So I have been eyeing my card collection and reviewing my card usage - my old Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (Mastercard) and my Blue (American Express) cards in particular (though I would never cancel my Blue) - and have been wondering if it's time to diversify my credit lines.
Here's a bit of a profile on me summarized from my FICO report:
- Excellent credit currently at 780+
- All accounts in good standing with no late payments
- Longest established credit is 12 years old
- Debt to credit ratio is 8%
- Average age of accounts is 5 years
- 2 hard pulls - one by GE for Care Credit, one by Chase (WTF? I need to call them)
- Installment loan for education (Direct) in repayment
The cards that I have that are in use or simply there are the ones listed in my signature and the card I would be considering to add to my collection would be one I would use fairly frequently alongside my absolute favorite cards and would have a good rewards program.
Credit or charge may or may not matter, but I don't believe that I am at the point in my life where I need to be looking at an annual fee card that gives me a lot of perks that I personally don't use for yet.
I currently utilize my American Express Costco True Earnings business card the most (rewards program for gas, eating out, travel, and everything else) along with my Chase Ink Cash (rewards program similar to AMEX, but APR is higher and I'm not fond of Chase), Blue (single digit APR if I need to carry a balance), and Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (rewards for everything else and my non-AMEX card, though it's rewards program is kind of meh now) and when it makes sense, I use my Chase Amazon Signature card because I'm a major Amazon fan.
I am a creative communications/multimedia communications consultant and I also work a 9-5 job on the side so I have two streams of income and can for sure report the 9-5 as a steady stream.
Owing to my self employed work and projects, I tend to spend money on tech junk and office and art-related supplies. Owing to my love for food, I end up grocery shopping a lot at various grocery stores and eating out every so often just to try new places or just to get a tastebud fix.
In regards to department store type of shopping, I spend mostly at Macy's (my oldest card owing to my previous employment there) and have their black card cobranded with an American Express (was VISA way back when and got converted and since it's one of my oldest accounts, I didn't cancel). The card and the coupons I get also works at Bloomingdales. I also shop at places like TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall's, JCP, and Wal-Mart.
On the other hand, I don't travel too much so airline rewards don't have a particular appeal to me just yet. In that vein, I'm also not so much of a person who would take advantage of things like concierge services for this, that, and the other - especially if the service is something I would have to pay for. I have gotten great concert tickets for being an AMEX cardholder, but that's about the extent of my usage of such services.
I'm interested in a rewards program that is either cash back or good towards paying my credit card bill and I would be most interested in one that is not irritatingly difficult to keep track of if one even exists. That is one of the reasons I really like my True Earnings card and my Ink Cash (though my Ink Cash irritates me because of Chase).
I am interested in something that offers a competitive APR and an APR that can be lowered without too much hassle as time goes on. I don't tend to spread out my spending too much because it's more difficult for me to keep track of and in the off chance I need to carry a balance for a bit, I would like to be able to pull out the card I normally use for most things without having to go, "Oh wait, this is a much higher APR; I don't want to carry a balance on this card."
Furthermore, I am proud to carry very low APR cards - I have one that is way below prime in the single digit area and another that is below prime and almost in the single digit department and yet another that is going below prime - and do not really want to add a new way-higher APR card to my list unless I know for sure I can get it lowered. In my personal experience, Chase hates lowering APR while American Express and Citibank have no problems doing this for me automatically.
I would like to try to avoid Chase (I am not a fan of the company and their decisions and owing to WAMU's disappearance, I gained more Chase cards than I wanted/needed) and Capitol One in terms of issuers.
I am not particularly biased one way or another in terms of American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or VISA (okay, I lied, I love American Express, but know that -maybe- it might be better to diversify) though if one is hoping to diversify, then maybe something like Discover might be something to look into. I hope to one day reach a point where a card like a Diner's Club would be one of my favorite cards to have and one of my most used cards, but that is neither here or now at this point in time.
And lastly, I generally don't care what the card looks like, but PLEASE don't suggest a card that is fire engine red like the BofA debit cards I see everywhere.
Please and thank you in advance for both reading through everything and taking the time to give me advice!