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Old 12-11-2012, 02:28 PM   #176
Riverman
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I recently got an Amex gold and plan on putting all expenses on it so I can use points for travel. Good plan? Got the annual fee waived and get 15,000 free points.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #177
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by JL514 View Post
Check the Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantagescore

It's calculated differently, see this image I took from creditcardforum:


And feel free to read their summary here
Thanks, JL, did a bit more research after posting my question - I was most curious to see if anyone has been told that their bank/lender is using the VantageScore.

From what I've read, looks like ~20% of lenders actually do you use VantageScore, but it's almost always in tandem with your FICO score. Also, it seems incredibly difficult for a new credit system/scoring to take hold in the marketplace, so looks like FICO is here to stay.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:16 PM   #178
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I am looking to get a new credit card. I am thinking that I want one that I can basically use all the time, so I want to be able to earn rewards on purchases of all different types. What are some good cards to look into for this?

Also, I am a little confused about the differences between points and cashback rewards. Where does it usually say how much a point is worth?
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:26 PM   #179
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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I recently got an Amex gold and plan on putting all expenses on it so I can use points for travel. Good plan? Got the annual fee waived and get 15,000 free points.
If you mean the premiere rewards gold then I suppose it's a good idea. Depends if you know where you want to travel and how you want to get there.

There is a better offer of 25k points after spending $2k. The PRG has good category bonuses of 3x airfare and 2x gas and groceries. That is better than most airline branded cards offer for their own airlines. However, the annual fee is pretty steep at $175. If you are a big spender, after spending $30k, you get an additional 15k points.

Membership rewards are a decent currency because they are always running transfer bonuses to their partners. I don't have any cards that accrue membership rewards points and I always wish I did when they run transfer bonuses to BA Avios.

What you end up finding out is that unless you spend a lot of money regularly, or have a scheme like buying coins at the mint, regular spending just doesn't earn that many points. That is why a lot of people apply for so many credit cards in a year, to get several signup bonuses to earn a pile of points quickly.

Strong category bonuses are still nice though as they do let you earn extra points. For a good list of category bonuses, check out this post
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:30 PM   #180
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Originally Posted by kleinstein000 View Post
I am looking to get a new credit card. I am thinking that I want one that I can basically use all the time, so I want to be able to earn rewards on purchases of all different types. What are some good cards to look into for this?

Also, I am a little confused about the differences between points and cashback rewards. Where does it usually say how much a point is worth?
Where do you do the bulk of your spending? What are your goals for the rewards? Are you only interested in cards that have no annual fee? How opposed are you to having more than one card, like one for gas, and one for restaurants?

Cashback is exactly what it says, obviously. Points have different valuations depending on the program, but almost always can be used some way for 1pt = $0.01. Sometimes it's for statement credit, sometimes its for giftcards etc. Sometimes, points can be redeemed for travel at a higher ratio, like 1.25 or 1.33c per point.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:38 PM   #181
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I would say my spending would mostly be for gas, restaurants, grocery, and retail. I dont think I would be totally opposed to having more than one card for things but the problem I am having currently is that I have a few cards already, and I am also still associated with some of my parents cards that I was put on when I was younger to help build my credit. SO I am not really sure on what the best plan of action going forward will be, and I want to be careful opening too many credit cards, correct?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:00 PM   #182
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

No. If you read the original set of posts I explain why having several cards isn't a bad thing. I have ~15 active cards at the moment.

Let me know if you want only fee free cards or are willing to pay annual fees. Then I can give some recommendations.

ETA: Actually, here are a few recs to get you started:

No Fee cards:
Chase Freedom - 1% cashback on all purchases and 5% cashback in categories that rotate every quarter. Occasionally has a signup offer between $50 and $300.

Discover More - 1% cashabck on all purchases and 5% cashabck in rotating categories. Occasionally has a signup offer between $50 and $200

Discover Open Road - 2% cashback on gas and restaurants

Chase Sapphire - 2% cashback at restaurants (occasional $100 signup bonus)

Amex Blue Cash Everday - 3% cashback on groceries and 2% cashback on gas (occasional $100 signup bonus)

PenFed Cash rewards - 5% cashback on gas

BoA Americard Cash rewards - 3% groceries, 2% gas, 1% all else

Capital One Cash rewards - 1% on everything + 50% yearly bonus (occasional $100 signup bonus)

Last edited by JL514; 12-11-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:05 PM   #183
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I am not opposed to having cards with fees, just want to make sure that it is worth it. If I only had one card for everything that had a fee, I am sure it would be worth paying the fee, however, if I split up all of the different types of charges, I would have to examine it more closely.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:22 PM   #184
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Thanks for the info. Seems like these no fee cashback cards are usually better than the points cards?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:28 PM   #185
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

What is a really good card to get travel rewards?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:56 PM   #186
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinstein000 View Post
I would say my spending would mostly be for gas, restaurants, grocery, and retail. I dont think I would be totally opposed to having more than one card for things but the problem I am having currently is that I have a few cards already, and I am also still associated with some of my parents cards that I was put on when I was younger to help build my credit. SO I am not really sure on what the best plan of action going forward will be, and I want to be careful opening too many credit cards, correct?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL514 View Post
List of rec's
I would add Citi Forward card - 5% cashback at restaurants and Amazon.com.

Also if you spend a lot of money on groceries each year, consider AMEX Blue Cash Preferred over AMEX Blue Cash Everyday. It gives 6% cashback on groceries with a $75 annual fee as opposed to the Everyday's 3% cashback on groceries with no annual fee (you just have to do the math to figure out which is better for you).

Also if you have a gas station affiliated with a grocery store near you, you can effectively get 6% cashback at gas stations using the AMEX BCP card. That's what I do. Every time I go to Meijer I buy a $25-$50 Meijer giftcard, and use it to fill up my tank at the Meiejr gas station (netting me 6% cashback on gas).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kleinstein000 View Post
Thanks for the info. Seems like these no fee cashback cards are usually better than the points cards?
It depends on if you travel a lot. If you travel a lot the points cards are usually better.

ALSO, if you wanted - consider just opening a bunch of cards on the same day. That way the CC companies won't you are opening a bunch of cards at once (the hard pulls take a while to get reported to the credit reporting agencies). I wouldn't try opening multiple cards with the same people on the same day however, that's more risky (i.e. opening 2 Citi Cards).
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:01 PM   #187
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Thanks for the advice guys
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:59 PM   #188
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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I would add Citi Forward card - 5% cashback at restaurants and Amazon.com.
Yes thanks, I knew I was forgetting something! This is a great card but is made better by also getting the thankyou premier card which lets you use those points for airfare redemptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
Also if you spend a lot of money on groceries each year, consider AMEX Blue Cash Preferred over AMEX Blue Cash Everyday. It gives 6% cashback on groceries with a $75 annual fee as opposed to the Everyday's 3% cashback on groceries with no annual fee (you just have to do the math to figure out which is better for you).

Also if you have a gas station affiliated with a grocery store near you, you can effectively get 6% cashback at gas stations using the AMEX BCP card. That's what I do. Every time I go to Meijer I buy a $25-$50 Meijer giftcard, and use it to fill up my tank at the Meiejr gas station (netting me 6% cashback on gas).
The breakeven point is $2500 fyi. At $2500, the 3% BCE is the same as the 6% BCP after the $75 annual fee. Keep in mind that these cards now have a spending cap of $6000 that earns 3% or 6% per year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
It depends on if you travel a lot. If you travel a lot the points cards are usually better.
Points cards are "better" because you can get a better value out of your points than 1c per, where as cashback cards you get 1c fixed. An example I used earlier was you can use 22,000 Ultimate Rewards for $220 cash back, or you can use it for a night at the highest tier Hyatts in the world, like Tokyo or Paris, which routinely go for $800/night, so you get about 4c value per point. But is it really 4c per value? That depends on if you would have paid $800 for that room, or if it's an experience you really wanted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by imjosh View Post
ALSO, if you wanted - consider just opening a bunch of cards on the same day. That way the CC companies won't you are opening a bunch of cards at once (the hard pulls take a while to get reported to the credit reporting agencies). I wouldn't try opening multiple cards with the same people on the same day however, that's more risky (i.e. opening 2 Citi Cards).
Most companies will allow you to apply for 1 personal and 1 business card on the same day and will auto reject 2 personals in a day. It's funny that you mentioned Citi because Citi is indiscriminate and will let you open 2 personals in a day if you want. It's typically called the "2-browser trick" or "2 browser method" but it's not really a trick as Citi allows it. They will not allow 2 personal and 1 business in the same day, however.

I have used the so-called "2-browser trick" to open a Citi AAdvantage Visa and AAdvantage Amex in the same day, and more recently to open their regular HHonors card and the HHonors Reserve card in the same day.

For examples at other lenders, I opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred (personal) and Ink Plus (business) in the same day with no issue.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:06 AM   #189
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Fidelity has a good no fee card if you have a Fidelity account. Their visa is 1.5% back on everything and their AMEX is 2% on everything. I use the visa for everything and have the cashback go straight into my IRA. I'll get about $400 this year.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:54 AM   #190
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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Were you using the cars as collatoral? If so, that's not really a consolidation loan. If not, then the value of the cars would make no difference for the consolidation loan, which is by definition unsecured.
From my understanding a loan is a loan and they always look at your assets in case you stop paying they have a way to get their money back. I thought this was standard with any loan.

I didnt use the cars as anything. They asked me what vehicles I owned and told them.

Im going to try and pay off the $5,200 loan as fast as possible because she said once I get it paid off with good history, I would most likely likely get approved for the remaining amount I need.

I was also told by this financial advisor that I should close my credit cards as soon as they are paid off. I mentioned closing cards would end up hurting my credit score and she said it wouldnt because It wouldnt be deleted from my file.

So Im not sure if thats a selling point on her end because she suggested I get a cc with them. Which either way Im probably going to do because she offered me them at around 7% which is a far cry from the 20% and 12.9% I already own. I might keep the 12.9% one though because it's an airmiles BMO. Not sure
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #191
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

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From my understanding a loan is a loan and they always look at your assets in case you stop paying they have a way to get their money back. I thought this was standard with any loan.

I didnt use the cars as anything. They asked me what vehicles I owned and told them.

Im going to try and pay off the $5,200 loan as fast as possible because she said once I get it paid off with good history, I would most likely likely get approved for the remaining amount I need.

I was also told by this financial advisor that I should close my credit cards as soon as they are paid off. I mentioned closing cards would end up hurting my credit score and she said it wouldnt because It wouldnt be deleted from my file.

So Im not sure if thats a selling point on her end because she suggested I get a cc with them. Which either way Im probably going to do because she offered me them at around 7% which is a far cry from the 20% and 12.9% I already own. I might keep the 12.9% one though because it's an airmiles BMO. Not sure
They may ask about your assets but it doesn’t really matter much. The main thing they worry about with an unsecured loan is your income, other debts, and credit score. After all, you can sell the car and piss the money away at any time, if the car is not collateral for the loan.

Your financial advisor doesn’t seem like she knows what she’s talking about. Having unused available credit helps your credit score. It also helps to have very old, active accounts. Having said that, if you just don’t want to deal with them, then closing them out is not going to kill your credit or anything. But it definitely is beneficial to keep them.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:22 PM   #192
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

yeah from everyone Ive ever talked said the exact same thing about having older accounts. I might keep them and just lower the limit to something ridiculous like a $500 limit instead of $10k
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:16 AM   #193
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Ah, geez. Is this really happening? Dating decisions based on credit history?
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:25 PM   #194
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

My bank keeps offering me a pre-approved line of credit, $10k at prime +3%. Is there any advantage/disadvantage to having this credit available. I will never use it. Just wondering how it affects my credit rating?

No idea what my credit score is, but I have about $20k credit limit spread over 2 cards, and I assume my credit is pretty good as when i got a business account, it came with a pre-approved credit card.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:08 AM   #195
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Grunching, but I'm sure OP has covered:

As far as I know, if you take it and don't use it, it's a definite plus. Credit rating is partially based on credit "used" vs available. I.e. you open the line, don't use it, it's a plus after the initial period related to the hard credit check.

Edit: Also, if you don't know what your credit is, use a free service to check and monitor it! Credit Karma was free for awhile (you can sign up and get monthly updates) and you are entitled to an annual check through the major monitoring services (big 3).
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #196
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

so ive never checked my credit. since you get one a year, should i do that now? or is it not per calendar year? also, which one would you guys recommend?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:50 AM   #197
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

I'm pretty sure it's rolling, not a calendar year thing. But might as well do it anyway if you're curious. The earlier you get it, the earlier you'll be eligible to get it again. I wouldn't worry about "wasting" it thinking you might need it later in the year. If you end up needing to check your credit later to prepare for a big loan you'll probably want more than the basic report you get for free anyway.

I'll let someone else answer the second question because I don't even know what's out there, much less have a recommendation.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #198
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

Just checked my score for the first time, turns out it is fairly decent, i've really only had one CC all through college.

Thanks for the thread and the info OP
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #199
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Re: Credit Primer & Discussion w/ JL

You should think about why exactly you want to maintain a high credit score. For example, I have an above-average credit score, but I have no intention in the near future for an auto or housing loan. I leverage my score to churn through credit card promotional bonuses. I have 12 credit cards open, and I do not overly concern myself with the few points docked each inquiry a credit card application necessitates. The reason is the value of a promotional offer of hundreds of dollars exceeds the dollar effect of dinging my score temporarily by a few points. The calculus could be different if I had substantial loans on which I paid interest. For the time being, whether my score is 770 or 750 is immaterial.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #200
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I applied for a bunch of new cards per the recommendation to do it all at one time. I got rejected for all but 3. The reasons stated were low credit history (started 6 months ago) and too many recent inquiries (lol). I got 2 store cards and cap1 cash rewards for $1k each. My score is now 620 which was 720 before. Lame
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