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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-11-2004, 08:04 PM   #21
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Re: Credit card selection

Bob - I guess 8 years with no credit is too long for them. I would second Cutthroat's suggestion to try to talk to a person there. If you have not success with that, I would check with your credit union or bank where you have accounts and ask them to open up a credit card. I guess I am still amazed that they would turn down someone who has paid off a mortgage.....

I used to pay most expenses with cash when I was single. But then I got married, with instant kids(step kids), and between increased costs (Subway for 5 vs. subway for 1) and the fact that my wallet became "the bank", I switched to plastic. It has real advantages in being able to track expenses easily as long as you have the disipline not to abuse it.

Wayne
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-11-2004, 09:01 PM   #22
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Re: Credit card selection

It's unlikely anybody at Amazon would be able to help you. *They just put their brand on the card. *The rejection letter should tell you the name of the issuing bank, and that bank may be able to get you going.
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-12-2004, 10:29 AM   #23
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Re: Credit card selection

Thanks all. I do want to use a credit card now just to get the perks. I hadn't thought of just getting one through my credit union. That would be easy. Then I'll switch to Amazon. Wab, you're right - it is Bank One that issues the credit. I'll call them them - maybe I can skip the local credit card.
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-12-2004, 11:33 AM   #24
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Re: Credit card selection

Quote:
it is Bank One that issues the credit.
If I recall correctly, they issue that card and a wide number of other reward cards. Look at the bankone web site and I think it is there. I'm so sick of customer service phones, I usually use online communications when possible, and they respond promptly.

I have the bankone business rewards card for my LLC which was formed to manage my apartments. 1% back on everything and 3% on certain "business supplies" including building materials. Now if I could find a personal one with that level of rewards!

Wayne
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-12-2004, 11:47 AM   #25
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Re: Credit card selection

Money and quicken (i've used both) can be good and bad.

Depending on which banks and investment firms, the updating can be a click of a button or a fairly lengthy process. I use an old east coast credit union that used to be part of my company; company died but the credit union lives on. They dont allow direct quicken or money downloads, you have to open quicken, go to the bank web site, pull up account history, and click a button to make it get vacuumed up into quicken.

Some problems I had with it, and I'm sure they're solutions to them but I hit the wall with "this is taking more time to do than its saving me or offset by quality information".

- Many vanguard admiral funds internal information is not available or incorrect. For example the Wellesley fund I have shows its asset allocation as 100% "other", and the historic distribution information is not accurate. I've entered the asset allocation information manually, but periodically it gets reset.

- My former brokerage (ameritrade) didnt report dividends paid out correctly, instead it told quicken that a $3000 dividend payout in cash was a zero dollar dividend reinvestment. This was more ameritrades fault than quickens, but neither was much interested in resolving the problem. In fact quicken never even answered any of my emails. This caused me to have to refile a tax return when I fed quicken to turbotax and a single large dividend payment at the end of the tax year was recorded as zero. After that, obviously I didnt feel I could trust any accounting or tax software without analyzing each piece of information a line at a time. Which sort of makes them not very useful, at least to me.

- Monies moving between accounts at different institutions are problematic. If I do an EFT of 10k from vanguard to my credit union, each institution reports this as an unlinked transaction...one has 10k beaming out to oblivion, the other has 10k beaming in. I can manually correct this by changing each transaction in quicken to be an inter-account transfer, but the very next time I link up and download transaction histories I end up with the withdrawal from one and the deposit in the other re-entered, creating double entries...the 'proper' transfer one and the two distinct transfers. Failure to fix the original lack of interlinking the transactions causes inaccuracies in balances.

- Holdings of accounts arent always right. Even now that I'm 100% vanguard on my investments, after a month or so I'll notice that what vanguard reports as number of shares in a fund differs from what quicken thinks, and I'll always find some small gaffe and have to correct the transaction. And as above sometimes the correction can be undone by the next download.

So my summary is that the software is useful if you

- Have an account with a company that provides high quality linked quicken data rather than downloads, or you're willing to change financial institutions to one that does. Quicken offers brokerage, credit cards and banking and I'm not sure if they're focus on their own causes small 'problems' with others, or if the lack of attention to non-quicken financial entities is intentional to gently drive you into their services when you get sick of little this and that problems.

- Ideally you have everything...checking, savings, money market, investments, credit cards, etc with the same linked institution. Very ideally quickens own.

- You're willing to put some time into categorizing, correcting or at least looking over what quicken *thinks* has happened to make sure a mistake or unlinked transaction set hasnt occurred.

I'd probably prefer that instead of spinning out a new version every freakin' year that is only marginally better than the year before, that they work to resolve some of these problems. Because I think they're largely resolvable. A nice toolkit and support for banks and financial institutions to make linkage a no-brainer. Looking for same dollar transactions that happen withing a day or two of another between institutions, asking if they're linked, and doing so internally to keep balances correct. Working with other financial institutions to quickly resolve small discrepancies and bugs.

As of now, I'd rather not spend several hours a week in this direction. All my investments are at vanguard, all my other financial stuff is at my credit union. Simple for tax time. I spent a few hours putting together a strawman budget and just eyeballing it I can see that I was as conservative as I thought with it and that my spending is in line. I'm not sure I need any more information than that.

My ex girlfriend was a double analytical though, and she spent an hour a day with a fistfull of receipts, entering and categorizing, downloading and verifying, balancing and correcting. She felt very good in being able to chart how much cat food her cats ate month by month, subdivided into canned and dry. Some folks heads just work that way.
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-12-2004, 12:09 PM   #26
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Re: Credit card selection

Quote:
Money and quicken (i've used both) can be good and bad.

Depending on which banks and investment firms, the updating can be a click of a button or a fairly lengthy process. I use an old east coast credit union that used to be part of my company; company died but the credit union lives on. They dont allow direct quicken or money downloads, you have to open quicken, go to the bank web site, pull up account history, and click a button to make it get vacuumed up into quicken.
....
I've actually closed accounts (at US bank, a while ago) because they did not work well with quicken update.

I have a little trouble with transfers every so often but usually if I put the transfer in first, the I can be sure the transaction matches it. It can have it's glitches, but for the most part, the old credit card download (AT&T universal card) works great. We'll see how the new reward card works.

I don't use quicken to track personal checking by category since it is not worth the effort to me.

Wayne
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-12-2004, 12:10 PM   #27
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Re: Credit card selection

Quote:
Hey Holly, you got me fired up to get Amazon's credit card. I checked it out, liked what I saw, and applied. Problem is, I haven't used credit in so long that they turned me down!! During my accumulation years I simply had no need for credit, so I literally dropped off the radar screen. Anybody know of a hassle free way to get it back (that doesn't involve paying interest)?
A lot of Credit Unions offer a free credit card when you sign up for a checking account. You have to look at all the gotchas, but the credit union I use charges no fees on checking or savings provided you keep an account balance of $500. The interest rate on that account s#cks, but the credit card that comes with the account also offers a reward program that pays for a lot of travel.
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Re: Credit card selection
Old 03-12-2004, 02:10 PM   #28
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Re: Credit card selection

Quote:
A lot of Credit Unions offer a free credit card when you sign up for a checking account.
This is a personal pet peeve thing, but the other great thing about a credit union credit card is that they don't stuff the bill with ads and demands for you to pay to insure against their loss. Discover and Wells Fargo bills used to come with extra pages full of ads plus extra brochures and an ad I had to tear off to close the envelope to mail the stupid payment back (before I got online bill pay). My credit card bill comes with...a statement and a blank envelope. And occasionally a brochure about CU elections or rate specials.
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