is just like Daizy did last year with the tax rebate, right???

Daizy said...

TightFistedMiser, I am glad you read the fine print. I have always done cash back but now that I have found a store that I actually shop at (Ace) I think I prefer the gift cards. It may be worth it to keep it around and try to catch the 5% categories.

Hi Sharon Rose, don't worry, I am positively allergic to carrying a balance and I write down every penny that I spend.

Daizy said...

alex, I can see the value of a searchable site like your. How does a credit card get on your list? I don't see the Chase Visa card on there.

Daizy said...

bugbear, thanks for the reminder. I'm thinking about keeping the Discover Card around just to use the 5% categories. Unfortunately, groceries isn't on the list yet. They only have the groups through Sept. Maybe groceries will be October and I can buy a giant gift card to use later. That would be cool.

Hi Lizzie, it is getting confusing! This is starting to feel like work.

Anonymous, exactly, I just finished using up the 2 gift cards I bought last year. That would be a good idea to buy some more whenever the grocery category comes back.