Living 1XConsider these example annual expenses:• $20K credit card spend• $25K checks and bank transfers• $5K ATM withdrawalsPoints per year earned from typical credit card: $20K spend X 1 = 20,000 points
Category Bonuses 6X 5X groceries, telecom, gas, drug cable, stores internet,office supply 2X 5X Travel, restaurants,(restaurants) bookstores, movies Average ~3X Points per year earned: $20K spend X 3 = 60,000 points
5X : Vanilla Visa & merchant gift cardsAverage ~5XAnnual cost depends on gift cards used: ~$120Points per year earned: $20K spend X 5 = 100,000 points (or 88,000 for free)
5X: Vanilla Visa + TargetAverage 5X across all credit and cash expensesAnnual cost: ~$325Points per year earned: $25K spend X 5 = 125,000 points (or 92,500 for free)
5X: ForwardAverage 5X across all credit and cash expensesAnnual cost: ~$200Points per year earned: $25K spend X 5 = 125,000 points* (or 105,000 for free)* $1K limit may be a deal breaker
5X: Vanilla Visa + Vanilla ReloadAverage 5X across all expensesAnnual cost: $890Points per year earned: $50K spend X 5 = 250,000 points (or 161,000 for free)
6X: Hilton Amex + Vanilla ReloadAverage 6X across all expensesAnnual cost: $395Points per year earned: $50K spend X 6 = 300,000 points (but, points are not as valuable)
Beyond 5X Everywhere• Pay all credit charges with best credit card • $20K X 3 = 60K points• Pay all bills (including credit card bills) & ATM with Bluebird • $50K X 5 = 250K pointsAnnual cost: $890Points per year earned: 310,000 (or 221,000 for free)
Life Beyond 5XOnce a week:• [Go to Office Depot, buy two $500 Vanilla Visa cards]• Go to drug store, buy two Vanilla Reload cards• Go home, load Vanilla Reload cards to Bluebird• Use Bluebird to pay bills & transfer money to checkingAs needed:• Use best credit card for purchases• Use Bluebird for ATM
Comparing TechniquesTechnique Points Cost Cost per Pain Earned Point1X 20K $0 $0 NoneCategory Bonuses ~3X 60K $0 $0 LowVanilla Visa + Gift Cards 100K ~$120 $0.0012 HighForward B&N 125K ~$200 $0.0016 MediumVanilla Visa + Target 125K ~$320 $0.0026 HighVanilla Visa + Vanilla 250K $890 $0.0036 HighReloadHilton + Vanilla Reload 300K $395 $0.0013 MediumBeyond 5X 310K $890 $0.0029 High
Federal Taxes, Two Good OptionsFor example, assume $20K in taxes…• Pay with mile earning debit card (e.g. SunTrust Delta card): • Earn 1 mile per dollar • Cost = $3.49 • Miles earned = 20,000• Pay with gift cards: • Buy 40 $500 Visa cards at 5X • Call Official Payments and use cards as debit cards • Cost = $356 • Miles earned = 100,000 (or 64,400 free)
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