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Like most people these days, there was a time when my credit score wasn't just bad, it was absolutely terrible. I'd heard that to get it back up again the best thing to consider was getting a couple of the "entry level" cards like this one which (assuming you keep up the payments and use it sensibly) will get good reports sent to the credit bureaus. My credit wasn't totally basement level but wasn't high either but I did get accepted and had a good credit limit. There was no fee to pay to get it either. One word of warning - the interest rate is astronomical so it's probably best avoided if you don't think you'll be able to make the payments. If you do though, your credit score will definitely improve over time.
Starting with the good stuff, Citibank is really good when you first take out your accounts with them. Upon being accepted you get your cards and welcome info VERY quickly so you can get started straight away. There are tons of ATMs you can use for free spread out around the country and their online services like their internet banking and phone app are great – really easy to use and I've never noticed any down time. With it being a big bank, however, you can expect to be treated like a statistic rather than a person - I've had to speak to customer service operatives a few times and while they do know what they're doing you are made to feel very much like you're asking a stupid question and they'd rather be doing something else. I have worked in a call center previously so I'm sure they're understaffed and under pressure to get through calls quickly but it's never good for the customer.
Windhaven is one of those insurance companies that show you don't need to go with the “big” TV Commercial producing companies to get decent quality insurance for a decent price. I've had a couple of cars insured through them now and they've been very helpful with having additional drivers added to the coverage, setting up payment plans and so on. Had to make a vandalism claim at one point and it was dealt with quickly and efficiently without me ever feeling like the operatives wanted to be elsewhere doing anything other than helping me, which hasn't always been the case with other providers.
I worked for the USPS for 4 years and during that time as a recommendation from various workmates at the sorting office and vehicle pool I decided to give the TPFCU a go. It's not surprising that they were so well liked. The locations I visited were pleasant and the staff was always courteous and helpful. The drive-thru at the North Florida branch was always handy. Did not have to use any loan facilities with them but my checking account banking was always trouble free. It felt interesting to be in a “USPS only club” so to speak but I'd definitely recommend them to others who are eligible to join.
I've always found Capital One to be my go to guys for credit cards in general as their online banking system is second to none and probably the best I've ever used with it's wealth of options and other great features. This particular card doesn't really have any "benefits" or rewards as such but it does have a pretty competitive interest rate and if you make your payments on time over time you'll find your credit limit increasing without you having to ask for it. Mine started with them at $500 and is now at $1500 just through paying my monthly payments by the due date each time.
American Integrity Insurance Company has insured the two homes I've owned in the Tampa Bay area and I've always found them to be extremely efficient and knowledgeable. Their staff are friendly and always helpful which has been a big bonus as I had an odd situation with a property needing to switch from vacant coverage to fully inhabited a couple of times. They offer a well-priced base policy to which you can then add a load of optional coverages, to ensure you are not paying for all kinds of coverage that you'll never need. I haven’t had to use the claim service yet so can't comment on it but overall I'm happy with them.
As with a lot of people these days, we have a number of accounts spread around various institutions just to make sure our accounts are not all affected by any future banking problems or irregularities. We had almost all our banking with big banks previously but the press hasn't been kind so we opened our primary checking account with TBFCU. We’re pretty happy with it so far. There were a couple of errors made with the original setup but have had no problems since then. Fee-free banking is a welcome occurrence in my life. The staff are pretty friendly and are up to date on their latest regs and rules.
Love this card. Have to travel a lot for business and pleasure (moved to the states from the UK so I'm back over there a lot) so the reward points rack up pretty quickly. The fact you can use them for pretty much any travel expense is a great addition and I've never found that there was a flight or airline I could not use the points on. The annual fee is much what you'd expect from any other card of this level as are the rates, though you do have to remember that missing a payment or being late or whatever will damage your relationship with the company and will bump them up a bit.
Great card if only for the incredible introductory bonus of 50'000 Avios, though bear in mind you do need to spend $1000 using it within the first 3 months. That said, the points alone have gotten me a couple of short-haul flights out of New York thus far with some left, though there are a few destinations where the points are unusable due to relevant airlines included in the promo not operating in the area. Can't comment on the Inter-continental issues others have mentioned below as I've not looked into using it outwith the USA. Only downside is that the $95 annual fee is a bit higher than most but you'll probably get your money back if you use the card with the Avios in mind.
This card is one I would recommend to those attempting to either fix a damaged credit score or to simply build one in the first place. I'd heard of people having problems getting accepted in the first place for the card but I had no such issues and was approved very quickly. By paying off the statements as quickly as possible it did indeed help in it's own small way to build up my credit score to the point I could apply for a "proper" credit card later but this sort of card most certainly serves a purpose and is a good place to start if you're towards the bottom of the financial ladder.
I was offered this card by Credit One in the mail not long after I started my small business so I assume they have a way of finding new business owners. As a newcomer to the USA at the time with very little to no credit history it was hard to find card providers that would accept me but having sorted out my main card I took a chance on applying for this one too as a backup. They accepted me immediately with no further questions and I've been using the card on and off ever since when needed. The fees are very comparable to other cards in the same user bracket and the only issue I'd mention is that you need to be aware of the monthly fee after the first year as I didn't pay attention initially (my mistake) and only discovered it when they started charging.
When I first looked into Credit Cards in the USA having moved here from the United Kingdom, it was nigh on impossible to get accepted for one given my "zero credit" status. Hard to build up a credit status when no one will give you the chance! After being turned down by the likes of Chase, Americard, Discover etc, I looked deeper into the options available and decided to go with Capital One's Secured Mastercard as once you've paid the deposit it gives all the benefits of any other Mastercard, sometimes with a higher credit line than a lot of other similar cards. Great way to try and get a credit score started if you have to begin from zero like I did.
I only just recently signed up to Discover Card but it has already made my life a lot easier. I originally signed up to it via a promotion on Swagbucks as a secondary card to my Capital One card but the fact it came with a long 0% APR intro period has already paid dividends thanks to the fact I got a credit line of $2000 which is more than twice that of my Capital One Card. Then when my computer died on me a couple of weeks ago I was able to put all the new equipment on the card knowing I have plenty of time to pay it back thanks to the very generous intro period I mentioned previously.
I have had the Capital One Platinum Credit Card (Mastercard) for almost a year and a half now and it has been a joy to use both online and in stores. It is accepted by every online vendor I have tried to use it with and I use it on an auto-pay system for my monthly auto insurance. The online banking system that is attached to the card is great - intuitive and it seamlessly attached itself to my own checking account so that I can pay off my statements instantly. The credit line was automatically increased after 5 months of usage without me needing to contact them.