Which card should I get next?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
7 posts
Sevenfeet
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Which card should I get next?

Postby Sevenfeet » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:46 pm

I need some help from this group who play the card game a lot more than I ever have.

My wife and I are trying to be smarter about what cards we carry and how we use them. We accumulated a lot of debt over the last several years due to home renovations and some of my son's medical situation that was above and beyond our very good insurance. And honestly, we haven't been as good as we could have been. So here's what we have:

Chase Slate ($13.5K limit)
BofA World ($13.5K limit)
Amex Platinum

It's the Amex Platinum that's been the biggest problem. The interest rate is around 15 and change which seems to be typical around here but we've using it for many day-to-day purchases which it's not really the right card for, being that's it's best as a travel card. But we racked up so much debt on it that the interest rate was starting to get ugly on a month to month basis. We've cut our debt on the card dramatically in the last year but we'd like to transfer the rest to a card that has a better rate situation.

Enter the Chase Slate. This was my wife's card when we got married over a decade ago and had the best interest rate of all of our cards. Then at some point my wife called to get them to lower the rate and they did, then they lowered it again on their own. Now it's at a rate that's shockingly low...so low I dare mention it here. It was basically a great card for parking long term debt while we paid down other stuff. But the downside is that we had it near the limit and even for the stuff we did use it for, there were no benefits on the Slate. Considering the interest rate though, it wasn't a big deal.

But we decided to ask Chase for an increase so we could transfer the Amex and do away with using it for anything except travel and the Delta Sky Club (I travel for work). Chase initially declined us but noticed some obvious mistakes in my wife's credit report and ended up granting us an increase to $25K and offered to change the card to a Freedom and keep our rate. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance.

Neither other credit card company did anything close for us that Chase did (although BofA did change us to their 3-2-1 product but left the interest rate alone). So now I have two problems. First, I've been reading how people love the Sapphire Preferred card and use it in conjunction with a Freedom. Is there any harm in applying for one on my own (without my wife's credit history errors which we will fix) just after Chase has already done these mods for us? I am going to be making a $3K purchase soon so the benefits of the Sapphire Plus look intriguing for that alone. I carry a 750+ FICO score right now.

Lastly, there doesn't seem to be an active balance transfer program for the Freedom (which was partially the point of this exercise) but my wife remembers seeing those transfer checks come in the mail when we had a better debt ratio on that card a long time ago. Is that the case or do they just do balance transfer programs ever now and then?
Cards:
American Express Platinum (NPSL)
Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)
Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)
Fidelity American Express ($20K)
American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)
Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)
Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)
US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)
Discover IT ($4K)


Money card
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Postby Money card » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:01 am

First of all the chase slate is a non rewards card as you learned low interest no rewards. how did you get into interest problems using
a platinum premium card or do you mean that you have a delta platinum card?
since you travel on company business does your company supply you a corporate or small business card?

if they say you can have any card you want have you thought about the Capitol1 venture card you get 2 miles per dollar spent on everything
annual fee waved the first year then after that 59.00
chase sapphire preferred 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, 7% back at the end of the year annual fee waved the first year
then 95.00, other than travel and dining chase has 1 point per dollar capitol1 venture card 2 miles on everything. no black out dates
on either card.
since you travel would you be more interested in an more executive looking airline or hotel card?
Citibank thankyou card is a nice card every year you get 2 free airline tickets, like the sapphire and venture card you get concierge service
with this card I'm not sure what the points structure is but the annual fee is waved the first year then a 125.00 annual fee. it's the premier card.
let us know if your interested in a airline or hotel card. the cards I went over with you are travel cards.

Sevenfeet
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Postby Sevenfeet » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:03 pm

I realize that the Slate isn't a rewards card. Keep in mind that my wife and I are just beginning to pay attention to the "gamification" of the credit card business. And my reference to interest problem issues with my cards didn't mean we had awful rates on the cards on question. It's just that if you rack up enough debt on any card at 13-16% interest, it will have bad effects on your monthly budget after awhile. That's what happened to us and we're working hard to reverse the trend. For example, our high on the Amex Platinum was just shy of $40K and now stands at just under $8000.

Since I wrote the original post, I've realized a few things. First, changing the Slate to a Freedom card will be a great upgrade, especially since we get to keep the favorable interest rate. Second, if we play our cards right and act a little smarter in our purchase decisions, we can divert purchases to rewards cards for specific benefits instead if just pulling out the next card. Just getting 5% cashback on gas for six months of the year is worth making sure you pull out the right card.

Also, BofA in addition to changing me to their 3-2-1 Mastercard product also increased my limit from $13.5K to $20K. I don't want to put any more money on it (this is the card I wanted to balance transfer away from) but the increase of both Chase and BoFA's limits will make our debt ratio a lot better in trying to get the next card.

I'd like to get a 0% for 18 months card so that we can burn down the remaining non-Chase debt we're carrying. Most people would look at the Freedom card first but since we already have that now, I'm thinking either the Discover IT or Citi cards mentioned in the blog would be good candidates. The issue is getting one of them in at >$20K limit but since all of my cards now are $20K limit and above (along with excellent credit scores), I'm hoping that this is possible. How does Discover determine the initial limit for a new customer? Would it be better to call them directly for the application process versus doing it online (in other words, does the online application allow you to ask for a specific limit)?

Finally, I'd still like to examine getting the Chase Sapphire Premier card. I have a $3K purchase I need to make in the next month and the entry benefits look enticing. My wife and I have already worked out a budget that includes playing off the $3K purchase in six months while burning down the $20K+ balance transfer debt at the same time. From what I've read in these parts, getting two different cards at the same time is possible...I'm thinking applying for the Discover first (high priority) and then upon approval approaching Chase.

Does this sound like a workable plan?
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

Sevenfeet
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Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:18 pm

Money card wrote:since you travel on company business does your company supply you a corporate or small business card?


Corporate Amex Green card. We are not allowed to use anything else since the expense system is integrated to it.

if they say you can have any card you want have you thought about the Capitol1 venture card you get 2 miles per dollar spent on everything
annual fee waved the first year then after that 59.00
chase sapphire perfered 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, 7% back at the end of the year annual fee waved the first year
then 95.00, other than travel and dininng chase has 1 point per dollar capitol1 venture card 2 miles on everything. no black out dates
on either card.


I haven't thought much about the Capital One Venture since it isn't as hyped on this site as much as other cards, but from what I've read sound like it does have a good reputation.

since you travel would you be more intrested in an more executive looking airline or hotel card?
Citibank thankyou card is a nice card every year you get 2 free airline tickets, like the sapphire and venture card you get concierge service
with this card I'm not sure what the points structure is but the annual fee is waved the first year then a 125.00 annual fee. it's the premier card.
let us know if your intrested in a airline or hotel card. the cards I went over with you are travel cards.


I haven't look at Citibank Thankyou..I'll have to do that. Again, I was trying to make the most of a known purchase I have to make and I know that this will fire incentives with Chase Sapphire Premier. And I can always use it to accelerate miles accumulated with the Freedom card that's on the way to the house. I can stomach annual fees on premium cards but I'm already paying $495 to Amex annually so I'm trying not to overdo it. My wife and I want to use the Amex card for travel, Costco and Delta Sky Clubs going forward...virtually nothing else.
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)

Robrus1
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Location: Texas

Postby Robrus1 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:15 am

Personally, I'd leave any credit card debt you need to pay down on the Chase Slate card. A Platinum AmEx is a charge card, and normally the entire balance is due at the end of each month. Were you using the pay over time feature or something? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card, but even if you were to get it and a Freedom, you might as well leave your long term debt on the Slate. I don't know your credit score or if you've had late payments to speculate on whether or not you should apply. I probably wouldn't be adding cards to my wallet until I got my debt under control, but that's just me.
Amex Platinum
Amex BCP 21K
Amex SPG 5K
Barclaycard Arrival Plus WEMC 5K
Chase Sapphire Preferred 23.5K
Credit Union 10K
Discover IT 7.75K

DavidNY
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Location: New York

Postby DavidNY » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:27 pm

I would definitely move that $8k off the Amex if you can,. There are a couple of cards that offer 0% APR for a year or so, but charge a fee. Chase Slate doesn't, so if you're in your honeymoon period I'd move the balance over there.

Sevenfeet
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Location: United States

Postby Sevenfeet » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:12 pm

Robrus1 wrote:Personally, I'd leave any credit card debt you need to pay down on the Chase Slate card. A Platinum AmEx is a charge card, and normally the entire balance is due at the end of each month. Were you using the pay over time feature or something? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card, but even if you were to get it and a Freedom, you might as well leave your long term debt on the Slate. I don't know your credit score or if you've had late payments to speculate on whether or not you should apply. I probably wouldn't be adding cards to my wallet until I got my debt under control, but that's just me.


I was using the pay over time feature on Amex and for awhile it was good for us but then it got out of hand. We've gotten it down from $39K to $8K but I want to use a 0% card to burn down the rest. Moving it and the $13K we have on BofA to a 0% is a top priority. The interest rate on the Chase Slate (soon to be a Freedom card since they upgraded me) is so low there's no point moving that debt to a 0% card. I'm perfectly happy letting it sit for 18 months or so until the other debt is paid down.

My credit score before getting the CLIs was 744 (Equifax), 750 (Transunion) and 749 (Experian). We have no late payments in a decade, but our ratios sucked. Now I've gone from $26K total limit to $45K (Amex high not included) in the last week. So I expect those scores to rise too. I'll wait until the new scores as posted next month to make the next move.

And yes, we're long past the period where we can do 0% balance transfers on the Slate (my wife got it in 1998). So unless Chase decides to make a promotional offer for existing customers, I'm going to need a new card from someone else. Enter Discover and Citi for possibilities. The question is not whether either of them would grant me a new card...I'm pretty sure they will. The issue is whether that will give me enough of a limit to swallow the other debt we want to eliminate.

Does anyone have any experience asking Discover or Citi for a specific limit when applying as a new customer?
Cards:

American Express Platinum (NPSL)

Penfed Platinum Reward Visa ($28K)

Chase Freedom Visa ($25K)

Fidelity American Express ($20K)

American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($20K)

Bank of America Cash Rewards MasterCard ($20K)

Citi Thank You Preferred Visa ($9.5K)

Chase Sapphire Preferred ($7.5K)

US Bank Cash + Visa Signature ($7K)

Discover IT ($4K)



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