Credit Cards For Incoming IB Analysts

Analyst 1 in IB - Ind

Incoming IB Analyst looking to get two CCs before I start. I have a good credit score (>750) and want something that will give me the biggest bang for my buck. I am currently using the Uber card and i dont really spend that much money (expecting to save 35% of gross base and most of the net bonus). Also, how does expensing thinks work for banking? Like deal toys, flights, seamless, etc. Would getting an Amex allow me to get the points from the corporate card?

Citi Double Cash Back
2% Cash Back
Extended warranty on tech purchases
No annual fee
$150 bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred
60,000 bonus points ($600)
2x Points on Travel
2x on Dining
Free Doordash subscription
5x points on Lyft rides
$95 annual fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve
50,000 bonus points ($500)
3x Points on Travel
3x on Dining
$300 Annual Travel Credits
Free Doordash subscription
10x points on Lyft rides
$550 annual fee

American Express Gold Card
35,000 bonus points (not sure about worth but I think $210)
$120 Dining Credit
4x at restaurants and supermarkets
3x for flights
1x on all other purchases
$95 annual fee

Comments (51)

Most Helpful
Jun 9, 2020

BAML Premium Rewards with a Preferred Rewards bonus (based on your combined Bank of America as well as all Merrill Lynch accounts). $95 annual fee with TSA/Global Entry, $100 annual travel credit, no foreign transaction fees, lots of other random perks, and:
* 3.5% travel and dining
* 2.625% everything else

They also have a $500 sign-up bonus which is 5 years of annual fees, or basically you'll be through your analyst and associate years before you're paying the measly $95/year.

You will have to pay so much more with other cards to get the same thing. I'm not a BofA shill but please back-calculate the amount of additional card spending you'd have to do on the high fee cards -- let's say $250 extra on top of the $100 for the Chase Saph Reserve (this subtracts the $200 difference in annual travel credits); at even 3% cash back that is 250/.03 = $8,333 extra annual spend or $700 a month extra credit card spending just to break even with BAML. But that's not really true since if you spent that with BAML you would actually be pulling ahead with their 3.5% travel/dining vs. the Chase Reserve's 3x

EDIT: MS with no comment is like, extraordinarily unhelpful to the OP.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 9, 2020

Do you know how expensing things on the bank's card works? I read that you should have an Amex because you get a rewards account and can get the points from when you expense stuff on the company card. Similar to how consultants get miles when traveling. Not sure how true it is

Jun 9, 2020

We don't get to use our own card for company expenses, so that doesn't apply in my case.

Jun 11, 2020

FYI if your bank lets you use your own card, keep in mind that Amex Gold/Plat are charge cards, not CCs. You earn points in the same way but you need to pay the balance in full every month. Something to keep in mind if you're late on getting reimbursed

Jun 12, 2020

A couple caveats to this post, which is well done:

  • To get those % you need to have a combined $100K in BAML accounts. This may not be achievable for an incoming IB Analyst. The rates are much lower if you don't hit 100K
  • The $100 annual credit is for incidentals and things like upgrades, you cannot get the credit just from booking travel

This is a top card for me when you have some money saved up, but maybe there are others that are better if you are starting out in your career

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Jun 12, 2020

These are all fair points, but again the flashy alternative that others mention is $450 a year, the rate difference you're getting until you hit the different BofA relationships tiers aren't equivalent to the more expensive annual cost of the Chase card.

The $100 is perfectly usable for so many things: checked bags, changing or cancelling a ticket, and airport lounge access. Seat upgrades qualify, too, as do in-flight entertainment, food and beverage. If you fly once during the year, you'll use this credit.

If you're starting a career as an IB Analyst, you should have $100k in your bank after 2-3 years ($20k from salary and $30k from bonus for example, each year for two years). Along the way you'll hit a couple of tiers and it also applies to your Merrill Lynch investments (so includes things like IRA).

BofA tiers are $20k to hit Gold and $50k to hit Platinum; $100k balance is Plat Preferred

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Jun 9, 2020

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 9, 2020

Just starting FT next month so can't touch on getting points through Amex with your corporate card. Also interested on this though.

However, I have the BoA cash rewards card (not the preferred mentioned above) as my first cc. It was simple to use with the 3% cash back in a category of your choice such as dining, online shopping, etc. and has no fee.

I recently got the Amex gold card which has a fee of $250 but considering I spend most of my money on food and drinks the 4x points dining and grocery stores was a good perk for me. Along with the $120 dining and $100 airline credits the card pays for itself pretty fast. Another nice touch is Amex customer service has been great compared to using a large bank in my experience. The card itself looks good and is metal but obviously shouldn't be the driving point when considering a cc.

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Jun 9, 2020

Citi card you mentioned above works great. 2% and can keep it simple. No issues.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2020

This seems like the perfect card for me where can I get it?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 9, 2020

Chase freedom unlimited

Jun 9, 2020

pay your bill every cycle. swao cards regularly (ie, as soon as you earn all sign up benefits). BI has good intel. i have had 10 cards in the last 26mo

https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/b...

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 13, 2020

Don't open credit cards frequently as these consistent credit inquiries will hurt your score. Never close a credit card unless you absolutely have to as average length of accounts is 15% of your credit score (another reason to not keep opening). Further, if you open 5 in 2 years, you won't get approved for another one. Also, it's absolutely useless to have more than 2-3 cards unless you're older and financing like a house or some shit.

Jun 9, 2020

I like the AmEx card but I put like everything on it so it adds up.

Jun 10, 2020

hey, so I'm going to weight in here. what is your end goal? cash back, miles, or hotels?
personally, I'm 24 and already have 14 CC. most of which I just got for sign up bonus and shelf after. if you want simple cash back, I'd recommend either Citi 2% on everything, unless you want lucrative bonuses in which case go for a Freedom or BoA card that offers 5% on certain stuff quarterly. if you're into travel the. the sapphire is good, but if you're a 1st year, are you really going to travel that much that makes it worth it?

again, OP, what is your goal?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 10, 2020

Either miles or cash back. Although I don't travel, my parents are retiring and I'd be booking their flights. I was looking at the Wells Fargo Propel last night and I think it might be the move. No annual fee and 3x points on streaming, food, ride/gas stations, and flights and hotels. I'll likely save the points and eventually get the Charles Schwab platinum and exchange my points at 1.25x for $ in my Schwab account (Currently have TD, so hopefully the merger goes through).

I'll pair this with the Citi double cash back card for the purchases that don't get me 3x points.

Jun 10, 2020

my advice on that. I got the Propel early 2020 and used it for a bit. no annual, sign up bonus, and points are useful, but I find it will get me less overall than my sapphire preferred ($95 annual fee, which I got refunded after complaining). you might want to consider getting the Sapphire then, as you can use for both cash back and miles (at a rate of 1.25:1 for converting). I don't travel, so I don't really use my sapphire, but it has a better sign up bonus, and you can always downgrade after to a no fee freedom or freedom unlimited. I mix my freedom with my sapphire to get 5x points on certain categories and then convert it when needed to miles through the sapphire.

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Jun 10, 2020

Seconding Chase Freedom Unlimited. It's simple and intuitive.

Also you can look into Capital One credit cards if it's important to you to not have international transaction fees (depending on how often you travel)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 10, 2020

yeah chase freedom unlimited better than the citi card imp

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 12, 2020

why? lower cash back

Jun 10, 2020

Even if you can expense things - be realistic about your spend. The 'premium' cards - reserve, platinum, gold, etc. all really rely on you spending money on travel, specifically airline tickets. It's pretty hard - unless you are doing $2k dinners on your card - to get any value without the travel. You just won't (i shouldn't say can't here) get to the level of spend appropriate for the card.

That's always been the lynch pin for me. When I was travelling a lot over the last two years - reserve and platinum were the only games in town. The credits were all great - because I'd spend them anyway - and a lot of it was expensing. Woo!

Since that has changed, I need to re-evaluate my card lineup. Part of me just doesn't care as much as I used to - the other part of me wants to simplify what I have in my wallet. I honestly might just consolidate to the gold card and call it a day. FYI - gold card is $250 annual fee.

Last thing to consider is the programs and transfer partners. I'd note that AMEX's program is really built to reward more affluent spenders with extra perks on top of what they already are spending on - Chase is more setup to amplify your spend and give you rewards, travel values, etc. to keep you in their ecosystem.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 10, 2020

If you were in my shoes, which two cards would you get?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 10, 2020

isnt amex gold 95 not 250 annual?

Jun 10, 2020

It's $250 annually - There's a skymiles gold card, also amex, that's $95 I think.

Here's my overall advice - stay away from all the flashy, high priced travel cards. Don't bother with anything over 100 in an annual fee at this point.

Capital one Savor, Chase mentioned above, even the AMEX cash preferred card are all good options for you - if you just don't want to deal with it, get a quicksilver or citi double cash and call it a day. If you know a category you will spend heavily - get one that skews that way and go for it.

I'm partial to the rewards points in chase - so i'd probably err on the side of going that route all else being equal.

If you really, really feel the need to get one of the 'flashier' options - the Gold AMEX probably gives you the best categories of the ones you mentioned that you'll maximize the most (eating out and rewards).

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - CB
Jun 10, 2020

I'm going to vouch for the Chase Sapphire Reserve (I even did a lot of these calcs on a spreadsheet). Assuming you utilize all the perks that the CSR gives you, it makes for a very good deal. First is the $300 travel credit the card gives you (which effectively makes this a $250/year card) which I literally spent in the first three weeks (can use for metrocard, uber, flights, whatever you want). CSR also gives you $60/year for Door Dash, and a years worth of Lyft pink (which can add up if you use Lyft a lot too). Plus, the 3X points on dining and entertainment becomes a 4.5% return if you use the Chase portal to redeem for travel. So, if you use the card for how it's made to be used and see yourself traveling twice a year, I'd argue the CSR makes sense. But again, it depends on your spending level.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 10, 2020

I second this post. You can definitely get value from the CSR, especially if you pair it with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The CFU gets 1.5x points on all purchases, but if you pool those points with the CSR, they end up being worth 2.25x if you redeem through Chase travel portal. Another small thing I did regarding the travel credit was I bought $300 worth of Lyft Cash. You use your $300 credit for this so you don't get the 3x points, however you do get 7x points on this purchase since Lyft is 10x for the CSR. Something to think about.

Jun 11, 2020

wouldn't you get 10x the points, why 7x?

Jun 10, 2020

I'll add that you should always prepay your credit cards (have negative balances) to keep your credit utilization as little as possible. This will boost your score and allow you to open more credit cards and increase your credit line.

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Jun 11, 2020

don't forget that your redemption rates are way higher when used for travel on the CSR. yeah, you get 3% back, but if redeemed for travel you get 1.5x value (so 4.5%). I'd recommend combining it with the freedom unlimited (1.5% on everything) and freedom (5% on a 3 different categories per quarter). when you transfer all points to the CSR you can redeem them all at 150% of value for travel. no brainer imo.

Jun 14, 2020

Second combining CSR/CSP with freedom unlimited and pooling points for travel. Fiance and I doing this and walking away with $2k in travel off the welcome bonuses alone goes a long way for a honeymoon lol.

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Jun 11, 2020

Any opinions on the Amex Schwabb card? Not sure about the differences between it and Amex Platinum.

Jun 11, 2020

Have a number of cards but the one I like to use most is the Amex Gold. Just got it this year after a few years with their Blue Cash card. It was pretty easy to get the bonus if you throw your everyday charges on it ($350 is the bonus after spending $4000 in 3 months). It does have a $250 annual fee (you listed $95 above) but they give you $10 a month for Grubhub which I make sure to use (will be interested to see if this stays after they were acquired by Just Eat recently). 4x points for dining out was the selling point for me because I love to eat out but in all honesty, I probably would have held off a year if this was post corona. Amex will call you up after trying to get you to join the Platinum if you're pre qualified but I don't travel nearly enough and paying $600 a year seems excessive. I have the Amex Gold as my annual fee card then Chase Freedom as back up. Make sure to pay off your balances! Amazing how quick charges add up when you are swiping...

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.

Jun 11, 2020

Get that sweet sweet Amazon Prime Chase card. 5% cash back on WholeFoods purchases.

As someone who cooks a lot, it's been pretty nice.

Financial Data Science

  • Intern in PropTrad
Jun 12, 2020

But Trader's Joe is better.

Jun 12, 2020

Hah. Trader Joe's. More like Trader Hoe's

Financial Data Science

Jun 11, 2020

Chase Sapphire Reserve

As an IB analyst, literally every night you're going to be spending ~$25 on dining/delivery (3x points) and ~$15 on travel (Lyft counts, and gets you 10x points)

And you get to expense it back to the company! Good value imo.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jun 13, 2020

Do you actually pay for the seamless though? I always thought it was free as in you don't use a credit card, you just checkout*.

*I didn't work at my bank last summer, I interned at a tiny boutique that didn't have seamless

Jun 13, 2020

I never pay for seamless myself, its all linked to the corporate account

Jun 12, 2020

following

Jun 12, 2020

Anyone have thoughts on capital one savor one? thinking of getting it

Jun 13, 2020

Just saw U.S Bank Altitude Go which is interesting. No annual fee + 4% back on dining

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Equities
Jun 21, 2020

As a recent grad with a strong credit score, I am looking to get one of the premium credit cards for my first, real credit card.

Everyone on here seems to like the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the great rewards and travel benefits. I can see how the benefits could easily pay for the annual fee. However, I can't imagine I will travel too much during my first few years as I will prioritize my work and being in the city year-round for the first time.

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve still worth it at that point? How would the Amex Gold Card compare in this scenario? Also, in terms of the sign-up bonus, I would be able to hold them and use it later when I do want to travel right?

Jul 29, 2020

When is it appropriate to report your expected salary as the gross income on the applications? I.e. how many months away from the start date

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jul 31, 2020
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Jul 31, 2020
Jul 31, 2020