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Contributor
ElCamino
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

Greetings!

 

I've been lurking on the MyFico Forums for a few weeks now just soaking up as much knowledge as I can and trying to learn about what cards would best suit my needs. To start with, I'm a 28 year old making a base salary of $36k at the moment (working part time and going to school). The classes are paid for by my job, and I'm anticipating a promotion within 2 years, so hopefully I'll have increased income soon as well.

 

I like to think that I've got fairly good credit despite my relatively meager income level. My first credit card was with Washington Mutual before Chase bought them out, I ended up maxing the card out on a 9k limit and closed the account in order to reign in my spending and focus on paying off the debt I had slowly accumulated. Knowing what I know now, I wish I hadn't, but it's too late to change the past.

 

At any rate, last year I became totally and completely debt free. I have no derogatory marks on any of my credit reports, all of my payments have been on time my AAoA is 3 years 6 months. I have 5 active credit card accounts currently. My oldest is a Bank of America Platinum Plus MasterCard with a $500 CL. Next is a Upromise MasterCard (now being operated by Barclays) with a $5k CL. My third card is a UnionPlus MasterCard (now operated by Capital One) with a $4.5k CL. Then, my pride and joy a PenFed Cash Rewards Platinum Visa with a $3.5k limit (note: I also have a $5k LOC with PenFed). Finally, I was just approved this week for the Fidelity Amex (operated by FIA) with a $7.5k limit!

 

As to how I use the cards, since I'm finally out of debt and now able to actually begin saving money, I try to use all of the cards at least once a month, even for a small purchase. The UnionPlus card has no rewards whatsoever, so it's usually a sock drawer card, but I'll buy a coffee or something else just to show some activity. I make sure that my balance is at zero for all of my accounts before my statement gets issued so I can keep my utilization low.

 

The current plan for the rest of my cards is as follows:

 

The Upromise card is exclusively for online shopping through the Upromise website. Using the card through the site nets me 10% cashback (5% from the site and 5% from using the card) into a SallieMae High-Yield Savings Account that I also make a monthly deposit into. SallieMae gives an annual 10% match to whatever you earned via the Upromise program for the year as well, so that increases the rewards a little bit more (but they require an automatic monthly deposit in order to qualify your earnings for the match).

 

The PenFed card is for gas and gas only. I'm even careful to make sure I try to stick to one consistent gas station with it so I know I'm always getting the full 5% reward.

 

The Fidelity Amex is going to be my go-to card from now on for all things not covered by standard rewards. So any bills or fees I need paid will go through it first to net me that 2% cashback into a Fidelity Cash Management Account (for those that don't know, the Cash Management Account and the Fidelity Amex can be had without opening up a brokerage account or a retirement account with Fidelity, simply open up only a Cash Management Account, then apply for the card after). Before getting approved for this card I'd use either the Upromise card (the Upromise card gives 1% cashback on regular purchases) or the BoA card.

 

My quandry and why I have come to you good folks is this, the Bank of America card has a dreadful CL, high APR, and the WorldPoints system is utter garbage. However, I've managed to accrue over 15k worldpoints using the card over the years. Now, my points won't start expiring until 2014, so I do have time before I make any moves. I'd just like to get the most out of them.

 

So here's my question, what do I do? The way I see it, I could call or visit my local BoA branch and ask if it would be possible to upgrade my BoA card to a better card, but I'd only be willing to do so if I could keep or transfer my points over to a better reward system. I also want to make sure that if I upgrade the card that the actual account age doesn't change by upgrading, it's my oldest active card and I don't want to hurt my AAoA needlessly. My father has a Bank Americard PowerRewards Card and his rewards program is nearly identical to mine, only he gets 1% equivalent cashback on all of his points, even in small amounts, whereas I need to break the 25k barrier in order to get the same. I don't bank with BoA, I have my checks deposited with Chase, but I'm willing to even offer to put my cash rewards into a savings account with BoA if they're willing to exchange my points at the 1% level. Do you think they would bite in such a case?

 

My other options would be to take the hit on my points and get what I can, since I don't plan on using that card much any more, or to try and hit the 25k limit (I don't see this happening, it's taken me forever to get where I'm at now).

 

All of this being said, I'm interested in more rewards cards, I'd also like to get a real Amex card, like the BCE just to have it and to start a relationship with AmericanExpress. I'm trying to avoid any cards with annual fees at the moment, and I want cards I can hold on to, so getting a card that has its fee waived and then closing after the year is up is out of the question.

 

Should I give up my silly quest to make the most out of a crappy BoA card? Has anyone had any related success?

 

I'll highball my utilization at 10%, and I've had about 4 hard inquiries in the past year. My FAKOs seem pretty high between 760 and 790, but the last time I got a FICO score I was in the 750s. I'm hoping to get a car in the near future (more than likely something used to I can save some cash) and hopefully buy myself a house, if that will help you guys help me make a decision.

 

Sorry for the long-winded post, I had a lot to share, hopefully you guys can steer me in the right direction here.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions or to broaden the discussion to different types of cards or anything in between, I've begun browsing different credit union sites looking for awesome cards I can eventually get my hands on (for instance, Fort Knox CU has a 5% CB on gas card that gives 1.25% on all other purchases!).

 

Thanks!



Amex BCE: $16.5k, Discover It: $5k, Chase Freedom Visa: $10k, Fidelity Amex: $7.5k, PenFed Cash Rewards Visa: $3.5k, CapOne Union Plus MC: $4.5k, Barclays Upromise MC: $5k, BoA Cash Rewards 123 MC: $1.5k
Community Leader
Senior Contributor
myjourney
Posts: 25,277
Registered: ‎02-07-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

Welcome to the forum:smileyhappy:

"Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education"
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Contributor
ElCamino
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

Thanks! :smileyvery-happy:

 

After reading some of the stories here, it's everything I can do to keep from going on an app spree. I'd prefer to get some solid advice first and keep my inquiries low though.



Amex BCE: $16.5k, Discover It: $5k, Chase Freedom Visa: $10k, Fidelity Amex: $7.5k, PenFed Cash Rewards Visa: $3.5k, CapOne Union Plus MC: $4.5k, Barclays Upromise MC: $5k, BoA Cash Rewards 123 MC: $1.5k
Blogger
HiLine
Posts: 2,836
Registered: ‎10-19-2012

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

Sorry I can't answer all of your questions, but I can guarantee that a product change will not affect the age, or history, or credit limit, or just about anything else really except the reward structure.

Sounds to me like you want to switch to the Cash Rewards or Travel Rewards card. A simple phone call to BofA would do that for you. You can even ask about your options for the accumulated points then. If you're unhappy with the current limit, try requesting a CLI through the online account. Last time I did it with my BofA card I got a 500% increase without a hard inquiry.
Contributor
ElCamino
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus


HiLine wrote:
Sorry I can't answer all of your questions, but I can guarantee that a product change will not affect the age, or history, or credit limit, or just about anything else really except the reward structure.

Sounds to me like you want to switch to the Cash Rewards or Travel Rewards card. A simple phone call to BofA would do that for you. You can even ask about your options for the accumulated points then. If you're unhappy with the current limit, try requesting a CLI through the online account. Last time I did it with my BofA card I got a 500% increase without a hard inquiry.

Hmmm. Should I request the CLI first? Or try to upgrade first? The Cash Rewards card seems pretty nice, I'm not much for travel, and unless I'm mistaken there are better travel cards available.



Amex BCE: $16.5k, Discover It: $5k, Chase Freedom Visa: $10k, Fidelity Amex: $7.5k, PenFed Cash Rewards Visa: $3.5k, CapOne Union Plus MC: $4.5k, Barclays Upromise MC: $5k, BoA Cash Rewards 123 MC: $1.5k
Regular Contributor
jakemod1
Posts: 173
Registered: ‎01-26-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus


ElCamino wrote:

Greetings!

 

I've been lurking on the MyFico Forums for a few weeks now just soaking up as much knowledge as I can and trying to learn about what cards would best suit my needs. To start with, I'm a 28 year old making a base salary of $36k at the moment (working part time and going to school). The classes are paid for by my job, and I'm anticipating a promotion within 2 years, so hopefully I'll have increased income soon as well.

 

I like to think that I've got fairly good credit despite my relatively meager income level. My first credit card was with Washington Mutual before Chase bought them out, I ended up maxing the card out on a 9k limit and closed the account in order to reign in my spending and focus on paying off the debt I had slowly accumulated. Knowing what I know now, I wish I hadn't, but it's too late to change the past.

 

At any rate, last year I became totally and completely debt free. I have no derogatory marks on any of my credit reports, all of my payments have been on time my AAoA is 3 years 6 months. I have 5 active credit card accounts currently. My oldest is a Bank of America Platinum Plus MasterCard with a $500 CL. Next is a Upromise MasterCard (now being operated by Barclays) with a $5k CL. My third card is a UnionPlus MasterCard (now operated by Capital One) with a $4.5k CL. Then, my pride and joy a PenFed Cash Rewards Platinum Visa with a $3.5k limit (note: I also have a $5k LOC with PenFed). Finally, I was just approved this week for the Fidelity Amex (operated by FIA) with a $7.5k limit!

 

As to how I use the cards, since I'm finally out of debt and now able to actually begin saving money, I try to use all of the cards at least once a month, even for a small purchase. The UnionPlus card has no rewards whatsoever, so it's usually a sock drawer card, but I'll buy a coffee or something else just to show some activity. I make sure that my balance is at zero for all of my accounts before my statement gets issued so I can keep my utilization low.

 

The current plan for the rest of my cards is as follows:

 

The Upromise card is exclusively for online shopping through the Upromise website. Using the card through the site nets me 10% cashback (5% from the site and 5% from using the card) into a SallieMae High-Yield Savings Account that I also make a monthly deposit into. SallieMae gives an annual 10% match to whatever you earned via the Upromise program for the year as well, so that increases the rewards a little bit more (but they require an automatic monthly deposit in order to qualify your earnings for the match).

 

The PenFed card is for gas and gas only. I'm even careful to make sure I try to stick to one consistent gas station with it so I know I'm always getting the full 5% reward.

 

The Fidelity Amex is going to be my go-to card from now on for all things not covered by standard rewards. So any bills or fees I need paid will go through it first to net me that 2% cashback into a Fidelity Cash Management Account (for those that don't know, the Cash Management Account and the Fidelity Amex can be had without opening up a brokerage account or a retirement account with Fidelity, simply open up only a Cash Management Account, then apply for the card after). Before getting approved for this card I'd use either the Upromise card (the Upromise card gives 1% cashback on regular purchases) or the BoA card.

 

My quandry and why I have come to you good folks is this, the Bank of America card has a dreadful CL, high APR, and the WorldPoints system is utter garbage. However, I've managed to accrue over 15k worldpoints using the card over the years. Now, my points won't start expiring until 2014, so I do have time before I make any moves. I'd just like to get the most out of them.

 

So here's my question, what do I do? The way I see it, I could call or visit my local BoA branch and ask if it would be possible to upgrade my BoA card to a better card, but I'd only be willing to do so if I could keep or transfer my points over to a better reward system. I also want to make sure that if I upgrade the card that the actual account age doesn't change by upgrading, it's my oldest active card and I don't want to hurt my AAoA needlessly. My father has a Bank Americard PowerRewards Card and his rewards program is nearly identical to mine, only he gets 1% equivalent cashback on all of his points, even in small amounts, whereas I need to break the 25k barrier in order to get the same. I don't bank with BoA, I have my checks deposited with Chase, but I'm willing to even offer to put my cash rewards into a savings account with BoA if they're willing to exchange my points at the 1% level. Do you think they would bite in such a case?

 

My other options would be to take the hit on my points and get what I can, since I don't plan on using that card much any more, or to try and hit the 25k limit (I don't see this happening, it's taken me forever to get where I'm at now).

 

All of this being said, I'm interested in more rewards cards, I'd also like to get a real Amex card, like the BCE just to have it and to start a relationship with AmericanExpress. I'm trying to avoid any cards with annual fees at the moment, and I want cards I can hold on to, so getting a card that has its fee waived and then closing after the year is up is out of the question.

 

Should I give up my silly quest to make the most out of a crappy BoA card? Has anyone had any related success?

 

I'll highball my utilization at 10%, and I've had about 4 hard inquiries in the past year. My FAKOs seem pretty high between 760 and 790, but the last time I got a FICO score I was in the 750s. I'm hoping to get a car in the near future (more than likely something used to I can save some cash) and hopefully buy myself a house, if that will help you guys help me make a decision.

 

Sorry for the long-winded post, I had a lot to share, hopefully you guys can steer me in the right direction here.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions or to broaden the discussion to different types of cards or anything in between, I've begun browsing different credit union sites looking for awesome cards I can eventually get my hands on (for instance, Fort Knox CU has a 5% CB on gas card that gives 1.25% on all other purchases!).

 

Thanks!



I had no issue when I PC'ed my BoA Gold WorldPoints into their Cash Rewards (3-2-1). It does take about a month for the whole process to complete, but they were pretty easy-going when I requested mine. You can also ask for a CLI, but just be warned that it will probably be a HP. I also recently received a letter from them regarding the WorldPoints system being converted to their Cash Rewards system and how they were going to convert my account to that system (after the fact that I've already asked and completed the conversion). They also mentioned that any WorldPoints that I accumulated will be converted into the cash rewards. Definitely give BoA a call and asked to PC your card. It seems to me that they are in the process of moving away from the WorldPoints system.

Discover IT: $7,500 | Chase Freedom: $5,000 | Chase Sapphire Preferred: $7,000 | AMEX BCE: $6,000 | BoA BankAmericard Cash Rewards: $2,500 | Cap1 VentureOne: $5,000 | GECRB Chevron: $3,500 | Macy's Store: $4,200; Macy's AMEX: $6,000 | Best Buy: $500 | Kohl's: $2,000
TU FICO: 746 (myFICO 7/28/13)
EQ FICO: 767 (myFICO 2/28/13)
EX FICO: 742 (myFICO 8/8/13)
App Free as of 8/8/13
Contributor
ElCamino
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus


jakemod1 wrote:

ElCamino wrote:

Greetings!

 

I've been lurking on the MyFico Forums for a few weeks now just soaking up as much knowledge as I can and trying to learn about what cards would best suit my needs. To start with, I'm a 28 year old making a base salary of $36k at the moment (working part time and going to school). The classes are paid for by my job, and I'm anticipating a promotion within 2 years, so hopefully I'll have increased income soon as well.

 

I like to think that I've got fairly good credit despite my relatively meager income level. My first credit card was with Washington Mutual before Chase bought them out, I ended up maxing the card out on a 9k limit and closed the account in order to reign in my spending and focus on paying off the debt I had slowly accumulated. Knowing what I know now, I wish I hadn't, but it's too late to change the past.

 

At any rate, last year I became totally and completely debt free. I have no derogatory marks on any of my credit reports, all of my payments have been on time my AAoA is 3 years 6 months. I have 5 active credit card accounts currently. My oldest is a Bank of America Platinum Plus MasterCard with a $500 CL. Next is a Upromise MasterCard (now being operated by Barclays) with a $5k CL. My third card is a UnionPlus MasterCard (now operated by Capital One) with a $4.5k CL. Then, my pride and joy a PenFed Cash Rewards Platinum Visa with a $3.5k limit (note: I also have a $5k LOC with PenFed). Finally, I was just approved this week for the Fidelity Amex (operated by FIA) with a $7.5k limit!

 

As to how I use the cards, since I'm finally out of debt and now able to actually begin saving money, I try to use all of the cards at least once a month, even for a small purchase. The UnionPlus card has no rewards whatsoever, so it's usually a sock drawer card, but I'll buy a coffee or something else just to show some activity. I make sure that my balance is at zero for all of my accounts before my statement gets issued so I can keep my utilization low.

 

The current plan for the rest of my cards is as follows:

 

The Upromise card is exclusively for online shopping through the Upromise website. Using the card through the site nets me 10% cashback (5% from the site and 5% from using the card) into a SallieMae High-Yield Savings Account that I also make a monthly deposit into. SallieMae gives an annual 10% match to whatever you earned via the Upromise program for the year as well, so that increases the rewards a little bit more (but they require an automatic monthly deposit in order to qualify your earnings for the match).

 

The PenFed card is for gas and gas only. I'm even careful to make sure I try to stick to one consistent gas station with it so I know I'm always getting the full 5% reward.

 

The Fidelity Amex is going to be my go-to card from now on for all things not covered by standard rewards. So any bills or fees I need paid will go through it first to net me that 2% cashback into a Fidelity Cash Management Account (for those that don't know, the Cash Management Account and the Fidelity Amex can be had without opening up a brokerage account or a retirement account with Fidelity, simply open up only a Cash Management Account, then apply for the card after). Before getting approved for this card I'd use either the Upromise card (the Upromise card gives 1% cashback on regular purchases) or the BoA card.

 

My quandry and why I have come to you good folks is this, the Bank of America card has a dreadful CL, high APR, and the WorldPoints system is utter garbage. However, I've managed to accrue over 15k worldpoints using the card over the years. Now, my points won't start expiring until 2014, so I do have time before I make any moves. I'd just like to get the most out of them.

 

So here's my question, what do I do? The way I see it, I could call or visit my local BoA branch and ask if it would be possible to upgrade my BoA card to a better card, but I'd only be willing to do so if I could keep or transfer my points over to a better reward system. I also want to make sure that if I upgrade the card that the actual account age doesn't change by upgrading, it's my oldest active card and I don't want to hurt my AAoA needlessly. My father has a Bank Americard PowerRewards Card and his rewards program is nearly identical to mine, only he gets 1% equivalent cashback on all of his points, even in small amounts, whereas I need to break the 25k barrier in order to get the same. I don't bank with BoA, I have my checks deposited with Chase, but I'm willing to even offer to put my cash rewards into a savings account with BoA if they're willing to exchange my points at the 1% level. Do you think they would bite in such a case?

 

My other options would be to take the hit on my points and get what I can, since I don't plan on using that card much any more, or to try and hit the 25k limit (I don't see this happening, it's taken me forever to get where I'm at now).

 

All of this being said, I'm interested in more rewards cards, I'd also like to get a real Amex card, like the BCE just to have it and to start a relationship with AmericanExpress. I'm trying to avoid any cards with annual fees at the moment, and I want cards I can hold on to, so getting a card that has its fee waived and then closing after the year is up is out of the question.

 

Should I give up my silly quest to make the most out of a crappy BoA card? Has anyone had any related success?

 

I'll highball my utilization at 10%, and I've had about 4 hard inquiries in the past year. My FAKOs seem pretty high between 760 and 790, but the last time I got a FICO score I was in the 750s. I'm hoping to get a car in the near future (more than likely something used to I can save some cash) and hopefully buy myself a house, if that will help you guys help me make a decision.

 

Sorry for the long-winded post, I had a lot to share, hopefully you guys can steer me in the right direction here.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions or to broaden the discussion to different types of cards or anything in between, I've begun browsing different credit union sites looking for awesome cards I can eventually get my hands on (for instance, Fort Knox CU has a 5% CB on gas card that gives 1.25% on all other purchases!).

 

Thanks!



I had no issue when I PC'ed my BoA Gold WorldPoints into their Cash Rewards (3-2-1). It does take about a month for the whole process to complete, but they were pretty easy-going when I requested mine. You can also ask for a CLI, but just be warned that it will probably be a HP. I also recently received a letter from them regarding the WorldPoints system being converted to their Cash Rewards system and how they were going to convert my account to that system (after the fact that I've already asked and completed the conversion). They also mentioned that any WorldPoints that I accumulated will be converted into the cash rewards. Definitely give BoA a call and asked to PC your card. It seems to me that they are in the process of moving away from the WorldPoints system.


I received a similar letter in the mail. The letter I got though said they were renaming the program to the "BankAmericard Rewards Program". It didn't really give me any information indicating that my actual rewards levels would be changing though. It did tell me I'd continue to earn points and that my current point balance would be carried over.

 

Unless there is some overwhelming evidence provided, I'll probably give them a ring tomorrow and see what they can do for me. Thank you.



Amex BCE: $16.5k, Discover It: $5k, Chase Freedom Visa: $10k, Fidelity Amex: $7.5k, PenFed Cash Rewards Visa: $3.5k, CapOne Union Plus MC: $4.5k, Barclays Upromise MC: $5k, BoA Cash Rewards 123 MC: $1.5k
Contributor
ElCamino
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

Ok I just got off of the phone with the BoA CSR and success!

 

I upgraded my BoA card to a Cash Rewards 123 Visa and I also asked for a CLI and brought my limit up from $500 to $1500.

 

They credited my WorldPoints to the new account and should show up as a statement credit, I'm not getting a full 1% from them though unfortunately, but it's still better than nothing (I should have received $150 for my 15k points, but the CSR told me that the points qualify for a $120 credit).

 

Thanks for the advice guys!



Amex BCE: $16.5k, Discover It: $5k, Chase Freedom Visa: $10k, Fidelity Amex: $7.5k, PenFed Cash Rewards Visa: $3.5k, CapOne Union Plus MC: $4.5k, Barclays Upromise MC: $5k, BoA Cash Rewards 123 MC: $1.5k
Contributor
ElCamino
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎03-20-2013

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

Oh and just for info's sake.

 

They hard pulled TransUnion for my CLI, which is fine since I only had one otther inquiry there, and I'm in Florida.

 

Next question, do I go ahead an apply for the Amex BCE? Or do I wait a few months? :smileywink:



Amex BCE: $16.5k, Discover It: $5k, Chase Freedom Visa: $10k, Fidelity Amex: $7.5k, PenFed Cash Rewards Visa: $3.5k, CapOne Union Plus MC: $4.5k, Barclays Upromise MC: $5k, BoA Cash Rewards 123 MC: $1.5k
Moderator Emeritus
webhopper
Posts: 7,230
Registered: ‎09-16-2011

Re: Seeking Advice From Credit Gurus

[ Edited ]

I would request an upgrade to BOA travel rewards...  ask them if the points transfer, or if you would have to use them up...   Also ask for a CLI at the same time.. there is no reason to be stuck at a small CL

 

Edit: I just read about your PC and CLI success..

 

Congrats!!!


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