Credit card analysis and strategy advice please (long read)

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Credit card analysis and strategy advice please (long read)

Postby NateGeli » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:22 pm

Hey folks. Finally decided to sign up after spending (literally) about 15 combined hours reading through the forums and articles for this website. Great source of info, and after having reviewed a TON of credit cards, I now have a wish list of what I would like to acquire.

First, a brief background. I am a 22 year old male. I am an army officer with a good income. My credit score with the 3 companies is ~740 each. I have 4 credit cards currently:

-2 generic VISA cards through Usbank and wells fargo (both of them around 4 years old with terrible rewards)
- an Escape discover card (recently acquired within the past 3 months, on an off note I have been told that acceptance for this card is relatively difficult?)
- a capitol one venture card (recently acquired within the past 4 months)

I have one installment loan (loan to pay for a bad semester in college where I thought it would be fun to ditch classes and lost my full ride for a semester, haha).

I have not applied for any other credit cards or anything else recently. My credit limit on my cards is in the 5 digits. My credit report with all companies is flawless: no missed or late payments, nothing.

After having browsed through this website, I have decided that my near term goal (within the next year) is to obtain, in order of importance, the following credit cards:

Amex blue cash preferred card
Penfed travel card
Penfed gas card

With those combined, that would more or less cover every expense I make excluding rent. I plan on eventually moving to and opening up a business in central or south america, hence my preference for the quality airline rewards. Now for the actual questions!

1. First of all, the capitol one card I have only had for 4 months: long story short I did not intend on getting both the venture one card and the discover card. I have not even used the capitol one card, nor do I intend to. Since it is only 3 months old, would I be better off closing that card now and just sticking with the discover card (which I have, and plan on continuing to use)?

2. Given the credit statistics I mentioned, were I to apply for the blue cash card now, any insight on the likelihood that I would be accepted for it?

3. With the 2 credit cards I have had for the 4 years, I have never requested, or needed to request, a CLI. Should I do that now before trying to get the other cards or not?

4. What suggestions or strategy would you suggest for acquiring the 3 cards that I would like, in the least amount of time, with the least effect possible on my credit score? Any tips appreciated :)

5. Lastly, if necessary, I am willing to pay for a good credit tracking service to be able to be aware of and manipulate my credit score as time progresses. Are there any services that you would recommend for frequently monitoring your credit score/reports?

Thanks in advance for any help, I know it is a long read and alot of questions, and I tried to search around the website for as many answers as I could to all my questions before making this thread. :ppp

Money card
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Postby Money card » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:10 pm

let's see how I do. first of all your capital1 is that a gold or blue the double miles card or a different level? if it's a different level which level?

what's the difference between the penefed gas card and the travel card?

the difference between the Discover escape and Capital 1 does your Discover have a concierge on it, I know my gold card does and the Blue double miles card has a concierge on it. If you have an annual fee on the capital1 close it. But if not keep it open.

if you were to apply for the bluecash card I do think you would be approved. you have some very nice cards.

I would call american express and apply over the phone for your other 2 cards you have to somehow figure how to get a hold of them.

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Postby requiredfield » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:11 pm

1 Why did you apply for both? There is no AOR advantage and hasn't been for years. I was going to say keep it and use it. If you are a good customer you can ask for the annual fee to be dropped or get a product switch to something more useful, their 1.5% cashback card for instance.

2 It has an annual fee. I'd say yes. That is a nice looking card even with the annual fee. My grocery store doesn't accept AMEX, this is the biggest problem with them. Do you know where the pulls landed? Does Cap1 still pull all three? Oh, how Cap1 does punish thee for doing business with them. Research which bureau AMEX pulls. I'm thinking you have one bureau with two pulls and two others with only one. As you should know three pulls on a bureau is fine, it's the fourth that hurts.

3 Have you been using them? It wouldn't hurt to call and ask the CSR if they see an increase availble for your account (do not allow a hard pull). You may be pleasently surprised.

4 Do you have a PenFed account? If not they are going to pull for opening a savings account. One card will do, they will offer you a second in a few months (my experience).

5 Any service you pay for will monitor your report for changes. Manipulation, I don't think that's possible any longer (bumping pulls off), perhaps with the exeption of TU. Which is why they get pulled the least. CreditSecure from AMEX has a monthly pull for $11.99 or daily (the only one I know of) for $21.99. You have to decide if it's worth it or not.

Go for the AMEX, get the monitoring and make a more informed PenFed decision afterwards.

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