Idea for Dynamic Credit Card Payment Selection

credit cards

I have several credit cards that I try to optimize to get the best rewards depending on the type of purchase I need to make. For example different cards may give you 1, 3, or even 5 reward points when you used them at a restaurant. Keeping track of which card to use depending on which type of purchase you are making to maximize points is a pain.

I can sympathize with Paul

…and Matt

Maximizing points is work but the benefits from doing this can be immense. Go listen to Chris Hutchins new podcast All the Hacks and specifically this episode on Credit Card Points and Miles to see why you would want to go through this trouble. He and Alex Miller tell stories of obtaining $20k+ flights simply by using points.

Up until now I haven’t really used mobile payments like Google Pay or Apple Pay but I wanted to start doing so. Today I added a few credit cards to Google Pay and had an idea. Each of my credit cards provides a list of shopping categories and the rewards points provided for each.

What if I was able to create a mapping between a shopping category and which credit card to use for payment of that category to maximize the points received?

Like this hypothetical example:

Dining -> Chase Saphire 3x points
Groceries -> American Express 5x points
Home Improvement -> Chase Freedom 1.5x points

Then when I am at a merchant location and go to use Google Pay, it could look at my credit card mapping and then by knowing the location of the merchant (and thus knowing the shopping category) it could select the card I want to use for payment dynamically. Ideally even the mappings would be automated but at least this method would ensure that I am always using the best credit card to optimize the rewards point received.

I may be missing something but this seems doable. I’m not sure if there are any 3rd party tools for this or plans to bake this functionality into current mobile payment systems but it sure would be great.