This new card from Discover warrants some discussion. Its features include:
- 5% Cashback Bonus on your first $2,000 in office supply purchases
- 2% on your first $2,000 in gas purchases
- 1% on all other purchases in excess of $5,000
- 0.25% on your first $5,000 in other purchases
- Fee-free PurchaseChecks that earn Cashback Bonus and come with the same rate and payment grace period as your Card
- Pay bills or suppliers (excluding rent/mortgage and payroll) that don’t accept credit cards
- Get the same competitive rate and payment grace period as your Card
- Earn Cashback Bonus on every check
- Use them with confidence—you’re protected with $0 fraud liability guarantee
When reading these bullet points, a few things pop out at first glance. Because of the limitations on office supplies and gas purchases and the fact that you only earn 1% after you’ve spent $5,000, you’ll be required to spend at least $1,000 on other spending that earns only 0.25%. Combine this with the fact that there are many other 5% cash back cards for office supplies and gas (eg, Advanta Business), and the cash back component of this card is not attractive.
What is intriguing are the “PurchaseChecks” that allow you to pay bills that otherwise could not be paid via credit card and earn cash back. Since the promotional material explicitly states that you aren’t supposed to use them to pay rent/mortgage or payroll with the checks, you would assume that some sort of auditing must be done. Unfortunately more details are not supplied on the web site. Depending upon how this feature is actually implemented, this feature alone might make this card worthwhile for some. Comments from readers who get this card on this aspect would be most welcome.
For more details or to apply for the card, see this link.
Discover has decided to increase the number of Bonus Miles it offers for new applications of its Miles Card. Starting June 1, 2006, new applicants will receive 12,000 miles after their first qualifying purchase, representing a significant increase from the 5,000 bonus miles previously offered. So, if you were planning to apply for this card, you should wait until next month to do so.
Editor’s Note: While the information presented was accurate at the time of publication, it is now outdated. For the latest details on these cards, see the following links:
Posted May 17, 2006 — Is the price of gas hurting your pocketbook? If you don’t already have one, maybe it’s time to consider adding a credit card that gives you a rebate on your gas purchases. Below is a compilation of these cards:
- Citi Dividend Platinum Select – 5% rebate at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores
- Chase Cash Plus Rewards – 5% rebate at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores
- American Express Blue Cash – 5% rebate at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores/1.5% everywhere else once your year-to-date spending reaches $6,500; 1% at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores/0.5% for the first $6,500 of spending in a year
- Discover Platinum Gas Card – 5% rebate on gas
- Hess Platinum Visa – 10% rebate at Hess during the first 90 days; 5% afterwards
- Chase PerfectCard – 6% rebate on gas during the first 90 days; 3% afterwards
- Marathon Platinum Mastercard – 10% rebate at Marathon during the first 60 days; 5% afterwards
- BP Visa – 10% rebate at BP and Amoco during the first 60 days; afterwards, 5% rebate at BP and Amoco, 2% on eligible travel and dining; 0% at non-BP gas stations
- Speedway SuperAmerica Platinum MasterCard – 8% rebate at Speedway, SuperAmerica, and Rich Oil during the first 60 days; 4% afterwards
Note: Unless otherwise noted, each card also earns a 1% rebate on other purchases. For each card’s full terms and conditions, please visit the card issuer’s web site.
If you carry a balance, then ignore what I’m about to say, as reward cards aren’t for you. Instead, you should focus upon getting the card with the lowest interest rate.
Otherwise, for those looking for a gas rebate card, most will be best off with either the Citi Dividend, Chase Cash Plus or American Express Blue Cash, as they offer the most cash back at gas stations after the promotional period without tying you to a particular brand. Among those three, I would recommend either the Citi Dividend or the Blue Cash, since the Chase Cash Plus card is no longer being actively marketed and appears to have an uncertain future.
For big spenders, the Blue Cash may make the most sense as you’ll be able to fully take advantage of the higher tier of rewards. For everyone else, the Citi Dividend will offer the most value, as you earn 5%/1% from your first dollar. Do keep in mind that there are limits to your rebates. The Citi Dividend limits you to $300 cash back in a year, while the Blue Cash limits your rebates to the first $50,000 of spending in a year.
Via FW, you can save on the balance transfer fees with a new Discover application:
0% BT till May 2007
no fee for BT with app 3% thereafter, $5 min, $50 max.
Invitation FAJH 1-800-347-1588 to apply
Was in the junk mail, so not targeted individually.
As discussed on FW:
Call 800-975-0463, mention invitation #FASZ, get approved by 6/15/06, make one purchase each month during the first 12 months, get 1,000 bonus miles credited to your account each month for a total of 12,000 bonus miles.
According to Discover, this card allows you to:
Redeem your Miles for tickets on any major U.S. airline. Plus, there are no blackout dates on flights when you use your Miles. You can get air travel rewards starting at only 10,000 Miles.*
You can also redeem your Miles for:
- Cruise and vacation packages
- Hotel and car rental certificates
- Gift cards for your favorite stores and restaurants
- Brand-name merchandise
While this all sounds good on the surface, I would actually recommend staying away from this card. Miles cards are best when they can be used to purchase tickets that would otherwise be too expensive, such as first class or business seats, or last minute flights. In contrast, most general miles cards that allow you redemption on a number of airlines, like this one, have significant restrictions on award redemptions. In fact, this card from Discover requires that all round trip coach tickets be purchased at least 21 days in advance and have a Saturday night stay, among other restrictions.
And if you look at the other redemption options, you’re getting less than a cent of value per point. At that point, you’re better off going with a standard 1% cash back card. (Did this just turn into a mini-review of the Discover Miles Card?)
Get 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,000 in gas and automotive purchases through June 30, 2006. Your 5% Cashback Bonus is available on the following purchases:
- Car Washes
- Pep Boys
- Firestone Complete Auto Care™
- Sears Auto Center
You must enroll in order to take advantage of this offer. To sign up, either log into your account on Discover’s web site, or call 1-800-DISCOVER.
*Discover Platinum Gas, Home Improvement, Restaurant and Education Cardmembers are not eligible to participate in this promotion.
Details are located here.