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I got this card a few years after I bought my home. The idea was that a dedicated home improvement card would make me analyze my purchasing a little more. I am a rather frugal person, but spending on my home seems, or seemed, to send that out the window. I never keep a balance on any card unless there is a 0% financing offer like this card has, so the insane interest rate is not a factor. Just looking at my spending there makes me think things through a little more. The 5% savings up front makes this worth it, as I only go elsewhere for a much better deal.
I started this account when I was a teen, thirty five years ago. The bank was sold twice, first to Wachovia, then to Wells Fargo. Things improved each time. Very simple account, and the monthly fee is easily avoided through direct deposit. Great website, making money transfers to business associates and bill paying are a breeze. I have never had an issue they couldn't resolve quickly and professionally, and the sheer number of locations makes things easier. I love the new ATM's that accept cash and check deposits directly.
My first card was a Discover. I got it at 22 when I needed to rent a car and couldn't without plastic. I kept it for years but hardly ever used it, then switched to a Capital One that was running a great promotion at the time. I didn't get another Discover again till about eight years ago. I have always found their customer service outstanding. I recall two situations where they helped me, when other folks told me they couldn't or wouldn't. First, due to a drunken night on the computer, and not remembering I had already paid it by phone, I mistakenly paid my car payment twice. Ford Credit wanted forms and faxes to return my funds, but Discover fixed it for me without all that. Second happened while getting eyeglasses four years ago. The young lady had swiped my card, then repeated the whole transaction when I pointed out she had forgotten to charge for my exam. I asked her if I was going to get charged twice, she said no. Wrong. Discover helped fix this quickly, after the optical place said it would take over two weeks. Of course, I like the cash back, I don't utilize all of it, as I only charge a couple hundred a month on this. I do get a number of calls from them pushing new services, but I just let them go to VM. My only other complaint is their website. It's not awful, but other financial websites I use seem a little more user friendly. A little clunky.
Two years ago my long time home insurance company stopped doing business in my state. No problem, I thought, there are dozens of companies to choose from, right? Wrong. You see it seems that companies have stopped offering new policies on homes with in ground heating oil tanks (as are common among older homes here in NC). Fear of leaks, leaching into neighboring property is the problem. State Farm was the only "name" company that would write the policy, and our agent has been nothing but a joy to work with. Thanks, State Farm!
I'm not one to use credit for shopping, but last year when I decided Amazon was the best source for a $900 Schwinn AirDyne exercise bike, I looked into the "pay in 12 months no interest" offer that I had seen time and again. I'm so glad I did. No tricks, no unseen charges, no yearly fees. Now I like to charge all my amazon purchases to the card, and then pay the card off at the end of the month, avoiding all interest. Really a terrific convenience for me. My sister got one as well, and used it to help get her through the holiday season while out of work. Combined with the Amazon Prime free shipping, and it is really hard to beat for easy one stop shopping for a busy person. Yes, the APR is high, but if you don't let the charges pile up, it is a nice way for a young person to start building credit as well.
Rick Franklin of SunTrust Mortgage helped us with our recent refinancing, and we couldn't have been more pleased with his work. We had been too busy to seriously look at the savings a change to our mortgage would yield, believing we would get around to it eventually. Honestly, if Mr. Franklin hadn't been so persistent, we would probably still be tied to our old mortgage. This is stunning considering the new loan cuts our monthly outlay 25%, reducing the total paid for our home by over forty thousand dollars! From the initial application process, underwriting, and right through closing, he kept us informed of our loan application's progress. The single aspect of dealing with him that was most appreciated was being able to call him and have him actually pick up the phone right then. If we ever had to leave a message, he returned our call within the hour. His pleasant professionalism was a welcome bonus to the excellent service we received from his company.