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Question By
HardPull

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Ok to apply for AMEX Blue Cash Preferred or Chase Sapphire Preferred?
Hi, I am 45, never had a credit card before and so I got the Bank of America Secured Credit Card 7 months ago with a $500 limit. After 6 months, and paying in full my less than 9% utilization every month, BOA graduated me to a regular credit card and refunded me my $99 down payment. I just checked my scores and they are as follows: Transunion 746, Equifax 739, Experian 746. CreditKarma shows my chances for a Amex Blue Cash as Very Good, and also shows AMEX Blue Cash PREFERRED as Good. Should I go for the AMEX PREFFERED card now or is it still too early for me? And also, if I am good for a PREFFERRED card, should I also consider Chase Sapphire Preferred? I keep reading credit must be 2 years old to be even considered for a Preferred card and I don't want a HardPull on my record unless I know I'm going to get approved. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Your scores are acceptable but your AAoA (average age of accounts) would be your possible speedbump. I don't recommend using Credit Karmas recommendations to make decisions. There are much much better prequalifying sites out there that will give you better odds on soft pulls.

IMHO Chase will be a harder card to get. They have become a much stricter lender as of late. I'd go for Amex.

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You can go to the individual credit sites, such as Amex and Chase and see if you're pre-approved with one of their cards. Your credit score is okay, but you haven't had credit for long. You're reaching for very desireable cards with a limited credit history. 

Reply by
HardPull

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Hi, thank you all for your advice! Good news! I took a chance and got approved for an AMEX Blue Cash PREFERRED with $4,000 spending limit!  WAHOO!!! Just one question.

I prefer to keep my reported utilization low at 7%...which means charging only $280 per month on the card. But if I want to accrue more cash back, I obviously need to charge more than that on the card.  Is the secret to rack up more Cash Back is to charge higher on the AMEX, then pay right away on the charge, and just keep the balance at $280 at the end of the month?   Will doing so allow me to still keep utilization low and rack up cashback?  And if so, should I still keep within the 30% utilization , or can I charge close to the $4,000 limit, pay it right away (even same day I charge it) without ruining my reported utilization rate?  I just want to get all the benefits of the card now that I am paying an annual fee.

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Reply by
mindjazz

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Keep your usage at 10% or $400. There's no rule stating you can only make payments once a month or by the due date. I pay my card off bi-weekly and never charge more than I can comfortably pay off.  Paying interest is wasted money, and negates your rewards.

Sign up on their website and set up alerts, spending limits, etc. You can attach deals to maximize rewards. You also earn 6% back at supermarkets up to $6000. Purchase your gift cards and liquor there also.

I've earned well beyond the annual $95 fee.

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