05-09-2012 08:08 AM
My wife and I currently have the following cards:
Costco True Earnings Amex - Used for costco, gas, restaurants.
Cap One Platinum Visa - Never used. Points -> cash conversion stinks.
BoA Power Rewards World MC - Primary card for all other purchases. Effectively 1% cash back.
We haven't looked at upgrading our cards in quite some time as my wife doesn't want to have "too many" cards and we wouldn't want to close the Visa or MC as they are both much older than the Amex (the Visa is our oldest). However, I know we are leaving money on the table with this setup. Plus, we'll be travelling internationally later this year, so I think it's time to take a look. At this point, I'm considering the Cap One Cash Rewards as it'll give us 1.5% on everything, has no annual fee, and has no foreign tx fees (though this is the least important point in my mind as we can always fall back on the other Cap One card).
I've looked into some of the "better" rewards cards but I'm not sure any are a better fit for us. I'd like to stick to Visa or MC for the acceptance, I don't have any interest in opening an additional investment account, and I'm not sure we'd be good at keeping up with the category opt-in system that some cards seem to have due to both working so much and having small children.
So, do you think the Cash Rewards is the best option for us? Our credit scores are upper 700's - low 800's so I think we'd qualify for the no annual fee version.
All of our current accounts are joint. I know that this practice is discouraged by many, but that's what I'd prefer. I don't see any way to apply for a joint account on cap one's site and when I contacted their customer service, they seemed to completely not understand what I was asking for. Does Cap One still do joint accounts? Should I just apply online then call to add my wife later? Perhaps I'll try them again as well and see if I can get someone more knowledgeable.
When we get our new card, whatever it is, it will likely replace the current World MC. I want to keep the two older cards open for the history, but is there anything special I need to do? Should I put a small recurring payment on each or anything similar?
Thanks in advance for all the advice. I know from my lurking that there are a lot of experts on this board.
05-09-2012 08:12 AM
You might want to try and see if you can PC that Power Rewards into a 1-2-3 BoA card.
I would have suggested the AMEX BCE as well, since you said no annual fee, but you want to stay within Visa/MC.
And I also might have suggested the Chase Freedom, but you stated you didn't want to deal with signing up every quarter. And plus, the true value of this card is unlocked if you have a Chase checking with it.
Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about Cap1 cards.
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05-09-2012 08:28 AM - edited 05-09-2012 08:30 AM
We haven't looked at upgrading our cards in quite some time as my wife doesn't want to have "too many" cards and we wouldn't want to close the Visa or MC as they are both much older than the Amex (the Visa is our oldest).
I don't blame her. I know people collect them like crazy but I've always believed you only need what you need, and I don't need many. Life's simpler that way for me. Anyway. There's more options. You can close one or more if you want-the history will stay on your reports for 10 yrs. (It's only an issue if you carry balances. Closing it will drop your utility.) Or you can sock drawer one and forget it exists. Or you can sock drawer it and put a recurring small charge on it that you'll PIF. Or...you get the point. Options, you do have them.
Plus, we'll be travelling internationally later this year, so I think it's time to take a look.
Cap 1 for international travel. I'd call and see if they'll product change it for you. Worst they'll do is say no. Chase Sapphire Preferred too.
I don't see any way to apply for a joint account on cap one's site and when I contacted their customer service, they seemed to completely not understand what I was asking for. Does Cap One still do joint accounts?
You can put her on as an authorized user. You can do it right online.
Some of this depends on your score and credit history, however. That will determine what you might want to apply for. Anyway, people knock Cap 1, but my husband and I have the Cap 1 Cash Rewards for excellent credit now and love it. They've been very generous and helpful. We have the Chase as well. I like both, though I'm sure others will have more suggestions.
05-09-2012 08:54 AM
If you do not mind the international fee's during your travel , Chase offers the United Mileage Plus card. I am just starting to travel more so I applied and was approved , waiting on it to arrive. The annual fee is waived the first year but the benefits will outway the $95.00 annual fee in my opinion.
Other perks include: up to 60,000 points, free checked bags, priority boading( never realized how convenient this was until my last vacation ), United club passes each year.
Hope this helps
05-09-2012 09:41 AM
Thanks everyone for the quick and helpful replies. I hadn't considered some of these options, so I'll definitely be looking into them.
I've read various reports about AU accounts not being factored into FICO scores. As best I can tell they stopped at one point, but now do it again. However, I actually just went back and looked and our current Cap One Visa isn't a joint account but rather an Individual + AU and the AU does not appear on any of the 3 credit reports, so I'm wary of doing that again and one of us not getting "credit" for the account that we are both using and, though maybe not legally, at least both feel responsible for.
Also, from what I've read it's up to the CC issuer to decide whether they will remove a closed account or not and that 10 years is just the maximum the bureaus will allow a closed account to stay on there. I don't want to risk losing our oldest account, so I think I'll just sock drawer the old card(s) once we figure out which new one(s) to go for.
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