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Do you believe in Magic? Overall, sure, he seems like a pretty successful and talented guy. But as a prepaid card issuer, not so much. I’m, of course, talking about Irving “Magic” Johnson, the NBA legend, new minority owner of the Dodgers, and now prepaid pitchman. He launched the MAGIC Prepaid MasterCard yesterday I believe and after a quick glance, it seems apparent that it leaves something to be desired. As with any prepaid card or credit card, you have to see past the snazzy look of the MAGIC Card and Johnson’s star power, and look at the fees it charges and services it offers. The MAGIC Prepaid Card’s fixed costs are pretty high, as you have to pay $4.95 for activation and then each month your account is open as a monthly servicing fee. You also have to pay at least $2.50 for each ATM withdrawal and unless you live in Southern California, it’s likely that each transaction will run you around 5 bucks when you factor in ATM owner surcharges. What do you get for the cost? The ability to use plastic to make purchases, which is nice especially since it doesn’t charge purchase fees, but that’s about it. The MAGIC Card doesn’t offer online bill pay, which means you can’t pay billers that only take checks (pretty important if you’re want your prepaid card to fill the role that a checking account once did). You can’t load a check onto the card either, which means people who don’t have bank accounts cannot use it to lower their check cashing costs. There are surely better alternatives out there. I saw a study the other day (I think it was actually by WalletHub, funny enough) that pointed to three options in particular as being the best for the different ways people use prepaid cards. It said that the GreenDot Card is the best to replace your checking account, the Suze Orman card is the best for a children’s use, and the Chase Liquid is the best way to cash your checks. Looking at these cards, I would definitely recommend them over the MAGIC Prepaid MasterCard.
This is Russell Simmons’ card isn’t it? He’s like the celebrity prepaid card pioneer, seeing as Lil Wayne, Suze Orman, the Kardashians, entered the fray after him. But is the first the best or is the first the worst? That depends on the BabyPhat Prepaid Card’s fees, as I’ve come to learn, it always does with prepaid cards. So why don’t we make a little fee oriented pro/con list to see if the BabyPhat Card is worth getting? Pros - No Monthly Fee: That’s more than a lot of prepaid cards can say, but while the monthly fee is an important charge to consider, you really need to look at the fees as a whole before making a final decision. - Free Customer service: ditto to the above. Unfortunately, that’s it for the BabyPhat Prepaid Visa RushCard’s pros, so bring on the cons like a prison break. Cons - Activation fee : You have to pay nearly $10 just to get the BabyPhat Rush Card; that stinks. - Cost of using your own money: Really Russ, really? You have to pay to use your own money, $1 whenever you want to make a purchase and $1.95 each time you withdraw cash from an ATM. Ultimately, I think the verdict on the BabyPhat Prepaid Visa RushCard is clear. It’s just too expensive to warrant getting, especially given the alternatives. I like the GreenDot Prepaid Card and the Amex Prepaid Card because both can be free, the GreenDot if you direct deposit your monthly paycheck and Amex if you only take cash out once a month.
So I’ve taken a look at the other big-bank prepaid cards on the market (i.e. the Amex and Chase prepaid cards) so it’s time to see what the Capital One MasterCard Prepaid Card brings to the table. At first glance, it appears to be a hybrid of the GreenDot Prepaid Card and the American Express Prepaid Card. If you aren’t quite sure what that tells you about the Capital One Prepaid MasterCard, it will become clearer after one of my patented pro/con lists. Pros - Free Stuff: A lot of the things that other prepaid cards charge for, like customer service, inactivity, activation, etc., are free with the Capital One Prepaid Card. - Ability to avoid a monthly fee: Ideally, the CapOne Prepaid Card wouldn’t even charge an annual fee, but Capital One offers an escape route for people who don’t want to pay up each month: just load $500. That’s an easier requirement to meet than the Orchard Bank Card’s $1000 benchmark. Cons - ATM withdrawal fees: Like the American Express Prepaid Card, you can only make one free ATM withdrawal per month with the Capital One Prepaid Card. After that you get charged $1.95 per transaction. Anyone looking to get Capital One’s Prepaid Card better take note of that and consider how often they need cash or else they could find themselves wasting a lot of dough, like an inefficient pizza shop. Unfortunately, I only see the Capital One Prepaid MasterCard as a mid-level option in the prepaid card market. If you don’t want to load a lot on your card each month, the Amex Card is better because it doesn’t ever charge a monthly fee. And if you are going to load your paycheck or whatever, the Orchard Bank Card would be better because it offers unlimited free ATM withdrawals and doesn’t have a monthly fee when you load at least $1,000.
Pretty good advice, fellas. Overall it seems like BofA launched these new BankAmericards with travel rewards just to throw a bone to frequent travelers who were getting cards from other companies, and what they came up with are poor imitations of some already popular products. The BankAmericard Privileges with Travel Rewards is just a more expensive Venture Card and this BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card is just the Capital One Cash Rewards Card but with points and travel branding. So if you came to this page wondering if you should get the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card, you have your answer.
Lookie here, a Chase prepaid card. Looks like everyone (including WalletHub, if I remember correctly) who predicted more prepaid cards hitting the market after the Federal Reserve fussed with debit card fees were right. Nice work! Anyway, I’m not going to even try to understand the minute details that went into this cause and effect. But I always like taking a critical eye to a new card offer, and the Liquid Card from Chase definitely isn’t going to escape the Margie Treatment! Boom, pro/con time: Pros - Number of Fees: Looking at other prepaid cards, all you see is fee after fee after fee, and if you’ve ever tried to pick a prepaid card to open, you know this makes it so annoying to predict a card’s cost and judge whether it will be more or less expensive than another one. I don’t mean to say that the Chase Liquid Card is perfect, it’s got fees, but it doesn’t have as many as say the Approved Card from Suze Orman. - Overall cost: The Chase Liquid Prepaid Card can be as cheap as $4.95/mo. which puts it in the upper echelon of prepaid cards, and potentially even less expensive than the GreenDot Visa for some people. - Free live customer service might not seem like a pro since it should be standard but a lot of prepaid cards charge for it. - Name: I’m sure a lot of people will be more comfortable using a prepaid card from a name bank like Chase instead of one called BabyPhat, Mango, etc. Cons - Overall cost: This is both a pro and a con since the GreenDot Card can be free for some of ya’ll. - The GreenDot Card gives you a chance to avoid a monthly fee by loading a certain amout, but the Liquid Card doesn’t, which seems like a shame to me. There’s a cap to how good this offer can be. - Potential for high ATM fees: If you don’t live near a Chase ATM, you’ll have to choose between what’s most convenience and what’s cheapest, and when things get buys most of us choose convenience. When you got down to it, the prepaid card market just got a bit better today with Chase’s introduction of its new prepaid card, the Liquid Card. Its one of the better offers available, in my opinion, and I recommend it if you don’t live near a GreenDot ATM or don’t want to keep that much money in your new-era checking account, i.e. your prepaid card account.
WOW! Did everyone catch this card’s annual fee? $395! What does it print money or something? Is it magic? There has to be something unique about the United MileagePlus Club Credit Card for Chase and United to feel it deserving of such a high price tag, so I made a little pro and con list to see if I could get to the bottom of things. Pros - Initial bonus: Getting a $95 statement credit after your first purchase is nice; only $300 to go before we break even with the United MileagePlus Club Card! - Checked Bags: Getting to check your first and second bags for free is nice, but doesn’t Southwest already offer that standard? - Hotel Benefits: Getting complimentary room upgrades, free breakfast and stuff is awesome, but I’d love for Chase to be a bit more specific about exactly what you get. Cons - Club Access: Club access is great, don’t get me wrong. My problem with it though is that if you travel frewuently enough to need it, you’ll probably get it for free anyway. Also I’ve seen a bunch of cards with reasonable annual fees offer it. - Priority Borading: I don’t see why people want to sit on a plane for longer. - Ongoing rewards: The United Plus Club Card gives you 1.5 miles across all purchases and 2 miles on United purchases, hardly deserving of a $400 annual fee. It was going to take a lot for me to think the United MileagePLus Club Card’s annual fee was worth it, and the card’s terms really didn’t show me that much. I know I’m not going to get it as a result and don’t recommend you doing so either.
I actually think airline credit cards like the Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage Visa Signature Credit Card are some of the hardest cards to compare because so much depends on how much the miles are worth upon redemption and what each individual’s travel habits are. In general though, I can tell you that you should only get an airline card if you regularly fly and a AAdvantage Card if you regularly fly American Airlines or one of its partners. A rewards card is supposed to help you save concistently, not maybe once and a while, and if you save up a bunch of miles like a squirrel preppin for winter, you might wake up one day to find that stash depleted by hawkish credit card company that now requires more for the same rewards. Anyway, here are what I see as being the pros and cons of the Citi Platinim Select AAdvantage Visa Card (I guess you could say the length of its name is one con!): Pros - Initial Bonus: Anytime you can get a whole heap of free miles is a good thing. When you get about enough for a free roundtrip flight to the Caribbean, as the Citi AAdvantage Visa Card provides, it’s even better. - No First Year Annual Fee: You get a lot of value in the first year without having to pay. And even when you do start to pay in the second year, you get a $100 discount each year for American Airlines flights. - Anniversary bonus: Had to list that $100 bonus as its own pro in case someone missed it above. - Miles refund: You get 10% of your annually redeemed miles back, which is another reason why only frequent flyers should get the AAdvantage Visa Signature Card. Cons - Ongoing rewards: Double miles on AA purchases and one on every dollar you spend on everything else isn’t great. - Annual fee: You’d rather not see an annual fee, but its wiped out by the cardholder anniversary present, so it’s not that big a deal. - Priority boarding and in flight discounts aren’t rewally anything to write home about, especially since youll just have to sit on the plane longer and in flight purchases tend to be fairly expensive already. Ultimately, the Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage Visa Signature Credit Card is a decent card and makes for a good option for AA customers, but if you’ve got a different airline of choice or have other expenses that are bigger than travel (like gas and groceries) I’d get a card that matches one of them. For example, the PenFed Platinum Card gives you 5% cash back on gas and the Blue Cash Preferred from Amex offers 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% on everything else. The Chase Sapphire Preferred also offers a $500 initial bonus, so that’s also something to consider.
I don’t really see what’s so prestigious about spending $500 on a credit card, but I guess me and Citi have different ideas of what prestige is since that’s what the Citi ThankYou Presitge Card charges. Unless this card offers some awesome rewards or low interest, Citi would certainly have to give you a big ole ThankYou for opening it. Pros - To be frank, I don’t see the Citi Thank You Prestige Card having any positives, so bring on the cons…like a prison break. Cons - Annual Fee: The annual fee is an obvious drawback. No one wants to pay $500 for something they can get for free unless there’s something awesome that sets it apart. - Ongoing Rewards: You only get between 1 and 1.3 points per dollar spent? Camon, that’s nothing. I could just open the Cap One cash Rewards card and get 1.5% cash back on all purchases. - Discount flights: The discounts the Citi Thank You Prestige offers aren’t really benefits since you have to book travel through Citi’s travel partners, who probably don’t have the lowest airfare prices you can find. So in conclusion stay away from the ThankYou Prestige Citicard. In fact, I wouldn’t get any of the Thank You cards from Citi since there always seems to be a competitor’s card that does what these cards do but better.
The Hyatt Credit Card is decent, but I don’t see it as being a great option for anyone who isn’t a diehard Hyatt customer. The reason is simple, it doesn’t offer enough value for someone who isn’t routinely staying at a Hyatt hotel and earning the 3 points per dollar that the Hyatt Card provides on Hyatt purchases. This is especially true in light of the Hyatt Credit Card’s competition, which will become clear after this quick pro/con list. Pros - 2 Free nights: You get 2 free Hyatt nights after your first purchase, and free hotel accommodations are always nice, especially with summer coming up. - With a Hyatt Credit Card account, you get one free night each year on your cardholder anniversary. Cons - 2 Free Nights: The Hyatt Card’s initial bonus is both a pro and a con given that it’s attractive in a vacuum but unattractive when considered along with the competition. The Hilton Credit Card gives you up to 8 free nights and the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers $500 for travel or $400 in cash. - Annual fee: The Hyatt Credit Card charges a $75 annual fee, which pretty much counteracts the free anniversary night. - Ongoing rewards: One point per dollar for non-Hyatt purchases isn’t great, and neither is the 3 points for Hyatt purchases, unless you’re constantly racking them up. - No low interest rates: Despite its lacking rewards, the Hyatt Credit Card is a rewards credit card through and through, seeing as it doesn’t offer 0% intro rates on purchases or transfers. Long story short, I wouldn’t get the Hyatt Card. Instead, if an initial bonus is what I’m after, I’d go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Hilton Card. If I wanted ongoing travel rewards and I’m not a loyal Hyatt customer, I’d probably go with the Capital One Venture because it gives you basically 2% cash back when you redeem for travel of any kind.
Did you guys hear that Capital One recently acquired HSBC, which of course owns (or used to own) Orchard Bank? I wonder how this will affect the Orchard Bank Secured Credit Card, which is one of the best secured cards on the market, in my opinion. Aren’t there a lot of changes made when one company acquires another one, partly because the acquiring company is better owned, party because people just like to make changes to throw their weight around and feel useful? (I could be off base, but House of Lies seemed pretttyyyy realistic). Who knows, maybe Capital One will decide that the Orchard Secured Card needs an annual fee, perhaps they’ll conclude it needs a higher minimum security deposit. The point is, if you need a secured credit card, I’d act fast and get the Orchard Bank Secured MasterCard before any potential changes can take effect. You’ll regret it if you don’t and end up having to pay to build your credit instead of being able to do so for free.
I feel like a lot of people see a credit card offering a free flight and jump at it bc it seems really great. And while it is great, you’re looking for the most value, so it’s important to see what else is out there before applying. I’m not trying to discount the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express but am just saying that it might not be as simple of a decision as you might think. To help you make this decision, here’s what in my opinion are the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card’s strengths and weaknesses. Pros - Free Flight - You get a free Delta flight from spending $500 in the first three months, which is pretty good. If you’re looking to benefit on summer travel though, I’d probably go with a rewards card that offers an initial bonus after your first purchase. - Free Checked Baggage - This isn’t a draw if youre not a loyal Delta passenger because other airlines like Southwest offer free bags standard, but if you fly a lot with a large family, having 9 free checked bags could save you a lot of money. Cons - Ongoing rewards: When you consider the fact that a card like the Capital One Venture gives you basically 2% cash back on all purchases, getting 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile on everything else doesn’t seem all that attractive. - Priority boarding and in flight savings: Who cares that much about getting on an airplane first, and even with 20% savings, the stuff your going to buy in SkyMall is still going to be expensive. When you get down to it, I’d say that the Gold Delta American Express Credit Card is a pretty good option for loyal Delta customers who fly at least a few times a year with big groups. If you’re just looking for a free flight and you don’t care who its with though, I might go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the British Airways Card instead of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex. The Sapphire gives you $500 to spend on travel or $400 cash and the British Airways Card gives you a free roundtrip transatlantic flight.
Even though this offer seems like its changed a lot over the years, Id still get it if I didn’t care how my credit score was over the next few months. I mean, I’m all for a free roundtrip Southwest Airlines flight. With that being said though, the Southwest Airlines Credit Card may not be the best offer of its kind on the market right now and if you just want to open one credit card right now, it might not be for you as a result. Why don’t we find out with a little pro and con. Pros - Free flight: I don’t want to give anything away, but I kind of think this is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card’s only strength. Cons - Ongoing rewards: 2 miles per dollar with Southwest and 1 per dollar everythere else isn’t too good especially since travel cards give you 2 miles on every purchase. - Balance Transfer Offer: The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card doesn’t have a 0% intro rate but has a balance transfer fee, so the one point per dollar it gives you on transfers isn’t worth it. Youd be better off using the No Fee Slate Card. - Purchase APR: No 0% rate here either. Its clear thatn the only only reason youd use the SouthWest Rapid Rewards Credit Card is for its initial bonus, and if you want to do that go for it. I wouldn’t do it in lieu of getting a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred cause that offers $500 in travel,
Who would get the Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card offering $150 in gift cards when there’s one offering $250? That’s what first came to my mind when I saw the two different Thank You Premier Citicards, and I bet this confuses a lot of other people as well. To understand the differences between these two offers, you gotta dig a bit deeper than their names, I found. How they’re the same. Both the $150 gift card Citi Thank You Premier Card and the $250 version require excellent credit and don’t have annual fees. Neither offers low introductory interest rates (there are three Citicards that offer 0% on both purchases and transfers for 18 months if that’s what you’re after though). Both have 12.99% - 22.99% APRs, and they’re both obviously Citi ThankYou Premier Cards. That’s where the similarities end. How they differ. Obviously one of these Citi Thank You Premier Credit Cards gives an initial bonus worth $100 more, but the question is whether the Citicard with the less lucrative offer makes up for this in any way. Well, it does by giving you 5 points per dollar at supermarkets, gas stations and drug stores for 12 months before settling into the 1 point per dollar spent across all purchases rewards offered by the other Citi ThankYou Preferred Card. You therefoe have to ask yourself whether these points would add up to $100 over the course of a year. If they will, then the Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card - $150 gift card initial bonus version would be better. Which should you choose. I wouldn’t choose either of these cards. You can get better intial bonuses from a few other cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, British Airways Card, etc.) and better everyday rewards (that will last you more than a year) from cards like the Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
Man, I want to apply for like every single credit card that offers a semi decent initial bonus. I could get thousands of dollars that way, quit my job and just trade credit cards all day like some sorta personal finance day trader. Course that’s not realistic because I don’t really think I could subsist on credit card rewards and you can’t just apply for credit cards left and right since your credit score dips temporarily every time you apply. After a while you wouldn’t get approved for the cards offering truly lucrative initial bonuses and the plan would be shot. I guess what I’m saying in a roundabout way is that you shouldn’t just see the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card offering $250 in Gift Cards and jump at the offer. You should first do a little research to see if there are any better deals out there, especially if the card doesn’t have great ongoing rewards. That’s what I kept in mind when deciding whether or not to get the $250 gift card Citi ThankYou Preferred Credit Card, and here’s the pro/con list I used: Pros - No annual fee: Unless a card offers rewards lucrative enough that it’s still more valuable than the competition even with an annual fee, you should avoid these fees. Cons - $250 initial bonus: Since you can get $500 on travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Hilton Card gives you a bunch of free nights, getting $250 in the form of gift cards isn’t all that great. - Base rewards: One point per dollar spent isn’t all that competitive, a number of cards give you 1.5% - 2% cash back on all purchases and others give much more on specific types of purchases. - 0% rates: The Citi Thank You Premier Credit Card doesn’t offer any, so there’s no interest rate incentive to get it. As you can guess, I didn’t end up getting the ThankYou Premier Citicard. It just doesn’t stand out relative to the other options I have and it would be a negative value proposition to get it.
As far as I’m concerned, people have three things to consider when deciding whether an everyday rewards card like the Bank of America Accelerated Rewards American Express Card is right for them: 1) How it compares to similar cards currently being offered; 2) How well it complements your spending habits; and 3) How convenient maximizing its rewards offerings will be. So let’s go one by one. 1. How it Compares. Since the BofA Accelerated Rewards Amex Card only gives you a $50 initial bonus and 1.25 points per $1 spent, it’s rewards really aren’t competitive. You can find cards offering a couple free flights, hotel nights, and up to $500 as initial bonuses; 1.5-2% cash back across all purchases; and up to 6% cash back on major spending categories like gas and groceries. So if rewards are what youre after I’d go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Cap One Venture, the PenFed Platinum Rewards, or the American Express Blue Cash Preferred instead of the Bank of America Accelerated Rewards Card. 2. How it complements. This card doesn’t offer any special rewards earning rates for specific spending categories, so it complements everyone’s spending the same. This could make it a good everyday rewards card if it had attractive rewards, but since it doesn’t, it’s just a missed opportunity considering that you can save 5% on gas with the PenFed Card or 6% on groceries with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. 3. Convenience Im not a big fan of cards that give rewards in points. Cash back rewards are much more straightforward and do not require you to redeem often to avoid seeing your points become worth less when the credit card company ups the number you need for certain rewards. This probably wont be a big deal, but you also cant use Amex cards as many places as you can Visa or MC. Overall, the Bank of America Accelerated Rewards Amex is a fine card, especially since it doesn’t have an annual fee, but you can do better.
Hahahaha, Barclays is ridiculous. I can’t believe they are being so blatant about trying to trick people. It’s so obvious that they want people to think that this is the Black Card all of the celebrities have and then shell out $495! for it. But the real Black Card is actually called the Centurion Card and it’s issued by Amex. I hope people get tipped off by the fact that an ultra-exclusive card that no one really know much about would never be listed on a website just like any other card. Yeah, I’m sure Jay-Z went onto WalletHub and compared cards before deciding that a $495 credit card that doesn’t give much in return would be the best fit for him. Please. I mean the Visa Black Card offers 1% cash back across all purchases, which is easily bested by any number of credit cards. Sure, it gives you lounge access, but a lot of cards do that as well and if you fly enough to really need it, you’ll probably get it for free instead of having to pay 500 bucks for it. What about 0% on transfers for 15 months? The Slate Card offers the same thing and doesn’t charge the same 3% fee. Needless to stay, there’s very little reason to even consider opening the Visa Black Card.
If you have bad credit, as most of the people interested in the Credit One Platinum Visa Credit Card likely do, you want two things out of a credit card: attainability and the lowest possible fixed costs. You obviously want a card you will get approved for because having a credit card is the most efficient way to build credit since information will be relayed to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis and it will be positive and therefore helpful to your credit score if you either pay your bill on time or don’t use it at all. You want to minimize costs because you aren’t going to get great rewards or really low interest rates, you want to get in the habit of paying your bill in full every month and you want to retain the option of building your credit without making charges if youre at all worried about overspending. With these two needs in mind, it’s clear that the Credit One Platinum Visa Card is not an ideal fit for people with bad credit. Pros - Only requires bad credit for approval, which means you can open it and indeed build some credit. - You can get a credit line up to $1,500, which is helpful if you need additional funds while building credit (if you have unexpected expenses, for example). Cons - The Credit One Platinum Visa charges a $75 first year annual fee and beginning in the second year, it charges $8.25 per month ($99 annually). - It doesn’t offer rewards and has a high 23.9% interest rate, which means you aren’t paying the annual fee in return for and distinct perks. - As Theresa McIntyre said, Credit One’s customer service doesn’t seem to be too good either. Unless you really need some additional credit, unsecured credit cards for bad credit like the Platinum Credit One Visa Card aren’t going to quite compare with secured options. Because they require a refundable security deposit, they generally have far cheaper fees. Two cards in particular to look at are the Orchard Bank Secured and the Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card.
The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card is an interesting offer. The reason why is that for some people, it is a really great option that will prove very lucrative, but for others it wont quite measure up to the best cards on the market. It all really depends on how much you spend on gas and groceries and whether or not you bank with Bank of America. This will become a bit more clear with a quick little pro/con list for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Card. Pros - Many cards offer more lucrative initial bonuses than the Bankamericard Cash Rewards Visa’s $50, but they also tend to require that you spend a few thougsand dollars in the first few months. This card’s bonus is much more attainable for less heavy spenders since you only need to spend $100 in the first 60 days to get it. - Cash back rewards are always a plus because you know exactly what youre going to get. 3% on gas, 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else is pretty good too…IF you only spend around $1500 on gas and groceries every three months. - Getting a 10% rewards bonus is a great treat for Bank of America bank account holders as well. - Having 0% for 12 months can also allow you to leave more money in the bank for longer and gain good interest. - Having no annual fee on a card that offers good rewards is also pretty nice. Cons - Since you only get the 2%/3% rates up to $1500 spend on gas and groceries combined each quarter, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Card will turn into a 1% cash back card when you hit this milestone. - There are a few other cards out there that offer better rewards on gas and groceries. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card is a pretty good everyday spending credit card, but before you apply for it I suggest also checking out the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card to see which would be more lucrative for your particular spending habits.
I’m trying to find a connection between Diamonds, Platinum, and Simplicity. Does Citi think it’s easy to get diamonds and platinum? I don’t know, but the Citi Diamond Preferred Card, Platinum Select Card and Simplicity Card all offer basically the same terms. None offers rewards or charges an annual fee. All charge 3% balance transfer fees. All require excellent credit. And all offer 0% on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. So should you pick one? Should it be the Diamond Preferred Citicard or another? How do you choose. Here’s my pro/con list for the Diamond Preferred Card, I think it will help. Pros - 0% on purchases for 18 months: A year and a half without having to pay interest on a big purchase? Yes please. The same length of time to only pay the minimum each month and let my money EARN interest? Course. - No annual fee: You don’t want to waste money on an annual fee when your trying to save on interest. - Lowish regular rate: The Diamond Preferred’s regular APR is 11.99 – 21.99%, depending on your credit standing. This is the same as the Platinum Select and slightly better than the Simplicity’s 12.99-21.99%. Cons - 3% balance transfer fee: This can cost you hundred(s) of bucks, so it makes the Citi Diamond Preferred Credit Card ill-suited for balance transfers. - High credit requirement: It sorta stinks that you need excellent credit to get the Diamond Preferred Card because the people who you’d think would really need help paying off debt are those with lower scores. When you get down to it, there is really no difference between the Citi Diamond Preferred Card and the Citi Platinum Select Card; either would be a great choice for paying off big purchases. Neither would be better for balance transfers than the No Balance Transfer Fee Chase Slate Card.
It’s quite obvious who the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard is for. It doesn’t have an annual fee or rewards but does offer a 0% introductory APR for awhile, which makes it pretty much ideal for someone with excellent credit who is either planning a big purchase or wishing to get a lower interest rate for existing credit card debt. Whether or not it’s the best card for this type of person remains to be seen, so her are the pros and cons of picking the Citi Platinum Select Credit Card as I see them. Pros - 0% purchase APR for 18 months: That’s the longest 0% intro period on the market, so it gives you as long as is currently possible to pay off purchase before interest kicks in or even leave your credit card payments in the bank if you find an account with an interest rate better than the best rewards. - 0% balance transfer APR for 18 months: As was the case with purchases, the Platinum Select Citicard’s balance transfer APR is the longest on the market. There is however a downside to this card’s balance transfer terms, as you’ll see in the cons. - No annual fee: It’d be kind of counterproductive to try to avoid interest costs when paying an annual fee. Cons - 3% balance transfer fee: If you transfer a $5,000 balance for example, this will cost you $150. - Excellent credit requirement: If you don’t have excellent credit, this could certainly be construed as a con, especially considering the tantalizing terms offered by the Citi Platinum Card. All in all, you can’t do better than the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard or its cousins the Citi Simplicity and the Citi Diamond Preferred (which offer the same terms) if you need as long as possible to pay off an upcoming purchase. If you want to transfer a balance, I’d go with the No Balance Transfer Fee Slate Card from Chase as long as it’s available because it offers 0% for 15 months and does not charge the same expensive transfer fee. Id love to hear others' thoughts on this matter as well!
Should you apply for the Applied Bank Secured Credit Card? That is indeed the question. But how do you answer it? When I look at a new credit card offer I like to work backwards from my needs. Given your obvious interest in secured cards, it’s likely that you need a card that A) you can qualify for b) that helps you build, rebuild or maintain your credit standing and C) that minimizes the cost of doing so. You’re certainly on the right track because secured credit cards offer the closest you’ll find to guarantee approval and they report to the major credit bureaus, which means you can improve your credit standing by adding positive information to your credit reports on a monthly basis via either on time bill payment or simply locking your card away unused. Whether or not the Applied Bank Secured Card is the right choice for the job is another story entirely. Pros - The Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Credit Card offers pretty much assured approval, but all secured cards do so. - It also requires a $200 minimum deposit, the lowest you’ll find, but still not a differentiating factor between this and other cards. - 9.99% fixed APR: This is pretty low, but you should always pay your secured card bills in full because it’s a good habit to get into for later credit card use. Cons - $50 annual fee: This is the biggest downside to the Applied Bank Secured Visa, as it’s a rather steep fixed cost for a card that naturally protects the issuer with a refundable security deposit. Ultimately, the one con outweighs the three pros and the Applied Bank Secured Gold Visa Card isn’t the best choice for secured card users. The Orchard Bank Secured Card does not charge any membership fees in the first year ($35 after that), and one year of proper secured card use is enough to build the credit standing necessary to qualify for an unsecured card. So to return to your original question, no you should not apply for the Applied Bank Secured Card. What does everyone else think?
So what is it; do you have a big purchase coming up or are you trying to lower the cost of existing debt? I mean, those are the two main reasons to look into a card like the IberiaBank Visa Select Credit Card that doesn’t offer any rewards but has low(ish) interest rates. The IberiaBank Visa Select Card requires excellent credit for approval after all, which means you’d be wasting a lot of potential rewards value using it for everyday spending. With this in mind, let’s take a gander at what I see as being the IberiaBank Visa’s pros and cons. Pros - Frankly, I’m having a tough time finding a true pro in regards to the Visa Select Card from Iberia Bank. Cons - 0% intro APR on purchases: You might be thinking that this should definitely be a pro as it’s the most appealing part of the Iberia Vis Select Card offer, but there are a couple of problems with this low interest introductory term. First of all, this intro rate is available for 0-12 months depending on your credit standing, and I typically prefer to know exactly what I’m getting from my credit cards. This is especially true when there are cards out there that definitively offer 0% on purchases for 18 months (Citi Simplicity, Diamond Preferred, and Platinum Select). - $35 annual fee: When youre trying to save on interest you don’t want to waste money on an annual fee, especially when the cards with the longest 0% terms on the market don’t charge annual fees. - 1.99% - 7.5% intro rate on balance transfers: You already know how I feel about credit card terms expressed in range form, and you can get 0% on transfers for 15 months with the Slate Card from Chase. - 3% balance transfer fee: The Slate Card doesn’t charge any balance transfer fee either. So the Iberia Bank Visa Select Credit Card got 4 cons and 0 pros in my book. Needless to say there are better options out there, namely any of the 0% Citicards if you want to avoid interest on a purchase thatll take you a while to pay off and a No Balance Transfer Slate Card from Chase if you want to transfer a balance. If you want rewards, there are a number of good cards including the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture and Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
What kind of credit card is worth a $450 annual fee? In my opinion, probably none, but I guess we will see because that’s what the Platinum Card from American Express charges. Anyway, I don’t believe the Amex Platinum Card is actually made of platinum so that theory is out. That seems like two negatives compared to zero positives, but let’s give the American Express Platinum Charge Card a fair shake. Pros - 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first three months. Since you can get a $250 statement credit with 36,000 points, that sure is a pro. - Airport lounge access is certainly a nice amenity for frequent travelers. - A free companion ticket will also bring a decent amount of value. - $200 in airline credits for incidental charges will also come in handy for frequent travelers. - Getting a points discount when you redeem for travel is pretty good too because you’re going to do so as much as possible. Cons - The ongoing rewards aren’t special. If I'm going to pay $450, I want more than 1-2 miles per $1 spent. - The whole concierge service offered by credit cards is just a glorified customer service and I wouldn’t give it much weight. Overall the Platinum Amex Card gives you a lot but it takes a lot too. You really need to sit down and monetize how much each of the cards “perks” would actually amount to and compare this amount to the annual fee. If they’re worth less or the card doesn’t provide as much value as say the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card ($500-625), then I wouldn’t get it. And I'm guessing that the Amex Platinum Card does not.
It’s baaack. It sure seems like big initial bonus season or something because Alec Baldwin has been firing up potential Capital One customers recently with the Venture Card’s Double Miles Challenge and Chase and British Airways just brought back the British Airways Credit Card’s 100,000 bonus mile deal. In other words, you get 50,000 bonus miles for getting the British Airways rewards Card and making a single purchase, 25,000 additional bonus miles for spending $10,000 within the first year, and another 25,000 for spending another $10,000. Sorry to get your hopes up because 100,000 bonus miles sounds a lot better than 50,000 plus the possibility of 25,000 more and the unlikely chance to get another 25,000. Anyway, I think going over some of the pros and cons of the British Airways Credit Card. Pros - You’re assured of at least 50,000 Avios points with the British Airways Credit Card and since you only need 12,500 to get a free economy cross country flight and 20,000 for a transatlantic one, that’s a pretty good deal in and of itself. - If you spend enough to get the additional 50,000 bonus miles from the BA Credit Card, you’ll probably also be able get a free companion ticket each year…not too shabby. - The British Airways Credit Card is obviously geared toward international travel, so while having no foreign transaction fees is expected, it’s nice to see nonetheless. Cons - The ongoing rewards (2.5 Avios miles per $1 spent on BA and 1.25 on everything else) aren’t really anything of note, although if you do fly BA a lot, they will come in handy. - The fact that the Chase British Airways Card is a “smartcard” doesn’t really mean much. The caqrd doesn’t have a PIN, which means you wont be able to use it at train kiosks and stuff like that out of the country. - My friend once got the BA Card and said that redeeming rewards miles is made very difficult by things like blackout dates and restrictions. - A $95 annual fee isn’t what you like to see, but this card’s rewards have the potential to be worth it. All in all whether or not you get the British Airways Credit Card really depends on how much you travel and how often you do so with British Airways. If you do both a lot, the BA Card should be in your wallet and you can be very happy about all the bonus miles. If you want to use this card for a single European adventure or something like that, it could work, but you need to be flexible about when you travel. I would not get this card if you never travel internationally and just want to maybe do so down the road because cash would be worth a lot more to u and the miles you get might go unredeemed.
Ok, so when you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit, you probably want to keep costs low right? I mean, if your credit was damaged it might have been due to money problems and if you are just new to the credit world or a stay at home spouse looking to maintain credit standing, you don’t want to be wasting money either. This is especially true since secured cards aren’t going to offer you much in the way of rewards or low interest rates, which means there’s really nothing to pay for. There are secured cards out there that don’t charge fees and secured cards all offer basically guaranteed approval, so you wont need to be a better candidate to get one or anything like that. Anyway, all I’m saying is keep that in mind when you’re checking out the First Progress Secured Credit card because there’s no reason to settle and waste money. Now, if the First Progress is the cheapest option out there, you’d need to look no further. I think a nice pro/con list can help us make that determination. Pros - The fact that you can get the Secured First Progress Card if you have the $300 to place a minimum deposit has to be a plus since itll get you started building credit as long as you pay your bills on time. Cons - The fact that you need to throw down $300 to get the First Progress Secured Card has to be a minus since most secured cards only require a $200 deposit. It’s all about that liquidity, baby! - And of course the First Progress Secured Card’s $39 annual fee doesn’t put a smile on my face. All in all, you can do better than the First Progress Secured Credit Card. I recommend the Orchard Bank Secured Card instead because it doesn’t charge an annual fee in the first year, and a year is usually all you need to build the credit necessary to get a regular credit card.
For some reason I'm naturally skeptical of a credit card with MTV in the name and an MTV-themed picture on the front. But as were all taught, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The most beneficial credit cards are often not the ones you’d think anyway. So I’ll give the MTV Visa Card from Capital One a chance; maybe itll surprise me. Pros - I like the fact that the MTV credit card gives you a rewards bonus for keeping your account in good standing; too many people out there simply don’t pay their bills, and it’s good to promote the opposite. - If entertainment is one of your biggest spending categories, the MTV Card’s rewards are pretty beneficial as well. - No annual fee is always nice to see. Cons - It strikes me as odd that Capital One is offering an MTV Credit Card, which one would think would be a student credit card, but is requiring good or excellent credit to get it. I guess they think people who were teenagers in MTV’s infancy will want to get it? - You’d obviously like to see cash rewards instead of points, but that’s a minor gripe. - 0% for 12 months is ok, but a bunch of cards give it to you for longer. Overall, the MTV Capital One Visa Card is decent. In addition to the confusing branding, the MTV card’s rewards are just ok and the same can be said for its rates. I just have a hard time believing that people spend more on DVDs and video games than gas, groceries and stuff like that. So I would just go for a great gas card like the PenFed Platinum or a good everyday spending card like the Amex Blue Cash Preferred. And if I wanted low rates, instead of the MTV Visa, Id go with the Slate Card from Chase if I wanted to transfer a balance and one of the 0% Citicards if I wanted to save on a big purchase. I suppose though, if I really did spend a lot on entertainment, I might pick up a Cap One MTV Visa Card as well.
Let me ask you one question, if you wanted to buy something online, do you think you’d find the cheapest prices by shopping around and going to a bunch of different sites like Best Buy and Amazon or by shopping through a credit card company’s online shopping mall? The latter would be like doing your Christmas shopping at SKyMall or something, so probably the shopping around option, huh? Such is one major reason I am not a huge fan of the Discover Motiva Card. Getting 20% cash back looks really good on an ad and it might catch a lot of people’s eyes, but it’s not really a practical benefit at all. I guess that’s the first con in my pro/con list for the Discover Motiva Credit Card. Pros - Discover’s Motiva Card doesn’t have an annual fee, which is always nice. - It gives you 0% on purchases and transfers for 15 months, and this could help you pay down big purchases over time without wasting money on interest, save money on existing debt, or even leave most of your monthly payment in the bank accruing interest. The only problem is there are cards with longer 0% terms out there. Cons - The Motiva Card from Discover charges a 3% balance transfer fee, and the Slate Card from Chase offers 0% for 15 months as well and does not charge a transfer fee at all. - I NEVER like to see the words “Up to” in front of 1% cash back. - This card basically encourages you to only pay the minimum by promising you 5% of your next month’s interest back. The only problem with this is you waste 95% of the interest relative to paying your bill on time. If I were you Id look for other options. There are a few Citicards offering 0% for 18 months, if you want a balance transfer, the Slate Card is the way to go, and there are countless cards out there with better rewards than the Discover Motiva Card.
When you’re trying to evaluate whether to get a financial product, or anything really, you need some context. Who is it for? What purpose does it serve? The credit standing required to get a particular credit card offer provides this context, so we know that the Capital One Classic Credit Platinum Credit Card is meant to be used by people without much experience using credit, presumably to build their credit standing. This tells you what to look for from the Capital One Classic Platinum Card: first and foremost, low fees that allow you to build credit inexpensively, and maybe some modest rewards or low interest rates. So how well does the Cap One Classic Platinum fit its niche? Pros - A 0% introductory interest rate for 8 months is pretty darn good for the limited credit category and if you have limited credit but need to make a big ticket purchase in the near future (if you are a recent college grad needing to purchase furniture, for example), the Capital One Classic Platinum Card could certainly help you save. Cons - The $39 annual fee does not help you keep credit building costs low. You can generally find other credit cards for limited credit or secured cards without such rigid fees. - No rewards. This really isn’t a surprise in light of the 0% offer, but you’d obviously like something. If you want to simply build credit at the lowest cost, I’d go with the Capital One Platinum Card, the Capital One Cash Rewards for Newcomers, or the Orchard Bank Secured Card instead of the Classic Platinum Card because of their lower fees. If you want a low interest rate, I guess go with the Cap One Classic Platinum if and only if, you would spend more than $39 on interest otherwise. And finally if you want to earn rewards, I’d go with the Capital One Cash Rewards.
Is the Discover More Card – 0% for 15 months the “More” Discover is telling you to find with its subliminal credit card naming? They probably want you to think it is, but we’ll be the judge of that. What the Discover More 0% Credit Card offers is clear: 0% on purchases and balance transfers (3% fee) for 15 months, 5% cash back on rotating categories, and up to 1% on everything else. What isn’t clear is how these terms stack up against the competition, but don’t worry, I got a pro/con list that might help in that regard. Pros - 0% for 15 months: there are other cards out there that offer 0% on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, in fact some don’t even charge balance transfer fees and others offer 0% for 18 months, but the ability to escape interest for over a year is a pro regardless. - High maximum cash back rate: 5% on major spending categories is a lot. Cons - Rewards uncertainty: Not knowing which rotating categories will give you max rewards next is annoying, as is having to sign up for the 5% rewards on a quarterly basis, as is getting UP TO 1% cash back on everything else instead of actually 1% cash back. In the end, no matter what need you have, a card other than the 0% Discover More Card will probably be able to meet it better than the 0% Discover More Card. Want to transfer a balance? The No Balance Transfer Slate Card from Chase offers 0% for the same 15 months as Discover’s More Card but doesn’t charge you a balance transfer fee. Want to save on an upcoming big ticket purchase? There are a few Citicards that offer 0% for 18 months. So, needless to say, I’d think about the reason why you’re getting a credit card and explore your options before applying for the Discover More Credit Card with 0% for 15 months.
As you may or may not know secured credit cards are those that require a refundable security deposit and as such they offer the highest approval rates of any credit cards (issuers don’t need to turn down risky customers when they have financial protection already in place). They are obviously most popular with people who have limited or damaged credit that prevents them from getting approved for an unsecured credit card. And since, if you’re part of this group, you really only care about getting approved for a card and building credit, you might just jump at the first secured card you can get your hands on, the Capital One Secured MasterCard perhaps. The problem with this approach is you wont be able to minimize costs. I’m not saying the Capital One Cecured Card is expensive to use but without comparing all of the secured cards available, how do you know you’re getting the cheapest option? You don’t. Since you probably don’t want to invest all that time, I’ll give ya a hand because you know what, that’s what friends are for. Pros - The Capital One Secured MasterCard is attainable for people with little, no, or damaged credit. - It requires only a $200 deposit (this is the lowest you’ll required deposit you’ll find, though most cards do not require more). Cons - $29 annual fee (you want to build credit as inexpensively as possible and set fees do not help). - That’s really the only con you need. When all is said and done, the Capital One Secured MasterCard Credit Card is a decent choice, but if there are options available that have lesser fixed costs, you should opt for one of them. (All major secured cards report to the three major credit bureaus). One of these cards is the Orchard Bank Secured Card, which does not charge an annual fee in the first year. You can usually build a substantial amount of credit in a year (if you use your card responsibly), so a year’s all you really need with a secured card. Oh, and finally, there’s no reason to worry about things like interest rates because you should always pay your bill in full when trying to build credit.
People looooveee getting free stuff from their credit cards, so much so that its easy to forget that this free stuff inevitably has a dollar value, which it’s important to find out and compare to the cash offers available from other cards. I mean you could be wowed by the 6 free nights you can get by opening the Marriott Credit Card, but I personally have no idea what a category 1 hotel is and whether its on the good or bad end of the spectrum. This is important because you should really only get a hotel or airline affiliated card, such as the Marriott Card, for ongoing use if you use that company’s services frequently and consistently. The pool of people who could benefit from a good initial bonus would be much larger, however. So read my likes and dislikes about the Marriott Rewards Credit Card with a sense of what group you’d fit into. Pros - Depending on where you stay and when, the Marriot Card’s initial bonus should be worth somewhere in the $400 – 900 range, which is pretty great. - The Marriott Credit Card gives you Marriott status points; you start off with Silver status and get 10 points toward Elite status; your status dictates the number of free goodies and services you get each time you stay. Cons - Three points per $1 spent at Marriott Hotels isn’t that great as far as ongoing rewards are concerned. - While there’s no annual fee in the first year, having to pay $45 a year thereafter for average ongoing rewards isn’t that great. So, for those of you considering applying for the Marriott Rewards Credit Card, here’s what I’d do. If you stay at Marriott properties all the time, I’d pass on the Marriott Rewards Card for its Premier counterpart, the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. It has a better initial bonus and better ongoing rewards, so for the frequent Marriott customer, it’d be worth the $85 annual fee (beginning in the second year). And since non-frequent customers would presumably only be getting the Marriott Credit Card for the initial bonus, I’d recommend that they get the Premier option too. The thinking here is that you can get 7 or 8 free nights as opposed to 6 and probably wouldn’t keep your account open for longer than a year anyway. Even if you want to, the free night you get each year would pretty much pay for the annual fee. Ultimately the Marriott Premier Card is just a better Marriott Rewards Card than the Marriott Rewards Card itself.
Do you guys think William Shattner has this card? Probably, and the Big Deal too. But whether you, I, or anyone else should as well is another story entirely. One which depends on what the Priceline Credit Card has to offer and what you tend to spend your money on. I mean, I don’t think the Priceline Card has a Name Your Own Rates and Rewards feature like Priceline.com has for flights, and you don’t want to get a card that offers rewards in spending categories that aren’t important to you. The Priceline.com Credit Card is going to be travel oriented, that’s no secret, and only people who travel frequently should get it for ongoing use. A credit card company can easily make earned rewards less valuable by changing the number of points or miles you need for redemption, which would be a big concern for people who try to save up a lot of miles for vacations months or years away. Now, if the Priceline Card has a great initial bonus, everyone could benefit. So keep this in mind as you check out what I feel are the pros and cons of the Priceline Credit Card. Pros - Your points are worth 50% percent more when redeemed toward Name Your Own Price Fares, making big time savings that much better. The only problem I have with the Name Your Own Price thing is that you get a window for your departure and return flight times. I’m not really into being on call for vacations. - You can redeem points for statement credits, not just travel. This makes the Priceline Card more versatile, but also means that if it doesn’t offer competitive terms, youre basically paying extra for branding, which isn’t a good idea especially sicne Capital One lets you put any picture you want on the front of your card. Cons - You only get $25 from the 2,500 point initial bonus. A $25 initial bonus is better than nothing, but when you can get $600 more than that from the Chae Sapphire Preferred Card, it’s sure not attractive. - C’mon Priceline, you’re really only going to give people 2 points per $1 on Pricleine.com purchases and 1 point per $1 on everything else? Those rewards just give the Priceline.com Credit Card a bad name. - The 0% balance transfer offer simply doesn’t stack up well against the competition either. The Priceline Card just doesn’t cut it. Even if you use Priceline a lot, you’d be better off getting a good generic travel card like the Cap One Venture because you can apply the miles you earn (at a 2% clip across all purchases) to any travel purchase you want. If you want an initial bonus to lower the cost of a specific trip, go with the Sapphire Preferred. And if you want a low interest rate, get the No Balance Transfer Fee Slate Card from Chase.
I understand that people with limited credit don’t have many options in terms of what credit cards they can get, but that doesn’t mean you should just settle for whatever you come across last like a drunken frat guy at Sharkey’s. So while the Capital One Platinum Card might be one of only a few cards that you can qualify for, you should still evaluate it and do a little comparison with other cards. Here’s what I would say the pros and cons are for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card: Pros - No annual fee in the first year means you can build credit for free using the Platinum Cap One Card. Since you can usually see pretty decent credit score gains in a year, you might even be off to a better off before you’re on the hook for the $19 fee in the second year. Cons - I guess the fact that the Cap One Platinum Card only has one pro has to be a con. - You’d also like to see at least some rewards. - Either that or low introductory interest rates. Ultimately the Platinum Credit Card from Capital One is an ok option for people fairly new to credit as minimizing the cost of credit building is your top priority and the Platinum Card does that well. However, if you can find a similarly cheap card with good rewards, I’d go with that instead. (Ideally, yoi should be paying your bills in full).
I just took a look at the Capital One Platinum Card, and that got me interested in credit cards for fair credit, which of course brought me to Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards. In looking at cards like the Platinum Card or the Orchard Bank MasterCards, you have to consider what your priorities are. I mean, do you want rewards, low rates, no fees, etc. And since rewards and low rates wont be that rewarding or low, they should take a back seat to no fees. You want to build credit at the lowest possible cost in order to get the good credit one needs to get truly rewarding cards as well as long 0% offers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of getting an Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard. Pros - To be frank, I don’t really see any, aside from the fact that people with limited credit would have a chance to get an Orchard Classic MasterCard. Cons - Well, where to start? - Orchard Bank MasterCards have $39-59 annual fees (depending on your exact credit standing) so that rules out using them to build credit at the lowest possible cost. - They don’t have rewards either. - Nor do they have low interest rates. As you can probably tell, I’m not the biggest fan of the Orchard Bank MasterCard. It’s just that there are other options (like the Capital One Platinum) that help you build credit for free, so why waste the money? Even if you cant get such a card, a secured card would effectively do the same thing (you’d have to place a $200 deposit, but its refundable).
It seems like it was sooo long ago that I was in college, but believe it or not, I still remember what it was like. Heading to Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturdays in the Fall must help! Aside from tailgates, one thing I remember about college is having to figure out how to handle my own finances and in particular how to use a credit card responsibly. As I learned following graduation, it’s really important to get yourself on the road to a good credit score early because this just makes everything else, from finding an apartment to getting a job, that much easier. That means you need to find a good student credit card, and the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card will be a popular candidate. Don’t worry, the Cap One Journey Card doesn’t give you points or miles toward seeing Journey in concert or anything like that, in fact I think the whole “Journey” aspect of the name is meant to speak to the whole “find your way” college experience and the beginning of your credit career. At any rate, I doubt you care why this card is named what it is, you want to know whether or not to get it. So, I’ll do for you what I did to choose between guys in college, make a pro/con list. Pros - The fact that the Journey Student Credit Card offers cash back rewards is great because they are the most straightforward of all rewards types (you know exactly what they’re worth). - The fact that it gives you the same cash back rate across all purchases is great too because you don’t need to worry about whether a given expense qualifies for a certain category or sign up for rotating categories. - The fact that you get a cash back bonus for paying on time is also great because it helps you build good habits. - It’s HUGELY important that the Journey Card doesn’t have an annual fee. Your goal at this point should be to build credit and save money. Cons - There’s no low intro interest rate. - There are no heightened rewards on specific spending categories important to students. Overall it shouldn’t really matter that the Journey Card doesn’t have low rates because it should be your goal to always pay your bill in full anyway. This just goes back to the fact that you want to build credit and save money, and the Capital One Journey Card helps you do both. That’s why it’s usually regarded as one of the best student cards, but you don’t have to take my word for it. I’d compare other offer before you apply for the Journey Card (pay special attention to the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Credit Card for College Students.
Joe Weider down there joked that you wouldn’t want blue money cause itd be worthless but as far as I’m concerned as long as that blue cash equates to a lot of green, I’m cool with it. And you know what, it does, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card is a great offer that does give you great rewards on the purchases you make the most, grocery stores, gas stations, and of course shopping at department stores. And we can all see that it gives you $100 bucks essentially for singing up. But I’ll give it the ol’ pro con list treatment anyway. Pros - Good rewards for recurring purchases. - The fact that the rewards are cash rewards (more straightforward than points or miles). - No annual fee to offset the value of the rewards. Cons - The only bad thing about this card is that it isn’t the best at what it does. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred is just a better Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card than the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card is. Yes, that card has a $75 annual fee, but it also gives you double the rewards as the Blue Card Everyday. So, overall, I gotta say that the American Express Blue Cash Everyday is a great card, but its cousin is just a bit better.
If you’re familiar with the Orchard Bank Secured Card, you know that it’s one of the best secured cards available, and whether you’ve used it or not, this knowledge might lead you to look at Orchard Bank Visa Cards when it’s time to move to an unsecured card. Is that a good idea. I can tell you right away that it’s not, but you don’t just have to take my word for it, I’ll tell you why I’m not a fan of Orchard Bank Visa Cards. Pros - The only pro I can see in relation to an Orchard Bank Visa is the fact that people with fair credit might be able to get them. That’s it. Cons - Orchard Bank Visa Cards do not offer rewards, making them ill-suited for everyday spending. - Orchard Bank Visas don’t have low introductory interest rates, making them ill-suited for carrying debt. - Orchard Bank Visas charge high annual fees, making them ill-suited for building credit without card use. The truth is, if you’ve been using a secured card for a while and/or are fairly new to credit use, you probably want to take the training wheels off and use an unsecured card. But you shouldn’t do this just to do this and that’s what the case would be if you got the Orchard Bank Visa Credit Card. It doesn’t offer rewards or low interest; it just costs more than secured cards. I’ll tell ya what, I’d rather temporarily give up $200 to make a secured cards security deposit than permanently give up $39 - $59 each year to use an Orchard Bank Secured. Oh, and if you have good credit, there are countless cards better than this, so I’d certainly look elsewhere.
At first glance, you might wonder who if anyone would want to get a Sony Credit Card. I mean, who spends that much on Sony products anyway? But when you think about it more, Sony offers a lot of different products, and big ticket products at that. They’re got TVs, cameras, video cameras, laptops, Blue Ray players, Paystations, etc., etc. So you very well could spend a lot of coin on Sony and theoretically save a lot with the Sony Credit Card from Capital One. If it’s a good offer, that is. Pros - Decent rewards on Sony purchases; 5 pts/$1 spent is usually around what you can expect from co-branded credit cards on their primary purchase categories, but you can sometimes do better. - Extra points on dining and movies : Many co-branded cards settle with extra rewards on a main purchase category and 1 point/$1 on everything else. - No annual fee: Many rewards cards charge them, but the Sony Card’s rewards really aren’t lucrative enough to warrant that. - 0% offer: Yopu can do better than 0% on purchases for 8 months, but if you are going to buy a Sony product and will need a bit of extra time to pay it off, the combination of rewards and low interest this card provides is pretty helpful. Cons - The Capital One Sony Credit Card is really only worthwhile for the biggest Sony spenders. - It requires good or excellent credit for approval, which means there is a lot of stiff competition. When you get down to it, you want a rewards card that will benefit you on a consistent basis, and the Sony Card will only do so if you spend a lot on Sony purchases each month. Sure, you could conceivably get it for a single big-ticket Sony purchase, but wouldn’t a $500 initial bonus from the Chase Sapphire Card be more helpful? You can also save more on things like dining with other cards. So for most people the Sony Credit Card won’t be a great fit.
Oh, hey, look it’s a secured credit card with a 0% interest rate, awesome! That is the exact reaction a lot of people probably have when they come across the Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card, but whether this card merits unbridled enthusiasm or a closer look is another matter. Ok, compromise, we will look at the Platinum Zero Secured Visa with a cautiously optimistic attitude. Pros - A fixed 0% APR is ridiculous because it means you will never have to worry about interest and can therefore pay above the minimum at your leisure. - The Platinum Secured Visa Card also reports to the major credit bureaus, and while that’s definitely a pro, it’s important to note that all major secured cards do this. Cons - Oh, that’s why the Platinum Secured Visa can afford to give you a fixed 0% APR; it charges you $9.95 per month, which would be hard to justify paying. - It requires a $500 minimum deposit, $300 more than a standard secured card. - It encourages you to revolve a balance and since you don’t want to always be stuck using the Platinum Zero Secured Credit Card, this is not a habit you want to get into. I’m not a big fan of this card overall. I just think you’d do better getting a secured card with lower fees and getting in the habit of paying your bill completely at the end of the month. This will be invaluable when you build up your credit and are exposed to cards with attractive rewards and high credit lines.
I’m not really quite sure why more people don’t use charge cards. I mean, I get that you need excellent credit to get them most of the time, and you have to pay your bill in full every month, but isn’t that a good thing? If you’re going to get a rewards card, you should be paying its bill in full anyway, so why not at least include charge cards in your search to see if any offer the best rewards available on your biggest expenses? American Express controls a large portion of the charge card market, which means that the American Express Gold Card is an option you really should keep open. Pros - The Amex Gold Card doesn’t have an annual fee in the first year (most charge cards charge relatively high annual fees to compensate for the added rewards they provide – come to think of it, this might be a con). - Exclusive access to sporting events, concerts and shows (charge cards are sort of known for offering “access” and “unique experiences” in addition to the normal points, miles or cash back common with rewards credit cards, but aside from maybe getting the chance to buy tickets before the general public, what does “exclusive access” really mean? ) Cons - The American Express Gold Charge Card has No Preset Spending Limit. While I used to think that this meant you could spend as much as you wanted each month, it actually just means that Amex basically makes your limit up as it goes along, you never know what it is, and you can hurt your credit score because of high credit line utilization or something along those lines. - $125 second year annual fee; If you’re going to charge a high annual fee, there had better be some pretty darn good rewards to justify it. That means the Amex Gold Card’s exclusive access better be top notch. When you get down to it, you might find cheaper credit and charge card options that give you more than the American Express Gold does. But if you are a big fan of sporting events, concerts or shows, you might not. I’d therefore carefully consider your priorities and maybe give Amex a call to hear more about the Gold Card’s rewards before making a decision.