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    Lots - fine wine, good dining, home rehabs ... and of course improving credit!
  1. Resurrecting this old thread ... just gave FInovera a try ... HOLY CRAP it works with 99% of EVERYTHING I have - banks, credit unions, investments, and every card from SYNC (Lowes, Chevron, Walmart, TJX), Comenity (everything BUT the overstock store card DH had). Even some of the smaller ones I did not expect it to work with - Nationwide Bank (VPI Visa) and FNBO, It also differentiated between my two PayPals to capture the SmartConnect (SYNC) and PayPalCredit (BML, Comenity). There are some oddities - not capturing statements from my CU or Nationwide, but I'm going to let it work overnight - it seems to be doing a lot of updates in the background. This _may_ just be the single-point cloud filing system I've been dreaming of for 15 years. I'm currently a Paytrust user for bill pay - but it's woefully bad in that it can't grab nearly 1/2 of my bills.
  2. It's across the board for folks with ultra-low rates that somehow managed to keep them before the crash. Back in 2009-2010 they did a massive portfolio repricing and at that time, and it was "accept the new rate on existing balances and new purchases ... or close the account". My Blue went from 7.99% to 15.24%. With the new regulations, they can't raise rates on existing balances anymore.
  3. Amex has a $75 annual fee ... so factor that into the equation. If you spend more on groceries, it can make a little more money back on Amex, but that only happens once you hit $312/month in groceries. BUT if you also mix in Amazon and Gas, Sallie Mae can be more advantageous. Sallie Mae caps out at $250 in groceries for 5% - after that it goes to 1%. BUT... you also get 5% on gas (up to $250) and the big bonus ... most Amazon purchases up to $750 get 5% (some electronic and subscription stuff doesn't ,but for me just about everything from Amazon and their marketplace sellers seems to go at 5%). Sallie Mae also has a longer intro BT 0% rate if that makes any difference to you (18 mos vs 6), but their lowest interest rate tier is 13.9% vs. 12.99% for Amex. Basically - at 250 in groceries, 150 on Amazon, 100 on gas, and 200 on everything else, I'm getting about $324 back on Sallie vs. $159 on Amex BCP.
  4. I've poked around the pre-approval Chase site a few times over the last year - for many months it was the "no offers" answer ... then in October it gave me Freedom @ 18.9% or Sapphire for 15.24% - I wasn't impressed with either, so I went on my merry way and got a Barclay SallieMae. Apparently that spooked Chase and I went back to the "no offers" for a few months. This AM I got a Freedom @ 13.99 or Sapphire at 15.24%. Being of the "get it while you can" mentality, I went for the Freedom and got an instant 8k.
  5. I do not believe that is possible ... if you did the pre-qual and it said "congrats ... click here to accept" then that would be a hard inq. Otherwise, it's a soft and doesn't guarantee you'll get the card, just that you were above the score threshold (and other characteristics) they are looking for. If someone did make a hard inquiry and you did not authorize it explicitly - you may be able to have it removed by contacting the bank. However, a 40-point drop is very abnormal for inquiries ... I've seen my score drop 1 or 2 for a single inquiry and 10 points for 3 inquiries over a 2 week period. Care to share which sites you went to-- that may help...
  6. Followed the advice here and tried to get a CLI on my Costco card at month 3 ... declined due to payments not high enough (it was during the 0% intro period, so I only paid 200-300 per month and rolled a 3k balance on a 9.6k limit). At month 6 I made a few $800 payments to get the balance down and this AM got a love note - 3k increase without any ask. This may be the first "auto CLI" I've seen from Amex on any card since 2008 (not including the lifting of my pre-set limit on my Business Platinum card earlier last year). So if you don't get a CLI at 61 days - stay tuned, it may be that 6 months is the "auto CLI" marker?
  7. Nothing changes when you downgrade to the Bronze - it's not a World card so no "no preset spending limit" but open date, credit line, APR all stay the same. I downgraded from the Executive card and did get a new account # but the reporting didn't change. For those of us who are Gold, Platinum, or Exec. Platinum level with AAdvantage, the first bag free and priority boarding are already part of our frequent flyer bennies so we don't need it from the card.
  8. cv91915 - last time I redeemed a free night, the bill came in under the door at $0 - the reward redemption included all of the local taxes & fees (this was at a Doubletree)... hopefully that will stay the same!
  9. mendelssohn - it does seem like they are trying to compete with the more general rewards cards, which goes against their traditional brand message of being for travelers. Back before it was a MasterCard, the only places you could really use it were transportation, hotel, rental car, restaurant, and a very, very few select retailers. Will be interesting to see how it all develops over the next year... if they want to compete with the general cards, why not do that with the Harris cards (https://www.bmoharris.com/main/personal/credit-cards) ? BTW the BMOHarris cards are a "meh" for rewards .... Earn 1 point for every $1, then redeem 50,000 points = $500 gift card, so that = 1% rewards for a $75 AF.
  10. I'm a long-time Hilton Diamond member ... and just wanted to say Gold benefits are just about as good as Diamond so you do get value there. BUT ... points have really been devalued over the last few years. $75 AF to get 80,000 points means you're paying $.0009375 per point - but that's not what really counts ... it's the value when you redeem. As an example - NYC hotels in late January are $194/night or 70,000 points ... so there you have a valuation of $.0027 per point. Another example - Hilton Waikiki Beach in late January is $303/night or 114,840 points ... valuation $.0026 per point. There are "sales" during the year where you can make your points do more - definitely worth watching for those.
  11. Yup... I was totally mixing up the transcripts vs. the actual forms. Transcripts include total amounts of charitable contributions, alimony, and stuff like that ... I was going off of my last experience with a mortgage where they requested the complete tax return package which included all of the forms files with full data... the transcript is only a summary. https://www.accuverify.com/1040-tax-transcript-sample.pdf
  12. WFFNB is Wells Fargo Financial National Bank - not Comenity (which used to be WFNNB - World Financial Network National Bank). Easy to get those two mixed up, just an F and an N different ! Wells has a bunch of retail programs - could it be a furniture store or something like that? Comenity cards all report as CCB/<partnername> - and as of now, my BML still doesn't show (which I like since I tend to max it out on 0% interest and pay it off before they charge anything).
  13. The full 4506T has a ton of data included ... your dependents, if joint - your spouses employment info - your alimony/child support payments, medical deductions, which charities you give to, what kind of employee deductions you claim, disaster losses, other catastrophic losses and carry-overs. It's not just verification of income - it's a whole lot more. I don't like mortgage companies asking for it ... but it's a FNMA requirement, and usually a big loan, so I get it. I'm not worried about my small lender using that data for other purposes. But Amex ... allowing them to pull that kind of data into their India-based financial review unit ... I just don't like the idea and pushed back HARD when they asked for mine. I finally was able to have them accept my accountant's statements and bank statements as enough to satisfy their need for info.
  14. Guys, Diners has an appeal for a specific population (primarily frequent travelers) - that's where the benefits are targeted. At least that's the Premier, Professional, and Corporate cards. I don't understand the Elite having grocery & pharmacy bonus categories. The benefits for travelers are - transfer of points to many airline or hotel programs (sometimes with 20-50% bonus), - primary car rental insurance (as in you don't have to report to your own auto insurer first ... which can be a big deal if anything happens - I know, I've had to use it twice and each time saved my flowers from having to pay anything and risk my rates going up). - Airport lounge access (I'm not a fan of their lounges - but it's there) For everyone else, 13.15% is pretty decent for a rewards card (everyone else is at 15.24-19.24%). Whether or not reporting is a benefit depends on your situation. I have >300k in available credit, I don't need the bump, but I do LOVE the idea of a hidden TL to handle the day-to-day stuff and not have to worry about a few thousand dollars causing any blips in the scoring models. I've got all of the other cards - Citi (Advantage & Hilton), Amex (Plat, SPG), Chase (Marriott, United) and Diners has enough benefit to me to justify the AF. It has the Pro card for years - since 1996 - and ever since BMO took it over it's been smooth sailing. I was actually one of the focus group members about 1.5 years ago when BMO started testing various benefit changes for a new product - and I see many of those features became real when they launched. I think merging with M&I and trying to integrate that into the Canadian systems has taken a toll - but as I said, overall, it works for me. YMMV. Does anyone have experience with the Harris / M&I consumer cards? I think that's where some of our customer service is coming from.
  15. Wow y'all are a bunch of negative nancies here! They are FAR from amateur. BMO is one of the largest banks ... and in the years I've had my Professional card they have been delightful to deal with. All of my points xfers have gone off without a hitch, they have always been great on the phone with any issues - a few fraud problems, change of address/new card issues, etc. As for the PIN issues, it's a whole different game with CHIP+PIN cards - the PIN is encrypted into the chip, and has to be written to the card when you change it. Our ATMs here don't play well with this EMV system yet - so this is a workaround. As more banks move to this system in the next year it will get easier and more commonplace. I'm happy to say ... so far, so good.

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