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  1. The values of the airline miles vary quite a lot depending on what tickets you buy with them. For some of the better-known miles and points systems, a first guess can be seen here: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/monthly-valuations/ When I redeem airline miles, I look at The Point's Guy's valuation. If the ticket I'm about to buy would result in a valuation at least as good as what TPG guesses, then I use miles to buy the ticket. Otherwise, I buy the ticket with money.
  2. Sometimes in overseas withdrawals, the separate information about fees is missing. What Schwab used to do is assume that any remainder after dividing by $5 was a fee. Since foreign currency conversion almost never results in an even multiple of $5, I would get refunds even when no fee was charged. I don't know if Schwab still does it that way. I haven't been overseas in a couple of years, due to the pandemic.
  3. Yup, their Vantage-3-branded fako skores are still computed differently from other Vantage-3-branded fako skores. It still doesn't matter. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for skores to become relevant.
  4. Totally agree with @TheVig. I used credit cards to smooth my irregular business income from year to year. That worked for several years, which made me overconfident, but it led to a BK the next time a recession hit. When everything went south, I ended up having to get a regular job. It would have been much better if I had gotten a job earlier, instead of going into debt, rather than waiting until after it all fell apart. I am also concerned about the kind of thinking revealed by the language, "liquidating" a credit card. That shows the credit card is viewed as an asset, which it most certainly is not, as I learned the hard way. Any time you are paying interest, the credit card is not only an extreme liability, but an emergency.
  5. I should emphasize that my approach worked because all the negative events were behind me, and I could prove I was making progress toward resolving everything that was outstanding and preventing it from happening in the future. That means, at the very minimum, having payment plans for any outstanding debts, and a track record of sticking to them. The SOL is not going to help because it means not making restitution (although they don't require a payment plan for debts discharged by BK). One thing I forgot until now is that it seemed to be important to them whether the events that triggered my troubles were beyond my control or not. What they mean by "beyond my control" is not what I would have thought. It was surprising to me that they wanted it to be beyond my control. Their reasoning was that if it was within my control, then it might have been due to a compulsive personality trait that would resurface later. As it turns out, the trigger for me was a combination of serious medical problems, and business decline due to recession. That met their definition of being beyond my control, even though, from a personal responsibility point of view, I had to admit to myself that I would have survived those events without impact to my credit if I had been managing my finances more carefully.
  6. I had really horrible credit when I applied for a DoD TS. I had recently filed a Chapter 7 BK, had been sued by one of my creditors, and had many creditors, including the IRS and a state tax agency. I had a plan for correcting the problem and preventing it from happening again, and demonstrable month-by-month progress toward those ends. My approach was just to document and explain everything (and I mean everything) on my clearance application whether it appeared on my credit reports or not. I expected to get grilled heavily about all of it, and was prepared to present all my records if necessary. Instead, their reaction was, "Eh, stuff happens." They said they were more concerned about people being blackmailed, and my full disclosure demonstrated that I wasn't interested in hiding anything, so there was nothing anyone could use to blackmail me. I got the clearance with no hassles whatsoever, to my total surprise. If there is anything incorrect on your credit reports, I would get that removed ASAP. Other than that, don't limit yourself to what's showing on your reports when you fill out the clearance application. The worst thing that can happen is that you clean something valid off your reports, and don't mention it, and they find out about it through other means. Then they get really concerned about blackmail fodder. Just provide full disclosure and explanation, and demonstrate progress toward restitution and prevention. Consequently, what's on your credit reports doesn't matter unless it is incorrect. You're going to have to disclose it anyway, so it's no sweat if you haven't cleaned it off by the time you apply.
  7. So it began just before Thanksgiving? Good grief. That's always been a popular time for companies to have layoffs, so they don't have to pay people for holidays, but I didn't know it had any significance for evictions.
  8. That makes sense. I've tried to go the opposite direction, from a co-branded card (United) to a Chase-native card, and they wouldn't allow that either. They told me I couldn't PC into or out of a co-brand family.
  9. +1 This is why KYC is AFU. They have no business whatsoever knowing someone well enough to prove everything is kosher. Yet they insist on digging just deep enough to make people guilty until proven innocent.
  10. The Forbes article may be obsolete. Synchrony's web site says there is a 3% FTF for the PayPal Cashback Mastercard. https://www.synchronybankterms.com/gecrbterms/pdf/PAYPAL_CASHBACK_MASTERCARD.pdf
  11. Fidelity has a 1% FTF and the discontinued Alliant card has a 2% FTF. All the others that have an FTF are 3%. Wells Fargo is a little different. Its 3% fee is a "Foreign Currency Conversion Fee" where you can buy in a foreign country without fees as long as the charge is in US dollars.
  12. There is definitely interest here. I have also been nailed for purchases I didn't know were foreign. The FTF is a big consideration for me. Of the cards on your list, only the SDFCU, PenFed, and Capital One cards are free of an FTF.
  13. @PotO, I recommend keeping a close eye on your limit. Last year, Chase offered me a chance to opt out of a CLD. I called them and they told me that because of my call, they prevented the CLD. However, they chopped my limit in half anyway, and I had to call again to get it restored. Once you get one of those letters, it pays to check your limit every time you log in, regardless of what they tell you.
  14. I generally understate my income, but I don't go to elaborate tricks to smooth it. I report whatever it is right now, minus some safety factor. That may be more or less than last year's income, so past tax records are not an accurate representation of my current situation. That's in addition to the whole idea being offensive to me, as well as being insecure. There is no credit card I would value highly enough to comply with a 4506-T request. If they all required that, I'd rather live without credit cards.
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