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The Direct Express Prepaid MasterCard is really useful if you receive Social Security or SSI. There is no activation fee, monthly fee, or signature transaction fee. You can use the card at ATMs for a small fee of $0.85. A similar card is AccountNow Prepaid MasterCard. The Direct Express is better because the AccountNow charges a $4.95 activation fee, $1 transaction fee, and the annual cost is $144. The ATM fee is $2.50. However, the customer service for the Direct Express card is terrible. If you have any problems, they will not help at all. So be careful because if you run into any issues, they will not resolve them.
The JC Penny store card has decent rewards but isn't anything special. The APR is extremely high so after the introductory rate of 12 months ends, I would highly suggest cancelling the card if you are not great with paying your cards off in full. The 1 point per dollar spent is a good deal but you have to use your points at the end of the month, so unless you plan on shopping monthly at JC Penny it really isn't a great deal. JC Penny sends out enough coupons and usually has good enough deals that this card is essentially irrelevant and useless. The Macy's credit card offers better deals with 1.5% cash back and 1% cash back on purchases outside Macys. The APR is just as high but at least your points don't expire at the end of the month.
The Brooks Brothers Credit has really great awards such as a max of 4 points per dollar spent and a minimum of one point which is similar to most major credit cards. The $20 reward on your first purchase outside of Brooks Brothers alone is a reason to sign up. I have a J Crew Credit Card which has similar rewards such as 15% off your first purchase but has some slightly higher rewards such as $25 Rewards Card for every $500 you spend. You also get a surprise on your birthday and select sales and events only available for card members. I think the cards are similar but I prefer the Brooks Brothers because you get great rewards for shopping outside of Brooks Brothers such as $20 reward for every $2000 spent on outside purchases.
My first Chase card was the Chase Slate card when I didn't have great credit. I was surprisingly accepted but the credit limit I began with was only $1000 which was really low. The rewards aren't anything great but it does have some decent features such as the $0 annual fee and the smart chip is awesome however, not all stores have the smart chip reader so then you have to swipe the card defeating the purpose. A card that is way better in rewards is the Chase Freedom. The rewards are awesome and the introductory bonus is if you spend $500 in the first three months you get $100 cash back. Definitely prefer the Freedom card over the Slate card if you are looking for better rewards since you also get unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.
I have had Bank of America since Junior year of high school which is now 7 years. I started with a savings account then opened a checking account. The account I have has low interest, and I haven't been able to find another bank with such a competitive rate. I love being able to snap a picture of my check and have it deposited into my checking account without stepping foot in a bank. Awesome feature of their bank. To avoid the fees all you have to do is keep a minimum of $1500 in your account which has never been an issue! I have over drafted 4 times and they waived the fee every time!! So awesome bank overall!
Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best credit cards I have ever owned. I signed up after doing some research on which cards provide the most points for travel and I read about the 40,000 point bonus when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months. As I had my grad school tuition bill coming up, I opened the card and paid for my tuition using it. I received the 40,000 points and was able to book two round trip tickets from New York to Los Angeles California, for free. My friend who I am going to California with also opened up the card and is going to use her points to pay for our hotel rooms, and rental car. So an entire trip to California for 10 days will be free thanks to Chase!! The $95 annual fee isn't bad and if you travel frequently pays for itself with all of the points. Great card, easy set up and approval, great customer service, and easy to deal with.