Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Credit Card Strategy for Utilities this quarter. ($50 Cash back)

In an effort to streamline my personal finances, i pay attention to the points/cash back that i can earn on every day spending on my credit card.
I put almost all every day spending on a credit card and make sure to pay it off every billing cycle, this helps in not only building a good credit history with the different credit card providing banks (like citi, chase, amex) but also in getting between 1% to 5% back in the form of either simple cash or points (which are sometimes valued even higher). The way i look at it, it is free money that i would leave on the table if i paid for my regular spending with a debit card/cash. Plus it also allows me to keep track of my spending using montly statements.

This quarter(Jan-March 2012), the citi dividend card is offering 5% cash back on utilities, health care and Fitness clubs.

You can go here and register your card for this quarter.

The great part about this is that the "utilities" category also includes cable/internet and cell phone bills. I always pay our cell phone and cable/internet bill with one of my credit cards, by simply switching to this card for the next 3 months, i will end up getting over $40 cash back for about a 5 minute effort (cancelling auto-pay and manually charging the bill on the citi card).
Also, we get a consolidated heat/electric/water bill, and they add a $3 surcharge if paid by a credit card instead of a check payment. Now the average winter time monthly bill is about $125-$140, so even after taking the $3 credit card payment charge i would end up getting another $10 cash back. So simply by moving around my payment credit cards i will end up getting over $50 in cash back this quarter.

This is in addition to the specific cards i use for gas, restaurants and groceries to average more than 1% cash back per dollar. I will write about that soon.

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