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Old 04-09-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
hancoveguy
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Default best credit card for free stuff questions

Kind of off topic but here goes. I am doing a fairly large home remodel, full bathroom remodel and 2 rooms in the attic. (unfort not at the lake) I am soliciting thoughts on credit issues with regard to this project.

I have no credit cards at all, but good credit. I was thinking of getting a credit card and using it to buy the materials and then pay it off to boost my credit and earn stuff...points, miles, discounts, free delivery from stores when using their cards, preferred status in stores etc... whatever... This is where you guys come in...

The project should be $20k-$40k cash out of pocket. How can I maximize this to both build credit and get free stuff... Could I use a credit card enough to earn free airline tix or free tv's at a furniture store etc...

Or is this a waste of time and energy?

Thanks in advance,
HCG
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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Default Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union (available to all veterans, regardless of branch) offers a 1 % cash back on all purchases and is a no annual fee credit card.

I used USAA for years, being a former Army enlisted and later an officer, but switched to Navy Federal about 8 years ago and have been very happy.

Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the USA
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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If you have the cash and the discipline to use credit and pay it off without the interest payment, it makes sense to take advantage of the miles and other incentives and use their money. Definitely worth looking into.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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Absolutely do it!!! I'm sitting in the virgin islands having used miles from our kitchen reno to pay for 3 tiks!!

Personally I like the Capital One venture card. It gives you 2 points for every dollar charged. (works out to $2 back per $100 spent). The only downside is that you are supposed to use the cash back for travel related stuff but for us thats not a problem.

Good luck!

Last edited by winnipiseogee; 04-09-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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A friend of mine built a couple houses this way. He had four or five credit cards. Always paid within the 30 grace period. Earned points and other offerings and basically got short term financing for free.

I have a Southwest Airlines Visa and always use it for any major purchase. It's always paid off within the 30 day period. I have got many free airline tickets over the years that have come in real handy.

Go for it!

Dan
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winnipiseogee View Post
Absolutely do it!!! I'm sitting in the virgin islands having used miles from our kitchen reno to pay for 3 tiks!!

Personally I like the Capital One venture card. It gives you 2 points for every dollar charged. (works out to $2 back per $100 spent). The only downside is that you are supposed to use the cash back for travel related stuff but for us thats not a problem.

Good luck!

Justin
How many people went to the Virgin Islands on one kitched reno? At $50,000 that's only $1,000 back.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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If you ever plan to purchase any GM car/truck, then the GM Mastercard has an advantage.

Last new GM vehicle purchased received a total of $5,500.00 AFTER the negotiated deal. After ALL negotiations and agreed upon price then presented my GM Points.

Now if you are not into new GM cards there are some advantages with a Southwest Rapid Rewards Card.

Or just anyone that gives cash back.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:15 PM   #8
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Talking Credit Unions

This is the time to seriously think about switching to a credit union, if you have not done so. Attach is a market watch analysis on CU industry.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-...011-2012-04-02

I am very happy with Lockheed. CU were not involved in the 'shady loans', nor were they involved in credit card gouging.

My VISA debit card doubles as a credit card collecting awards. I charge every purchase including major ones to my credit and I garner enough awards for a trip at least once a year somewhere in the US. There was enough points to pay for car rental!
The card has trip insurance and car rental insurance. I no longer take out extra insurance during my travels.

I have all my property loans with the CU. The rates are very competitive and usually involve no loan or closing fees.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpg View Post
How many people went to the Virgin Islands on one kitched reno? At $50,000 that's only $1,000 back.
3 of us are here but it took a bit more than just the kitchen. I think the tiks all in were just under $1200
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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you will need to check out the limit as a new card may put a limit per month . so if your remodling is going over a few months might be ok. I use Costco AX card which if free but of course you need to be a member of Costco . Many cards for hotels and airlines make you pay a per year charge
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:43 PM   #11
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I have a Bank of America Worldpoints visa, both personal and for my business. We spend a LOT each month in purchases on the company card and pay it off immediately so my points rack up fast. The points can be used for cash back, travel, or at many online retailers. I typically use mine for plane tickets. I have had trips to Florida where I was able to fly all 5 of us for points only. My last trip was about $3k in airfare, points accumulated this time around paid for half.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hancoveguy View Post
Kind of off topic but here goes. I am doing a fairly large home remodel, full bathroom remodel and 2 rooms in the attic. (unfort not at the lake) I am soliciting thoughts on credit issues with regard to this project.

I have no credit cards at all, but good credit. I was thinking of getting a credit card and using it to buy the materials and then pay it off to boost my credit and earn stuff...points, miles, discounts, free delivery from stores when using their cards, preferred status in stores etc... whatever... This is where you guys come in...

The project should be $20k-$40k cash out of pocket. How can I maximize this to both build credit and get free stuff... Could I use a credit card enough to earn free airline tix or free tv's at a furniture store etc...

Or is this a waste of time and energy?

Thanks in advance,
HCG
Both Chase and Bank of America have credit card products that give you $300.00 for signing up, no interest on your purchases for a year and 1% back on all your purchases. The Chase card is called the "freedom" card and the BofA card is called the "cash rewards" card. These cards would both be an excellent choice for your project. I'm not sure what the qualifying criteria are for these deals but it is certainly worth looking into.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
This is the time to seriously think about switching to a credit union, if you have not done so. Attach is a market watch analysis on CU industry.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-...011-2012-04-02

I am very happy with Lockheed. CU were not involved in the 'shady loans', nor were they involved in credit card gouging.

My VISA debit card doubles as a credit card collecting awards. I charge every purchase including major ones to my credit and I garner enough awards for a trip at least once a year somewhere in the US. There was enough points to pay for car rental!
The card has trip insurance and car rental insurance. I no longer take out extra insurance during my travels.

I have all my property loans with the CU. The rates are very competitive and usually involve no loan or closing fees.
Granite State Credit Union, love it. And if your a repeat customer and see a better rate somewhere else, most of the time they will match the rate rather then see you go somewhere else. ATV,2 snowmobiles, 2 motorcycles and one car through them. We personally don't see why anyone would use a bank for anything other then a home loan.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:36 AM   #14
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Default Card Rewards

Two suggestions for you:
As previously mentioned, the GM Card (issued through HSBC Bank) gives you a 5% credit towards a new GM. 5% is great, as most other rewards are generally about a 1% benefit. But the downside is there is a limit on how much you can redeem per car. I have used points on 4 cars/trucks now between what I have bought myself and then putting family members' names on for them to redeem. This is by far the biggest bang for the buck in the cards.

If you are not looking for a new car, I'd recommend the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. For general purchases, you get 1% cash back, for grocery store purchases you get 2% cash back, and for gasoline purchases you get 3% cash back, and there are no limits.

All of the other cards rewards are usually about 1%, so both of these are a little sweeter. Obviously, if you don't pay the balance in grace period, any interest you pay will more than wipe out the benefit of the rewards, so stay disciplined!
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:50 PM   #15
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And an anecdote to the GM Charge Card.
There is more then one. So read up.

AND

Usually in January of every year - the points earned and redeemable are DOUBLED.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by songkrai View Post
And an anecdote to the GM Charge Card.
There is more then one. So read up.

AND

Usually in January of every year - the points earned and redeemable are DOUBLED.
I have used the GM Card in the past and it is a good deal. If you go that way don't pull your redemption certificate out of your pocket until everything is negotiated and you are ready to sign.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #17
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Default Good deal on GM card

Quote:
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I have used the GM Card in the past and it is a good deal. If you go that way don't pull your redemption certificate out of your pocket until everything is negotiated and you are ready to sign.
That's a great tip and the same strategy I used. I had nearly $2900 worth of points on my GM card when I bought my 2010 Malibu. Previously, when buying my 2004 Malibu, I also waited until the salesman gave me the bottom line price. When he called to get my bonus $ from HSBC, he wrote down the amount which was almost $1400, then wrote down an additional $700 which was a bonus offer which was good til the end of that month. I wound up with approx. $2100 off on that car as well. When purchasing a new vehicle, I always took my last credit card statement with me so I knew the ballpark figure of rewards $. For these past 2 cars the rewards have been more than 10% off the cost of buying the car. Of course, the points are only worthwhile if you pay your credit card balance in full each month.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:28 PM   #18
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I was just transferring some points on my Worldpoints card and looked into what the exchanges are for gift cards. Using 6500 points get a $50 gift card to Lowes. 3500 points is a $25 card. 12,000 points is a $100 card.

You can also get a $500 visa gift card for 60,000 points.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #19
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Default another advantage of CapitalOne Venture Card

...in addition to 2 points per dollar spent, the CapitalOne cards are among the very few that don't charge a foreign transaction fee. I had a Citibank Card and was pretty teed off when I bought something online from a small company in France, and found that fee added to my credit card bill. And it wasn't small. So even if you don't plan to travel abroad, it can be an advantage.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:49 AM   #20
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Default HD Visa

If you happen to have a Harley Davidson, the HD Visa card from US Bank has been pretty good to me. Their Signature card earns you 1 point for every dollar, 2 points to the dollar on gas, restaurants and hotels, and 3 points to the dollar from HD Dealerships. You redeem 2500 points for $25 gift cards to HD dealerships, you can only redeem in 2500 point increments. They have all sort of bonuses and signups for extra points various times a year as well.

I've saved a ton of money with my card over the years, on stuff I probably would have bought anyway...
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #21
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Any of you out there who might be in business.......you can negotiate with your suppliers to pay by credit card (make sure they agree not to add any points) They are happy to get paid right away and you get tons of miles.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:56 PM   #22
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For years, I've paid a supplier by c/c, and reaped the benefits of miles/points.

I had a BoA card & checking account, with a direct deposit, so no annual fees; I received a $75.00 credit for having a DD. I read all the publicity about their debit card fees; they answered my emailed questions in very lame manner.
I opened a USAA and changed my direct deposit, an d canceled all my BoA. Never a regret. Nearest bank is 40 miles, so it was never my primary.

I also have sold unused equipment on eBay, so had a PayPal account, and recently a debit card, which gives 1% back for most purchases. Easy to transfer funds from bank to PayPal, so I can use the card. Debit card with USAA is great. I do get points/miles on a Chase/Continental now United, and have redeemed for free flights over many winters.

There is a website that compares benefits of cards.
I suggest not starting new account with BoA. I just opened a Navy Federal CU account as was suggested earlier. We shall see.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAMIAM View Post
Any of you out there who might be in business.......you can negotiate with your suppliers to pay by credit card (make sure they agree not to add any points) They are happy to get paid right away and you get tons of miles.
Hey- Why do you get to pay with a CC, when we can't earn points at the VK? (just busting on you Bob!)
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