closest thing to a 5 % back card (excluding Freedom and Discover rotating cats) is the Discover Miles that gives 3% on everything (but you need to wait for 1 year to get the 1.5 % matched). But this offer is only for 12 months. But I have a big family… The Alliant credit Union is 3% for the first 12 months, then drops to 2.5 on everything after 1st year. For the lucky ones who possess the Amex Old Blue Cash… still 5% in groceries/drugstores and gas.
but your 3 month window had already started. the card will probably arrive in 10 days and you lose out on 3 weeks already…plus the hard pull.
Keep in mind the potential that someone else will file your return and get your refund. This type of identity theft is rampant, and it happened to me two years ago. In my case, it only took about six weeks to sort out, but many tell tales of it taking 18 months or more.
Agreed. The “three month” thing is sort of a come on. I will scarcely have time to determine if the card actually even works for the kind of spending I would like to put on it. That said:
5% is a decent reward and it is a higher reward than I have available on any other card. My next closest is just 3% on Discover, and I get that only provided I’m able to hang onto the card until next July. So it’s up to me to put the 5% to use during the short interval it will be available to me. That interval does coincide with Christmas, which is nice. I also can load up on gift cards for groceries and gasoline, and I will make my January quarterly tax payments with the card. Also there will be opportunity to pre-pay a bunch of stuff. In addition:
The line of credit Freedom offered me was higher than the (rather lofty) line I requested. Having that much credit on my record will help me lower my utilization, which is a worthwhile thing. I get this benefit even without using the card at all.
So bottom line, I remain comfortable with my decision to have applied for the Freedom card, warts and all.
I did just over $9k over-payment last year. Doesn’t seem at all worth it for the 1% arbitrage you mention. But for larger bonuses for opening spend or milestones, especially with Amex. I had an existing (not new application) amex that gave me two Hilton weekend nights for putting $15k on it (plus AF worth of retention points). 0.7% net fee on $15k = $105 for two weekend night certs.
My actual final taxes was ~$13k. I paid early april, didn’t end up filing until Oct 14. ACH received 2nd of Nov.
This my be important after the three month period is up. This will then lower your utilization. Many here (myself included) have all the credit the major banks are comfortable giving them. Having lines from small credit unions, regional banks etc. will increase your available credit and hence lower your utilization even after the card is paid off, and is possibly little used as having a low reward rate. .