1st credit card in a unique situation. You know you're curious.

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1st credit card in a unique situation. You know you're curious.

Postby mike12ophone » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:24 pm

Hey so I am trying to get my first credit card [@ 27 y/o. The things scared me]. Anyways
I am in the process of receiving a rather large settlement from the bad end of a semi truck [7 figures. Which sounds outrageous, I know, but believe me it's still not worth it] and I'm wondering what would be a good credit card to start off with.

I don't know what determines eligibility for different products in my situation or how my credit score would be effected with an annuity coming in every month. Currently my credit score is 697 and the only thing I have on my record is a paid off car loan. Any advice? [with a credit card please]. Thanks!


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Postby Rory » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:14 pm

Well first off i am sorry to hear about the accident, but glad to know you are alive and at least optimistic enough to be considering a credit card for yourself and for your credit. Its tough to be hopeful when you get badly injured, but at least in a small way this is a step forward.

First cards for someone in your position really depend on where your spending is and how your intend on moving forward.

If you spend a lot on gas, then a chase freedom or bank americard cash rewards may interest you. Even a amex blue cash would be a good choice, but may be hard with no history with amex and a sub 700 score.

If you are spending a lot on travel consider a amex blue sky or one of their charge card varieties, all really depends on your willingness to pay a annual fee.

keep in mind that if you are looking for decent rewards or cash back, most banks charge annual fees which at first seem annoying and may turn you away from the card, but the rewards/cash back/benefits often outweigh the annual fee and as long as you do the research and make good use of the card, it is almost always a better option to go with the card with an annual fee.

Considering your unique situation, in which you may or may not be working, have a structured settlement, i would definitely consider a charge card. Charge cards require that you pay them off in full every month which keeps you from ever paying interest and also are generally easier to get accepted for that installment cards (cards that let you pay over time).

Good luck with your decision and your recovery. I hope you do not let credit cards scare you any more as they are just another tool in your pocket and used correctly can be a very valuable asset.
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Amex BCE - 12000 limit
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Postby agp » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:57 pm

How much money you have in the bank does not determine what type of card you qualify for. Your credit score and sometimes your income will determine what card you qualify for. Can't go wrong with a Chase Freedom to start. Then as you learn more and realize you have more purchases to make in certain categories, you can pick more cards.

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby hematino » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:59 am

Are you interested in a rewards card, or something with lower rates?

Chase Freedom is a card you can't go wrong with for racking up points, although the rotating categories turn some people off. American Express and Chase are great companies to have credit cards with, if you're into the rewards game-- they also may be difficult to be approved for though if you have never had a credit card. If you are interested in a hardcore rewards card from American Express, I'd try the Zync route first given your score and limited history. The Zync is known to be the easiest Amex product to get approved for-- it is a charge card (full balance due each month) which carries a very small annual fee and has a rewards program. Once you have had Zync for at least 6 months, THEN try for another Amex card to dramatically increase your chances. If credit cards have always intimidated you, Zync shouldn't be too tempting to overspend since the balance is due each cycle and isn't meant to be carried month to month.

Citi and Bank of America, but especially Citi, tend to be easier to get your foot in the door with for those with limited history. Both companies have some decent cards out there with no annual fees, and Citi is pretty generous with limits (although their customer service is terrible).

If you are not interested in rewards, and just want a traditional credit card with the most favorable terms, you could try obtaining one from a local credit union (join if you aren't already, its usually worth it). They usually won't stick it to you as bad with the APR and penalty fees, and will have American based customer service that you won't have to struggle to understand. Credit unions may want to verify your employment and/or income beforie issuing the card, which is a simple process. If you don't have a local branch, there are many credit unions online that are easy to join and offer competive products.

PS- One last note on this. Just saw that you are located near Alexandria, Virginia- which happens to be the seat of operations for one of the best credit unions there is, Pentagon Federal CU. They have fantastic products but they have been notoriously hard for some people to get in with, and I don't recommend trying them to get approved for your first credit card. It could happen, but it would probably be a long shot.
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Postby mike12ophone » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:15 am

Thanks for the replies, I love being born in this generation haha. Perhaps I'll go for the charge card route. I'm not necessarily turned off by the rewards idea with a fee associated because if im going to get a card might as well get some extra benefits.

I am a member of navy federal credit union and USAA. Are there any products associated with these two banks that are well rated?

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Postby FastSRT8 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:00 am

Best advice I can give you is...... get a financial advisor PRONTO and make sure you make your $$ work for you. Don't blow it.

Cash is KING. Manage it right and the credit card companies will be coming to you.

At this point, get a card that costs you little or nothing and build credit. Slowly but surely.
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Postby kashmac123 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:33 pm

I tip my hat to all you guys for writing such good data. I think I will place all of you on my board of directors.

Great minds think alike.

Mike12ophone; try USAA They have all you need and are honest. They will take good care of you.

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