Credit Cards

SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

What are some "Bulletproof" credit cards out there? Any that offer great rewards? I hear stories out there of people getting certain cards and ending up with tons of benefits.


 


My credit score is not the hottest right now. I'm still living down financial mistakes of years past, but now that I'm on the mend and the low 700's are in sight, I'd like to start getting some idea of cards to aim for and benefits to reap.


"I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

 

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Comments

  • reddit.com/r/churning might be a good starting point.
  • If you use Amazon a lot... I've been loving the Amazon store card. Don't laugh - the interest is beyond ridiculous BUT it's the special financing that makes it cool. It's not hard to get - when my credit was bad they gave me a decent limit and then kept raising it. Right now there is 6 month no interest for orders over $149. 12 months no interest over $599. I just save things in my cart until the order is big enough. Then I figure out how much I need to pay each month to pay it off. And then I'm super diligent about making sure the balance is paid off on time (which they're hoping I forget so they can charge that ridiculous interest). I haven't paid interest since I figured out how to do it (hint: for small purchases, use a different credit card). Also, they don't charge me the $1 minimum interest each month. Builds credit too. Love it!


  • My two favorite credit cards for rewards right now are  


     


    1. Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card (chase.com/amazon)


    Must have for anyone that buys from Amazon.com regularly. 3% back from Amazon.com purchases, 2% back from purchases at gas stations, restaurants and drug stores. 1% back everywhere else. There's no minimum redemption amount when using your cash back rewards at Amazon.com. If you want a check, I believe it's $50 minimum. No annual fee. 


     


    2. Capital One Quicksilver (capitalone.com/credit-cards/quicksilver)


    1.5% back on every purchase. No minimum redemption amount. No annual fee. Their website says it's for people with excellent credit but who knows what they define as excellent. 


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  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited November 2015


    What are some "Bulletproof" credit cards out there? Any that offer great rewards? I hear stories out there of people getting certain cards and ending up with tons of benefits.


     


    My credit score is not the hottest right now. I'm still living down financial mistakes of years past, but now that I'm on the mend and the low 700's are in sight, I'd like to start getting some idea of cards to aim for and benefits to reap.




     


    EDIT: it has been a few years since I used this method, things may have changed...


     


    If you already have a card (including a debit card) that you use for the type of purchases you'll be doing on the new credit card, link them to Mint and wait a month or two. Mint will analyze your spending and recommend cards that will give you the most value back given the types of things you buy.


     


    The idea is that some cards give "double points" on dining, others on gas, others have some mix of rewards for different purchase categories. I think Mint gets a commission when you click through their site, so the analysis is free for you. 


     


    Don't just pick the top one, because sometimes you have to only claim your rewards through the CC's site by buying something, others have cash back, others let you "erase purchases" etc. Basically I'm suggesting using Mint to reduce your choices down to maybe the top 4 or 5, then comparing those features in detail and making a choice. For me, I picked a card that didn't give me quite as much cash back as the #1 choice, but points don't expire, there's no blacked-out time for airline miles, etc, so the points are more flexible. 


  • Serendipity. My friend was just telling me how his wife does reward cards and they do trips on the cheap.


    Great thread. Solid but diverse posts.


    Selected threads from the BP forum (Use your own signature to highlight threads that you think are important or significant)

  • sparefilmssparefilms Post-human Construct ✭✭✭

    Pay extremely close attention to the initial sign-up benefits. Some companies will offer you 0% APR for a set period but then require you to pay retroactive interest if you do not have a zero balance by the end of the promo period. 


     


    Discover is a good company to use if you are just building your credit, because you can contact their customer service and switch from one bonus points plan to another. For example, if you are using the 5% Cash Back card and decide that you would rather receive Bonus Miles, just call them and ask to switch instead of needing a different line of credit for each one.


     


    Citi has what they call a Double Cash Card, which gives you 1% Purchase Cash Back and 1% Payment Cash Back, so you could conceivably utilize their 0% APR 15 Months promo period to actually make 2% on all your purchases you would normally make.  


     


     


     


    Certain cards such as the Discover Cash Back and Chase Freedom give you a percentage back based on what stores or types of stores you use your card at. You could potentially leverage their 0% APR promo period together with their Cash Back promos and use the card in lieu of cash/debit purchases at these stores and make a percentage back on items you would purchase anyways. The down side to this is that the store-specific promos are usually for stores that are more expensive than purchasing the same items elsewhere, which defeats the purpose. However, the Citi Double Cash Card works the same way anywhere you make a purchase, so as I said above for that 0% APR 15 Month period you could consistently make 2% on any purchases provided you paid them right away and zeroed out your balance. 


  • Jason MillerJason Miller Mother nature isn't stupid mod
    What about the Costco credit card? Cash back 3% at restaurants, 2% on gas purchase, 1% on all other purchased (0.5% first 3k, 1% after). no annual fee and it doubles as your membership card.
    My Crossfit auto template programming here, body composition coaching through Eat to Perform here,
  • If you travel a lot you might wanna check out revolut.com. No atm fees, multiple currencies and a very low currency exchange rate. Ive just ordered their visa debit card. 

  • I've been paying cash or direct debit for everything for the past 18 months. While I miss out on the rewards I just have more money than I did running credit cards all the time. 


  • Jason MillerJason Miller Mother nature isn't stupid mod


    I've been paying cash or direct debit for everything for the past 18 months. While I miss out on the rewards I just have more money than I did running credit cards all the time.




    That's unfortunate, you don't get charged interest if you pay the entire balance at the end of the month, so basically you really are just losing out on rewards as there is no additional cost.
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  • Don't forget that if someone steals your cash, your money is gone. If they get a hold of your debit card (um, attached to your bank accounts!) the resolution process can be lengthy or incomplete. On 3 occasions I've had my credit card company call me within an hour of unapproved charges, immediately fix the problem, and apologize to me for the inconvenience of having to wait a few days to get a new card in the mail. Also while I haven't had to do this, if a store refuses to let you return a clearly defective product, a utility overcharges, or some other company pulls some other BS, you can just have your credit card company dispute the charges. You essentially have a corporation that will go to bat for you against other corporations. 


     


    Obviously I am not in favor of running balances, having multiple credit cards and being up to your ears in debt, etc. But if you can manage your credit card well, you get a bunch of financial safety which as far as I'm concerned is much more valuable than the 1-4% cash back benefits. 


  • SkeletorSkeletor The Conqueror Worm ✭✭✭

    And, I mean, credit cards are basically free money, am I right?


     


    R-right?


    "I know how to despise mere cool intelligence. What I want is intelligence matched by pure, physical existence, like a statue." --Yukio Mishima

     

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  • GhastlyPrezGhastlyPrez Ghastly Prezence
    :'( I have a credit score of 315 thanks to someone using my identity to open up mortgages and doing a whole bunch else.


    Soooo I don't even think about credit cards or anything like that, since I'll never get approved. I just put my money into my Google Wallet so I can buy stuff online, and the rest..... well don't you worry about that.
  • sparefilmssparefilms Post-human Construct ✭✭✭


    :'( I have a credit score of 315 thanks to someone using my identity to open up mortgages and doing a whole bunch else.


    Soooo I don't even think about credit cards or anything like that, since I'll never get approved. I just put my money into my Google Wallet so I can buy stuff online, and the rest..... well don't you worry about that.




    If you have no credit history (such as an 18 year old just graduating high school) you are actually considered the equivalent of someone with a credit score of 200. Everyone starts at this level, and credit opportunities can actually be found there. You absolutely can rebuild a credit score from the 200-300 range, it just takes some clever planning and diligence. One of the perks of having worked in a credit-based service industry where my paycheck depended on commission is learning these weird idiosyncrasies of various credit systems without having to be an economics major or even do any heavy math. Here are a few tips that I have used successfully myself for those who want to build (or rebuild) their credit.:


     


     


    The first thing to remember is ALWAYS READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Second is DO THE MATH FIRST.


     


     


    You can start by checking with cellular service providers. For a 2 year contract they will run your credit, and your payments during the period of the contract will reflect on your credit score. As long as you do not miss a payment date your score will go up after the 2 year contract is fulfilled. It is important to remember that if you miss a payment then your credit score may not be impacted or may be negatively impacted. 


     


     


    You can look for a local payday loan provider. Certain providers will report a successfully completed contract to the credit bureaus and you can use the successful loan contract to improve your credit score. You must be careful and discuss your payment arrangement in detail, because your payment amounts will raise drastically as you take a larger loan.


    A quick example: Taking out a $200 loan at company X will result in a total of $265 in payments. Taking out a $400 loan at the same company will result in around $660 in payments. Run the numbers first, that's 132.5% vs 165% for the same relative increase in your overall credit score.


    You can go so far as to put the cash from your temporary loan into an envelope and just use that to make your monthly payments, no real risk. Basically you are just paying a small fee to increase your credit score. Very simple.


     


     


    You can also apply for credit cards with a low credit line and a no-interest introductory period. Use the card and make the minimum payments you need to have the balance paid off by the end of the interest-free period. After this period is over the credit company reevaluates your credit worthiness and reports to the credit bureaus, and may even raise your credit limit. Most major credit providers even give you online tools to check your Equifax rating via their website.  You are not obligated to continue using the card after this occurs, but you may find the card benefits are similar to what was mentioned in the previous posts on this thread.


     


     


    Finally, you can apply for store credit from an online retailer such as Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Dell, HP, etc. As long as you keep a close eye on your credit line and make timely payments that stay ahead of any interest accruals then your credit score will be updated to reflect this quarterly, bi-annually and annually. With some of the no-interest benefits and store benefits we talked about above you can leverage your purchasing power and have more time to pay off your purchases and still stay in relatively good credit standing while you build your credit score.


     


     


    Hopefully these basic tips are helpful, and I highly recommend using Google Calendar and Google Sheets to keep track of your promotional periods, payment dates and interest accruals. If there is further interest I can share some basic formulas for calculating interest rates over time and how to put together a spreadsheet that will automagically do the math for you when you enter your statement information.

  • My favorite is Amazon Rewards Visa Card. It will suit you, if you buy there regularly.


  • I have 2 favorites:

    1. Chase Freedom: 1% cash back, and 5% back on quarterly categories

    2. Capital One Cash Rewards (relatively new): 1.5% cash back all year


    Careful with these cards, they carry high interest rates.

    Only use them if you plan to pay in full each month.

    Do not fall for their 0% introductory offer.

    Consider this a trap, that can ruin credit by carrying high balances which will not allow you to get other cards. Don't trust banks and their gimmicks!


    Do not get airline miles cards or hotel cards.

    Reports state that they don't amount to more than 1% cash back.

    Most go unused. They are also hard to redeem, and cost extra if you want to take a friend or get specific dates.

    Make sure that any card you get does not carry annual fee.

    - These cards require Excellent credit.

    You can find more cards at Bankrate.com
  • I have the bank of america cash rewards credit card which gets 1% cash back on all purchases and 2% back on gas plus if i get the rewards directly deposited into my checking account with bank of america i get an extra % in addition to the cash back so every month I get a good amount of money back. It's the best credit card i've ever signed up for.


  • i like this site for information:


     


    http://www.nerdwallet.com/credit-cards/

  • Capital one venture, great card. 50,000 points if you spend 1k in first three months==$500
    Marriot rewards visa- 80k points if you spend 3k in first three months.===$800

    I do not worry about cash back, use these primarrely to help out with yearly vacations. Once you receive the points cancel the card, if you do it once a year, and your wife does it once a year it will not lower your credit score.

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