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#42944 - 11/30/16 02:45 AM Good credit card?
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'm not a big user of credit, so I've never done an in-depth investigation of comparative benefits of various cards, but based on the little looking I've done, I think the eBay Master Card I use is worth mentioning, particularly because it gives me double points for all PayPal purchases, and the use of PP has really proliferated among on-line vendors:
  • Triple points for restaurant and gas station purchases
  • Double points for eBay and PayPal purchases
  • Single points for all other purchases
  • $50 for 6,000 points (products available, too)
From what I've seen, this is a great card for people who do a lot of on-line spending and don't have any particular point collecting priorities.
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#42945 - 11/30/16 04:47 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I'm sure I'm considered way out of the loop on this one, but what exactly do you use "points" for? I think my neighbor does a fair amount of flying on her "air miles", I assume this is something related. Is it a cash-back thing, free stuff, discounts, or what?

And what exactly gets you a "point"? A dollar spent using the card?
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#42948 - 11/30/16 06:23 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: Virtual1]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
My MasterCard awards points that can be redeemed for cash or discounts at various vendors. I always opt for cash (given as credit on my next statement). That way, I'm not beholden to buying from a particular source.

My Discover card doesn't bother with points but offers cash back for every purchase.
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#42949 - 11/30/16 06:53 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: Virtual1]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
And what exactly gets you a "point"? A dollar spent using the card?

That's the key to determining the value of any card that offers these benefits - you have to "do the math". One card may offer more points for purchases but their rewards may also be correspondingly more expensive. i.e. require more points to redeem for the same purchase or trip.


Edited by ryck (11/30/16 06:55 AM)
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#42952 - 11/30/16 08:43 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
This link presents a distilled variety of credit cards that maximize something (e.g., points, miles, cash back, etc.).
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#42969 - 11/30/16 02:40 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: Ira L]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
And in Canada, that would be this: Rate Supermarket.

Be aware: The site is not altogether up-to-date. The last time I checked MBNA was offering a Smart Cash cash back MasterCard. MBNA has switched their Smart Cash card program to Visa.

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#42973 - 11/30/16 06:07 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
This link presents a distilled variety of credit cards that maximize something (e.g., points, miles, cash back, etc.).

Nice link, Ira, thanks. smile

I'll give it a good read and take a second look at my eBay card, but I'm a minor user and never run balances, so it may not even be worth the effort.

Edit: Just noticed that the cards listed are "for those with excellent credit".


Edited by artie505 (12/01/16 08:11 AM)
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#42987 - 12/01/16 10:01 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
You might have to go through the application process to see how much "less than excellent" you can be and still qualify.
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#42990 - 12/01/16 12:47 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
You might have to go through the application process to see how much "less than excellent" you can be and still qualify.

I'm sure that I would. (The article also included a link for those with less than excellent credit.)

Not that I'm really looking for a new card, but it might be worth my while to apply just to see what happens.
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#42991 - 12/01/16 12:51 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Artie505
Just noticed that the cards listed are "for those with excellent credit".

…and the definition of "excellent" credit is a credit score of..
  1. >550?
  2. >650?
  3. >750?
  4. highly variable depending on how much pressure the CEO is putting on the head of the credit card department to open new accounts
The mortgage scandals of a few years back and the recent Wells Fargo debacle would tend to make me believe the answer is
Click to reveal..
d. highly variable depending on how much pressure the CEO is putting on the head of the credit card department to open new accounts
It has been a good while since I had family members in banking, but at one time your habit of never running balances would flag you as a "deadbeat". The banks and credit card companies make by far the largest portion of their profit from the interest charges on unpaid balances and they are not in any hurry to issue a credit card to deadbeats.
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#42993 - 12/01/16 01:39 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
... but at one time your habit of never running balances would flag you as a "deadbeat".

Not no more. More significant is whether you miss payments (especially more than one) or don't make the minimum payment or similar misdemeanors which would make you a credit risk. Often, "decluttering" one's credit card accounts substantially lowers one's credit rating; it's better to let a credit card company close your account (say, for non-use) than to do it yourself.
Credit card companies actively troll for credit card users who use credit cards extensively and who settle their accounts promptly. They make their profit off the merchants' 3%-4% fees.
Good credit ratings now seem to be used more widely. For example, my insurance providers offered a major discount for a good credit rating (which required my permission), since those with good credit ratings have been found to make fewer insurance claims β€” which is precisely what insurers look for.

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#42998 - 12/02/16 12:26 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: Artie505
Just noticed that the cards listed are "for those with excellent credit".

…and the definition of "excellent" credit is a credit score of..

<snip>

It has been a good while since I had family members in banking, but at one time your habit of never running balances would flag you as a "deadbeat". The banks and credit card companies make by far the largest portion of their profit from the interest charges on unpaid balances and they are not in any hurry to issue a credit card to deadbeats.

Those deadbeats were preordained when cards such as my (purple) American Express CHARGE card were discontinued in favor of credit cards - I wasn't alone in being perfectly happy having to pay my entire balance monthly. - and I resent being called a deadbeat by people at least some of whom I'm sure are running their own lives without running credit card balances. mad

I'll give your bankers this, though: those who don't run balances and wait until the last day to pay their current charges are freeloaders. (I pay my current charges within minutes after they come due on my screen, and my payment has invariably been processed before I'm notified of my statement's availability.)

A note on credit scores: your absolute number doesn't necessarily determine you're creditworthiness; it depends more on the components of your score, including what types of balances you've run, and as such, my score - around 780 the last time I saw it - which is based solely on monthly payments of a few hundred dollars on just one card wouldn't be worth very much were I to apply for a mortgage, possibly even an auto loan.
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#43001 - 12/02/16 06:25 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Those deadbeats were preordained when cards such as my (purple) American Express CHARGE card were discontinued in favor of credit cards - I wasn't alone in being perfectly happy having to pay my entire balance monthly. - and I resent being called a deadbeat by people at least some of whom I'm sure are running their own lives without running credit card balances. mad

I have never had a (purple) American Express card but my Gold American Express card (it started out as green back in 1982) still requires the balance to be paid in full each and every month. Even if I upgraded it to a Platinum card it would still require the balance in full every month.
Originally Posted By: Artie505
I'll give your bankers this, though: those who don't run balances and wait until the last day to pay their current charges are freeloaders. (I pay my current charges within minutes after they come due on my screen, and my payment has invariably been processed before I'm notified of my statement's availability.)
Put me down as a freeloader. I pay all of my credit card bills by electronic funds transfer between 11:00 PM πŸ•š and midnight πŸ•› of the due date and not before then. The interest rates I earn on my bank balance aren't that much these days, but I like to earn what I can as long as I can.
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#43063 - 12/06/16 04:09 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I have never had a (purple) American Express card but my Gold American Express card (it started out as green back in 1982) still requires the balance to be paid in full each and every month. Even if I upgraded it to a Platinum card it would still require the balance in full every month.

The purple card was replaced by the green card in the early '70s.

During the 40 years since I've dealt with AmEx I forgot that the green card has remained a charge card and the blue card is their credit card, so I took a look at the current state of all of their cards...and none of them suits my situation.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I pay all of my credit card bills by electronic funds transfer between 11:00 PM πŸ•š and midnight πŸ•› of the due date and not before then. The interest rates I earn on my bank balance aren't that much these days, but I like to earn what I can as long as I can.

That was a road much traveled (albeit in its snail mail incarnation) when I was living on 18% money, but since then, I've paid every bill by return mail or computer screen.

An unpaid bill is a to-do list, and I hate to-do lists!

(Do you wear an "I Speak Fluent Emoji" T-shirt? grin )
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#43064 - 12/06/16 04:21 PM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: artie505
Originally Posted By: Ira L
This link presents a distilled variety of credit cards that maximize something (e.g., points, miles, cash back, etc.).

Nice link, Ira, thanks. smile

I'll give it a good read and take a second look at my eBay card, but I'm a minor user and never run balances, so it may not even be worth the effort.

Finally got through your linked doc, and it's really directed at people who are moving balances from card to card...a situation I'm not in.

I can't begin to say that I've examined all possibilities, but from what I've seen, my eBay MC is either the most suitable one in my situation or close enough thereto that it's not worth looking any further; it's a niche card, and I fit in the niche.
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#43076 - 12/07/16 09:30 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: artie505]
Ira L Online


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
I can't argue with a filled niche, but I found the article useful for a variety of reasons, some of which anyone may need. For example, as you said, balance transfers, but also cash back cards, mileage cards, bonus points, bonus cash, etc.

And I notice that the site to which my link references seems to be updated on a regular (daily?) basis, so if anyone is considering a new card for any reason, it might be worth checking out at the appropriate time.
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#43093 - 12/09/16 12:06 AM Re: Good credit card? [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
I can't argue with a filled niche, but I found the article useful for a variety of reasons, some of which anyone may need. For example, as you said, balance transfers, but also cash back cards, mileage cards, bonus points, bonus cash, etc.

And I notice that the site to which my link references seems to be updated on a regular (daily?) basis, so if anyone is considering a new card for any reason, it might be worth checking out at the appropriate time.

Thanks for pointing out that the article is dynamic.

As you mentioned, it presents a pretty wide variety of incentives...something for almost everybody.
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