Should I switch to a different credit card?

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irishgirl49
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Should I switch to a different credit card?

Postby irishgirl49 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:38 pm

Hi all! I am new to the forum and just wanted to post a quick question regarding the age limits on credit cards/wanted an opinion on whether I should get a new card.

  • I am a current college student (19 years old).
  • I currently have a PNC Points Visa Signature (although if you google that, it isn't the same card...) that my mother cosigned for.
  • It gets ~6 points for every dollar I spend, with a $100 gift card at 40,000 points.
  • I spend between $400-$900 a month on my card, my current card has a limit of $5000.
  • I have an income of ~$7000 a summer, but under $200 a month during the school year (yeah... I'm an engineer).
  • My credit score is in the 770s at the moment.
Now, my real questions are... Anyone have an opinion on if I should switch to a different card?

And also, if I don't, this credit card will expire a few months before I turn 21. I don't want to have my mom to co-sign again, but I really want to keep my high credit limit and I don't have the most steady income. Anyone have any suggestions for a card shortly before I turn 21?


randeman
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Postby randeman » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:57 am

Why do you think you need a different card right now? As a student, you really don't need all that much in perks, although I guess they are kind of nice to have. But you should consider how much you have to pay in interest if you carry a balance in order to get what perks you get, or what your annual fee costs you to get said perk. If you pay $100 in interest, for example, to get a $100 gift card, what's the point?

My next question would be, how long have you had that card? That factors into your credit score which affects your ability to get credit. If it expires, do they reissue? If you have the card in good standing for x amount of time, will they grant credit in your own name so your mom can be removed from responsibility?

Your credit utilization is great and your credit score (if it is indeed fico and not fake-o) is excellent.

I would sit tight for at least one more year. When you have about six months before the card expires, check with a PNC credit analyst (if you just plain like their cards) and see what they suggest. If they don't or can't make a suggestion, search this site's blogs for recommendations on other cards you might want to consider applying for on your own. Yes, your income will be a factor, but you may still get a card. One advantage of your income consideration is they will ask your annual income. The $7,000 you make in summer makes the $200 a month you make the rest of the year seem bigger. A card of your own might not have a $5,000 limit, but you will have a card that belongs to you. Most importantly, keep your credit utilization under 30% and pay at least the minimum payment (better to pay it off) on time every month.
Cards and Credit lines Acquired:

Escape by Discover (7.75K), Barclay Holland America Visa (7K), Macy's store card (7K), Bloomingdale's store card (2.6K), Citi Custom Credit Line (3.5K), PayPal Smart Connect credit line (2.7K), Chase Freedom Visa (5K), Chase United MileagePlus Visa (5K), Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa (6K), Amazon store card (2.2K), Lord & Taylor store card (550), Nordstrom store card (1500), Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express (3K), Discover It (6.5K), PayPal Credit Line (1K).

Crashem
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Postby Crashem » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:17 am

My recommendation is to look for one or two more credit cards. I find 2-3 credit cards/charge cards on your credit report is ideal to build a good file. The question is whether or not you can handle the responsibility of them. If you can't, you will do more harm to yourself in the short and long run. Given that you have a little income and credit history, you should qualify for a college student credit card. If you decide you can handle the credit, please make sure to find a card with the following features:

  1. NO ANNUAL FEE: The good thing about No AF cards is that you are not under any pressure to get rid of them in the future.
  2. Rewards: A standard rewards card should pay you around 1% back in points or cash or airline miles. Your card right now is pretty good but if it doesn't do miles, you might want to consider it.
In any case, sock drawer the new cards or old cards. Only carry one of them on you and rotate them out every few months to show use on all of them. By the time you are done with college, you will have a great start to credit
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k

irishgirl49
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Postby irishgirl49 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:22 am

Yeah, I do not keep a balance. I make sure to pay in full every month. I was raised in a banking family (my grandfather worked for the fed, my dad is a financial advisor for a big bank, my uncle is an investment banker, etc) and a big thing with all of my relatives was to be in as little debt as possible. My mom cosigned for me, and the bill gets mailed to my house (not where I live for college), and she has never once checked it. She assumes I pay it off every month.

I should note that in addition to my normal income, I receive a fairly substantial amount of money from my parents each semester for food/living expenses.

Given that I generally end up with around $8500 a year on my card, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on a specific card (or cards). And I wanted feedback on getting around the cosign before 21 thing, which has been answered.

Crashem
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Postby Crashem » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:11 pm

If I was you, it doesn't really matter what the other cards are as long as they have no annual fee and some kind of rewards attached. Personally, I would do another card (after doing research on this site or nerdwallet etc) that will grow with you and friendly to college or thin file applicants, and also apply for a store card (I would recommend walmart if there is one close for the free TU08 score you get once a quarter and for use when you are there).

In 6-9 months, assuming your score is still high, I would get an AMEX without annual fee if you think you can qualify. The main reason to get AMEX early is to get your membership date set as early as possible so your future AMEX cards will be backdated. Great tool for managing your AAoA later in life. An almost better option is to get one of your relatives to add you as an authorized user on their card. Tell them they can keep the card, but you need to make sure to create an online account for the new card so your member date can be set for this year. For easiest transition, when you are ready to get your own AMEX card, they can remove you as AU then. I recommend an AMEX charge card to be added on as opposed to credit card so their utilization does not effect you.
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k



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