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After 14 years and a daughter who just turned 16, it was time to buy a new car for my wife and pass down her 2006 Nissan Pathfinder to our daughter.

My wife decided on a 2020 denim blue Volvo XC40 fully loaded!  It’s an amazing car that even drives and parks itself.

After agreeing upon a $47,000 purchase price, I was only allowed to pay $2000 with a credit card at the dealership.

We’ve been saving years for a new car.  For the remaining $45,000 balance we were ready to just write a check from our ‘car savings’ account until the finance manager told us about a Volvo promotion.

The promotion was Volvo would make your first payment (up to $750) if you leased or financed your new car.  We quickly jumped on this promotion – at the very least we’d pay off the entire loan balance after Volvo made the first payment.

And hopefully I would be able to earn a bunch of miles and points to pay the loan off with credit cards.

After a few weeks, I got the first statement.  Volvo kicked in the maximum $750 for the first payment which left $266 left due on the first payment.

I bought a Visa gift card from the grocery store (with a credit card that also earns gas points which covers the $5.95 fee) to use on Volvo’s loan payment website.  Unfortunately it wouldn’t process so I just used my bank’s debit card.

My next step was to use Plastiq which typically charges a 2.5% fee to use credit cards to pay for things that you typically can’t use a credit card for.  Plastiq runs multiple promotions that lowers the fee.  Luckily they ran a 1% promotion for 3 payments up to $20,000 each.

Here are how the numbers, fees, points earned, etc worked out:

Card Used PaymentMiles / Points EarnedFeePoint ValueNotes
American Express Blue Business Plus$20004000 American Express Membership Rewards0$80amount dealership accepted on credit card
N/A$7500($750)$750 in free money from Volvo for financing
Bank Debit Card$265.8600first payment balance using bank debit card
Alaska Airlines Business Visa$20,00020,200 Alaska Airline Miles$200$364
Southwest Business Performance$19,50019,695 Southwest Points$195$295 (or $590 with Companion Pass)helped achieve Southwest Companion Pass
Chase Ink Business Unlimited$4,581.786,872 Chase Ultimate Reward Points$114.47$941.5X points on all purchases
Total Interest Paid$297.64
TOTAL:$45,297.6450,767$57.11$833
In summary, by financing the car instead of paying cash, I was able to earn over 50,000 miles and points worth over $800 at a cost of $57!  This works out to an incredible cost of only 1/10th of a cent per point!

Unless you are working on meeting a sign up bonus spending requirement, I feel the two best credit cards to use are the American Express Blue Business Plus or Citi Double Cash card which both earn 2X points on all purchases.

Thanks for using my Plastiq sign up link if you decide to sign up – you’ll get $500 fee free dollars after you make $500 in payments.  Even if you don’t have a need for this right now, it’s good to sign up since most of the special reduced fee promotions are specific to users.

Citi Double Cash Card

In my opinion, this is the BEST no annual fee personal card on the market.  It earns 2% cash back on every purchase with no categories, caps, or restrictions.

The best thing about this card is you technically are earning Thank You points which are redeemable at a rate of 1 Thank You Points = 1¢.  But if you also have a Citi premium card such as the Citi Premier, you can use the transfer the earned Thank You points to a bunch of travel partners.

The card has no annual fee.  Learn more and apply here.

 

American Express Blue Business Plus

American Express's Blue Business Plus card is arguably the best and simplest earning card available.  It's at the top of my wallet and stays there since there is NO annual fee.

Currently there is a 10,000 point referrer offer after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.  The 10,000 point offer is not publicly available on American Express's and only available through a referrer.

What makes this card simple to use is that it earns 2X points on ALL purchases (up to $50,000 per year).  No need to memorize different categories.  The valuable Membership Rewards can be transferred to airline and hotel partners for even more value.

Again the card has NO annual feeLearn more and apply here.

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