I did not seek to get prime cards. I had closed all CC in the early 90s thanks to Mr Ramsey. Then in 2001, I succumbed to the 0% BT temptation and decided that was a better way to pay off my car loan. So, IIR, the limit was $15k for the BoA MC right off the bat. I believe I did a similar thing to get the Chase card, which was not a Freedom back then. We shop at Sams a lot so for the CB, it seemed like a good idea to pay $60 more per year for the Advantage Plus. (I will cancel that pending a review of my AAoA situation)
Over the last year I've become accutely aware of the CB I was missing and the benefits of increasing CL for Utilization sake.
FICO EX 827, 2015 Feb; FICO EQ 836/900 (Citi), 2014 Dec; FICO TU08 818, 2015 Feb.
BofA Cash Rwrds Sig V 2013 10k; Fidelity Rewards AmEx /BofA 2013 15.4k; Chase Freedom Sig V 2002 24.1k; Chase Amazon Rwrds Sig V 2011 8k; Sam's Club MC 2002 10k; Dscvr It 2012 10k; Citi Dvdnd Plat Sel V 2013 8.9k; PenFed Plat Rwrds V 2013 20k; AmEx Blue Sky 2013 11.3k; AmEx BCP 2014 24.1k; Priceline Rwrds Sig V 2013 8.7k; PayPal Xtras GE Cap Plat MC 2012 5k
Hate to say it but it was mostly seeing what was possible on this forum.
I really wasn't looking to do much with credit cards except to establish some payment history and improve my FICO score to get mortgage qualified... then after finding this forum, a monster was created, which fortunately I don't regret.
After seeing what some posters, Open123, CreditScholar, and others were able to accomplish I realized there was more to be gained by playing for keeps than just being a tourist. I'm not in their demographic where I can maximize things in the same manner that they do, but even with my modest little life there's been some financial wins I've been able to achieve because I had access to sufficient that I wouldn't have been able to make on my former cash-based existance, and it's only going to get better with time even if my overall spending habits aren't going to change short of a major life-altering event.
Also with the larger and currently expanding pool of credit, I have a much stronger financial defense than what I had previously, even if I'm simply hording cash in short-term liquid investments for a mortgage and could live off that for a few years if required, it wouldnt' be getting ahead and once I do purchse the absurdly priced house here in So Cal, having the credit card buffer will make life tremendously easier when I have income shortfalls or unexpected expenses.
For many years I was a "debit card" payer and with this forum I realized that I could have credit cards work for me. The two 5K cards I had with BofA were just fine for the CL but when I saw many posters here to what limits they could get I figured "let's see what I can do" and started to app for selected cards that gave me some higher benefits. Became a rewards junkie I am pobably the nightmare customer of any lender...always pif and no dime in interest! The most shocking experience I had recently was the Citi card with 17K instant approval and the inq sensitive Barclay that still approved me with 10K after all my new cards. I know now that I have reached my limits 50K additional CL in 4 months is definitely reason for gardening for a while. Exited to see if more cards and higher limits will change scores as well. AAoA drastically reduced but so far did not loose many points in Fico scores. Love my cards and future goal is only CSP in 2014 and see if I can get close to 800 Fico scores...wishful thinking with only CC to report.
For me it was two main reasons:
-Needed better purchase power (I hate the daily limit I had on debit when making a big purchase )
-Better protection (PITA to get a charge reversed on debit than a credit card IME)
Cap One. Yup that is the reason. After waiting so long for a CLI from them I figured out that I needed to get respect from somewhere else. I was content having 4 accounts, but two of these accounts were Cap One. Neither of them were going anywhere so I went elsewhere. As I started doing that I got a few OK cards with OK limits. I decided that I should simply keep going to get as far away as Cap One as I could.
Life is ALOT easier when using CC's. I don't like using debit cards since they are so easily prone to fraud and attached to your checking account. Plus some banks want you to attach your savings account to your checking account and that just triples the damage. It's a PITA trying to get that money bank from a bank.
CC's I don't have to worry about that. Makes going on trips, vacations and big purchases alot easier. I only worry about overspending - that's it.
And ya, Capital One was a motivator for me. I knew I could do better and there was something else out there. These days, I smile when I read a list like "the best credit cards today" and I have a few of them.
I vowed not to ever do business with CapOne again, but I got over it. I'll go for their Rewards card probably next year if it's still being offered. But right now, I want a Citi card.
I realized I needed to get my act together when I got lousy financing on a car lease. It took me a little over a year to start working on my credit, and just a few months to go from 8,000 CL on one prime card to 30,000+ spread across 3 prime cards. I am looking forward to that number increasing thanks to AmEx 3xCLI in a few weeks.
Like a few people I started younran got married, got my credit destroyed in a divorce, now I'm back. I stumbled across this forum while googling something, I don't remember what, lurked for literally a couple of years before officially joining, and never looked back. Getting prime cards with high limits to me is about proving that you can have discipline and successfully manage your credit.