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Though 3 stars seems to be the prevailing choice, I think that there are some features to this card that pushes it up to 4 stars, though I think you've got to be smart about how you use it if you're going to take advantage. It seems like an excellent choice for somebody who travels often and especially for those that don't mind using a third-party site like Priceline. If you do travel a lot, you can take advantage of some great cash-back opportunities. Plus, if you're planning a large purchase or trip, I'd recommend signing up for this card right before, since you can't beat the sign-up points and extra points for those that spend $1000 in the first 90 days. Yes, the APR fees are a little high, but if you stay on top of your payments, this card could be a great tool for building credit and getting rewards.
I've always appreciated credit cards that give rewards, and the Marriott Rewards Card seems like one of the most beneficial of these cards, especially for people who travel frequently. The 30,000 points and free hotel stays alone seem enough to sign up for this card, especially if you're planning a large purchase. Not only that, but the card offers cash back for other purchases, too. For me, I'd probably still prefer my Chase-Amazon card because I don't travel a lot and make frequent purchases online. However, if you do travel a lot, then this card is potentially more appealing because of the large amount of money you can save on hotel stays. I should also mention that, like my rewards card, the fees and APR are quite high, so having this card takes a fair amount of financial responsibility. You have to time signing up at the right point, so you can take advantage of the 30,000 points, and you have to make sure you pay off your balance every month if you want to avoid that massive APR. If you can stay on top of it, though, this card seems like a great tool for the frequent traveler.
I have always had a good experience with HSBC, and their savings account is no exception. Written statements were always clear and timely, the online system was intuitive and easy to use, and transferring money to my checking account was also very simple to do. One complaint I'd have (though this is true of almost any savings account) is that the amount of interest you gain from money saved is essentially zero, so it would probably be better to invest in something like HSBC's CDs if you've got a large amount of savings. Still, I always appreciated HSBC's customer service and the fact that there are no unnecessary fees. One other thing to note is that HSBC branches in the US have been reduced in recent years, which may make finding an HSBC in certain parts of the country difficult. However, if you live in an area close to HSBC branches, I'd definitely recommend this bank and savings account.
I just recently moved to New York City and was looking for a bank that would suit my needs, since the bank I had didn't have any branches in the city. TD Bank, thus far, has been a great choice. One of the things that I love is that they're all around the city, so it's usually easy to get to a branch. Their check-cashing services, one of the primary things I've used them for, have also always been very pleasant and efficient. Also, the banks rarely seem very busy, the staff is always friendly and courteous, and, at the risk of sounding juvenile, I love the free pens and lollipops at the counter. Otherwise, it's been easy to sign up with them, and I've had absolutely no problems or unexpected fees. So in general, TD Bank seems a good choice, especially for people in a metropolitan area with many different branches like New York.
The American Express Gold Card seems to have some perks that would make it a good choice, as long as you pay your balance every month (as is true of most credit cards). Still, I like that American Express doesn't gouge you with outrageous APR, and though their late fees would add up if you failed to pay them off each month, if you stay on top of your bills, it doesn't seem like a bad deal. The $125 yearly fee may be difficult for some cardholders, but that beats a ridiculous APR any day, in my book, and I do like the perks and points system, which you can use for dining, entertainment, etc. And if you travel a lot, there are discounts at some hotels, so this card may be an even better fit. So a good card overall, especially for those that travel and that are good with paying their bill on time.
While I do appreciate the small ways that the Sears card attempts to save you in interest, this card is probably not right for a lot of consumers. One of my biggest problems with it is its over 25% interest rate, which makes forgetting to pay your bill in full a painful mistake. Other cards that I've had that were similar to this one charged a much lower rate--usually 20% interest or less. Still, if you're a consumer that does a lot of shopping at Sears and Kmart or who frequently buys fitness equipment, tools and jewelry, then I could see this card working out, and the reward rates can be beneficial. Just make sure you pay your bill in full every month, or see the balance owed grow...
Maybe I'm looking back on HSBC with rose-colored glasses, but I really enjoyed my time with these guys. The first bank accounts I ever had were through HSBC, when I was 15 years old. I opened a checking and savings account through them, and also got both a debit and my first credit card. They walked me through every step of the process then, and I never had any serious problems with them. If I ever did have a problem or question, they treated me respectfully and helped solve the problem, quickly and easily. If I could go back to HSBC, I would! Unfortunately, they've since moved out of my area (Western New York), so I'll have to keep looking for a bank that can match them.
My experience with First Niagara's most basic savings account has been pretty good. I haven't run into any problems, and they always seem prompt and attentive when I try to contact the bank for information or with any questions. What's more, I really like their online banking system, which allows me to easily and immediately transfer money from my savings account into my checking account, which has helped cover me on a number of occasions. Still, there are a few features about this account that I dislike. Firstly, they only allow you to withdraw money from this account so many times a month without a fee, which is definitely irritating. If I used this account more often, it might be a serious problem. Secondly, their online system is somewhat annoying, in that you have to change your password quite frequently. I realize this is for security purposes, but it's caused me to forget my login information on a number of occasions. All-in-all, though, I'm satisfied with this account.
I had a horrible experience with this credit card. I actually didn't intend to sign up for it, but when my HSBC accounts switched over to First Niagara, they gave me this card for free. While I'm sure the card would have worked well in emergencies, for some reason, they automatically linked it to cover my overdraft fees, which became a huge fiasco and headache, and forced me to ultimately pay more money than I would have without the card. The card was also quite difficult to cancel, and took a couple of phone calls. I'd recommend looking for one of their other credit cards, if you must go with First Niagara.
Hey all... I've had the Amazon credit card for about five months now, and wanted to share my experience. Like a lot of others on this site, I'd seen offers on Amazon for their credit card for years. I saw a particularly good offer one day ($50 Amazon gift card upon sign-up) when I also happened to be low on personal funds, so I decided to give it a try. Although I've had credit cards before, I've never used them... They were “emergency-only” kind of cards. For this card, though, there are rewards if you use it (up to 3 'points' a dollar; 100 points=$1 credit), so I figured this was a nice opportunity to start building up my credit rating, too. So far, everything's been very smooth. Though APR rates are high, if you pay the card off every month, you get some nice perks. Also, you can pay online; it's very easy and intuitive, which I appreciate. As long as you're responsible with your payments, I don't see any drawbacks to this card.