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40 yrs old & 1 CC(!)

EastTortall
Established Member

40 yrs old & 1 CC(!)

Long-time reader who fiiinally joined the forums today. I needed some general advice.  For background, I grew up being taught to only pay for what I could actually afford (no cash available? Don't buy it. Want to buy something? Work another job and save up).

 

 

I never had a credit card until 2 yrs ago (I know, crazy!) and I'm 40. I've had debit cards until then and was satisfied. Low-key is fine by me. I'm a newly-single parent right now (my spouse walked out, but I always handled the bills even when we were married) so need cards with the least headache as possible.

 

My kids are elementary-school age and we've had great conversations about budgeting and debit vs. credit card, but thankfully they're not big whiners (for new toys and fads. If they want something badly enough, like a toy- we discuss it and they save up, with me possibly chipping in after we look at family budget).

 

Anyway, I wanted to start building credit and possibly dabbling in getting points or cash back, so opened my first CC 2 yeats ago. Scary step, but so empowering! Got a secured Discover It. I.love.it. Their app is SO clear and their customer service is superb every single time. 

 

 

I graduated to unsecured after a few months. Started credit line at $300, and now credit line is raised by them every few months. It's small, about $3,700 and I'm ok with that.  Rent, electric, food, car payment and car insurance are basically our monthly bills.


FICO is 720 TU now (via Discover app). Revolving util is around 1-7% usually. No inquires (I guess the car lease pulled from a diff company than TU).

 

I always pay my bill on time and only use my card at a supermarket if I have the cash to pay for the bill. Otherwise, the card stays home.


My small dilemma is that places like Costco don't take Discover, only Visa. I'd like cashback when shopping there for groceries 1x month. Is the BOA Cash Rewards worth it? I got a pop-up on my BOA debit account I was pre-selected.

 

Looking for low-key, but something decently worth it.

 

If I apply, is there a decent chance I'd be approved? I know this isn't the Centurion, but remember, this will only be my 2nd CC in my life, so I'm wary and going slow Smiley Happy

 

Alternatively..is there a different one I should apply for (no annual fee please)?

 

I'm hoping to do AZEO with these 2, to raise my score.

 

I have 2 student loans I took out 15 yrs ago, so have that as my track record so far, and a car lease that's 10 months ago (first lease ever).

 

Thank you all in advance.

 

Message 1 of 76
75 REPLIES 75
EastTortall
Established Member

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

I have screenshots of my FICO score info (TU 8 via Discover) and the pre-selected BOA banner from my BOA app if that helps anyone with what I wrote, above^

 

Trying to figure out how to upload them 😅

Message 2 of 76
AllZero
Super Contributor

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

@EastTortall. The BoA Cash Rewards is a great choice. Selectable cash back categories. It'll be a Hard Pull inquiry on Experian or Transunion depending on your region.

 

Was the pre-selected offer showing a solid APR and not a range. e.g. 13.99 - 23.99%?

Message 3 of 76
AllZero
Super Contributor

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice


@EastTortall wrote:

I have screenshots of my FICO score info (TU 8 via Discover) and the pre-selected BOA banner from my BOA app if that helps anyone with what I wrote, above^

 

Trying to figure out how to upload them 😅


I think you have to rank up to member before being able to attach images.

 

Alternatively, you can link it if you have a free image hosting site such as Imgur.

Message 4 of 76
EastTortall
Established Member

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

Hmmm, all I see is this:

 

0% Intro APR† for 15 billing cycles on purchases and any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. 


After the intro APR offer ends a Variable APR that's currently 17.99% will apply. A 3% (min. $10) applies to all balance transfers.

 

Those not in the Preferred Rewards program earn 3% cash back in the choice category, 2% at grocery stores/wholesale clubs and 1% on all other purchases. Earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.

 

Message 5 of 76
AllZero
Super Contributor

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

17.99% appears to be the APR. It's a good sign. It's not a guarantee on approval. Having an account may or may not work in your favor, it's a relationship none the less.

The Cash Rewards also has a $200 SUB Sign Up Bonus which is nice.

Message 6 of 76
MaizeandBlue
Senior Contributor

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

Its not entirely clear from you earlier comments but you have a banking relationship with BofA, correct?

 

The Cash Rewards is an excellent card but I'm not so sure that BofA is as amenable to thin credit profiles like yours as other lenders (A pre-selection is not the same as a pre-approval).  I'd also suggest taking a look at the Blue Cash EveryDay card from American Express which is a similar 3-2-1 card to the Cash Rewards, except the 3% and 2% categories are flipped and there's no option to select your 3% category as with the Cash Rewards.  At least check Amex's website for pre-approvals and see what pops up.

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EDIT: Since Costco doesn't accept Amex it wouldn't suit your immediate need but I'd look at it anyway as the BCE offers 3% cashback on groceries.





Message 7 of 76
Girlzilla88
Valued Contributor

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!)

Since you plan to use them for Grocerys you can also look up points/cash back for a higher category grocery spend too!    See if Costco offers a Card that may help out as well or do some research on what cards offer 3 or so percent for Grocery instead of 3 percent for gas, and only 1% for Grocery (for example).      There are lots of cards out there and the fact yours is at the 2 year mark and your score is sitting over 7 is a great sign for you.     If you plan to utilize AZ 3 cards would be best, but if you do only end up with 2 be sure your balance reported is on your BANK credit card and not a different type card ^^










Message 8 of 76
EastTortall
Established Member

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

That makes more sense now, ty!

Message 9 of 76
EastTortall
Established Member

Re: 40 yrs old & 1 CC(!) Need advice

@MaizeandBlue  Yes, I've been with BOA for 2-3 yrs now. Just 2 tiny checking accts + attached debit cards

 

Re Amex BCE everyday-- since I'm still so new to this..when I check Amex's site for pre-approval, do I sign in first? What am I inputting/how will they know my credit scores and is it a hard-pull (sorry for the seemingly-dumb question)?

 

Alsooo, is there a better time to sign up for CCs in general, with more bonuses?

 

 

I should add that I get household odds and ends at Target, Walmart etc. Kids need clothing and shoes when they outgrow, so I'm not just buying groceries, but we aren't big spenders overall. The occasional Carvel for my kids. Parking meters. So it's little charges. 

Message 10 of 76
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