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  #1  
Old 10-26-2003, 05:01 PM
dieselnewbie's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: San Diego
Posts: 12
Question Credit Cards

Hello all,

I am currently a student, with absolutely no credit history. I am looking into changing that by getting a credit card aimed for students. I do have a job, and have been trying to save for the future. I understand these are dangerous things, because of the many horror stories I hear about people being in debt. I would definitely make sure to pay off the card each month In Full!. However having a credit card is also a necessity, to fly, pay for a hotel, purchase things online etc, qualify for a loan (referring to credit history) to buy a nice Mercedes etc.

I would hope to find something with a low APR and no annual fee.

I am curious to hear what some of the members here think about the best option for credit cards. Are the rewards programs offered any good? (For example the discover card cashback, or any of the frequent flier miles programs).

Well thanks for reading!

-Al
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2003, 07:12 PM
2.5 TURBO
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Send me back to Atlanta
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Try This

http://cardweb.com/

shop around at banks and credit unions for the best rates..
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2003, 07:37 PM
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Location: Evansville WI
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I had the ATT card for quite awhile. I was actually a charter member, this was when you needed something special to make a call using a credit card. Now I don't think it matters, most any credit card will allow you to make a phone call. But there was no annual fee, so I kept it for quite awhile.
Then I got a different card which doesn't charge hardly anything to use an ATM. Keep the ATM fees in mind if you think you may want to get a cash advance like that. ATT I think was going to charge me like $5 minimum for a cash advance. I don't use a credit card very often for this purpose anyways.
Good idea about getting one though. Maybe just use it for online stuff. Don't get in over your head with it. Don't buy anything you can't pay off that month, or maybe two months. If you pay it every month, then it doesn't matter what rate you can get, factor that in too. Make sure it's no annual fee.

Gilly
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2003, 10:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 732
http://www.1fbusa.com/

I got a card here for 14% interest ( I think) on balances above $250, and no annual fee. Balances less than $250 is 0% interest.

The limited me to 250 because of a non-existant history. Still, 250 interest free kicks ass.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2003, 10:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 732
Nope. Got it in my hip pocket now. Its a great gas card since my Conoco card (@ 6% interest and no fee in Arkansas) decided it wanted to switch companies and reduce my limit by 1/3, and triple my interest rate. Those who try to screw me over no longer get my business. Or they get my business with someone else's card.
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2003, 10:19 AM
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I'm more with Narwhal on this issue. We no longer have any credit cards, except a pre-pay one. Being the victims of some serious credit fraud, credit cards now scare the hell out of me.
Whatever you do, keep tight control of it, and watch your credit report like a hawk!!
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2003, 11:26 AM
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As narwhal stated, a debit card will get you through pretty much anything that requires a credit card for security.

I do my bill pay and groceries and misc with my debit card. All other purchases (especially online) I do with the credit card. Why?

If you have any charge disputes or are a victim of fraudulent charges, credit card companies are far easier to deal with when it comes to dealing with fraud issues or getting disputed charges reversed.

Banks are less likely to to be as responsive, and if they are, the process is slower...which means, you will have to be able to get by on a depleted bank account balance for several weeks until the bank gets around to fixing the problem. Not a good scenario if that's all you have to fall back on.

And as rickg stated, watch the statements like a hawk! Hidden charges and double billing happen more frequently than you would expect, and sometimes an inadvertent response to a billing company's telemarketing inquiry will add monthly charges you never really thought you approved!
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2003, 11:38 AM
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Canadian banking works quite different than in the US. We have had universal direct debit systems for some years now, and they work very well.

However, the debit card muct always be used with an electronic PIN-pad. This means that for a deposit on a rental car and some other items, a debit card can only be used if they swipe your card for essentially a "cash" deposit. I don't like this. For most rental car agencies, the cash deposit is VERY high, and with a debit card it is much more difficult to dispute the charge.

When I was working I had to use my own money for entertaining, and then get reimbursed by the company. I found a credit card very handy for this purpose, as I could collect affinity points and carry the balance interest free for a few days while I got my cheque. Since my expenses often exceeded my monthly take home pay, simply "fronting" the cash would have been difficult and meant foregoing investment income on savings.

But, when no longer needed for work, I severely reduced our CC limit to help gaurd against fraud. When I wish to buy something on the CC to collect points, I simply transfer the amount from my chequing account to the CC, and then go buy it.

Credit cards can be used responsibly, but few people do. It's unsecured credit and carries a horrific interest rate. The credit is easy to use thanks to univesal acceptance for many cards, and the grantors are much more liberal in their credit granting. I often find that low income families cannot get a mortgage for $500 a month, which is less than the $1000 in rent that they pay, and could easily afford, but can get a credit card without any hassle.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2003, 01:01 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,826
Al, these horror stories you hear are about people who have no financial discipline. You got a lot of good advice here. A credit card can be a good thing if used wisely. Once you begin to use it for your amusement, all bets are off.... kind of like the women I know who said, "I'm only getting a cellular phone for use in emergencies". Yeah.... right!

I never had a "real" credit card until I was 31. Yet I was able to travel, fly, entertain, fully live life, and even bought a house when I was 29 without credit cards.

I look at my credit charges nowadays. It's basically a gas card for me. I still pay cash for almost everything. When I travel I can use my ATM card.... the ultimate debit card!
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