On Friday, I had an extra half hour on my hands, and I was skimming some PF blog posts, and I saw yet another “Best Credit Cards for Blah Blah Blah” post, and of course the American Express Preferred Blue card was listed. This is because it’s probably one of the best cards for cash back on groceries and gas. When you spend more than $400 on groceries and between $300 and $400 a month on gas (yay, hour-long commute one-way for H every week day), this seems like a win-win.
The only downside is that there’s a $75 annual fee, and I think I missed the way to sign up for it and get the first year’s fee waived. On the other hand, if you purchase a $79 Amazon Prime membership, supposedly they reimburse it, and if you spend $1000 in the first three months they reward you with 100 extra points. Or something.
Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. I didn’t expect that it would be so painless – we were approved very quickly and the cards are on their way! I was able to also register the cards online so I should be able to add them to our Mint.com account today or tomorrow (have to wait 24 hours for the online account to be available). I was also excited that our limit will supposedly be $14,000 – that’s higher than any other limit we’ve been given!
One other benefit that most people don’t mention in their online reviews is Roadside Assistance. We’ve been without AAA or any roadside assistance for a while, mostly because we had decided we didn’t want to support AAA anymore. The other option is another company that seems like it’s more in line with our principles, but then we were too lazy to act on it (and, let’s face it, I hate spending money). However, when H has two hours in the car every day and I spend 40 minutes in the car, it’s very likely that at some point we may find ourselves in need of some kind of roadside service. So, I’m feeling pretty excited about this perk.
I’m excited to go ahead and start using the card – then we can retire one of our two Chase cards as the card we use for some bills. By “retire,” I really just mean that we’ll keep the account open, but take the card out of our wallets and only use it every once in a while. Our Chase Freedom card will probably still stay in rotation, as the quarterly 5% cash back promotions could still be useful. That will require a little bit of planning (“Use this card, not that card!”).
While we had hesitated signing up for yet another credit card, we are four months away from paying off our Citibank card (and we don’t put any charges on that card – it’s just a holding place for our debt that isn’t accruing interest), so I’m really hoping this pays off the way I think it will!
Next step: changing our automated bills that go onto one of our Chase cards to the AmEx card and start racking up points! Of course, it’s important to pay off those charges every month… but you knew that already, right?