So wait, what?

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:53 pm

sakhalin wrote:I might be misinterpreting your post here (and I apologize if I am), but he won't have to pay any interest if he is going to pay it off. It'll show up that he has a balance on his credit report, but he is not carrying that balance so he wouldn't have to pay the interest. If he carried that balance onto the next statement then he'll have to pay a few pennies interest. So Snow, you won't be paying any interest for not paying in full before your statement ends. As long as you pay it off fully before the due date, you will not be paying any interest.


You are correct "most" of the time. Based on the cards Snow has, he won't get charged unless he continues to carry that >$1 balance for an additional month. However, one of my secured cards I have (I'm in rebuilding mode) does charge interest from the moment I charge something even if I PIF each month. I hate this card, but it is from my credit union and I got it 2 years ago before I learned the do's and don't of what cards to get. I hate to cancel the card now as it helps with my AAoA, but it's gonna get canned as soon as my scores hit my goal of 760+ (I'm just breaking 700+ now).

Since Snow will be showing one small balance in the future each month, more than likely the minimum payment will be whatever the small balance he lets post. He just needs to make sure he pays that amount after the statement cuts. It's a bit of a juggling act, but well worth it to control your credit scores instead of them controlling him.

It's very hard to give concrete rules. I definitely understand why people post "YMMV" as it is true. Everyone's credit situation is unique, but there are basics everyone needs to understand and try to work towards building the best credit possible over time. :)


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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:21 pm

I'm still kind of confused though. In the next month I am planning to buy something for my brother ( and he will pay me back for the end of the month) it will cost about 700-800$ and I'll use my discover card for that (online shopping and department stores) for my citi card I was planning to use it for my phone bill, and myfico and experian subscriptions as well as for food. And then my bofa card for gas so I should be spending about 1,200 for the upcoming month. Which should I leave a balance for? The most balance I am planning to leave is 25-30$. What do you guys think? Also neither of my cards have arrived yet, so I can't charge anything yet either :( . And if you don't mind can you bullet point what you are saying or a plan that you have in mind? Long paragraphs strain my eyes...lol :)
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:21 pm

Snowman wrote:Sparky- actually what happened was when I was viewing my fico scores from myfico's free trial, ( they usually charge 1.00 I think, but you do not pay anything if you cancel before the trial is over.) and when I viewed my statement there was a balance of 1.00, which I paid off this morning. So is this 1.00 balance a good thing or bad thing? Also I am considering ( when I get my new cards) that I buy a subscription from myfico ( the 14.95) and from experian and just view them monthly. Does this sound like a good or bad idea? And of course I will post when my other statements cut.


Humm...This is hard to answer. I'll try to answer as best I can. I apologize for being wordy. But this stuff can be complicated at first, so please bare with me.

1) The $1 that posted has helped your FICO scores as long as your other cards all show $0.
2) You need to sign up for something that pulls all 3 credit scores and reports (check out USAA..They have a great one that you can pull everyday, although they just raised the price (something like $20 a month maybe?). But these sites are FAKE scores! They are not FICO's. Just use to view the changes on each of your credit reports. You have 3 of them (EX, TU, EQ).
3)Monthly is not enough at this point. You are going to have multiple cards closing at different times of the month. You need to learn when and how each payment posts to your different CRA's. By getting a daily puller (where you log on and run a report that shows all 3 of your credit reports) then you can monitor what's happening.
4)I can't advise you if that is worth doing. I don't know your budget but assume this is not an expense you planned on taking on. I think the investment of that small amount of money is worth it. You will learn a lot from doing it.
5) Once you see when your cc's post to your different credit bureaus, then you will see how they affect your FICO scores. This will cost money to do to run them on occasion. Some people only pull their FICO's once a year. Some by the month, some by the week. It just depends how much you want to learn and how fast you want to reach your goals over time.

Building a good credit profile and score takes time. Think long term. Right now you're learning. Invest a bit to track and understand things, then you can switch to monthly, quarterly or yearly etc..I think pulling once a month is too slow for you right now. But, I'm not the one paying the expense to run these various reports (FICO's and FAKO's). The FAKO scores can help you with trends if your scores are going up or down but sometimes they are massively way off (100+ pts from your true FICO scores). So don't put too much weight on them. Once you get your cards reporting the way you want them to report (FICO wise) then pull your FICO's to see if your scores went up. But how will you know unless you benchmark your scores first? So you have to run them before you make any changes. Then after your changes post (that you verified looking at your 3 CRA FAKO reports) then run your FICO's again and you will be able to see the changes if you are charting everything.

I started by signing up for TU, EQ and EX by going to each of those websites, studying their plans that allow me to pull a report and score anytime I wanted (I wanted daily or unlimited pulls). Those cost about $14 -$17 each per month. Then I found out about USAA offering a daily/unlimited report I could get that pulled all 3 CRA's each day. So I signed up for that one. Then I got approved for Amex and found out they have a credit monitoring product called Credit Secure. It's great! But costs $24.99 each month. I signed up for it, but it is exactly like USAA..So I have now cancelled USAA since it is the same report as Credit Secure. This has cost me a few bucks to do this, but I sure learned a heck of lot! I even learned about B* (aka-bumpage..definitely complicated to explain here, but it has to do with getting rid of your INQ's on TU and EQ before the 2 years is up that they stay on your credit reports)....

So for now, learn how to monitor your credit reports on a daily/weekly basis depending on how much time and money you have to devote to this. Then make your decision what you want to do as you learn more how this all works. What I think is holding you back is that you don't understand you have to view your credit reports from each of the 3 bureaus, not just one. They are all different companies so you have to watch how and when they do things. Then once you get that down, you can focus on maximizing your FICO scores as you will see and learn that not all credit cards report to all 3 credit bureaus at the same time. When you get that foundation in place, then you will know exactly when to time your applications for new cards and not the other way around. You are picking dates to apply for things, but you don't have your statement cut dates and payments the way they need to be to have the best scores, so you are just hoping things will work out and I'm hoping you will take a different approach and get the best credit products you can get at the right times.

If lightbulbs are starting to go off in your head, then we are making progress. This all has an order to it and once you see it, it is very easy to handle your credit. I just wish someone would have taught me this when I was your age or I would have done things much differently when I was younger. Now I understand and I will be joining the 800 club very soon! But they didn't have computers when I was 18 years old to share information like this, so that's why I'm hoping this is helping you :)

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:37 pm

Snowman wrote:I'm still kind of confused though. In the next month I am planning to buy something for my brother ( and he will pay me back for the end of the month) it will cost about 700-800$ and I'll use my discover card for that (online shopping and department stores) for my citi card I was planning to use it for my phone bill, and myfico and experian subscriptions as well as for food. And then my bofa card for gas so I should be spending about 1,200 for the upcoming month. Which should I leave a balance for? The most balance I am planning to leave is 25-30$. What do you guys think?


It doesn't really matter which card has the balance on it. Put it on the card that works out the best for you regardless of your budget plans. You already know you need to PIF all your balances every month to have good credit. Right? Don't carry your debt from month to month. You'll dig yourself a great big hole doing that. This concept I'm telling you is specifically to maximize your FICO scores if you are planning to apply for new credit products in the future. So let's say your brother can't pay you as he has promised and you have to carry a balance for another month (assuming you will at least make the minimum payment required!). You just shouldn't apply for any new products until you get your balances all paid in full each month except for one you pick that has a couple of dollars on it. In reality this will probably happen on occasion, but remember your creditors are looking at your credit reports often by doing "soft pulls" to make sure you are not getting into debt and then default on everything. They will do a CLD (credit line decrease) in a heartbeat or close your account if you do something that is abnormal from your regular credit habits (especially Amex!).

Bottom line - we can't advise you how to run your month to month budget - we can only tell you what will increase your scores the most and help you build a strong credit profile.

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:51 pm

Sparky- here s what I am planning to apply for in the upcoming future

December 29-30th- chase freedom and Amex gold
May-June 2013- BCE.

And then garden for a while. I typically pull in 920-1000 a month (after tax) and my brother is also an authorized user on both cards. He's got a very good savings account balance so it won't be a problem for him, he just does not want a credit card under his own name, so I offered him to be an AU on my account since my scores are decent right now (tu: 739 ex: 738, eq: 725) we both know how important credit is, so I'm just trying to be a good brother and help him out a little bit. If you don't bullet pointing for me, I would appreciate or maybe a timeline of events that I should do, so when it comes to apply, I have a reasonably good chance of getting approved for the aforementioned cards.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:09 pm

Snowman wrote:Sparky- here s what I am planning to apply for in the upcoming future

December 29-30th- chase freedom and Amex gold
May-June 2013- BCE.

And then garden for a while. I typically pull in 920-1000 a month (after tax) and my brother is also an authorized user on both cards. He's got a very good savings account balance so it won't be a problem for him, he just does not want a credit card under his own name, so I offered him to be an AU on my account since my scores are decent right now (tu: 739 ex: 738, eq: 725) we both know how important credit is, so I'm just trying to be a good brother and help him out a little bit. If you don't bullet pointing for me, I would appreciate or maybe a timeline of events that I should do, so when it comes to apply, I have a reasonably good chance of getting approved for the aforementioned cards.


Ok, great info. I think your timing is ok for the end of December, but apply for the Amex first. It is crucial you get it this calendar year for the backdating it will provide you in the future. Then try the Chase if you get approved for the Amex. If you get declined for the Amex, then hold off until May/June so you are one year past your BofA approval and the INQ will not affect your score.

However, your scores don't tell me anything. Are they FICO's? They are garbage if they are from anywhere else. So your real scores maybe 100 points lower for all we know. Today is a good day to pull your FICO's. It is the 1st of the month and "rebucketing" occurs today so your scores are probably different than yesterday (hopefully higher). Sometimes they drop dramatically. But yours should go up due to you've added another month to your age of accounts.

Since you can't get an EX FICO score, do you have one from one of your recent cc approvals? At least that will give you a benchmark to work with.

Fill us in once you pull your 2 FICO's. Then we can proceed if the end of December is a good plan for now.

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:16 pm

I am planning to go for AMEX first, since I tend to apply in preference of which cards I want first. And the backdating would definitely help. Hold off on both or just chase? Also I got my EQ and TU from the scorewatch free trial on the myfico page. When I got approved for citi and had to call their application line, they told me my score was 738 (they pulled EX). Should I buy the Subscriptions from Experian and myfico or not? my scores as of 10/25/12-10/27/12 were:

Transunion (scorewatch): 739
Experian (citi card application FICO score): 738
Equifax (scorewatch): 725
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

sakhalin
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Postby sakhalin » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:32 pm

Yeah like Spark said FAKOs can be totally out of the range. Credit Karma pulls from TU; it said my score was 748, but when I got my actual TU FICO score from Discover, they told me it was 781! That's like almost 40 points, I was quite shocked.

And Snow, I think you should hold off on Chase. You don't want to have too many cards when all you're doing is spreading out your rewards. The Chase Freedom and Discover More categories tend to overlap a lot too. I say go for AMEX since you really want it, and then garden until your BoA inquiry falls off. As for the subscriptions, that is your own choice, because it is your money.
AMEX BCE ($20,000), Citi Forward ($6,800), Discover IT ($5,250), BoA Travel Rewards ($1,800)

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Snowman
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Postby Snowman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:02 pm

Dang now thats a big jump. And the only reason why I really wanted the Chase was because that way if the categories were different then I could use them, since I agree that they tend to overlap. For the subscriptions, idk if I should get them or not, and the Amex I really want to get if I qualify for it.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

SparkyinCA
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Postby SparkyinCA » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:07 pm

Sakhalin is right. I would just go for the Amex and defer the Chase until next year (May/June) ish, Snow. Your 738 EX score is good enough for the Amex, but all your accounts are so new that it might be problem for Amex since they are so touchy and use their own internal score. Glad you will apply for the Amex first. That's the one that is important. The Chase can wait until you have your Amex and have more history/time.



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