Help 19 y/o establish credit & earn rewards

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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:38 am
Location: san diego

Help 19 y/o establish credit & earn rewards

Postby kurchack31 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:45 am

Hello everyone,

I'm 19 and looking to establish credit and earn rewards points. I have two credit cards now, chase freedom, and us flex perks.

My issue is, I go shopping for my parents restaurant twice a week at restaurant depot and get reimbursed for it. I spend close to $1000 per trip and my limit on both cards is $1000. I pay off the cards as soon as the charge is processed in order to use them the next week. This leaves me with no credit to use on other purchases.

I would like to have a few cards that cover all the bases ( gas, restaurants, etc). Freedom is nice but the cycles don't always provide me with good returns. I'd also like to find a card that maximizes my return at restaurant depot since that is where I get the bulk of my points. There seems to be no category for it (doesn't count as groceries) perhaps because it is wholesale. Perhaps I just need the best flat rate card. 2%? Is there something higher? How many cards can I have before it begins to look bad for my credit?

PS this is my first post on the forum so take it easy on me! Let's please keep this strictly to rewards and establishing credit please as most people try to lecture me on responsibility and debt (which are under control I promise)

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Postby JA. » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:31 am

Amex PRG or any of the charge cards since you pay it off as soon as the charge is processed anyway. And you can never look bad for having too many cards as long as they are all in good standing. However it will affect your AAoA's

Since you have the freedom already and why not get the discover IT as well that way you could always be in a cycle more relevant to you.
Amex Zync
Chase Marriot Premier
Discover IT
WF Platinum Cash Back

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Postby Bksuper » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 pm

Yes, you can get plenty of cards to maximize rewards and apply at the same time so they don't see each other's inquiries. Once you've built history, it won't look bad. Since you're 19, are you a student? If so, start with the Citi Forward for College Students (5% at book stores, amazon, entertainment venues, media stores, ITunes, but most importantly restaurants) If you have good enough credit already, the income you get from your parents as reimbursement can and should be counted, so you should qualify for some good cards outside of student. I'd recommend the PenFed PRV for gas and groceries and the US Bank Cash+ for restaurants if you aren't a student. Maybe your parents could apply jointly with you for those if you don't have adequate credit on your own?
Sole Ownership Cards:
1st Financial Bank Platinum Student Visa, $500 CL, Open Since 3/2012
Citi Forward Student Visa, $6k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Costco TrueEarnings Amex, $6k CL, Backdates to 1/2012
SallieMae Rewards Barclay Mastercard, $2.5k CL, Open Since 4/2013
Jointly Owned Cards (co-owner with mom, not AU, used and paid only by me):
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, $2k CL, Open Since 8/2012
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, $13.5k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Authorized User (Parents Pay/Use)
Costco TrueEarnings Amex $29.4k CL, AU since 11/2012

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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:38 am
Location: san diego

Postby kurchack31 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:17 pm


I will look into pre paid cards like the prg. I am a student, so the cities forward card is extremely attractive. I'll look into the pen fed card as well. I was also considering the fidelity 2% card since the 2% will be very helpful with my restaurant shopping.

Unfortunately I'll have to be on my own, my parents are not in a position to help with credit cards due to other reasons.

On another note, I have had my chase card for over 8 months and my us card for about 5. It is such a pain to get my limits raised. I fear that they won't raise my limits since I am constantly at about 80% and that shows badly. But if they raised my limit then I would be at a lower percentage of my limit. It's a circle I can't seem to escape. Getting my chase from a $500 to $1000 limit was like pulling teeth. Any advice in this?

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Postby im_mr_awesome » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:31 am

I've had some serious difficulty in getting credit limit increases as well... I have a $4k best buy card that hovers around 90% and I'm certain that's the account holding me back. I paid $2k on that card in the first quarter and did get a CLI with my bill me later account from $250 to $950 shortly after.

If you can keep your cards low for even a few weeks around when credit scores are updated every quarter, you might get a CLI on your cards? There are lots of factors that could keep your limits low, including the length of time you've had the accounts open.
Scores on the mend...
FICO: 653 (5/2017, PenFed)
Cards I Use Amex Delta Gold, Discover IT, Chase Amazon Prime VS, Capital One QuickSilver MC
Sock Drawer AE Visa, CareCredit, several store cards for util padding
Next Card Amex Everyday

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