Those of you who use credit cards..

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..and are full-timers. How much do you find yourself racking up in credit card purchases over the course of a month or year, and would you consider yourself thrifty/average/free spending? I've been looking at credit cards and might want to apply for Amex Blue Cash but don't know if I'd be able to charge $6500 a year to an Amex credit card to get the bonus cash back. Would also be curious to hear what kind of cards/checking accounts you guys use and other personal finance tips. Thanks!

Comments (16)

 
May 26, 2007 - 10:41am

If you're a first year, get a card with 0% intro APR for a year. Helps out big time when it comes to moving to NYC, buying clothes, furniture etc. Amex's Clear is a pretty good deal .. $2500 for $25 cash back and no fees of any kind .... the Blue Sky card is better than the Blue Cash if you're flying alot .. you get $100 of any airline ticket after $7500, instead of $100 cash back after spending $10000.

 
May 26, 2007 - 11:14am

the chase freedom card looks ok and the bank of america amex card looks good too..

as for personal banking, it seems like Chase is everywhere in New York, but they don't pay much interest. i am debating whether or not to open an ETrade bank account to get 3.25% interest and atm refunds or go with a standard chase checking account with the convenience of a ton of branches

 
May 26, 2007 - 8:49pm

Look into the Citi "Platinum Dividend Select" The name is a tad ostentatious, but it's a great card for students and grads. Mine is Visa, but I believe you can also get it in Mastercard, and maybe others now (got mine a few years back). I had 0% APR the first year and its also 1% cash back on all purchases, 5% cash back at all gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores.

As far as checking accounts go, look into emigrantdirect.com. I've been using it for about a year now and love it. 5.05% (it got up to 5.15% a few months back), no minimum balance, and I have yet to encounter any hidden fees. Friends also use the ING Orange account, which offers less, something like 4.25% or so, and they seem pleased.

 
May 27, 2007 - 12:59am

Your landlord probably doesn't accept credit cards, and if he does, he'll be charging you the fee he pays for it (2% ish). If you're talking about a cash advance on your card, they usually have a higher interest rate than other types of transactions, along with a fee for the transaction

 
May 27, 2007 - 1:36am

as wannabebanker said,

surcharge that they are gonna charge is going to be always higher than your cashback.

anyway.. my parents bought their car couple of years ago with credit card and got 60,000 miles for it(not a credit card check, but a normal swipe). in that case, it's like getting a round trip ticket for free(technically, since they had to pay the price of the car anyway).... but don't know if car dealers still take credit cards...

 
May 27, 2007 - 2:13am

haha, got it. yea, probably wont do the rent with CC thing given what you guys have said.

curious what checking/savings you guys use. Freeloader, you mentioned instantaneous transfers, and I assume free if between Citi checking and savings. I recently found out that boa would charge me $3 for every external transfer (eg. from my BOA checking to ING savings). Is this standard for all banks? I'm thinking of switching to Wamu for their checking and maybe for their online savings too.

THanks for all your posts!

 
May 27, 2007 - 11:17am

Yea, Citi is free between accounts. So it works out pretty nicely if you have savings, checking, and credit card with Citi. You can transfer between checking and saving instantaneously when needed, and can pay your credit from either the savings or checking accounts.

Worked well for me so far...

 
May 29, 2007 - 3:24pm

CHASE offers 100 bucks to start checking accounts in Houston... I did this just to get the 100 bucks, the checking rate is only 1.24% but I intend to withdraw it all in 7 months and go to Compass Bank where they give you 50. I plan to switch after 6 months there and go somewhere else.

-Switch'bitch

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