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Credit Card Recommendation

VMan

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Anyone have a suggestion for a good first credit card to get?

I've just been using cash and a Visa debit card because I don't like to spend money I don't have. However, its time to start building credit and I need a card.

I'd like the credit card for the extra security that CC companies offer against fradulent purchases, etc, as opposed to a debit card. Especially when buying online from places like Jantzen that aren't secured.

The primary use for the card will be to pay for my ebay charges and such, as well as online purchases and things like that. I would like to be able to go online to check the card balance and to easily pay it off directly from another bank account.

I'm 22, going to start a real job pretty soon. I'd like the rates to be as low as possible, but quite frankly I don't see myself racking up a lot of debt on this card like friends of mine have done. I'd like to be able to go online and pay off purchases soon after they are made.

Any suggestions?
 

skalogre

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I'd look for a card with: 1. Rewards (points/cashback/miles/et.c.) 2. One time use numbers (much safer if dealing with merchants that may be iffy) 3. Extended warranty/pricematching is nice also. www.bankrate.com is a good site.
 

GQgeek

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i believe Amex has the best airmiles program if that's of any importance to you. I was told that you get much more per dollar spent with amex than other cards.

How big of a limit are you going for? Just remember that for building credit you should ideally keep your debt levels at about 30% of your total available credit. Paying it off every month is ok, but you have to figure out when your CC reports to the credit bureaus. If your balance is always at 0 when they report it, it calculates as if you're not using the card and your score will raise more slowly than if you peg it at around 30%. The same applies for maxing it out. If you want to increase your score rapidly then you need to make sure it's back at 30% when the CC company reports for the month. Getting 2 cards with smaller limits will raise your score faster than one.
 

VMan

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Originally Posted by GQgeek
i believe Amex has the best airmiles program if that's of any importance to you. I was told that you get much more per dollar spent with amex than other cards.

How big of a limit are you going for? Just remember that for building credit you should ideally keep your debt levels at about 30% of your total available credit. Paying it off every month is ok, but you have to figure out when your CC reports to the credit bureaus. If your balance is always at 0 when they report it, it calculates as if you're not using the card and your score will raise more slowly than if you peg it at around 30%. The same applies for maxing it out. If you want to increase your score rapidly then you need to make sure it's back at 30% when the CC company reports for the month. Getting 2 cards with smaller limits will raise your score faster than one.


Good tips, thanks.

I wouldn't need a real high limit, a few thousand would be fine. I don't know what the starting limits usually are.
 

gamelan

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a good place to start is your bank that you have a checking account with. if you've got history with them, they might give you a better APR.

unfortunately, when i tried that way back when i was declined because i didn't have enough credit history. so my dad and i got a card. that's another option.

i would also second GQGeek's suggestion to get a second card but no more than that.

another thing that helped my credit score a lot was a car loan.

whatever the case, pay off your balance every month and you'll be good to go. and check your credit at least once a year.

-Jeff
 

DocHolliday

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Citicard's Rewards card is pretty great -- pay all your bills with it, pay off the balance each month, get free stuff. They even offer a "Wish Fulfilled" program that lets you request any item you like from a domestic seller, and they'll see if they can get it for you.
 

Earthmover

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Citicard's Rewards card is pretty great -- pay all your bills with it, pay off the balance each month, get free stuff. They even offer a "Wish Fulfilled" program that lets you request any item you like from a domestic seller, and they'll see if they can get it for you.

I agree. This is the only card I use, and I just get gift cards with them. Just got my $100 circuit city card (to buy a new Nano) and $50 amazon card (bought some Nabokov & Hornby), and it's really well-run. Citi also has a cash back one that's basically a 1% rebate card, but I don't like that because the yearly max is fairly low.

One thing to note is that if you're getting the Citi card, the rate isn't low, which means that you should pay off every month. Otherwise, it's not worth getting just for the rewards/cash back.
 

VMan

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I applied for a Citi card which offers a small percentage rebate at the grocery store, gas station, and also if you use the card to pay for utilities. We'll see if they accept the application.
 

MCsommerreid

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If you have the income and credit rating for it, get an Amex.

The cards generally have good rewards, Amex offers things like holding your important documents for you overseas (I believe), and doubling some warranties is always good.
 

alflauren

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I have the Starwood Amex. You can transfer miles to airlines, and it gives you a 5000 mile bonus when you transfer 20000 points. That's usually the deal that people hear about when they say the Amex has good airline benefits. Plus, if you need to visit an Amex center for travelers cheques or something, there's sometimes a special line for cardholders.
 

ghulkhan

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whatever card ya find, i think if you just buy something small on it every month
like filling a gas tank or something and just pay it off youll be fine, and doing it over two or three cards but if you are really strict in the use would be good for your credit
 

countdemoney

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I think the citi card is great for you for a starter. You should also check out cardweb.com if you find that you don't like citi or you want more competitive rates once you're established (citi normally has good rates).

If you continue to do a bunch of transactions, I would also suggest Blue Cash from AMEX, which has a much higher cash back ceiling. The bad part of Amex is that it is taken in so few places in MKE.
 

tiecollector

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1) Amex Blue (reward points to get Bloomingdales gift certificates, etc)
2) Citibank Platinum Dividend Rewards (cashback)

Both great cards with awesome rewards and no yearly fee. Great for college grads too. My girlfriend got them both too she was in a lot of debt. Amex has no problem tacking on a little more debt. They raised my credit limit like 2x as fast as any other cc I've had too.

I got the identity monitor with citibank ($9.95/month). Lets me know anytime a credit check is run on my name. When I changed addresses I had all these creditors scanning my account, citibank caught every one.
 

Tck13

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I found the lowest rates and best service with my local credit union.
 

VMan

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Originally Posted by Tck13
I found the lowest rates and best service with my local credit union.
I live pretty much across the street from where my Credit Union is located, and have an account there. I was thinking of dropping by today just to see what they could set me up with, while i wait for the other card i applied for to be accepted/declined. I wouldn't mind having two cards, one for personal expenses and the other for business expenses.
 

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