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Any issues getting credit cards post retirement?
Old 11-24-2015, 09:48 PM   #1
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Any issues getting credit cards post retirement?

I'm still out 6 months before I ER at age 55, so I'm trying to foresee what types of things might change in the future. Presently I have no problems qualifying for/getting whatever happens to be the best rewards credit card at any moment in time. I also from time to time take advantage of various sign-up bonus offers (e.g. 50,000 miles, etc.). While I don't see myself going crazy doing "churning" I do see myself continuing to tweak which credit cards I have post retirement - closing some and opening others. Do retired people have issues getting the cards they want with smaller post retirement incomes and no active employer? Admittedly a bit questionable ethics-wise but what stops someone from listing their pre-retirement income and employer? I've never seen how those have been verified for credit card applications, and it would be consistent with the information already established with the credit reporting bureaus.
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:11 PM   #2
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I don't think it is a problem if your credit is ok. Your credit limit 'might' go down if you had to tell them your income to apply for another card. Your retirement income is your income listed and it helps to not have any house payment.
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:44 PM   #3
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I've gotten a Fidelity Amex and a Chase Visa since retirement and have gotten a credit line increase from Fidelity. Credit card companies aren't very picky.
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:48 PM   #4
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A few years ago, I was able to get a cashback CC from my local bank (BofA) where I have a checking account. The limit was a little low but earlier this year I applied for a limit increase and got it with no trouble at all. I had to temporarily unfreeze my credit report then put the freeze back on but that wasn't a big deal.
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Any issues getting credit cards post retirement?
Old 11-24-2015, 11:01 PM   #5
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Any issues getting credit cards post retirement?

I applied to a bunch of credit cards before I retire to get the free miles, so far, I also closed a bunch of credit cards as well. But I will keep one from American Express for traveling purpose.


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Old 11-25-2015, 04:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I've gotten a Fidelity Amex and a Chase Visa since retirement and have gotten a credit line increase from Fidelity. Credit card companies aren't very picky.

We carry these same two and last week received a change of terms letter from Chase where they're bumping up most of their fees by >5%. (Seems 19.24% wasn't enough in this low rate environment.) Yet it doesn't affect us as we don't do cash advances, carry a balance, or pay late. So folks like us-and probably most on this board-aren't where they're making the big bucks. I'm thinking their fees are such that they can afford to be less picky, thus acquiring those customers who are more likely to be paying those fees in the first place. Although with zero experience in the financial industry, I could be all wrong. Regardless, it does appear easier than ever to qualify for most cards these days which works to the advantage of the retiree.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:18 AM   #7
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Credit card companies purchase mailing lists from the Big 3 credit reporting agencies for those with high FICO scores. The chances are they'll get paid--job or not--from those that have a long history of paying their bills promptly.

I swapped credit cards (with the same Company) the other day, and they established a $30K unsecured credit limit. The only problem was the card wouldn't go into force until I called their security dept. and answered a bunch of intimate questions. The info came from a credit bureau (old addresses) and what seemed like a drivers license check (my height.) I guess it pays to be extra careful.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:35 AM   #8
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No problems. Have gotten many since.
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Old 11-25-2015, 06:33 AM   #9
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It is no problem at all. However in order to approve a Credit Card Banks are looking at your credit history and current income (for the credit amount). I had no problem getting a card but the credit amount was reduced about 30%.
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by outofratrace View Post
I don't think it is a problem if your credit is ok. Your credit limit 'might' go down if you had to tell them your income to apply for another card. Your retirement income is your income listed and it helps to not have any house payment.
Typically on the cards I and my wife have (embarrassingly a count more than I can accurately state top of mind) the non-store ones typically each have credit limits in the range of 14k each. Because I'm a transactor that pays in full each month having too "little" of a limit on an individual card typically isn't an issue for me, and in most nearly every month even my most heavily used card rarely exceeds more than 3k. What I'm mostly concerned about is being limited from being offered or accepted on a new card because my overall credit line might be viewed as too high relative to actual retirement investment income (sans my current pre-retirement 6 figure earned income). I'm trying to stay in the "game" of being able to maximize my rewards for my spending as better offers come up - as an example I recently applied and received the Citi-double rewards card which gives 2% back on my everyday purchases vs. another card I was previously using that was giving 1.5%, or another example because we have upcoming travel I applied/received a United card which had the large mileage signing bonus and will save us baggage fees (which I will keep until they don't waive the annual fee for me). I'm trying to determine if I'll be limited in the future in any way, and if there's any strategies in putting that off.

As to my mortgage, that's been paid off for the past 15 years so it's no longer showing up at all on my credit report (which is probably pulling my still exceptional FICO score down a bit).
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:08 AM   #11
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Since FIREing I dont get credit card offers in the mail anymore. I so enjoyed shredding CC company A's literature and mailing it to CC company B (in their business reply envelop of course), and vice-versa.
The thought of hundreds of tiny diagonal cut pieces of paper scattered on the desk of some poor shmuck at the CC application processing center. Ah, I pine for the old days.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:44 AM   #12
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A couple of years ago I obtained a credit card after being retired since 2009.

At the time I had no mortgage, loans, or credit cards, and hadn't for many years. I was proudly debt free with a well used debit card. Then member FIREd mentioned on the forum that he had an Amazon Visa card, and after reading about it I thought it sounded pretty good. I decided to apply for it. This blew some people's minds around here because prior to that, I was adamantly against having any CC's at all.

Under "occupation" I put "retired". Under "income", I put the previous year's AGI.

I received the acceptance of my online application just a few minutes later. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I immediately set it up to deduct the full payment each month from my bank account. After 6 months they raised my credit limit from $2500 to $3500 where it is now. I love the rewards because I do a lot of shopping on Amazon and I can spend them directly at check-out on Amazon.

That's my only credit card, so I can't relate any further stories about getting CCs in retirement.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:50 AM   #13
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We've gotten 3 credit cards since retiring. Each time they gave me some smallish credit limit like $3000 and each time I called them and told them to raise it to $15000 or cancel the card. Each time my limit was raised within a few minutes of answering some questions about our income. They really have no way of verifying my income since its mostly taken from our portfolio, but they took my word for it. I assume because our credit is outstanding.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #14
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More than 6 months ago, I sent something in to some agency which was supposed to stop all of those pre-approved CC offers from coming in the mail. It doesn't seem to have worked, though, because I still keep getting them from Capitol One and American Express (I got one of each from them just yesterday). How can I get them to stop sending me this garbage? All it does is fill up my garbage and wreck my paper shredder(s).
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
A couple of years ago I obtained a credit card after being retired since 2009.

At the time I had no mortgage, loans, or credit cards, and hadn't for many years. I was proudly debt free with a well used debit card. Then member FIREd mentioned on the forum that he had an Amazon Visa card, and after reading about it I thought it sounded pretty good. I decided to apply for it. This blew some people's minds around here because prior to that, I was adamantly against having any CC's at all.

Under "occupation" I put "retired". Under "income", I put the previous year's AGI.

I received the acceptance of my online application just a few minutes later. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I immediately set it up to deduct the full payment each month from my bank account. After 6 months they raised my credit limit from $2500 to $3500 where it is now. I love the rewards because I do a lot of shopping on Amazon and I can spend them directly at check-out on Amazon.

That's my only credit card, so I can't relate any further stories about getting CCs in retirement.
Don't spend your Amazon reward points. Have them cut you a check or apply the rewards toward reducing your payment. Spending the rewards points on Amazon means you're not earning those additional points on your new purchase.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:40 PM   #16
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Don't spend your Amazon reward points. Have them cut you a check or apply the rewards toward reducing your payment. Spending the rewards points on Amazon means you're not earning those additional points on your new purchase.
I'm not? According to the credit card terms, I earn rewards points on everything I buy on Amazon IIRC. Oh well.I very firmly plan to continue doing just what I have been doing.

Edited because zedd's right, I'm wrong... It's not everything I buy on Amazon, but everything I charge to the CC. Still, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #17
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We've gotten 3 credit cards since retiring. Each time they gave me some smallish credit limit like $3000 and each time I called them and told them to raise it to $15000 or cancel the card. Each time my limit was raised within a few minutes of answering some questions about our income. They really have no way of verifying my income since its mostly taken from our portfolio, but they took my word for it. I assume because our credit is outstanding.
If they wanted to verify, they would ask for a copy of your 1040.

Has never happened to me.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:48 PM   #18
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Don't spend your Amazon reward points. Have them cut you a check or apply the rewards toward reducing your payment. Spending the rewards points on Amazon means you're not earning those additional points on your new purchase.
That's really a tiny fractional difference - losing 3% off your reward discount - and not worth the hassle IMO. I never worried about it.

I have switched to the Amazon store card with 5% rewards, and it does give you credit against your balance.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:55 PM   #19
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That's really a tiny fractional difference - losing 3% off your reward discount - and not worth the hassle IMO. I never worried about it.

I have switched to the Amazon store card with 5% rewards, and it does give you credit against your balance.
That switch sounds like a good idea for someone who doesn't mind the fact that it's a store card, instead of a Visa or Mastercard.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:07 PM   #20
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I've never had any problems getting credit cards before or after retiring.

And I still get several unsolicited mailers every month for new credit cards. I save them up with the other junk mail for cooler weather since it only takes a few of them to get the fire started in the fireplace.
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