Recommendations for a total credit noob?

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Recommendations for a total credit noob?

Postby akav » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:08 pm

Hey everyone. I'm sorry if you guys get a question like this frequently. I figure that since everyone is different, it probably wouldn't avail much to go back through the forum and look for someone like me.

So let me just run down a list of some relevant (or what I think are relevant) features about me, and some of you credit card gurus can give me some advice?

- Late 20s.
- Just graduated from law school; lots of student debt.
- Worked for a couple of years.
- 730+ credit score on two bureaus (last I checked - about a year ago).
- ~680-690 score on one bureau (same).
- Will be earning a good income in starting in September.
- Doing an increasing amount of traveling; expecting to travel a bit (maybe once every couple of months? but if I get staffed on something travel-intensive, maybe every week) for work. Travel amount is basically an unknown.
- Do virtually all of my shopping/purchasing online.
- Won't be having a car for at least the next two years (walkable city).
- Do not like to carry a balance, but I could see carrying a couple grand for two or three months at a time.
- Have one card with a very low limit now; pay it off every month; never late; have had it for about six years.

As far as what I want, based on the very little I know, the name of the game for me is "pay as little as possible" or "get as much as possible back." So whichever combination of rewards or low/no fees or whatever gets me there, that's what I want.

Also, lol, this probably isn't the place to ask this, but would anyone happen to know anything about this Bing cashback stuff? Hahaha. Total tangent I know. Basically I'm a miser.

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Postby LTomBerry » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:59 pm

I'd wait until September when you start the job, that way you can put an accurate salary on your CC application, which might help your limit. You need to find out what kind of traveling you'll be doing before you apply. You'll have to decide whether you want a card that offers miles or cashback. Does the company do all their business with one airline or does it vary? That would influence whether you get an airline-specific CC (which might have an annual fee) or one that allows you to choose which airline to redeem miles with, such as AMEX or Discover. Look at the different AMEX Blue cards to see what types of rewards they offer.Keep in mind AMEX & Discover are not accepted everywhere so have a Visa or MC as a backup.
Since you have a good record with your current card, I'd request a limit increase. (when you start the job)
Since you shop online a lot, look for rewards shopping with your card website. For example if I click the link from to go to I get 5% cashback instead of 1%.
Good luck, let us know what you decide.

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Postby benkmann » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:12 am

Ah shoot, I just bought a TV from Best Buy, and I have a Discover card haha. Oh well, guess I lost a free dinner.

I'd agree with him. AMEX tends to have annual fee; I'd look for a Visa or Mastercard. Literally any card with no annual fee will get you started. However, I'd check out the Charles Schwab Visa - it gives you 2% cash back into a brokerage account - best Visa/Mastercard rewards program I've seen thus far (mind you I don't travel, so can't vouch for airline cards).

Good luck!

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