Grocery Spend Capacity Coming Out My Ears, How I Plan To Prioritize It

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Prioritizing My Credit Card Spend

It is a new year! That can mean many different things for people. For us, miles & points enthusiasts, it mainly means two things. Airline incidental credits are flowing again and our spending caps and bonuses have reset! While recording this week’s podcast we briefly talked about how I am a little overwhelmed this year with all of my grocery capacity. There are quite a few moving parts so I figured writing something up on it would help me work through it and hopefully help you do the same. I need to focus on prioritizing my credit card spend to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

My Cards With Grocery Capacity Or A Spending Bonus Attached

First up I wanted to list off the cards I have that have a spending offer or had a grocery cap restored etc.

  • Hilton Surpass
    • 6X Hilton Honors points at US supermarkets and a $15K free night for 2022.
      • Can also focus on the other 6X categories of US restaurants or US gas stations.
  • Amex Gold
  • Chase Freedom
    • 5X Ultimate Rewards for this quarter on up to $1,500 in spend at the grocery store
  • Chase Freedom Flex
    • 5X Ultimate Rewards for this quarter on up to $1,500 in spend at the grocery store
  • Amex Platinum Upgrade
  • Amex EveryDay Preferred
    • 3X Membership Rewards at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spend. The earn rate gets a 50% boost (up to 4.5X) if you have 30 or more transactions in a billing period.
  • World of Hyatt Card (X2)

On top of these I also have to finish the spend for my Amex Business Platinum upgrade offer. I have like $2,000 in spend left for that. I also have a few Amex authorized user (AU) bonuses I need to finish as well. The AU bonuses give me 6 months to complete the requirements so I won’t focus on them too much for the time being.

Two American Express Authorized User Benefits You Shouldn't Overlook

Prioritizing My Credit Card Spend For 2022

So how do I prioritize all of these options? It is a little overwhelming looking at it. That is a lot of spend to get through on top of all of the other offers I will pick up along the way. My priority, or focus, needs to be on urgency though. Things that offer me the entire year to work on should probably be on the back burner for the time being.  Here is how I plan to attack this list, in order, and the reasons why I placed them where I did.

Ranked By Urgency

Here are the cards that will get use over the next few months:
  • Amex EveryDay Preferred
    • This is my number one focus which doesn’t make sense since the $6,000 cap is for the entire year. The annual fee hits on this card in February and I plan to close it if I don’t get a retention offer like I did last year. So I have to get it done this month!
    • We also have a authorized user bonus offer on this card. Two birds with one stone and all of that.
  • Chase Freedom Flex (and original Freedom)
    • We have two of these cards, or $3,000 in spend that we need to complete for 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points. These have a 3 month shelf life (1st quarter) so I will be mixing them in with the EveryDay Preferred early and often.
  • Amex Platinum Upgrade Offer
    • Mixing in with the early rotation is my wife’s Amex Platinum card and her awesome 5X retention offer.  I added myself as an authorized user and picked a Gold card to avoid the increase in annual fee.

These cards I will focus on after the first quarter. It may be sooner if I can get through some of the cards above quicker than expected.
  • World of Hyatt Card (X2)
    • I have used all of my Hyatt free night certificates already so I will probably mix these in for non bonus spend in the first quarter.  Then I’ll focus heavily on them as I finish up stuff listed above. Since I am running on empty on Hyatt certs I prioritize these over the Hilton free night certs.
  • Amex Gold
    • Usually January 1 means this bad boy is back on the prowl but with everything else going on it hits the bench for now.
  • Amex Surpass
    • With having the full 12 months to accomplish this it falls to the back burner. Plus, I still have two Hilton free night certs I need to use so I want to push out the expiration date on this one if I can.

Prioritizing My Credit Card Spend – Final Thoughts

Writing that out and getting together a game plan makes me feel less overwhelmed. I think it is a good thing to do every year, and probably every quarter. Refocus your efforts and prioritize your goals for the next few months. What I prioritize probably isn’t what you prioritize and vice versa. Regardless of how you rank your needs having a road map can help you stay on course and not let anything fall through the cracks.

What are you prioritizing right now? Let me know your 2022 game plan in the comments below.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Just did something similar last week, was thinking about applying for a few cards so I sat down and went through what I already needed to spend on current SUB & spending bonuses and realized I already have enough on my plate for a Q1 (about $40-50k to get done before the end of March). Also went through all the issuers I could remember having cards with in 2021 (Amex, Chase, BoA, USB, WF, a couple of CU’s) and looked at my total CC spend amount for the year- way more than I thought I was capable of doing. Some people keep spreadsheets, I like to be surprised lol

  2. In the same situation, especially for Q1. Freedom/Flex $1.5k x 2, Discover $1.5k, a retention offer for Amex BC for $3.5k that I want to do as part of $6k yearly. That’s $8k in Q1 alone + the normal Amex Gold / OBC at $25k/$50k each. I too wish that Chase/Discover had been spaced out better.

  3. Got the Freedom & Flex, Everyday and two Discover cards with grocery as a possibility. I have estimated taxes to fund (can double up on tax payments until April as well) so that will eat up a chunk. Also have the ever faithful Sears card with a 10x up to $2,000 a month this quarter at grocery! I wish Chase and Discover wouldn’t double up, but that’s a First World problem.


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