credit cards

Discussion in 'Community' started by raiderz182, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. raiderz182 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Location:
    north philly
    #1
    Ever since i got my student account at a PNC bank like half a year ago... i've been avoiding credit cards.
    It's gotten to a point where I just have to have one... i thought at first that a debit card can do everything a credit card, but it can't. everything but the actual credit..
    so my question is, which credit cards do you guys use?
    i heard some are monthly / yearly fees, which ones are those?
    is there any credit card company out there where you can pay with your debit card with no charge online?
    thanks for the input in advance
     
  2. coopdog macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    #2
    American Express has a yearly fee. Unless you get the black American Express card (drool). Visa is good. Capital One seems pretty good.
     
  3. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #3
    do not use Capital One, or Providian (maybe something else now)... (look at who really issues the cards, these two companies rule the market).

    if you fall behind in a payment, they will sting you. hard.

    stick with your debit card, it can do everything a credit card can do, minus the bad stuff. the ONLY advantage to a credit card is the build up of a credit rating (I'm not sure if the debit card helps as much), well, and the fact that you can buy stuff and pay for it later...just wait until you can afford it, seriously...i know waaayyyyy too many people in nyc that want to bury their cards for good and wish they never got them.


    just be careful :)
     
  4. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #4
    I have the american express Blue for students, no yearly fee. This is probably the best card in my wallet (about 10 CC's :( ). I would reccomend looking into them because they have the bext customer service, easy to use online accounting and decent rates. When you use it out of the country they give EXCELLENT exchange rates (as I just found out in Canada compared to my VISA and Mastercards).

    BEN

    BTW, I'm not in debt at all, if that's what any of you are thinking with the 10CC's
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    a credit card has an advantage over debit cards in that a CC can help you establish credit. if you trust yourself to pay it off every month, which avoids any interest charges, then you're golden.

    i recommend a card that accumulates miles. i pay for everything on my CC (and then pay it off) and i've flown for free several times (including a short-notice trip to LA that _would_ have cost me $1800 otherwise, and a biz class trip to london).

    i use citibank's AAdvantage card. no problems w/ it. citibank just introduced a feature for web purchases -- you can request a unique charge number for each transaction, so you never have to enter your "real" number online.

    edit: raiderz182, i see you already realized that thing about credit. anyway, iirc my yearly fee is $80. i get much more back than that in the free flights. and i've got enough miles now for probably two more internationals. yahoo!
     
  6. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #6
    Don't pay a yearly fee for a credit card. It all depends on your credit record as to what kind of credit % rate you can get. Be careful and read all fine print and ask them about the fine print if you don't understand it. Most will tell you the truth, but they try to hide things in legal-ese in the agreements.

    Check with your bank on paying the bill. You can either pay from your bank web site (Mine at Bank of america is free and excellent) or you can sometimes pay your credit card bill from the credit card site. Some sites will even let you make a monthly payment each month automatically ifyou plan on running a balance for a while.

    If it is somethind you plan on paying off in 6 months or so and your credit is great then you might be able to find a 0% interest rate for 4 or 6 months or even 1 year. Note: with these offers, if the balance is not paid off by the said date, with some cards you will pay back interest for those supposedly free months. Also, look for a free card that gives you rewards for something. If you are fiscally responsible and just need some credit try this: I have a Sony card that I earn points for using. I use this card for everything I can...everything. I get tons of points for gas, medical bils, groceries, stamps, etc. I make sure I spend within my limits and pay it off each month. But with the reward points I have received the following: A free $79 sony hifi VCR, $50 in blockbuster gift certificates, two Playstation 2 online adapters, 2 free EA games, etc. Even if you run a small to medium balance these reward programs can help you offset the interest charges to some extent.

    also, look for special deals for signing up for a credit card...Amazon.com gives you $30 to spend immediately at Amazon for getting their card. Barnes and Nobel.com gave us $50 in certificates for use at B&N.com. On the sony card they gave us enough points to get the VCR before we had even charged a thing...just sign up bonus points.

    I will say the sony card is the best I have had so far. I can get movie tickets free from them, sony memory stick cards, cd's, games, and if I was patient enough I could even buy a big screen sony tv with enough points...would even take me 5 years to do so probably and I charge a lot.

    Good luck...read fine print carefully!
     
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #7
    A debit card does nothing for your credit except possibly giving "bad checks' if your account is short a few bucks. If you are carefull what you buy, get a CC and get your credit built up now. When you really need it for a car, house, etc. you will want a good credit rating to get the lowest rates, best payments, etc!!!
     
  8. reh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #8
    I have the Citi Dividend Platinum Select card. No fees, $0 liability, and 1% cash back on all purchases. Sometimes they bump it up to 2% during the holidays.

    I've been using a Citi Card for about 6 years now. Highly recommended. They have nice online account management with bill pay, credit line increases, etc...
     
  9. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Location:
    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    #9
    I have been attempting to pay off all of my credit cards and never look back. The problem is, when I go out of town, I like to rent cars. It seems most places no longer accept debit cards. Well, they accept them, but treat them as cash. So, you have to rent from a location near your home, and bring in several utility bills proving where you live and the fact that you pay your bills. And, of course, a big deposit is deducted from your checking account, as well. So, my plan now is to keep one credit card for those occasions where I will need them.

    Stay away from anything issued by Providian National Bank. I had a Providian Visa. I paid on time, every month, for about two years. At one point, I was actually making my minimum monthly payment twice per month, to bring the balance down some. I had always paid via Providian's website. One payday, I attempted to log on and got the messege that my account had been sold to another company. I called customer service, but couldn't get a human being to speak to me because my account number was now invalid. A few days later, I got my welcome package to the eMerge Mastercard. As a welcoming gift, they had raised my rate from around 15% to 29.99%! They have no website, telephone payments carried a $15 charge, and my payment was due in three days! What a crock! I finally threatened to call the FTC and Clark Howard and Jesus until they agreed to waive the telephone payment fee. I now have a balance of less than $400 and am ready to pay the card off. With my Capitol One card, I called the toll-free number, pressed one for this and two for that, and found the option. Press "8" to confirm that you wish to close your account. As soon as your account reaches a zero balance, it will be cancelled. Well, I called the 888 number on my eMerge card. There is no such option. And now, they no longer have any method of contacting a human being! There is another number on the back of the card to use if you are outside the US. It says to call collect. I figured if you are calling collect, they probably have people answering the phone. I called it, collect, and got the message "This party does not accept collect calls." Oh, well, I'll just wait for my statement and pay it off then. (I really should have recorded the payment address anyway, in case they decide to burn me by not sending a statement.) Anway, my point is Stay Away From Providian/eMerge Credit Cards!!! And, be careful with credit in general. I'm sure you know that.

    edit: I forgot something. On the back of my eMerge card, it says: This card is issued by Providian National Bank. My account was never sold. It was simply transferred to another division that charged higher interest and had almost no customer service.
     
  10. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Location:
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #10
    unfortunately I have quite a few CC's.. and i must say that they're evil in the wrong (or in my case, young and inexperienced) hands.

    But I would recommend the Sony Card if you're into that kind of stuff, extra pts on any Sony products, no yearly.

    But yeah, keep the balance low or at 0, and try to stay away from the mentality of "ill pay it off next month" and you'll be fine.
     
  11. D0ct0rteeth macrumors 65816

    D0ct0rteeth

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Location:
    Franklin, TN
    #11
    There is no such thing as a good credit card... I dont use them. If I cant pay cash then I dont buy it.

    Paying off student loans and a history of paying utuilities and other bills on time are more than sufficient to establish credit. When I bought my computer hardware I saved up.. got an apple loan and paid it in full the next day.

    I am not nieve, with large purchases such as a house it may be unrealistic for you to have 100k saved so in that case a substantial down payment of 20% will be sufficient to get a mortgage approved..(you also avoid tons of hidden fees and surcharges by doing this as well) but even then why do you care about your credit??.. so you can have more credit cards??

    Its your life man, Im not your accountant.. but there is nothing good about credit cards. Anything you can do with a credit card you can do with your debit.. except go into debt :)
     
  12. Free From PC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hendersonville, TN
    #12
    I would have to agree. NEVER get a Capital One card. I had to fight with them through the VA banking commission to get bogus charges, and then late fees and over the limit fees cleared off my account. And although this has since been taken care of it was a hassle and not worth a second of my time.

    I have an MBNA card that has been good for me. If you want to establish credit without going into debt. Buy something on the credit card that you CAN afford to pay off. As soon as you get the bill pay the WHOLE amount. This will start to build a credit history for you that WILL come in handy for Cars and Homes.

    Otherwise I agree with everyone else. If you can't pay cash, you don't need it.

    Free
     
  13. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #13
    i have 4 credit cards and im not even 20, so far so good, never been in debt havent missed a payment

    they keep raising the limits and i dont mind. credit cards are useful cuz they can let u do things when at the moment u dont have the cash to do them. thats not to say u buy someting u cant pay for, u buy something that you know you have the means to make money to pay it off, u gotta be realistic with urself
     
  14. ebow macrumors 6502a

    ebow

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2001
    Location:
    Trapped in a world before later on
    #14
    Get a card while you're still in college, if only for establishing a (good) credit history. I did not do this (had my name added to one of my parents' cards instead) and not long after graduating got rejected from a nicer card b/c of my thin credit history (despite having a very decent salary). I had to settle for a basic no-frills annual fee card (though the fee was low) to "get my foot in the door" and a bit less than a year later I was getting offers for good cards left and right.

    I'm happy with my American Express Blue card, though at some point I'll have to figure out what to do with all the MembersRewards points I'm earning. I've experience good to great customer service from them, and their website works well in Safari. ;)
     
  15. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #15
    A few questions about the Amex Blue.

    I'm looking at the card for students and there a few question,
    Can you pay your bill online?
    Is it a Credit Card as opposed to a Charge Card?
    Do student cards get membership reward points?

    thanks
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    I shop on-line a lot and that's hard to do w/cash. I have two cards and don't want/need any more. And as long as you don't over extend yourself you have nothing to worry about. I prefer paying cash but I like having a credit card for "just in case" situations. Plus for big ticket items I don't like carrying around a huge wad of cash. And, in fact, one of my CCs really saved my butt a couple of years ago. I'm still paying off the debit (thank you craptacular job market) but going into debt on my CC, w/a low & locked APR, is a lot better than being homeless, IMO.

    If you are responsible CC's can be very useful. If you are not responsible CC's can get you in a deep, deep hole.

    Lethal
     
  17. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #17
    Im suprised noone has mentioned Discover.

    I use Platinum Discover, which has nice cashback features and rewards for using it. My wife and I pay it off every month, which is (IMO) the only way to use em, to keep you outta debt and to build credit. Gotta buy a house someday, might as well build it up early...
     
  18. parrothead macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    #18
    Dont do it. Run away, flee, you are in mortal danger. If you want to build credit, get a low interest loan and pay it off immediately. (only works if you already have the money in the bank) Doing this gives you good credit, doesnt cost you interest (if you pay it off right away) and doesnt allow you to spend more than you can afford, like a credit card. No credit card is good. If you dont have the money, you shouldnt spend it. It really is that simple. I have learned these lessons from some very bitter experience. There is no worse feeling than knowing you owe all these people money and you will owe for years to come. I got into the trap of thinking I will get a card for emergencies. Only problem is my definition of emergency kept changing. Examples: ATM is two blocks away and I the restaurant is right here, if I dont get that iPod I will die, my paycheck doesnt come till Friday, but the sale only lasts until today. Then at the end of the month you suddenly have $1000 to pay off and nothing in the bank. So you pay the min. payment and get charged $40 every month until you pay it off. Really the only thing you need credit for is a mortgage or a true emergency like paying off medical bills. Once again I say, stay away from credit cards, they are bad, bad bad!
     
  19. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #19
    I have 2 credit card accounts. I have a Citibank Platinum account but I cut up the card because I wanted to discipline myself to use just one.
    My other card that I use is the GM Card. Pretty good rate and service. I got a cool little booklet that breaks down exactly how I'm spending things annually. Nice. I'm also getting GM points for a possible new vehicle down the road. Still thinking about the new Chevy Cobalt SS.
    I ALWAYS try to pay off my bills quickly.
    That deduction in your checking account to pay off your credit card is a good sobering reminder of how you are borrowing from your financial future.
    Credit card debt is no joke. DON'T load up on it. It's tempting because it's so easy and convenient.
    DISCIPLINE YOURSELF.
     
  20. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Location:
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    #20
    I dont know if I would take this advice. My wife and I are excellent with our financial habits, and whenever we used to buy large ticket items, we would get a low-interest loan and then pay it off in a few months. When it came time to start talking about a mortgage, NeeeeerNT! Not enough credit. Since our history didnt consist of long-term credit (ie, years of monthly payments...) we decided to get a creit card. Since then, we've developed better credit, faster than we would have by getting loans every few years for new cars, etc etc...

    Getting a loan and paying it off immediately doesnt show anything on your credit because it doesnt demonstrate long-term commitment and payment habits. That's whats important. Doing it your way just proves that you can save money. (still good, but not much for credit)

    The trick to credit cards is: Pay them off, and always have self discipline. Dont spend money you dont have. If you can do that, then get a card.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #21
    i agree. if you're the type of person who relies on your bank to bounce checks and not let you access the ATM when you're out of money, then maybe you shouldn't get a credit card.

    which, btw, are the type of people that CC companies love to have, 'cuz they have to pay all that yummy interest.
     
  22. parrothead macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    #22
    I agree somewhat with what you have said. Yes long term credit history is important, but always having self discipline is MUCH harder to do than to say (at least for a great many people)!
     
  23. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #23
    there's a difference between buying on credit and using a CC as a convenient method of payment. seems everyone who's negative about CC cites the first part, and everyone positive on them uses them for the second.


    a house isn't considered debt, it's an investment. you're right that a 20% downpayment will avoid the evil PMI (private mortgage insurance). as others have mentioned, a CC is a good way to get a good credit rating, which is absolutely necesssary to get a mortgage.


    afaik, debit cards don't allow one to accumulate miles. i've taken > $3500 of free flights 'cuz of the CC miles.
     
  24. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #24
    If you cannot pay IN FULL every month, you should not get a credit card. Their are much cheaper lines of credit available to you.

    That said.

    DISCOVER is excellent. My wife and I spend about 95% of our monthly budget on it and pay off the balance every month. In that case, it's free money (the cash back).

    The % of Discover cash back bonus award is higher than the rewards/miles on any other card I've seen (unless you carry a balance on your card. But then you're killing yourself anyway.)

    However, we also have a MBNA Visa because not every merchant takes Discover.

    We have never had a problem with either and would recommend them both. Discover's online system is simple and effective. I have no experience with MBNA's, but their online system does exist.

    Neither have fees but we're Platinum on both. I see no reason for anyone to pay a fee on a CC as it's easy to find one
     
  25. blaster_boy macrumors 6502

    blaster_boy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #25
    Different Culture

    I've read these postings with absolute fascination. Being from Europe, this really made me realise the differences in our respective cultures.

    For most of you (in America?), it seems so natural to think of a CC as a means of getting monye. In europe, I would guess that we are more into saving up and then buying the stuff. I use my CC because the max limit on my debit card is lower than the one on my CC, and I don't want to carry all that cash money around (and checks are finished here anyway).

    I have one credit card (visa) that I use for big-time purchases. I can get a month respite, and then I have to pay the full amount (not sure, but the 'pay a monthly minimum payment' never really caught on here and might actually be illegal in some european countries). And I don't get any of all those extras I saw mentioned in several posts :(

    My wife doesn't have a CC, my parents don't have one, my parents-in-law don't have one. In fact only a few people in my local vicinity have one. Most of us have debit cards.

    True, we don't have the same difficulty in establishing a credit history and subsequently getting a mortgage - we each have our national id card, so the banks know who you are, where you live and how much you earn pretty quickly.

    My rule is basically : I'll buy it on a CC if it's big money AND i have enough money in the bank to pay it one month afterwards.
     

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