Friday, June 22, 2012

Chase-ing Reward Points

At present, we have one credit card, a Chase Freedom rewards credit card.  As you know, if you follow this blog, we don't use credit on a day to day basis.  Instead, we use credit for travel and business related expenses.  And by business, I mean primarily relating to our full time jobs and not our real estate investments.     Although, at present we do have some, rental property related, AC repair charges on the card.

The Chase Freedom card provides a 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, and then 5% cash back on certain category of goods and services changes on a quarter basis.  And for the quarter beginning on July 1, 2012 the 5% cash back rewards are for gas and restaurant charges.

I don't normally chase reward points because it goes against our philosophy of:  (1) avoiding debt; (2) no credit for day to day purchases; (3) the zen of our allowance system; and (4) the zen of sticking to present dollars in our present day to day life.  So, I never seek out the 1% cash back in day to day transactions, but we do put large purchases on this card, i.e. A/C repair, Mr. Sam's recent certification classes, etc. to get the rewards (thereby getting a discount).  We do pay off the credit card in full without incurring interest fees since to do otherwise would wipe out any rewards benefit.

But, I'm tempted on this one (which is, of course, Chase's goal) to at least put gas on my credit card for the next three months.  I figure that our gas expenses are not going to be influenced by the carrot of reward points.  Our gas costs are what they are and if I'm not increasing my spending in this category, it probably makes sense to get that cash back.

What say you?  Do you chase rewards regularly, on a case by case basis, or never?  


sclawgrl said...

I put almost all of my regular spending on a credit card, which is tracked all month and paid off in full every month. Why not? I'm spending money on groceries, gas, etc. anyway, and since I watch it and stay within my budget, I'm spending the same as if I paid cash. I might as well get cash back for the spending I would do anyway.

Angie said...

I have a Discover card which also offers the revolving 5% back categories. My husband and I do put purchases in those categories on my card to get the extra cashback bonus.