samudi wrote:CC Seville, can you please explain why shouldn't she go with First Premier, Credit One or Applied Bank? And do you put orchard in this category as well?
The reason for this is that these banks are "bottom feeders" in that they charge exorbant fees and interest. First Premier generally charges a set up fee and then an annual fee and after the first year I believe a monthly fee. Credit One does not offer a grace period, so the minute the card is swiped (or one of their fees hits the account) that balance will begin being assessed interest. Very scandalous. They used to be called The Bank of Marin or something like that; recently changed their name to Credit One-both their name and logo are suspiciously close to that of Capital One's. I believe Credit One hopes that people will blindly sign up for their card because the applicants think it is Capital One. Applied Bank (used to be called Cross Country Bank) is another one. They generally do not have a grace period either. They advertise a "low fixed 9.9% APR" but again, without a grace period, the cardholder is charged interest from the minute a charge or fee posts to the account. I am not sure which of the three also charge a fee to make an online payment. These three cards are very tempting to people because they are desperate for a card. In my opinion, since they all have fees that you would have to pay, why not put your money instead into a CD with a reputable bank like BofA, Citibank, Wells Fargo, US Bank or PNC and get a secured card with them. Generally between as little as 9 months to 18 months, the card is unsecured and you have a prime account that will grow with you.
I do not count Orchard Bank (currently owned by HSBC) and Capital One as being in the same catagory as the "bottom feeders." Orchard and Capital One have very few fees, fair interest rates and annual fees. The thing to remember about Orchard and Capital One is that each has a sell-by date (similar to food that goes bad after a certain amount of time). You have to understand that for whatever reason, these two banks don't really graduate their cardholder's on their rebuilder or builder cards to prime cards. After about two years you will max out on the credit line that they will give you. But by then you should qualify for better cards anyway.