More credit cards vs. debit

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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circle_k
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More credit cards vs. debit

Postby circle_k » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:13 am

Would anyone with several credit cards also use a prepaid card? I know it sounds silly and I've avoided the prepaid route because of the high fees. These days there isn't much interest to be made on a savings account and I've seen several bank checking accounts with fees. I've been doing some reading on here and I've been looking at Amex Bluebird, more with curiosity than anything. Here's what I was thinking, Bluebird doesn't have a monthly fee, so I could make payments each month to the card, then in a few months I'll have a couple thousand on the card.

I like to keep charging a little bit on my cards to keep them reporting as current and in good standing. As many people here have figured out, thin credit files aren't very cool, you want your older accounts for a longer history. The object isn't to stop using credit, but to use some credit, then buy some things you want without having to worry about paying the money back.

I have a bank checking account, but I keep money in there I need to pay bills and I could see the advantage of having a second account, but is it a wise thing to do? Another issue is privacy, credit card issuers track usage internally and using only one credit card makes it easy for them to create a profile of us. Exactly how information on how our spending history is used is a big secret. Things we know, if 90% of the cardholders who default are previous big spenders at WalMart, then excessive usage at WalMart could get us flagged. One school of thought is to have several cards and rotate cards so all purchases from discount stores aren't all put on one card. The upside of this, while Chase can review my usage of their card and look for problem signs, they can't share the information with Citi or Bank of America. On the same token Amex Bluebird can't share my purchase history with Chase and I think it's separate from the Amex that issues charge cards as Bluebird is more like a checking account.

I kind of think 3 is about the right number of credit cards, one is kind of my fall back in case one of my cards is lost, damaged or otherwise has problems. Now I need to decide if a couple more cards are the answer or if something prepaid is a better answer. Input here would be a good thing, more input, more input, number 5 needs more input!


jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:40 am

I don't see what the benefit of a prepaid card would be for someone who has mainstream credit cards with credit limits that accommodate their needs. Prepaid cards are even more scary to me than debit cards. I wouldn't walk around with one that had any significant balance on it.
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 (Amazon.com, 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.

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:12 pm

If you have a permanent Amex prepaid card or the Amex Bluebird (which is the best prepaid card I've seen), you can call them up if it gets lost and they'll send a new card. I don't recommend these cards if you have to pay fees, but with the Bluebird there are ways to avoid them.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:38 am

I want to get rewards for my spending. All credit, all the time. I will buy gift cards if I need to.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

circle_k
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Postby circle_k » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:04 pm

I guess I asked the question too soon. The place where I really wanted to use it doesn't take Amex, I think Amex is going broke and the prepaid business is a last ditch effort to keep afloat.

Robrus1
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Postby Robrus1 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:58 am

circle_k wrote:I guess I asked the question too soon. The place where I really wanted to use it doesn't take Amex, I think Amex is going broke and the prepaid business is a last ditch effort to keep afloat.


Out of curiosity, why do you think Amex is going broke?
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

Daniel
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Postby Daniel » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:20 pm

Robrus1 wrote:Out of curiosity, why do you think Amex is going broke?


Second this question.

To add some value, I was wondering, do you not keep a visa or mastercard based card? If you have the ability to get a 1% discount on your purchase by using a rewards card, and handle your credit responsibly, why wouldn't using another card make sense?



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