Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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Vattené
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Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby Vattené » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:57 am

It has been a couple of months since we closed on the house, so I figured it was finally time to go for a Sallie Mae. My wife applied last week because she has much fewer cards in her profile than I do....instant approval for $10,000.

She couldn't believe the CL. Not even a year and a half ago (shortly after I got my Discover it) she applied for a Freedom and was completely turned down. What a difference baddies falling off a report makes.

Still waiting for the card to arrive. You can tell it isn't a high-end card at all: I think expedited shipping was $15. I'm in no rush to get it, though. It isn't a very sexy card, but it will be a workhorse for the limited spending we will put on it. I really hope our Walmart will be categorized as grocery (I've seen reports of some that have been), but if it isn't it will just be a gas card. It's still be worth it to me for a non-AF card that gets 5% back on gas. I'm currently using a Walmart card exclusively for gas anyway, and the $250 cap won't be an issue for us (thanks to our Prius).

I'm slowly building up MRs on the ED, but I am just too hesitant to put a lot of spending on a points system AND pay an annual fee for it. We're not big spenders so it takes longer to rack up enough points to get a really good value, and the potential for nerfing isn't worth it in my eyes. I'm happy with a strong cash back card for this category.
-Vattené
FICO-8: EX - 827 (5/17) | TU - 824 (5/17)
My Cards: Barclay Arrival+ | Discover it | Amex ED
AU:: Discover Miles | BofA BBR | Barclay Commence (SD'd)


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:26 pm

**I thought originally that Barclaycard was giving higher limits on the card now, but creditboards suggests that the CLs aren't changing - just the World vs. Platinum criteria. It used to be the case that any SM under $5k was Platinum, but I think all new SMs are now World (even under $1k). The main differences are that World (and World Elite) MCs have higher fees for merchants and generally have a soft CL - not that anyone would really need one on SM.

So a $10k CL is perhaps a bit surprising. I don't know if her being an AU helped.

Also, I've used SM pretty much exclusively for 5% stuff (ignoring the bonus, I probably average like 4.75% cash back on it). They haven't given me any AA, but they haven't invited me to participate in any promotional rewards programs, either. Maybe off-category spending will encourage them to include you in the promos, but I don't know. I'd just focus on using it for 5% stuff, and accept any promos if and when they come.

I've also had my share of new accounts, which they generally dislike.**

I've found it's a bit immaterial with low bonus caps, though. Sallie Mae probably beats the Banana Republic Visa for V/MC-only merchants.

Barclaycard does take their time in putting cards in the mail. Expect it to take 7-10 days to arrive, or whatever they said.

They'll email you about one day after they mail it to say it's coming. I got the Platinum version (perhaps because my highest then-reporting CL was $2k) with $4.5k in 8/14. It's purple and even uglier than the World version. :ppp

As far as annual fees, nerfing, and MRs..it's a risk. EDP seems vulnerable to nerfing, but a PC to ED is a good option in that case. I don't use Sallie Mae much, but I do keep it open. It's also a nice SD/backup card in case I lose my wallet (locally).
Last edited by CarefulBuilder14 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

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Vattené
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby Vattené » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:36 pm

I was expecting she'd get approved and with a decent limit, but I was surprised it was five figures. Its her first non-store account (since we've been together, not counting from when she got in a little credit trouble), probably twice her highest limit and ten times her second highest limit. I wonder if being an authorized user on my cards helped. It seems like high limits beget high limits, but it would be interesting to know the extent to which that applies for AUs (if at all). *Edited to Add: you are right about it being immaterial, though. Even if we got a toy $500 CL, it would probably never interfere with our usage of the card.*

The Banana Republic Visa is as good as I could ever expect from a store account (or perhaps cobranded card is more accurate?), but yes, if I'm ever in a situation where I can use credit but not Discover or Amex, the Sallie Mae will be my preference (but that has only happened a handful of times since I've been using credit cards). I've contemplated whether I should ever willingly use it for something that isn't a 5% category, but I don't think I will. I can't say what the likelihood is that Barclay would ever take AA, but it is small and would take a while anyway. If it did happen I've got plenty of other options. Can't say that I would blame them because I definitely plan on costing them money in the long run.

Is the Platinum a rung lower than the World/WE? I've seen plenty of discussion from people wanting them, but I honestly don't know the distinctions and doubt I would use the benefits much, if at all. This will be my first MasterCard.
-Vattené
FICO-8: EX - 827 (5/17) | TU - 824 (5/17)
My Cards: Barclay Arrival+ | Discover it | Amex ED
AU:: Discover Miles | BofA BBR | Barclay Commence (SD'd)

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:40 pm

I clarified and corrected some stuff in my last post.

On the topic of nerfing AF cards, though...a good signup bonus can go a long way towards providing protection.

I've come to see that nerfing just happens, AF or no. The majority of card changes are bad, and cards change often. When one AF card no longer makes sense, another can replace it. No-AF cards can keep my AAoA momentum going. There is a lot of room between only using no-AF cards and intentional bonus-hunting and AF-dodging. Not that the latter is bad - but it does come with risks.

With the timing of the airfare credit, I can see myself possibly closing PRG in the spring of 2016. I expect to fly in December 2015 and January 2016, so I plan to really suck that calendar-year airfare credit dry. :D

Amex can get my spring 2016 AF if they don't nerf PRG and throw a decent offer or two my way. :ppp
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

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Vattené
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby Vattené » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:33 pm

Oh, definitely. If a change comes to a particular card, it is typically for the worse. New products are always being introduced and heavily marketed, and it's generally better to just jump ship for the next new thing strictly from a rewards perspective.

I'm certainly not opposed to an AF on principal, just haven't come across anything I am willing to pay yet. Before I got a mortgage I also needed to be really confident I would keep a card long term, but I am open to churning now.
-Vattené
FICO-8: EX - 827 (5/17) | TU - 824 (5/17)
My Cards: Barclay Arrival+ | Discover it | Amex ED
AU:: Discover Miles | BofA BBR | Barclay Commence (SD'd)

takeshi
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby takeshi » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:34 am

Vattené wrote:I'm slowly building up MRs on the ED, but I am just too hesitant to put a lot of spending on a points system AND pay an annual fee for it.

Unfortunately you need to run a lot of spend through such a card to make the cost/benefit work out.

Vattené wrote:It seems like high limits beget high limits

Limits play a role but there's no such direct causal relationship as that meme indicates. One with high limits can certainly get a low (which is relative) limit card depending on one's credit. Credit and income that meet the creditor's underwriting requirements are what actually beget high limits but those that don't have a good sense of causality note that they a high limit card and then another high limit card and assume that the causality is based on the limits instead of what the creditor actually looked at to set each of those limits.

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Also, I've used SM pretty much exclusively for 5% stuff (ignoring the bonus, I probably average like 4.75% cash back on it). They haven't given me any AA

They're not going to AA for only using 5% categories. The only card I have that sees any non-category spend is the CSP.

Vattené wrote:Is the Platinum a rung lower than the World/WE? I've seen plenty of discussion from people wanting them, but I honestly don't know the distinctions and doubt I would use the benefits much, if at all. This will be my first MasterCard.

Yup. Benefits can vary by creditor and product but the tiers tend to come with certain benefits that may or may not be of specific use to an individual. Many want a higher tier because they think it indicates progress or status.

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Vattené
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby Vattené » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:45 am

takeshi wrote:Unfortunately you need to run a lot of spend through such a card to make the cost/benefit work out.

Yeah, that is why I'm happy Amex introduced a no-AF option for the MR system. I don't mind jumping through hoops and doing some research to get a good value out of rewards, and this lets me build up rewards without having to worry about offsetting a fee each year (or offsetting the costs in the long run). And I could cash out and net ahead, but the redemption is much worse which would make other cards better options anyway. There is no cost with the ED other than the time it takes to build up rewards for something very useful, but I prefer building up rewards for something bigger anyway.

takeshi wrote:Limits play a role but there's no such direct causal relationship as that meme indicates. One with high limits can certainly get a low (which is relative) limit card depending on one's credit. Credit and income that meet the creditor's underwriting requirements are what actually beget high limits but those that don't have a good sense of causality note that they a high limit card and then another high limit card and assume that the causality is based on the limits instead of what the creditor actually looked at to set each of those limits.

Certainly limits alone are not a major factor, but I do think the limits in one's profile are part of the history that helps warrant high limits in future applications. Of course credit and income determine limits, but the limits of other accounts are part of that large and complex "credit" category. While it is a meme on credit forums, no reasonable person perpetuating it would think other factors in one's credit going south would have no impact on credit limits going forward. I'm not saying Lendor A gets an application in and says "Uh oh, this person has a $10,000 CL from Lendor B. We better match that if we want them to use us." As an example, my Discover card started out at $4,200 and was by far my highest limit at the time. If I never requested a CLI, given the same income and perfect payment history, I suspect (can't know for sure, but suspect) I wouldn't be at the same limit on my Amex now. I request CLIs in part because I know I wouldn't end up with the same limits on those cards if I sat around and waited for auto-CLIs.
-Vattené
FICO-8: EX - 827 (5/17) | TU - 824 (5/17)
My Cards: Barclay Arrival+ | Discover it | Amex ED
AU:: Discover Miles | BofA BBR | Barclay Commence (SD'd)

morgacj2004
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Re: Finally Pulled the Trigger on a Sallie Mae.

Postby morgacj2004 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:18 pm

Congrats! Nice ICL



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