Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Credit Card Reward Engine?

How long will it be before someone creates a site that calculates the best rewards program for people? Although we can go to sites that document "good" rewards programs, the sheer number of programs makes picking the best card for our individual spending habits a hit and miss proposition.

My current cards: Because I do not carry a balance, I do not pay much attention to interest rates.

  1. Primary Card: Amex Starwoods Card – Over the past few years, I have used the mileage for rooms at the NYC Sheratons during the Christmas season. I usually qualify for one free night per year at a savings of $500+ per night. Currently, I am saving for a trip to Europe. Since I can transfers my points to any carrier, this card is a big help.
  2. Master Card: As the commercial says, some places do not take American Express. I have an American Airlines Miles card I use for this. While it is probably not the "best" card, I fly to Dallas often and American is the best way to get there from Connecticut.
  3. Citgo Citi MasterCard: In my area, Citgo consistently has the lowest prices for gasoline. With 4% rebates, I am saving an additional 10-12 cents per gallon. I do not use it for other purchases.
  4. LL Bean BOA Card: LL Bean has reasonably priced clothes for the money. With this card, I get free shipping. I do not use it for other purchases.
  5. Discover Card: I am using this as a balance transfer experiment card. I took money from a 0% balance transfer with no transfer fees and have it in a high interest savings account. Although I am making money on the deal, I do not think the effort is worth the hassle and I am increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of the transaction. I do not expect I will do this type of transaction again.
  6. GM Card: Dormant.
  7. Lowes: Dormant.

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