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Established Member
superdeluxe
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-18-2010
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General Credit Card Advice?

I've read the FAQs, and I think this kind of question is appropriate here?

 

Anyways, I've noticed that many people have 15-35 open accounts,   Is there reason behind this?  I always thought the more open accounts you have, that it is a negative hit to the fico?  Does the debt to credit ratio when opening cards does that offset the hit because of the opening the credit card?

 

I have 4 open cards right now, but I think I might be doing something wrong,  I've never really maxmized the whole 'miles/rewards' thing with some credit cards.  I have a Capital One no hassle miles, that builds some points, and my amex also builds points.  Do people have exerpience with credit cards that offer a better bang for the buck than either of those cards?

 

I've already opened a citi card with 21 month 0.00% APR on Balance transfers to help with a rather hefty balance that was on my capital one, but this one does not have any rewards.

 

So my plan is to open one more additional card, that would become my 'spending' card, so I can maxmize my rewards.   But that would be my 3rd card opened in the past year,  So I would get a double hit for multiple accounts opening..and my credit age would be shortened correct?  Would that get offset by adding more to my debt to credit ratio?

 

My plan with the other 2 credit cards and 1 store card is to make a purchase once every 2-3 months, just so lenders have no reason to close.  My Best Buy card especially is a issue, because I have to open one every 3-4 years to make a major electronics purchase.

 

Do people have any thoughts on what the best rewards card is with no annual fee?  APR doesn't really matter to me on this card, as I plan to pay it off every month.  Bonus points/miles for sign up and high Credit Limit are much more important..especially the limit.

 

Any other advice?  Mods please lock or move if appropriate

 

Here are my cards

Citi diamond black -    4,188$ bal (Balance transfer)        CL -7,200   on a 21 month 0.00% APR Balance Transfer,  0.00% on purchases for 12 months,  11.99% after

American Express Blue - 0.00 bal   CL-25,000  14.99% APR  (Just paid off 2,400 balance, but it hasn't been reported yet)

Capital One no hassle - 0.00 bal  CL -7,200  13.99% APR   (transfered my balance to Citi)

Best Buy HSBC - 275.00 bal  CL - 4,700

 

 

 

 


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Regular Contributor
OnWayUpinTexas
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎01-19-2010
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Re: General Credit Card Advice?


superdeluxe wrote:

 

Anyways, I've noticed that many people have 15-35 open accounts,   Is there reason behind this?  I always thought the more open accounts you have, that it is a negative hit to the fico?  Does the debt to credit ratio when opening cards does that offset the hit because of the opening the credit card?

 

 

 


I'm no expert and can't speak for anyone else, but I think a major difference may be that many folks may have more open accounts in an effort to increase their utilization percentages because they have (overall) lower CLs.  You have some massive CLs.  My highest is $7000 on a store card.  My highest on a Visa/MC/Amex is $2500.  Several other cards in the >$2000 range.  My 2 cents ...

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: General Credit Card Advice?

Goodness, there's nothing at all wrong with this post. We thrash this sort of thing around all the time.  :smileyvery-happy:

 

Number of open cards: Some people just really, really like to have a lot of open cards. :smileyhappy: Maybe lots of them are store cards, and they like to shop, and they're getting rewards on those cards. I have 10 open cards, and I'm trying to figure which 2 to close, because I'm bored keeping track of them.

 

If someone allows balances to report, and they're high-ish balances, it can help to open additional cards, because it lowers the reported util by increasing the total CL. Banks aren't dumb, though, and if they see that balances aren't dropping and total CL is increasing, they sometimes hit you for "pyramiding debt." Same with those who use repeated BTs in a shell game of moving debt around and never actually paying it off. Juggling raw eggs in the backyard is entertaining; not so much with personal credit.

 

I have a BofA card similar to your Citi card. Mine does have rewards, but they're kind of eh, but they like to wave 0% BT's at me, and every now and again I use one to take some money off my HELOC balance or something, if the terms are right. Have you worked out your payment schedule on your BT so that it will be paid off by the end of the 0% period? Citi probably doesn't do this, but be aware that some lenders will hit you with interest for the entire amount borrowed/ BT'd if you don't pay it off in time. At any rate, I think the most important thing you could do is to make certain that that BT is paid off and gone forever by the end of the 0% period and not let it become a permanent fixture in your finances.

 

Looks like your reported util is in good shape. Those cards are reporting $0, right? They're not just $0 after you get the statement and then pay it?

 

In the meantime, what kind of rewards would be good for you? (cash vs points, groceries/ gas/ hotel nights/ airline miles/ all purchases/ restaurants/ books/ etc etc. Depending on what you're looking for, the PenFed Platinum Visa is good, and anyone can join. But they hate lots of new apps, and they're absolutely death on what they perceive as pyramiding debt.

 

I'm with you --I think the AmEx Blue is pretty much a dud, and I'm planning to get an AmEx Costco card in January (maximizing the back-dating.) I don't think that you can PC (product change) to a Costco, though. Even so, a new AmEx card would avoid the new account ding, because it would take on the opening year of your first-ever AmEx card, whenever that was. The Costco card includes the $50 membership fee for Costco, so it might not make sense if you don't have a Costco nearby or shop at one, unless you work it to death for its rewards.

 

With the Best Buy store card, all you have to do is buy some blank CD's or even gum at the checkout counter every 4-6 months to keep it alive. (It doesn't shut down immediately like HSBC bank cards often do.) I can usually use it enough for holiday and birthday shopping to keep it going without a problem.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Established Member
superdeluxe
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-18-2010
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Re: General Credit Card Advice?

Wow, lots of good stuff there hauling:

 

To answer a few of your thoughts/questions.

 

1)Yup, the Amex and Capital one have zero balance (Actually the Capital One has 88$ credit- as I made the min payment because I didn't know if the transfer would go through by the time my payment was due to capital one).  I have about 16k in miles at capital one, which I can redeem for a 100$ gc :smileyvery-happy:

 

2)Oh my goodness, I knew about the Amex Costco card..are you saying that if I opened it, it wouldn't be a credit ding?  Would I be able to keep my same avail. balance?  We go to costco tons now for diapers and formula :smileyvery-happy:

 

3)I've had been paying about 400$ a month between my capital one and my amex.  So looking at that formula, I shjould be able to pay off my balance at the citi in about 10-11 months.  Citi had a 3% transfer fee, which ends up being around 140$, but I was paying 40-50$ a month in fianance charges..so by doing this I would save hundreds.

 

 

4)I'm looking for cash back or rewards that focus lots on gas and meals/resturants.  We eat alot ( I know, not good when trying to manage funds).

 


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superdeluxe
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Registered: ‎11-18-2010
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Re: General Credit Card Advice?

@UnwayUp:


That is what I assumed, that some people would do that to up their credit limit..to get a better ratio.


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: General Credit Card Advice?

[ Edited ]

 


superdeluxe wrote:

Wow, lots of good stuff there hauling:

 

To answer a few of your thoughts/questions.

 

1)Yup, the Amex and Capital one have zero balance (Actually the Capital One has 88$ credit- as I made the min payment because I didn't know if the transfer would go through by the time my payment was due to capital one).  I have about 16k in miles at capital one, which I can redeem for a 100$ gc :smileyvery-happy:

 

2)Oh my goodness, I knew about the Amex Costco card..are you saying that if I opened it, it wouldn't be a credit ding?  Would I be able to keep my same avail. balance?  We go to costco tons now for diapers and formula :smileyvery-happy:

 

A new Costco card should show the month that you opened it + the year of your first-ever American Express card. There will be a hard inq, but no new account ding, and if the first AmEx is older than your AAoA (average age of accounts), it will actually increase your AAoA. I * puffy heart * AmEx for this alone. Whether you can shift the CL is another question. I think I've read that the Costco card is different from other AmEx cards, because it's co-branded with a different business (Costco), so you can't monkey around with it as much as other AmEx's. Still trying to do research on this one.

 

AmEx Costco TrueEarnings CC

 

3)I've had been paying about 400$ a month between my capital one and my amex.  So looking at that formula, I shjould be able to pay off my balance at the citi in about 10-11 months.  Citi had a 3% transfer fee, which ends up being around 140$, but I was paying 40-50$ a month in fianance charges..so by doing this I would save hundreds.

 

4)I'm looking for cash back or rewards that focus lots on gas and meals/resturants.  We eat alot ( I know, not good when trying to manage funds).

 

Check the Costco link. It's a good gas + restaurant combo card, although there are plenty of other restaurant cards as well. PenFed Plat Visa is 5% gas, 2% grocs, and 1% everything else, plus frequent 3% deals on special stuff like computers and what-not, if you start doing a lot of home cooking. :smileywink:

 


eta: and since you already shop at Costco a lot, you might improve your chances for a good CL by applying at the store with a full shopping cart. Although with your obviously good history with AmEx, it might not make a difference.

 

Here's my thread about dithering over getting the card  Oh, never mind, I see you already found it. :smileyvery-happy:

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Established Member
superdeluxe
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-18-2010
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Re: General Credit Card Advice?

Thanks Hauling,


I noticed in your costco/amex thread, that you were thinking about closing your blue, I would do that if I could transfer my CL.  my CL is pretty nice at 25k, don't want to lose that flexibility I have just in case I neeed a major expense on my credit line.


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