Help me get my ultimate credit card collection

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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guitarlifter
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Help me get my ultimate credit card collection

Postby guitarlifter » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:14 am

Ok, so I am completely new to credit cards (with the exception of store-specific credit cards, which I rarely/never use anyway). This month, I was at a bank, which suggested that I apply for a credit card, so I did and, to my surprise, I was approved. They told me about the rewards program, which excited me. This was the PNC Cash Builder card that I got approved for.

Next, I was on my paypal account, and it advertised a credit card that seemingly had even better rewards, so I applied for that one, and I also got approved for that one. Next thing I knew, I had applied for several different credit cards, some of which I was approved, and others for which I wasn't approved.

Here are all of the credit cards that I have applied for this month:

-PNC Cash Builder (approved, $1,000 credit limit)
-PayPal Extras (approved, $3,000 credit limit)
-Chase Freedom (approved, $1,200 limit)
-Bank of America Cash Rewards (approved, unknown limit because it has not yet arrived)
-Discover It (originally approved, but I canceled the card because I didn't know that there was a special promotion for $150 if you spend $750 during the first 3 months, so I was told that I could reapply after 45 days for another one)
-Chase Amazon Rewards (denied, waiting for reasons why in mail)
-Capital One Quicksilver (denied [I think], waiting for reasons why in mail)

Keep in mind that all four of my cards are new as of this month, so cancelling any card shouldn't lower my average account age.

I am trying to get a wide variety of different cards so as to maximize the rewards earning potential because who doesn't want more cash? After doing some research, I am going to attempt to get the following collection of cards (some of which I already have, and some I wish to cancel if it won't negatively affect my score too much):

1. Discover It (mainly for the great rotating 5% cash back options along with the great 5-20% off mall options)
2. Chase Freedom (mainly for the 5% cash back on gas 2 quarters out of the year plus the 5% cash back on amazon.com later this year and on many other stores)
3. Bank of America Cash Rewards (mainly for the 3% cash back on gas for when Chase Freedom doesn't offer 5% cash back on gas 2 quarters out of the year)
4. Chase Amazon Rewards (mainly for the 3% cash back on amazon.com purchases)
5. Capital One Quicksilver (for all other purchases where I can't get above 1% cash back)
6. American Express Blue Cash Every Day (mainly for the 3% cash back on groceries)

So that's two that I already have (Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Rewards), two I was denied (Capital One Quicksilver, Chase Amazon Rewards), one for which I originally was accepted, but canceled so I can reapply for better benefits (Discover), and one for which I have yet to apply because I am assuming I was rejected the other two because I applied for too many at once.

I am 24 years old, and my credit score according to PNC before I applied for any credit cards was 723 according to TransUnion. Whatever Chase uses gave me a 688 (Card Acquisition Risk Score) after having applied for several credit cards. Bank of America gave me a score of 768 from Experian after having applied for several credit cards already. Furthermore, my income is about $25,000, and I pay no rent since I live with my parents.

On my Bank of America acceptance letter, my key factors for things that negatively affected my credit score were as follows:

1. Length of time revolving accounts have been established.
2. Ratio of loan balances to loan amounts
3. Lack of recent bank/national revolving information
4. Time since most recent account opening

Furthermore, Chase gave me the following on a document that came with my Chase Freedom card:

1. Number of general purpose credit cards
2. Number of requests for new credit in the past 3 months
3. Balances on accounts compared to credit extended

So it sounds like I applied for to many credit cards at once, which I get, although I feel like I have good enough credit for any of those cards. I also have no balances on any of those cards despite having used about $400-500 already and immediately paying it off. I did go through college and acquire some loans though although they are still deferred until the end of this year, and some of them aren't even under my name, but my parents' names.

So long story short, how should I go about things if I wish to acquire the credit cards I listed? Should I just wait and use what I already have and apply in a few months since it appears as though I applied for too many at once? Should I attempt to repeal their decisions? Should I close a card account or two (I really want to close the PayPal one since its rewards are not as good as I originally had thought, and I want to close the PNC Cash Builder one as well once I get the Capital One Quicksilver)?

I don't plan on maxing out these cards or anything like that. I just want to maximize my cash back and build good credit (once I get those cards, I plan on riding them for a long time building good credit) is all. Thanks!
Whats's in the wallet: Discover It - $3,800 (5% rotating, ShopDiscover), Sallie Mae Rewards MC - $1,000 (5% on gas, groceries, and Amazon), Chase Freedom Visa - $1,200 (5% rotating + 10% extra w/ Chase Total Checking), PayPal Extras MC (1.66% on PayPal, 2.5% on Restaurants- $3,000, Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa Signature - $5,000 (Signature benefits), PNC CashBuilder Visa - $1,000 (Don't use), Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex - $5,000 (2% on everything)

. . . and some store credit/charge cards.

Future cards:

-US Bank Cash+ (for the 5% categories)
-1-2 0% APR cards for some big purchases I'll be making within the year


darkguy2
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Postby darkguy2 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:04 am

I am not sure what you mean about the Discover IT. Did you get approved but canceled it?
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)

thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:09 am

First Suggestion - Get your true FICO scores as a benchmark of where you are and where you want to be. The scores you noted may or may not be FICO (if it doesn't say FICO on the correspondence, it likely isn't). The scores you indicated are rather diverse, from a 688 to a 768, usually (but not always) broader than what one gets from FICO.

Go to MyFico.com to get your scores. You can get a discount on all three scores, but purchase them individually, using the following discount code on each submission: E1402BDY20FST if you do it this month. If you do it in March use E1403BDY20FST as the promo/discount code. It knocks $5 off the cost of each report. The codes don't work for the tri-pull, have to put each CR in your cart and then proceed to checkout.

Go through the reports thoroughly, for accuracy and completeness, not just for the score. And speaking of score, you'll get an old Transunion score (TU98-a model not used very much by lenders), the Equifax Beacon 5.0, the one nearly all lenders use, and the Experian 08 model, being used more and more, but is more recent than the 04 model that many lenders use.

Apply for that Discover card when you can. Besides being a good card with great customer service, you get a free FICO score from TU (TU08) on your monthly statement.

As for the rewards cards, only you can decide what your needs are and how the cards would best fit those needs. Your post looks to have an ambitious group of cards. If those are what you want, then go for it; but keep in mind it may take time (and a bit more income) to accumulate.
Retired, and in the process of retiring cards!
EQ = 846 EX=828 TU = 836 as of 02/2016

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:10 am

Yep. He cancelled it to apply in 45 days to get the sign up bonus, assuming it's still available then. I consider that a mistake because you still will take the inquiry and especially if they have the account show.


Honestly not sure why you'd want more cards this is a hell of a good start. Use these a while and 6 months or a year down the road consider if you want anything else in the rotating. Once these report your average age of account will be low for a while and the inquiries will down your score a bit in the near term but the cards will boost your score back over time.

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otter
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Postby otter » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Based on the information given, I would...

(1) Keep the PayPal card open because the credit line will grow quickly. And the rewards aren't that bad- I look at it as my 2.4% reward card for restaurants when the It and Freedom cards aren't doing restaurants (so two quarters out of the year). Not quite the 3%, but still not bad.
(2) Consider the Sallie Mae MC which gives 5% off the first $250 each on groceries and gas each month. It also gives 5% back on the first $750 spent on books- I have heard (but not tested myself) that Sallie Mae treats Amazon.com as books. If you get the Sallie Mae card, you may find that the Bank of America rewards card seems a little obsolete. The same with the Amex BCE- I've actually closed my BoA rewards card and sockdrawered my BCE card.
(3) I used to have the Cap One Quicksilver card, but closed it because I realized I didn't need a "everything else" category card all that much. IMHO, the Barclay Arrival would be my choice if I found I needed an all-purpose rewards card.

We all have different needs for cards and different spending patterns, so take a month and see what your typical month's spending pattern is and try to see what works for you. It took me a while to get the mix I like and I wasted a few hard pulls getting that mix, so choose wisely...
In my Wallet:
  • Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
  • Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
  • Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
  • Discover It $2750[8-13]
  • BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
Sometimes in my Wallet:
  • GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
  • Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
  • BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
Total CL: $90450

guitarlifter
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Postby guitarlifter » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:05 pm

thom02099 wrote:First Suggestion - Get your true FICO scores as a benchmark of where you are and where you want to be. The scores you noted may or may not be FICO (if it doesn't say FICO on the correspondence, it likely isn't). The scores you indicated are rather diverse, from a 688 to a 768, usually (but not always) broader than what one gets from FICO.

Go to MyFico.com to get your scores. You can get a discount on all three scores, but purchase them individually, using the following discount code on each submission: E1402BDY20FST if you do it this month. If you do it in March use E1403BDY20FST as the promo/discount code. It knocks $5 off the cost of each report. The codes don't work for the tri-pull, have to put each CR in your cart and then proceed to checkout.

Go through the reports thoroughly, for accuracy and completeness, not just for the score. And speaking of score, you'll get an old Transunion score (TU98-a model not used very much by lenders), the Equifax Beacon 5.0, the one nearly all lenders use, and the Experian 08 model, being used more and more, but is more recent than the 04 model that many lenders use.

Apply for that Discover card when you can. Besides being a good card with great customer service, you get a free FICO score from TU (TU08) on your monthly statement.

As for the rewards cards, only you can decide what your needs are and how the cards would best fit those needs. Your post looks to have an ambitious group of cards. If those are what you want, then go for it; but keep in mind it may take time (and a bit more income) to accumulate.


I just checked my original Discover approval mail, and it said that my FICO was 723 as of Feb 17th, which was after I had applied for and gotten accepted for both the PNC CashBuilder and the PayPal Extras Mastercard, so it possibly could have changed based on the applications I sent in.

But anyhow, I should be good for a while in terms of cards because, even if I do get those other cards, I wouldn't be using them right now because I need to acquire the $100 cash back bonuses that Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Rewards offer.

Anyhow, regardless of whether or not I get accepted by the other credit card companies, I am not so sure that I want to keep the PayPal Extras Mastercard. Its points expire in two years, and, with 6,000 points giving $50 cash back, that effectively makes its points worth $.0083 per point especially when I won't be using its 3x points on gas since Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Rewards already offer a full 5% and 3% respectively back on gas, and their points don't expire either. I calculated things, and, with the points expiring in two years and based on how I have spent in the past year, I'd most likely spend enough to get around 6,000 points after two years (although this could easily change as I will be moving out of my parents' house and acquiring a more lucrative job within the next year).

I called the number on the back of my card, and they basically told me that there was nothing that they could do about the points expiring. Keeping in mind that one of my credit reports I received when I received one of my cards told me that I had too many credit cards, should I get rid of this one? I don't want to hurt my credit score by doing so, but I do know that, since all of my credit cards are the same age, I wouldn't be hurting my average account age. I have $0 account balances on all of my cards as well.

To make things short on what I was trying to say over the past two paragraphs is: Would canceling my paypal extras mastercard increase my chances of being accepted for other credit cards?

Btw, I got my Bank of America Cash Rewards card today, and it was approved for a credit line of $5,000. Not bad! They gave me no credit score though.
Whats's in the wallet: Discover It - $3,800 (5% rotating, ShopDiscover), Sallie Mae Rewards MC - $1,000 (5% on gas, groceries, and Amazon), Chase Freedom Visa - $1,200 (5% rotating + 10% extra w/ Chase Total Checking), PayPal Extras MC (1.66% on PayPal, 2.5% on Restaurants- $3,000, Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa Signature - $5,000 (Signature benefits), PNC CashBuilder Visa - $1,000 (Don't use), Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex - $5,000 (2% on everything)



. . . and some store credit/charge cards.



Future cards:



-US Bank Cash+ (for the 5% categories)

-1-2 0% APR cards for some big purchases I'll be making within the year

thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:32 pm

guitarlifter wrote:I just checked my original Discover approval mail, and it said that my FICO was 723 as of Feb 17th, which was after I had applied for and gotten accepted for both the PNC CashBuilder and the PayPal Extras Mastercard, so it possibly could have changed based on the applications I sent in.

But anyhow, I should be good for a while in terms of cards because, even if I do get those other cards, I wouldn't be using them right now because I need to acquire the $100 cash back bonuses that Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Rewards offer.

Anyhow, regardless of whether or not I get accepted by the other credit card companies, I am not so sure that I want to keep the PayPal Extras Mastercard. Its points expire in two years, and, with 6,000 points giving $50 cash back, that effectively makes its points worth $.0083 per point especially when I won't be using its 3x points on gas since Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Rewards already offer a full 5% and 3% respectively back on gas, and their points don't expire either. I calculated things, and, with the points expiring in two years and based on how I have spent in the past year, I'd most likely spend enough to get around 6,000 points after two years (although this could easily change as I will be moving out of my parents' house and acquiring a more lucrative job within the next year).

I called the number on the back of my card, and they basically told me that there was nothing that they could do about the points expiring. Keeping in mind that one of my credit reports I received when I received one of my cards told me that I had too many credit cards, should I get rid of this one? I don't want to hurt my credit score by doing so, but I do know that, since all of my credit cards are the same age, I wouldn't be hurting my average account age. I have $0 account balances on all of my cards as well.

[color="red"]To make things short on what I was trying to say over the past two paragraphs is: Would canceling my paypal extras mastercard increase my chances of being accepted for other credit cards?

Btw, I got my Bank of America Cash Rewards card today, and it was approved for a credit line of $5,000. Not bad! They gave me no credit score though.[/color]


Regarding the Paypals MasterCard situation, I don't think it will significantly impact one way or the other. And if it's no use to you, why keep it? Just did something similar with an AMEX Clear, replacing it with a Blue Cash Preferred.

Congrats on the BofA Cash Rewards Card! With a limit of $5K, and they didn't provide you a score, you likely got their best terms; issuers don't have to provide scores if best terms are offered. AND you have a net gain of $2K if you decide to delete the PayPal MC, so the loss of the $3K will be less significant. That $5K also opens more doors for you in the future.

EDIT: Ref the PayPal MasterCard, if there's no AF why not just SD it? Additional CL thus assisting your utilization. Pull it out every few months, make a small charge, and just keep it open.
Retired, and in the process of retiring cards!
EQ = 846 EX=828 TU = 836 as of 02/2016

guitarlifter
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Postby guitarlifter » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:15 pm

thom02099 wrote:Congrats on the BofA Cash Rewards Card! With a limit of $5K, and they didn't provide you a score, you likely got their best terms; issuers don't have to provide scores if best terms are offered. AND you have a net gain of $2K if you decide to delete the PayPal MC, so the loss of the $3K will be less significant. That $5K also opens more doors for you in the future.


I am asking this out of ignorance, but why does the BoA Cash Rewards Card with a limit of $5k open up more doors for me in the future? Is it a good thing to have a high combined credit limit or something like that? What are the benefits of having a high credit limit beyond being able to spend more? Also, what does it mean to get a bank's best terms?

Also, per a recommendation by otter, I am not only going to keep the PayPal extras since I didn't realize how much I use paypal ($2,000-$2,500 a year), but I also got approved for a Sallie Mae Rewards Mastercard ($1k credit limit). The Sallie Mae Card looks like it might be the best card for me overall because now I can get 5% back on gas and even at Walmart since my Walmart has groceries. I also shop heavily on amazon, so this card will probably earn me quite the return.

So now the BoA card looks like its the odd man out. Between the Chase Freedom (5% CB 2 quarters of the year) and the Sallie Mae card (offers 5% CB on gas all year), I don't feel like I really have the need for this card unless just having it is beneficial (perhaps for its high credit limit?)

So I have the Chase Freedom, the PayPal Extras, Sallie Mae Rewards, BoA Cash Rewards, and the PNC Cash Builder. I'm not really pressed to get the Chase Amazon rewards card like I was before now that I have the Sallie Mae card although it would be nice to still have it for when I go over $750 in Amazon purchases. I could still just use it to buy gift cards well in advance if I anticipate spending more one month on amazon. Plus amazon gift cards at Walmart can still count as groceries as well. Also really have no use for getting a Blue Cash card either.

Really the only two cards I don't have but want are the Discover It (with the $150 cash back bonus) and the Capital One Quicksilver.

Things are shaping up.
Whats's in the wallet: Discover It - $3,800 (5% rotating, ShopDiscover), Sallie Mae Rewards MC - $1,000 (5% on gas, groceries, and Amazon), Chase Freedom Visa - $1,200 (5% rotating + 10% extra w/ Chase Total Checking), PayPal Extras MC (1.66% on PayPal, 2.5% on Restaurants- $3,000, Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa Signature - $5,000 (Signature benefits), PNC CashBuilder Visa - $1,000 (Don't use), Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex - $5,000 (2% on everything)



. . . and some store credit/charge cards.



Future cards:



-US Bank Cash+ (for the 5% categories)

-1-2 0% APR cards for some big purchases I'll be making within the year

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Postby takeshi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:03 am

guitarlifter wrote:Keep in mind that all four of my cards are new as of this month, so cancelling any card shouldn't lower my average account age.

The hit to AAoA has already been done by opening the accounts. Closing doesn't immediately impact AAoA. AAoA isn't affected until the account falls off 10 years down the road. It's utilization that is immediately affected by closure.

guitarlifter wrote:I am trying to get a wide variety of different cards so as to maximize the rewards earning potential because who doesn't want more cash?

I'd suggest looking at your specific spend and selecting cards that offer maximum rewards for your spend versus just casting a generally wide net for rewards. 5+% on a category you never spend in is pointless.

guitarlifter wrote:Keeping in mind that one of my credit reports I received when I received one of my cards told me that I had too many credit cards, should I get rid of this one?

Take those messages with a grain of salt.

guitarlifter wrote:Would canceling my paypal extras mastercard increase my chances of being accepted for other credit cards?

Probaby no big impact one way or another. Again, inquiries and AAoA have already been impacted. Closure would affect utilization. Calculate utilization before and after. If you don't have balances then it probably won't have much impact on utilization either.

guitarlifter wrote:They gave me no credit score though.

Then you qualified for the best terms available.

thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:01 am

guitarlifter wrote:I am asking this out of ignorance, but why does the BoA Cash Rewards Card with a limit of $5k open up more doors for me in the future? Is it a good thing to have a high combined credit limit or something like that? What are the benefits of having a high credit limit beyond being able to spend more? Also, what does it mean to get a bank's best terms?
.


Once you get a card with a $5K limit (the so-called mythical door opener), one is more likely to get approved for another card with that limit, and another, and another, if you strategically apply for cards. Some folks advocate going on "app sprees" and applying for everything at once, the shotgun approach, in hopes of a $5K limit card being approved. I recommend a more measured approach, planning your applications and spacing them out...every 3 months, every 6 months, whatever feels right. I personally was more of an every 4months kinda guy and it worked well for me.

After having a handful of cards in my younger days, I went on a "cash or debit card only" spree, not using any credit cards. When I felt the need for cards again, the first one I applied for was the 1st Command Visa, which was the "darling" of cards at the time amongst forum dwellers. They were generous with a $5K limit to start. When I went to apply for other cards, the various $5K limit cards just seemed to come with ease. Many folks have reported anecdotally of the same thing; once you get one, the rest can come easy. But as always, YMMV.

Having a high credit limit, either individually or as a group of cards, lessens your utility and thus your exposure to credit score changes. One can have a $100K limit and charge $10K on cards and not blink an eye, since the utility is only 10%. The trick of course is to keep the payments PIF by the due date.

Getting the bank's best terms means you get the best APR they offer. If they have a range of 7.5% to 21.5% and you get the card with the 7.5%, you've gotten their best rate for APR. Under that circumstance, the card issuer doesn't have to provide a credit score, they've given their best terms so it's not required. If they offered you 12.5%, then that's not their best APR and they would provide the credit score used.
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EQ = 846 EX=828 TU = 836 as of 02/2016



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