With Bluebird now allowing me to pay my credit card and other bills with the Bluebird card, it was time to revisit what I’m packin‘ in the leather money maker.
- Netspend debit card and the Amex prepaid card.
- Ink Bold and Ink Plus for trips to Office Depot, gas stations and occasional misc spend.
- American Express Platinum card Mercedes Benz version for lounge access, car rentals.
Putting back in the wallet:
- SPG card for non-category bonus purchases
- Citi Forward card for restaurant purchases
- Amex Blue Cash Preferred for groceries and occasional gift card purchases at the grocery store.
I’ll buy Vanilla reloads with my INK cards and load them onto my Bluebird. I can then pay off my credit card bills with the Bluebird bill pay feature. The credit cards I’ll be paying off are the ones I’m putting back in my wallet which will get most of my new spending, along with my condo association fees. (No mortgage, car payments or student loans for Katy and me.)
We are now effectively “double dipping” and earning 5 points when loading up the Bluebird card with Vanilla reloads and then earning points again on our daily spend on credit cards. We pay those off with the funds we have loaded onto the Bluebird card. It is indeed a nice little circle.
Note: Amex and the Bluebird people will have the float on my money and some retail transactions with the Bluebird card where they will get the merchant fees. Chase will get some of my regular spend and earnings from the merchants where I purchase using the INK cards and I’ll rack up category bonuses on the cards back in my wallet.
Several days ago I got heat from some readers suggesting my going all in with the Ink cards at Office Depot would kill the deal. I respectfully disagree. Katy and I have different last names and different addresses. In addition we use our Ink cards for other purchases and are well within the $50K limit on office supply purchases. We have been successful finding Vanilla Reloads and purchasing in numbers close to my suggested use. I wish you all the opportunity to find reload cards and use them within your comfort level.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49