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6/24/2003

Last year a company that I was dealing with, USA Bank decided to close my account with them, even though I always paid on time, paid more that the required amount. I transfered the account and owed them nothing. They also were now the owners of Wachovia Bank accounts, with whom I also had an account. In anger I closed that account and just continued to pay the amounts oweing, since the interest rate was 8.6%. Last month Bank One took over the account and informed me by mail yesterday, that I had until 3 July 03 to pay off the balance or my interest rate would skyrocket to 22.99%. They claimed that they had contacted Experian Credit Agency and feel that I have too many credit cards and owe too much money. None of this was a well kept secret. I have had a longstanding account with these people and suddenly, I am a risk? I attempted to straighten out my account with Esperian, but to no avail. They had at least five accounts listed for me, that I had never heard of. Once they send you the report, you have no recourse what so ever. You cannot reach them by phone or mail, which is simply unanswered. There were erroneous addresses listed on the report. One of my accounts was used fraudulently and I could not report it, not being able to access their company.

I'm sure that you have other horror stories in your records. My record for payments has always been exemplary and never late. I think that I'm headed for the Bankrupcy Court!


I recently received an offer from Farm Bureau for 2.99% on balance transfers. They sent checks that can be used for the transfers. The good part is they give rebate points for every dollar transferred. There is a 3% charge for balance transfers with a maximum charge of $35. Can anyone see any "gotchas" if I were to use one of the checks to depost $30,000 into my bank account, then immedietely pay off the balance on the credit card? I figure I would end up paying $35 plus about $25 in compounded interest (assuming worst case scenario of 10 days to pay balance off). The 1% rebate of $300 minus $60 in finance charges means I should net about $240. Can anyone see any errors in my logic?


do you have any information on the following banks: commonmwealth ANZ Bankwest Police and nurses credit society What's the best deal on these two accounts: A savings account for students A credit account for your parents >From the same 4 banks what sort of savings accounts are available for students-what rate of interest is paid on the account? How is the interest calculated?, what fees and account charges apply and how much are the fees? >From the same 4 banks, what are the visa accounts? What is the interest charged on a debit balance? Is it paid on a credit balance? What fees and account charges apply to the account? Are there any fee free days?


The Shell Mastercard was one of the best deals for several reasons which I won't bother to discuss since the point is moot now that the card no longer exists. It has been replaced by the Chase Freedom card. This is still a good card, though, because like the Shell card, you receive credit directly on your bill every month. You don't have to wait a year to get it in the form of check like we do for our Amex -- which antiquatedly comes in my husband's name even though I make 90% of the purchases -- and they will not allow me to cash it.


I just read on this site that Amex gives 0.5% on everyday purchases and 0.25% on special purchases. This is very interestng since I just received my Amex bill yesterday and noted that my rebate was 0.25%. Since my purchase consisted primarily of groceries, am I to assume that Amex does not consider groceries everyday purchases? What planet are they from?


Sorry for bringing this up again. Did someone report on this forum recently that either discover card or FB visa or both have excluded saving bond purchases from being counted toward cash reward points? Thanks in advance for clarifying.


More on the AMEX blue cash .. responses to posts this last week. Yes, I am saying that if you pay off all but a dollar or two a couple of times during the month, you end up with a great cash rebate. I'll leave the pompous and long-winded poster to bask in his own opinions, other than pointing out that the $15 fee is imposed for *no* payment, not partial on-time (actualy, early) payment. Care to do the arithmetic for yourself ? Figure out your daily interest rate (the APR/365), and multiply by the number of days you expect to average before paying purchases off. Call that the fine, and subtract it from the rebates given. Tada -- you know your net rebate, and whether the amex card is a good thing (tm). My only difficulty with the card has been getting my wife to leave a couple of dollars balance.


Gentlemen, we have a Chrysler Platinum "VISA" credit card, on which we are earning "points". Our problem is, "What can we do with those points?" I'm interested in finding out if we can use these points for Chrysler provided service or can we use them towards the purchase of a new vehicle? If so, how do we do it? How much are the points worth? I have not been able to access a web site that has this information.


I read through many comments and couldn't believe no one mentioned Paypal. On top of all these fantastic credit cards offering rebates and the like, anyone can sign up for a Paypal debit card and earn 1.5% cash back on ALL purchases. In other words, you can earn all the money back you want on your credit card and then you can earn an addional 1.5% cash back when using your paypal debit card to pay off your credit card balance each month. This is a wonderful opportunity to DOUBLE your overall cashback simply by using your paypal card to pay off your credit card. To sign up, simply follow this link: [link removed] You'll receive an immediate $5 credited to your account simply for signing up along with the ability to start saving %1.5 on top of any and all rebates you currently have on your credit cards. Don't hesitate taking advantage of this option, I still can't believe I save a total of almost 5% on ALL of my purchases simply by using my paypal card to pay off my credit card, but I can't argue with the instant rebates posted to my account and neither will you.


Here's the info on the Fidelity 529 Mastercard you requested https://www.applyonlinenow.com/USapp/Ctl/redirect?CV_sourceCode=F9RZ&CV_MC=A000000X2C http://personal.fidelity.com/products/checking/content/mcplatplus.shtml#college


In refference to the 0 till 2004 and 7.9 after that. Sounds like an MBNA offer. call MBNA and ask to have funds deposit into your checking account. It will still be under 0 till 2004. If a different creditor you can ask them to transfer funds to different creditor or anyone else for you. However, they may charge transaction fee per transfer


If you want your MC changed back to a Visa.. call 8004212110 and speak to customer service. Also keep in mind your visa will still work until the exp date.


What do you think of the new stockback card from Chase? With a non-tiered 1% it looks to have a nice head start on other cashback cards. And being a MC it's excepted everywhere which is a drawback to AMEX and DISC. Plus it doesn't ding you with a lower % back for shopping Wal-Mart and other discount stores. Check it out! http://www.stockback.com/index.jsp Let me know if I'm missing something about it, but I think it's a better card than AMEX Blue due to acceptance and confusing tiers of AMEX.


StockBAck card seems to be a great offer. http://www.stockback.com/index.jsp You don't have to put the rebate in the stock fund, it can be cash and it's a non-tied 1% + bonus amount if you use it at select (100+) online vendors and some retailers as well. Although not the 3% you can get with AMEX, no screwy system either!


Some of the balance transfer deals (0%, no fee, etc.) just give you a check to be deposited in any account (including savings/checking), so you can use the amount for whatever you like. However, if you care about your credit score, DON'T DO IT!!! My score was around 800, and it's now sitting around 680, all because of a few new credit cards with huge balances at 0%. I'm paying most of the balance off now, even though 0% don't expire until next year. :(

6/16/2003

What is the best credit card for air miles, assuming perfect credit and pay off every month? the air miles are to be used for hawaii only. Thanks a bunch.


Do you have any info. on being able to funnel the perks to universities and colleges. K-mart has one for K-12 schools, but that is the only one of which I am aware. Thanks for your wonderful service.


Can someone tell me how to get info on a Fidelity credit card that makes contributions to a 529 account?


I've had a Visa card from MBNA since 1994. In April they suddenly converted it to a MasterCard without advising me of the change. How can they do that?


I have the original black and gray GM card with $3200 in accumulated earnings. I am currently in the process of purchasing a home and am using GMAC for my mortgage lender. The branch manager at the GMAC office told me that they are no longer honoring the use of the GM card earnings toward closing costs. Does anyone have any information on this? It sure would be nice to cover those costs with my card earnings.


Discover has unceremoniously changed its partner redemption program to the great detriment of cardholders. Until very recently, cardholders could exchange $20 in rebate savings for a $40 Borders or Waldenbooks gift card. Now, with no fanfare at all, $20 in rebate savings can be exchanged for only ***$25*** in Borders/Waldenbooks gift cards. Since those book/music/DVD vendors were by far the best partners in Discover's program, it would appear Discover's program overall has nosedived. Time to cash out.


Normally I want to comment on some of misinformed posts I see on this board. This time I will actually do so because of two grave mistakes posted on this board. For the clarification for the individuals and the entire board both are in regard to Amex.

1) with regards to the two tiered card. tier structure a) up to 3% on special items etc. b) up to 1.5 on regular purchases

Poster wrote "This seems to be a better deal than straight 1% cash rebate for people who spend more than $6000 each year."

That is incorrect for users who spend all their money on 'non normal' or 'specialty' items. From the example made it sounds like one receives great benefit from this 3% tiered portion (a). However this is not the case. Assuming one spends only $10,000 annually of which he/she spends more then normal amounts on specialty items (a) 3% tier then you still will do better with a flat rate 1% card. Heres why: say out of that 10K one spent 6 or 7K on regular items earning over that amount less then 1% because of the tiers and therefor they spent the remainder of 3-4K on 'non-normal' (a) 3% tier purchases earning clearly under 1% for that segment. Add the two rebates together and your total reward is still less then 1%. Calculated under my life style of purchases I would need to spend about 13K annually or more to break 1% overall. My spending habits are not unique for personal spending. If you spend 20,000 then this card works out to be only as good as any normal other card which has a tier system, somewhat similar to Discover Cards reward program. Other 'up to 1.5% reward programs are better then the Amex up to 5% card assuming you are spending about 20K or less. the reason for that is because the up to 1.5 cards are less then 1% usually for the first 4-8K of spending that's it, after that amount you get 1% or better. The Amex card you need to spend more then 6K in two different categories to reach over 1%. and if you don't buy specialty items (a) 3% tier then you don't even have one of the better up to 1.5% cards out there.

In summary both tiers are completely separate and you need to achieve 6K in both to earn the top reward in either. So if you spend 6K in regular items and your next purchase is 2K on a specialty item, guess what - that 2K is only earning 0.5% and you wont earn 3% on that until u spend another 4K on specialty items.

2) regarding the same card, to the individual who thinks he found a whole in the system whereby you spend $500 in a month, get your 'up to X%' rewards, then before the Credit Cards due date you pay it all off other then a penny, thereby you earn 2% on all $500 and not just 2% on the penny. Of course this is true, this has always been the case on such reward programs, this isn't news, this isn't a mistake, AMEX won't discontinue this deal as soon as 'they catch on.' You are the one who is making the mistake. because now that your due date past and you had an outstanding balance of anything, even a penny, every expense you charge going forward in this next billing cycle are going to be charged the APR of your card, which can be as we know anywhere between 0% for introductory periods to as high as the 20's% level. so to flesh out your example. Day 1 of Credit Card Month 1 you buy $500 worth of goods. Day 2 Month 1 you pay off $499 to the Credit Card company. Current Balance $0.01. Day 1 Month 2 you now have a $0.01 balance which will receive your APR charge of say 12% (I'll be very kind - although these games hurt your credit ratings and therefor it would be more difficult to get this lower APR), plus the minimum finance charges, which offhand I don't know, but its at least $0.50 (Standard is $1 or $3, $5 or $10, but for this example I will again give you the benefit of the doubt and go with $1). There is also a standard 'late fee' which is usually something like $15 minimum on the first non-full payment of your balance and after that if jumps to a minimum of $35 usually. So you are looking at $16 in fees right off the bat, which is a larger punishment then your 2% reward on $500 (that reward is a mere $10). Now continue with this example you spend another $500 on any day of Month 2, immediately you are accruing interest at your APR rate of 12% because you still haven't had a "clean month" since you last carried a balance. even if you paid off that $0.01 on day 2 of month 2 (before you spent your next $500) you still are considered to start paying that interest without a grace period. Remember grace periods only apply if you are in 'good standing' which is what you are not in this case because you want your 2%. OK I know you think you will purchase your $500 on day 6 of month 2 and then pay it off (except $0.01) on day 6 or 7 of month 2 to avoid that interest, maybe so, but one day of 12% interest negates a portion of that 2% balance reward. By the time the third month comes around you no longer will be entitled to a low 12% rate, you will be shot to 18% or higher, your credit history will be tarnished. and anytime you need to apply for credit again, loans, mortgages, car loans/leases you might have to pay a little more because of this little game. now the only way you should play this game at all would be if u can at least pay off those minimum charges with the 2% interest you earned, and have something left over to pay off the rest of the interest and make this whole game at least conceivably logical. So if you spend 10K a month, yeah those minimum fees are now so little of the big picture that you don't mind them, but you sqtill LOOSE.

1% cards flat amounts are the usual way to go, if you are spending less than $12,000 on a credit card annually. Over $20,000 of annual spending would be smart to switch to a tiered program however many people who already start to spend money in that range often will fly more then once or twice a year, making frequent flyer programs more advantageous to many. its the 12K-20K which is a limbo area, but unless you know you won't miss a beat, the chance that you don't spend that much, you may miss earning more then 1% with a tiered card anyways. my recommendation is different for every individual because of their spending habits and uses, but cash is king and guaranteed rewards are worth something in their own right, while you need to be sure of your usage to make tiered cards more advantageous.

one final piece of information that is critical for everyone. It is clear from research studies done by the 4 big credit card companies (Amex, Visa, MasterCard & Discover Card) and other entities that when you give the same individual a credit card with rewards they tend to spend more then 20-30% more then they would have if they didn't have any rewards on a credit card. OK so lets factor out some spending that you are doing regardless but instead of paying in cash or check you think about those rewards and you pay with your credit card instead. that scenario may account for the large increase in credit card spending increase. but its not all of it, studies further show that people spend 10% more with a reward (in general) then they would if there is no reward. this is one reason why almost all companies provide rewards, coupons, discounts etc. So if you spend $10,000 annually on your credit card, and now you switch to a 1% cash back reward, I bet you will spend about $11,000-$13,000 that next year on that reward card. OK great so you earned yourself $110-$130 rewards, but you shelled out 1-3K more then you planned on doing - who wins in the end? (assuming winning is saving money)

Promotions: 0% APR on purchases, Balance transfers and cash advances (free loans) for 12 months is the best I have seen in the last 3 years. Special target individuals can get up to 24 months of 0% on balance transfers, but with major restrictions. Those all often come with 1% cash rewards or other types of rewards. One other benefit I have seen now and then is when you can earn your 1% (or whatever the rewards are) on your balance transfers. However I have always seen that their is the balance transfer fee associated, which usually capped at $50 is in play. This makes sense when your transferring a large amount and the balance transfer APR is 0% for that period of time. Its a one time event and usually won't earn yourself more then $50.

Finally I have yet to see more then a handful of people who pay an annual fee to belong to a credit card who benefit in the end more then if they didn't use a card with a fee.


Actually I have a question. I received a 0% interest application until 2004 and a fix rate of 7.99 after this. Can I put other balances on this even if they are not credit card balances? Tell me how this works.


Whoever said the card company breaks even on you if you charge 12K a year, even if you pay in full every month --- how did you come up with that figure? What were your calculations?


this is the part that makes the card an OUTSTANDING bargain for people who do not make purchases with credit debt, that you can pay off your purchases as many times each month as you care to; so long as you carry a balance (*any* balance), an additional rebate applies to all purchases. So run, don't walk to get this card.

Usually the fact that you carry a balance means that you end up paying finance cahrges on all of your purchases that more than wipe out the additional cashback rebate. Are you saying that there is a loophole in AmEx? Are you saying that by paying your balance down several times during the month that you will end up with minimal finance charges and interest charges? Let us know how it works for you (and I'm sure we'll be joining you with AmEx Blue).

6/9/2003

The Chase PerfectCard™

  • 6% rebate on all gas purchases made at any gas station for the first 90 days.
  • After that, you'll earn a 3% rebate on all gas purchases.
  • Earn a 1% rebate on all other purchases everywhere MasterCard® or Visa® is accepted
  • 0% Introductory APR* on balance transfers
  • All the rebates you earn are automatically credited towards your future purchases
  • Worldwide acceptance
  • Generous credit line
  • Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
  • Purchase Protection
  • No annual fee first year. Thereafter, the $19 annual fee will be waived if at least nine (9) purchase transactions were made in the prior year.

This is regarding American Express Blue Cash card. I had similar question on the meaning of word "up to" like another poster, so I called AX. Basically the operator explained the program like this. In each year if you spend between $0 - $2000: for everyday purchases you get 0.5% $0 - $2000: for non-everyday purchases you get 0.25% $2001 - $6000: for everyday purchases you get 1% $2001 - $6000: for non-everyday purchases you get 0.5% $6001 - $50,000: for everyday purchases you get 3% $6001 - $50,000: for non-everyday purchases you get 1.5% $50,000 - : you don't get any cash back According to the operator the everyday purchases are "stand-alone U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, and home improvement stores." This seems to be a better deal than straight 1% cash rebate for people who spend more than $6000 each year. I checked out other reviews on the net and found that the second tier ends at $5000 and not $6000. I am not sure which is true. I called today(6/7/03). May be the program changed. May be the operator I talked to gave me wrong info. Can someone verify this information? Also I know you get additional cash rebate when you carry balance which will make up to %5. But I didn't ask in detail since I usually don't carry balances.


I have just gotten an American Express Costco cashback card and would urge people to consider the issue of acceptance. I had always thought that AMEX had pretty much caught up with Visa M/C with respect to the number of merchants who will accept the card. Not so. I frequently find that the American Express card is not accepted at certain major grocery stores and gas stations in my area + other merchants too. Many examples exist like this and in all cases Visa and Mastercard are accepted. American Express has a wonderful new 5% cash back blue card, but are you going to be able to use the card enough to make it worthwhile? It's an issue that is given short shrift in the posts here, possibly because it's tough to quantify just how much you are losing as a result of having to carry two cash back cards when you use the AMEX card: The primary AMEX card and the secondary back up card which is used when AMEX is not accepted. Of course, if you have ! to use two cards, then you also have two breakpoint schedules to endure where you are getting, for example .025 percent on the first $2000 or so of purchases rather than 5% on the Blue card. I suspect this problem may exist with Discover too, although possibly to a lesser extent. Just my two cents...


This is in regards to the person who typed the following: "I cancelled my Chase Freedom card because of the 3%/5% dual system they have. When they asked me why, I made reference to the unfairness of having two rebate tiers." From what I understand, the 5% tier was looked as an incentive to keep previous Chase Shell MC/Visa cardholders from closing the Chase account and jumping to the Citi Shell MC program. I may be wrong, but that's my understanding.


Regarding the Amex Blue cash rebate card: I presented the following scenario to Amex customer service: In one billing cycle, I make five purchases of $100 each at an approved supermarket to be defined as everyday spending. This is my first use of the card, putting me in the rebate tiers for the first $2000. One day before the balance ($500) is due, I pay $499. How much rebate will be coming to me ? The answer varied with each person I spoke with, until I went up the scale, and spoke with a manager, who spoke with an 'analyst' in charge of the 4000 person operation in North Carolina. A letter verifying our conversation has been promised. In this example, I will receive $500 X 0.5%, and an additional $500 X 2.0% because I carried a balance. NOTE, because this is the part that makes the card an OUTSTANDING bargain for people who do not make purchases with credit debt, that you can pay off your purchases as many times each month as you care to; so l! ong as you carry a balance (*any* balance), an additional rebate applies to all purchases. So run, don't walk to get this card. And don't tell anybody else, because this is a loophole that AMEX did not intend, and will surely close once it becomes too widely known. Why am I telling you ? If not fortune, then short-lived fame :-) We benefit from a system designed to catch consumers who carry debt. I have little doubt, thought, that the agreement will change to only give the extra rebate on the balance carried over. For now, enjoy.


Amex Blue Card: Here is the User Agreement regarding rebates, typed verbatim: "Everyday Purchases" are Purchases at qualifying stand-alone supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations and home improvement stores in the US. "Non-Everyday Purchases" are Purchases that are not everyday purchases. You will receive an annual rebate on the amount of your Purchases (net of credit for Purchases) made during the previous year ("Annual Purchases") based on the following structure: For the first $2,000 in Annual Purchases, you will receive a rebate of 0.5% for "Everday Purchases" and 0.25% for "Non-Everyday Purchases." For the next $4,000 in Annual Purchases you will receive a rebate of 1.0% for Everyday Purchases, and 0.5% for Non-Everyday Purchases. For Annual Purchases above $6,000, you will receive a rebate of 3.0% for Everday Purchases and 1.5% for Non-Everday Purchases. You will receive an additional 2.0% rebate for Everday Purchases and an additional 0.5%! rebate for Non-Everyday Purchases posted to your Account in any billing period for which you do not pay in full the undisputed outstanding balance on your Account for that billing period provided your Account is not in default.


Even if you pay off your credit card each month in full you may still be a profitable customer. If you charge more then $12,000/yr. The bank breaks even on postage, priting, card production, etc... if you spend more then 12k a year, the bank actualy makes some money on the inter-change fee.


AAA Gas Card - Rebate posts to your account with in 24 hours after the gass charge post to the account.. Example.. You went to Shell they place a hold for $1. two days later they send bank charge for $24.88. 24 hours later a 5% credit is on your account


Another response to the person with the Subaru card. I too still have the "old" GM card and have not been told that it is being discontinued or changed. I also have been offered the "new" card but have refused as the "old" one is better for my needs.

6/1/2003

Hi and thanks for your hard work in sorting out this mess. I do have a question, if you have a minute. I clicked on the Amex Blue card and it says "up to 5%" cash back. So I see that if you carry a balance you can get "up to" 2%, or if you buy at a certain kind of store you can get up to 3%, and all the other stores are "up to 1.5%" but they never explain the "up to" part. Do you have any thoughts about this?


"Stockback from Chase" has good rebate program: straight[no tier] 1% for everything, up to 10% for selected retailers http://www.stockback.com/jsp/shop/shop.jsp Its weak point seems rebate is not cash but Mutual Fund. However you can choose cash as rebate when applying for the card. I think this is the best card for person who spends less than $6000 a year.


To the person who now has a Subaru rebate card because their "old" GM card was being discontinued, I have gotten several offers from GM card to switch my "old" card to a newer one, but I continue to refuse. The old one suits me better and they have not forced me to give it up. Are you sure that you had to discontinue it?


It may not be Rocket Science but it's a Jungle for sure! Watch out for Citibank, they bite. I had a store account with Hurly Bank, which was sold to Citybank (now Citi). For 10 years I never missed, always paid early and in full. Because of wedding expenses I called and asked to skip or postpone one payment and I gave them a firm date on the next payment. (Yes I asked politely, Mr. "this is not rocket science") Whoa baby, was that a mistake, they called me 15-35 times a day at home. I have caller I.D. They called my office 2-3 times a week and asked to speak to my boss or me. They asked co-workers what my new name was. (I didn't change my name) I answered their calls and was told "Oh, we just wanted to update your information" or "Oh, we just wanted to offer to accept a post dated check, just give us your account number" "Oh, we need to update your data" They have the largest group of Bovine Scatologists (Bull Sh-ters)this country girl has ever encountered, in their employ. Just prior to the wedding, I verbally and by written contact requested that they only contact me during specified evening hours on specific days and when we would be unavailable (honeymoon). Citibank started calling(I kid you not)50 - 75 times a day after they got the letter. They even had one collector calling and filling my answering machine tape with "elevator" music. I paid as promised in full, on the date promised and still received 8-12 calls a day on my caller I.D. My lawyer sent them a notice of intent to sue for harassment and almost all calls stopped except for the elevator music on the voice mail. So Be Very Careful, Citi's bite is lethal.


Amex Blue Cashback Users: Keep us informed regarding your strategies and successes (and not-so-successes)!


Chase Freedom Card is now known as the Chase Perfect Card. To apply: 800-373-3427. Gas rebate is 6% for first 90 days, then 3%. All other purchases have a 1% rebate with no waiting. Interest rate after 0% teaser is Prime + 9.9%.


Great site, but I believe your "Card Comparison Chart" is incorrect for the Amex Platinum Cashback card. According to my calculations, the Principal Bank Platinum card provides a higher cash rebate until about $22K at which point the Amex and Principal cards converge and provide the same rebate of $275. Beyond $22K, the Amex card would provide the superior cash rebate. Your chart incorrectly depicts the Amex card as the better card for yearly spending amounts of less than $22K. Are you incorporating the bonus you receive for caring a balance into your Amex calculations?


I cancelled my Chase Freedom card because of the 3%/5% dual system they have. When they asked me why, I made reference to the unfairness of having two rebate tiers. They made NO effort to persuade me to stay with their card. I'll stick to the citibank shell card which gives 5% on shell gas only.


One good thing about Fleet. They called me last week because their Fraud Dpartment thought that perhaps my card was being misused, and they were right. There was a $600 charge to an online merchant that was not mine. After I spoke with them they immediately cancelled the old card and sent me a new card, with everything (rebate, online billpaying information, etc.) transferred over. If they had not been alert, this would have caused me quite a bit of aggravation when the statement arrived in a couple of weeks.


Regarding MBNA 5% gas rebate, how and how often is the credit applied to the account?

5/27/2003

Update on the Amex Blue cashback card: They do not allow payments greater than the outstanding balance, but 30 days after registering the account online, payments up to the current balance are just a few clicks away. So, I plan to pay off most of my balance a couple of times a month. Seven days * average_daily_balance is less than 0.2%, leaving a *very* nice rebate.


I've used Farm Bureau Bank Visa for awhile now, and they are changing to 1% from 2 cash back. Plus, if you have a charge dispute, they are difficult to deal with. You have to submit a request in writing and pay the disputed amount first. I'm changing cards.



Hello: Congratulations on the wonderful website. I run a website http://www.dontspendmore.com Our credit card page has a selection of over 50 credit cards that consumers could compare and choose. The site is free to use.


http://www.expertcredit.com/


On having a lot of credit cards and a high credit line with them - keep in mind that having all of those credit cards may be keeping you from getting the bst offers from other card companies. I have refused many credit increases offered by my current companies for just that reason.


I have been using the AAA card for about two months now. Its been great! 5% rebate on all gass charged at the pump, and the credit shows up the day following the posting of the charge... i signed up at http://www.aaa.com


When renting a vehicle with a sears credit card does it include rental insurance in some cases. If so what number do I call?


Nice site a couple of suggestions CitiBank has two drivers edge cards. Mine gives 2% back twards any new or used car but has 3 year expiration on the $'s I have the amex cash back via CostCo but the downside of that is they do not let me have the amount pulled in full from my checking account on the last day like the citibank cards do. I have a sony 1% that you didn't mention as well.


Does anyone know why the rebate tiers are lower on the AMEX Costco Rebate card than on the green and blue cashback AMEX cards? Costco and AMEX both don't seem to know the answer. What would be the advantage of using the Costco card since the rebate tiers are lower?


I'm new to the rebate/incentive CC programs. Any comments/thoughts regarding USAA Eagle Points MasterCard? It earns you points toward free airline tickets or 1% cash back. You choose the airline.You choose the travel date - there are no blackout dates. You choose the destination - there are no restrictions on where you can go. The annual fee is $45.00.


To the person looking for the Principal Bank website: It is a spelling problem. It is Principal with an "a" as in the money term, not principle like having good principles or morals. Try principal.com. I have this card and so far find the customer service very good. Good luck!


For those asking about the Washington Mutual up to 3% rebate that someone mentioned before, I tried finding this particular card, but Washington Mutual said it does not exist. I suspect that the card does exist, but is not for the general public. So unless the person who originally posted the information can provide contact information, it's probably won't be available to us!


Hi Peter, somehow my last response to the "S.O.S." Lady got lost? For the Providian question: This is one of the worst companies, IMO. They are just a bunch of greedy folks that are out to get your money the bad way. Their practices are subtle and their services are terrible. At one time they advertised for 0% interest but with a lot of lies. They offer cards mostly to people with substandard credit scores. Stay AWAY from them if possible. Just my experience.


Sorry--it's me again...about registry services. Specifically, do you recommend MBNA's Platinum Plus Registry or Discover's The Register? Thanx.


Re: Diners Club can't be used anywhere? Maybe for you, but.... Well, again, if in your opinion, you don't think you can use it anywhere, then you are NOT the target audience for Diners Club card. If you check out their web site www.dinersclubus.com, you'll probably be surprised at the many everyday places that take it, such as Gap, Old Navy, Denny's, the US Post Office, Office Depot, Duane Reade, 7-Eleven/Citgo, Dillards, most major gas stations, etc. But no, don't expect to use it at your local grocery store. And I agree, it's not accepted in as many places as Visa/MasterCard or even American Express. But then again, this is a T&E card, so expect the merchant mix to reflect this. If you feel you're getting a good reward for your fake miles program, then by all means continue, for the frequent traveler (even like me who does not travel for business) the fake miles rewards are a joke.


Re: Juniper. Just received a letter with new terms -- at the bottom it said they were cancelling the cash reward program. It's fairly clear the game is to try to slip it by people, so that they get a couple more months of spending before people realize there is no more rebate. Not sure if this applies to everyone, or just to me (I pay off the card and so am an unprofitable customer), but watch your mail.


Great source of info! I have had a simple chase mastercard for 7 months and always paid in full. Now I want to get the freedom card for the gas and other rebates. Thanks to posts here I found the page about it. Chase don't seem to offer it as eagerly as the stockback and a select 5 or six cards when you try from http://www.chase.com My question is how do you know whether you should apply for standard, gold or platinum card. I don't want to have an application rejected. Any info will be appreciated. thanks


Why isn't the Blue Cash card listed on your site. It offers up to 3% without a balance (5% with a balance)?


Nest Eggz gives you a 1% rebate when you use the card. You can direct that the rebate be sent to a 529 plan, an IRA or a money market fund if you desire. You get additonal rebates if you shop at one of their 700+ merchants.


Fleet Bank contradicts the rewards listed on your web site. The rewards I received in today's telephone conversation with Fleet customer service are:

0 to 1999 - 0.25%
1999 to 3999 - 0.5%
3999 to 5999 - 0.75%
5999 to 7999 - 1%
over 7999 - 2% to a maximum annual of $500.


The responder misunderstood my question about registering accounts. I'm referring to a service that keeps all your credit cards acct. #'s as well as other impt. info such as driver license #'s and copies of impt. documents, usually for a fee, sometimes as a gratuity on a platinum acct. That way if you lose your wallet, or move, they take care of all the paperwork for you. Some send you stickers to affix to each card. Credit Card Sentinel is one.


Hey just got it in the mail. MBNA 5% credit back on gasoline puchase at any brandstation with auto card swipe.Not bad! ALSO A LOW RATE of 7.9%. The only catch... Limited $60 of gasoline purchase a day....seems fair. This the best offer i've seen What do you think about the offer ? Thanks

5/18/2003

I'm finding your web site the best for getting a handle on reward cards. This is new to me. I have about 6 old timie cards. I use one. I have the others cause they were easy to get and I have a big line of credit if I need it. But now I want to get an Amex Blue Cash and a Fleet Dividend. I'm concerned about my credit rating if I get two more cards. Do you think my credit score will benefit if I turn in, say, 4 of the 6 cards I currently have or should I keep them? I'm not concerned about losing the borrowing power that having a lot of cards gives me. Thank you.


Does anyone know anything about "Nesteggz" and that rebate program?


What do you know about Providian?


Frequent Flyer: MBNA's WorldCard offers NO Program Fee Travel Rewards: 2,500 = One-day car rental within the U.S. 5,000 = One-night hotel stay within the U.S. 25,000 = Fly anywhere in the continental 48 states https://www.mbnaworldpoints.com


In refference to the MBNA increasing the rate. On your MBNA statment it will say Please look at imporant ammendments to your account - inclosed (right in the middle of your statment - @ important news section) Inside your statment envelop you will have a notice that says your rate is being increased. MBNA is the ONLY company that will let your reject the rate increase simply by writing in to the address provided. If you do that then you will keep your current rate. MBNA is the only company that does not have a default rate. Most credit card companies charge 27.9% first or second time your late.. Some charge this defult rate if they see something bad on your credit report with out giving you the option to reject. Others will charge you this rate if you go over your limit, your check is returned for NSF or even if you close the account. MBNA does not hide your intrest rate increase it says it on your statment and notice inside the envelop. The com! munication is clear and simple. If you do not follow this - is it really MBNA's fault? or are you just beeing lazy and not reading your statments?? Also keep in mind that like with any FIXED rate offered by ANY credit card company. The bank can change your rate at any time as long as they notify you with 15 days in advance.


Diners Club is awsome! but where can you use this card? No where! it is not nearly as accepted as Visa & Mastercard... so I will keep using my 'fake' miles cards from MBNA & Capital One, but at least I can trully earn the points anywhere..


What about the Amex Cashback card sponsored by Costco? They state that you can earn 2% back on ALL purchases. Also, AAA is now sponsoring a card that gives back 5% on gasoline related purchases. Love to hear your thoughts. Great website!


Is there a way to pay mortage payments with credit cards?


Responding to the writer who was addressing "the ranter who had a very negative view on air miles credit cards." I have used Apple Card, GM Card, MBNA Subaru Card, and am now using United Airline Card. I am in total agreement with the author that a credit card with frequent flyer miles (ffm) should be used only by those who fly a lot. I traveled to Europe, Asia, and many domestic destinations plus the cc charges to accrue more than 100K miles in one year. Plus they threw in extra 15K to start using the card. I do believe that $60 annual fee is a small price to pay against the generous rewards. Having said all that, he and I are probably in a small minority of all of cc users who are not big travelers using ffm credit card. I was addressing 96% of the cc users who cannot do what he and I do, and rely solely on that 1% of the cc purchase so they can go on a family vacation to Hawaii, while paying annual fees. I do hope people are smarter than that.

5/13/2003

I want to clarify something:

First of all, please confirm that the more credit cards you have, the worse off you are when it comes to your credit rating, even if you pay off everything on time (I usually charge and pay off the next bill).

Second of all, I was offered a nice 0% on balance transfers until December '03, as well as a low 7.9% lifetime APR from Capitol One, so I applied for it and got it. But here's the dilemma... I currently have a First USA titanium card and a Citibank platinum. Both are MC's and both have higher interest rates. So I called to bring down the interest rates, and while Citibank offered me an immediate reduction on my rate to a low 6.24%, First USA only offered to send me a newer Bank One Visa that offered a 0% introductory offer until the end of the year, and then a 9.9% fixed rate thereafter.

What would have been better? I closed my Citibank and opted for the First USA/Bank One offer, because I was also told that if I got an offer in the mail from them for a lower rate anytime, I can call in to get a "resolicitation deal"? Anyway, the credit line was also higher on this card, so...


Thanks so much for all the valuable info you've provided over the years. Last year I got the Fleet cashback credit card. I have been fighting with them over my cashback they paid me for last year. They paid me based on your current graph for 2002. I spent about $26K last year, and they paid me in two hundred and some odd hundred dollars. I paid off my entire balances each month. Am I right that the tiered cashback for 2002 was 0.5% for the first $2K; 1.0% for the next $2K; 1.5% for the next $2K; and 2.0% for anything over $6K???? They are trying to tell me that it is half of all this! And of course, they won't let me talk to the decision makers. They keep saying they will research it.

What do you suggest?


You know I'm not to hot about mbna or fleet but I have a Juniper card and I LUV IT! There customer service is awesome and so is thier website. For all you people out there who aren't happy you should try the Juniper card. Best wishes!!


What do you know about the MBNA Platinum Access card?


Re: GE and First USA. I had a GE Rewards card a few years ago. When it was run by GE it had a pretty good cash back program. But when it was sold to First USA, all cash back rewards and the quarterly discount coupon book disappeared. It became a regular MasterCard. I don't know if others had the same experience. To the webmaster of this site: Your credit card reward program list is horribly out of date or just plan incorrect. Chase Manhattan is not spelled "Manhatten" and they do NOT issue the British Airways Executive Club card. They never did. I have all the correct answers, but this is not my site, it's yours. And you're getting the banner ads revenues, not me.


To the ranter who had a very negative view on airmiles credit cards. First of all, frequent flyer credit cards and similar rewards programs (American Express membership rewards and Diners Club - Club Rewards) are designed for high spenders who DO travel (whether for business or pleasure) and pay their balances in full. Such airline mileage cards should only be used by people who actually travel and earn frequent flyer points on the airlines they regularly fly. The fake mileage programs offered by such companies as MBNA and Capital One are not combinable with the airline programs and you much charge $25,000 to get a $300 rebate on a ticket. Crap reward at 1.2%. To reap the best benefit from these cards, you must combine the earnings with your existing frequent flyer account. The WORST payback on these cards is charging solely to earn a ticket, especially on domestic coach tickets. But when you combine with your regular travels, then the incrememtal value of those extra miles means the difference between international Coach and Business class tickets and a 1.5% rebate and a 8% rebate (yes even after annual fees). Yes, you'll probably say that you can't redeem when you want. But with Southwest and Sheraton, that's not true. And Diners Club points are combinable with both programs. Again, more flexibility. Those who spend more just because they have a credit card, yes they are stupid, but we are NOT these people, like you seem to imply. I can go on, but I'll give you more reason why $95/year annual fee is worth it for Diners Club. -Two statement cycles to pay the balance, interest and penalty free. That alone can be worth the annual fee in interest charges on other cards. -Airport lounge access overseas (but it sounds like you never leave the country). -Primary car rental coverage, unlike the secondary coverage on so-called Platinum Visa and MasterCard and even platinum and centurion American Express. The flexiblity to have a reserve bank of points that can be transfered to any airline or hotel program on demand. This option value you haven't considered. My point is look beyond the reward programs when considering the annual fee on a card. This isn't meant to be an advertisement for Diners Club, but hopefully, you'll get the point I'm trying to make. And no I'm not exempt from annual fees on these cards.


Is there a credit card that someone recommends to receive miles that will be paid every month.


You may wish to let site viewers know that CitiBank recently ended the "grace period" on one of their Quicken-branded MasterCards, the so-called "World MasterCard," effective May 21, 2003. The Quicken-branded "Platinum" card still has a grace period, according to the http://www.quickencard.com/ site.


Can the person who wrote about the Washington Mutual 3% credit card provide contact information on how to apply?


To answer the question about registering accounts. By your comments it is obvious you have no clue how credit cards work. Please pay them off in full and never open another one. Please save your credit company the pain.


Dear Mom with 3: Most likely NO. And you do NOT need a low rate, the low rate ends and then what? You need to think about how you going to pay this back. Make more then your minium payment as much as you can. Apply for a consolidation loan.. Like the once offered by MBNA, Discover, Capital One. Most of them will NOT have a low rate, but will give you a way to pay your debt with in certain number of years. Also consider Debt Managment Services / Financial managment services, look for one in yellow pages.. they may be able to get you lower rates on all your cards, and a paydown program...


Re: Citibank Shell Mastercard In my neck of the woods, a lot of the Texaco stations are converting to Shell stations (think this was a requirement in order for Texaco to merge with somebody - Chevron, maybe?). Anyway, these stations all LOOK like Shell stations but after you fill up, the receipts still say Texaco and the transaction posted to the statement also says Texaco. I called Citibank and they said that these purchases will only get the 1% rebate and not the 5% rebate. Even though they look like Shells, the conversion is not complete and as far as Citibank is concerned, these are NOT Shell stations.


It seems these days that alot of cc companies are uping the APR% after running a credit report and seeing something they don't like. Even though, you've had the rate for years and pay on time! MBNA is one of them and they put a little notice telling you this in the section where they put all the "junk" stuff. At least GM sent me a separate letter that got my attention. I never saw the MBNA until two months later when I happen to look down and see the rate went from 12.99 to 19.99! I pay them online so I never really look at the statement. When I called in they had to "update personal info" and gave me 14.99! What a rip off! Make $80k and have a 14K debt, pay twice the min and that's all he could give me. What happened to my 12.99? (not that it was great but damn!) I told him that cc companies make their money when one carries a balance and as long as one pays at least the min and on time they shouldn't change the APR. He told me not so. Obviously, he needs to take BUS101! Needless to say, I will transfer my balance to someone else for 0% for 12 months and no transfer fee! Now, MBNA will not make one more dime on me. PS AND, they never did send me my free gift for my first purchase. Have called 3 times and gave up a year ago. What a JOKE they are!


for the individual who pointed out the offer about the up to 3% Washington Mutual cash back agreement assuming a max of $300 annually, $25 monthly and therefor not a very impressive card for those who spend over $12,000 annually. Could you please include a web-address or the name of the offer or a phone number where I can try to get info? I am young with a perfect 6 year credit history and spend about 10-13K annually on my credit cards, so a card like this would be very usefull for me. Thank you


My primary credit card interest is for airline miles. I currently have a United Visa, but am concerned the airline may go bankrupt. I want to change to a card that can be used for more than one airline. Which one do you recommend? I am looking for the best deal, hopefully with some double-miles purchases, etc, but I don't want to deal with a company that provides poor service on bookings. Also, is there an industry standard on the number of "miles" required for a flight? United recently raised their domestic flight standard from 25,000 to 30,000--making my banked "miles" worth 16% less. Thanks

5/4/2003

Any idea how the settlement of the debit card lawsuit involving Visa and Mastercard debit card fees will impact the use of credit cards with rebates (based on the fees charged to the merchants)?


I just got an offer from Washington Mutual that at first glance seemed like a great new THREE percent Visa card: 0-$1000 (1%), 1,000-5,000 (2%), and 5,000 and over (3%). However, there are too many factors that make this card not worth it, in my mind:

(1) the rebate period is from March to February, so we've missed part of the rebate year already

(2) there is a maximum $300 rebate yearly (so this would mean the card maxes out at $12,000 spending)

(3) there is a maximum of $25 rebate/month (so this would mean you can only spend $833/month once you get into the 3% tier)

(4) in order to maximize the benefit from this card, you would have to spend EXACTLY $1,750 in March, $1,250 in April, $1,250 in May, $1,083.33 in June, and $833.33 every month thereafter in order to get your $300, and a 2.5% effective return for the entire year. If you exceed or don't meet these spending figures each month, the effective return could be much lower.

I miss the 2% era of USWest and PI.


I found the Chase Freedom Card (Visa) offers a 3% rebate on all gas purchases (regardless of vendor) and 1% on everything else. No fees, no tiers and accepted everywhere. It's only a bad deal if you don't buy gas.


Since several complaints recently were related with Fleet, I am putting in my 2-cents. Fleet is not like Citi or Chase...they do "subtle" things that one has to watch out constantly. Even though I got about $2K from them as rebates so far (2-years), I am nervous about any other offers (low interest rate, etc.) from them. I would review any of their offers with magnifying glasses; in most cases, there are traps and pitfalls. Well, am I ungrateful, no, but I earn my rebates the hard way. I am just being very cautious about their business practice. Users Beware. Just a friendly reminder. I would just take advantage of their rebates, nothing else.


Thanks for the information on Sony cards. I do have a Sony card and had no idea that they were moving their business from Citibank.


The interest rates may be stable. However, keep in mind that with the economy less people are paying their bills, so the credit card companies have to use the money they get on interest from YOU to pay for someone else that did not pay their bill.. At the same time most credit card companies have to deliver back to their stock holder.. if you dont like that - do bussiness with credit unions...


O.K. I've screwed up. I'm a single Mom w/ a 3-year,and between being post-partum, emotionally depressed for 2 years (due to a husband who has taken me through the ringer), and trying to run a business, I have neglected my finances. (Not a excuse, just a fact.) Paying creditors just in time or paying late. So my question is...are there credit card companies out there who will do a balance transfer to a lower rate rate, when you credit or credit rating is not so great? S.O.S...Please help!


I apologize up front for being long winded. I have been reading the Rebates Update Column for sometime now, and I would like to offer up some personal insights dealing with credit card rebates in general. First, it is a verified fact that credit card tends to increase the amount of purchase rather than using cash or even debit card. Estimates indicate that this excess in spending is around 3% to 15% depending on the user. This wipes out most or the entire rebate dollars that you would accrue. So the idea here is to use the credit card for purchases that are essential, not superfluous. Second is the fact that you are lacking wisdom if you are paying 6% to 21% in interest charges so you can get 1% cash back. Don’t pay finance charges if you want to play the rebate game. Third, there are basically two types of rebates: cash and discounts on merchandise (i.e. cars, airplane seats, hotel, gas, etc.). Cash rebates are around 1% and merchandise rebates are anywhere from 1% to 10%. Those that offer 5% to 10% rebates have so many restrictions or the amount accrued is so small (relative to the cost of the product) that it is not worth spending a lot of time accumulating these points. So the bottom line is to find cash or merchandise rebates that result in a significant rebate amount or else you should not play this rebate game at all. There are so many pitfalls (if you read the fine prints) that anything you do wrong will very quickly result in a penalty that will reduce or wipe out the rebate points. There are many rebate novices who complain that they get ripped off by a credit card company or bank, simply because they did not understand the rules. How do you think these credit card companies make money by offering rebates? It’s not because! they want to lose more money by giving us free stuff. For everyone who gets $10 rebate money, I bet there are ten others who lose $10 through their misunderstanding of the rules. Rebate game is a dangerous game, and YOU have to reap the consequence – good or bad. Fourth, I have noticed that people that use airline miles or AMEX do not take the annual fees and other “redemption fees” into account. I’m not sure if they are simply ignoring this, or if they are somehow exempt from paying the fees. This forum is an excellent place to exchange rebate information, but as long as there are unscrupulous banks and credit card companies who are out to rip the consumers off, I would offer one advice: Buyers be savvy, or don’t play the rebate game at all.


Regarding the Blue Amex extra rebate for balances carried over. I also am skeptical that paying down to $1 will only result in finance charges on $1, and not the average daily balance (even though *two* reps told me the former - for what that is worth). Even so, there are easy manipulations available to make it worthwhile, even if the average daily balance applies. One way is to pay down the balance weekly, so that the average balance is only half what it would be otherwise. An even better approach for people who know approximately how much they spend each month is to pay it upfront - in effect, turning your c/c into a savings account :-) Just leave some room for a couple dollars of debt at the end of the month. After all, the fine print says carry a balance, not that you have to have a continuous balance throughout the month..


4-26-03 GE Rewards was bought by First USA a couple of years ago. Do you know if that's a happy union?


4-26-03 Does anybody recommend registering credit cards with a service? Is it safe? Is it helpful? I'm a little worried about concentrating all that information. It's bad enough that 3 credit bureaus have it all together.

4/26/2003

I am trying to get a blue amex or amec card but do not know where to start. could you please help. thanking you in anticipation


Do you have a Sony Card? Sony will be moving their business from Citibank this summer. They're not telling yet what the new arrangement will be. A rep from Citibank told me we would be able to choose between sticking with Sony or sticking with Citibank, and promised reward points won't be lost.


to whom ever can help, Is there any credit card reward programs that offer reward points on transferred account balances? thanks


on one of the graphs I noticed the Principle Bank Platnium card, however I cannot find their web site. Do you know what it is ? Thanks


I'm searching for a credit company that will allow me to transfer $8,000 from an MBNA visa account...looking for 0% apr for 6 months or 90 days if possible...these people are killing me with fincance charges on a $15,000 credit limit..any suggestions..


I am using the Fleet cash-back card, which does nets me below 1% (if I meet certain unappealing conditions, this rate could be higher; e.g. carry a balance). I happened to notice that the Motley Fool website (fool.com) offers a card that nets 1%, without conditions. I'm going to try this card. I have no affiliation with M.F. Regards and thanks for your site.


When collecting on your credit card points, rewards, etc. , say through giftcertificates.com... be sure you read each affiliates fine print. I just ran into a surprise ripoff by OmahaSteak.com where they will redeem your purchased gift certificate "only off their regular priced catalog". So redeem your points at Amazon-Target-toys-r-us as they give face value for the gift certs. you buy. Of course if you can afford to be ripped off by Omaha Steaks at $40.00 a pound...have at it !


Thanks fort the informative site. Here is one I would like to share. www.Subaru.com. I did have one of the original GM cards that is being terminated. The Subaru Master card allows the holder to earn 3% up to $500/year that can be redeemed for any Subaru related maintenance expense or parts. (better than the other auto cards for flexible rebates) Naturally you can redeem up to $2000 toward a new Subaru as well.


See this NY Times Article (login required, but free!) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/20/business/yourmoney/20CRED.html

With Interest Rates Stable, Credit Card Fees Rise
By JENNIFER BAYOT
April 20, 2003


Amex Blue: to those thinking of manipulating the "balance bonus" (whereby you receive higher cashback if you carry a bonus)--remember, even if you pay off all but $1, the fees will apply then to your AVERAGE DAILY BALANCE (you only escape fees entirely by paying in full). I look forward to reports from those of you testing Amex's thinking on this...


I strongly suspect I was caught in a Fleet Bank Bait & Switch I received an offer for 0% finance charges until 6/2004, as well as a free balance transfer upon application. I called to verify that the balance transfer would be included in the 13 month interest free period, and was told it would.

Not so. Interest is being charged on my transfer from the day it left Fleet Bank. Here is the interesting part: I reread the prospectus send to me when the card arrived, and no mention of the interest-free period for the balance transfer is mentioned. I have asked Fleet bank to mail me back the original credit application (with the offer details on the back).

I'll give 2:1 odds that it gets 'lost'.

Yes, it is possible that this is all simply my stupidity, but I don't think so.. I am in the fortunate position of being able to dump them (and did, 18 hours after receipt of my first statement), but people are getting shafted.

Incidently, the supervisor I spoked to was excellent, and I am willing to bet completely honest. I think she (and other customer support at Fleet) are being used as unwitting fronts. Very sad.


I had the same problem as the gentleman in the long story below about paying off Fleet Visa cash advances. Mine was actually a currency exchange that I didn't realize was a cash advance at the time. I pay off my balance every month. They told me I had to pay the entire actual balance on a specific day and then stop using the card until the payment is applied. With all the automatic links to my card, this was impossible. I ended up sending huge overage checks and still have $0.08/month in interest. This may be legal but it is very deceptive.


Has anyone used the Chase Stockback MasterCard? It says on their website that a user can "Get up to 10% back when you shop with participating merchants and 1% back for every purchase you make". It seems like a really good deal. The web-site talks about "enrollment into the Stockback program" ... does this mean that my rewards gets accumulated as stock / mutual fund? On their home page, they have a link to Merrill Lynch, which seems to suggest this. Here is the link to their web-site http://www.stockback.com/index.jsp Thanks.


Hi, A friend has recently received a free Sony CD player and speakers from Capital One after accepting their credit card. I can't find anything on the net about it...have you heard of it and how do you go about applying please? Thanks.

4/13/2003

I received an offer in the mail for an S & H GreenPoints credit card. You get 10,000 points the first time you use the card. You earn 5 points for every dollar spent with the card. No annual fee. You can find information about it at http://www.greenpoints.com.


In response to the person who asked about a Ford credit card with rebates similar to the GM card. Ford did have a card and several years ago it changed to the Driver's Edge card. This card is offered through Citibank. It gives less rebates (2% I think) and they are only good for 3 years. However, you can use them on any car, even used cars. You send in a copy of your sales agreement and they send you a check in the mail.


A clarification regarding the 'Blue' tiers I posted: the rebate for carrying a balance is IN ADDITION to the rebate earned for the purchase. I have to admit - this card seems too good to be true, so I expect it to either be something else, or not hang around very long. We'll see.


I just applied for the AmEx blue cash-back. Since I couldn't ferret out the rebate tiers from the web site and had to telephone; and another poster had requested the details, here they are: AMEX Blue cashback rebate tiers (Everyday spending) First $2000 0.25 (0.5) +balance 0.5 (2.0) Next 4000 0.5 (1.0) +balance 0.5 (2.0) Remaining eligible $44,000 1.5 (3.0) +balance 0.5 (2.0) The interesting thing in all this is the additional rebate given when a balance is carried 2.0% on 'Everyday purchases'. I asked very carefully when I applied, and was told that ANY balance sufficed for the higher rebate schedule. I'll know for sure next month :-)


I just got off the phone with BlueCash from American Express. There is a tiered system. For "everyday spending" (stand-alone U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, drug stores, and home-improvement stores), the reward for spending up to $6000 is 1%, and the reward for spending $6001 to $50K is 3%. For all other purchases, the reward for spending up to $6000 is 0.5%, and the reward for spending $6001 to $50K is 1.5%. I didn't think to ask how they tracked the different places. Hope this helps!


I think some of us are forgetting that credit cards represent the extension of unsecured loans to people that banks assess as creditworthy risks. A grace period to submit payment comes with this privilege. If one does not pay off the balance in full, or miss payment, or become delinquent, then banks, like any other lender, will charge interest, or raise interest rates....depending on how much the risks have increased. The basic premise of lending money, and being rewarded for undertaking the risk (earning interest), has not changed since as far back as history has recorded.


Hi, I like your site. lots of good information. The AMEX curve on your graphs seems optimistic as compared to the AMEX rebate in your analysis. For example for $5k expenditure, the graph indicates $78 back while tha analysis shows $20. I don't think it should be a straight line. Thanks


Re: Earning Disney awards. The card is issued by Bank One (http://www.bankone.com.)To apply by phone, call 1-877-252-6576 and mention card code 7BVP.


Disney's Visa is offered by BankOne/FirstUSA. Check your local BankOne branch for an application or http://disney.go.com/disneycreditcard/faq.html


Amex Blue Cash Flash! Here's their deal: 0-2,000 1/4% 2-6,000 1/2% 6,000-up 1-1/2% They give you a larger rebate, if you're silly enough to carry a balance. Found this info at this site: hotdealz.com


the new amerx blue cash card has the exact same rebate set up as their cash back green card, the only differnce is the computer chip on the card for additional protection, i don't know why they have both with the same rebates,unless the blue cash will replace the other one, the customer service person i talked to could not give me a answer maybe someone out their knows more than i do about this subject, let us know if you do


Great starting point for a site. However, you Frequent Flier Points page is now so dated that i'ts not remotely useful. The Amex Sheraton optima is now called the Starwood Amex (it's still an optima). Free for 1st year, $30 afterward. United's issuing bank is now FirstUSA. TWA is no longer in business. Southwest's low end price from FirstUSA is $59. Alaska Air's card now comes from Bank of America. Anyway, you get the point. Please do some updating! Thanks!

4/9/2003

I recently received a mailing (and now wish I didn't throw it away) for an 'earn dollars toward Disney' charge card. I believe 1% of charges (up to $750/yr) could be earned toward a Disney vacation or other Disney purchase. Does anyone have information on a web site for this offer?


Thanks for the informative site. Here's one you might want to take a look at:

Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards Credit Card

2% rebate (rebate dollars transferred quarterly into established Fidelity 529 college savings account - no minimums, no limits, no tiers)

no annual fee; 2.9% intro rate - 6 months ; 9.9% rate thereafter

It can be found on the Fidelity website: http://www.fidelity.com Go to Planning & Retirement... then College Planning... for a link to the info/application.

Looks like a good card, but my husband is anti-MBNA so I'm not sure if we'll go for it.


Anyone able to find the actual rebate schedule to the new Amex Blue Cash card? Usually Amex is pretty good about publishing the actual tiered schedule; with this card, the schedule contains a lot of "up to x%": Your annual cash reward for everyday purchases at stand-alone U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, and home improvement stores is up to 3%. Stand-alone locations do not include the departments of superstores or warehouse clubs where the standard rebate of up to 1.5% applies. Your annual cash reward for all other purchases is up to 1.5%. You will receive an additional rebate of up to 2% in months in which your account carries a balance. Your cash rewards are limited to $50,000 of annual eligible spending. Balance transfers, purchases of American Express® Travelers Cheques or American Express® Gift Cheques and Cash Advances do not earn a cash back reward.


I recently received a change in terms notice for my Citicard. In it states that my rate may be increased to 23.99% if I "fail to make a payment to us OR ANY OTHER CREDITOR when due". Have others of you seen this type of terrorism creeping into your card agreements, or have I been singled out? I have never been delinquent, and I always pay at least double the minimum pmt due.


To the person with the Fleet Concern: how else do you expect this to be? If you have a savings account, one month your available balance is xxx, 30 days later it went up by xxx. Same with credit cards, if you do not pay your bills in full or if you have cash advances the interest stops the day you pay it off, not when you receive your last statment. This is a NORMAL and common way most credit card companys do bussiness citi, discover, MBNA, chase, fleet, etc... the differents is that some companies may pre-bill finance charges for upto 30 days in advanance thats why you finally pay it - you dont owe anything more. keep in mind that banks dont have this money they are lending to you in the safe somewhere, they have to borrow it to.. so it only makes sence that you pay interest until the day you pay your balance in full..


To the person who wrote about their experience trying to pay off cash advances on their Fleet card, it is fairly common practice (as far as I've seen) for credit card companies to apply payments at their discretion. Usually, this means that payments received will go towards paying off the lowest rate balances first. Read through your card agreement, which should specifically say how payments are credited.


I need help I did a balance transfer with CITI they sent a check to the wrong company, and no one there can seem to tell me anything. Is there any other numbers I can call out there to help me with this or any agencies I can complain to.


Applying payment to the LOWEST interest rate first is the STANDARD practice for credit cards. I have received many 0% balance transfer offers and am taking advantage of them. Just read all of the rules and fine prints carefully.


Applying payment to the LOWEST interest rate first is the STANDARD practice for credit cards. I have received many 0% balance transfer offers and am taking advantage of them. Just read all of the rules and fine prints carefully.


Hi Peter, on the Fleet story: One has to be very careful about the credit card tricks ffrom credit card issuers. Fleet offered me 0% interest last month. Then on the safe side, I called them to confirm. The representative told me it expired. Why? Oh, hard to explain. It was explained several months ago in a notice. So folks, be very careful and doubly sure about all the offers and be extra sensitve to pay back in time to avoid any changes!! Just a friendly reminder. The card companies are very desperate to get our money. Even with the 0% interest offers, they pray every day that you would forget one payment so that they can stick the 23% interest on you. Be careful.

4/3/2003

about prepaid Visa gift cards - best option I know of nowadays is the AAA gift card. Check the www.aaa.com site - I believe it has a $5 fee for an AAA club member, and somewhat higher fee for a non-member. There is an option to recharge the card, I think, for a fee. I was unable to find any "free" offers lately.


I notice that you have the rewards from this card as .25%, 5%, .75% and 1% for the different tiers. I have this card and from looking at my statement I believe the rewards are .5%, 1%, 1.5% and 2%. This card then becomes better than all except the AMEX at 1.5% unlimited. Please let me know if I am incorrect, but I am almost certain that this is the tier rate.

I enjoy your site and have been coming to it for many years. Thanks again.


A great 1% card is the Citgo Preferred VISA. Your rebate is paid monthly and shows up as a credit on your monthly statement. http://www.citgo.com/CreditCash/CITGOCards/CITGOPreferredVISA.jsp


WARNING to DISCOVER CARD USERS!!!!!!!!!!!! If you use Discover with PAYPAl and you have to dispute the charge Discover has an agreement with PayPAl not to charge them back. PayPAl denies this so it may be Discovers policy. Either way you loose.


C2it is a joke! they now charge fees and you pay cash advance fees plus they will not do anything to help you if you get ripped off. Best to stay away from C2it.


Thanks for running http://www.creditcardgoodies.com/ - nice site.

I do have some feedback about a less-than-forthcoming (i.e. fradulent but legal) practice that Fleet Bank has with their Dividend Rewards card. Last summer we went to Europe and used our card all over, getting cash advances along the way. When we came home we paid off our entire balance, or so we thought. It turns out that figure called "New Balance" at the top of your bill does not really include cash advances. Because cash advances are charged a higher rate of interest, these are moved to the end of the line when you send in your payment. So say you charge $2000 a month, paying it off every month, at the end of the 30 day grace period. One month you get a cash advance for $2000 instead of charging any purchases, and pay it off the next month, along with the (entirely reasonable) finance charge for the number of days you borrowed the money.

What you are really doing, according to Fleet, is paying for your low-interest debts first when you pay your $2000 "New Balance". Without a cash advance it doesn't matter, they pay off the old debts first and give you a 30 day grace period on the new charges. But with cash advances they pay these off last. So, if at the time your check is cashed for $2000 to pay off your balance on your bill, there is $4000 of debt against your card ($2000 cash advance and $2000 in goods that you purchased the following month), the low-interest debt on the goods is paid off first by Fleet. You are charged a finance charge on the $2000 cash advance, as they put your payment against it last. Essentially, to pay off your cash advance and to stop accruing finance charges, you must pay off everything you owe on the card as of the date it is today, e.g. you'd have to pay $4000 in the example above to wipe out your cash advance.

I've used credit cards and cash advances for 25 years now, and this is the first time I've seen this sort of policy. I consider this practice highly deceptive: if a "New Balance" is listed on my bill and I pay it off in full, I expect to not have to pay any finance charges. Foolishly trusting in this principle that has worked for a quarter of a century, I did not notice until today that there were finance charges accruing each month, about $22 a month, on money I "borrowed" back last August. I called and complained, they said they would change the account's policy so that my high-interest-rate debt would be paid off first. I noted that any sane consumer would want this as the default, that of course you pay off the high-interest-rate debts first, and questioned that this was not the default. They "appreciated and noted my feedback", and would also cancel the last three months of finance charges (so they deceived me for only $90 instead of $155). Essentially, they said they were doing nothing wrong, that I had agreed to this practice in the fine print. They also mentioned that most of their customers carried a balance from month to month, unlike me, as if this somehow mattered. All this means to me is that there are many customers who will never notice that a cash advance they made three years ago is getting charged against them at an exhorbitant rate (18%) each month.

Please do put this tale of woe at your site (anonymously, of course), if you would - consumers should be made aware of this policy, and request forcefully that it be changed and certainly not applied to their card.


3-22-03 I just confirmed with the gm card that the rebate will be changing to 1% on 8/1.


http://www.chasefreedomcard.com


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