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Old 09-21-2010, 05:24 PM   #21
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Most of you use cash back cards and I agree for most people these return the best bang for your buck. However, as we value travel a lot ,especially business/first class travel , we find the AMEX platinum Air Canada card pretty good. We have booked 3 business class tickets each to the far east for next year on points. Value about $50-60k. Card costs about $750 This would represent maybe 18 months worth of spending. I figure payoff ratio about 12% of purchases. Works well for us.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:54 PM   #22
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Got the Schwab letter today, too. We have had their card for only a few months. I have to assume that "FIA Card Services" will eliminate the cash back and start charging foreign exchange fees. I predict we will be cutting them up shortly.

At least we still get something back on the REI Visa.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #23
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Fidelity 2% cashback Amex - reward auto-deposited into fidelity account once they hit $50. Not sure if they still offer it.

Received an email invitation from Fido today, applied throught the web, then called them for an instant decision. Approved for the card and should receive it within 10 days.

So, it is still available. For those that are interested, you can go to fidelity.com, to the left, under products and services, click more products and services. To the right of the page, you will see "2% unlimited cash back", click on that. They offer both Visa Signature (1.5% cash back then to 2% if you spend over $15,000/yr), and AMEX (2%).

I do not know why they make it so difficult to find. You can also apply over the phone and get an instant decision.

mP
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:02 PM   #24
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Same here. It was good while it lasted. Hopefully it'll last a bit longer.

I still have my PenFed card, which I might start using again, but I would like to get a card that doesn't charge any currency conversion fees for international travel. Any recommendations?
Capital One does not charge currency conversion fees or other extra fees for overseas use. They also have a decent rewards system. Try to get a high credit limit when you first sign up, though -- they have been very stingy with requests for increased credit limits. We have asked for a credit limit increase 3 times and been denied each time, in spite of stellar credit. I guess it is pretty obvious we are not making them any money as we pay off the bill every month. It is annoying to have our credit limit on that card be stuck at $4000, as it means we cannot use it to buy international air tickets for the family. Amex and our Credit Union visa work as a backup, but have to be sure to book flights through US sites -- made a mistake of booking on Air CAnada's canadian site once using our credit union visa and got dinged quite heavily with the international use
fees.

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Old 09-21-2010, 08:18 PM   #25
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We got a CapitolOne because they didnt charge currency conversion. We use that one, Discover, and we have an old Shell Mastercard, that used to be a lot better than it is now. Have been planning on getting rid of that one. I am thinking the PenFed one sounds pretty good....
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:59 PM   #26
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Got the same letter from Schwab. In addition to the cash to brokerage account feature they had NO foreign exchange fees charged at all. DD used it in UK and Europe while abroad for a semester. Like so many "good deals" expect all perks of the Schwab VISA to now end with FIA taking over the account.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:13 AM   #27
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Got the Schwab letter today, too. We have had their card for only a few months. I have to assume that "FIA Card Services" will eliminate the cash back and start charging foreign exchange fees. I predict we will be cutting them up shortly.

At least we still get something back on the REI Visa.
FIA Card Services is the company that runs the Fidelity Amex 2% card. Good experience so far for the last 1.5 years.

One slightly annoying feature of FIA card services is that you cannot set up automatic monthly payments to pay the balance in full.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:04 AM   #28
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Capital One does not charge currency conversion fees or other extra fees for overseas use. They also have a decent rewards system. Try to get a high credit limit when you first sign up, though -- they have been very stingy with requests for increased credit limits. We have asked for a credit limit increase 3 times and been denied each time, in spite of stellar credit. I guess it is pretty obvious we are not making them any money as we pay off the bill every month. It is annoying to have our credit limit on that card be stuck at $4000, as it means we cannot use it to buy international air tickets for the family. Amex and our Credit Union visa work as a backup, but have to be sure to book flights through US sites -- made a mistake of booking on Air CAnada's canadian site once using our credit union visa and got dinged quite heavily with the international use
fees.

lhamo
My Capital One rewards card has a $1000.00 limit. Eight years, no budge; they won't raise it. Just an emergency card because of it.

I don't have an 'awesome' rewards card; just a Bank of America World Points card; but I've had it nine years and they haven't added any fees or anything so I like the stability.

(Back from honeymoon!)
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:56 PM   #29
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FIA Card Services is the company that runs the Fidelity Amex 2% card. Good experience so far for the last 1.5 years.

One slightly annoying feature of FIA card services is that you cannot set up automatic monthly payments to pay the balance in full.
None of the cards I have allow auto-pay-in-full. Bummer.

This would have been a nice thing to mandate when they passed the latest credit card overhaul bill.

Another thing would have been a very standard presentation of basic info. It's not always immediately obvious which number is the amount to pay by which date to avoid all fees. I think that info should be in big, bold letters with standard formatting. It's not difficult either, but I think it should be painfully obvious for busy people who may not take a second look at the bill. Pay $X.XX by mm/dd/yyyy to avoid all fees. Simple.

edit/add: My work-around is to put an auto-pay amount that is larger than my normal expected bill. I edit before the processing date so I don't overpay. This way I avoid fees by paying too little or too late. If I slip up and overpay (I never have), no big deal, it would get balanced out on the next bill.

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Old 09-22-2010, 01:35 PM   #30
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Another thing would have been a very standard presentation of basic info. It's not always immediately obvious which number is the amount to pay by which date to avoid all fees. I think that info should be in big, bold letters with standard formatting. It's not difficult either, but I think it should be painfully obvious for busy people who may not take a second look at the bill. Pay $X.XX by mm/dd/yyyy to avoid all fees. Simple.
All the recent "added consumer protections" did for me was make my credit card bills harder to read. The added chart that shows how many months it will take to pay off the balance if you make the minimum payment and how much you pay in interest is completely irrelevant to my decisionmaking. All this chart does is add clutter to an already cluttered front page of the CC statement. I have to spend a while searching for "balance amount", "minimum payment" and "due by" info. Not as easy as it used to be with all the additional mandated disclosures.

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None of the cards I have allow auto-pay-in-full. Bummer.
Chase is the only card that I routinely use that allows auto pay in full. Very handy since all I have to do each month is enter the statement balance in my electronic checkbook, and skim the bill to make sure I'm not subsidizing the lifestyle of some credit card scammer.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:46 PM   #31
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None of the cards I have allow auto-pay-in-full. Bummer.
PenFed added this feature not too long ago - sure simplifies things.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:38 PM   #32
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I auto pay in full my Costco Amex, my Fido Am Ex and My LLBean Visa. Some make it easy, some make it hard, but it can be done.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:49 PM   #33
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All the recent "added consumer protections" did for me was make my credit card bills harder to read. The added chart that shows how many months it will take to pay off the balance if you make the minimum payment and how much you pay in interest is completely irrelevant to my decisionmaking. All this chart does is add clutter to an already cluttered front page of the CC statement. I have to spend a while searching for "balance amount", "minimum payment" and "due by" info. Not as easy as it used to be with all the additional mandated disclosures.



Chase is the only card that I routinely use that allows auto pay in full. Very handy since all I have to do each month is enter the statement balance in my electronic checkbook, and skim the bill to make sure I'm not subsidizing the lifestyle of some credit card scammer.
What You actually LOOK at the paper version....


As for auto pay, I do not want anybody to have access to my checking account... I pay online for almost everything... but through the checking account.
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:31 PM   #34
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None of the cards I have allow auto-pay-in-full. Bummer.
Some credit cards, like Schwab, allow you to setup auto-pay-in-full by sending in an authorization form. You have to call them up to setup this up.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:49 PM   #35
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I auto pay in full my Costco Amex, my Fido Am Ex and My LLBean Visa. Some make it easy, some make it hard, but it can be done.
Share the secret! I would like to set up auto pay in full if it is an option.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:51 PM   #36
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What You actually LOOK at the paper version....
I have a LOT of credit cards. I stick the bills in a folder, and usually "pay" them 2x a month. By "pay" I mean enter the amounts from the bills into my electronic checkbook register, except for the few that I must manually enter an electronic payment online. I guess I find paper bills easier in this case. Skim for accuracy, pay, and destroy.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:56 PM   #37
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Share the secret! I would like to set up auto pay in full if it is an option.
You have to call them and have them send you the form, which you sign and return.

Oddly my other three cards let me do this on line.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:03 PM   #38
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I have a USAA cash reward card. Up to 1.25% cash back on purchases. But I get much more back when I use their Membershop when ordering stuff online. I ordered some clothes from Banana Republic yesterday and will be getting 7+1.25=8.25% cash back on my purchase. Add that to the 2 coupons I got from the Membershop (free shipping + 20% off my entire order) and I got some nice winter clothes for relatively little money.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #39
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You have to call them and have them send you the form, which you sign and return.

Oddly my other three cards let me do this on line.
Thanks, and yes, I am accustomed to signing up online for most things like autopay in full. It is bizarre FIA card services doesn't allow auto pay in full, yet they allow auto pay the minimum payment. I assume it is simple profit motive.
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:19 AM   #40
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Got an email today from PenFed about another cash back promotion on their Visa card:

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Get 3% cash back on electronics and sporting good purchases when you use your Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card now through December 31, 2010.
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