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Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 14,863
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


k-s wrote:

nbsiddiq wrote:

I recently opened 4 store cards but do not intend on using them.  The main reason why I opened them was to decrease utilization.  What is most beneficial? Keeping the card at a zero balance or making small purchases and paying it off every month. Is there a difference in regard to the creditors reporting it to the bureaus?


If these store cards are issued by Comenity or GE (which most are!), then your account will not report to the CBs if there is no statement that month, and no activity = no statement. Also, if they're GE cards, GE gives nice CLIs typically every 4 statements, so you'd be delaying CLI if you don't use it. 


Sadly GE doesn't recognize a negative balance as being statement worthy either.

 

I tried Smiley Happy  Date of last activity is listed as Oct. and they sent me a check for the $6.37 they owed me heh.

 

Starting Score: EQ 04 561, TU 98 567, EX 98 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 693, EQ 8 716, TU 8 713, EX 8 740 (09/06/16)
Goal Score: 700 on EQ 04 (01/01/17)


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Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 14,863
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


nbsiddiq wrote:

The reason I would want to pay off say $50 over a stretch of 4 months would be to have it reported. I want them to constantly report.  If I pay off the balance to zero and do not use the card for another 3 months they will not report.


I did this with Wally at least, no issues, got a second auto-CLI somewhere in there too with my limited use.  

 

Bout to go do it again as the credit report lists it as idle for the past 3 months, no bueno.

Starting Score: EQ 04 561, TU 98 567, EX 98 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 693, EQ 8 716, TU 8 713, EX 8 740 (09/06/16)
Goal Score: 700 on EQ 04 (01/01/17)


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Established Contributor
Posts: 601
Registered: ‎03-13-2008
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance

I have a VS card issued by Comenity which has a weird credit line of $2,730. 6 months out of the year I keep a 0 balance, and then I go buy a bra during the semi-annual sale, and PIF. Their interest rate is absolutely ridiculous. if you are rebuilding I would buy something small every month, and PIF.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 3,679
Registered: ‎11-23-2013
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


Revelate wrote:

nbsiddiq wrote:

The reason I would want to pay off say $50 over a stretch of 4 months would be to have it reported. I want them to constantly report.  If I pay off the balance to zero and do not use the card for another 3 months they will not report.


I did this with Wally at least, no issues, got a second auto-CLI somewhere in there too with my limited use.  

 

Bout to go do it again as the credit report lists it as idle for the past 3 months, no bueno.


I might have to do this as well with Walmart and Paypal. The interest rates are horrible, so I keep paying the paypal in full which is never going to get me a CLI.. but I'm too uncomfortable leaving a balance just sitting there. I'm trying to leave the little charge currently on my Walmart card right now long enough to generate a statement, but I don't like it. Hopefully I can remember to keep buying something there for the next several months.

625 EQ FICO Current Score: 660 DCU EQ FICO/ 645 Scorewatch EQ FICO , EX FICO 664, TU FICO 737 (08/2014)
Goal Score: 700   Seedling again as of 07/29/14
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 14,863
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


notfancy wrote:

Revelate wrote:

nbsiddiq wrote:

The reason I would want to pay off say $50 over a stretch of 4 months would be to have it reported. I want them to constantly report.  If I pay off the balance to zero and do not use the card for another 3 months they will not report.


I did this with Wally at least, no issues, got a second auto-CLI somewhere in there too with my limited use.  

 

Bout to go do it again as the credit report lists it as idle for the past 3 months, no bueno.


I might have to do this as well with Walmart and Paypal. The interest rates are horrible, so I keep paying the paypal in full which is never going to get me a CLI.. but I'm too uncomfortable leaving a balance just sitting there. I'm trying to leave the little charge currently on my Walmart card right now long enough to generate a statement, but I don't like it. Hopefully I can remember to keep buying something there for the next several months.


Yeah, you're either stuck buying something once a month (and the shipping charges are worse than the interest rate if we're talking small purchases) or paying the fractional APR over the course of the balance.  In my case doing the math, it came out cheaper to simply do the bulk purchase, qualify for the free shipping which I think was minimum $50, and then just play it out at the minimum + 1 buck or whatever.  

 

Course I could go into the store and purchase something, meh, I'm so lazy.

Starting Score: EQ 04 561, TU 98 567, EX 98 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 693, EQ 8 716, TU 8 713, EX 8 740 (09/06/16)
Goal Score: 700 on EQ 04 (01/01/17)


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Posts: 8,556
Registered: ‎08-12-2013
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


nbsiddiq wrote:

Sunrise,

 

Does your Violin report to all 3 agencies monthly?


Gold Violin reports to EX, EQ, TU, and Innovis monthly, as do my other Comenity cards.  




Start: 619 (TU08, 9/2013) | Current: 773 (TU08, 8/26/16)
Sam's Club MC $25000 | AMEX BCE $20400 | Sallie Mae WMC $16500 | Cap 1 QS VS $10750 | Care Credit $10200 | BofA BBR #1 $10100 | Discover IT $8500 | Marvel MC $8000 | Citi DC $8000 | JCP $8000 | Amazon Store $8000 | US Bank Cash+ VS $7500 | Blispay $7500 | BofA BBR #2 $7000 | Cap 1 QS WMC $5750 | Macy's Store $5400 | Sony Card $4250 | Macy's AMEX $3500 | Gold Violin $3050 | CU Visa $2500 | Target $1900 | Costco Anywhere $1700 | ~~Gardening Since 8/29/16
Senior Contributor
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Registered: ‎08-16-2012
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance

The min pmt is 25 on those accounts.
Marriott PR$25k | BCE $24.5K |BankAmericard Visa $25k| BOA Better Bal $17.5k |Wmt Discover $12.5k | BR Visa $17.5k | Amex Delta Gold $10k | Discover IT $10k | Paypal Extras MC $15k | Amazon Store $10k|Smile Gen $7.25k | Dillard's $10k | West Elm $4k| Express $3.05K | Mypoints.com Visa $4.5k | Freedom Visa $1k| Amex Surpass $1k
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,382
Registered: ‎10-07-2013
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


nbsiddiq wrote:

The reason I would want to pay off say $50 over a stretch of 4 months would be to have it reported. I want them to constantly report.  If I pay off the balance to zero and do not use the card for another 3 months they will not report.



It works out well if you do every other month, buy something, then once the bill is mailed, pay it off right before the due date.

 

Why pay interest?

I was going to garden... Honest!
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Posts: 14,863
Registered: ‎12-30-2011
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance


CreditUnionFan wrote:

nbsiddiq wrote:

The reason I would want to pay off say $50 over a stretch of 4 months would be to have it reported. I want them to constantly report.  If I pay off the balance to zero and do not use the card for another 3 months they will not report.



It works out well if you do every other month, buy something, then once the bill is mailed, pay it off right before the due date.

 

Why pay interest?


Because the interest on that is trivial at least in my case.  20% APR or whatever for $50 balance reduced by $15 monthly, /yawn.  Rather do that than continually buy stuff frankly both in the interest of time and overall expense.

 

If we were talking hundreds or thousands of dollars that's one thing, but when I spend more at Outback non-date in a given evening watching a football game, I consider the interest charges to be utterly irrelevant.

Starting Score: EQ 04 561, TU 98 567, EX 98 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 04 693, EQ 8 716, TU 8 713, EX 8 740 (09/06/16)
Goal Score: 700 on EQ 04 (01/01/17)


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Established Contributor
Posts: 900
Registered: ‎03-04-2013
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Re: Keeping store cards at zero balance

The Comenity cards I have (J Crew, Express, Vic Secret) report if there is activity, even when the balance is zero at statement close. 

FICO: EQ 759 | TU 754 | EX 737
Amex BCE $25k, SFFCU Visa $15k + LOC $5k, USAA Amex $6k, USAA MC $7k, Cap1 $4.5k, Freedom $9.2k, Slate $500, Barclays SM $11.5k, USBank Cash+ $7.5k, Citi Diamond $6.5k, Citi Double Cash $2.2k, Care Credit $13.5k.

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