Saturday, August 6, 2016

Credit Cards and Terms made easy

I am not sure how far it is true. But referral links seem to help some people get credit cards quicker than if they try to apply for the card themselves.

Just as an FYI, some people wonder what it is to have a credit card and what does it entitle you to 
  • Credit line- This is your spending limit
  • Cash access- When you use your credit card to withdraw money like a debit card
  • FICO score/credit score- It measures your credit worthiness to credit card companies. It is a BIG deal in the States, at least if you planning to buy a house or take a huge loan. A good number is anywhere >700 I believe and an ideal number is >750. This site is useful for people interested in knowing more about credit scores. Factors that impact the score

    1. Payment history (35%) Timely payments on all your accounts can help you get a higher score. The score is lowered for late payments, delinquent or over limit accounts, bankruptcies, and liens.
    2. Total amount you owe (30%) This is the ratio of what you owe to the amount of your available credit or your debt-to-credit ratio. A high credit card balance can lower your credit score as it may reflect difficulty affording your monthly payments. However, if you have a high credit limit and you keep your balances low, your debt-to-credit ratio will be low, so a higher credit limit can help you protect your good credit score. But this is only the case if you continue to keep your balances low.
    3. Length of credit history (15%) This shows how long you've been using credit and how well (or poorly) you've managed your finances in the past.
    4. New credit accounts and inquiries (10%) This includes accounts you've opened recently and recent inquiries from companies you've applied to for credit. Be aware that applying for too much credit can lower your score.
    5. Types of credit in use (10%) This includes all your credit accounts—credit cards, installment loans, mortgages and other types of credit.
  • You can also use credit score checking sites like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame which helps to keep track off credit checks on your account


Example for the use of a credit card-

I want to buy a 4K item but I have only 2k in my BANK account. For people from my country where debit is the mode of payment, one would have to wait till you have the money to buy things and only then can you buy it. This is where a credit card comes into play, it gives you the power to pay for stuff that you DO NOT have money for at the moment. So say I have a credit line of 5k, now I can definitely buy this item since it WITHIN my spending capacity, in other words, I have an invisible amount of 5k which can be used to buy it. Now the only trick is that you HAVE to pay off this balance before the set due date on your credit card. So you have to link your bank account to this credit card and pay off the amount you spend on it. PLEASE NOTE YOU HAVE A DEADLINE for payments, so if you are sure you WON'T have the ACTUAL money to pay off the credit card DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT BUY the item.

People do say that one should not MAX out a credit card. It means, if I am not mistaken, DO NOT over spend. So say the item was 6k and your credit card limit is 5k, then sorry to say my friend YOU CANNOT buy the item ONLY on the credit card. However, you can pay 4.99k from the credit card and the rest from the 2k that you have in your bank account. Once again a reminder YOU HAVE to pay off the credit card before the due date for the card.

Now coming to the actual credit cards for people, the following are some credit cards that I have which I feel are useful

This was my first credit card. I got it when I had no history and I guess the referral from my friend made the difference, since I know of people who did not use a referral and were rejected. So in case you want a referral this is my referral link
Pros
-         I feel the cash back bonus in different categories is extremely useful. Details can be found here
-         Also, link this card to your Amazon account and see the rewards building.
-         There is a promo that at the end of your first year, they will double your reward points which is pretty good
-         You can also get referral bonus of 50 bucks which is a pretty sweet deal to be frank
-         You get your FICO score for free on a monthly basis (when you have at least 6 months of history if you are an IMG like me)
Cons
-         International transactions are charged an extra of 3%
-         It at times is NOT accepted everywhere

This is one of the steady cards that I know off. I heard rumors of this card shutting down since there is Freedom Unlimited, but I highly doubt it. This is a card one must get once your Discover card starts showing you a FICO score. So in case you want a referral this is my referral link
Pros
-         The card is by Chase, which is a big name in the banking sector
-         Rotating 5% reward categories like Discover, calendar can be found here
-         You earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
-         Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
Cons
-         You don’t get a FICO score like Discover

A sleek metal card design which was my BIGGEST reason to get the card. So in case you want a referral this is my referral link
Pros
-         You earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. (I now it is a A HUGE AMOUNT, but guess offering to spend for others helps here)  
-         For those who travel and eat A LOT, you get 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
-         Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening- You can add random person and once they swipe destroy the card
-         $0 foreign transaction fees- This is another awesome feature when traveling outside the States
-         1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points- I have NOT used this feature but it is really enticing
-         Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Cons
-         Annual fee after the first year $95, which though is high I feel is worth the cash back
-         You don’t get a FICO score like Discover

That's all folks for now!

2 comments:

  1. Wont having so many credit cards decrease your credit score?

    ReplyDelete
  2. As long as you are not planning anything big in the near future you are good. Furthermore more credit cards will actually help you build your score quicker, since your credit worthiness is the sum total of your credit line.

    ReplyDelete