I have written before about the confusing rewards for my BP VISA. This is about rewards and trying to figure out a rational way to deal with these credit cards. Okay, some “facts:” ·
American Express/COSTCO gives you 3% on gas, 2% on vacation/meals/travel, and 1% on everything else. You get it all at one time once a year with a check you take to COSTCO to cash and the card costs $100 a year. No upper limit on rewards. ·
BP VISA (Chase) has a complicated set of rewards related to “cents per gallon.” Gas is … well it’s hard to really know what the gas reward is and it has to be BP gas. Vacation/meals/travel are 2% sort of and all the rest is 1% sort of. Redeeming is skewed toward getting 20 gallons of gas at one time in one vehicle. If you want to get “cash” instead, you get docked a third of your reward “dollars.” And if you have a vehicle that takes less than 20 gallons at a time, you lose the balance of what you’d be owed if you had bought 20 gallons. Confusing enough for you? Oh, there’s no charge for the credit card. No upper limit on rewards. ·
Capital One Venture is another bird altogether. It’s the only card where there are no charges for foreign transactions. Other cards (like the two above) charge 1-3%. It looks like Capital One does not bundle a hidden charge into their exchange rate, too. The card costs $59 a year, first year free. The rewards are a flat 2% on anything and can be redeemed against airline tickets bought on this credit card. Oh, there are other ways to redeem, but let’s keep it simple. No upper limit on rewards.
So, I’ve come to some conclusions in all this: ·
For any transaction where the first two cards would only give me 1%, I will use Capital One. ·
For any foreign transaction, I will use Capital One. ·
For all non-BP gas purchased, it’s Amex. ·
For domestic restaurants, hotels, etc., it’s a tossup between Amex and Capital One. ·
All air travel, Capital One.
And the jury is still out whether I will keep the BP card. Not sure it’s worth the Byzantine redemption process even though my car does take 20+ gallons.