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Reshuffling My Whole Cash Back Credit Card Plan

It had to happen… I’ve had a pretty sweet deal come to an end. For a few years, I’ve had a Chase card that earned 5% back on gas, groceries, and drugstores. I didn’t talk about it much, since you can’t apply for it anymore, so there wasn’t much point.

I got a letter that the program will change to 3% now. That change, coupled with my need to use an American Express card at Costco [1] has had a domino effect on my cash back plan.

I always want to get the most cash back possible for all our spending, so I ran the numbers and calculated break even points between each card for each category that had tiers to break through. Here’s my new plan.

Cash Back Credit Card By Category

Purchase Credit Card Cash Back Notes
Gas American Express TrueEarnings Costco Business [2] 5%
Groceries Chase Freedom 3.75% 3% Redeem $200 for $250 to get extra 0.75%
Wireless Service American Express SimplyCash Business [3] 4%
Restaurants American Express TrueEarnings Costco [2] 3%
Drugstores American Express Blue Cash [4] 1%-5% If you spend over $6500 annually (all purchases combined). It works great if you play the drugstore game [5] to get free after rebate items.
Online Discover More [6] 5% Currently includes retailers such as Sears, Dell, Circuit City, Office Depot
Costco American Express TrueEarnings Costco [2] 1% If you plan to spend less than $15,000 at Costco annually. Over $15,000 and the American Express Blue Cash [4] wins.

Tips and Tricks

Spousal Tip

If you are like me, the only thing that will spoil the new plan will be trying to reteach your spouse which card to use where. My poor husband finally had it figured out too! Write where the card should be used in a black marker on the front of the card.

Business Cards

Want a business card, without a business? I explain how individuals can use Business Cards [7].

Discover Quarterly Promotion

Discover has quarterly promotions; sign up online with any Discover card. See the Discover cashback calendar [8]. October 1 – December 31 has a 5% Cash back bonus on up to $400 on these purchases:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Movie Theaters
  • Movie Rentals

Action Plan

I have three of these cards currently, so I’ll put those into the rotation. I’ll plan on applying for the rest in a few weeks.

Did I miss any? I want to hit the highest cash back in every category; let me know if there’s a card out there that’s better than the ones I found.