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Posted: 3/15/2005 12:27:43 PM EST
I'm a credit card neophyte.

I know virtually nothing about them, except that I dont even really need one.

I'm automatically ruling out all the cards that are trying to get me, because if they're trying that hard to get customers there must be a reason.

So, Visa, MC, or AMX?

Rewards card or not?

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:30:39 PM EST
Amex has a fee, so avoid them unless you need some of the benefits they offer.

My fiancee has an Amex platinum card, and the fees are outrageous!!!



I wouldn't necessarily avoid the companies that are seeking you out. They'll often offer you pretty good rates. They are looking for the stupid consumer, so they can take advantage. As long as you are a clever consumer, you can be the one taking advantage of them!
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:35:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 12:35:20 PM EST by leelaw]
Start and get either a Visa or MC through your bank. That'll probably be the easiest one and you can negotiate the rate a little.

Other than that.. no real suggestions other than to avoid AmEx
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:35:44 PM EST
Visa Platinum
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:35:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 12:36:19 PM EST by deej86]
none. But I have a Visa through teh bank.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:35:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:04:08 PM EST by HardShell]
I use a GM Mastercard for everything - then write one check each month. I accumulate 5% of all purchases (and 10% of a few qualifying ones, all up to a set annual limit) in an account of "GM rebate dollars" that can be used toward the purchase of new GM vehicles. My last 3 new vehicles were GMs (probably would have been anyway) and I have redeemed about $8,000 in rebate dollars with those three purchases. That's $8k I got back simply for using their card...

If GM products aren't your thing, I believe one or two other manufactureres offer similar programs...
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:36:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 12:37:33 PM EST by null_boost]
Some banks that offer free checking will also offer free check/credit cards. I got a visa check card free through my bank, that and MC is all I ever use. Perfect credit thusfar, just be sure and don't buy what ya can't pay for....yep that's right....I hear if you do that you'll go broke.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:37:44 PM EST
Just depends on your credit.

If you have no credit/bad credit than you need to look at like

www.orchardbank.com

Middle credit

www.capitolone.com


Excellent credit

The options are endless
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:38:17 PM EST
Beware of the CC monster
it will eat up your life you will have way tomany guns and your wife ( if you have one )
will do nothing but bitch moan and groan about the balance
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:38:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By crazyquik:

I'm automatically ruling out all the cards that are trying to get me, because if they're trying that hard to get customers there must be a reason.




Yeah, you should rule out the cards with a low interest rate too...they're probably trying to trick you
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:40:43 PM EST
Bank cards are a good way to go. As stated above don't use it unless you have the money to pay off your balance when it's due. Be careful you can ruin whatever good credit you have very fast if you get in over your head. Good luck.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:44:49 PM EST
I've been happy with MBNA MasterCard and Providian Visa
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:54:09 PM EST
Wow no credits cards are evil so run away crap.

not yet anyway.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:55:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
Wow no credits cards are evil so run away crap.

not yet anyway.

I'm sure they will be here soon
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:56:59 PM EST
Go to bankrate.com. That sight has info on all the cards and you can pick the right one. Keep in mind that if you going to only have 1 card, many places don't take Amex.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:00:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By bo99:
Beware of the CC monster
it will eat up your life you will have way tomany guns and your wife ( if you have one )
will do nothing but bitch moan and groan about the balance



NONE +1

Credit cards and the use of them will be a downward spiral for the rest of your life.

Pay cash and avoid the "credit shark". www.daveramsey.com

At the ripe old age of 46 and having been in debt to the tun of 38K, I'm now debt free - CC's were my master.

The borrower is slave to the lender - Proverbs

understand?

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:01:25 PM EST
Anyone have the NRA card?
I've been meaning to get one for a while.

It sure can't be any worse than the Bank1 I'm currently using.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:04:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By xanadu:

Originally Posted By bo99:
Beware of the CC monster
it will eat up your life you will have way tomany guns and your wife ( if you have one )
will do nothing but bitch moan and groan about the balance



NONE +1

Credit cards and the use of them will be a downward spiral for the rest of your life.

Pay cash and avoid the "credit shark". www.daveramsey.com

At the ripe old age of 46 and having been in debt to the tun of 38K, I'm now debt free - CC's were my master.

The borrower is slave to the lender - Proverbs

understand?





To be fair, those are not reasons to not HAVE credit cards, those are reasons to not OVER-USE credit cards.

Having a credit card as an emergency back-up, or having one that you can easily (and do) pay off every months is not a bad idea.

In fact, it is quite a good idea, because it helps you to establish credit (i.e. can improve your credit score for when you buy a house) and it can earn you all kinds of benefits (points, miles, etc).



But - spending money you cannot afford is ALWAYS a bad idea. But that's utlimaltely a problem of self-control, not of credit cards.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:05:12 PM EST
GET THE NRA CARD. A percentage of each purchase goes to the NRA. Its an NRA Visa card.
1-800-228-7070
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:05:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By xanadu:

Originally Posted By bo99:
Beware of the CC monster
it will eat up your life you will have way tomany guns and your wife ( if you have one )
will do nothing but bitch moan and groan about the balance



NONE +1

Credit cards and the use of them will be a downward spiral for the rest of your life.

Pay cash and avoid the "credit shark". www.daveramsey.com

At the ripe old age of 46 and having been in debt to the tun of 38K, I'm now debt free - CC's were my master.

The borrower is slave to the lender - Proverbs

understand?






Yep, open a seperate account and get a debit card for it, you'll be glad you did

avoid C.C.'s they will only cause you problems

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:07:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By xxTAPxx:

Originally Posted By xanadu:

Originally Posted By bo99:
Beware of the CC monster
it will eat up your life you will have way tomany guns and your wife ( if you have one )
will do nothing but bitch moan and groan about the balance



NONE +1

Credit cards and the use of them will be a downward spiral for the rest of your life.

Pay cash and avoid the "credit shark". www.daveramsey.com

At the ripe old age of 46 and having been in debt to the tun of 38K, I'm now debt free - CC's were my master.

The borrower is slave to the lender - Proverbs

understand?






Yep, open a seperate account and get a debit card for it, you'll be glad you did

avoid C.C.'s they will only cause you problems


This sounds very similar to some anti-gun arguments. Like DK said, my CC has never jumped out of my wallet and started charging things. Don't blame a piece of plastic for lack of self control.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:08:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:10:09 PM EST by BangStick1]
YOU DO NOT NEED A CREDIT CARD TO BUILD CREDIT!!

Did I say that loud enough?

Stay Away!! It's a TRAP!!

The only way to win at thier game is NOT to play!


No I am not kidding!
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:08:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:08:57 PM EST by NewbHunter]
I use Discover because I get a cash back bonus award.

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:09:13 PM EST
Avoid them at all costs. Pay cash money for everything.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:10:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:

Originally Posted By xxTAPxx:

Originally Posted By xanadu:

Originally Posted By bo99:
Beware of the CC monster
it will eat up your life you will have way tomany guns and your wife ( if you have one )
will do nothing but bitch moan and groan about the balance



NONE +1

Credit cards and the use of them will be a downward spiral for the rest of your life.

Pay cash and avoid the "credit shark". www.daveramsey.com

At the ripe old age of 46 and having been in debt to the tun of 38K, I'm now debt free - CC's were my master.

The borrower is slave to the lender - Proverbs

understand?






Yep, open a seperate account and get a debit card for it, you'll be glad you did

avoid C.C.'s they will only cause you problems


This sounds very similar to some anti-gun arguments. Like DK said, my CC has never jumped out of my wallet and started charging things. Don't blame a piece of plastic for lack of self control.



+1, I don't understand why this is such a difficult concept for people to grasp.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:10:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:10:59 PM EST by Floppy_833]
I don't think it's realistic to say sto an American to "avoid credit, never use it". That is like saying "you will ever be able to buy a new car or house, so what?" In US modern society adults pretty much need credit ratings, and "no rating" can be nearly as bad as "bad".
........

...if you going to only have 1 card, many places don't take Amex....

-True. Visa or MC is accepted way more places. Many European online vendors I deal with accept Visa, but not MC.
------
If you have no credit and must begin with a secured card, go through your local bank. Most of the mail-order places that do secured cards are screw jobs. Face-to-face, at least your local bank will be able to answer questions and handle problems more easily.

Charge stuff for a year, pay the bills on time, and then ask your bank to drop the security requirement on their card. If they refuse, cancel their card. -But not before applying for a big-name card like Citibank or something--a card that will increase the limit automatically, and offers competitive terms.
~~~~~~
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:11:37 PM EST
They caused me problems... Or was it I who caused my problems?

Avoid citibank. They wouldn't let me make any firearms related purchases. Guns, bullets, nothing.

Capital one is my favorite. I would definately seek them out.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:12:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By BangStick1:
YOU DO NOT NEED A CREDIT CARD TO BUILD CREDIT!!

Did I say that loud enough?

Stay Away!! It's a TRAP!!

The only way to win at thier game is NOT to play!


No I am not kidding!



The only money that a CC company has ever made off of me is what the retailers that I buy stuff from pay as a fee to the CC company. They have never made anything directly off of me. In fact Discover paid ME quite a bit of money at the end of last year when I got my cash back bonus award.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:17:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:18:58 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:

Originally Posted By BangStick1:
YOU DO NOT NEED A CREDIT CARD TO BUILD CREDIT!!

Did I say that loud enough?

Stay Away!! It's a TRAP!!

The only way to win at thier game is NOT to play!


No I am not kidding!



The only money that a CC company has ever made off of me is what the retailers that I buy stuff from pay as a fee to the CC company. They have never made anything directly off of me. In fact Discover paid ME quite a bit of money at the end of last year when I got my cash back bonus award.



Credit card companies have not made ANY interest payment off me either. When I do use my card, I pay it off immediately. My fiancee uses her Amex a lot, but pays it off every month (of course)

This summer, my fiancee and I are flying to Hawaii FREE - using miles earned off credit cards
Once there, we are staying at a resort FREE for a week - using miles earned off credit cards

None of us have paid those credit card companies a single PENNY in interest ever.



So BangStick - you may not be kidding, but you are definitely wrong.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:19:51 PM EST
A credit card is almost a necessity - try renting a car or checking into a hotel without one. If you plan to travel overseas a lot, consider a Visa over Mastercard or Amex as it is more accepted. If you plan to make small, irregular purchases then the fees for the rewards cards (cash back, airline miles, point programs) probably aren't worth it.

If you have a business and buy a lot of stuff then a reward card is a great thing. Example: I had a client who charged about $200-500,000 a year on credit cards for his business, but paid the bill in full each month. The fees for the credit cards were about $80/year on average, but he got up to a half million airline miles each year - that's a lot of free tickets! He mainly used the miles for tickets to Europe and other business purposes, saving thousands of dollars a year by using the credit card instead of just sending a check.

Check with your local credit union. They will probably give you a card with a lower limit and a good interest rate without too much trouble. It's hard to get in over your head with a $500 limit card. Learn to use credit wisely and credit cards are incredibly useful.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:20:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:24:33 PM EST by z5]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Amex has a fee, so avoid them unless you need some of the benefits they offer.

My fiancee has an Amex platinum card, and the fees are outrageous!!!


I have two Amex cards
Green is $50
Gold is $75
platinum is $150

Thats outrageous???? Sense allot of credit card companies change the highest rate allowed under the law 18% to 20% and most people are caring $8,562 thats more $1530 a year. Even if you use the new credit offer prime plus something that ranges from $500 to $700 a year

Amexs has no interest on their cards unless you use the Optimum, plus there is no limit on spending.

So what are you talking about?

My only advise is make sure you pay it off every month and don't carry a balance

Now another note Amex has offices all over the world and have hisotry of helping customers get out of trouble
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:22:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:
Avoid them at all costs. Pay cash money for everything.




Preach it, debt is dumb.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:23:02 PM EST
get an REI visa (rei.com) as they give you 1% back on all purchases, and can request a check for cash every July.

Get a Cabela's visa (cabelas.com) and they give you 1% back on all purchases, but only can be used as cabela's points at cabela's (they have ammo)

Or get a Motley Fool visa (fool.com) and get 1% back on all purchases. Not sure on their details though, it has to do with stock investments.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:29:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By z5:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Amex has a fee, so avoid them unless you need some of the benefits they offer.

My fiancee has an Amex platinum card, and the fees are outrageous!!!


I have two Amex cards
Green is $50
Gold is $75
platinum is $150

Thats outrageous???? Sense allot of credit card companies change the highest rate allowed under the law 18% to 20% and most people are caring $8,562 thats more $1530 a year. Even if you use the new credit offer prime plus something that ranges from $500 to $700 a year

Amexs has no interest on their cards unless you use the Optimum, plus there is no limit on spending.

So what are you talking about?

My only advise is make sure you play it off every month and don't care a balance

Now another note Amex has offices all over the world and have hisotry of helping customers getout of trouble



You can do the same thing with a Visa or MC, just pay it off in full on time every month and you won't get hit with any finance fees (anyone carrying a balance on an 18% card is not financially smart in the first place) - no annual fees either. Let that Amex balance carry over a few months and you'll be hit with the same fees as a Visa or MC.

Amex sucks IMHO, and that's the opinion of many merchants as well.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:31:56 PM EST
+1 AmEx. They've been very good to me over the past 35 years.

Also, AmEx did so much to help tens of thousands American stranded in Europe at the start of WWI. I probably wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for a loan my parents were able to get from AmEx that they used to get out of Germany and get home at the start of the war.z
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:34:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 1:36:04 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By z5:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Amex has a fee, so avoid them unless you need some of the benefits they offer.

My fiancee has an Amex platinum card, and the fees are outrageous!!!


I have two Amex cards
Green is $50
Gold is $75
platinum is $150

Thats outrageous???? Sense allot of credit card companies change the highest rate allowed under the law 18% to 20% and most people are caring $8,562 thats more $1530 a year. Even if you use the new credit offer prime plus something that ranges from $500 to $700 a year

Amexs has no interest on their cards unless you use the Optimum, plus there is no limit on spending.

So what are you talking about?




What I am talking about is giving advice to someone who is a "credit card neophyte" and Amex cards are generally not that useful - since practically all other cards do not have an annual fee.

The Amex platinum card has an annual fee of $395, so I might be the one asking you what you are talking about??

(you might be talking about the Platinum Delta Skymiles card - which is NOT an American Express Platinum card)



Plus, you are incorrect in saying that there is no limit on spending on Amex cards. That is flat out wrong. There is no PRESET limit (very different). I cancelled my Gold Amex many years ago because the idiots denied a $300 charge - on a freakin' Gold card???? Morons.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:34:33 PM EST
Citibank Dividend - 5% on groceries, home improvement stores, gas stations, etc. 1% on everything else, even if you don't carry a balance. $300 cap per year.

American Express Blue Cash - if you don't carry a balance you'll get between 1% and 2% back. Don't bother carrying a balance to get a higher cash back--its a losing deal.

I use the Citi Dividend for groceries, gas, until the cap hits, then Amex for everything else.

This year I've gotten $500 back in cold hard cash and paid no interest. True I keep having to put up with the retraining about which card to use rules with the wife.

Have you guys noticed that the payment due dates are now about 2 weeks from the date the bill was mailed? Its hard to get it in the mail and sent out without going late. With both I now have direct withdrawl from my account for payment.



Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:42:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By FMJ3:

You can do the same thing with a Visa or MC, just pay it off in full on time every month and you won't get hit with any finance fees (anyone carrying a balance on an 18% card is not financially smart in the first place) - no annual fees either. Let that Amex balance carry over a few months and you'll be hit with the same fees as a Visa or MC.

Amex sucks IMHO, and that's the opinion of many merchants as well.



First if you carry a balance month to mobnth Amex turns it off so the debt stops building. After about 3 months Amex will try to put you into a loan program charging somewhere between 6% to 9% with monthly payment book. I do not speak from personal experience, but did read the contract

Try being stuck overseas with a wallett stollen and calling MBNA asking for help.

Amex will get you home, been there done that one
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:45:24 PM EST
Get a VISA with no fee, some kind of reward program is fine, low interest rates are good but don't really matter because you aren't going to carry a balance unless you have some kind of emergency.


Note: Seeing a gun that you would really like to have is NOT an emergency.

Having a credit card and using it wisely is good for your credit rating and beats having to carry around a bag of cash.

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:48:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By JoeWang:
Citibank Dividend - 5% on groceries, home improvement stores, gas stations, etc. 1% on everything else, even if you don't carry a balance. $300 cap per year.

American Express Blue Cash - if you don't carry a balance you'll get between 1% and 2% back. Don't bother carrying a balance to get a higher cash back--its a losing deal.

I use the Citi Dividend for groceries, gas, until the cap hits, then Amex for everything else.

This year I've gotten $500 back in cold hard cash and paid no interest. True I keep having to put up with the retraining about which card to use rules with the wife.

Have you guys noticed that the payment due dates are now about 2 weeks from the date the bill was mailed? Its hard to get it in the mail and sent out without going late. With both I now have direct withdrawl from my account for payment.






Citibank gets you 5% back?!?!?!? LINK????
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:53:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

The Amex platinum card has an annual fee of $395, so I might be the one asking you what you are talking about??

Plus, you are incorrect in saying that there is no limit on spending on Amex cards. That is flat out wrong. There is no PRESET limit (very different). I cancelled my Gold Amex many years ago because the idiots denied a $300 charge - on a freakin' Gold card???? Morons.



i bumped into that on $3500 purchase a quick phone call and problem solved

Oh sorry that is my dads rate on Plantium had his for 30 years, now i just use the Green thing
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 2:03:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By Headlice:

Originally Posted By JoeWang:
Citibank Dividend - 5% on groceries, home improvement stores, gas stations, etc. 1% on everything else, even if you don't carry a balance. $300 cap per year.

American Express Blue Cash - if you don't carry a balance you'll get between 1% and 2% back. Don't bother carrying a balance to get a higher cash back--its a losing deal.

I use the Citi Dividend for groceries, gas, until the cap hits, then Amex for everything else.

This year I've gotten $500 back in cold hard cash and paid no interest. True I keep having to put up with the retraining about which card to use rules with the wife.

Have you guys noticed that the payment due dates are now about 2 weeks from the date the bill was mailed? Its hard to get it in the mail and sent out without going late. With both I now have direct withdrawl from my account for payment.






Citibank gets you 5% back?!?!?!? LINK????



For you, headlice. I guess the home improvement stores aren't covered (anymore?)... Anyways there is a $300/yr cap on the rewards.

http://www.citibank.com/us/cards/cardserv/divplat/index.jsp
www.citibank.com/us/cards/cardserv/divplat/index.jsp
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 2:13:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 2:14:07 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By z5:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

The Amex platinum card has an annual fee of $395, so I might be the one asking you what you are talking about??

Plus, you are incorrect in saying that there is no limit on spending on Amex cards. That is flat out wrong. There is no PRESET limit (very different). I cancelled my Gold Amex many years ago because the idiots denied a $300 charge - on a freakin' Gold card???? Morons.



i bumped into that on $3500 purchase a quick phone call and problem solved




Yeah - mine was resolved with a simple phone call as well, but NEEDING to make a phone call after being embarassed by having the card turned down is not exactly the same as having no spending limit.


Does you dad get all the Platinum benefits on his card for $150? - like the free companion fares when he buys business class or first class tickets?

Seriously - I'm not trying to bust your balls, but seriously want to know. I called my fiancee to find out how much she pays, and she told me to ask you if the $150 fee covers all the same stuff she gets (like the free airline tickets for your spouse when you buy tickets) - because then she's going to call Amex and demand a lower annual fee! Maybe they'll just tell her to call back when she's been a customer for 30 years but it's worth a try. (I think she's only been with Amex since 1989 or something like that).
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 2:27:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 2:31:56 PM EST by z5]
My guess is because its a 30 year old card

my Green card i pay $50 a year its on this month bill. Went to American express to check out the fees and it's now $65 for new cards


It appears to be some grandfathering going on

Sense he does not use the rewards i don't have answer, Dad is in the other office right with a dum look on his face

Platnium $395 that is an ouch mommy
Gold $90
Green $65

the only difference between the gold and green cards is the amount of insurance payouts

OH here is the verabage about pre spending limits

1 For no pre-set spending limit, purchases are approved based on a variety of factors including account history, credit record, and personal resources.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 2:50:38 PM EST
I have had Amex since 1986. I have had others but today carry only an Amex Gold. They have sent me several Platinum invitations but IMO for my uses it isn't worth nearly $400 a year.

Amex has been good to me. My Father and Grandmother died days apart both of them a long way from my home. I bought several airline tickets on short notice and even with bereavement fares they were big bucks. Add hotels food and all the other sundry charges that accrued and I had a BIG DAMN BILL. I called Amex and and explained my situation and their response was "How would you like to pay?" I gave them my desired terms they accepted them and I paid no interest. One phone call very pleasant no bullshit.

If a vendor doesn't accept Amex I pick another vendor. It's my money I'll spend it the way I see fit and if you don't like my choice of currency(Amex) I'll find one that does.

I had a discrepency with a rent-a-car agency(who hasn't ?). Instead of getting in a fight with the inbred bastard who worked there I said fine put it on my Amex. He did and while still standing in front of him I called Amex and contested the charges(much to his dismay). We resolved the issue within minutes of the call(go figure). Nobody got screwed least of all me. Now you can contest charges with any credit card company, but Amex has a reputation of coming out swinging and I like that .

Amex encourages financial responsibility by asking you to pay in full monthly. It is my opinion that this is important to a new cc user. YMMV
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 3:10:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 3:12:18 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By z5:
Sense he does not use the rewards i don't have answer, Dad is in the other office right with a dum look on his face



Not a big deal - please don't bother him over a trivial thing like this.




1 For no pre-set spending limit, purchases are approved based on a variety of factors including account history, credit record, and personal resources



Yeah - when they denied me over the small amount, it was because I hadn't used it in a while, and was charging something in a completely different part of Chicago where I lived. I guess they were actually trying to look out for me, but it really annoyed me.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 3:22:32 PM EST
Yes, it is a trap - if you "f" things up. I'm helping a sick (near death) relative sort out their finances. They owe a whopping ... drum roll please ... $130,000 in credit cards. Yeah, holy shit.

However, properly managed, you absolutely need credit to progress financially. That is unless you win the lottery and can pay cash for everything. Other regular folks need the credit to buy things that they otherwise could not afford to save up for.

Just be careful.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 3:24:52 PM EST
Do be carefull, I use Juniper bank @ 4.5% fixed, might be worth a look
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 4:30:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 4:32:26 PM EST by Observer]
Listen to DK, he knows that of which he speaks.

Even if you don't plan on using it, you should still get a card for the following reasons:
1- renting cars and hotels (difficult/impossible without cc)
2- plane tickets
3- travel accident insurance
4- not your money. If it gets stolen and used your maximum liability is $50
5- safer than a debit card when handing it over to strangers (again not your money)
6- purchase protection if needed (deny charge if the merchanise doesn't arrive/not as represented)
7- emergencies

For intermittent use I wouldn't bother with a rewards card, just get something with a low interest rate and NO annual fee (I've seen unsolicited mailers as low as 8.95%).

Bankrate.com is a good resource.

Most of all....PAY YOUR BALANCE IN FULL EACH MONTH.

Oh yeah and DON'T LIVE OUTSIDE YOUR MEANS!!!!!

That is all.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 4:32:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Observer:

Most of all....PAY YOUR BALANCE IN FULL EACH MONTH.



... can't be any more clear than this
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 4:37:32 PM EST
Thanks Observer


I just thought of another example where a credit card was recently very useful to me.

When I went to get my LASIK surgery early last month, I had to pay the day of the procedure. So I hand over my debit bankcard, knowing that the money is in the account. No worried, right?

Boom - denied.

Not because the money isn't there, but because bank cards often put a daily limit on how much you can use, and the $5000 for the LASIK was way beyond that. So instead of embarassing bullshit, or having to postpone the procedure, or having to RACE my car to the bank and get a money order - I just handed over my credit card, and send the credit card company a check for $5000 the next day (and got tons of airline miles in the deal - duh, I should have used the CC regardles).
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