- Green Member
- Posts: 22
- Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:28 am
- Location: Kansas
The days of keeping your money at home in a small town bank are long gone. Today there is no such thing as loyalty and you shouldn't feel any such thing, I know people who keep switching banks because the good deals are offered to new customers while they often forget about the loyal customer who's been there for 40 years. You might also want to consider a 2nd account. One school of thought is never to carry a debit card tied to the main account you use for paying your bills and savings, that way if something happens, you still have an account to pay the month's bills. Amex BlueBird/Prepaid is okay in that there are no monthly fees, but there have been reports of the cards not working for ordering online and there are pleanty of places that don't take Amex so I have a hard time recommending them. I did hear a rumor about Amex offering you an Amex green after a time of using the prepaid card, but it's unclear how much you would have to keep on the card and use the card to gain their favor. If you use it for less than $100 per month, I would have to say never.
You mention you are a Sam's Club member, Sam's Club is a weird animal, they accept MC but not Visa. The reason is because they said what they were willing to pay for merchant fees, MC accepted their offer but Visa didn't. They are required to accept Discover because they now issue their own Discover card. You can't use an Amex card there, but you can use a debit Visa with a PIN. This might be a case where it would be okay to just use the Capital One MC that you already have. Whatever you do, don't apply for any store cards without asking around and doing pleanty of research. It's been found most store cards just don't have the pizzazz they once did, my parents used to have Sears, JCPenny, Montgomery Ward and several others I can't think of but only because these places didn't take take major bank cards back in the 70's, but that's changed. I find it interesting people line up to apply for Sam's club credit when their biggest pull is your membership card is your credit card, use only one card at checkout instead of 2. Most non reward major bank cards still are a better deal.
I think I said it before, there are NO good starter cards for building/rebuilding credit. US Bank, Cap1 and BofA are some of the better cards. I don't think Cap1 will ever tell you it's time to upgrade, they'll let you have a secured card forever. If you can try to keep an eye on your credit score and when it's well over 600, you might go to the Cap1 website and see if you can get pre-approved for another card, this is a soft pull. After a year or so with the secured card, give them a call and see if you can get the Platinum card with a $750 limit. If you can, go for it, cancel your secured card and get your money back. The big thing is they keep making you apply for better cards causing most people to give up on them. US Bank as I understand will let you upgrade the card you currently have to unsecured in as little as a year. I'd try to add as much to the funds as I could as they will start you out with the limit you currently have, but they will give you increases.
At this point, another card or switching cards will do nothing to help your credit, you should not be looking to upgrade cards for at least 6 months, but I would wait at least a year. You want to save the inquiries for when you qualify for credit. 3 inquiries along with 3 new lines of credit don't look as bad as 12 inquiries and no new lines of credit. Just don't apply for more credit, take care of the accounts you have and things will get better.