First off, gas cards are the same as store cards, and they come with high interest rates. Carrying a balance is not a good idea with them. As a matter of fact, years ago, all gas cards were strictly charge cards, and the full balance was due every month. The Valero Credit Card comes in handy if you do a lot of driving, and you have at least a few Valero stations where you drive. I keep it only for the fuel discounts and because it's a closed-end card that cannot be used anywhere else. If you have teens or grown children who drive, you might allow them to use it to purchase fuel without having to worry about them going on shopping sprees. The 23% interest rate on the Valero Card is actually a good deal for a gas card. Most run around 28 to 30%. Still, you really shouldn't carry a balance with a gas card, and as long as you don't, the interest rate is irrelevant.
I regret having applied for this card because I believe that American Express pulled a fast one on me. I was approved with a $7200 starting limit, which I thought was fine, and I really liked that because I'm already an American Express cardholder, I was approved with only a soft pull. A couple days later, I received a letter in the mail informing me that the $7200 credit limit for the Cash Magnet was being deducted from the credit limit of my Blue Cash Preferred card which had a $14,000 limit. It's now been reduced to $6800. This is bait and switch. Had I known American Express would do such a thing, I never would have applied. I've always loved Amex, and I've had a great relationship with them for the past 19 years, but this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. According to the letter, I can call to reallocate the credit limits. Because I don't want to tank my credit scores by closing the new account, I think my best bet is to reallocate all but $500 back to my Blue Cash Preferred and then sock drawer the Cash Magnet. If you're already an American Express credit card holder, you might want to think twice about applying for the Cash Magnet or any other additional American Express credit card.
Bank of America is one weird operation. I’ve had the BankAmericard for a couple years with a $2500 limit. Although, my account is in great standing and I have really good credit, I’ve never been able to get them to raise my credit limit. Even $500 is completely out of the question. At the same time, however, they’ve bombarded me with pre-approved offers for both their Cash Rewards and Travel Rewards cards. Because every one showed a solid APR rather than a range, I figured I had a good chance for approval, so I finally accepted the offer for the Cash Rewards World Mastercard, and they approved me with a $12,500 starting limit. It’s just bizarre that they couldn’t trust me with an extra $500 on my BankAmericard, but they’re perfectly fine with my having an extra $12,500 at my disposal. Other than just sheer weirdness on their part, I’ve never encountered any problems with Bank of America, it’s website, or its app. Every time I’ve had to call customer service, it was always helpful and friendly.
So far, I've really liked this card. I'd wanted it for a long time because I travel a lot with United, and the perks are just what I need; however, I was ineligible for a long time because of Chase's 5/24 rule. Once I was below 5/24, I had to wait a couple weeks until the first day of the 25th month to apply. I was approved with a initial limit of $18,700, which was surprising. What I don't like is that they pulled both my Equifax and Experian reports. My Equifax score FICO was 715 and my Experian FICO was 700. My utilization was at 7%. Keep in mind that to get the free checked bag and priority boarding on United flights, you must have booked your flight with this card. Just recently, I got behind a guy at the airport who was irate with a check-in agent because he had booked his flight with another card, but because he had a United Explorer card that he could show her, he expected to be able to check his bag for free and board early. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. That's pretty much on par with all travel rewards cards.
This is one SHADY company. I have never done business with them and had never even heard of them until they turned up on my credit reports as a charge off/collections account. I immediately disputed the line with all three credit bureaus, but somehow it came back as verified on all three reports. I got their contact information and called them. The person I talked to was not only rude but extremely unprofessional. He used profanity and called me a liar and a deadbeat. He couldn't tell me anything about my supposed account except that it was sold to a collections agency; however, there are no collections on my credit reports and never have been. This is my only negative tradeline. I tried talking to others, but they weren't much better; they just didn't use profanity. One told me that because they were sick of me calling, they were going to begin reporting me 90+ days late every month, and for two months, they actually did with Experian, which lowered my score. I don't know how I got mixed up with this crooked operation. I really don't believe that there was any kind of fraud or identity theft involved, and if there were anything legitimate about it, there would be an accompanying collection on my credit reports. I have disputed several more times, and every time, it's supposedly verified. The only hope of getting it cleared up is that it will age off in February of 2020. I can't speak to how good Credit One's products are because I've never had any, but going by my experience with them, I'd suggest avoiding them completely. No legitimate company would conduct itself the way Credit One has.
This might actually be a decent card for someone rebuilding their credit, but for the rest of us, the Union Plus Mastercard is useless. My FICOS are all over 800, and I've had a great banking relationship with Capital One for years. I applied for it because the perks look really nice. However, I was given a $750 starting limit, and more than 3 years later, Capital One refuses increase it by a penny because the card does not allow credit line increases by request. Therefore, I have permanently sock drawered it. If I were to try to use it for anything more than a few dollars, my credit scores would take a hit for high utilization. If I get to the point that I feel a need to take out a loan for bubble gum, I might use it, but I don't see it happening. Maybe if it stays in the sock drawer long enough, they will close it. My advice is not to waste your time with this one.
The only way to describe this card is to say that it is what it is, a card to help jumpstart a rotten credit score. It’s definitely not a keeper once it’s served its purpose because the annual fee is pretty steep, and the initial $300 credit line is permanent. While they don’t increase credit limits, they do have a program that will allow you to exceed your limit; however, it comes at a significant cost. I wouldn’t dare take advantage of it. A positive note regarding this card is that unlike First Premier, you’re not charged a monthly fee in addition to the annual fee. Also, because your credit line will be so low, you won’t do much damage to your credit utilization percentage when you cancel the card. Be a bit wary of their customer service. After I called to close the account, I found a few months later, when I was assessed an annual fee, that the account had not been closed. Closing it required a second call and a demand for written confirmation. Fortunately, they did waive the annual fee. I made them put that in writing too.
I've had a few Synchrony cards for several years, and while I've had no major problems with them, I have found them to be very customer unfriendly. Even though I've never had any late or returned payments, every single time I make a payment, they withhold my credit line for two weeks after processing the payment. While this has caused me no inconvenience, it does tick me off to be treated as a suspected scam artist. Another thing that bugs me is that they turned me down for a $250 credit limit increase on my Sam's Club credit card, even though my lowest credit score is 735, and I have no negative lines. Then, about a week later, I get a letter from them offering me a Lowe's card with a $2500 limit. If I can't be trusted with $250, why would I do any better with $2500? If you can avoid opening a Synchrony account, that's probably a good idea. However, they are usually good about offering credit to those rebuilding their credit, and I will say that they helped me do that. I should probably start closing the accounts I have with them, but those credit limits do help keep my utilization down.