In the miles/points collection one of the important ingredients is having credit cards which provide category spend bonuses. This would help speed up the collection time as well as reduces the overall cost for earning points/miles. Some of these might be limited time offer while others would be limited to $dollar amount cap you could earn in a given year or a quarter. Still having these cards would get you going faster then not having them in your arsenal. Below is the list of few cards which has great potential in maximizing your miles/points earnings! (I have purposefully omitted the cards which have 5% rotating category bonus which changes every quarter. Some of them are Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend, Discover It.
Old Blue Cash:
This card gives 5% category bonus at U.S. Supermarkets, U.S. Stand alone Gas stations and Select U.S. Drug Stores which are classified as "Everyday Purchases" after you hit initial spend of $6500 on the card. This card is not available for application directly from the American Express Website, but you could still get to working application. Below are some interesting details:
You need to click on the "link" in Chrome Incognito mode to load the application. Similarly you could use "private browsing mode of other browsers". You can get more detailed information on this flyertalk thread.
Blue Cash Preferred:
This card is newer version of "Old Blue Cash" and gives 6% cash back at U.S. Supermarkets up to $6000 of spend per year (after that only 1% cashback), 3% cash back at stand alone U.S. gas stations, and certain department stores without any cap limits (details about different stores and Supermarkets eligible can be found here).
Wells Fargo Rewards Card:
This card gives 5 rewards points/$ spend or 5% cash back for gas, groceries and drugstore purchases without any cap for the first 6 months you have this card. After that the cash back goes to 1% only. Also note that the folks who had any credit card from Wells Fargo earlier are excluded from getting this bonus. Since there is no spend cap, it is real good for folks who are heavy on spending and can maximize this limited time promotion. You can redeem the reward points for travel and get good value based on your redemption. For more discussion about this card check out this flyertalk thread.
This is another limited time promotional card which gives 10% cash back on gas purchases (maximum $1000 purchase) and after that 5% unlimited cash back on gas, groceries and drug store purchases for the first 90 days of keeping this card. After first 90 days you earn 1% cash back on all the purchases regardless of category. In my personal view having this bonus available for first 90 days only is a limiting factor but still would be useful for some folks who would have niche for high spending within the 5% category for the 90 days of promotion period.
Ink Bold and Ink Plus Business Card:
Given that both Ink Bold (Charge Card where you need to pay your card balance in full) and Ink Plus (Credit Card) are Business Cards, this might not be something available to all the folks. But given that these cards provide "5% cash back at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year" up to first $50,000 spend each year makes them a "must-have" cards for lot of folks. Also these points can be transferred to lot of Ultimate Rewards partner airlines & hotels or can be redeemed as statement credit for 1:1 basis or can be used to book travel through Ultimate Rewards Travel for 1:1.25 ratio makes them really valuable.
Also currently (as of 08/03/2014) there is 70,000 points bonus offer after $5k spend in 3 months available at chase branches for the Ink Plus Credit Card Application for new applicants. So, if this is something you are looking for it would be a good time to get this card.
Disclosure - None of the above links provide me with any referral credit or bonus. Some of the links might not give the best sign-on bonus available. Credit Card application requires your own due diligence and is worth only if you pay your bills on time and in full. Thanks for reading!
If you are applying for credit card on regular basis once in a while you will receive the "application on hold" or "denied" reply. Most often than not its just a "call" to the reconsideration department which can help you get that credit card application approved. So, it is important to know that the initial denial does not necessarily mean a denial and you could potentially convert that into approval. The important thing to note here is that application approval depends on multiple factors, few of the most common are listed below:
1. What is your credit worthiness? Your income, assets and available revolving credit determines this.
2. How often are you asking for the "new credit" from the given credit card issuer company? Different credit card issuers have their own criteria in restricting how often they approve you for a new credit card.
3. How good is your credit history? Any score of above 700 for TransUnion, Experian or Equifax is generally considered to be a good score.
4. How long is your credit history? The longer the credit history you have the better off you are.
5. How is your past usage of any earlier issued card by the same credit card issuer? If you have few credit cards issued by the same issuer earlier but you do not seem to be using them very often they do not consider you as a good customer for them.
6. Are you applying for the same card which you had cancelled in the past? Some credit card issuer would deem this bad while others might consider this perfectly fine as your needs could change over the period of time.
7. Do you make your payments on time? The credit card on which you have interest and late payment charges like it, but a new credit card issuer would be less than happy on inducting a new customer who do not pay the dues on time and see the individual as being a high risk for their bank.
8. What is the outstanding balance you maintain with different credit card companies? This could either work in your favor or against depending on the ratio of what's your worth and and what is your outstanding balance. Credit card issuer like to deal with individuals who are not going to default.
Above are the most frequent concerns that credit card issuer has, thus it will help you to your advantage if you know the reasons why you are looking for getting that specific credit card. Most credit card company do not want you as a customer if they understand you are doing it just for that elusive sign-up bonus.
Below are some suggestions that will help you turn your "so called denial" into approval:
1. Always be polite to the person you are speaking with. Remember you are looking to turn the denial into approval and so being polite helps your cause. Nobody likes a grumpy or angry person.
2. Know the facts before you start your conversation. This could be your credit score's with different credit bureau or your credit utilization from the specific credit card issuer.
3. Understand the features of the credit card which you are looking to get. Knowing the reason's why this is the card you need that goes beyond the sign-on bonus will help you get the card approved.
4. Understand the concern of the credit card issuer and than mitigate it accordingly.
Just make sure that you address their concern in a right way and you will come out winner in your credit card "approval".
Resources: Listed below are the phone numbers for the application status & credit card reconsideration department if you hit that denial and want to convert it to an approval!!
Chase Bank -- 888-609-7805, 888-871-4649
Citi Bank -- 800-765-9795, 800-645-7240
American Express -- 877-399-3083
Barclay's Bank -- 866-369-1283
Bank of America -- 866-458-8805
You want to get the best rate on next big loan? Or want to buy the car you are longing for at an awesome bargain? Or want to get the Credit Card for the next free domestic flight? All these needs you to have an excellent credit. But how do you know you have great credit history?
There are three different credit monitoring agencies in the US:
Getting to know the scores of them would help identify your credit score and get the next big bargain you are looking for. But how do you find these scores for free? You can at least get the score of two of above for free.
1. Credit Sesame (Experian) : This is a website where you can create a free account and plug in all your details and it will help you get your credit score. The pull done to get your score is a soft pull and as such does not affect your credit score. The score is a close approximate of your actual Experian score. Here is the link: http://www.creditsesame.com/
2. Credit Karma (TransUnion) : Credit Karma has lot more better features in my opinion and provides tracking of various scores including Auto Insurance score as well. Again they do a soft pull on your credit and as such does not create a credit inquiry on you. It closely resembles the TransUnion Score. The link is here: https://www.creditkarma.com/
So armed with information about your credit score you would be able to make the next big decision with ease.
Disclaimer : The links provided does not earn me any commission or referral. To keep great scores make sure you always pay your dues on time.
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