Credit Card recommendation for Recent Graduate?

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Lawyer_Milloy
 
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Credit Card recommendation for Recent Graduate?

Postby Lawyer_Milloy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:49 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm about to graduate from college and begin working full time. I have two cards right now - a Discover student card with a $2000 limit and an Amex Hilton card with a ~$15,000 limit. I'm planning on getting rid of both and getting a single card to use for everything. I was thinking about the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Amex Gold, but am looking for something that would maximize rewards. Here's some stats:

-775 FICO, 850 vantage score according to credit karma
-$70k salary + bonuses (not guaranteed, but expected 50-100% of salary. Not sure if I should include this under annual income for applications)
-No home/auto/student loan debt
-Around 2 years of credit history
-Cards paid in full every month (never paid late)

The main thing I'm worried about is my relatively short credit history and my lack of any kind of history other than credit card. Would this be an issue if applying for a card like the CSP or Amex Gold? Most of my credit card spending is related to dining or shopping, so are there any cards that would maximize benefits from those areas? Thanks for any help.


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JMR
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Postby JMR » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:46 pm

I would suggest not closing your current cards because that will hurt your utilization and AAoA. If most of your credit card spending is on dining and spending CSP isn't bad. It all depends if you want travel rewards or cash back. If you don't travel I would highly suggest the US Bank Cash + 5% cash back in two categories (Restaurants and Department Stores per say), 2% cash back on gas or groceries or drug stores, and 1% on everything else. Your credit seems to be good enough to be able to get it. Only catch is you cannot apply online fore this card.

JMR
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select- $5000 (3/15)
American Express Gold- NPSL (3/15)
Chase Freedom- $1200 (3/15)
Nordstrom- $1500 (9/14)
Discover IT- $1000 (2/14)

TCL: $8700

FICO (TU)- 716 (3/15)

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:36 pm

You would be better off to PC them if you can, say PC the student IT to the regular IT (I don't know if they do that but the worst they can say is no) and the Amex to another revolver if they will also do that, rather than close. The Discover is a nice card to have and the Amex has a really nice limit. I wouldn't close them outright as JMR says.


Chase likes to see 2 years of revolving history and a 5k plus limit for CSP (NOT chiseled in stone just they like to see that) so that will help you. You should have a shot. I wouldn't list bonuses that aren't guaranteed - it could come back to bite you if they verify.

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otter
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Postby otter » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:44 pm

Lawyer_Milloy wrote: I'm planning on getting rid of both and getting a single card to use for everything. I was thinking about the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Amex Gold, but am looking for something that would maximize rewards.


Unfortunately, there is no "swiss army knife" credit card for most of us. There is no magic card which maximizes rewards regardless of spending patterns. What might be a great card (or mix of cards) for me might be a so-so card for you, and might be terrible for someone else. Even the mix of cards you have today might be inadequate tomorrow (especially since you are graduating and your spending patterns six months from now might be hard for you to predict right now).

I wouldn't close the cards you have now and would see about product changing if they don't meet your needs. Once you get your job ater graduation... you'll probably have a better idea after a few months about what cards will really maximize your rewards.
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

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:45 am

Lawyer_Milloy wrote:The main thing I'm worried about is my relatively short credit history and my lack of any kind of history other than credit card.

Then don't close your existing cards. While they will continue to report for 10 years you probably want to keep 2-3 open for ideal credit scoring. Additionally, closing a $15K tradeline will drastically affect your utilization.

Lawyer_Milloy wrote:Most of my credit card spending is related to dining or shopping, so are there any cards that would maximize benefits from those areas? Thanks for any help.

What shopping categories? At what types of stores? Reward categories on spend tend to be a bit more specific than just "shopping". Who would you be redeeming rewards with? Look carefully at the Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards transfer partners as transfers generally offer greater rewards value.



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