- Centurion Member
- Posts: 538
- Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:29 am
- Location: San Francisco, CA
It is confirmed that the highest FICO score if you have multiple credit cards that you report 0 balance on all cards but 1. That one card with balance should be between 1%-9% of both the card and total utilization. Depending your FICO scorecard and other factors, the percentage changes where you maximize your FICO score. You'll have to play around with it to see what it does for you. Remember this is just on what is reported to CRAs and that depends on the credit issuer (some report on certain day, some report at statement day, some on due date). You need to determine when your cards report to really control this and definitely pick a card to keep a small balance on that reports on statement date so you don't pay any interest to get that FICO bump (remember has to be at least 1%)
Also, while utilization is super important, there is really no reason to manage it unless you just like seeing a high score or expect a credit event. For things like CLI, sometimes overmanaging your utilization hurts you as banks also take into account your bank scorecard (sucker score), which measures how profitable you are to the bank (ie paying interest and spending) and look at your previous history in handling credit (which if you manage utilization will show you never charge anything).
As for your AMEX question, here is the deal. AMEX reports on statement date (which changes every month). So if you pay before statement date in time to register (2-3 days) and charge nothing, it will report $0 to credit bureau. Now here is the complicated part. Most modern FICO scoring models do not take charge cards (Terms show as 1 month. ie PIF required every month) into account with regards to your utilization. So you should be able to charge away on your AMEX plat,gold,green,black,etc. However some older FICO scores (TU98 comes to mind) do seem to take it into account. In that case, they compare the current reported balance and use the highest reported balance (forget if 12 or 18 or 24 months) as the credit limit. It is a good idea assuming no credit event that month, to charge everything that month to the AMEX charge card and let it report a high balance to help you in the future.
I can tell you when I was applying for a credit card and asked for high limit from credit union. The guy specifically quoted my AMEX 40k balance showing that I could handle high balances easily. Not sure how the automated CLI systems do it, but definitely under manual review, reported balances help. Go pull your raw credit report sometime. It shows details on your monthly payments such as amount owed/minimum payment due/amount paid. FICO doesn't take that stuff into account, but other scorecards might
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k