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Established Contributor
jimbo831
Posts: 977
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
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Citi Forward or Chase Freedom

[ Edited ]

I had a couple questions for comparing these two cards.  First, which tends to be easier to get?  I have read here about people that get denied for one, but get the other, both ways.  My EQ (which is the one I am counting on them pulling as my others are frozen right now) is 676.  However, it should be going up in a few days once my utilization goes from 30% to 1%.  The simulator says I should be at 676-716.

 

Anyway, I am looking to get my first prime card to use on everyday spending for the rewards.  Does anyone have any preferences beteween these two cards for their rewards programs?  I already posted my spending by category from last month.

 

Also, do INQ from a few minutes ago get counted against you?  For example, if I get denied by one, is the other more likely to deny me now because of the new INQ that just appeared earlier?  Thanks so much everyone for your feedback.  This site has been such a tremendous resource for me!

 

Edit: I also purchase a lot from Amazon, which seems to be considered a book store and good for 5% rewards from Citi Forward.

Gardening with: PSECU Combo $1k, Chase Freedom $3.5k, Discover It $1.7k, Amex Costco True Earnings $2k, Capital One Platinum $500, Best Buy Store Card $2.7k

Starting Score: FICO: 587 EX, 594 EQ, 632 TU, 2/15/12; USAA FAKO: 525 EX, 541 EQ, 525 TU, 2/15/12
Current Score: FICO: 678 EX, 629 EQ, 658 TU, 3/27/12; USAA FAKO: 721 EX, 721 EQ, 576 TU, 3/9/12
Goal Score: 700 Across the Board and Amex Zync or Costco By The End Of 2012


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dyv8914
Posts: 825
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


jimbo831 wrote:

I had a couple questions for comparing these two cards.  First, which tends to be easier to get?  I have read here about people that get denied for one, but get the other, both ways.  My EQ (which is the one I am counting on them pulling as my others are frozen right now) is 676.  However, it should be going up in a few days once my utilization goes from 30% to 1%.  The simulator says I should be at 676-716.

 

Anyway, I am looking to get my first prime card to use on everyday spending for the rewards.  Does anyone have any preferences beteween these two cards for their rewards programs?  I already posted my spending by category from last month.

 

Also, do INQ from a few minutes ago get counted against you?  For example, if I get denied by one, is the other more likely to deny me now because of the new INQ that just appeared earlier?  Thanks so much everyone for your feedback.  This site has been such a tremendous resource for me!

 

Edit: I also purchase a lot from Amazon, which seems to be considered a book store and good for 5% rewards from Citi Forward.


I have both but if I had to choose just one it would be Chase Freedom. You have a lot of spending in the miscellaneous category which would earn 1% back on Freedom but only 0.6% back on Forward. I pretty much use Forward only for category spending, which is 5 points or about 3.3% back (note that Citi 1 point does not = 1%).

 

My impression is that Chase Freedom is a bit harder to get and is a slightly more "premium" card b/c it has a Visa Signature option. Although Citi Forward is not skimpy whatsoever when it comes to CL, there are a lot of approvals in the $5-10K range.

 

Inquiries get updated almost instantly, so yes a HP from a few minutes ago will count against you. Where I am they both pull EQ. Good luck!

Established Contributor
jimbo831
Posts: 977
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


dyv8914 wrote:

I have both but if I had to choose just one it would be Chase Freedom. You have a lot of spending in the miscellaneous category which would earn 1% back on Freedom but only 0.6% back on Forward. I pretty much use Forward only for category spending, which is 5 points or about 3.3% back (note that Citi 1 point does not = 1%).

 

My impression is that Chase Freedom is a bit harder to get and is a slightly more "premium" card b/c it has a Visa Signature option. Although Citi Forward is not skimpy whatsoever when it comes to CL, there are a lot of approvals in the $5-10K range.

 

Inquiries get updated almost instantly, so yes a HP from a few minutes ago will count against you. Where I am they both pull EQ. Good luck!



Thanks so much for your detailed reply dyv!  One quick question with regards to cash back from Citi Forward.  I was trying to look on their reward site, which is limited without logging in, but I thought I saw somewhere where you could get a $25 statement credit for 1000 points, which would work out to 2.5% cash back essentially.  Am I reading that wrong somehow?  I saw the straight cash back option was way less, like $50 for 8000 points, which is as you pointed out only 0.6%.

Gardening with: PSECU Combo $1k, Chase Freedom $3.5k, Discover It $1.7k, Amex Costco True Earnings $2k, Capital One Platinum $500, Best Buy Store Card $2.7k

Starting Score: FICO: 587 EX, 594 EQ, 632 TU, 2/15/12; USAA FAKO: 525 EX, 541 EQ, 525 TU, 2/15/12
Current Score: FICO: 678 EX, 629 EQ, 658 TU, 3/27/12; USAA FAKO: 721 EX, 721 EQ, 576 TU, 3/9/12
Goal Score: 700 Across the Board and Amex Zync or Costco By The End Of 2012


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dyv8914
Posts: 825
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


jimbo831 wrote:

dyv8914 wrote:

I have both but if I had to choose just one it would be Chase Freedom. You have a lot of spending in the miscellaneous category which would earn 1% back on Freedom but only 0.6% back on Forward. I pretty much use Forward only for category spending, which is 5 points or about 3.3% back (note that Citi 1 point does not = 1%).

 

My impression is that Chase Freedom is a bit harder to get and is a slightly more "premium" card b/c it has a Visa Signature option. Although Citi Forward is not skimpy whatsoever when it comes to CL, there are a lot of approvals in the $5-10K range.

 

Inquiries get updated almost instantly, so yes a HP from a few minutes ago will count against you. Where I am they both pull EQ. Good luck!



Thanks so much for your detailed reply dyv!  One quick question with regards to cash back from Citi Forward.  I was trying to look on their reward site, which is limited without logging in, but I thought I saw somewhere where you could get a $25 statement credit for 1000 points, which would work out to 2.5% cash back essentially.  Am I reading that wrong somehow?  I saw the straight cash back option was way less, like $50 for 8000 points, which is as you pointed out only 0.6%.


No problem! Citi rewards are actually tiered, kind of like how Amex has MR Express, MR, and MR first (or whatever its called for Plat/Cent). So if you were logged in as guest you may have seen the rewards for their high end cards (TY Prestige, Premier). For Forward, its 3.1% cash back in the form of a check and 3.3% cash back as a statement credit. Then there some gift cards that pay 4-5% back but I tend to prefer cash back since that money can be reused to earn another 3.3% back and so on and so forth.

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Cdnewmanpac
Posts: 766
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom

I thought I read in another thread that you are a full time student? If so, the student version of Citi Forward has more lax credit standards (though usually smaller CL as well). Just something to consider.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
Established Contributor
dyv8914
Posts: 825
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom

[ Edited ]

Student or not, its actually the same application. They just ask for student status on the application and if you don't qualify for the regular version they may approve you for the student version (the only difference seems to be a lower CL).

 

Oh and the 3.3% and 3.1% I mentioned above is cash back for category spending only. Just divide by 5 to get the % for a single thankyou point.

 

Established Contributor
jimbo831
Posts: 977
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


dyv8914 wrote:

Student or not, its actually the same application. They just ask for student status on the application and if you don't qualify for the regular version they may approve you for the student version (the only difference seems to be a lower CL).

 

Oh and the 3.3% and 3.1% I mentioned above is cash back for category spending only. Just divide by 5 to get the % for a single thankyou point.

 


That 3.3% and 3.1% is for the bonus categories, right?  It is less than 1% still for all other spending?  I know Chase Freedom is 1% across the board pretty much.

 

I am in fact a full time student, although an older one.  My wife works full time, and I work in alternating semesters as part of a co-op program.  As such, we have a decent income and I would like to have a decent credit limit, so we can put all our expenses on this card without getting our utilization too high.  If I apply for the student card, do they consider me for the regular card first, and then the student if I don't qualify?  I would rather not start with the student card and its low credit limit, but if I can essentially apply for both at once, I may in fact do that.

Gardening with: PSECU Combo $1k, Chase Freedom $3.5k, Discover It $1.7k, Amex Costco True Earnings $2k, Capital One Platinum $500, Best Buy Store Card $2.7k

Starting Score: FICO: 587 EX, 594 EQ, 632 TU, 2/15/12; USAA FAKO: 525 EX, 541 EQ, 525 TU, 2/15/12
Current Score: FICO: 678 EX, 629 EQ, 658 TU, 3/27/12; USAA FAKO: 721 EX, 721 EQ, 576 TU, 3/9/12
Goal Score: 700 Across the Board and Amex Zync or Costco By The End Of 2012


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dyv8914
Posts: 825
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


jimbo831 wrote:

dyv8914 wrote:

Student or not, its actually the same application. They just ask for student status on the application and if you don't qualify for the regular version they may approve you for the student version (the only difference seems to be a lower CL).

 

Oh and the 3.3% and 3.1% I mentioned above is cash back for category spending only. Just divide by 5 to get the % for a single thankyou point.

 


That 3.3% and 3.1% is for the bonus categories, right?  It is less than 1% still for all other spending?  I know Chase Freedom is 1% across the board pretty much.

 

I am in fact a full time student, although an older one.  My wife works full time, and I work in alternating semesters as part of a co-op program.  As such, we have a decent income and I would like to have a decent credit limit, so we can put all our expenses on this card without getting our utilization too high.  If I apply for the student card, do they consider me for the regular card first, and then the student if I don't qualify?  I would rather not start with the student card and its low credit limit, but if I can essentially apply for both at once, I may in fact do that.


You're correct those percentages are only for bonus categories. Misc spending would be 0.62% and 0.66% respectively, which is not great. Keep in mind Chase Freedom rotates categories every 3 months so you'll catch a lot of your spending in the 5% bonus categories (gas for 6 months, groceries for 3 months, dining for 3 months, travel for 3 months, Amazon for 3 months, etc). With that in mind you'll likely be netting about 1.5% or so on total spending annually on Freedom, less so on Forward.

 

My impression is that there's only 1 application for Forward and they ask about student status on it. There are different links on their website but its for different sign up bonuses and the content of the application is the same. I am a student myself but was approved for the regular version. If I didn't qualify they would probably have considered me for the student version.

Established Contributor
jimbo831
Posts: 977
Registered: ‎02-08-2012
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


dyv8914 wrote:

jimbo831 wrote:

dyv8914 wrote:

Student or not, its actually the same application. They just ask for student status on the application and if you don't qualify for the regular version they may approve you for the student version (the only difference seems to be a lower CL).

 

Oh and the 3.3% and 3.1% I mentioned above is cash back for category spending only. Just divide by 5 to get the % for a single thankyou point.

 


That 3.3% and 3.1% is for the bonus categories, right?  It is less than 1% still for all other spending?  I know Chase Freedom is 1% across the board pretty much.

 

I am in fact a full time student, although an older one.  My wife works full time, and I work in alternating semesters as part of a co-op program.  As such, we have a decent income and I would like to have a decent credit limit, so we can put all our expenses on this card without getting our utilization too high.  If I apply for the student card, do they consider me for the regular card first, and then the student if I don't qualify?  I would rather not start with the student card and its low credit limit, but if I can essentially apply for both at once, I may in fact do that.


You're correct those percentages are only for bonus categories. Misc spending would be 0.62% and 0.66% respectively, which is not great. Keep in mind Chase Freedom rotates categories every 3 months so you'll catch a lot of your spending in the 5% bonus categories (gas for 6 months, groceries for 3 months, dining for 3 months, travel for 3 months, Amazon for 3 months, etc). With that in mind you'll likely be netting about 1.5% or so on total spending annually on Freedom, less so on Forward.

 

My impression is that there's only 1 application for Forward and they ask about student status on it. There are different links on their website but its for different sign up bonuses and the content of the application is the same. I am a student myself but was approved for the regular version. If I didn't qualify they would probably have considered me for the student version.


Man, really wish I could just get both to use Citi Forward for bonus categories and Chase Freedom for all else.  I doubt both would approve me though after seeing the other as a brand new account.  I guess I can't decide.  I may just go for Citi Forward because it sounds like I would have a better approval chance, even if just as a student.  I maybe wouldn't get as much cash back though, but I don't know how significant the difference would end up being.  It also sounds like Citi likes to give bigger limits generally.  Such a tough call, ha.  No right or wrong answer though I guess.

Gardening with: PSECU Combo $1k, Chase Freedom $3.5k, Discover It $1.7k, Amex Costco True Earnings $2k, Capital One Platinum $500, Best Buy Store Card $2.7k

Starting Score: FICO: 587 EX, 594 EQ, 632 TU, 2/15/12; USAA FAKO: 525 EX, 541 EQ, 525 TU, 2/15/12
Current Score: FICO: 678 EX, 629 EQ, 658 TU, 3/27/12; USAA FAKO: 721 EX, 721 EQ, 576 TU, 3/9/12
Goal Score: 700 Across the Board and Amex Zync or Costco By The End Of 2012


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dyv8914
Posts: 825
Registered: ‎12-28-2011
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Re: Citi Forward or Chase Freedom


jimbo831 wrote:

dyv8914 wrote:

jimbo831 wrote:

dyv8914 wrote:

Student or not, its actually the same application. They just ask for student status on the application and if you don't qualify for the regular version they may approve you for the student version (the only difference seems to be a lower CL).

 

Oh and the 3.3% and 3.1% I mentioned above is cash back for category spending only. Just divide by 5 to get the % for a single thankyou point.

 


That 3.3% and 3.1% is for the bonus categories, right?  It is less than 1% still for all other spending?  I know Chase Freedom is 1% across the board pretty much.

 

I am in fact a full time student, although an older one.  My wife works full time, and I work in alternating semesters as part of a co-op program.  As such, we have a decent income and I would like to have a decent credit limit, so we can put all our expenses on this card without getting our utilization too high.  If I apply for the student card, do they consider me for the regular card first, and then the student if I don't qualify?  I would rather not start with the student card and its low credit limit, but if I can essentially apply for both at once, I may in fact do that.


You're correct those percentages are only for bonus categories. Misc spending would be 0.62% and 0.66% respectively, which is not great. Keep in mind Chase Freedom rotates categories every 3 months so you'll catch a lot of your spending in the 5% bonus categories (gas for 6 months, groceries for 3 months, dining for 3 months, travel for 3 months, Amazon for 3 months, etc). With that in mind you'll likely be netting about 1.5% or so on total spending annually on Freedom, less so on Forward.

 

My impression is that there's only 1 application for Forward and they ask about student status on it. There are different links on their website but its for different sign up bonuses and the content of the application is the same. I am a student myself but was approved for the regular version. If I didn't qualify they would probably have considered me for the student version.


Man, really wish I could just get both to use Citi Forward for bonus categories and Chase Freedom for all else.  I doubt both would approve me though after seeing the other as a brand new account.  I guess I can't decide.  I may just go for Citi Forward because it sounds like I would have a better approval chance, even if just as a student.  I maybe wouldn't get as much cash back though, but I don't know how significant the difference would end up being.  It also sounds like Citi likes to give bigger limits generally.  Such a tough call, ha.  No right or wrong answer though I guess.


Maybe start with Citi now and apply for Freedom in 6 months-1 year. Citi tends to soft for CLI while its a guaranteed HP with Chase. That way you can start building a good relationship with Citi and maybe up your CL a bit. Then when you apply for Chase they will see this and also give you a good starting CL.

 

Like you said, no wrong answer. First step is to get yourself through the door!


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