I had closed my last credit card, a Cap 1 with a 39 AF and 500 limit (that as you know NEVER increases) in August and at that time I had NO credit cards whatsoever.
I checked my scores December 15th, and was frustrated to find as a result of that, my scores actually dropped around 10-15 points. I realized that I am just never going any higher without credit cards (or revolving credit) of some sort. (For t hose who are curious TU FICO was 750, EQ was 756 and they had been as I mentioned higher with the Cap 1).
So, given that, I though ok I really hate dealing with Cap 1, but I'll bite the bullet, get a card and use it once in a while, pay it immediately or let a few bucks report, and just do this to hopefully bring my score up. I went there and applied for their new rewards cards, the green one that gives 1.5% cash back - I checked the pre-approval page, and it said they did not find anything matching what I wanted but I might consider these (listing the cards) and that and Venture and the Platinum Rewards cards were in there. I had been interested in the Rewards card when I closed my old subprime card with them, so I applied for that - instant approval with a 3000 dollar limit. I almost fell out of my chair - I didn't know Cap 1 HAD any cards with a limit that high. I thougth this is great, I can even pay my rent and build up rewards this way. My pattern is paying off everything in full as soon as possible online - I simply run it through a credit card basically.
I got to thinking ok, I have a mastercard but what about those situations where they don't take mastercard? I want more options (and more credit won't hurt either up to a point). My bank, Associated, had been literally at LEAST once a month for the last 8 months or so been mailing me offers to apply for their card, so I thought ok, let's see if you really want my business. I went to their online site, applied for their non-signature Visa (I want it reporting a CL obviously) and was even more stunned to get an instant approval with a 9,000 CL. It's not a rewards card, but it's a nice limit to have and hopefully will grow (unlike Cap 1 where you are stuck at the same CL for the rest of the your life I doubt that 3000 will EVER increase).
Then I was reading good things about Barclay's on here, so I thought I'd give that a shot. Seemed like with decent scores, it would be a no-brainer. I applied, and immediately declined. Yesterday I got the reason for the decline in the mail - the issue was not having any credit cards, something to the effect of insufficent use and time of revolving credit accounts or something like that, showing my score of 750 that I got declined with. So, credit score truly is not EVERYTHING, people with scores 100 points lower get approved all the time from what I've read on here. I thought about doing a recon but didn't follow through. It's not like I NEED another card, but they might be a good bank to get in with. Still, I am not sure a recon would even work maybe I should wait say 6 months and try again.What do you guys think?
After the decline I was kind of bummed, so I thought when I was browsing Amazon that the store card would be nice to have (and I've heard good things about GE). So I applied for that, an instant approval with an 1100 CL.
I felt pretty set though I felt I was maybe missing something - I had a Mastercard, a Visa and a store card. I felt that might be a good mix of cards to try to take my score to the next level.
Then Cap 1 strikes again. I made my payments immediately as usual, making 2 in the same week. A week later, though the payments posted, my available credit was still at a reduced level. I was starting to get irritated as I knew the payments both posted, and wondered if it's their way of somehow limtiing my use of the card or something - maybe they DON'T want to pay out rewards so bad. I called their customer "service" and got some guy who told me first that my making payments was slowing their computer down (yes, I kid you not) and that's why that happened, then he told me that I was new so they had to be sure the payment cleared and that's why that was happening even though the payments had cleared days before. I almost called him "Peggy" as I explained to him that I had a card with a limit 3 times the size of theirs that would actually grow in time unlike theirs, and that I had made 2 payments on that already both of which cleared within a day. I told him that as a result, if Cap 1 is going to be a problem and penalize me for being responsible then I'll use the other card instead of Cap 1. Of course he could do nothing for me but repeat the scripts they've been brainwashed to spit out, so that convinced me that my Cap 1 card is going to get sock-drawered.He suggested that I call every time I make a payment and that they will then adjust the account - I don't want that hassle, what a pain and what poor CS that is in my view.
Thus I started my search for a replacement for Cap 1. I decided on a GE mastercard, the Paypal Mastercard, as I tend to buy on eBay and it's GE. Applied - instant approval with a limit of 3000 which unlike Cap 1 WILL grow with time and careful use. Now I can sock-drawer Cap 1, and when it's convenient for me, probably after I get another card or two, I'll call them and close it out. I found that personally I care less for the rewards than I do for not having the card be a hassle and a pain to deal with. Both Associated and GE let me make payments that posted within a day or two with no issues and I want that more than 1.5% back - I don't want to babysit my cards. Bye Bye Peggy I call you back when i convert the points to credits!
So that's been my experiences lately. I hope this is informative to people who are looking for cards. If I recall, Barclay's pulled TU (I live in WI), and I think the others did as well.
Any suggestions? I used to want Amex but I don't really care about them anymore. Even if I did I'm on their blacklist from years ago, as well as Chase and Discover, those are 3 big issuers right there. I thought about apping for the GE Walmart Discover, but I see they automatically send you a check every time you get 10 dollars in rewards and I don't want that I'd rather have a statement credit as I don't want to have to go to my bank and deposit it. (besides 10 bucks is like what I got paid for mowing lawns as a kid). Is there any way to change that on the card? I'd like to have a Discover but if I'm stuck with that as the rewards I might pass on it.
Hope this helps some of you guys great posts I'm reading on here keep up the good work!
Oh there are a couple of other things I'd lke to mention in regards to all of this that you may find useful.
First, I applied for the GE Amazon store card, then I applied for the GE Paypal Mastercard within a 2 week period. It was no problem, just as an FYI.
Also I found that despite the effects of the inquires on my credit score, it actually went UP as a result of the approvals and the new credit - TU was 750 when I checked it on 12/15 and when I applied yesterday for the Paypal Mastercard it was 756 - in spite of the new inquires the new credit lines of revolving credit when I had none before actually brought the score UP.
I thought of another thing I was going to share on here.
When I cancelled the subprime Cap 1 card last August, it was of course, out of frustration that the limit will NEVER increase - in 40 years of perfect use it would very likely be very close to that 500 dollars if not 500. They tried to talk me into keeping it open (of course) but I said that if I fill my gas tank using it, I'm already over optimal utiliization, what kind of a joke is that? The guy obviously could not increase the limit, so the account was closed and that was that.
Knowing what I know now, I was obviously eligible to apply for and get one of their "prime" cards, but they will not tell you that. I mean you'd think as you're leaving them, that they might say well based on your information and your credit score and report, we can't increase the limit on this subprime card, but you might well be approved for our prime card with a higher limit, right? Nope, you have to go out and apply they won't tell you any such thing.
it seems to me to be poor CS and a bad business model to run on but they've been in business for years doing this. They have their place, which is helping rebuild your credit, but based on what I've seen, I would say (and am doing) ditch them as soon as you can move to better. In my experience even their prime cards are not worth it, rewards and a tolerable CL and all. It's a great way to get started or rebuild but that's about it from what I've seen, and they won't steer you to better when you are eilgible, it's up to you to go try, they'll let you walk and they don't really seem to care much.