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PenFed Cash Rewards Usage for CLI?


PenFed Cash Rewards Usage for CLI?

Hey folks!  Can anyone tell me how much PenFed will want me to use the Power Cash Rewards VISA in order to get a decent CLI in a few months?  I know it sounds like blasphemy, but I'm not a big USER of credit cards; I just use them when the purchase is more than the $50 cash I have in my wallet.  But, because I'd like to get a decent mortgage, and because I'm still rebuilding*, I'd like to get those credit limits up.  PenFed's card will be my go-to, since it's my best cash rewards card.


*Rebuild started end of October/beginning November 2018.  Capital One has already prequalified me for ALL of their premium products.  Whaaaaaat????


Current FICOs:  EQ 698, TU 705, EX 660 (screw you, EX!) ... FICO 9s:  EQ 719, TU 711, EX 674 (screw you, EX!) ... AAoA 6.5 years ... Oldest account 18 years ... debt-to-income 9% ... last 30-day late:  3.1 years ago ... all accounts current, no collections or other derogatories.

AMEX 12000 / PenFed 7500 / NFCU 3000 / CO 1500 / Disco 1300 / CareCredit 6000

EX8 683 / TU8 725 / EQ8 728
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: PenFed Cash Rewards Usage for CLI?

If you're rebuilding, you should be using the cards for EVERYTHING.

To answer your question, I've put about $60( roughly 3 charges) on my PCR in the last year.
Its now at $32k. I use my old Penfed cash rewards as a gas CC. So it's normally used once a week.
Just use it normally. There's no magic number of times you must use it to get an increase.
I'd leave the cash in the bank and use those cards if you are serious about building credit and payment history.

My most prized tradeline.
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Re: PenFed Cash Rewards Usage for CLI?

Totally agree, plus add up all of those under-$50 transactions you do in a year and multiply that by 0.015 or 0.02 (depending on whether you get back 1.5% or 2% for the card) and think of the money you'd get back!  I've found that PenFed wasn't particularly concerned with use, but it certainly doesn't hurt.  I opened my PCR last March with a $10k starting line.  I put enough spend to get the signup bonus on it and never used it again (until a BT in January of this year).  Asked for a CLI right after getting a $9500 CLI on my PenFed Defender last December and they also gave me $9500 CLI on this one as well.  So they can certainly grow without a lot of use, but I'd certainly encourage you to use it over cash - just treat it like a debit card and make sure you pay the full statement balance every month.

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