Question about app sprees

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
18 posts
JonE
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:55 am
Location: Denver

Postby JonE » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:25 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Shop through Chase will give you rewards that are better than the Apple Rewards card (if shopping online), and the Barclay Rewards card is pretty pitiful. Since Barclaycard I've heard can sometimes make it hard to PC cards, I'd just wait until you think you could get a Sallie Mae and apply for it directly.

Be sure you're spending enough on groceries to need both the SM and BCP.


Lately I've been spending upwards of $300-500 a month on Groceries. That's what makes me leery of the Sallie Mae Card since it's limited to $250 a month. But I also have Amazon Prime and buy a lot off Amazon for the 2-day shipping. The plan originally was to get a Barclay Rewards MC first, apply for Sallie Mae later and then move the limits and close the Rewards card. But as you mentioned, that may be a moot point if Amex BCP provides enough in the way of Grocery and Gas rewards.
Wallet: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Chopping Block: Synchrony
Future: TBD


JonE
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:55 am
Location: Denver

Postby JonE » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:29 am

Vattené wrote:There certainly is that lower tier of AF cards geared towards customers with worse credit and worse financial management skills. Banks love milking fees out of these higher risk people. Think of Capital One, which has two versions of the same card among many products - one has no AF for the higher quality customers, and the other has like a $39 AF or something like that for the rest.

There are also plenty of cards that have AFs geared towards the higher quality customer base. Sometimes they offer the illusion of prestige (think Amex Platinum and its imitators [not that all cardholders are suckers - many get more value than they pay, but there are certainly those that are in it for the air of exclusivity), but frequently they serve to make sure the customer is using it enough to make it worthwhile for the issuer. Airline and hotel cobranded cards often have AFs. If they are giving out primo rewards, they're going to make sure they get something in return. It forces some amount of loyalty out of customers.

Churners and rewards-optimizers have to carefully weigh the costs of AFs against the benefits of their cards. It can net you more than non-AF card options, but one can't spread spending too thinly accross too many cards or AFs will eat up rewards. That's really the whole point of churning: get the introductory bonus and dump the card before it becomes too costly (or, in many cases, before it costs anything at all since many cards waive the first year's AF as a sweetener).


I shake my head at some of the people who apply for cards just to apply. I have a specific list (which is subject to change depending on needs) of specific cards I want and that I would use for a specific purpose. Chase Freedom currently is for general spending, I'd like to pair that with a CSP to maximize rewards between the two (and I hold a Chase checking and saving account) and then get a Gas and Groceries card like the BCP. Keep the CareCredit card for medical costs at no interest, and that would do it.
Wallet: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Chopping Block: Synchrony
Future: TBD

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 3942
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:42 pm

JonE wrote:Lately I've been spending upwards of $300-500 a month on Groceries. That's what makes me leery of the Sallie Mae Card since it's limited to $250 a month. But I also have Amazon Prime and buy a lot off Amazon for the 2-day shipping. The plan originally was to get a Barclay Rewards MC first, apply for Sallie Mae later and then move the limits and close the Rewards card. But as you mentioned, that may be a moot point if Amex BCP provides enough in the way of Grocery and Gas rewards.


Well, $250 a month at regular grocery stores works for me, since I get some food at Costco.

I'm not sure what you can qualify for, but I'd get some sort of grocery card soon. Freedom's 5% on groceries (a UR windfall for me) is about to end.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

JonE
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:55 am
Location: Denver

Postby JonE » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:06 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Well, $250 a month at regular grocery stores works for me, since I get some food at Costco.

I'm not sure what you can qualify for, but I'd get some sort of grocery card soon. Freedom's 5% on groceries (a UR windfall for me) is about to end.


Right now my scores are about 600-618 because of utilization, so probably not much. After I get those paid off (and get a car) I'll probably shoot for Barclay Rewards, to get in the door with them and move the limit to the SM at some point in the future, and Discover IT, who as I understand has their grocery period coming up.
Wallet: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Chopping Block: Synchrony
Future: TBD

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 3942
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:39 am

JonE wrote:Right now my scores are about 600-618 because of utilization, so probably not much. After I get those paid off (and get a car) I'll probably shoot for Barclay Rewards, to get in the door with them and move the limit to the SM at some point in the future, and Discover IT, who as I understand has their grocery period coming up.


It doesn't look like Discover will be having a grocery category in 2015. Maybe you're thinking of restaurants next quarter? Maybe Barclaycard Rewards is best, given your low scores.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

LessIsMore
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:59 pm
Location: Vader, WA

Postby LessIsMore » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:00 pm

JonE wrote:I shake my head at some of the people who apply for cards just to apply.


If I was a younger person, I'd agree with you. But the older a person gets, the more they can appreciate a "broad" credit safety net. Surprise expenses tend to affect older persons more acutely. I don't do multiple-apps all the time as a practice. But I've done it twice - once back in July 2013 - and once last month. Afterward, my Equifax score went from 748 to 738 - but my TransUnion score went from 729 to 749 (grin). But, I always pay balances in full when I receive the invoice (not waiting for a due date). And all cards are kept "active" every month - even if I only charge a few pepperoni sticks at a convenience store.

Still, the root reason I have so many cards (14, TCL $34k) is as a safety-net. If the safety-net isn't enough, I'd have to dip into my TreasuryDirect account. But so far, that hasn't happened.

A note on medical expenses. Over the last few years since retirement, I've been frightfully healthy (grin). Not sure why, but I am. But deep down, I know that probably won't be the case in my later years. I'm 64. This August, I qualify for Medicare. However, my current carrier (Cigna) will allow me to keep the same coverage I have now - even after 65. Their premium remains the same. But once I enroll in Medicare, Cigna will waive all deductibles and co-pays (even on RX drugs). So, I'm basically looking at $0 out-of-pocket coverage at age 65 (beyond premiums). I'm hoping I can remain healthy until then.

But, my car and my home aren't getting any younger either. Sooner or later, I'll end up having to repair or replace something. And it's nice to have a TCL that can cover these expenses (and a TreasuryDirect account as my ace-in-the-hole should it be needed).
"People with a clever plan can assume the role of the mighty."
Paul Kantner

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 3942
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:39 pm

LessIsMore wrote:If I was a younger person, I'd agree with you. But the older a person gets, the more they can appreciate a "broad" credit safety net. Surprise expenses tend to affect older persons more acutely.


I don't follow your reasoning. It is important to have an emergency safety net, and you can make those emergency purchases with a credit card to earn rewards or out of convenience, but that's not very helpful unless you have the cash handy to pay off the emergency purchases quickly.

You may have 14 cards and $34k of available credit, but I expect you'd face a lot of adverse action if you started carrying a $20k balance and needed time to pay it off. Your APRs could rise, your CLs might fall, and interest would accumulate. The last $14k of credit could be revoked pretty easily, and you'd still be in trouble.

If you have $34k in a savings account and spend $20k, you still have $14k remaining. The $14k can't vanish or become temporarily frozen.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco

Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May

LessIsMore
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:59 pm
Location: Vader, WA

Postby LessIsMore » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:02 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I don't follow your reasoning. It is important to have an emergency safety net, and you can make those emergency purchases with a credit card to earn rewards or out of convenience, but that's not very helpful unless you have the cash handy to pay off the emergency purchases quickly.


I generally do. Recently, I had about $500 in auto repairs and $2k in dental expenses. I paid both off with my CitiBank MasterCard. And when I got their bill, I paid it off in full. I do tend to keep a certain amount of cash on hand in my credit union (in an interest-bearing checking account) - from which I pay all my credit card bills. But after a certain point, I transfer unused cash from my credit union into my TreasuryDirect account.

Still, knowing my TCL is out there is a great comfort to me.
"People with a clever plan can assume the role of the mighty."
Paul Kantner



Return to “General Credit Card Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests