Building credit while active duty military?

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cbh
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Building credit while active duty military?

Postby cbh » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm currently 23, have no outstanding loans/debt, and my only card is the Amex PRG (~32k points now). Never missed a payment/had a late payment, and I will typically charge ~$1800 before paying my bill (always paid early). FICO score is currently unknown.

I want to open 1 (or possibly more) credit (rather than charge) cards so that I can begin building my credit. I will be active duty military starting in November, so my spend will be limited to the occasional airfare home and food/drinks on the weekend. I'd like to find a card with good travel rewards, and I don't mind paying an annual fee. I'll be traveling about 4 times a year, possibly more depending on what my schedule is like.

My short list consists of (assuming I can qualify for any of these):
-Navy Federal Flagship Rewards
-Capital One Venture
-Chase Sapphire

Any input/recommendations?


Rory
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Postby Rory » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:03 pm

i would definitely get an idea of what you FICO scores are. Chase Sapphire isnt the easiest to get without a mid-high 700s score. Since youre already in with amex, maybe try the blue cash or the blue sky as each offer decent rewards/cash back for flying and general purchases. Also the chase freedom is a good option, but sadly the quarterly rewards for gas and restaurants just ended. I am extremely biased towards amex and chase so hopefully someone else can give you a perspective for cap one and maybe discover card too. Being in the navy i have to assume you will be automatically approved for the Navy federal card, but i could be mistaken
Amex Zync - NPSL (Cleared up to 25k)
Amex BCE - 12000 limit
Amex BCP - 4200 limit
FIA Rewards Amex- 3500 limit
Chase Freedom - 2000 limit
Chase Slate - 2000 Limit
BoA Cash Rewards Privileges- 3000 limit
Barclaycard Rewards MC - 3000 limit
Discover IT- 3500 limit
Marriott PR- 5000 limit
21 years old with alot of life to spend ;)
Its not about the ending, its about the journey,
just as long as the ending is just as good :cool:

cbh
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Postby cbh » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:00 am

Thanks for the response, Rory. I checked on myFICO and I'm showing a FICO score of 716. I didn't realize that having a posted balance at the end of the month (even though I pay it on time) affects your score, so I'm going to make sure I pay off everything before my statement closes.

Would you recommend applying for 2 additional cards now (something like Amex BCP and a Visa/Mastercard) so that the hard pulls will only be counted as one?

Does anyone have both the Amex PRG and BCP? Is that overkill to have 2 Amex cards?

Sorry for all the questions, thanks for your help.

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:23 am

If you had loans in the past they may still be on your credit report, which would help build a credit file.

The banks you mentioned may decline online due to a thin credit file, but I would go for it and call the reconsideration line if needed.

Having an Amex PRG will also help build a credit file, the only difference between this card and the others you mentioned is that no credit line is reported.

cbh
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Postby cbh » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:06 am

Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it! I just checked myFICO and am sitting at a 716. My closing statement for the AMEX PRG this month was a whopping $43. I paid it off this morning.

Right now the only 2 things on my credit report are my PRG, and my time as an authorized user on my dad's AMEX (member since '79, so my credit history "technically" dates back 33 years, according to myFICO). No doubt being an AU for a short time on his card has helped me tremendously, but I want to make sure I can keep my score up once that AU disappears from my report.

I'm thinking about Navy Federal for the rewards (15,000 points for a $300 travel credit) and the Chase Sapphire for the sign up bonus. Would it be overkill having a card like the Sapphire and the PRG?



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