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Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Old Feb 15th 2018, 2:56 pm
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Default Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Hi all,

I moved to the US in late 2016 and got my first credit card, a Capital One with a $500 credit limit in January 2017, which increased to a $750 limit in August 2017.

**ETA: Just got an email saying my Captial One card now has a $1750 limit**

I'm not a heavy credit card user, as I mainly use it for internet purchases etc and always pay if off in full each month, but I realise it is important to build up credit and that is one method (I have a car loan along with phone contract being another, and this summer we are intending to buy our first home, so that will be a big help too).

Since last summer when I finally gained employment, I have considered getting an extra credit card to increase my available credit, and also have one that 1. Offers cashback incentives and 2. Is regarded as a good credit card rather than one that anyone can get. I applied for one at my bank last September but it was rejected due to little credit history. The same result when I tried in December for a CITI card.

I don't want to apply too often as I know a hard pull on your credit report can lower it so how do I know when my credit score will be sufficient to get approved on one of these cards? My current provider allows me to check my credit score (currently 724).

Of course I've gotten lots of pre-approval letters from Credit wise, Discover, and goodness knows who else on cards with a low limit and high rates/annual fees. While I haven't had any pre-approval from them, I like the look of the Sams Club (like Costco) card as they have 5% cash back on gas, which is nearly always where I fill up but as I say, I don't know whether to apply yet if my credit score isn't sufficient.

Does anyone have any good/bad things to say about CITI or PNC credit cards over Sams Club? Do people have just one card or multiple?

Last edited by Harveyspecter; Feb 15th 2018 at 2:59 pm.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

There is no automatic benefit to having more credit cards, especially if you don't use them much, or at least you will get the same benefit from one card with a large limit as having two cards each with half the limit - it is usage/limit that is included in your credit score, so increasing your limit(s) helps you score if usage remains constant.

So perhaps you can lean on Cap One to jack up your limit - which may mean not paying off the balance in full, because the surest way to get a bigger limit is to use up the entire available credit on the card, then tell them (customer service) you need a higher limit. That will usually trigger a conversation with their credit department, and they'll ask about your salary/ income. If that is your only card I'd be surprised if you can't get them to bump it up to at least $5k.

Personally, if you are planning to apply for a mortgage in the summer, I wouldn't be applying for more credit cards now that you can do without. Not least because every credit application knocks your credit score down a few points.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Ok, good to know Pulaski, thank you as always.

I'm perfectly happy with the Capital One card tbh, it has no annual fee and as I say more than covers my spending needs. If I did get it bumped up to $5k, is there any need to change to any other card? By that I mean are some cards considered better than others in light of my getting a CO card but getting refused a CITI card for example.

P.S. I don't know if you noticed it but I mentioned the new Bullitt Mustang in the cars thread, sweet car!
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Credit score isn't the be all and end all for acquiring a mortgage. Search "manual underwriting".

A local credit union performed this for me and my wife as at the time I wasn't an LPR and most lenders wouldn't touch me.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Credit unions are great. Now starting to catch in on our side of the pond but they are MASSIVE in the USA. i am sure that Pulaski disapproves of them, though.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by Harveyspecter View Post
Ok, good to know Pulaski, thank you as always.

I'm perfectly happy with the Capital One card tbh, it has no annual fee and as I say more than covers my spending needs. If I did get it bumped up to $5k, is there any need to change to any other card? By that I mean are some cards considered better than others in light of my getting a CO card but getting refused a CITI card for example. ....
The type of credit card, or the issuer, doesn't make a scrap of difference to your credit score, no difference whatsoever.

If you had a fancy platinum or black card, with a high limit, from Amex or Chase that would be a reflection that you already have a high credit score, not that the fancy card helped you get a high score.
P.S. I don't know if you noticed it but I mentioned the new Bullitt Mustang in the cars thread, sweet car!
All Mustangs are cool, at least those that have enough cylinders. I briefly considered a Bullitt in 2002, but I think that model looks under-dressed without the spoiler, and the Bullitt came without one, so mine is just a GT.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Credit unions are great. Now starting to catch in on our side of the pond but they are MASSIVE in the USA. i am sure that Pulaski disapproves of them, though.
My car loan is through a credit union. Thought I'll really embarrass myself and confess I don't understand the difference between a credit union and a bank.

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
The type of credit card, or the issuer, doesn't make a scrap of difference to your credit score, no difference whatsoever.

If you had a fancy platinum or black card, with a high limit, from Amex or Chase that would be a reflection that you already have a high credit score, not that the fancy card helped you get a high score.
Thanks

All Mustangs are cool, at least those that have enough cylinders. I briefly considered a Bullitt in 2002, but I think that model looks under-dressed without the spoiler, and the Bullitt came without one, so mine is just a GT.
When I worked at Ford before emigrating, a lot of the top brass were pleasantly surprised that the V8 in the UK outsold the 2.3 Ecoboost.

Yes the 2019 comes with a spoiler delete too, but you can always retro fit one. I won't be buying new while the hype is still around but in a few years I'm planning on getting one, love them to bits!
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by Harveyspecter View Post
.... When I worked at Ford before emigrating, a lot of the top brass were pleasantly surprised that the V8 in the UK outsold the 2.3 Ecoboost. ....
If I was the CEO of Ford I would be concerned that the management in the UK had so little grasp of the market that they are supposed to be serving!

That said, I fear that Ford's US management have also lost the plot, as they're pushing smaller engines with fewer cylinders, and have mostly dropped the option to buy a manual. Apart from a couple of the Mustangs I have mostly lost interest in buying Fords.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by Harveyspecter View Post
My car loan is through a credit union. Thought I'll really embarrass myself and confess I don't understand the difference between a credit union and a bank.
The fundamental difference is that banks are for profit, credit unions "are not." Of course they have to be in the black to keep operating, but they don't have shareholders.

A credit union will also have some specific rules around who they allow to be a member. E.g. veterans, teachers, etc.

The big difference once you're a member is that a credit union will be much more likely to work with you and your personal situation - for me this was attaining a mortgage.

If you fall on hard times they will probably be more lenient around payments compared to a big national bank.

When I moved to the US I had wells fargo. They were great with setting up an account for a new migrant. Since then I have closed and solely bank with my credit union.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by Harveyspecter View Post
My car loan is through a credit union. Thought I'll really embarrass myself and confess I don't understand the difference between a credit union and a bank.
A US credit union equates to UK building societies of old before they all became banks.

Credit Unions tend to be small, local institutions where the customers are 'members'. Most are geographically limited to a single state and sometimes a single city.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
The big difference once you're a member is that a credit union will be much more likely to work with you and your personal situation .....
That's your opinion, not a fact. My experience has been that a local bank can be extremely accommodating, with loans staff meeting after hours or on a weekend if I can't get there during office hours.

On one occasion Mrs P and I met a senior loan officer in hiz office on a Saturday when the bank was closed. He was wearing shorts and an untucked shirt, was barefoot, and had Led Zeppelin playing on a CD player!
Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
.... Credit Unions tend to be small, local institutions ..... Most are geographically limited to a single state and sometimes a single city.
Bizarrely the same is true of banks. I believe that the median size bank (line them all up, and find the one at the centre of the line) by number of branches is still only "2 branches".

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 15th 2018 at 4:08 pm.
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Old Feb 15th 2018, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That's your opinion, not a fact. My experience has been that a local bank can be extremely accommodating...
I see what you're saying and I do see local banks in a more positive light. However, when the average Joe says "banks" they tend to mean wells, boa, etc.
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Old Feb 16th 2018, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Will add to Tom’s post about credit unions being a big help.

Me and my wife are looking to purchase later in the year. Even though we’re not in a position to pull the trigger on anything right now, they’ve been extremely valuable to us by pointing us in the right direction of what we need to do to be ready when the time comes.
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Old Feb 16th 2018, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

My credit score has come along in leaps and bounds since using my credit card for just gas purchases and two auto loans in the last six months.

It's over 700 despite taking a wallop both times the dealerships looked for finance.
I have found that it doesn't seem to matter how high my credit score goes, or the fact that I have had a reasonable length of steady employment at levels above the 'living wage', (as well as numerous 'pre-approved' spam) when it actually comes to extracting monies from lenders I've had to have the missus co-sign, despite her score being lower, because 'not enough credit history'.
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Old Feb 16th 2018, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Credit cards - How to step up from Capital One?

Originally Posted by zzrmark View Post
My credit score has come along in leaps and bounds since using my credit card for just gas purchases and two auto loans in the last six months.

It's over 700 despite taking a wallop both times the dealerships looked for finance.
I have found that it doesn't seem to matter how high my credit score goes, or the fact that I have had a reasonable length of steady employment at levels above the 'living wage', (as well as numerous 'pre-approved' spam) when it actually comes to extracting monies from lenders I've had to have the missus co-sign, despite her score being lower, because 'not enough credit history'.
Credit history is King, score is a close queen.

But one should remember that the credit scoring systems are flawed. They report on money borrowed and repaid. They are not indicative of wealth.
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