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Offered through Visa , the Citi Forward Card looks very similar to the Citiv Preferred Card on the surface. One immediate difference is the rewards program, which albeit is standard in relation to most top rated reward programs – 1-point for each $1 spent, with a max limit of 5-points. The card offers one full year at a 0% introductory rate on all purchases, including balance transfers, which is 6 months less than the sister Preferred card. But one facet of the Forward Card is the availability to those applicants who have a credit score that falls only under the good criteria. Most rewards cards with appealing introductory interest offers, plus balance transfer options, only extend credit to those reaching the excellent tier. The Citi Forward Card will allow those who have only attained a good ranking assistance in climbing the ladder to achieve the elusive excellent status category. There is no annual fee, plus some other appealing extras like a $100 store gift cards when 10,000 bonus points are attained. There are ThankYou Points generated at $650 worth of purchases if the cardholder elects to go paperless with their monthly statements. Considering a good credit history is sufficient to attain the Citi Forward Card, plus the enticing interest charges and rewards program, the card presents itself as an excellent source of credit.
One might initially shy away from the Citi Diamond Preferred Card because it does not have a listed rewards program, but a shrewd financial planner will be able to use the other outstanding features of this card to potentially earn or gain more than any rewards card could offer. As budget appealing as just about any of the top rated credit cards available on the market. The card first of all offers a year and a half time frame of free interest on all purchases including balance transfers. Although the standard 3% fee is attached to transfers, allowing 18 months to erase these balances is truly enticing. After the introductory period the interest rate will establish at a rate between 11.99% and 21.99% depending on the cardholders established history to date, ranking it in the top tier for interest rates available. The Citi Diamond Preferred Card also offers a concierge service to assist in booking travel arrangements, so as a travel related credit option it stands above most. With an outstanding introductory interest free period, followed by an excellent interest rate, in spite of not having a rewards program, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is an outstanding credit card choice from a long-term financial standpoint.
The Priceline Credit Card has an immediately impressive offer of 10,000 rewards points upon acceptance. From that initial acceptance point forward, the card offers an appealing 1-point per $1 with a 5-point max system. Although there is no introductory interest offers for new purchases, there is an appealing standard rate of between 14.99% and 21.99% (V) on all types of transactions. One slight negative is a slightly higher balance transfer fee of 4%, so without the allure of any free interest period, plus the higher than normal fee, the Priceline Credit Card would not be considered a primary option in the area of balance transfers. There is also a high cash advance rate, plus a 5% fee for receiving cash, so taking into account all the fees and lack of perks associated with balance transfers and cash advances, the card predicates itself to being although a solid credit card option, not a recommended source for the other options. There are additional reward perks available for bonus points, so as a reward based standard credit card, the Priceline Credit Card is definitely a financially viable option.
Securing a Lord & Taylor Store Card is relatively simple, as the range of credit histories that can potentially receive extended credit, spans from fair to excellent. Immediately upon approval the cardholder earns an initial 15% discount on purchases, and can earn what are listed as periodic discounts under a category akin to rewards – but not specified as such. There is an additional perk, that not all store cards have, and that is an extra savings on the cardholder’s birthday. Of course being a store card there are no cash advance options, but the interest rate is about average for what is offered by most store cards across the board - established at a 25.49% variable rate. The Lord & Taylor Store Card also does not have an annual fee, includes a standard $35 over the limit charge, but allows a grace period on balance payments of 23 days. Comparatively speaking in relation to other store cards, the Lord & Taylor Store Card meets or exceeds the norm, if even only slightly. For purchases of the merchandise offered by Lord & Taylor, a user could benefit from a financially well-coordinated budget.
If a woman is enthralled by the thought of having extended credit through Victoria’s Secret, or a man enjoys showering his best girl with lots of adoring gifts from the renowned retailer in woman’s fashion under garments, then the Victoria’s Secret Store Card has some interesting potential. Also referred to as the Angel Card, a new cardholder will receive an immediate $15 bonus upon approval. The card also will earn 1 reward point for every $1 of purchase, with a 2-point max level. For the individual who likes to frequent Victoria’s Secret there are 6 month offers that could amount to as much as a $100 incentive, and there is an additional $10 reward added whenever 250 reward points are accumulated. 500 points and the cardholder becomes a VIP, and then at 1,000 establish “Forever Status”. There is the possibility of earning points, all the while adding high quality merchandise to the point where free merchandise will be the ultimate result. As with many in store cards the Victoria’s Secret Store Card does have a healthier than average interest rate on purchases of 36%, but being used store specific might help a cardholder who is a wise financial planner disperse the expense separately avoiding a high interest amount
Many of the prevailing features of the Wells Fargo Rewards Credit Card are strikingly similar to most of the rewards program credit cards currently being offered. Standard rewards rate is 1 point for every dollar spent with a max earnings level of 5 points for each dollar. Nothing to get overly excited about as this is a pretty standard rewards level. The Wells Fargo Rewards Credit Card has an average appeal when it comes to balance transfer perks, with 12 months interest free, but also with a 3% transfer charge per balance. The standard interest rate after the introductory period of 12 months for all purchases has as vast a range as about any of the cards on the market, with an appealingly low potential percentage of 12.15%. The possibilities of this lower than average interest rate on standard charges is the most attractive aspect of the card. Cash advance rates are relatively high, plus there is an additional charge for foreign transactions. One feature that does add the slightest bit of appeal is the 25-day grace period on bill payment. Taking into account all the factors involved in selecting a rewards credit card, the Wells Fargo Rewards Credit Card rates average by all accounts.
Comparatively speaking the Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card has some of the most interesting and appealing features. Unlike a number of the current highly rating cards on the market the Platinum Prestige Card does not have a rewards program, but considering the huge savings a cardholder could realize in relation to the monthly interest fee which can be as low as 10.9%, this card could be a money saver in the long run. Take into account there are no annual fees or other charges and the card’s appeal grows even stronger. Then comes the topper. The Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card currently is extending 0% interest on all new purchases, including all balance transfers, for an intro period that lasts over a year. No interest on these two aspects of the card until February of 2015. With over a year to address balances, including new charges, this particular Capital One card has a different sense of rewarding appeal.
Using the Upside Prepaid Debit Card provided through the VISA card network is a way for those with a poor credit history, or a lack of any appreciable credit background to begin to build or rebuild the rating. The Upside card has some benefit for individuals who will add at least $500 per month, as once that minimum is met there is only a $0.99 per monthly fee. Without a $500 monthly load amount, there is a $4.95 per month fee. ATM charges are a standard $1.95, low in comparison to other cards such as the Bluebird Card by American Express, which attaches a $2.00 fee unless a direct deposit has been setup on the account. Transactions using the Upside Prepaid Debit Card are free using the card as a credit card with signature, or a debit card with pin number. Both are free regardless. One appealing aspect for some would be the wide range of roughly 50,000 retail outlets where a cardholder can add funds to their account. This availability of outlets to add money is far more than many of the other more restrictive prepaid cards attached to a particular store chain. One immediate negative aspect of the Upside card that I noticed was the $2.00 charge for live customer support and a $0.99 fee for automated support. This was mildly disturbing considering the frequency that issues might arise with regard to charges, or fees in connection with a prepaid credit/debit card. Without an option to reduce monthly fees to zero through minimal deposits or direct deposit, plus a charge for customer service support, I find there are potentially more appealing prepaid cards available than the Upside Prepaid Debit Card from VISA.
Of all the prepaid credit card options that I considered, the Bluebird Card by American Express was the most appealing for a number of reasons. First, the process of securing a card could be completed from the comfort of my home office computer station, and the actual card arrived in my mailbox roughly one week later. The activation process was simple, and then the benefits began to really unfold. Keeping accurate records is as simple as sitting down at any computer station and logging into my account. The security features of the login process are also reassuring. The Bluebird Card allows me to make direct deposits from employers, including many of the online monetary transfer options such as PayPal and government issued checks. There are no fees for using the card, unlike many bank account debit cards that can be accompanied by fees or charges associated with the account itself. Depositing actual cash money in my Bluebird account is as easy as a trip to Wal-Mart. The only potential fee associated with the card is for ATM withdrawals but that is waived with a direct deposit setup, and allows for free access to my money at any MoneyPass ATM machine. The card has an account number and routing number that are a checking account for transfer purposes, but Bluebird also has the option of setting up “sub-accounts” for family members or friends, (who receive their own card controlled by the official cardholder), and also has a relatively new feature referred to as a “SetAside Account”. This is a separate place within your account page, which is like having your own savings account right at your fingertips. For prepaid credit cards, I am thoroughly elated with my Bluebird American Express Card, and would recommend it to anyone who needs to rebuild or establish a credit history.
The First PREMIER Bank MasterCard is clear evidence of the obstacles that may have to be overcome for creating a credit history that is soiled or one that has not yet been sufficiently established. The card is issued with little or no pretense to existing credit history, other than a mild variance in the actual amount of credit that Premier Bank will initially extend the cardholder. Approval is essentially almost guaranteed upon application, but will be immediately met with a $95 processing fee to open the account. Then the customary $300 line of credit will be reduced to $225 when the $75 annual fee is applied. After the first year the yearly fee drops to $45, but a monthly assessment is added on at $6.25 per month. It is tough to justify paying $170 upfront to secure a $225 line of credit that will also incur a regular annual charge upwards of $125 per year. This does not even consider the accounting for any balances that are carried from month to month at 36%(V). In comparison an individual trying to repair credit damage, or build a history from scratch, might do well to consider something along the lines of a Capital One Secured MasterCard. There are minimal charges to establish the Capital One Secured Card, but access to these monies is immediate, and with proper management of the account a line of credit can be extended to the cardholder that will not require a processing fee, nor be accompanied by a hefty yearly cost. Rebuilding bad credit or trying to establish a new history from scratch, can be an arduous and costly task and the options available should be considered wisely.
The American Express Prepaid Card is a useful option that in reality supplants a debit card, but provides other features since it is actually categorized as a credit card when using it for purchases. The AMEX Prepaid Card is almost identical to the Bluebird card that is offered at local Wal-Mart stores in the name of American Express also. One primary advantage the American Express Prepaid Card has over the Bluebird Card concerns the available alternatives to deposit or withdrawal funds. With fewer restrictions on places for withdrawal, the holder of the American Express Prepaid Card has a slightly better range of available options to get at their money. Another appealing feature, although rather limited in scope, is the single free ATM withdrawal available on the AMEX Prepaid Card, whereas the Bluebird Card does not offer any free ATM withdrawals unless the user has a predetermined direct deposit in place from an employer or governmental agency. Both cards offer online management of the cardholder account, and the American Express Prepaid Card may lead to an invitation from American Express to apply for a standard charge card.
The basis behind the Open Sky Secured Card, like most all secured types of credit, is to help someone with previous black marks on their credit rating, reestablish some sense of financial responsibility in hopes of potentially being extended actual credit again in the future. All of these secured cards require a minimum deposit that is essentially no more than a bank drop to generate a debit card type of situation. But different than just a debit card to draw funds from a bank account, secured cards do come with the tag label of the credit card company that issues the card. For instance the Visa Company logo and label are clearly visible on the Open Sky Secured Visa. This can be a very beneficial feature - having a secured card through a recognized credit card company - when a credit card number must be posted to rent something, or confirm a reservation. A debit card most often cannot be used for these types of transactions, but the Open Sky Secured Card can in most circumstances be used for instance to hold a hotel reservation requiring a credit card on file. So in reality is a secured credit card nothing more than a debit card with a fancy logo? Well sort of. Many of these secured cards will gradually extend limited credit availability, as the cardholder proves responsible with the secured aspects of the card. Capital One Secured MasterCard for instance may offer an immediate limited credit line to certain applicants who qualify. The Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card does not list that as an available aspect of applying initially, but does state that a cardholder can earn extra credit availability up to $5,000.
The Sam’s Club Business Store Card seemed (at least when I first obtained it) to be full of many appealing options – primarily being able to isolate charges for household products including food onto one credit card statement. The appeal of any options soon faded rapidly as I found myself over-spending in some instances for items that I would have otherwise never have purchased due to the large stock sizes of most all Sam’s Club merchandise. Then to worsen the issue even more, purchases for home staple items like cleaning products, food, and other similar items – if the balance was not paid in full – were being tagged with an interest rate of 21.9% (V), all but eliminating any benefits of saving money purchasing products in bulk. When I incorporated the fact that many of these products could be purchased on sale at standard department stores and grocery chains – by using another form of credit card that paid me some sort of rewards perk – the money saved shopping at Sam’s Club was simply not what I had anticipated. Adding up all the positives and negatives, the Sam’s Club Business Store Card has proven essentially useless, and has therefore met the proverbial “scissors of death”.
With the reduction in the number of Sunoco service stations around the region of the United States in which I reside, the card itself has become essentially worthless except for trips where I travel by automobile. That drawback back plus the fact that Shell Stations are far more readily available, renders the Shell Gas Card far more useful to me, if for no other reason than availability of venues. The Sunoco Card will though, maintain a slot in my wallet due to the fact there is no annual fee. But, comparatively speaking, the rewards program for fuel purchases is weak compared to the Shell Gas Card, and even more so in relation to other fuel cards. There is also a somewhat appealing annual interest rate that is lower for the Sunoco Credit Card, so that percentage rate compared to the Shell Gas Card, plus the lack of fees helps it to keep a place in a credit card slot of my wallet. If Sunoco were to raise the interest rate, or add an annual fee, then it will soon be another card victim of the scissors treatment.
With a base earnings percentage of 2% and a max earnings percentage of 5%, the GM Credit Card immediately appeals to my rewards conscientious objectives. Both exceed the limitations of the Capital One QuicksilverOne program where both base earnings, and max earnings are only 1.5%. Even more appealing is the range of the regular annual percentage rate for purchases – 11.9% to 19.9% - vastly more attractive than the set 22.9% of the Capital One. Same interest rates apply to balance transfers also. Both cards offer a travel service, which since I register for an exclusive road assistance service has always been of little or now value to me. One drawback I noticed for the GM Credit Card in comparison to the Capital One card was the more limited parameters surrounding the use of and expiration of reward points.