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  1. Hi There! And welcome back to CB! I can't speak to what Chase will hammer you in interest for using their balance transfer checks (perhaps someone else here can?), but the ones that Citi sent me have a very exciting interest rate of 23.240% per annum that kicks in after 15 months. Meaning that, unless you pay the money back in full before 15 months have elapsed, your cheap house will become a very expensive house in a relatively short time. While I can understand the temptation that presents itself when credit card companies issue those checks, paying 23.240% a year to borrow money probably isn't best deal out there. And getting the best deal is the "CB way," even if we have to wait a while in order to be eligible for it. I, too, am fond of numbers, and the more hard-and-fast they are, the better I like them. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of voodoo involved in credit scoring. So while I wish I had some sort of hard-and-fast number to give you, the only advice I feel comfortable giving would be: sit back for six months, then see what your credit scores are like at that point. I'll be the first to agree with you that waiting six months is a long time to wait, but try not to think of it as waiting; view it, instead, as cultivating patience.
  2. Hello Everyone, I am a newly-minted Citi DC cardholder. However, a couple of burning questions have already cropped up concerning the timing of my payments and I am hoping that a few long-time DC cardholders will see this and, using their experience with the card, can school me on how things actually work versus my perception of how they might work. Part one: Does anyone know whether Citi looks at statement balances when they are trying to work out how much money I typically run through the card every month? Or do they look, instead, at my spending day-by-day and average that out when they are trying to ascertain how much money I typically run through the card? (I am assuming that how much money I run through the card will be a factor if/when I apply for a CLI in the future, which is why I ask. Of course, I could be mistaken in this belief.) Part two: has anyone ever run into any problems with collecting the 1% cash back that DC cardholders are supposed to get when they pay off their purchases by paying off the card entirely/in large part before the statement cut? Part two came up because, in the course of seeking an answer to part one, I ended up being transferred from a CSR over to a so-called "account manager" (versus a "credit specialist," which is who I really wanted to talk to). For reasons that are unclear (even after follow-up calls to Citi), this account manager advised me not to make payments on the card until after the statement cuts because making payments before the statements cuts might "confuse the tracker" (her phrase). (By "tracker," I am guessing she meant the software Citi uses to keep track of purchases and when those purchases are paid off so cardholders can collect their 1% on each event. However, by then we had strayed so far from my original question that I did not have the presence of mind ask a follow-up question as to what the deuce she was talking about.) Any insights you could share would be greatly appreciated.
  3. IIRC, sometime during 2008/2009 Chase instituted a wacky new policy whereby if you wanted to make a payment with one of their reps over the phone, they would charge a fee of ~$9.95. (Needless to say, this new policy wasn't at all popular with their cardholders and Chase didn't keep it around for long, if I remember it right.) Does anyone recall a) the precise year Chase pulled this stunt and b ) the amount of the service fee they attempted to charge? Edit: awkward phrasing
  4. Has anyone here ever been faced with a relative who was constantly blowing up their credit? And, because you previously (and rashly) demonstrated rudimentary knowledge of credit cards and credit, you soon found yourself appointed by the rest of the family as "owner and trainer" in much the same way Rudd Weatherwax was for Lassie? (To be clear: I don't mean someone in your family who has made an innocent mistake or two I mean someone who can't/won't realise that anything purchased on credit must eventually be paid for, who spends money like water, and who seems to be under the impression that the immutable laws of mathematics [e.g. minimum payments] simply do not apply to them? ) If so, can you please tell me how you coped with the situation? Patient, one-on-one advice and instruction has gone nowhere and multiple pleas from me to drop by CB and be put wise have also gone unheeded. I would hate to think that relocating to Burkina Faso and neglecting to leave a forwarding address is the best solution, but things certainly seem to be heading in that direction. Does anyone have a coping strategy for inept, credit card-wielding relatives they could share that does not involve taking up residence in a Western African republic?
  5. Hey All, A few years back (2009-ish) AMEX (to name an issuer at random) frowned upon micropayments as a sign of financial instability. However, the credit landscape appears to have changed quite a bit since 2009 and my understanding is that cardholders PIF is much more common a consumer behaviour in 2015 than it was a half-decade ago. My question is this: since PIF is much more common now, does that mean that issuers (or at least -some- issuers) no longer look askance at a cardholder who makes micropayments? Or are micropayments -still- considered taboo by some (if not all) issuers?
  6. Honestly, I think that once you realise the difference between wants (i.e. things you would like to have, but can actually do without) and needs (i.e. things you need to have, or you will suffer), you're halfway home to controlling your finances. For the sake of the person whom I have in mind, I can only hope that making the distinction between wants and needs does not become more difficult to make with advancing age.
  7. Just a "thank you" to everyone who took the time and trouble to reply. Based on the responses, I'm left with the impression that, while it is indeed possible for someone in their 50's to grasp how credit works, it's not necessarily probable, depending on the individual in question.
  8. As a matter of curiosity, does The Great Firewall extend to HK as well? In the past it did not, but now they have a Monkey Wall that gets used every once in a while -- especially these days when they have the Pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong. To make matters worse, they never fine-tune their targets and instead just cut off wide sections of IP space. Without a VPN I cannot access Nationwide Bank credit card accounts via the bank's homepage, but if I go directly to the secondary screen where you enter your login details it's ok. I can log into Barclays Banking, but cannot access the online statement feature because it redirects to blocked space. I dream of using enhanced interrogation techniques on those affiliated with The Great Firewall. Between ourselves, it has always been my wish that the Chinese would have the wisdom to treat HK as the Cash Cow it was/is and (largely) leave it alone. I can only hope that they exercise some restraint so that they don't end up cutting off their nose to spite their face (so to speak). (Yeah, I know: some hope.) Anyway, thank you for the reply. It's always good to hear from someone who has to deal with this stuff on a day-to-day basis.
  9. As a matter of curiosity, does The Great Firewall extend to HK as well?
  10. Sorry, do you mean, "How do I include a picture in my posts?" Or by "attachment," do you mean an emoticon like this: In the first case, when you open up a "reply" window to post, you should see a set of icons near the top of the reply window. One of the icons (located three icons to the left of the Twitter icon) is the "image" icon; clicking on that icon opens up a window that allows you to key in a URL for an image you would like to insert in your post. In the latter case, the "emoticon" icon is just above the "image" icon and slightly to the right. Clicking on it should open up a small window at the bottom of the "reply" screen that shows some of the emoticons available. If you click on the "show all" link underneath, you'll get another, separate window that will list all (or at least most) of the available emoticons. Hope that helps.
  11. OP: I apologise for steering you wrong on that one. (It's a good thing crow tastes like chicken.)
  12. Got it. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to clarify that point.
  13. Whoa, careful. My understanding is that one of the parameters used to figure out your FICO score is AAOA (Average Age of Accounts). Closing a card that dates from 2012 could well have an adverse effect on your credit score, as creditors will see that your credit history effectively dates from 2015. (Perhaps one of the old-timers could chime in here and inform us both as to how big an impact such a move will likely have?)
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