Is it better to pay off credit cards in full or make payments?

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Is it better to pay off credit cards in full or make payments?

Postby HalcyonEndures » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:19 pm

(Plus other newbie questions). I apologize in advance for what will probably be the fourteen thousandth time you've seen this same thread.

I'm 18 years old and I'm somewhat excited to get a credit card so I can get the ball rolling on building my credit. I was turned down for all of the ones I applied to a few months ago, but was approved for an introductory sort of credit card through my bank a few days ago. It'll hopefully be here by the end of next week.

Now for the most part I understand how the cards work. I don't have any plans on going out and buying a thousand dollar TV or something like that the second I get it. I'll just be using it for stuff that I would normally put on my debit card and just pay off the whole bill at the end of the month.

  1. Now one question I have to start off with credit cards in full vs. making payments. Say I go out and put $400 worth of stuff on my card a month, and pay it off in full at the end of every month. Would this build my credit faster than if I went out and put $50 worth of stuff on the card and paid it off? I'm not sure if your credit builds faster depending on how much you pay off a month.
Another question I have is about how hard it is to get reward cards. I'm hoping to do a lot of traveling starting in the next year or two and beyond that for as long as I enjoy traveling. I've seen and read about the Capital One Venture credit card, and it seems like a nice card to have. The mileage rewards are nice and would be a big help should I decide to start traveling.

  1. First of all, are cards like these hard to get? I'm guessing they base whether or not you can get them off of your credit score and maybe income, so either way, I'd be waiting a while before I was eligible for it.
  2. If it's fairly easy to get one with good credit, how high should I get my credit before I apply for it? I don't want to apply only to be told I couldn't get it and then have to wait however long to apply for it again. If I just don't make enough to get the card in the first place though, I won't worry about it.
Again, I apologize for the basic questions that have probably been asked a trillion times. I'd just like to get some advice and info on credit cards before I dive in with one.

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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:09 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby HalcyonEndures » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:24 am

Also, I can understand editing my thread to make it more readable format-wise, but I'm not sure why the title had to be changed. Obviously I know it's better to pay off credit cards at the end of the month, and I thought I made that clear. That doesn't really have anything to do with the questions I wanted to ask.

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Postby Money card » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:10 am

When you say you will be traveling a lot next year does that mean you will be traveling on business or vacation? Using along with anything related to colleges?

I have a capitol1 venture card gold version 1.25 miles every dollar spent. I love my card, I don't travel I use it for personal use.

The cards your referring to like capitol1 , chase sapphire, Nordstorms Visa, Chase Continental can be hard to get. However even a regular card like a Chase Disney, Citibank Dividend, Chase Freedom, Capitol1 Cash Rewards card, Wells Fargo or even a Bank of America card can be hard to get also.

I don't think it matters how much you spend as if it's 50 or 400. as long as you pay in full that's what matters.

there will be some months that you will spend 500 and some months around 40. there will be in between.

My recommendation would be don't go out and spend 400 and pay it back in full. To get better credit spend 400 if there are items that you really need.

The best way to improve your credit is go out and buy some items, spend about 125 a month, pay it back in full, for while just use 1 card for about 6 months different monthly balances some times 125, some 100, 80 and a busier month put 250 on the card then apply for a Discover or American Express. If you get approved use their cards and pay your bills in full and you will get good credit.

But don't go out and spend 400 just to get good credit. only spend if it's something you really need.

since you are 18, I would suggest starting off with a lower level card like a TD Bank credit card, Citizens bank or a PNC bank. these are not top of the line cards, but easier to get. executives don't have these cards but they may be good for you.

if you start to travel on business ask the person who is in charge of your travel expenses what cards do they want you to have, will they supply you with a small business or corporate card? if they say use your own for airplanes, hotels, dinners and sporting events/Broadway shows I like capitol1 venture card.

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Postby jeffysdad » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:26 pm

Pay your statement balance in full every month by the due date. Don't exceed your spending limit. Do this consistently for six to nine months and see where you are at with your credit limit, etc.

Your credit will not "build faster" by any appreciable amount by charging more or carrying a balance. Use the card to meet your spending, budgeting needs and your credit will take care of itself as long as you do the above.

You did not say whether your new card has the traditional 25-day grace period. Almost all do, but since you said it's a type of introductory card it might not. If you don't already know, a grace period is the time from the closing of your statement cycle until the payment due date. During this period if you have not been carrying a balance on your card previously, you should not be charged interest on your debt.
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 (, 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.

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