Time to Add a New Card? - looking for advice and/or card suggestions

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JNK
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Time to Add a New Card? - looking for advice and/or card suggestions

Postby JNK » Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:14 am

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! :)
Personal Collection:

AMEX: Everyday (MR), Macy's (cobranded)
MASTER: Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (non-World version)
VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
GE: Care Credit (medical expenses), Macy's (store), JCP (store)


Business Collection:

AMEX: Costco True Earnings
MASTER: None
VISA: Chase Ink Cash


ooxs
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Postby ooxs » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:32 am

For a member that is no paying any premium / annual fee, you have some of the best cards out there. Discover card at 5% cash back will not make that much sense as they tend to be stingy with initial credit limit.
You qualify for almost every premium card but unless you are spending over 50k on a specific card i can't think of anything that is worth recommending that you don’t have. If you’re spending over that much then you might want to look into Fidelity or a premium card with an AF.
One thing i don't like or recommend is to have a stack of cards with rewards scattered all over the place, ending up being useless to the consumer. I am very fond of Amazon, with free shipping i buy everything from toothpicks to boat engines and you cannot imagine what my reward point balance is . American Express Costco is another good one if you shop Costco and have a business account.
I have to agree that chase is lame with lowering APRs and they refuse to lower my APR but expect me to carry a balance

Money card
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Postby Money card » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:05 pm

ooxs Discover is the only card that makes sense. remember he said he doesn't need a card that has annual fees like a green, gold or platinum amex. he doesn't need perks. he doesn't travel so he doesn't want a capitol 1 or chase sapphire with a concierge.

he has a macy's black american express, Chase ink, costco and blue from American express, citibank dividend, the amazon chase. he doesn't travel on business, so forget about the gold delta or citi aadvantage.

I would suggest a Discover card but the 1 thing you have to remember is this card isn't as widely accepted as a visa or Master card or even american express. last week I went to the Mahwah bar and grill which is very very affordable and I asked what cards do you take. they said visa, mastercard and American express with not mention of discover. since you have 3 cards, the visa mastercard, 2 american expresses Discover would be different from those.

I would suggest a Discover, Hsbc, clear american express or a Nordstroms visa or Brooks brothers mastercard.

ooxs
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Postby ooxs » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:07 pm

I agree and love my discover card, the initial credit limits they offer is the part i dislike.
I was thinking higher credit limits based on the cards JNK already have.

JNK
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Postby JNK » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:50 pm

Both of you have provided excellent advice based on different lines of reasoning and I most certainly will consider the options and reasons both of you have given me.

In my area and extended shopping area, since there are a lot of mom and pop restaurants and grocery stores along with the bigger stores and chains, I actually sometimes have a problem where Discover is accepted along with VISA and Mastercard... but not American Express. In some ways, maybe that's been a good thing because then maybe I wouldn't be using my VISAs and Mastercards as much as I do, but in other ways... bummer.

Discover is the first credit card of my family; my mom and dad got started on Discover and my older sibling has Discover and so it seems almost instinctive to finally get myself a Discover card. But like Money card said, Discover card - like AMEX - sometimes has problems with acceptability, and it's a bit of a bummer to have an awesome card and not be able to use it as often as one would like.

And yes, higher CL is something I would like to try for if possible. I don't NEED a new credit card, but IF I do, I want it to be something I would get good use from and something that would benefit me in the long run even if I don't use it all the time. So, bigger credit limit (to further improve debt to credit ratio), lower APR or an APR that will be lowered without too much hassle over time (keep the overall APR average across my credit lines lower), and a decent benefits program would all be of use/factors for consideration.

Time for me to do some additional homework and thanks for the suggestions! :D

@ ooxs in particular RE: Chase:

<rant>

The ironic thing about Chase is that they: 1) TELL ME that I am at a point where I have a 'good' number of their cards and probably don't need to open another one with them or something to the effect (too many cards from same issuer can be a bad thing), 2) BOMBARD ME with more credit card offers like Sapphire and BOMBARD ME with BT transfer offers, 3) GIVE ME a huge credit limit without batting an eyelash, and 4) REFUSE TO lower my APR despite my flawless history with them.

SPEEEND! DON'T SPEND! SPEEEND! DON'T SPEND!

Chase contradicts itself. ALL. THE. TIME. Credit card company AND the bank itself.

About half a year ago:

A Chase rep - after listening to what I told him about my business - personally recommended me to move my business account elsewhere (bless the guy; he was honestly looking out for my best interests) while another rep whom I later talked to to clarify something sort of treated me like my business and it's not-very-huge revenue didn't need Chase (I closed my account immediately after talking with him and the manager of the branch got an earful) and when I was asking about grandfathering in my old personal checking account which I had documentation that showed that it basically should be grandfathered in, I got a very cold NO and was given another documentation that pretty much said otherwise (the manager - a different one - got another earful).

Chase wants rich people for their clientele and will ONLY reward its customers who are wealthy.

</rant>
Personal Collection:

AMEX: Everyday (MR), Macy's (cobranded)
MASTER: Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (non-World version)
VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
GE: Care Credit (medical expenses), Macy's (store), JCP (store)


Business Collection:

AMEX: Costco True Earnings
MASTER: None
VISA: Chase Ink Cash

ooxs
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Postby ooxs » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:33 pm

JNK i assumed you had a few good cards and if you were going to get a new one higher CL will be a preferred option. You think you have stories about chase lol, let me start with just one.
My credit score is in the mid-700s with nothing negative at all (at least not anymore). My amazon card monthly balance is anywhere from 1500 plus, the interest rate on my Amazon card is 29.99% and i am not kidding you. Back in 2004 my account was late twice because i was out of the country for a school project so my account was set to the default rates which in the real world can only last 6 months. Every time i call them or they call me, i will emphasize that my rate is too high and will never carry a balance, they do a quick brose and tell me your account was late (Yes that was 2004) and don't qualify for rate adjustment. Well i love the card and i want to keep it, i know it sounds crazy but i shop amazon and pay it in full every month. They just sent me something in the mail removing the credit limit but keeping the rate.
I have been paying in full before i get my statement since 2004. Do you think common sense apply?

JNK
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Postby JNK » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:45 am

ooxs wrote:JNK i assumed you had a few good cards and if you were going to get a new one higher CL will be a preferred option. You think you have stories about chase lol, let me start with just one.
My credit score is in the mid-700s with nothing negative at all (at least not anymore). My amazon card monthly balance is anywhere from 1500 plus, the interest rate on my Amazon card is 29.99% and i am not kidding you. Back in 2004 my account was late twice because i was out of the country for a school project so my account was set to the default rates which in the real world can only last 6 months. Every time i call them or they call me, i will emphasize that my rate is too high and will never carry a balance, they do a quick brose and tell me your account was late (Yes that was 2004) and don't qualify for rate adjustment. Well i love the card and i want to keep it, i know it sounds crazy but i shop amazon and pay it in full every month. They just sent me something in the mail removing the credit limit but keeping the rate.
I have been paying in full before i get my statement since 2004. Do you think common sense apply?


Jeebuz! That's crazy!

Since it's been YEARS since you made a late payment and your overall credit is really great, I would call them and ask to speak with a supervisor. When speaking with the supervisor, I would emphasize that the APR you're getting - a penalty for your lateness back in -2004- is absolutely ridiculous for an account that has been in perfect standing otherwise ever since. The lateness was in 2004 - over 5 years ago!

I can't guarantee that Chase will do anything about it (they issued me a card that has my highest APR which won't budge and hasn't budged for 2 years now and I have never in my entire 'stay' with them given them reason to NOT lower my APR), but they NEED to know that the 'policy' they are forcing on you is beyond ridiculous.

American Express has always been fairly strict about their rules in my experience, but even THEY forgave me a late payment enough to give me my old APR back after 6 months. Heck, I found out that I was actually supposed to have been forgiven that 1 late payment I made (like you, I was out of town and then I got majorly ill and was knocked up on pain meds and totally forgot about bills) and so American Express - 6 months after I got penalized apparently wrongly - not only changed my APR back, but erased my delinquent payment strike and also BACKDATED my APR so that any and all interest that I was charged during the 6 months of default APR got RETURNED to me along with a huge apology.

I have a lot of reasons to love American Express; this is just one of them.

I'm going to cross my fingers and toes for you and hope that you get to speak to someone at Chase who has more sense than everyone else you have spoken with and that your crazy APR problem gets fixed.
Personal Collection:

AMEX: Everyday (MR), Macy's (cobranded)
MASTER: Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (non-World version)
VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
GE: Care Credit (medical expenses), Macy's (store), JCP (store)


Business Collection:

AMEX: Costco True Earnings
MASTER: None
VISA: Chase Ink Cash

ooxs
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Postby ooxs » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:08 pm

I have called trying to convince them that little interest or cash is better than no interest or cash but as always i get no you lack common sense, i actually promised the CSR and SUP that i will use the card to the max and they will get payments in full every month and never a penny in interest. Thank Goodness i have the money allocated to pay them before i even spend it LOL.

ooxs
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Postby ooxs » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:32 am

JNK well here is a good one for you. I called Chase and asked for lower rate but did not qualify; i asked for a Supervisor and was connected to a special department. They can't lower my rate but will give a statement credit of 125.00, i was all fired up to close the account but 125 and i pay you in full every month? (Hmm) you better believe i have common sense. Furthermore they have upgraded my Amazon account to the visa signature (whatever that is) with no preset spending limit and a lot more benefits but unfortunately cannot help me with the rate.
So i qualify for an visa signature card (once again whatever that is), and will get 125 but i am more confused about the defination of common sense.

Last late payment = 2004 (while visible on my CR is this a factor?)
EXP = 730-750 dedending on balance
EQ Same as above

JNK
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Postby JNK » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:01 am

ooxs wrote:JNK well here is a good one for you. I called Chase and asked for lower rate but did not qualify; i asked for a Supervisor and was connected to a special department. They can't lower my rate but will give a statement credit of 125.00, i was all fired up to close the account but 125 and i pay you in full every month? (Hmm) you better believe i have common sense. Furthermore they have upgraded my Amazon account to the visa signature (whatever that is) with no preset spending limit and a lot more benefits but unfortunately cannot help me with the rate.
So i qualify for an visa signature card (once again whatever that is), and will get 125 but i am more confused about the defination of common sense.

Last late payment = 2004 (while visible on my CR is this a factor?)
EXP = 730-750 dedending on balance
EQ Same as above


... WHUT?

Okay, something's not adding up here and in my opinion, it is from Chase's end of things.

... I WOULD say that your late payment from 2004 (still visible) MIGHT be a factor, but...

See, I have a FICO score of 780+ with no late payments recorded whatsoever ANYWHERE in my credit history over the last 7 years and Chase still turned me down for an APR rate adjustment. That said, I find it therefore hard to believe that your one late payment in 2004 contributed to your denial of rate change.

I recently called Chase about my new Amazon Signature VISA card and what the rep told me before was this: Chase has its own internal way of figuring out who 'qualifies' for things like APR adjustments, CL increase, BT offers, etc. Things like purchase history (frequency of use of card which is no problem for you I don't think), timeliness of payments (no problem for you anytime recently), and some other fiddle faddle contribute to some sort of approval or denial for qualification of certain account changes.

There's some hocus pocus super-secret formula Chase is using to determine things and I guess neither of us have been able to 'crack the code' yet.
Personal Collection:

AMEX: Everyday (MR), Macy's (cobranded)
MASTER: Citibank Dividend Platinum Select (non-World version)
VISA: Chase Amazon Signature, Chase (bank issued)
GE: Care Credit (medical expenses), Macy's (store), JCP (store)


Business Collection:

AMEX: Costco True Earnings
MASTER: None
VISA: Chase Ink Cash



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