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Back when I was in high school, I choose to open my CD (the 3 year CD) through Discover Bank. I choose them because I had my credit card through them, and loved the idea of linking all my accounts effectively. Furthermore, they have a history of beating the average CD rate, and definitely were above my local bank. The only reservation I had regarded the online banking process, meaning I had no brick and mortar building to go and receive help. Now that I have recently closed the CD for helping with current college finances, I am happy to say that the customer service was never a hindrance. In fact, I loved the fact that I never had to leave the comfort of my own home to contact customer service. You can access your account online at any-time, and their customer service is always available and ready to help. There were a few times that I was put on hold due to volume, but I never had to wait more than 5 minutes to speak to an agent. Account set-up itself is a very quick process, and you can transfer money quickly from other bank accounts. I also must mention that I also have a savings account with them, and this is a very convenient way to have all your accounts linked (credit card, savings, and CD accounts). They have a great online interface to view all of your accounts on one page.
I first opened a U.S. Bank Student Checking Account because it was the only bank located on my campus. Four years later, i'm still happy I did. They are always happy to help me, and the account is very simple. My best experience was definitely setting up the account, as I was able to walk right in on my first day, sit down, and have the branch manager guide me through the sign-up process. Everything went very quickly and easily, including setting up online banking. This experience has never wavered, whether it was setting up direct deposit, ordering checks, or any other banking needs I had that I could not manage on my own.
If you are a frequent Target shopper, the Target Credit Card is excellent for maximizing your money. At 5% cash back on all Target purchases it far outpaces the other cards on the market without an annual fee. Cards like the Citi Double Cash (2% back) and Capital One Quicksilver (1.5%) are near the top in terms of rewards, yet don't come close to 5%. However, I would highly recommend this not being your primary card, because it offers no rewards whatsoever on any purchases outside of Target. The added bonuses of increasing the return date by 30 days as well as free shipping at Target.com also sweeten the rewards provided by this card. People must also be aware that it will not work oversees. Bottom Line: It is a great card for the avid Target shopper, but if you rarely shop at Target there are other cards out there that offer better overall shopping rewards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has great potential for the right customer. First and foremost, people must be aware that although the first year is free, each subsequent year has an annual fee of $95. For the casual shopper, this is something you will not make back in rewards points, as opposed to something like the Capital One Quicksilver with 1.5% cash back and no annual fee. However, if you are a frequent traveler or a big spender, the earning potential as well as the up front bonus of 40,000 points can make it a great card. Furthermore, the lack of foreign transaction fees also is great for the frequent traveler. Finally, if you are someone who carries a balance on your card the APY is a decent option. Although not the best amongst cards, it definitely can be worth it over the Quicksilver, who's rates run more in the low to mid 20% range.
The American Eagle Outfitters Credit Card can be a good investment, if you regularly shop at American Eagle. One of the nicer bonuses of this card is the 15% off of a purchase you receive when first opening the card. If you plan this with a bigger shopping trip, it can be worth it instantly, regardless of future use. That being said, you must put the purchase on the card, so make sure to log on to your account after and pay off the balance. In terms of rewards, any purchases made at American Eagle give what amounts to 4% cash back , although they come in terms of points. For purchases outside of American Eagle, the card accrues points that translate to 1% cash back, however, this cash back only works towards further purchases at American Eagle. Because of this, I would not recommend this card be used anywhere but American Eagle. Other cards like the Capital One Quicksilver (1.5% cash back) can offer more cash back than this card, as well as offer more versatile rewards. Furthermore, other cards like the Discover It or the Chase Freedom card offer 1% cash back on everything as well as other bonuses. Overall, this card can be good for a frequent American Eagle shopper, although I would have this card as an auxiliary to a main card. Furthermore, it pays to have this card in terms of receiving coupons on your birthday, as well as other exclusive cardholder deals.