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Any reason to keep different "types" of credit cards?
Old 06-20-2016, 03:56 PM   #1
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Any reason to keep different "types" of credit cards?

Now that our Costco AmEx is history, I got to thinking...

We used to have an AmEx, which we used a lot, but also kept a Visa as a backup in case AmEx wasn't accepted - this happened on occasion. We also had a MasterCard.

Now I look at what we have: primary card (Costco) Visa, the BofA Travel Visa, and an LL Bean Visa (DW used to like the free shipping, but doesn't buy much from them any more, so...).

Alway, I really don't see the need to keep more than 2 Visa cards at this point. I'm fine with leaving AmEx behind - I see no practical reason to have one. I see no reason to have a MasterCard either. Visa seems to be accepted everywhere here in the USA and outside it.

I'm not interested on the add/drop cards for bonus thing. The Costco card offers reasonable kickbacks year in year out, that suits me just fine.

Anyone disagree?
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:01 PM   #2
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I would not close any of the accounts as it would impact your credit score.

Just do not use one of them.... simple.


As to your question, I used to have a Mastercard, but for some reason my bank changed it to a Visa and then changed the rewards on it so it was not anywhere near as good as it was years ago... it just sits around most of the time unless a 5% category springs up that we can use.... right now we are getting that back on our food purchases...
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:05 PM   #3
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No, you don't need an Amex. With the Costco change, everyone who takes credit cards will take Visa or MasterCard.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:06 PM   #4
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I pared ours down awhile ago and will be again. Too much available credit can be bad for your score if you care about that. I no longer see a need for our Fidelity Amex, which apparently will go away anyway. Will keep the Fidelity Visa and Marriott Visa (our oldest). Will cancel the Chase Sapphire; we prefer the straight cash back from Fidelity and will also get rid of one more annual fee.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:15 PM   #5
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I don't really disagree but I have the Preferred Blue Cash card from Amex and get a lot of cash back from that which I wouldn't want to give up. It is just too much money for me to willingly give it up.

Likewise, we buy a lot of stuff at Amazon and I have their Prime card that gives me 5% cash back. That is just free money that I don't want to give up. Of course, if I didn't buy much at Amazon then that wouldn't be worthwhile.

(Athena53 - Generally having a lot of available credit doesn't hurt your credit score. Mine is 842 out of 850 and I have a lot of credit available. What is harmful is having a lot of available credit and using a high percentage of it so that your balance compared to credit limit is high. Having a lot of credit often helps credit score because your balance compared to credit limit may stay lower).
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:20 PM   #6
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I've got a pair of Capital One credit cards--one of which is paying 2% back on everything charged for travel. I have my original Capital One card that only pays back 1%, and it's inactive.

I see no reason to have any other credit cards. My wife has a Kohl's and a Belk's credit cards which she seldom uses. I find it even difficult to cash flow them on $200-300 purchases seasonally.

As a early retiree, I want my life simplified. It's tough enough keeping track of three utility bills and 3 cable bills on my 3 houses.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:36 PM   #7
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I've got a pair of Capital One credit cards--one of which is paying 2% back on everything charged for travel. I have my original Capital One card that only pays back 1%, and it's inactive.

I see no reason to have any other credit cards. My wife has a Kohl's and a Belk's credit cards which she seldom uses. I find it even difficult to cash flow them on $200-300 purchases seasonally.

As a early retiree, I want my life simplified. It's tough enough keeping track of three utility bills and 3 cable bills on my 3 houses.
I think it is good to have 2 major credit cards (Amex, Visa, MC) that are active. A card issuer can cancel a card at any time or there can be a problem that can cause the card not to be able to be used (you lose the card, for example). So, it makes sense to have a back up.

I don't usually get store credit cards (the exception is the online Amazon one only because it gives back 5%), but having 2 major cards makes sense I think.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:41 PM   #8
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As of today I don't have Amex... I don't see any reason to get another amex.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:42 PM   #9
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No, you don't need an Amex. With the Costco change, everyone who takes credit cards will take Visa or MasterCard.
Generally I would be in 100% agreement--however, when I was at a Canadian Costco, several weeks ago, I learned they ONLY take a Mastercard. They do not care whose MC it is but no VISA/AMEX
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:52 PM   #10
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Generally I would be in 100% agreement--however, when I was at a Canadian Costco, several weeks ago, I learned they ONLY take a Mastercard. They do not care whose MC it is but no VISA/AMEX
Nwsteve
Actually, Walmart Canada has just announced that it will no longer accept Visa, effective mid-July, because of exorbitant fees.

Small businesses root for Walmart in fee battle with Visa - Business - CBC News

I don't shop at Costco and rarely shop at Walmart, and my principal credit card is a Visa, but I do have a spare MasterCard, so that's what I'll use at Walmart in future. I like to have a second type of credit card in case one is lost or stolen, especially while travelling.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:11 PM   #11
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We use to have the Costco AMEX, USAA MC and NFCU VISA (used only for online purchases). Costco and USAA both changed to VISA, so will now have 3 VISA cards. We will see if that creates any issues. If so, will look for a MC and close out one of the VISA cards.


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Old 06-20-2016, 05:31 PM   #12
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I have about 10 credit cards (not double counting the switch overs). I use about five of them regularly plus one for recurring bills only. Switch out a different couple when I travel. And the rest are tucked away and handy for backup.

In any given month, several will have 0 balance, a few will have low balances that are automatically paid off, and a couple will have high balances that I have to schedule payment for.

The only problem many cards cause, as far as I can see, is reconciling multiple statements and scheduling multiple payments. The latter is solved by automatic payments if you know they will be covered.
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Old 06-20-2016, 05:58 PM   #13
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Assuming none of the cards have annual fees, and you only use a couple and keep the rest "dormant" there's no real benefit to closing them.

Conversely, closing them might impact your credit score a few points, and getting them back should you ever need to in the future might be harder with retirement income, vs. working income.

I actually opened a couple extra no-fee good-bene's cards in my OMY, just to have that extra LOC should we ever have some crazy disaster.

Either way, if you do close some, be sure to keep one with no foreign transaction fees for international travel.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:25 PM   #14
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I just looked at the AXP chart -was the 1st qtr all because of the Costco change? Because that was know at least a year ago. A lesson in short term panic to keep us humble.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:56 PM   #15
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Hoping I can tag this topic onto this thread as it got me thinking about how difficult it might be to get approved for a new credit card in retirement when you have no job.

Has anyone encountered difficulty getting approved for a credit card in retirement? I'm wondering if it's a challenge if you have no employment income but may have a good credit score and have investment income.

I'm generally not a card swapper and have had most of my cards for years but we've encountered a few situations that have kind of forced us to get new cards over the years such as:
- Changing primary banks
- Favourite merchant doesn't accept a type of card
- Primary card changes terms
- Upgrading to a "status" or travel card
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:59 PM   #16
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I can think of only a few perks that Amex offers that are not available with Visa/MC.
- Amex has special offers such as $10 off $50 at Jet.com or Jo-Ann. These change regularly and are often discussed on deal sites.
- Many cards give free secondary insurance for car rentals, but Amex also offers primary rental car coverage for a reasonable additional fee.
https://www295.americanexpress.com/p...verage/home.do
- Free ShopRunner membership for free shipping at some online stores.
https://www.shoprunner.com/americanexpress

That said, I think I'll do without an Amex for a while unless something interesting comes along. I'm also not interested in churning cards for promos. Seems like too much effort for a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by YVRRocketSurgery View Post
Has anyone encountered difficulty getting approved for a credit card in retirement?
I've been approved for several new CCs after retiring. No problem.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:08 PM   #18
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@ Lemming

AXP dropped 90 to 70's in 2015 from Costco, but 1Q 2016 drop to 60's was restatement of 2016 expected earnings, and other factors in the early year reports.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by YVRRocketSurgery View Post
Hoping I can tag this topic onto this thread as it got me thinking about how difficult it might be to get approved for a new credit card in retirement when you have no job.

Has anyone encountered difficulty getting approved for a credit card in retirement? I'm wondering if it's a challenge if you have no employment income but may have a good credit score and have investment income.

I'm generally not a card swapper and have had most of my cards for years but we've encountered a few situations that have kind of forced us to get new cards over the years such as:
- Changing primary banks
- Favourite merchant doesn't accept a type of card
- Primary card changes terms
- Upgrading to a "status" or travel card
I've been approved for several credit cards since retiring. I was one of the people who were ditched by CIBC and sold to TD with the Aeroplan portfolio. I have investments at TD and it was no problem at all to set up no-fee credit cards instead of the expensive defaults. I've also gotten a backup MasterCard from Scotiabank, where I have a few small accounts and a mortgage or two.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:16 PM   #20
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I've been approved for several credit cards since retiring. I was one of the people who were ditched by CIBC and sold to TD with the Aeroplan portfolio. I have investments at TD and it was no problem at all to set up no-fee credit cards instead of the expensive defaults. I've also gotten a backup MasterCard from Scotiabank, where I have a few small accounts and a mortgage or two.
We switched from CIBC to TD CC's due to the Aeroplan changes. But it also kind of aligned with us consolidating our banking services with TD too.
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