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Would you still have spent that $225,000 over that period of time if you weren't getting the 2% reward?

My point is that some tend to swipe a little more frequently and spend more money if they feel like there's a reward attached to it.

Double post, so yes and yes. :)

As Moose said, I use my credit cards responsibly and don't spend money that I don't already have in my checking or savings accounts. A quarter million over 12 years sounds like a lot of spending on the card, but I use my card for absolutely everything that I can.

The additional benefit that smart credit card users will have over debit card guys is a better credit score. I had an ROTC scholarship in college so other than my credit cards, I had basically no credit history. But paying my card off on time every month for the last twelve years got me an awesome credit score which saved me a ton of money on my mortgage on the house I just bought.

If you use them responsibly and pick the right cards, credit cards can save you money. If you can't use them responsibly then follow the previous advice and cut them up.

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Yeah, I, unlike some I guess, don't see the disconnect between using my credit card and using cash. If I quickly "swipe" away a $100 dinner or a $200 piece of electronics online, I start to think about how many days I have to work to pay that off, or I think about how many $20 bills are coming out of my pocket. I guess not everyone thinks that way, but to me, plastic is the same as cash. But I can easily see how some simple-minded people would spend more using plastic as opposed to if they were counting single dollar bills out for a purchase.

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If you can be trusted to fly a damn airplane you should be able to manage your own personal finances.

I know PLENTY of people in my community with a LOT of debt, to include credit cards.

Must just be a Herk thing.....

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Revival:

Anyone have an Amex Gold or Platinum card? There are two gold cards...depending on the reward percentages the annual fee is $125 or $175 while the platinum is $450 a year. While the main purpose for me is to go to Costco, they both have advance purchase capabilities for ticketmaster events (ever try logging on to ticketmaster as soon as tickets go on sale to find out you're already in nosebleeds?) and the platinum has several more, to include free access to all the airline lounges at the airports, no matter the class of ticket purchased. My wife and I travel enough on the civil side to get our monies worth...but are the lounges alone worth the annual fee?

The platinum has a concierge, which may be nice, but I'm already used to herding cats and can fend for myself when it comes to planning an evening. The platinum also has free companion tickets....free companion ticket when you buy a business or first class unrestricted ticket...

Both are "Charge" cards...so balance must be paid off at the end of the month...a non-factor for us.

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USAA will give me reward points for using my DEBIT card. I've never charged a dime to it!

Just FYI, I'm sure most of you are aware but USAA discontinued this. It was either lose the ATM Rebates or lose the Debit - as - Credit Rewards.

I have a USAA Mastercard and AMEX. The AMEX is a joint card used by me and my GF (got tired of askign checkout lady to split transaction for us). Each earns 1 point per dollar. What really is cool though is goign into the USAA Membershop and you can get more points at certain merchants. Example, drugstore.com is 6 points a dollar, I ordered something I was going ot purchase there anyway so I earned extra points. I used to be able to earn 7 points per $1 at theknot.com buying gift cards for items id be spending on anyway (gas cards, amazon etc). While I do justify using my credit card over my debit card often because of the points, I never spent more freely because of the points, and I never put myself in a situation where I can not cover the charge I also pay the balance every month.

Now USAA offers an AMEX same deal but it is 2 points on gas and groceries id of gotten this had I opened the account one month later. while it may be trivial in short term, I buy enough gas and groceries to not see some sort of benefit to it. W use all of our joint purchase points at the end of the year on reverting to cash for christmas gifts or we will use it for a vacation.

Edited by Bishop

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While I do justify using my credit card over my debit card often because of the points, I never spent more freely because of the points, and I never put myself in a situation where I can not cover the charge I also pay the balance every month.

Said it before and I'll say it again:

Not worth it.

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Revival:

Anyone have an Amex Gold or Platinum card? There are two gold cards...depending on the reward percentages the annual fee is $125 or $175 while the platinum is $450 a year.

I have an AMEX Centurion (or commonly known as "Black"). I'm not sure if they're issuing them right now, it's a little expensive and the hurdle to get one can be a little high for a lot of folks but it is definitely worth it, especially if you travel a lot.

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Said it before and I'll say it again:

Not worth it.

Discipline. $600/yr is definitely worth it to me as a married w/ no kids O-2. I imagine an O-3/4 with 2 or 3 kids, that's a lot more expense which translates to a lot more rewards. It's *almost* free money (-that is unless you have an AMEX or similar with the fees to play..).

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Recently got a Home Rebate Visa card from Wells Fargo when I refi'd the house. 0% introductory APR and 1% of my purchases goes toward the principal on my mortgage. Since I only use the card to pay for my avgas, it's a win- win for me. Go fly, and get a little kickback on the house. :)

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Recently got a Home Rebate Visa card from Wells Fargo when I refi'd the house. 0% introductory APR and 1% of my purchases goes toward the principal on my mortgage. Since I only use the card to pay for my avgas, it's a win- win for me. Go fly, and get a little kickback on the house. :)

That sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me: risking 11.15 to 23.15% variable APR to get 1% back...

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That sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me: risking 11.15 to 23.15% variable APR to get 1% back...

Only a risk for those who can't manage their finances. It is not rocket science, it is budget 101 monkey science. Only spend what you have and enjoy the cash back. I have never really understood why that is so difficult for some people.

I use my card for everything and pay the bill at the end of the month. Then at the end of the year I use my rewards to by some blow, get a first class ticket to Vegas, and party with a bunch of strippers/hookers. If that is not your thing, there is nothing wrong with paying cash for everything, getting no rewards, and sitting at home watching American Idol.

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Negatron, only using it for the intro period. I dont carry a monthly balance. Just generating a little kickback on the principal is better than not. So, thanks. It works for me, but I'm disciplined when it comes to spending.

Edit to add: Butters gets it.

Edited by Marco

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Said it before and I'll say it again:

Not worth it.

I really don't get this irrational fear of credit cards. Credit is a tool, and like a hammer it can be quite helpful if used responsibly. It can also break someones face if used improperly.

I have one credit card and it is from USAA. I have paid the bill off every month since getting it. I have also received $400 cash back. I have paid USAA NOTHING for the card. It has no fees, and I have not paid any interest. They paid me $400. If I had an irrational fear of credit cards I'd have $400 less in other accounts that are earning ME interest. Over the long term that will turn out to be ALOT.

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Revival:

Anyone have an Amex Gold or Platinum card? There are two gold cards...depending on the reward percentages the annual fee is $125 or $175 while the platinum is $450 a year. While the main purpose for me is to go to Costco,

If the main purpose is to use it at Costco then I would get the Costco AMEX (True Earnings). No annual fee with your Costco membership, 3% cash back for gas, 2% travel, 1% everything else. Not sure if it has all the extras that you want but if the goal is to have a card to use there I would look into getting the True Earnings card.

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Negatron, only using it for the intro period. I dont carry a monthly balance. Just generating a little kickback on the principal is better than not. So, thanks. It works for me, but I'm disciplined when it comes to spending.

Edit to add: Butters gets it.

If you open/close credit cards for the intro gimmicks, you lose out when future creditors pull your report and see a bunch of opened/closed cards...

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Said it before and I'll say it again:

Not worth it.

Honest question, how do you establish credit if not for a credit card? It does not seem like you can do anything without having good credit and significant credit history. How would someone get a car loan without credit history?

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If you open/close credit cards for the intro gimmicks, you lose out when future creditors pull your report and see a bunch of opened/closed cards...

Not true! .69 seconds on google yielded this. A little long but just might educate a few of you that apparently really need it. Mortgage brokers will tell this shit all the time to scare you into taking their deal and not shopping for a better rate. Assholes!

Bottom line. If inquiries hurt your credit, you have shitty credit.

Credit inquiries

Will my FICO score drop if I apply for new credit?

If it does, it probably won't drop much. If you apply for several credit cards within a short period of time, multiple inquiries will appear on your report. Looking for new credit can equate with higher risk, but most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquiries from auto, mortgage or student loan Credit inquiries

The Basics

What is an "inquiry"?

When you apply for credit, you authorize those lenders to ask or "inquire" for a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau. When you later check your credit report, you may notice that their credit inquiries are listed. You may also see listed there inquiries by businesses that you don't know. But the only inquiries that count toward your FICO score are the ones that result from your applications for new credit.

Does applying for credit affect my FICO score?

Fair Isaac's research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents greater credit risk. When the information on your credit report indicates that you have been applying for multiple new credit lines in a short period of time (as opposed to rate shopping for a single loan, which is handled differently as discussed below), your FICO score can be lower as a result.

How much will credit inquiries affect my score?

The impact from applying for credit will vary from person to person based on their unique credit histories. In general, credit inquiries have a small impact on one's FICO score. For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO score. For perspective, the full range for FICO scores is 300-850. Inquiries can have a greater impact if you have few accounts or a short credit history. Large numbers of inquiries also mean greater risk. Statistically, people with six inquiries or more on their credit reports can be up to eight times more likely to declare bankruptcy than people with no inquiries on their reports. While inquiries often can play a part in assessing risk, they play a minor part. Much more important factors for your score are how timely you pay your bills and your overall debt burden as indicated on your credit report.

Does the formula treat all credit inquiries the same?

No. Research has indicated that the FICO score is more predictive when it treats loans that commonly involve rate-shopping, such as mortgage, auto and student loans, in a different way. For these types of loans, the FICO score ignores inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring. So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won't affect your score while you're rate shopping. In addition, the score looks on your credit report for rate-shopping inquiries older than 30 days. If it finds some, it counts those inquiries that fall in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry when determining your score. For FICO scores calculated from older versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 14 day span. For FICO scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 45 day span. Each lender chooses which version of the FICO scoring formula it wants the credit reporting agency to use to calculate your FICO score.

What to know about "rate shopping."

Looking for a mortgage, auto or student loan may cause multiple lenders to request your credit report, even though you are only looking for one loan. To compensate for this, the score ignores mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring. So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won't affect your score while you're rate shopping. In addition, the score looks on your credit report for mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries older than 30 days. If it finds some, it counts those inquiries that fall in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry when determining your score. For FICO scores calculated from older versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 14 day span. For FICO scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 45 day span. Each lender chooses which version of the FICO scoring formula it wants the credit reporting agency to use to calculate your FICO score.

Improving your FICO score.

If you need a loan, do your rate shopping within a focused period of time, such as 30 days. FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines, in part by the length of time over which inquiries occur.e or student loan lenders within a short period of time. Typically, these are treated as a single inquiry and will have little impact on the credit score.

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If you open/close credit cards for the intro gimmicks, you lose out when future creditors pull your report and see a bunch of opened/closed cards...

No one said anything about closing it. But thanks for the advice.

Let me put it in simple terms. I refi'd my house and accepted the card which was offered to me. I didn't apply for it. I really appreciate the advice Threeholer, but I'm not a kid fresh out of bootcamp. I know exactly what I am doing. The only reason that I shared was to highlight the nice treatment I received from Wells Fargo. And once again, since that card is used to fill the tanks on the plane, I found it funny that flying is contributing to my mortgage. My wife gets it, so that's all that matters to me. Have a super-swell day. I'm out.

Edit to add: Butters gets it again.

Edited by Marco

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Not true! .69 seconds on google yielded this. A little long but just might educate a few of you that apparently really need it. Mortgage brokers will tell this shit all the time to scare you into taking their deal and not shopping for a better rate. Assholes!

Bottom line. If inquiries hurt your credit, you have shitty credit.

Thanks for the unneeded lesson on FICO. I wasn't talking about inquiries. I was talking about things such as "too recent since last credit line opened" and so on that do actually show up.

However, this statement you replied with is the best:

Does applying for credit affect my FICO score?

Fair Isaac's research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents greater credit risk. When the information on your credit report indicates that you have been applying for multiple new credit lines in a short period of time (as opposed to rate shopping for a single loan, which is handled differently as discussed below), your FICO score can be lower as a result.

Bottom line: there are different kinds of credit and different ways they are scored.

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