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Valued Member
PippiLongstockingWannabe
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
0

Which to go with?

[ Edited ]

Ok my head is spinning now after reading this forum and reading about different cards on bankrate.com

 

Summary: I've been working on cleaning up my financials for several years now. In July I finally closed on my first house. I just financed two cars in the past 2 weeks. Paid for car died and it was tough having to share my car with my mom who I support so when it turned out I could get approved for a 2nd car, I went ahead and got it - yea I know this is gonna be a shock to the credit rating when it all reports but right now none of it is.

 

My score, pulled this morning is 741 at EQ. Aside from the things mentioned above that aren't reporting yet, I have a student loan that will be done in May and is my oldest acct by 14 yrs, a HSBC BB store card + a TL with my CU that together give me a 20% util rate.

 

I'd made the stereotypical college credit card mistakes so when those cards shut down, I accepted and paid off the balances in settlement offers they made me and they fell off my report in '07. But I've not touched credit cards since then with exception of getting the store card which isn't quite the same thing I know.

 

Especially in light of being a new homeowner and a first time one, it seems to me that if I can sneak in opening a card or two before it all gets reported and I have to lay low for a year... that I should so that at least I have the cards in case I need them.

 

With the BestBuy card, my pattern with them is to buy big ticket items in a 18-24 mo 0% financing, pay it off slowly with a balloon payment near the end before 0% expires. They auto CLI'd me last year from approx $2200 to ~$2600 around this time (holiday shopping heheh). I just recently paid off the last balloon and then a ~$100 purchase that wasn't 0% (I miss the 90 day same as cash! sigh). But the latter isn't reporting right now.

 

What I like is 0% interest and the flexibility to pay more when I can and less when I need the cash elsewhere as long as I keep an eye on the 0% expiration.

 

But from what I've read and learned here, regular credit cards don't work like that. There's  0% intro apr for a year cards but when its over, its over.

 

Plus I understand all the talk about keeping low util by making sure that even if you want to PIF, manipulate your payments so that the day the card reports, it shows a 1-9% util, but otherwise PIF to avoid interest charges.

 

I'd also like to be able to take advantage of rewards programs/cash back. But it's been a little tough to gauge which cards are really good for those because people's experiences are obviously biased by their needs and patterns and its not always clear if the reason why someone is dissing a card's reward/cash back program is one that doesn't apply to me.

 

I guess ideally for me, if I could get one card that is 0% for a year for purchases that would be my "emergency" while I get used to home ownership and settled in... and sock drawer that one for the most part.... and then one that is rewards/cashback based and practice PIF/low util manipulation with that.

 

SO HERE are the questions for peanut gallery:

1) Considering that I have 3 major TLs recently opened and not even hitting the reports yet... am I hurting anything in attempting to pick up a couple cards before the window closes (assuming its not already closed)? Or is it "if you can get 'em, go for it?"

 

Which reminds me, given the hard pulls that I had to have for the mortgage (long story but I ended up having to get 4 pulls, Aug 09, Oct 09, spring 10, May 10), and the ones 2 weeks ago for the car loans, I don't think I'm really risking anything by incurring more HPs to try and get a credit card or two. It's already "bad" and I'm prepared to wait a year before trying to do anything else. I want a Lowes or Home Deport store card at some point for financing things like replacing the carpet with laminate in my house and installing a perm fencing on my property (2 acres). I'm thinking on using a store card instead of a regular card so that I can do that same thing I did with the Best Buy card. I've proven to myself that I can handle and manage paying it off properly without paying any interest. But I'll probably be stuck waiting a year to do that since I'm not ready to do them right now nor are they offering the intro offers of that type atm afaik

 

2) Ok so which cards do I try to apply for? Which seems better suited to my needs/preferences as described and also is more likely going to get approved?

I've narrowed it down to these three cards but having a hard time deciding which is truly best.

 

FYI, I don't travel that much and don't expect to do much in the next 2 years because I know I'll be focused on the fun of being a first time owner and fixing up the place as I want it plus trying to aggressively pay off those two car loans so I can save money on interest and insurance (dropping collision when they're paid off). So miles for travel is not appealing to me right now. Cash back or gift cards for home improvement stores is perfect for me right now. Gift cards to big box stores is fine too.

 

Chase Freedom® Visa - $100 Bonus Cash Back

- does not give 0% interest on purchases period

- does do cash back at 1% with up to 5% in home improvement & more (at least part of the year)

- I'm a former WAMU that they acquired so they have all the data on my main bank accounts. Lately, the avg daily balance has been higher than it ever used to be.

- also isn't there a $50 cash back version that does give 0% interest on purchases for at least 6 mo? Not sure if that just recently went away or what.

 


Discover® More Card - $100 Cashback Bonus

- seems to have best of both worlds, 0% interest on purchases for 6 mo (not 12 but take what I can get)

- and also cashback stuff similar to above

- should I try for this one or play it more safe and go for the one that doesn't have the $100 cash back but otherwise appears the same? I'm assuming that they'll be tougher on approving on this one.

 

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Rewards Card

- offers 12 months of 0% on purchases

- offers "thankyou" point system instead of cashback, but can be used for giftcards.

- this was the first one I saw that seemed really good for me but scuttlebutt seems to indicate that the "rewards" system isn't really up to par with other cards? In other words, if I'm planning on maximizing cashback/rewards benefits from my regular spending patterns, supposedly this card is not an efficient one for it?

 

Which cards look good but are limited by cashback/point earning caps that they don't tell you about upfront etc?

 

Or is there a different card I should look at?

 

Which one is most likely to accept me with a 741? Which one only uses EQ for pulls? (btw I have some lates but they're 4+ yrs old at this point, Equifax finally stopped wagging its finger at me for it when analyzing my report).

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT: Might help to know that my rent was $1078, my mortgage PITI is $697 and the new car payments are 225 & 271 so overall, only $100 more a month overall and my gross monthly is 6125 I think. There's a lot of room to spare still.

5/13/08: EQ: 619 TU: 659 EX: 655
7/20/09: EQ: 647
8/13/09: EQ: 697 TU: 720
7/26/10: BOUGHT MY FIRST HOUSE
10/15/10: EQ: 741

2011: lost my job due to disability
2014: foreclosure but fighting it.
Valued Member
PippiLongstockingWannabe
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
0

Re: Which to go with?

Now that I recapped it all again in writing the above...

 

Seems as though if the rewards program isn't that bad for the Citi Diamond, that should be the card I go for first if its the only one I get.

 

Next would be the Discover Card if only because it has a better rep for cashback programs that don't jerk you around.

 

But then again, Discover isn't always accepted everywhere in which case Chase's visa would work better?

 

 

I'm really tempted to just try for all three at the same time and if I get them, great, if not, then wait 6-12 months and try again. It certainly feels like now or never (ok not never...  1 year).

5/13/08: EQ: 619 TU: 659 EX: 655
7/20/09: EQ: 647
8/13/09: EQ: 697 TU: 720
7/26/10: BOUGHT MY FIRST HOUSE
10/15/10: EQ: 741

2011: lost my job due to disability
2014: foreclosure but fighting it.
Moderator Emeritus
MarineVietVet
Posts: 14,577
Registered: ‎07-14-2009
0

Re: Which to go with?

Hi there,

 

I don't recommend particular cards because it's been over 6 years since I got my last one and I'm just not familiar with what is available these days. But there is a new Credit Card Center here at myFICO that might give you some good information. You'll see the tab at the top of the page.

 

I hope you get the answers you're looking for!

 

 

 

From a BK years ago to:
EX - 9/09 pulled by lender 802
EQ - 7/06-663, 3/10-800, 10/10-813
TU - 8/10-772
You can do the same thing with hard work


Valued Member
PippiLongstockingWannabe
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
0

Re: Which to go with?

[ Edited ]

Thanks marinevietvet! I completely missed that....

 

And in using it, I discover 

Capital One® No Hassle CashSM Rewards - Excellent Credit

 

Which seems to have all of the things I want plus more like coverage on rental cars, 24 roadside assistance (is this as good as AAA roadside?), and ok yea I admit, I'm attracted to the option to use picture of my choice on the card.

 

Excellent Credit is anything over 720? Feels weird to be able to select that radio button!

 

So I guess now I just really need some feedback about whether I should apply for more than one given the situation with already having hard pulls & needing to go dormant on credit requests for probably a full year when the new TLs report.

 

 

EDIT: Argh, I looked at the capital one's app page and it says "for EXCELLENT CREDIT only" and one of the 4 definitions is having a CC with $5k CL min already.  I'm SOL for this one right?

5/13/08: EQ: 619 TU: 659 EX: 655
7/20/09: EQ: 647
8/13/09: EQ: 697 TU: 720
7/26/10: BOUGHT MY FIRST HOUSE
10/15/10: EQ: 741

2011: lost my job due to disability
2014: foreclosure but fighting it.
Epic Contributor
Creditaddict
Posts: 21,735
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
0

Re: Which to go with?

I would apply for Citi and Discover on the same day! 

Fico Scores: EQ- 653 Cap1., TU 696 Walmart, EX 695 Chase (11-05-14)
You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
Lowest Limit: Target $200
65 Cards and Counting :smileytongue:
Established Contributor
Ulan
Posts: 790
Registered: ‎09-09-2008
0

Re: Which to go with?

[ Edited ]

"Excellent credit" is a somewhat muddled category. Some companies set the threshold at 750, and I don't know what Capital One does. Keep in mind that a Capital One application will result in three hard inquiries, one on each credit bureau.

 

Regarding the other cards, they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Discover's normal cashback is 0.25% for the first $3,000 you charge on the card, that's why they write "up to 1%". Their 5% cashback categories are most of the time capped at $300 per quarter, plus some extra category in one month per quarter. If you don't buy much, that's fine, but it's not first choice as a main card if you want to maximize cashback. The Chase Freedom seems to have a base cashback of 1%, which would be better, but I would wait for someone who actually has the card chime in. Both, Discover and Chase, are not very generous with CLs.  Regarding the Citi card, I don't know anything.

 

Good luck!

 


Creditaddict wrote:

I would apply for Citi and Discover on the same day! 


Well, you would apply for all of them on the same day, I guess :smileywink:.

 

Senior Contributor
Wolf3
Posts: 3,197
Registered: ‎01-24-2010
0

Re: Which to go with?

 


PippiLongstockingWannabe wrote:

Thanks marinevietvet! I completely missed that....

 

And in using it, I discover 

Capital One® No Hassle CashSM Rewards - Excellent Credit

 

Which seems to have all of the things I want plus more like coverage on rental cars, 24 roadside assistance (is this as good as AAA roadside?), and ok yea I admit, I'm attracted to the option to use picture of my choice on the card.

 

Excellent Credit is anything over 720? Feels weird to be able to select that radio button!

 

So I guess now I just really need some feedback about whether I should apply for more than one given the situation with already having hard pulls & needing to go dormant on credit requests for probably a full year when the new TLs report.

 

 

EDIT: Argh, I looked at the capital one's app page and it says "for EXCELLENT CREDIT only" and one of the 4 definitions is having a CC with $5k CL min already.  I'm SOL for this one right?


I think it is worth applying for Capital one.   They also have 0% transaction fee on foreign purchases, which no other major bank does.

 

Valued Member
PippiLongstockingWannabe
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎05-14-2008
0

Re: Which to go with?

Update:

 

I just got the Discover Motiva card (the purple colored one)  in the mail today.

 

Discover was the only one who gave me an instant decision which was to say no to the card I wanted (see above) but offer me the Motiva instead. I took it because even if I can't do a PC later, I'm not optimistic to actually get the other cards since they "decision by mail"'d me and this will help my util & aaoa (eventually) while giving me at least one actual credit card (as opposed to store cards).

 

Upon further reading on the forums, I decided to try for a couple of GEMB cards because of the easy CLIs so that the next time around that I want to try for a prime card, I have CLs in the range that they want to see. Went for Lowes and Amazon.

 

This morning I got a phone call from Lowes, who I guess just wanted to verify my identity before giving me the card. They gave me $400 CL. I asked to talk to the underwriter who reviewed my file and gave me the $1000 CL that I asked him for. YAY!

 

Added to pushing the love button on my HSBC BB card and receiving a $550 CLI....

 

$3200 + $1500 (Discover Motiva) + $1000 = $5700

I'm over the $5k mark now which is what kept me from trying for the Cap One card I wanted.

 

Now to credit garden the heck out of this Motiva card... got 0% interest on purchases for a year but I'm more interested in getting past that $3k threshold so that I get 1% instead of .25% cashback. Starting to move my payments over to hit that card to accelerate this process :smileyhappy:

 

Thanks again for all your help!

 

Maybe I'll actually get approved the other three (Chase/Citi/Amazon GEMB) but not holding my breath. That's it for me app wise. If I actually get all 3 in addition to the two I just mentioned, that'll hurt my AAoA but at this point it's a hit I'm willing to take.

5/13/08: EQ: 619 TU: 659 EX: 655
7/20/09: EQ: 647
8/13/09: EQ: 697 TU: 720
7/26/10: BOUGHT MY FIRST HOUSE
10/15/10: EQ: 741

2011: lost my job due to disability
2014: foreclosure but fighting it.

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