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USAA AmEx and NFCU Visa usage / balance reporting methods... Advice?

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I'm pretty new to the credit card game, so bear with me please....

 

I have a new USAA AmEx (5k limit) and USAA World MC (6k), as well as a new NFCU Visa Sig card (17.5k). All of these are currently in their first billing period - no statements have cut yet.

 

I've been using the AmEx as a daily driver - groceries and gas (2x points) as well as daily dining out, and then every 3 or 4 days transferring enough funds into my USAA checking acct to cover the balance. When the time comes to pay it I'll use the transferred funds to PIF. I understand that AmEx is big on PIF and heavy use, and I want to look good for a CLI in 61 days.

 

The Visa has the highest limit and I plan to use it for "large" purchases (tires, emergencies, etc) that I might prefer to spread over 2 pay checks to avoid overextending cashflow. It'll occasionally mis a PIF by a half amount depending on timing (statement cuts the day I get paid or similar, I'll pay at least half of any major purchase per paycheck) - but I gave myself a ceiling of $1500 on balance so even if it does report it's sub 10% with some cushion, and it's one of the 1-2 cards I'll have to let report anyhow.

 

The World MC is really only for use if I'm resting the AmEx or Visa for a few days prior to statements cutting for balance reporting purposes, such as to keep a pending charge from reporting unexpectedly. I'll pay it off as soon as charges post as I don't really care about CLIs so much on it - if I can get them great but if they disapprove of multiple payments or light use it's really just a filler card for me and the current 6k is more than adequate.

 

My questions are these:

 

1- I understand that if I let the statement cut on AmEx then they will report the balance. However, I've also read that PIF just before the statement cuts nullifies any points/rewards for that period (if they don't post they don't count for rewards). If so, It seems I have to choose between accruing rewards or preventing the reporting of a balance? Is this the case or have I misunderstood one/both of the above points.

 

2- Any glaring problems with this overall plan? Keep in mind I'm a total CC noob - these are my first cards other than toy cards in my entire life. I'm still in a rebuilding stage so I'm watching the scores pretty closely while I clear out my last couple of baddies (scores now ranging from 675-700). That being said I'm not looking to app for anything or make any major purchases in the near future so they're more for my own edification and accountability than real world impact. The only significant implication is that I do want to look responsible to AmEx on any softs as I understand they keep an eye in new accounts. I will eventually want another AmEx which will allow me to use C$ for B* (My EQ has about 9 on it and I'm C* due to not knowing about ScoreWatch putting me on the list back when I started out), and the USAA AmEx doesn't offer the service.

 

Thoughts? Advice?

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1 is wrong, unless you are referring to the Plum card.

Meaning that I can PIF any time after using the card for a purchase and still get points for said purchase?

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Your Amex is not a real Amex.

 

No PIF boost and no 61 day CLI.

 

That only applies to Centurion Bank issued Amex.

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Wasn't aware of that.

 

Guess I'll app a real one then...

Edited by b75

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Yeah that's why it doesn't work for C$ either.

Makes perfect sense in retrospect, didn't realize it was a completely separate card - like I said, I'm about as big a CC novice as can be found.

 

I'll chalk this one up to a lesson learned and just use the USAA as a rotation/emergency card once I get a real AmEx in my portfolio.

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Based on the info given here, I app'd for the AmEx BCE Card last night and was approved for $5.9k CL. It's well below my NFCU Visa but right in there with my USAA Cards - and it's a REAL AmEx, lol. Rep even told me to "be sure and ask for your credit line increase after 60 days".

 

 

Live and learn... I suppose the two USAA cards will be my emergency cards and the BCE will be my new daily driver. NFCU Visa will share the heavy lifting. Luckily both USAA cards came with a single pull, so all I really cost myself was a little AAOA and an extra CL to manage.

 

 

Thanks, gents!

Edited by b75

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Based on the info given here, I app'd for the AmEx BCE Card last night and was approved for $5.9k CL. It's well below my NFCU Visa but right in there with my USAA Cards - and it's a REAL AmEx, lol. Rep even told me to "be sure and ask for your credit line increase after 60 days".

 

 

Live and learn... I suppose the two USAA cards will be my emergency cards and the BCE will be my new daily driver. NFCU Visa will share the heavy lifting. Luckily both USAA cards came with a single pull, so all I really cost myself was a little AAOA and an extra CL to manage.

 

 

Thanks, gents!

 

Congrats on the approval.... nice move...

 

 

 

Yeah that's why it doesn't work for C$ either.

Makes perfect sense in retrospect, didn't realize it was a completely separate card - like I said, I'm about as big a CC novice as can be found.

 

I'll chalk this one up to a lesson learned and just use the USAA as a rotation/emergency card once I get a real AmEx in my portfolio.

 

 

Stick around long enough, and you'll find that isn't true :wave:

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