How have your CC habits and views changed?

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CarefulBuilder14
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How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:45 pm

A lot of my credit card philosophy has changed in 2015.

In 2014, I was focused on squeezing every cent of cash back I could out of different cards. Now, I'm more interested in travel rewards, perks, and special offers. Sallie Mae, which was my favorite card, is now probably my least favorite. Not only does a tightly-capped 5% cash back become less appealing when you have an EDP, but it has no special offers or shopping portal to save a significant amount of money. BCE may offer inferior cash back, but special offers on it make it a more interesting card than Sallie Mae.

In 2014, I had one card with an AF (PRG, AF waived for the first year) which I expected I would have canceled by now. I only thought of it as my "entry card" to Amex. Now I have four cards with AFs (PRG, CSP, EDP, IHG) and only PRG is on the fence for possible closure in 12 months.

How have your habits and views changed?
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when


Vermonster
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby Vermonster » Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:45 pm

Well for me not much has changed. I finally have the CSP that I wanted when we switched over to chase. But more importantly I will actually be using the CSP the way I wanted to, for travel!

I still prefer to put as much spending as possible through a single rewards program, and use a generic cash back card for everything else. Chase seems to be doing away with all the bonuses that made 1% spending worth it, so we'll see how this changes in the future. If I can leverage 1.5% out of a normal 1% through proper use of URs then I would consider SDing the DC.

I've also changed my opinion on Amex a little, especially their charge cards. I just don't see the benefits when a lot of other cards can offer the same perks. I do think the EDP and BCP are very underrated cards. Also I haven't once yet been asked for something other than a Amex when trying to pay.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

MemberSince99
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:01 pm

As far as specific lenders go, I did not think much of Citi in the past. Years ago I tried for one of their cards and was declined for (believe it or not) not carrying a balance on a revolving account. So I let a balance hit soon after, tried again in a couple of months, and guess what - declined for too many inquiries.

Today I would have to say they've done well by me. I've got the DC with a 15k limit, a home depot card for 10k and a TY Premiere with 7.5k I just opened. I've got a balance I transferred onto it for the 0% for 15 months but when that is paid I want to give them some more business.

Amex has also loosened up a lot. I plan to keep at least a revolver long term.

As far as credit cards, I would say my philosophy used to be collect them like baseball cards. In the sober light of day that's just crazy. I'd rather have a few lenders I have a great relationship with than 20 I can't make use of.

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obxfisherman
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby obxfisherman » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:06 pm

You know my history fairly well...I've went from applying for cards for essentially no reason to locking all my cards away to prevent temptation...debt is on the downward spiral, slated to be paid off early next year. Went from 4 AF cards to 3, soon to be 2 AF cards in October. However the Delta Gold AMEX will probably get closed/consolidated into my AMEX ED card once my year anniversary comes around. Then my only AF card will be Marriott. You know it feels kind of good to only have one AF card...especially when I was not using the other two cards that much to make the annual fee worth it. Long term CC views would be me wanting to condense down to either like 3 or 4 cards total. Right now I have 17ish? so I'd like to cut way down on those in time....but for the immediate future they all will stay open. Once debt is paid off i'll start to close the store cards first I think, then work around from there. So quite a bit has changed at least from a thought standpoint, and I thank you, as well as others on the board for that change. In the case the change is for the better :cheers:
Cards Currently In My Wallet(See Avatar)
Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Signature (Daily Purchase): 13.4K
NFCU Visa SignatureCash Rewards: 5K
Sheetz Discount Card 3c Off PerGallon Of Gas Everyday

Total Credit Card Limits Roughly: 61.5K

morgacj2004
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby morgacj2004 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:18 pm

I agree with Vermonster that AMEX has lost some of its appeal. I prev had a Gold rewards card and then a Platinum card. I no longer wish to have either due to the AF. I simply feel that for me the costs outweigh the benefits. I have been using the Discover a lot recently due to their recent promotions and Cap One Venture for travel related purchases.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:34 am

MemberSince99 wrote:As far as credit cards, I would say my philosophy used to be collect them like baseball cards. In the sober light of day that's just crazy. I'd rather have a few lenders I have a great relationship with than 20 I can't make use of.

As a sort of game, I took at look at my cards and imagined only being able to use half of them. It was surprisingly easy. Of my 10 cards, I picked 5, and they were all Chase, Amex, and Discover. (Freedom, CSP, IHG, Discover, EDP).

I'll keep all 10 and possibly still add more for bonuses, though.
morgacj2004 wrote:I agree with Vermonster that AMEX has lost some of its appeal. I prev had a Gold rewards card and then a Platinum card. I no longer wish to have either due to the AF. I simply feel that for me the costs outweigh the benefits. I have been using the Discover a lot recently due to their recent promotions and Cap One Venture for travel related purchases.

I've been driving and staying at hotels more than flying lately, although I'll put the PRG credit to good use when I pick an airline just before I fly. Unless someone is flying frequently, it might be cheaper to buy lounge access on a per-use basis.

obxfisherman wrote:You know it feels kind of good to only have one AF card...especially when I was not using the other two cards that much to make the annual fee worth it. Long term CC views would be me wanting to condense down to either like 3 or 4 cards total. Right now I have 17ish? so I'd like to cut way down on those in time....but for the immediate future they all will stay open. Once debt is paid off i'll start to close the store cards first I think, then work around from there. So quite a bit has changed at least from a thought standpoint, and I thank you, as well as others on the board for that change. In the case the change is for the better :cheers:

I don't mind having multiple AF cards - so long as they all make sense! EDP and CSP will get more spending over the long run than PRG or IHG, though.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

JonE
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby JonE » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:31 am

I think before it was all about getting as much credit as possible from as many sources as possible. Now it's more like establishing credit relationships with 1 or 2 lenders (Chase, Amex) and taking advantage of rewards by using 1 or 2 rewards points/cash back systems at one time. When I started reestablishing, my credit wish list was upwards of 10 cards. Now it's more like 2-3 additional.
Current Cards: Chase Freedom, Discover IT
Future: TBD

MemberSince99
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby MemberSince99 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:15 am

It seems a lot of us feel the same way.

You know once you get past only being able to have a lousy First Premiere or Credit One card, or a Cap One with a toy limit and no rewards, and you get into the GOOD cards, we all seem to go through the phase of wanting to have as many cards as possible. There are multiple reasons for this - establishing credit with multiple lenders, increasing limits, rewards, plus to be honest the thrill of conquest.

Then at some point when you are trying to juggle and stay on top of all of these accounts, you realize that doing this isn't really such a great idea after all. Sure you can squeeze every possible cent out of your rewards this way, but redeeming them in a useful manner can be difficult, and it's a real PITA. Then you come to accept that hey, maybe I don't really care about every penny because in a year's time for me, it's only a few dollars difference anyway and my time is worth more than I'm "making" this way, maybe I should just concentrate on quality over quantity, making my life easier to manage. Lenders are starting to look poorly at churners as they tend to not be profitable over the long term.

So you started with maybe one card, and once you come full circle you realize you absolutely want no more than 4 to 6 cards, TOPS. 10 or more is just a hassle.

takeshi
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby takeshi » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:47 am

Cards in my lineup have changed but habits and views haven't really changed since I started reading up on credit back in 2013. It's still about maximizing rewards with what I'm comfortable managing. Cards may fall in and out of favor based on nerfing or rotating categories, etc but that just changes tactics and not strategy.

The only significant recent change was testing the waters with the Platinum and MR. I doubt it's going to be a long term keeper though.

I guess the other change is that changes to the lineup are less frequent these days. Barring any significant changes to spend/situation/offerings I don't really see adding much, if anything. That does fit with Member's analysis but I'm not paring anything down (from 13) just yet. The cards that don't see much usage are being kept for utilization padding as long as amount of credit isn't cited as a denial reason as all but one have 5 digit limits. Even if pared down the number would probably go down to 8.

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Sallie Mae, which was my favorite card, is now probably my least favorite. Not only does a tightly-capped 5% cash back become less appealing when you have an EDP, but it has no special offers or shopping portal to save a significant amount of money. BCE may offer inferior cash back, but special offers on it make it a more interesting card than Sallie Mae.

AmEx may have more and interesting offers but they're not always the best option for given spend.

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Vattené
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Re: How have your CC habits and views changed?

Postby Vattené » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:35 pm

I can't say much has changed for me. I am more open to going after bonuses now that I already have a mortgage, but no real plans for anything. I used to care more about the score than I do now, wanting to get into the 800s. Now, it would be nice but it isn't much of a priority. One can get a mortgage at the best terms in the mid-700s, so really what benefit is there for the typcial consumer in being any higher? I'm not going to go full-on bonus chasing now, but I will be much more open to getting a card for a good bonus without being convinced I am going to hold on to it for 5+ years.

I still plan to get the Sallie Mae soon. 5% with no AF, even given the monthly cap, is pretty attractive to me. If it works at my Walmart for groceries, as some have reported, then that is a huge bonus. I am for travel rewards and perks in theory, but honestly I am just not high enough a roller to make it worthwhile for me personally. I like building up MR with the no-AF ED, but paying AFs at my spend level when I'm already splitting among cards just isn't beneficial.

I took a bit of a unique path to prime land. I had plenty of store cards to build a strong enough profile for just about any card I wanted by the time I actually paid attention to credit and rewards. If I had spent over a year building with the sub prime lendors planning and dreamimg of getting useful cards, I could easily see wanting to app for eveything useful I thought I could get. Also, I am definitely still all about earning rewards and not too concerned about "building relationships" with banks, but I must admit I am feeling some loyalty to Discover. Perhaps it is misplaced, but they really have been wonderful at every step. Even if I saw some new card I would love to have, I wouldn't want to take away too much of my spend from them. Silly, I know.
-Vattené
FICO-8:
EX - 809 (11/16) | TU - 803 (11/16)
Primary Cards:
American Express EveryDay - $20,000 (10/14)
Discover it - $23,000 (2/14)
AU on Barclay Sallie Mae - $10,000 (8/15)
plus several store accounts of varying usefulness now



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