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Old 04-08-2017, 09:21 AM   #621
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We often use cash when we travel simply because we can sometimes realize good discounts at smaller, family run hotels, resorts, B&B's etc. Usually 5-10 percent IF you ask.

Last month in Costa Rica we got 15 percent discount at small resort simply by asking for a cash price. Highest cash discount so far. In Italy it was not uncommon to get 5 or 10 percent discount for cash simply by asking.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:04 AM   #622
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I signed up for the First Tech World Elite MasterCard.
If you don't mind, what made you decide the rewards were good enough to pay the $75 annual fee compared to the non-Elite version?
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:44 AM   #623
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If you don't mind, what made you decide the rewards were good enough to pay the $75 annual fee compared to the non-Elite version?
I spend a lot on travel and dining which had much higher reward rates, and also the cash back is $1 per 100 points versus $0.75. They have a rewards calculator to play around with. Depending on the scenario, I was seeing between 2x and 3x the cash back before the $75 annual fee. The more you spend, the more you get ahead, of course.

For the Odyssey Rewards World Elite MasterCard:
Quote:
Earn 3 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on travel; 2 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on dining; 1 Reward Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
So this card pays back 3% to 1% depending on the category. Travel (usually covers lodging, transportation, tourist attractions) and dining are what I spend the most on when overseas.

For the Choice Rewards World MasterCard:
Quote:
Earn 2 Rewards Points for every $1 spent on groceries, gas, electronics, medical, household goods and telecommunicationsand 1 Reward Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
This is not spending I typically do when traveling overseas, and I have other cards that give me higher rewards on spending in these categories in the US. Note 2X rewards means 1.5% cash back, most of my other cards easily beat this in the US.

The no annual fee card did offer 10,000 points if you spend $2000 in the first two months = $75 cash rebate.

It's a toss up and depends on your spending habits.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:02 PM   #624
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They weren't offering any intro bonus points when I applied a couple of years ago so it seems a good deal now.

I set up an account on the rewards site but haven't checked it since setting it up.

It's really my last resort if my other cards or Apple Pay doesn't work.
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:07 PM   #625
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They weren't offering any intro bonus points when I applied a couple of years ago so it seems a good deal now.

I set up an account on the rewards site but haven't checked it since setting it up.

It's really my last resort if my other cards or Apple Pay doesn't work.
They support Apple Pay too, FWIW.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:23 PM   #626
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Or they'll say their credit card terminal is broken.
I always ask to talk to the manager and in over 50% of the cases, it starts working again! I believe it is a tipping thing.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:27 PM   #627
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Last month in Costa Rica we got 15 percent discount at small resort simply by asking for a cash price. Highest cash discount so far. In Italy it was not uncommon to get 5 or 10 percent discount for cash simply by asking.
We ask for a cash discount and if it is not offered, we use our Chase no-FX CC with 1% cashback.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:14 AM   #628
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If you don't mind, what made you decide the rewards were good enough to pay the $75 annual fee compared to the non-Elite version?
OK - after having gone through the process, I would NOT recommend signing up for the Elite version simply because First Tech treats it like an unsecured loan application, and has their loan people calling you and verifying stuff, and lots of confusing extra paperwork. Because this is their "Elite" card it gets a lot stricter credit treatment than the others. After receiving emails saying the credit card was approved, I still got a "adverse action notice" that indicated that I wasn't approved but was given a counter-offer of $25,000 which is a minimum for that card. It turned out the original request was for $75K, but I didn't request that. So someone from the loan department who talked to us requested that on our behalf. When I called this morning I was told the cards had already been mailed to us, that they were at the $25K limit, which is all we needed in the first place. Yet the letter and information didn't explain anything about the credit card approval.

Just save yourself the hassle and sign up for the Choice card instead, which has a $10K to $25K credit limit range.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:14 PM   #629
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Just save yourself the hassle and sign up for the Choice card instead, which has a $10K to $25K credit limit range.
Thanks for the update.
Actually, I did sign up for the Choice card, but it was a little strange too. When they asked me what limit I wanted, I said $15K and they gave me $35K, which is far more than I'll ever use.

The strange thing was that I signed up for a checking and savings account to become a member, and made them joint with DW. No, the checking account was fine but in order to have a joint credit card, both parties must be "primary members." So DW had to open her own savings account and be a primary member as well. Once she did that, they said everything was fine and it proceeded normally. No problem with both of us being joint owners on both savings accounts, but we each have to be primary on one of them in order to have a joint credit card. Strange, but OK.

I'm looking forward to using it as a true chip & PIN on our next trip.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:49 PM   #630
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I got back from Spain two weeks ago.

Never had to use First Tech card. I did have to refuel a rental car but in both cases, I had to go inside and pay. There were no options to pay at the pump.

I used Apple Pay a lot. Most of the restaurants and shops had POS terminals with contactless support. Mostly the contactless support they get is with contactless credit cards issued by European banks. So more than once, people were surprised my iPhone worked.

There were one or two occasions where they had a much older terminal, which didn't support contactless. But contactless is faster than a chip card and you don't have to sign for anything, whereas most US chip cards will prioritize signature when used in chip mode.

Supposedly though the way it works is that cards will have a threshold transaction value above which you can't authenticate with just the TouchID in Apple Pay. However, I had a €254 hotel bill that I used Apple Pay for and I didn't sign.
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:04 PM   #631
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I got back from Spain two weeks ago.

Never had to use First Tech card. I did have to refuel a rental car but in both cases, I had to go inside and pay. There were no options to pay at the pump.

I used Apple Pay a lot. Most of the restaurants and shops had POS terminals with contactless support. Mostly the contactless support they get is with contactless credit cards issued by European banks. So more than once, people were surprised my iPhone worked.

There were one or two occasions where they had a much older terminal, which didn't support contactless. But contactless is faster than a chip card and you don't have to sign for anything, whereas most US chip cards will prioritize signature when used in chip mode.

Supposedly though the way it works is that cards will have a threshold transaction value above which you can't authenticate with just the TouchID in Apple Pay. However, I had a €254 hotel bill that I used Apple Pay for and I didn't sign.
Hmmm - I think touch ID of a thumbprint or phone login is much more secure than a signature, so I can't imagine why a signature would be needed in addition, unless the terminal system doesn't distinguish between NFC cards using no authentication (like the Canadian cards) and cards like Apply Pay. I had a fairly expensive purchase at a Best Buy where Apple Pay with Touch ID was just fine.

Well, I'll have to look for Apply Pay in Europe. Since the First Tech card supports Apple Pay I'll just get set up with that too.
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:15 PM   #632
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Thanks for the update.
Actually, I did sign up for the Choice card, but it was a little strange too. When they asked me what limit I wanted, I said $15K and they gave me $35K, which is far more than I'll ever use.

The strange thing was that I signed up for a checking and savings account to become a member, and made them joint with DW. No, the checking account was fine but in order to have a joint credit card, both parties must be "primary members." So DW had to open her own savings account and be a primary member as well. Once she did that, they said everything was fine and it proceeded normally. No problem with both of us being joint owners on both savings accounts, but we each have to be primary on one of them in order to have a joint credit card. Strange, but OK.

I'm looking forward to using it as a true chip & PIN on our next trip.
Wow, surprise on the $35K limit, when their online docs indicated $25K was the max.

Yes, we had to fill out paperwork to get DH as a member, but I didn't see anything about him having his own checking account, I thought he would be joint on mine. Hmmm.
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:25 PM   #633
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Wow, surprise on the $35K limit, when their online docs indicated $25K was the max.

Yes, we had to fill out paperwork to get DH as a member, but I didn't see anything about him having his own checking account, I thought he would be joint on mine. Hmmm.
DW had to get her own savings account to be a primary member. The checking account is joint.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:16 PM   #634
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We had a chance to try out our new First Tech FCU MasterCard with PIN priority at Home Depot today. Sure enough - it asked for a PIN, and approved the transaction.

I also tried it at Target, but the amount was <$10, so no PIN was requested.

We plan to use this card extensively in Europe.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:51 PM   #635
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Thanks, that's very good to know.
Our PINs arrived today, so the cards should be here shortly.
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Old 04-28-2017, 06:37 PM   #636
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Thanks, that's very good to know.
Our PINs arrived today, so the cards should be here shortly.
Each of us was issued a different card number, so we each have different PINs.

I read that Walmart, Target and Home Depot will ask for PINs. I suppose the transaction has to be high enough.

Looks like CVS as well according to some flyer talk conversations - even for low amounts. And also some Subways?

Oh - check this out. The Home Depot receipt says "verified by PIN" !!
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File Type: jpg Verified by PIN.jpg (61.6 KB, 12 views)
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:56 AM   #637
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I used mine today (got them in the mail yesterday).
Much to my surprise, the machine at Kroger asked for the PIN on a transaction under $10, even though I've never had to do any verification on other cards for amounts under $50. Glad to see the extra layer of security.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:59 AM   #638
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I used mine today (got them in the mail yesterday).
Much to my surprise, the machine at Kroger asked for the PIN on a transaction under $10, even though I've never had to do any verification on other cards for amounts under $50. Glad to see the extra layer of security.
It's good to see the US finally adopting this technology. Security is good!
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:51 PM   #639
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Surprise!

I used my First Tech MasterCard at checkout at Walmart for a purchase just over $6, and it prompted me for my PIN! Which I supplied, and transaction went through.

I remarked my surprise to the cashier, and he said, oh no, we don't ask for PIN unless it's over $50! I told him I had to enter my PIN just then. He looked shocked.

Interesting.

Anyway another place someone can test their US issued PIN priority card.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:20 PM   #640
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I had the same experience with a small grocery purchase at Kroger.

Looks like we finally joined the rest of the world.
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