517 People Helped
Member Since: September 2012
So, last week I got an application for this card in the mail. This happened just after I'd closed two of my other accounts - A barclays mastercard for refusing to reverse a CLD from $3,000 to $500, and a Walmart master card for denying a CLI based on a credit report from may (the request was in October!). I set it aside, not thinking much of it. After all, I'd justhad two companies refuse to budge on a CLI, shurely AmEx would turn me down anyway (or give me say... $700).
Today I went to the mailbox and along with the typical hoard of worthless offers only good for comedic purposes ("Get up to $1,500 Credit Limit! [requires $87 annual fee and most people only get $500") was ANOTHER application for this card. This time I was more intrested and I decided to read up. Apparently American Express's revolving cards are known to grow to large amounts, and because it's a "big name" bank, it can look good in your file when applying for new cards or CLIs. They also offered me a "spend $1,000, get $250 back" promotion and an APR of 12.99%, the lowest I've ever seen. Here's a list of my other cards for comparision:
Wells Fargo - $3,900 @ 18.99%
Paypal Extras MC - $6000 @ 23.99%
Chase Amazon Visa - $1500 @ 21.99%
Discover It - $4000 - @ 17.99%
Amazon Prime Store Card - $3200 @ 25.99%
Credit Karma score was 702 on Transunion and 714 on Equifax. Discover indicated a FICO score of 717.
So I applied online. After what had happened last week, my sights wern't high. Would they give me $2000? $1000? Outright decline?
I was indeed approved - but not told the limit. The screen simply stated I was approved and told me to set up my online account. I figured if I did so, the computer would display the limit on screen. And it did.
It was $10,000.
Now I'll be sure to update this in a while and see if they ever actually give me the $250, and see how actually using the card works out. But for now... TEN THOUSAND?!
Toad004's response was:
Only half true. Yes, using credit cards poorly can get you into trouble, but that's like saying you should never drive because cars can crash.
First things first - loans will eventually fall off your credit. The moment you pay a student loan, or a car loan, or a home loan, off completly, it is closed and thus stops counting towards average age of open accounts. This happens all the time - people pay off thier cars or mortgages and thier scores plummet because of it. Meanwhile, a credit card can potentally stay open and report good activity *forever* (of course, in practice your lifespan and the lender's lifespan will limit this).
Second of all, If you're paying interest, you're using credit cards WRONG. If you pay a card off within the month, then you pay no interest at all. If you use a rewards card this way, you can actually *gain* money form rewards just by charging things to a credit card and paying them off. Effectively, the credit card is paying you for buying stuff you already buy.
Toad004's reply was:
Those who have a walmart store card may be offered a promotion to this card, the Wal-mart Discover. The card isn't actually from discover, it's from GE (same as the store card). The discover logo simply means the card is accepted anywhere discover is - compared to the store card which is only accepted at walmart.
This card has one other advantage over the store card - It does have rewards. However, they're tiny 0.25% of purchases. Sure, they can esclate to 0.5% and eventually 1.0%, but you need to spend quite a bit of money ($3,000, and it resets every year) to reach that mark. Not to mention the credit requirements are fairly steep - if you qualify for this card, you likely qualify for much better cards such as the discover it.
Now, there is an extra warning I must give if you are already a walmart store card holder and you're offered a promotion to this card (usually you'll get an increase in credit limit as well). If you're promoted, your 'accout opening date' will reset! This means that as far as the credit report is conserned, this will be a new account.
I think Credit Karma should do an article on "What DOESN'T go into your credit score". There's plenty of things people THINK affect their credit score that don't.
How much you owe (other than credit card utilization)
Credit card utilization is a big part of your score. But only the percentage used matters, rather than the amount owed. Assuming all other factors are the same, someone maxed out on a limit of $5,000 and someone who carries a balance of $5,000 on a limit of $50,000, the first person will have a much lower score. The utilization, not the amount owed, is what matters.
And debts other than credit card debt? The amount is completely meaningless. $1 collection and $1,000,000 collection? No difference, as far as your credit score is concerned. A loan on a used car and a loan on a Ferrari? As long as they are both paid on time, the amount you owe doesn't matter. So your total debt doesn't matter to your credit score.
Having too many 'store cards'/'sub-prime cards/credit cards period
There is no negative effect to your credit score for having too many cards. In fact, having a lot of cards can actually add to your score (by increasing total accounts). Furthermore, credit scores simply do not care -who- the lender is, or how difficult a card was to obtain. Assuming the same age, utilization, and payment history, a First Premier card and an AMEX Centurion have the same effect on your score. There is no penalty for having too many "low level" cards, nor is there a bonus for having "high level" cards.
Now, you *DO* lose points for having *NEW* accounts, and for applying for lots of new accounts. So applying for lots of cards at once will hurt your score. But simply *HAVING* lots of cards will not.
Lenders almost always use income when they determine whether to lend to you or not. But it doesn't affect your credit score! It is very possible to be poor and still have good credit, and it is also possible to be rich and have bad credit (check out Donald Trump).
Just because a lender sent you a letter stating you were denied for reason x, doesn't mean reason x is reported on your credit report. Here are several reasons I've seen lenders deny credit that aren't on your credit report:
And believe it or not:
Yes, predatory lenders have been known for turning down people with 700+ scores, while approving those with 550.
None of these things will lower your score. A 21 year old charge off won't hurt your score, but some lenders will hold a grudge basically forever, nor will not being a student lower your score, or using a card too little. Individual lenders are free to make up any requirements they want. If a lender wants to turn away anyone with a SSN ending in 4, they can. That doesn't mean you have a lower score because of it.
I applied for this card when I saw that unlike the Amazon store card, it gives rewards. Unfortunately, also unlike the Amazon store card, the bank is Chase. I've personally had nothing but bad experiences with them, and this was no exception - they approved me for 1500 when my smallest limit was 2500 and they failed to attached it to my amazon account properly (it was there, but if I actually tried to use it, Amazon would ask for the account number, which I obviously wouldn't have yet). I called customer service and they were unable to do anything to fix it.
However, once I actually got the card, it worked pretty well. Here are the rewards:
3 points on Amazon.com
2 points on eligible gas, dining, drugstore and office supply stores
1 point everywhere else
1 point on everything else is no big deal, since virtually every rewards card has that. And 2 points on gas & dining isn't much better - they are not only very common, but often beat by other cards (rotating 5% cards like discover it have these frequently, and Paypal's card always gives 3 points on gas & dining). So there are better gas & dining cards out there.
2 points on drugstore and office supply stores is a little more tempting - as these categories are far less common on rewards cards. If you go to the drugstore or office supply store frequently, this is a nice bonus to this card.
Of course, the REAL reason almost anyone wants this card is for the 3 points on Amazon purchases. This includes almost everything on Amazon.com, including digital downloads, Prime fresh orders, stuff on amazon.com NOT sold by amazon itself, surprisingly - paying for a prime subscription, and even more surprisingly, gift cards. Another reviewer on here said it didn't apply to the kindle - since I don't have one myself, I cannot confirm or deny this. But you can safely assume anything else on amazon.com will be tripled.
As an aside, I must give Chase credit for not rounding points down - if you buy something that costs $10.01, you will earn 10.01 points (or 20.02 or 30.03 if appropriate).
Back in the long forgotten battlefields of the year 2012, I had no credit cards at all, and a score of a whopping zero (or N/A, I guess). I don't know what drove me to apply for this card, considering I'd already been shot down before. Twice. Prehaps the banker convinced me, but the third time was indeed the charm - I was approved for $700.
Sounds like a joke limit now, but back then it meant everything. SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS! YEAH! I'm sure everyone has a fond memory of thier first approval. This card remained my sole credit card for 9 months. Since then, I have never been rejected for a credit card.
But while this card may have freed me from the misery of having no credit score, I have to review a card on it's own merits, not what it's done for me. And compared to my other cards, it's rather unimpressive. I have gotten 3 CLIs, (one unrequested) first to 1,300, then to 1,800, and finally to 3,500, where it remains. It's my second highest limit card - although still well below my Paypal Extras Mastercard at 6,000. The APR is 21%, not bad for a first timer's card, and is the second lowest rate, only barley losing to the discover it.
What stands out as "ordinary" are the rewards. A flat 1% cash back. No rotating 5% catagories, no 2% or 3% catagories, no extra cash back promos. Just the standard 1% granted by virtually every rewards card in existance and nothing else.
It is of course, my oldest card. I'm still glad I have it because it was the "gateway" this finally freed me from the "no credit file" label. But honestly, unless you are a Wells Fargo customer and have no credit cards at all, you can do better.
This article suggest you should wait "a few years" before going from one account to two. That is terrible advice.
When you have a thin file and your average age is low, applying for new accounts doesn't hurt you very much because ALL your accounts are new. In addition, having only one card that is really old will hurt your average age later on. Finally, while total accounts doesn't increase your score that much in general, the first three credit cards are worth LOTS of points.
In other words, if you have a file with only one credit card and nothing else, you should try to increase your number of cards from 1 to 3 ASAP. Generally, the best time to apply is when your first account is 6 months old.
(I was planning to quote my previous review I'd made when I first got the card, but it seems to have vanished)
Some time has passed since my first review of Discover it, and I feel I need to take a look at how it's held up.
The "shop discover" feature can give you 5% on many different stores regardless of the rotating catagories. While any given user will only use a handful of them, there's quite a few, not the least of which is walmart.com. But the obious downfalls are not only does this only work online and not in the psyical stores, you also must remember to go through shop discover everytime you want to buy something from it, which can be a pain if you forget on a major purchase. But still, it's impossible to deny that 5% from Walmart.com is a major bonus, and there are plenty of other stores on shop discover.
Another downside is discover seems to be very stingy with CLIs - in the year I've had it, they increased my limit from $2,500 to... $3,000. Well darn - a $500 increase really wasn't worth the inquiry. Compare this to Paypal, who increased my limit from $1,000 to $3,000 with no request and Discover doesn't stand up in this catagory. Even Wells Fargo was nicer than that...
But despite these flaws, I must still reccomend the card, not only for shop discover, but for the fairly low intrest rates (they gave me a rate of 18.99% - 4 precent below my second lowest rate card).
Your score dropped because getting a new account lowers Average Age of Open Credit Lines. This will repair itself as your new card(s) get older. -
It is a common misconception that it's possible to have too many credit cards - every credit card (as well as most loans) increases total accounts by 1. While it isn't a good idea to apply for tons of credit cards just to increase Total Accounts, (1 account only adds as much as an inquiry takes away) it is well worth it to apply for a new card when it would only lower your score 5 points - that will recover itself in a month or 2.
This is tied with my Barclays for my second-oldest card. It's also my favorite.
I'd had a Paypal account since 2010, but I didn't apply for this card until fall of 2012. It's possible my account with them got me more favorable terms. I had zero missed payments, zero inquries (on transunion, the only one they check) and zero negative items. However, my only account was a Wells Fargo Card with a $700 limit and it was only 8 months old. I was instantly approved for $1,000.
Since I've had the card, I've gotten 3 CLIs, the first was from the starting $1,000 to $3,000 unrequested. I've had them increase it to $5,000 and then $6,000 - the latter increase having been approved when my visable utilization was 49%! It's still by far my highest limit, nearly double the second highest.
There are no hoops to jump through when you get your rewards - paying a paypal transaction through paypal automatically doubles the rewards AND it will clearly tell you so before you confirm your purchase. Using it at restruants - fast food and slow alike - will give triple rewards, with nothing to "sign up" for.
The reward points are worth roughly 80 cents per 100 points, making purchases that lack a multiplier useless when compared to other cards. Also, they always round down ($21.99 will get you 21 points, not 22) - minor, but annoying.
Stay off the phone. If you MUST call, try to get the machine to solve your problem. You do NOT want to speak with an employee, trust me on this.
The rates are a fixed 23.99%. Do not carry a balance here, period.