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Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:45 pm
by huskerfan1414
I've never had a credit card but it's starting to make sense. I'm 33. Excellent credit. Will not incur interest on card as I will pay it off right away. Looking at the rewards offered I believe I might be missing out.

Also, going to make a big $5,000 purchase (New A/C) that we have completely budgeted and would be nice to get some cash back on that in rewards. Would this be a bad move?

Got pre approved for a wells fargo propel card with $150 bonus. Has 3x rewards on eating out, gas, and travel. No annual fee. We do not travel much but we do some travel, 1-2 a year and will have plane trips every other year.
I would just do this one but the major negative here is that it is an American Express, and that is not as widely accepted as Visa or others.

Other options:
Citi double cash card for simplicity, but no intro bonus. No fee.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Card. This one interests me. $200 bonus offer and 3% back on my selection, 2% on grocery, 1% all else. Says no annual fee. Visa.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: only 1.5% cash back but has $150 bonus and no fees and visa.

Amazon Prime Card: We use amazon prime quite a bit.

Any thoughts?

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:53 pm
by Jags4186
huskerfan1414 wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:45 pm I've never had a credit card but it's starting to make sense. I'm 33. Excellent credit. Will not incur interest on card as I will pay it off right away. Looking at the rewards offered I believe I might be missing out.

Also, going to make a big $5,000 purchase (New A/C) that we have completely budgeted and would be nice to get some cash back on that in rewards. Would this be a bad move?

Got pre approved for a wells fargo propel card with $150 bonus. Has 3x rewards on eating out, gas, and travel. No annual fee. We do not travel much but we do some travel, 1-2 a year and will have plane trips every other year.
I would just do this one but the major negative here is that it is an American Express, and that is not as widely accepted as Visa or others.

Other options:
Citi double cash card for simplicity, but no intro bonus. No fee.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Card. This one interests me. $200 bonus offer and 3% back on my selection, 2% on grocery, 1% all else. Says no annual fee. Visa.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: only 1.5% cash back but has $150 bonus and no fees and visa.

Amazon Prime Card: We use amazon prime quite a bit.

Any thoughts?
if you just want 1 card here is what I'd recommend. Sign up for the Citi Premier card that comes with a 60k bonus and a $95 annual fee. Collect the bonus -- you can use the points towards gift cards at 1pt = $0.01 or you can use them to purchase a plane ticket or hotel stay at 1pt = $0.0125.

At the end of year one you convert this card to the Citi Double Cash. This way you get a $505 or $655 ($600 gift card - $95 fee or $750 travel - $95 fee) bonus and a Citi Double Cash card by only opening 1 card.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:00 pm
by balbrec2
Propel is a very good no fee card. Amex acceptance is really only a problem overseas.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:03 pm
by rterickson
Those are all decent cards, you can't really go wrong.

I would suggest getting two different cards from different banks just to have the backup. Hard to beat the 5% on the Amazon Prime card. I don't travel much either, so the Citi DoubleCash works good for me too.

Just so you are aware, a lot of contractors don't take credit cards because they end up paying the card fees (~2%).

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:14 pm
by sport
If you are a Costco shopper, the Costco Visa is a good choice. No annual fee. 4% rebate on gasoline, 3% on restaurants and travel, 2% on Costco purchases, and 1% everywhere else.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:21 pm
by David Jay
I primarily use the Fidelity Visa. 2% on everything.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:21 pm
by mega317
rterickson wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:03 pm Just so you are aware, a lot of contractors don't take credit cards because they end up paying the card fees (~2%).
Or even if they do take cards, you might get a discount for paying cash that's better than the cash back you'd get from a credit card.

This forum is good for credit card info but on message boards in general you tend to get a huge sampling of what everyone is doing without background or even context. Wirecutter.com writes a ton about credit cards which might be helpful for you.

FWIW I have Freedom unlimited 1.5%, freedom 5% rotating categories, Discover It 5% rotating, BofA cash rewards, bank of the west cash back 3% cash/grocery/restaurant, Delta skymiles. I also recently closed Wells Fargo and cap one savor which I had opened just for bonuses. I will open a new card at least once a year when I have to pay my professional organization dues which will help me meet most bonus spend requirements.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:34 pm
by SmallCityDave
No, you don't need one.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:41 pm
by Jack FFR1846
Citi double cash. It's not AMEX or Discover so you won't be refused at a reasonable number of places. No nonsense, 2% on everything. Use it for the AC purchase.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:43 pm
by BrownEyedGirl_27
I like Capital One Quicksilver (no annual fee like the Chase Freedom cards), it's particularly good for someone with good to excellent credit. 1.5% cash back you can redeem any time for a statement credit, gift cards or Amazon purchases. Depending on your income and creditworthiness you'll probably get a pretty high limit on yours to pay for your big purchase. There is also no foreign transaction fee, just make sure to pay in the local currency so you won't pay a terminal surcharge in a foreign country. We use ours for everything except for the rotating Chase Freedom Ultimate Rewards categories.

Chase Freedom Unlimited would be the comparable card to Quicksilver with its $150 bonus on the first $500 you spend, but they do charge 3% foreign transaction fees. Also their pay for Amazon purchases with points program is bad, as you only get 80% of your point value when you redeem them for Amazon purchases. Quicksilver will match you dollar for dollar.

If you're already shopping at Costco and have excellent credit you should look into that one. I think they charge a foreign transaction fee, but if you're making a large appliance purchase they will extend your warranty by 2 years if you get the Costco Citi card. The warranty for most purchases will extend by 2 years and you get 4% back on Costco gas and 2% back on all other Costco purchases. Hope this helps!

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:58 pm
by sport
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:43 pm If you're already shopping at Costco and have excellent credit you should look into that one. I think they charge a foreign transaction fee...
You may be correct, but I believe they do not charge a foreign transaction fee.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:02 pm
by Bfwolf
Jags4186 wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:53 pm
if you just want 1 card here is what I'd recommend. Sign up for the Citi Premier card that comes with a 60k bonus and a $95 annual fee. Collect the bonus -- you can use the points towards gift cards at 1pt = $0.01 or you can use them to purchase a plane ticket or hotel stay at 1pt = $0.0125.

At the end of year one you convert this card to the Citi Double Cash. This way you get a $505 or $655 ($600 gift card - $95 fee or $750 travel - $95 fee) bonus and a Citi Double Cash card by only opening 1 card.
This is a heck of an idea that I had not considered for the "just want 1 card" crowd. I am a current Citi Thank You Premier cardholder, and I decided to pay the annual fee and for a 5K retention offer in December. At the time, I still had some point that I was figuring out how to deal with. But maybe I'll look at this exit strategy out of the card next December. Although the transfer to Turkish miles for United flights to Hawaii for 7500 points each way has possibly made this card a keeper for me

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:15 pm
by LittleMaggieMae
Why not look at your yearly expenses in various categories like gas and groceries. I'm assuming you have a good grasp of your expenses and limit "impulse buys" at the grocery. Figure out an estimate of how much you will put on the card in the "1%" category each month. That will tell you which card(s) might be right for you. You can figure out an approximate "cash back reward" amount based on your spending.

I don't charge much - gas, groceries, some monthly expenses, and then other regularly budgeted for stuff (like clothing or shoes or whatever...)

I use Chase Rewards (revolving 5% categories) and Discover (revolving 5% categories) and a BoA card with 2% on groceries and 3% on a category of my choice. (all three cards have 1% on everything else). In 2019 I had 6 months of 5% cash back on gas and 6 months of 5% cash back on groceries as these two categories bounced back and forth on Chase/Discover. I used the BoA card for 2% back on groceries and 3% back on gas during the off months with Discover/Chase.

I usually put a little sticky note on each credit card so I know which one to use for what. I carry 2 cards with me. 1 card is usually "resting" at home.
I pay bills in full.

I also recommend getting a 'back up' card...

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:29 pm
by yangtui
Do not be afraid of annual fees. If the card fits your spending profile you can negate the fee multiple times over.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:44 pm
by TravelGeek
yangtui wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:29 pm Do not be afraid of annual fees. If the card fits your spending profile you can negate the fee multiple times over.
Agreed. The key, though, is to understand how much money is spent in which categories in order to be able to calculate the benefit.

That said, for credit cad newbies a simple 2% cash back card as a starter card would not hurt, to avoid analysis paralysis.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:31 pm
by JBTX
This site has very good info on credit card bonuses.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.doctor ... nuses/amp/

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:05 pm
by StormShadow
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:43 pm I like Capital One Quicksilver (no annual fee like the Chase Freedom cards), it's particularly good for someone with good to excellent credit. 1.5% cash back you can redeem any time for a statement credit, gift cards or Amazon purchases.
+1

Have had this card for over 10 years. Simple and straightforward. No foreign transaction fee. User friendly website.

I also have a Target Red card (5% off everything target plus free shipping) and Am Ex blue. Also have Am Ex platinum but probably will cancel when my year is up ($550 maintenance). Will then likely add on AmEx blue preferred which gives 6% groceries, 3% gas but costs $95 per year.

Lots of people recommend Citi Double Cash, Visa Fidelity and various Chase cards.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:23 am
by BrownEyedGirl_27
sport wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:58 pm
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:43 pm If you're already shopping at Costco and have excellent credit you should look into that one. I think they charge a foreign transaction fee...
You may be correct, but I believe they do not charge a foreign transaction fee.
Thank you for correcting me, looks like they stopped charging a fee in 2018. Now I want to go apply for it once Costco gets back to normal!

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:23 pm
by Halicar
huskerfan1414 wrote: Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:45 pm Amazon Prime Card: We use amazon prime quite a bit.
This card gives you 5% cash back on Amazon purchases--a no-brainer in my opinion. Otherwise you're just leaving money on the table.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:28 pm
by ssgao
This reddit post has 5% cash back for each category listed: https://old.reddit.com/r/CreditCards/co ... _category/

I tried to apply to some of the less seen ones like Vantage West, ACFU and PenFed. Even though I had 790 credit rating, I got rejected by them. YMMV.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:32 pm
by Jags4186
FYI if you are considering doing the Citi Premier -> Citi Double Cash route I recommended above I would do it TODAY as there are changes to the Citi Premier card. If you sign up today you will get an amazing card for the next 12 months including:

3x Travel
3x Groceries Uncapped
3x Gas
3x Dining
2x Entertainment
$100 Hotel Credit for making a $500 booking via Citi’s portal.

If you wait until April 10 to sign up you will lose 3x travel (it will just be 3x flights and hotels, that means no more 3x on parking, tolls, rental cars, train and bus tickets, OTAs, etc.)
No more 2x on entertainment

You will lose the $0.0125 redemption option. Still, 3% back on groceries, uncapped, is one of the strongest benefits around and may make this card a keeper over switching to double cash. Keep in mind, that the other 3% grocery card, the AMEX Everyday is only 3% up to $6000.

That said, I would sign up, today, for the card and then at the end of year one (and collecting your juicy 60k bonus) work out the math to see if it makes sense to keep the Premier with its $95 annual fee or downgrade to the Double Cash.

Personally, I cashed out my Citi Premier points for Best Buy gift cards and am saving them for when the PlayStation 5 comes out.

Re: Should I get a credit card? Which?

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:06 pm
by Eno Deb
Halicar wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:23 pmThis card gives you 5% cash back on Amazon purchases--a no-brainer in my opinion. Otherwise you're just leaving money on the table.
Remember that you need to subscribe to Prime to get that benefit. So if you don't really need the Prime benefits, you have to consider the $120 per year cost.

I'll also point out that the BoA Cash Rewards card gives 5.25% cash back not just on Amazon, but many other online shops as well if you have "platinum honor" status. No Prime required.