Unlike all these clever people I hear are using points to go on free vacations, I am actually allowing Bank of America to scam me. They offered me a better points situation with a cash bonus for my card, then proceeded to ignore the bonus they owed me and closed my account due to “inactivity.” It was really weird (not to mention annoying because of credit score implications), but I decided to let the account stay closed. This was a cheap enough way for me to learn that BoA is tedious and terrible, and that I should earn my credit points somewhere else. I have a big-ticket auto service coming up, so I should pick a card soon.
The two cards that come to mind are
- JetBlue AmEx
- Amazon Visa
Because I would like to travel more, and already use Amazon a lot. These cards seem the most applicable and useful to my life. But how do they stack up?
- 70,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
- $40/year annual fee after first year
- 1 point per eligible purchase
- One roundtrip from BOS to DEN for example is 22K points, yielding approximately 3 “free” trips based on 70K sign-on incentive
- $50 cash incentive on startup
- No fees
- 3%/2%/1% points structure (Amazon purchases = 3%), with 100 points = $1
- The $800 I spent on Amazon in 2014 would come to 26 points or $0.26. Womp womp. $800 already sounds like a lot of money and I can’t see spending more than that just to make points.
Surprising, but it looks like JetBlue has better perks even with the $40 fee. At least until the 3 trips from the sign-on bonus are up. I can see why people do crop rotation with credit cards – unlike with crops, however, crop rotation with credit cards will scorch the land of your credit.
Do you have a reward points credit card that you like? And do you use it to make “free” cash or for less tangible incentives like airline miles?