Credit Card Recommendations

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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T.C.
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Credit Card Recommendations

Postby T.C. » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:33 pm

I'd like recommendations for a new credit card. Here are my requirements:

- The card must have no annual fee.
- The user agreement must not grant the issuer the ability to make changes to the agreement without my consent.
- The user agreement must not require binding arbitration.
- The issuer must have a privacy policy that prevents it from sharing my personal information.
- This isn't as easy to quantify, but I want an issuer who makes money from retailers through transaction fees, not from consumers through service fees and interest. Therefore, I'm not interested in a card with high service fees, penalties of any kind, suspiciously short payment windows, etc.
- It's not a requirement, but I'd prefer a card that offers no miles, no rewards, and no cash back.

I have excellent credit, so I should be able to get any card I want. Can anyone recommend a card that comes close to my requirements?

-TC


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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:00 pm

The user agreement must not grant the issuer the ability to make changes to the agreement without my consent.


I believe all credit cards reserve the right to change it without your consent but they must notify you ahead of time if changes will be made.

The user agreement must not require binding arbitration.


Happy to say that most major issues have started phasing out this clause. I know Chase specifically is one who has dropped it.

The issuer must have a privacy policy that prevents it from sharing my personal information.


If you opt out of offers/affiliates mostly any card can offer this.

This isn't as easy to quantify, but I want an issuer who makes money from retailers through transaction fees, not from consumers through service fees and interest. Therefore, I'm not interested in a card with high service fees, penalties of any kind, suspiciously short payment windows, etc.


I understand what you're asking for I think but about the closest you come would be a credit union credit card, since customers are also the owners.

It's not a requirement, but I'd prefer a card that offers no miles, no rewards, and no cash back.


This is an unusual request. Why would you not want rewards?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

T.C.
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Postby T.C. » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:58 pm

Thank you for the reply.

The user agreement must not grant the issuer the ability to make changes to the agreement without my consent.

I believe all credit cards reserve the right to change it without your consent but they must notify you ahead of time if changes will be made.


You may be right, but I'll keep looking for a card that is satisfied with its cardholder agreement, and doesn't try to change it all the time. I just got a mortgage loan from my bank with a contract that will remain fixed for the next 30 years, and everyone seems happy with that. By comparison, it seems ridiculous to grant my credit card company the right to renegotiate its contract whenever it wants to. That's just a waste of my time.

The user agreement must not require binding arbitration.
Happy to say that most major issues have started phasing out this clause. I know Chase specifically is one who has dropped it.


I agree this isn't as bad as it used to be. It still shows up a lot, though.

The issuer must have a privacy policy that prevents it from sharing my personal information.

If you opt out of offers/affiliates mostly any card can offer this.


I don't want to opt out. How did we get to a situation where we are satisfied, rather than offended, by companies which let us "opt-out" of practices they know we find annoying? I want a card that is working for my privacy, not one that makes me work for my privacy.

This isn't as easy to quantify, but I want an issuer who makes money from retailers through transaction fees, not from consumers through service fees and interest. Therefore, I'm not interested in a card with high service fees, penalties of any kind, suspiciously short payment windows, etc.

I understand what you're asking for I think but about the closest you come would be a credit union credit card, since customers are also the owners.


Thank you for the suggestion. I tried my local credit union, and all they offer is a card that is administered by a mega-bank and has that bank's unacceptable service agreement. I'll keep looking, but I'm not sure credit unions are the consumer safe-havens they used to be.

It's not a requirement, but I'd prefer a card that offers no miles, no rewards, and no cash back.

This is an unusual request. Why would you not want rewards?


Why don't I want rewards? Those rewards are paid for by me and other cardholders. It seems silly to let the credit card company collect money from us just to return it diminished by taxes and in a less-useful form. Plus, I don't want to pay for the administration and marketing of a rewards program. I'm surprised to hear this is an unusual request. I suspect a lot of people feel this way.

-TC

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:45 pm

While sticking to one's principles is a truly honorable thing -- and I don't dispute the validity of yours, which I think I've accurately inferred from your wishes above -- we are at the end of the day talking about a credit card, a widely used payment instrument in our capitalist society. Get over your principles and embrace some pragmatism.

Opt out of the personal disclosures. It's your elected representatives that capitulated to the CC companies and gave your right to privacy away. Don't get mad at the banks for behaving like the amoral (not immoral, amoral) corporate entities that they are. That's capitalism. I don't like it either, but because I don't want to live in the woods and eat dirt, I'm going to learn how to work it the best way I can.

Just like with the privacy opt-out, the CC companies scored the best deal they could with lawmakers on the other terms you describe. Expecting them to not take every inch is like expecting a dog to not bark. It doesn't work that way.

That's why I believe all consumers should run their personal financial lives like a business. Take the best rewards deal you can get. Learn the CC company tricks and avoid the pitfalls. Come up with tricks of your own. Follow the rules and work the system to your best advantage. That's the only way to send a message to the CC companies and banks -- when you make them work for your business.

And just for the record, I am a liberal.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

T.C.
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Postby T.C. » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:20 am

If you want a debate, you won't get one here. Pragmatism rules. Corporations are amoral. People should run their personal finances like a business and work the system to their best advantage. Check.

However, your post seems to have gone awry on the topic of principles. Good business is guided by principle. In order to run their personal finances like businesses, therefore, people need to affirm their principles, not "get over" them.

-TC

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:38 am

The No. 1 principle in personal finance is to make/save as much money as possible.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

T.C.
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Postby T.C. » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:24 am

The No. 1 principle in personal finance is to make/save as much money as possible.


That may be your first principle, but it is not mine.

-TC

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:45 pm

TC, I respect your points, I really do, but at the end of the day we live in a very unperfect world. If we were to take such an extreme approach that would mean not participating in the healthcare system, not voting, not driving and a thousand other things that are corrupt. Why pick credit cards as the thing you will stop using out of all the corrupt systems you are using?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred



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