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The Open Sky secured visa card seems like a reasonable way to raise your credit score. It requires a minimum deposit of 200 dollars and has an APR of 17.5%, which is not too bad. If you pay your monthly balance, there is no interest. At annual fee of 29 dollars is not too bad either. So, this really is just a kind of meat and potatoes card with no rewards or perks, but I think it offers a good means to improve your credit. The Capital One secured master card has a higher APR at 22.9%, but has the same annual fee. However, it allows for lower starting deposits of 49 or 99 dollars. That might be a better option if you don't have enough money for the Open Sky. Both cards seem pretty decent for those wishing to raise their credit score.
I don't see much to like about the Crate and Barrel store card. The APR is high at 26.99% and while there is a financing option, you have to spend $999 to partake. Also, is 10 dollars earned for every 200 spent really worth the high APR? Unless you are paying everything off quickly, that APR is going to erase those bonus gains. Looking at other home decor stores, The Pottery Barn credit card seems to give you a little better option. The APR, still higher than I would like, is a little more reasonable at 22.8%.The rewards are 1 point per dollar spent, and at 250 points you get a 25 dollar reward certificate. That is essentially what you are getting with the Crate and Barrel card. The 12 month special financing offered by Pottery Barn may be worth investigating. I think once again you are probably are better off paying up front or using your regular credit card unless financing plans are available to you.
In general I am not a huge fan of gas cards, but I think the Marathon credit card offers some nice incentives. The initial bonus, good for 90 days, of saving up to 50 cents per gallon is a really nice perk. It begs the question: how often will you get the full 50 cents or anything approaching it? The general rewards are 10 cents base earn and 25 cents max earn per gallon. There are also other varying rebates depending on how much you spend. That can add up if you are someone who uses a lot of gas. The biggest issues with this card is the APR that can be 16.99-24.99%. I don't think the rewards balance that out. You probably are better off using a card with a lower APR or just paying with cash or debit. I think the same goes for most gas cards in general. The Shell card, for example, has an APR of 24.99%. You do get some rewards you can put toward hotel stays, but I question if it is worth it. The Exxon card also has a high APR that falls between 19.99 and 23.99%. I really do believe, if possible, it's better to just pay cash up front. However, in case of an emergency when out on the road, it probably would be good to have a gas card as a backup.
If you have an excellent credit score, the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express looks like a winner. There is an intro rate of 0% interest for 15 months and you can earn up to 6% back on grocery store purchases. This looks like a good deal for a family who spends a pretty penny on their grocery bill. The regular APR falls between 12.99 and 21.99%. If you can keep your interest rate on the lower end, that seems like a fair APR. The drawback is that it is variable. That can sometimes be a burden if you are not careful with your finances. This card definitely beats the Capital One Platinum card I own by quite a wide margin. My card currently has an APR of 24.9% and I don't get any rewards points like the Blue Cash offers, but I got to design how my card looks, so take that Blue Cash!. If I had the credit score to do so, I would definitely consider this card.
I have had the Capital One Platinum credit card for several years now. Honestly, I plan on getting rid of this thing as soon as I pay off what I owe. The APR of 24.9% is a back breaker. The interest rate did not start out that high when I first got the card. It has gradually gone up over the years. There are not many perks that go with this card. I got it because I needed a credit card for college expenses. You can design how your card looks. Big deal. There are definitely better cards, but the problem is you need a better credit score to acquire them. I hope to pay this thing off within a year and remove the yoke from around my neck. I strongly suggest avoiding a card like this if you can't pay down what you owe quickly. Otherwise, it will be like a stone you drag around for many years.
Like many store cards, the Radio Shack credit card has a pretty high APR at 28.99%. In my experience you can often buy electronics cheaper at other retailers like Target and Sears, which have store cards with APR's of around 22 and 25 respectively. I don't think the initial bonus of a 10% discount merits such a high APR on the Radio Shack card. What I think redeems this card to a large extent is the financing plan the store offers. If you spend at least $150, you have 6 months of no interest if you pay your balance in full, and if you spend $300 or more, then you have a whole year. That is actually a good deal if you plan on making a big purchase. If you can't avoid the high APR, however, I would just suggest using your regular credit card if you must.
The Cabela store credit card seems pretty decent if you plan to make frequent purchases at the store. What stands out to me is the APR which ranges from 9.99 to 21.17%. If you can get an APR on the low end, I think you are getting a pretty good deal. Many store cards have fairly outrageous APR's that tend to be around 25%. For example, the Belk, TJ Max, and Kmart cards all hover right around 25%. The rewards earned on the Cabela card seem to be pretty average. Its max earn is only 2 points per dollar. The Sportman's Warehouse store card has a max earn of 3 points per dollar, but its APR (12.99-22.99%) is a little worse than that of the Cabela card.
The Kaiku prepaid debit looks like a fairly good card. There is no activation fee, but monthly maintenance will cost you $1.95. What I really like about this card is the zero dollar ATM fee if you stay in their network. There are 55,000 domestic ATM's in this network, so it looks like you have a fairly good chance of avoiding pesky ATM fees. Also, even if you do have to pay, the fee is $1.45, which is less than what I have often seen. I would say I like the American Express Serve prepaid card a little better than this one. With the Serve, there are no activation or monthly fees to pay. The ATM will cost you 2 dollars if you can't find one in their network though. Another good thing about both these cards is that you don't have to pay anything for customer support. There are other prepaid cards that try to squeeze every penny they can out of customers. With these two, there doesn't appear to be that kind of absurdity.
The Tire Kingdom store card looks like it would be nice to own in case you need new tires and don't have the money right away. The APR is pretty high at 28.95%, but they do offer no interest deals for 12 months($799 minimum purchase) and 6 months($199 at least) if paid in full. This can be a life saver if you don't have the money and you have an emergency with your car. The Goodyear store card has an APR of 28.99 %, but doesn't have "no interest" deals like Tire Kingdom. That is a lot of interest to pay and I don't really see many perks to make the card with it. You would be better off just using a regular card with a lower APR.
The Citi Secured Credit card looks like a pretty good way to improve your credit score. Your credit line is dictated by the amount of money you deposit in a CD-200-5000 dollars. Your performance is then reported to credit bureaus. Your deposit will earn interest of 1%. This all seems like a good way to improve your credit and work your way up to better credit cards. What I don't like is the APR of 18.24%. That is fairly high and for someone with already bad credit, it may cause difficulties. With an APR of 14.99%, the First Platinum Select secured credit card is a little more reasonable, but the minimum deposit is 300 dollars. Also, its annual fee is 10 dollars more at 39 dollars. I think if you are careful, either card will help you improve your credit.
I have had the Amazon.com store card for a few years now. This is a pretty basic card without many perks. The main reason I got it is because of their financing plan on larger items. I decided I was going to purchase my desktop computer from Amazon, so I used their store card. I didn't pay interest for a year and was able to pay down the computer quickly. The 25.99% APR is pretty high, but many store cards seem to be in the mid 20's for some reason or other. The Sony card is somewhat higher at 29.99%. The Best Buy card is 25.24-27.99%, but they offer an intro rate of 11.9%. I think if you plan on getting an expensive item, then the financing plan makes the Amazon card worth it, but otherwise, I would suggest using another card if paying with credit.
The Carnival credit card looks like a fairly decent card to have if you maintain a good credit score. I like that there 0 interest for the first 12 months and the sign up bonus of 5000 points is a nice perk. However, the normal 1 point per dollar and max 2 points per dollar is pretty middling I would say. The regular APR of 13.99-20.99% is not too bad either. The max penalty of 27.24% could hurt you though. I would say this card is about on par with another travel oriented credit card like The US Airways Premier World MasterCard. One thing that is better about the Carnival card is that it has no annual fee while the US Airways Premier has an annual fee of 89 dollars. The APR on the latter card is also slightly worst: 15.99-24.99%. It does also have an intro rate of 0% interest for 12 months though.
The American Express Serve looks like another good prepaid card. There is no activation fee or monthly maintenance fee. Moreover, there is no customer support fee for either automated or live support. Compare this to the Upside prepaid which charges 2 dollars for live and .99 cents for automated support. Also, there is a monthly maintenance fee of 4.95 if your account drops below 500 dollars. Another good thing about the American Express Serve is that there is no inactivity fee. The Western Union American Express prepaid is another good card, but it charges a 2.95 dollar inactivity fee after 120 days of non-use. I also like that there is an option of no ATM fees if you enroll in their Money Pass Network. The out of network fee will be 2 dollars. I think it is probably worth investigating how frequently you would be able to use their network. If you can avoid ATM fees for the most part, this would only sweeten the deal with this card.
The Western Union Prepaid Card meets all my criteria for a good prepaid card. There is no monthly maintenance fee unless you are inactive for 120 days. Then it is 2.95. There is no activation fee, which is great, for even most of the better cards have at least that cost. Also, there is no cost for either live or automated support. Even the ATM fee of 1.95 is lower than some of the cards I have seen. Compare this to the opposite extreme: the UPside prepaid card. Here you have to pay a fee of almost 5 dollars per month if your card drops below 500 dollars. Also, just to even get automated support you have to pay .99, and 2 dollars for live support is an outrageous amount. Also, compared to the Walmart prepaid this is the better deal. There is a monthly fee of three dollars on the Walmart card unless you keep a 1000 in your account. There is also an activation fee of three dollars unless you sign up online, then it is waived.
The Ann Taylor LOFT credit card seems about par for the course when it comes to in store cards. Most stores offer a bonus around 15% off purchases when you first sign up for the card, and I have seen more than one store offer perks on your birthday. Also, the APR of 25% is about what I normally see for in store cards. For example, Lord and Taylor offers a rate of about 25% while TJX is a little higher at 27%. The max rewards of this card, 5 points per dollar, is a little higher than some that I have seen, but really this card is only useful if you plan on shopping a lot at Ann Taylor stores. With an APR that high, you would be better off using your regular credit card most likely unless the rewards points were really going to pay off.
The Walmart prepaid card looks decent, but there are better options out there. Unless you load 1000 dollars the previous month you are going to be hit with a 3 dollar fee. The UPside prepaid hits you with a monthly fee that is 4.95 if you don't load up at least 500 on the card. Even if you put 500 on it, you are still going to pay .99 per month. The 3 dollar activation fee for the Walmart card is waived if you sign up online. Unlike the UPside card, customer support is free. The Halogen card you can get through Kmart is probably worse than this Walmart card because the monthly fee, unless you load 1000, is 5.95. Don't get a card with a monthly fee when there are many prepaids that don't yoke you with that nonsense.
The UPside Prepaid debit card looks very poor to me. To begin with, paying a monthly fee that could be as high as 4.95 is ridiculous. I know my local Kmart has both prepaid Visa and Master cards that only have an initial activation fee. It looks like you are just throwing money away with the UPside. Also, the 2 dollar fee for live customer support and .99 for automated is just stupid to me. UPside seems to be out to fleece their customers as much as they possibly can. There are so many better options that I really don't know why anyone would consider this card. Just go to a retailer and I guarantee you can find something that is more reasonable.