Making sense out of all these credit card point programs

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As an e-commerce business owner, I put a lot of stuff on credit cards. Inventory, ppc ads, business-ish travel, and business-ish meals. So I finally gave in to this credit card hacking craze. I was a little skeptical about how long a credit card company could give away all these points/dollars/miles, but I finally just decided to get in the game. I still think the credit card industry is ripe for a disruption (businesses pay a lot to take credit cards), but meanwhile I’ll take what I can.

I have a bunch of Capital One cards, but there was all this hype about the Chase Sapphire Reserve cards. So I signed up for one. As a location free entrepreneur, I do travel a fair amount. Then I saw the Chase Ink Reserve card offered a bonus for “social media and search engine advertising” and was in the same Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem as the Sapphire reserve card, so I signed up for that too.

Then I started getting confused. OK, which card is good for which category? 4% this, 2X points that, Grocery, Restaurants, etc. So I did what any good engineer would do: created a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet helped me figure out which cards were best for which category, and I share it here for you.

So I’ve decided to use my Sapphire Reserve card for travel and dining, Chase Ink Reserve for my Amazon PPC, Google, and Facebook ads, Amazon card for Amazon, gas, and Whole Foods, and then my Cashback card for everything else (since it’s 2%). I’m thinking the next step may be to fill out this sheet with all kinds of cards and go from there.

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  • Winston Lee

    My 2 favorite all around no annual fee cards are:
    Costco Citi Card – 4% gas, 3% restaurant and travel, 2% Costco, 1% everything else
    Fidelity Rewards Visa Card – 2% everything

    Then I round it out with Chase Freedom and Discover which have rotating 5% cashback on certain categories