Help selecting first card

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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TambourineMan
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Help selecting first card

Postby TambourineMan » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:20 pm

Hello. I am planning a trip to Japan, and have been advised that it would be wise to bring a credit card for emergency/backup use. This will be my first credit card, and this will potentially be its only use (though potentially not my only trip). I have found the credit card market to be quite confusing, but I believe I have made it through the noise. I'm not entirely confident, though, and would appreciate it if you could check my work.

I understand that Visa/MasterCard have the widest global acceptance, so I am limiting myself to those cards.

Since I am planning on using it overseas, I am looking for a card with no FTFs.

I do not know how or if I will be using the card outside of my trip, so I want no annual fees.

I do not travel very often, so the 'travel rewards' cards hold little appeal. I don't really care about rewards programs in general, but as long as I'm getting one -- which is all but a requirement it seems -- I may as well get one I'd use.

I have excellent credit, will not be transferring any balances, and will most likely be paying the balance in full every month.

The No FTF/No Annual Fee narrows the field, with the Capital One Quicksilver card standing out as most other cards have a travel-based rewards program. I was hoping for a low APR, but I guess 12.9% is considered low. I'm skeptical of any credit card company that can afford Samuel L. Jackson as a sponsor, but that's hardly a reason to avoid it, especially if it turns out to be the best option for me.

So what do you think? Am I headed down the right path? Any other cards I should be comparing? Any other advice in general? Please let me know if you have any questions or require any more information, and I appreciate your help!


haikuginger
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Postby haikuginger » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:56 pm

It sounds like you've looked at the options. Another option would be the Bank Americard Travel Rewards card. It's got a travel rewards system, but the points get redeemed against your statement, so you don't necessarily need to order travel through them to use it.

Also, note that if you get a Discover IT card, it has no foreign transaction fee, and can be used at most locations in Japan that accept JCB cards.

Reclusive46
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Postby Reclusive46 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:19 pm

I have to agree with the above post. When it comes to Japan acceptance goes Discover then American Express and then Visa/MC (From experience anyway but Discover is accepted anywhere the national JCB card is due to an alliance and American Express has a similar agreement but JCB merchants can opt out ). Basically the opposite to what is normally true abroad.
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semistatic
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Postby semistatic » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:24 pm

The Discover/JCB agreement would be handy for Japan for sure. If you're set on a Visa, State Dept. FCU has a EMV card w/ a really low interest rate (I believe it's at 6.99% now), and no FTFs. I've had it for about a year, and have been very happy with their service.

The Chase Sapphire card also has no FTF, and $0 annual fee for the first year.
[font=Garamond][size=80]Cards: Discover IT $1400 (12/13) (out of sockdrawer for 5% gas cashback) | AmEx Green NPSL (01/14) | Chase Freedom $3K (01/14) (sockdrawered) | Comenity Buckle $500 (01/14 - Shopping cart trick) | DCU Platinum Rewards $5K (02/14) (sockdrawered) | Navy FCU $17.5K (06/14) | Chase Southwest RapidRewards Premier Signature $7.2K (08/14)

Other: DCU Auto-Refi 17% to 1.99% (01/14) | DCU New Auto 4.24% (04/14)

Scores: ~680 EQ (DCU) | ~650 TU (Discover)[/size][/font]

TambourineMan
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Postby TambourineMan » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:58 am

Thank you, that is very helpful! I believe I will go with Discover.

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nismoZtuner
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Postby nismoZtuner » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:43 pm

Man i want to go to the japan as well.

im waiting for the Olympics.
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samhradh
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Postby samhradh » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:09 pm

TambourineMan wrote:Thank you, that is very helpful! I believe I will go with Discover.


Good choice if you are travelling to Japan. Make sure to activate for the 5% CB categories every quarter. You mentioned planning to almost always pay in full. I suggest you ALWAYS do it. Paying interest on the card balance negates any rewards you've earned.
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ceemee
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Postby ceemee » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Just FYI,

My brother now lives in Japan (has for the past 3 years) and he says that most people do not use credit cards there. Usually only the rich. Most of the transactions are in cash so you might not want to bother, if you're sole purpose for this card is to travel to Japan.

He recently visited (a couple weeks ago) and he even purchased his plane ticket with cash.

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:23 pm

Wow here in the US if you tried that you'd be assumed to be a terrorist and subject to at the very least interrogation by the Gestapo for that.

ceemee
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Postby ceemee » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:25 pm

I know. I was shocked when he told me. He said you go on the airplane website and make the order. The site gives you a receipt and you take the receipt to a 24/7 convenient store where you pay.

You can get all kinds of stuff at the convenience stores in Japan. They're not like the 7-Eleven around the corner here in the US.



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