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Everything posted by Flashman

  1. As it happens, I do make a statement...of sorts...when I hand over my card. It may not be the sort of statement you are likely to see in any credit card commercials, however. After fumbling through several pockets for the wretched thing (which may take some time), a quick, furtive glance about is followed by my handing the card du jour to the clerk in a diffident, near-apologetic manner. Any last vestiges of goodwill on the part of the clerk toward me are swiftly destroyed by my directing my gaze floorward, ceilingward, back at the queue of now-mystified people, etc. Anywhere but at the clerk. In short, I have a marked tendency to hand over my card in such a way as to give the person to whom I am handing it every reason to believe the card has been stolen. I realise this thread is about the best-looking card, but the most impressive card to my mind, at least, is one that would render the bearer invisible. (I expect it would impress a fair number of other people, too.)
  2. Are most card companies good about letting a prospective applicant know whether they discount/ignore AU accounts if they call and ask?
  3. I was listening to a credit repair consultant (well, a self-titled one, anyway) recently and they mentioned something about FICO 10 that I found rather unsettling. Briefly, this person made the claim that, under the FICO 8 model, a consumer could borrow up to 30% of their total available credit and their credit score would not be negatively affected; so far so good. The disturbing bit was that she then went on to claim that under the FICO 10 model, a consumer could now borrow up to 50% of their total tradelines without any adverse effects. Sounds good, yes? Well, the catch is that if the consumer does not borrow 50% of their tradelines, their credit score under FICO 10 can be expected to go down. This person then went on to lament that a fair number of her clients were now going into debt in order to maintain a high score. Is there anything to this? Or were they talking rot? I am not sure how seriously to take this claim myself, but I am sure someone here does.
  4. Wasn't there a running joke on CB at one time that went something like: 1) Get a cash advance 2) At a Walmart 3) In Las Vegas (the closer to the Strip, the better) ...and you need not fret over renewing your card because Amex would almost certainly cancel it?
  5. From the article: Interesting. I was led to understand that consumer exposure for debit cards was greater than that for credit cards. That is, banks have less incentive to react to debit card fraud because it is the consumer's money that is at stake when fraud takes place rather than the issuing bank's Perhaps that has changed and I simply have not kept up with the times. I certainly hope that is the case, as a nearly twenty percent jump in spending in the past year might mean a great deal of unpleasantness for the unsuspecting should fraud take place.
  6. Perhaps a more likely possibility is that C1 works both ends of the spectrum? Once upon a time, there was a running joke around here that large issuers like C1 had an ultra-modern glass and steel skyscraper to serve prime customers...and a tin shanty 'round the back for their subprime ones. As TheVig suggested earlier, it sounds like C1 and their algorithms could probably do with an update. If it were me, I would probably give the company a call, ask to speak with a credit analyst, and politely quiz them on why it was I was getting the short end of the stick from them. I don't know if that would do any practical good in your own case, but I have always felt the need for person-to-person contact in credit matters. It is all-too-easy for an algorithm to give you the short end of the stick whereas a human being might work with you if you are polite and act a bit mystified.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. As a matter of curiosity, does The Great Firewall extend to HK as well?
  16. 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.
  17. OP: I apologise for steering you wrong on that one. (It's a good thing crow tastes like chicken.)
  18. Got it. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to clarify that point.
  19. 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?)
  20. Ah, thank you for pointing out the AAOA angle. In my fretting over dropping FICO points and/or "too many recent inquiries" spooking potential creditors, I managed to overlook the fact that your AAOA is also affected when you apply for any new card. However, I was hoping you could clarify this bit: I believe (but am not sure) what you were saying there, in essence, is, "There's no harm in acquiring a new store card provided (in addition to other factors) that you're willing to maintain it long enough for the age of the account to be near/exceed your AAOA before you stop taking steps to keep it active." Er, do I have that right?
  21. Hmm, good idea on the DCU membership (just a $5 savings account and a no fee checking account). Since most of the INQ are not on EQ, and then he can start getting a free FICO EQ04 score. He already has 3 identical free TU08 scores from those new cards (assuming Barclays doesn't close their card down when they see what he did). Oh, is Barclays particularly sensitive to new accounts?
  22. Yup. Civics and Banking and all sorts of great classes. 8th grade. Mandatory. I skipped college. You don't have to respond if you don't feel like it, but: May I ask what (approximate) timeframe this was? The reason I ask is because the Civics and Banking classes you describe strike me as the sort of useful and practical instruction that has been absent from schools for quite some time.
  23. By "usually still suck," do you mean suck as far as, say, APR and other lending terms are concerned? Or do you mean "usually still suck" in the sense that they actually damage one's FICO score (as opposed to having no effect, one way or the other)? (Sorry, I'm just trying to better pin down the exact cause of the suckiness here.)
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