What's In Your Wallet? Maybe Not AmEx Platinum

For the vast majority of people, their choice of credit card isn't likely to be a big one. Most will focus primarily on the rate attached to the card but, as you go up the income ladder, the rate becomes less important and the rewards become more important. I'm sure many of you have strong preferences on what's the best card out there, but if a recent article from Bloomberg is to be believed, it may not be American Express:

Best Credit card for travelling MBB consultants

I'll be starting with MBB soon and wanted to know if there's a preferred traveler's credit card out there. Amex (gold or platinum)? or Chase? What are the pros and cons, and which do consultants generally have.

Credit Card advice for regular bankrolls

Looking for some recent input on credit cards for "regular" people... no super spenders or mega-high rollers.

Decent cash back or travel rewards, no annual fees and moderate rates are ok since I will not really be making massive purchases unless I can afford to pay them off.

Customer service experiences and signup bonus information would be great as well!


Personal Finance Part 1: Credit Card Hacking (the legal kind)

Last week, @"onemanwolfpack" went over some travel hacks and discussed how he uses credit card points and airline miles to get free airfare. Being the frugal guy on WSO, I figured I would follow up with how I save money using rewards credit cards. NOTE: this strategy only works if you pay off your balance at the end of every month.

1.) Fidelity Amex Rewards Card- 2% cashback
Fido's Amex Card is the default card that I normally reach for when it comes time to pay. It gives me 2% cashback on all transactions, and it's one of the only 2% on everything cards that I'm aware of. If you spend $1250/month on a credit card, this saves you $300/year.

2.) Chase Freedom 5% Categories Card
The Freedom Card has a set of alternating categories that aren't quite as interesting as they used to be, but still pretty helpful. Right now, the discount is on gasoline, but it switches to 5% off Amazon purchases in Q4 along with a number of department stores, and there is usually a quarter or two where you get 5% off restaurants (everything from the cafeteria at work to Chipotle to Subway to the places too expensive for me to go.)
Full Disclosure: The link is a referral. If you're really frugal, your share of the referral may be negotiable if you PM me.

Is it just me, or is the Visa "Black Card" the Tackiest Thing in the World?


Something about having "BLACK CARD" emblazoned on the front (in case you can't tell what it is) and having "made of stainless steel" being one of its selling points... And it costs $495 a year for relatively shitty benefits.

Cash is King (and so are Mobile Payments)

What's in your wallet? Cash, credit cards, receipts, driver's license… What if all of those could be put located on your smartphone, rendering the wallet obsolete? The current trend towards cash-less and card-less payments has been doing just that. From DealBook:

The drop in the use of cash in the United States has been driven by a rise in the use of credit and debit cards. But more consumers are turning to mobile payments, using their smartphones to buy items as ordinary as a cup of coffee. Mobile payments doubled in the last year, according to Forrester Research, which predicts that the market will continue to grow 43 percent annually through 2018.

Credit Card Recommendations for Incoming IBD Analysts?

What do ya'll use? I've heard the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Blue Preferred come up a couple times. Are these worth the annual fees? What about the higher end cards like Amex Gold/Platinum?


Just came across this. Has anyone seen something like it? Seems like an awesome idea, I just don't know if it's been done before

Sign up for our store card and get 50% off your purchase and a pony!

Department store credit card sign ups always have ridiculous tag lines that make you think “Wowee what a steal?! Where do I sign”. Especially this time of year, as you stand by the register and the cashier rings up all the expensive gifts that aren’t for you, it might be tempting to take that one time discount, but the devil is in the small print. Before you sign up for your next department store credit card, read on to find out why this is a terrible idea.

Sell Your Options Dearly: DEBT

Andy note: "Best of Eddie" - while Eddie is on vacation we're throwing up some of his classic posts from the past. This one from June 2010 is part of the very popular "Sell Your Options" 5-part series. More to come later this week & next. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

Unsecured consumer debt is a relatively new phenomenon in our country's history. Believe it or not, I can remember a time before Visa. When I was a little kid, credit cards were so rare that most businesses didn't accept them (debit cards didn't exist either because, well, ATM machines hadn't been invented yet). The mere suggestion of paying for a restaurant meal on credit would have precipitated a sound thrashing from a member of my parents' generation.

But the popularity of consumer credit grew quickly in the 1970's. Before, there was only American Express (a "charge" card that had to be zeroed out each month), Diner's Club (for the wealthy), and MasterCharge. MasterCharge was the first company to really market revolving credit to the masses. When Visa came on the scene in the mid-70's, MasterCharge became MasterCard and the ensuing competition between the two buried America in a mountain of revolving debt over the subsequent three decades.

The majority of Wall Street Oasis readers fall into the "Millenial" generation, made up of those people born between 1980-2000. This generation is also perjoritavely known as "Gen Y", and the people who refer to it thusly usually do so to point out what a shiftless bunch of fuckwits you guys are. Nothing could be further from the truth. You were, however, raised by a generation (in some cases mine) where bad fiscal behavior was more or less institutionalized and a buy-it-now-pay-for-it-later mentality prevailed.