Credit Card Recommendations

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jgln

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What credit card would you recommend? I have had Citibank for ever but I think I could do better with rewards and cash back with another company but I am not sure. Are these programs really what they seem to be or is there a catch to them like their acceptance not as wide. For example I had heard once the Discover Card was not as widely accepted as others. I am not too concerned about interest rates as I have been paying off the full balance each month in full for probably the last 20 years.

On a side note my girlfriend just got notice that BOA was greatly increasing her interest rate after reviewing her account activity. Like me she has always paid the balance in full. I told her to call and ask why but my guess is it is because they make no money from her, just like Citibank from me. That way when she is late on a payment they can nail her on interest. I only have a CC so I don't have to carry a lot of cash and can impulse buy. :D
 

eschatz

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I have no credit cards and never have. If I were paying off my payments always on time I would probably get a card with FlightMiles (or whatever they call it when you get airline miles for money spent). I mean, free flights would be the bomb if you're already paying off your stuff. I have a debit card that I use for everything. It's a VISA. I've never been anywhere that accepts cards but does not accept VISA. :mug:
 

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I am a big fan of my Blue Cash from American Express. I really only use it for larger purchases and emergencies. It has some benefits such as purchase protections: covers theft/damage on items purchased with the card, extends warranties, car rental insurance. I have never used any of these, but I have read other people that have and the services come through in the end.

Best part is that there is no annual fee (most of the airline ones have steep annual fees), get some % cash back which came out to about $20 for me last year.
 

HBHoss

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I agree with the others. No more credit cards. I have one just for emergency or as a fallback and am working on clearing it off. I had the same thing happen to me with a credit card. Even though I paid on time and more than the minimum, they jacked the interest rate up so I canceled the card.
 

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I'm a Citibank guy. Their service is good and their rewards system is pretty nice. I get a gift cards to various places. So I put everything I can on my credit card to get lots of points; things I'd be paying for anyway: my electric bill, all of my gas, my phone bill, my auto insurance, etc.

Credit cards do not put you in debt. Only you can do that. If you only use your credit cards to buy things you have the money for, you can just pay it off at the end of the month. I've had my Citibank card since 1993 and only carried a balance once when I needed to make a very large purchase, when I was very happy to have a credit card and not just a debit card.

While I'm sure there are situations where a debit card is preferred, I prefer a CC for several reasons.

First, you're building a credit line, which is good if you want to buy things like houses and cars. Second, you get the backing of your credit card company if something goes wrong with a purchase (you may get that with some debit cards, but certainly not my bank's). Third, you get free stuff for paying for things you'd pay for anyway. Fourth, the credit line is there if you ever need it in an emergency.

-Joe
 
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jgln

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I'm a Citibank guy. Their service is good and their rewards system is pretty nice. I get a gift cards to various places. So I put everything I can on my credit card to get lots of points; things I'd be paying for anyway: my electric bill, all of my gas, my phone bill, my auto insurance, etc.

Credit cards do not put you in debt. Only you can do that. If you only use your credit cards to buy things you have the money for, you can just pay it off at the end of the month. I've had my Citibank card since 1993 and only carried a balance once when I needed to make a very large purchase, when I was very happy to have a credit card and not just a debit card.

While I'm sure there are situations where a debit card is preferred, I prefer a CC for several reasons.

First, you're building a credit line, which is good if you want to buy things like houses and cars. Second, you get the backing of your credit card company if something goes wrong with a purchase (you may get that with some debit cards, but certainly not my bank's). Third, you get free stuff for paying for things you'd pay for anyway. Fourth, the credit line is there if you ever need it in an emergency.

-Joe
I think you made some excellent points here supporting credit cards.

I just got off the phone with them and asked them what rewards or cash back programs they have available for my account as I never saw any. He put me on hold (foreign accent, hard to understand) to ask someone else and came back to tell me I was enrolled in some 8% or something program. I asked him what that was and he said I got a percentage off certain purchases. I said so I have to buy what you want me to get it like the stuff on the back of the envelope with my bill like a camera or something. He said "yes, is there anything else I can help you with today?" I said no but I don't think he even understood what the program is and said yes so I would go away.
With that said maybe you can explain how it works. I don't usually shop at the places they tell me I can get discounts at because those places are usually more expensive anyway or are specialty shops so that nullifies the savings.
 

RC0032

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...

Credit cards do not put you in debt. Only you can do that.

First, you're building a credit line, which is good if you want to buy things like houses and cars. Second, you get the backing of your credit card company if something goes wrong with a purchase (you may get that with some debit cards, but certainly not my bank's). Third, you get free stuff for paying for things you'd pay for anyway. Fourth, the credit line is there if you ever need it in an emergency.

-Joe
^ This 100%
 

XXguy

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My biggest reason for sticking with a credit card over a fake credit card (aka debit card) is that you have federally backed fraud protection with a legal limit of $50 liability if your card is stolen or used fraudulently. You also have the ability to protest a charge if you buy something online, and they fail to deliver, or send you a defective item. Try getting your money back once you paid out of your checking account.

For everyone who thinks a debit card is safe because you have a "secret" PIN:

More Visa and MasterCard accounts breached - Technology Live - USATODAY.com

Visa: New payment-processor data breach not so new after all

RBS WorldPay, the Atlanta-based payment processing division of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, disclosed on Dec. 23 that its systems had been breached by unknown intruders, resulting in the compromise of personal information belonging to about 1.5 million owners of prepaid payroll and gift cards. The compromised information included the Social Security numbers of 1.1 million people, according to the company, which said it had discovered the breach in early November
 

TheTower

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I didn't have a credit card until my bank spontaneously put a freeze on my account because of "suspicious activity". They also decided to not tell me there was a freeze on my account. I had to get a bank teller to give me cash until my new debit card arrived. Having a way to use credit is a great back-up.

BTW, the suspicious activity was $1.50 charge in Georgia. I guess it's good that they caught it, but pick up the phone and give me a heads up. Geez.
 

Brewer_Steve

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Debit cards work the same places except they don't put you in debt

Credit cards don't put you in debt.
Bad spending habits put you in debt.

I only use a credit card for my purchases since I get reward miles and I'm not in debt.
FWIW, I love my Aerogold VISA. Free flights are great.
 
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jgln

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My biggest reason for sticking with a credit card over a fake credit card (aka debit card) is that you have federally backed fraud protection with a legal limit of $50 liability if your card is stolen or used fraudulently. You also have the ability to protest a charge if you buy something online, and they fail to deliver, or send you a defective item. Try getting your money back once you paid out of your checking account.

For everyone who thinks a debit card is safe because you have a "secret" PIN:

More Visa and MasterCard accounts breached - Technology Live - USATODAY.com

Visa: New payment-processor data breach not so new after all
Don't know about debit cards my girlfriend was recently notified two charges were made to her credit card. One for over 30k which was denied since her limit is below that but the next one was made for around 13k which was processed but pending approval whatever that means. Both were charged around the same time and it looks like for camera equipment. They suspected fraud and sent her papers to sign stating she did not make those purchases and also canceled her old card and were in the process of sending her a new one. It was nice to know they already thought she did not make the purchases and she did not have to fight the charges. Nice!
 
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jgln

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Don't know about debit cards my girlfriend was recently notified two charges were made to her credit card. One for over 30k which was denied since her limit is below that but the next one was made for around 13k which was processed but pending approval whatever that means. Both were charged around the same time and it looks like for camera equipment. They suspected fraud and sent her papers to sign stating she did not make those purchases and also canceled her old card and were in the process of sending her a new one. It was nice to know they already thought she did not make the purchases and she did not have to fight the charges. Nice!
Oh, she has been ordering a lot of small items (seeds,plants) online using it so beware who you buy stuff online.
 

srm775

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I have no credit cards and never have. If I were paying off my payments always on time I would probably get a card with FlightMiles (or whatever they call it when you get airline miles for money spent). I mean, free flights would be the bomb if you're already paying off your stuff. I have a debit card that I use for everything. It's a VISA. I've never been anywhere that accepts cards but does not accept VISA. :mug:
I have no credit cards, never have, and never will... So, I can't suggest any. Debit cards work the same places except they don't put you in debt (unless you overdraft I guess...)
<sarcasm>Excellent posts</sarcasm>

Way to really contribute to the OP's question/post.

We have a UAL (since they're the major hub in Chicago) for a "miles" card. It's run through Chase. I think if you sign up through UAL, you get a free ticket (20,000 miles). You can also link it to several stores that offer additional miles based on purchases. I've seen the Capital One ads, and I believe they have a pretty wide-range of products you can go through, but so does Chase and Citi. In fact, Chase and Citi are the two largest CC banks in the world.
 

JVD_X

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NONE...Credit Cards are evil!
Credit cards ARE in evil. However, I depend on mine when conducting business - I have a Marriott Card which is simply the bomb.

I charge away when I travel for business - almost all gets reimbursed by my company - but I get to keep all those Marriott points. My wife and I use those points to travel free for two weeks a year to just about any destination we want to go.... that's about $4000-$8000... for example Disney cruises or airline flights, and Hotel stays in Hawaii. That more and makes up for the little bit of extra I have to pay in interest.
 

srm775

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I didn't have a credit card until my bank spontaneously put a freeze on my account because of "suspicious activity". They also decided to not tell me there was a freeze on my account. I had to get a bank teller to give me cash until my new debit card arrived. Having a way to use credit is a great back-up.

BTW, the suspicious activity was $1.50 charge in Georgia. I guess it's good that they caught it, but pick up the phone and give me a heads up. Geez.
Did this happen recently? If so, chances are you're CC number was stolen and the $1.50 charge was a test for the hackers that stole it to see if they could get more out of it. Samething happened to me. Recently, the largest company on the vendor side, had their system hacked and millions of CC numbers were stolen. They would "test" the numbers by making small charges. If they went through, then they'd rack up the charges. If not, they moved onto the next number.
 
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jgln

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When I lived in CA for 3 months for my job I got contacted by Citibank about suspicious activity on my card. You can laugh if you like but what happened was I was trying to pump gas into my rental car and had problems so I wound up swiping my card several times. Here is the funny part. I have lived in NJ all my life and whenever I traveled out of state I was always with someone or they drove so they pumped the gas. In NJ it is illegal to pump your own gas so I was not familiar with the process. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. But before you do I will tell you I like the service of staying in my truck and gas is actually cheaper here than across the river in PA where you have to pump your own.
 
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jgln

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Anyone have a Discover card? Any places not accept it? It sounds easier to get cash back with Discover than Capital One who seems to give you flyer miles that you can CONVERT into other purchases. I am not a big flyer so I would probably do better with cash back.
 

XXguy

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In NJ it is illegal to pump your own gas so I was not familiar with the process. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. But before you do I will tell you I like the service of staying in my truck and gas is actually cheaper here than across the river in PA where you have to pump your own.
Crazy, but true. I live in PA & for the life of me, I can't figure out how 49 other states manage to survive with self-serve, but Jersey ends up having cheaper gas + full service.
 

lamarguy

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I carry less than $40 in cash with me at all times. I use credit and debit cards exclusively. I write one check a year - to my HOA.

I regularly accrue $400 - $600 a year in credit card cashback programs. Can't beat that and I've never carried a balance. And, I've had problems in the past with merchants overcharging me, which the credit card company promptly resolved for me.

So, I guess I'm saying - Viva La Credit Cards! ;)
 

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It's basically free money/rewards to me because I pay my cards off at the end of the month, Last year I was checking out the rewards across my cards that I use and I made around 110$ in rewards just for doing what I was going to do anyway. I would recommend a Cap 1 Plat Rewards personally, I get about 1% back on every 100$ I spend on anything. I use it the most out of all of my cards.

Responsible credit line management is an essential thing that you HAVE to build if you want to buy a house, start a business, buy a car, hell good credit SAVES you money in general. Everyone checks credit now, even utilities. The only way you would never need credit is being able to pay cash up front for everything you ever want in your life which for the majority of people is intangible for such things as houses and cars.
 
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jgln

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I carry less than $40 in cash with me at all times. I use credit and debit cards exclusively. I write one check a year - to my HOA.

I regularly accrue $400 - $600 a year in credit card cashback programs. Can't beat that and I've never carried a balance. And, I've had problems in the past with merchants overcharging me, which the credit card company promptly resolved for me.

So, I guess I'm saying - Viva La Credit Cards! ;)
Yeah I am betting if you got mugged and they used your CC the CC company would not charge you but if you had cash then you would be SOOL. My guess is your protection with debit cards is the PIN number but if they somehow had that you would have no protection. But what are the odds for that.
 
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jgln

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It's basically free money/rewards to me because I pay my cards off at the end of the month, Last year I was checking out the rewards across my cards that I use and I made around 110$ in rewards just for doing what I was going to do anyway. I would recommend a Cap 1 Plat Rewards personally, I get about 1% back on every 100$ I spend on anything. I use it the most out of all of my cards.

Responsible credit line management is an essential thing that you HAVE to build if you want to buy a house, start a business, buy a car, hell good credit SAVES you money in general. Everyone checks credit now, even utilities. The only way you would never need credit is being able to pay cash up front for everything you ever want in your life which for the majority of people is intangible for such things as houses and cars.[/QUOTE]

Not so sure that is true. I brought my new truck in cash and when we went to buy our house it was not counted as good credit. We were ok anyway, but they told me I would have been better off having payments to make on it. Kind of F'd up but true.
 

lamarguy

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Yeah I am betting if you got mugged and they used your CC the CC company would not charge you but if you had cash then you would be SOOL. My guess is your protection with debit cards is the PIN number but if they somehow had that you would have no protection. But what are the odds for that.
Ha...Ya, I guess they could kidnap me and torture me but, if they did that, stealing my money would be the least of my problems. :eek:
 

lamarguy

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I brought my new truck in cash and when we went to buy our house it was not counted as good credit. We were ok anyway, but they told me I would have been better off having payments to make on it. Kind of F'd up but true.
Buying a vehicle with cash doesn't hurt your FICO score (i.e., lending score), but it doesn't help it either. The easiest way to build your FICO score is to open a couple of credit cards and pay them off on time, monthly.

My parents have the same problem. They have an average credit score even though they've never been in debt and pay for everything in cash. I've just recently convinced them to start paying for gas (convenience) and large purchases (buyer protection) with a credit card.
 
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jgln

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Buying a vehicle with cash doesn't hurt your FICO score (i.e., lending score), but it doesn't help it either. The easiest way to build your FICO score is to open a couple of credit cards and pay them off on time, monthly.

My parents have the same problem. They have an average credit score even though they've never been in debt and pay for everything in cash. I've just recently convinced them to start paying for gas (convenience) and large purchases (buyer protection) with a credit card.
We both have very high credit scores (I am 48 so I have a long credit history) but I was p'd because she beat me by 10 points or so. She has car payments, WTF?? :mad: :D
 

BierMuncher

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Getting back to the topic.

In your case, shop within Cit for their different programs.

I have two Citi cards. One I use specifically for gas, groceries and drug stores because there is a 5% rebate on those purchases. It's a cash-rewards card and once every 18 months or so I'll redeem and have $300-$400 in play money.

The other I use for all my other monthly expenditures that gives me 1% towards American Airlines miles. Those are my "someday I'm going to travel" miles.

I pay both cards off each month and carry no balance.

I also have two other cards with like a $15K limit I don't use...but maintain for an extreme emergency.

You don't necessarily need to shop different banks to get different "rewards".
 
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jgln

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Getting back to the topic.

In your case, shop within Cit for their different programs.

I have two Citi cards. One I use specifically for gas, groceries and drug stores because there is a 5% rebate on those purchases. It's a cash-rewards card and once every 18 months or so I'll redeem and have $300-$400 in play money.

The other I use for all my other monthly expenditures that gives me 1% towards American Airlines miles. Those are my "someday I'm going to travel" miles.

I pay both cards off each month and carry no balance.

I also have two other cards with like a $15K limit I don't use...but maintain for an extreme emergency.

You don't necessarily need to shop different banks to get different "rewards".
Yeah I am going to call them back again as the guy I spoke to clearly didn't know anything about their programs. I don't see anything on my statement that says I am getting anything back but I will look again. Does it show on your statement?
 
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Check the website of the various banks as well. Most of the programs are laid out there and you don't have to worry about some guy you can't understand on the phone trying to explain it to you.
 

BierMuncher

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Yeah I am going to call them back again as the guy I spoke to clearly didn't know anything about their programs. I don't see anything on my statement that says I am getting anything back but I will look again. Does it show on your statement?
Yes. Every statement says "$X.XX has been added to your rewards..." or "XXX miles have been added to your AA account balance..."

Hit their website.
 
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