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Best reward card to use for government payments?
Any thoughts on the best credit card to use to maximize rewards for government payments? I have the ability to pay for a monthly recurring charge of ~$5K to a government agency with no fee for credit card use. Is there any card that offers additional point earning categories for transactions classified as such? I’ve been using Chase Sapphire Preferred since it seems like the best points-based currency for this volume of “free spend”, but also have an SPG Amex and am open to another card if it makes sense. Cashback cards haven’t historically been of interest to me since I feel like I can get more value out of a points currency, but I’m open to the option if there’s something unique out there that would work for my spend.
FWIW Amex classifies the charges as “Other- Government Services” and with Chase it falls under the “Tax, Legal, and Financial Services,” which is defined as “Income tax preparation services, Credit bureau; General accounting (including Certified Public Accountants), Bookkeeping, Billing and Payroll services, and Other related auditing services. This category also includes Money order, Travelers cheques, Debt Collection, and Real estate agents/managers.”
I don’t think that’s a bonus category for any card. Pay with the Amex SPG card since their points would be the most valuable.
Being able to pay 5K a month with a card and no fee is an amazing opportunity to amass a ton of points.
Either with “Other govt services” or “Tax, legal and fin services”, I do not think they fall under any category bonus.
Between Sapphire and SPG Amex, I would pay with SPG card. In both cases you get 1 point per dollar and SPG has a stronger valuation with the versatility and 5K bonus for every 20K you transfer to airlines.
If you are looking for new no non-sense options, I think Freedom Unlimited (1.5X) is your best bet.
Based on your valuation of UR & SPG points, you should consider a 2% cash back card like the citi double cash back as well. I personally value 1.5 UR more than 2%. So my choice is Freedom Unlimited.
Based on your location and redemption planning, Alaska card is also a very good option. Since you already have an SPG card, the Alaska card will serve the signup bonus purpose only.
If you have the ability to pay with multiple cards, you should look into cards that earn category bonus at grocery stores. Buy 500$ Visa/MC gift cards and pay with those. Factor in the processing fee (usually around $5-6) and do the math.
For eg, the Amex Everyday Preferred offers 3X in grocery stores for the first $6000 spent. Add in another 50% bonus when used the card 30 times in a month.
Similar calculation applies, if you are purchasing GCs from gas stations for this purpose. eg: Citi Premier.
I would not venture in to loading PayPal with money cards and paying every month a full 5K. That is a red flag in my opinion.
Also, look in to big spending bonus offers if you value elite benefits or a particular perk.
[URL=’http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/12/10/best-big-spend-bonuses/’]Frequent miler has a good write up here.[/URL]