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veremchuka 11-21-2012 03:51 PM

Why you may want to have 2 credit cards
 
I got a call yesterday afternoon from the bank that I have my cc with. Someone was making purchases out of the norm and they wanted to know if I was doing it, amazing how closely they monitor purchases! Somehow someone got my cc info and made some purchases so they closed the account immediately.

It's going to take 2-3 business days to get the new card but initially it was 5-7 business days. I use the card for everything and that wasn't going to cut it so they offered to do it in 2-3 and waive the fee to ship it so fast.

I have an additional cc I seldom ever use but now until I get the new cc this is how I can still buy stuff, no small deal really. I never thought it made sense to have 2 cc, the 2nd allowed free shipping and returns w/o s&h costs at a retailer so I got it a few years ago but seldom ever buy anything from them now. I'm glad I kept it.

KingB 11-21-2012 04:12 PM

My bank sends me an alert as soon (almost immediately) as a charge has been made on my card. Hopefully, I can catch the fraudulent use the first time it is used and prevent more from being charged.

Check that your 2nd card has not expired.

HawkeyeNFO 11-21-2012 04:13 PM

Only 2? Everytime they offer sign-up bonuses that are worthwhile, I'm applying. Traveling by air with a family of 5 could be expensive if I didn't do that.

Mulligan 11-21-2012 04:23 PM

A couple years ago, credit card companies were closing accounts on dormant ones. I have 7 or 8, but really only used one. Started rotating in a couple more so they wouldn't close them. I expected them to close the other ones, but as of now they still haven't and even send offers to use them still. I should cancel them, but too lazy to, I guess.

Rustward 11-21-2012 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by veremchuka (Post 1250462)
... amazing how closely they monitor purchases! ...

The same computers that keep you from overcharging your account are doing fraud analysis among other things. After all, it's their money you are spending until you get billed and pay.

Spanky 11-21-2012 06:20 PM

In case one of them puts a hold on your account. Pen Fed always declines purchase whenever we travel out of town. We have to call them to re-instate it.

traineeinvestor 11-21-2012 06:21 PM

I have three. Not only do I get the security of knowing that I will not be stranded if there is a problem with one card, it can save some money when using one of them qualifies me for a discount of some kind that I wouldn't get on the others.

easysurfer 11-21-2012 07:10 PM

I have four, but only regularly use two.

If I go on a trip for a long time, I bring along a primary, and a backup, and a just in case backup #2 ;D. Otherwise I only carry two in my wallet.

scrabbler1 11-21-2012 07:21 PM

As Mulligan mentioned, CC companies began closing dormant accounts. I had two of my dormant cards closed in 2009, not that I cared. I so rarely use my CC (maybe 5 times a year) that having more than one does not seem very important. I think I have a second one open but have never used it. I consider my debit card to be a backup card, at least something plastic I can use if my CC goes down.

Disappointed 11-21-2012 07:26 PM

Just happened to me yesterday. I am in Bangkok, too lazy to notify my CC company before my trip. I was able to use my Visa card twice, the third time with the same merchant was declined. Amex is not accepted at this merchant so I paid cash. My Amex works flawlessly with merchants that accept Amex. Perhaps charging my airline ticket on Amex automatically alerting them of my trip. I try not to carry multiple CC while traveling.

Dawg52 11-21-2012 09:54 PM

I never have problems with my 2 credit cards, until today. This morning I go to a grocery store and charge to one of my cc with no problem. Later in the day I go to Dollar General and the same cc was declined saying 'invalid cc'. I tell the clerk I just used it in the morning and he tries it again, but get the same message. So I pay cash and leave pissed.

Just checked my cc acct but no problems are noted. Must be a screw up on DG's computer, but it is embarrassing when your in line trying to charge something and everybody is looking at you like you are trying to pull a fast one. I will just go to Walmart next time.

AWeinel 11-21-2012 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disappointed (Post 1250548)
Just happened to me yesterday. I am in Bangkok, too lazy to notify my CC company before my trip. I was able to use my Visa card twice, the third time with the same merchant was declined. Amex is not accepted at this merchant so I paid cash. My Amex works flawlessly with merchants that accept Amex. Perhaps charging my airline ticket on Amex automatically alerting them of my trip. I try not to carry multiple CC while traveling.

ALWAYS call before you travel. ALWAYS

Meadbh 11-21-2012 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AWeinel

ALWAYS call before you travel. ALWAYS

I have had my credit card denied twice, once in Paris, France (woo hoo, unusual activity!) and once in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. After my experience in Paris I got a second credit card. I also notified the credit card company a week before my visit to KSA, and told them where I would be staying. Yet, it was the act of registering at the hotel (a Marriott) that triggered the alert on their system. Moral of the story: always have a backup.

RetireBy90 11-22-2012 05:43 AM

I use Amex when we travel, they have been good at resolving disputes and invalid charges.

DW recently made a web purchase from a UK company, it was denied cause out of country :)

Idnar7 11-22-2012 06:55 AM

I have four cc. For a while now I have been getting "0 interest for one year" offers from them. Lately with low (0 or 1%) transaction fees. This has allowed me to pay off three cc balances (about 8k total) with no interest paid over the last couple years. Will enter 2013 with no cc debt.

donheff 11-22-2012 07:06 AM

I was in a remote part of Grand Cayman a week ago where I couldn't get a cell signal. I had forgotten to notify my CC companies of travel. The main card refused to accept charges. Luckily I had backups that worked. The main card also suspended all payments (I use it for lots of auto-pays). That part irritated me. It is easily foreseeable that card holders will forget to notify companies of travel. OK, refuse the overseas charges and any other questionable charges. But routine transactions that occur every month? You can't program your systems to distinguish and continue those?

frayne 11-22-2012 07:10 AM

One card here and I get an alert anytime more than $500 is charged to it. When traveling I carry some emergency cash in the event of a CC problem.

Dawg52 11-22-2012 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spanky (Post 1250527)
In case one of them puts a hold on your account. Pen Fed always declines purchase whenever we travel out of town. We have to call them to re-instate it.

How far off are you talking about? When I have visited family within the S.E. or just a couple of states over from me, I have not experienced this with PF. I wonder how they would handle your purchases if you call them in advance?

rbmrtn 11-22-2012 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawg52 (Post 1250590)
I never have problems with my 2 credit cards, until today. This morning I go to a grocery store and charge to one of my cc with no problem. Later in the day I go to Dollar General and the same cc was declined saying 'invalid cc'. I tell the clerk I just used it in the morning and he tries it again, but get the same message. So I pay cash and leave pissed.

Just checked my cc acct but no problems are noted. Must be a screw up on DG's computer, but it is embarrassing when your in line trying to charge something and everybody is looking at you like you are trying to pull a fast one. I will just go to Walmart next time.

Had that happen at walmart once. It was their card reader. Went to CS desk and they ran it through there, no problem.

Also I found the dollar stores only take some cards. Went to DollarTree, they couldn't take MC but could take VISA.

rbmrtn 11-22-2012 07:34 AM

I have one CC I use for almost everything, it has 1.5% cash back ( had Schwabs 2% till they cancelled the program ).

Have a bunch other that I never use, Just got one from amazon because came with an instant $50 off on an order I was placing. Same with an ebay card. I just throw them in a draw and never use them.

drb391 11-22-2012 08:06 AM

have 3; 1 for everyday stuff, 1 for online & phone only, 1 I have had for several yrs, but never used. the 2 I use are thru Chase. don't know about others, but @ Chase's site, one can set up alerts. "Payment Due"(10-days before). "Payment Received" in emails. one that I have sent to cell phone - Notify me if charge is made over xxx $. works pretty good. get msg within minutes

Corporateburnout 11-22-2012 08:25 AM

We have 6 major cards but only use 3 a Fidelity AMEX with a 2% cash back a BOFA rewards card and a Citibank virtual account numbers that we use for online purchases only.

When we travel especially overseas we usually carry 4 but never had any issues with any of them.

Donzo 11-22-2012 09:41 AM

I use my 2 cards for everything - that I can.

Visa - for air miles used for everything other than Costco and fuel

Amex - for Hilton points and for use at Costco and fuel

W2R 11-22-2012 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by veremchuka (Post 1250462)
I got a call yesterday afternoon from the bank that I have my cc with. Someone was making purchases out of the norm and they wanted to know if I was doing it, amazing how closely they monitor purchases! Somehow someone got my cc info and made some purchases so they closed the account immediately.

What a hassle! Sorry this happened to you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by veremchuka
It's going to take 2-3 business days to get the new card but initially it was 5-7 business days. I use the card for everything and that wasn't going to cut it

Cash wouldn't work as a temporary stopgap for a few days? Oh well. I guess I just don't get it. Anyway, I'm glad that you found a solution that was satisfactory for you.

rescueme 11-22-2012 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Disappointed (Post 1250548)
I try not to carry multiple CC while traveling.

OTOH, I/DW carry at least two each (in our own names) to ensure that we have at least one that will work while we travel (mostly international).

For us, it's AMEX/Visa.

Different strokes....

BTW, I have a separate Visa card that I only use once a year, and I never carry it with me. It's there primarily as a backup, and since it has a high allowance, it reduces my overall spend vs. credit limit, which in turn keeps my FICO score well above 800.

PatrickA5 11-22-2012 11:23 AM

Between DW and I, we have 12 credit cards. We should probably cancel a few. We only carry 2 each, the rest I have locked away awaiting the latest greatest offer for points, miles, cash back, etc. We never carry a balance.

Just yesterday, got a call from Chase verifying that I used a seldom-used card 5 times in 15 minutes. Last month, someone in Germany used my credit card, but I got a quick call from fraud prevention, canceled the card and had a replacement within a week. I'm glad the banks are keeping up with this stuff.

Spanky 11-22-2012 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawg52 (Post 1250624)
How far off are you talking about? When I have visited family within the S.E. or just a couple of states over from me, I have not experienced this with PF. I wonder how they would handle your purchases if you call them in advance?

California, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver - ~1500 miles from home.
Neighboring states are fine, e.g., Wisconsin, Illinois.


If you had called them in advance (prior to travel), it would have been okay. As others have mentioned, AMEX card is pretty reliable.

AWeinel 11-22-2012 01:52 PM

I should clarify... we DO carry three + debit. ***AND*** I always call when traveling, whether domestic or international. Thankfully we have NEVER had an issue. Our daughter lives in Germany and we regularly get Euros at a particular SparKasse bank branch in her village. We have drawn Shekels in Israel, Zlotys in Poland... whatever. NEVER had a problem.

The **only** time we had an issue was before I retired, DW was visiting daughter in Germany and our Debit card expired. I had talked to the Credit Union IN ADVANCE and they assured me it was extended electronically. I went to get gas one night... declined. Went home and called her right away up to give her a heads up. And next morning raised Holy Cain at the CU and had them FED EX her the replacement card. At least in those days they actually MADE the card while you waited - no having to wait 5-7 w*rk days for processing. Mama got her card and the rest of her visit was great. Point is, the EXPIRATION date is one more thing to be sure and look at.

coalcracker 11-22-2012 03:47 PM

I travel internationally quite a bit and use my Capital One no hassle card because they don't have a foreign transaction fee. I use AMEX for pretty much everything else at home, but their foreign transaction fee is 3% I believe so it is emergency backup only abroad.

Rustward 11-22-2012 08:35 PM

Must be different now... In the late 90's and early 00's I traveled each week domestically about 45-48 weeks per year and charged everything except airfare and "corporate housing" (usually a rented apartment on long term assignments), but I did have a lot of "hotel weeks" (with associated "hotel food") which made for lots of charges. Never experienced a reject.

We have two MasterCards, one Amex, one Visa, and one Discover to back up each other, and to cover situations where a particular merchant will not take a particular card. One of those cards is the primary, and I make sure to make some kind of charge on each card every quarter to keep them alive.

Sirka 11-22-2012 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easysurfer (Post 1250537)
I have four, but only regularly use two.

If I go on a trip for a long time, I bring along a primary, and a backup, and a just in case backup #2 ;D. Otherwise I only carry two in my wallet.

That's my plan - must have a back up. I once dropped the cc on the magnet in Walmart at the checkout. That deleted the mag. strip info and I had to replace it.

sheehs1 11-22-2012 09:57 PM

I only have one credit card but may need to rethink this after reading this thread. In the past, it has just been simpler for me to have all credit card purchases and returns on one statement and pay just one bill.

GrayHare 11-22-2012 10:07 PM

When I got a second card this year at a bank I found the process unusual. The questions in-person were different from those of the online application I had reviewed in advance, and I didn't need to either show ID or sign anything. It was easy, maybe too easy.

JustMeUC 11-22-2012 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO (Post 1250473)
Only 2? Everytime they offer sign-up bonuses that are worthwhile, I'm applying. Traveling by air with a family of 5 could be expensive if I didn't do that.

Me too... I have at least a dozen plus airline and hotel cards that I rotate. Most I close after 11 months, wait a few months then reapply for a new bonus. In 2010 & 2011 I earned well over a million miles and points on sign up and transfer bonuses. I travel internationally at least 12 times a year and can't remember the last time I purchased an airline ticket and often don't pay for hotel rooms.

My sister who hardly ever leaves the state got declined when she purchased something in the Caribbean but I never call when I am traveling and never been rejected for unusual use. I guess I travel enough that none of the CC companies question charges from here there or anywhere.
:blush:

Alan 11-22-2012 10:45 PM

I've had my CC details stolen 3 times and the biggest hassle is changing all the auto-payments.

So we have 3 cards, one of which is only used for the automated monthly or yearly payments. (phone, cable, electric, etc.).

I make sure I use the other backup card once a month to keep it active.

Midpack 11-23-2012 08:42 AM

We only have one, and it's the one that provides the most cash back. However, my logic was that I also had an AmEx card from work that I could use in a pinch. Now that we no longer have the AmEx, maybe we should consider another...

veremchuka 11-23-2012 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrabbler1 (Post 1250545)
As Mulligan mentioned, CC companies began closing dormant accounts. I had two of my dormant cards closed in 2009, not that I cared. I so rarely use my CC (maybe 5 times a year) that having more than one does not seem very important. I think I have a second one open but have never used it. I consider my debit card to be a backup card, at least something plastic I can use if my CC goes down.

Closing accounts can lower your FICO score by increasing your debt level relative to available credit left. That would anger me, I have a pretty good FICO score.

The cc I used today at the health food store, grocery store and to buy gas is used 1x a year if that. So I did 3 purchases within an hour and I was wondering if that bank would think something was up with the activity! No calls from them so far.

W2R, cash could be used but I seldom have it so it's an inconvenience to go to the bank and cash a check, no debit card, no ATM's for me. My pension was reduced as I am able to collect SS whether I do or don't so for a couple of months I've had less cash in the bank. Buying anything online this weekend is impossible with cash.

I got my new cc today, that's good.

grasshopper 11-23-2012 05:57 PM

I use Discover online with the one time use CC number. Discover was my go to card, but a dozen times I came home from shopping and had a message to call the fraud dept. We have no cell service so giving them a cell number was useless. I was trying to bail one of my dogs out of the vet for a rattlesnake bite $1500 and was denied.

Now I use CapOne for all transactions unless Chase has 5% gas or some other quarterly deal. I have never had a denial from CapOne even if we slide into Mexico for eyeglasses or pharmaceuticals, and never have a foreign transaction fee.

Midpack 11-23-2012 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grasshopper (Post 1251153)
I use Discover online with the one time use CC number.

Now I use CapOne for all transactions unless Chase has 5% gas or some other quarterly deal. I have never had a denial from CapOne even if we slide into Mexico for eyeglasses or pharmaceuticals, and never have a foreign transaction fee.

If I was ever going to get a CapitalOne card, I sure won't now since they were the first #%^* popup ever on my iPad. Never, never, never >:( YMMV

Alan 11-23-2012 06:30 PM

Penfed Rewards is my main card, and it includes 5% back on gas. I just received my latest Walmart gift card which I choose since we do shop at walmart for groceries & wine.

My 2 backup cards are 1% cash back. (Chase and Amex Blue Cash).

Nords 11-23-2012 06:36 PM

I canceled my father's credit cards a few weeks ago. His credit record was clean on his annual report, but I've never seen a FICO score.

Judging from the volume of credit offers he got in the mail, he had excellent credit. Now that his credit records are frozen, that flood has dried up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan (Post 1250876)
I've had my CC details stolen 3 times and the biggest hassle is changing all the auto-payments.
So we have 3 cards, one of which is only used for the automated monthly or yearly payments. (phone, cable, electric, etc.).
I make sure I use the other backup card once a month to keep it active.

You jogged my memory. We have three cards, but one of them has a mediocre rewards program and I haven't been using it. I might as well use that for our utility bills.

I'm surprised that the utility companies aren't charging convenience fees for the privilege of using a credit card.

Alan 11-23-2012 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords (Post 1251163)
I'm surprised that the utility companies aren't charging convenience fees for the privilege of using a credit card.

So far so good. They must have plenty issues with delinquent payees so would rather pay the CC fees if customers agree to automatic payments.

Mulligan 11-23-2012 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nords
I canceled my father's credit cards a few weeks ago. His credit record was clean on his annual report, but I've never seen a FICO score.

Judging from the volume of credit offers he got in the mail, he had excellent credit. Now that his credit records are frozen, that flood has dried up.

You jogged my memory. We have three cards, but one of them has a mediocre rewards program and I haven't been using it. I might as well use that for our utility bills.

I'm surprised that the utility companies aren't charging convenience fees for the privilege of using a credit card.

I was going to put my utility bills on my credit card this week to extract more cash back free money, but I found out in the fine print they were going to slap a 2% processing fee to pay that way.

check6 11-24-2012 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JustMeUC (Post 1250869)
I have at least a dozen plus airline and hotel cards that I rotate. Most I close after 11 months, wait a few months then reapply for a new bonus. In 2010 & 2011 I earned well over a million miles and points on sign up and transfer bonuses. I travel internationally at least 12 times a year and can't remember the last time I purchased an airline ticket and often don't pay for hotel rooms.

Could you elaborate a little more? Are those million miles with just one airline or spread amongst many?

JustMeUC 11-24-2012 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by check6 (Post 1251513)
Could you elaborate a little more? Are those million miles with just one airline or spread amongst many?

I had about 400K on Delta but am down to less than 300. not 300K but 300. (about half these miles are butt in seat earned. I am platinum on Delta so also paid to fly them a lot too)

I had about 200K on Continental and United but they combined into United. I am down to 55K now.

I went through 5 AMEX cards and they were incredibly good to me with lots of bonuses and transfer bonuses which I turned into many of those Delta and BA miles when they had big bonuses. I still have almost 200K BA miles which I can use on AA.

I had about 300K AA miles, down to 160K

Hilton I think it was 60K nothing left

Hyatt 2 free nights anywhere plus points for initial spend. I used it to stay at an incredible resort which would have cost me almost $600 per night if I paid for the room.

170K Priority Club points, I am down to 15K. I stayed 3 weeks once at an InterContinental when they had a 5K per night special. I am a Plat Ambassador so get free breakfast, free light dinner and free drinks in the evening. I only had to buy lunch during those 3 weeks. The PC card $49 per year also gives you a free night anywhere in the world each year which could easily be valued at $500+ per night.

SPG 80K points - For me, SPG are the most valuable points out there so I use the SPG card as my main spend and replenish this one as I go

Almost ALL of these other than Delta are sign up bonuses and initial spends and some creative transfers when they were available. I am not including miles and points from the US Mint when that was going on. I do Amazon payments every month which adds a free R/T or 2 per year.

The credit card sign up bonuses are NOTHING like they were 2 years ago but still well worth doing. Keep on top of Milesbuzz on flyertalk to keep up to date on the latest and best offers.

I just gifted a weekend trip to my sister and her daughter from RDU-DFW-RDU and 2 nights at a Sheraton. Cost to me? 18K BA miles and $10 + 6K SPG points.

Helen 11-25-2012 06:46 AM

I asked the bank to cancel a lost ATM card and issue a new one. She canceled my credit card by mistake. I used my backup card until the new one arrived.

tinlizzy 11-25-2012 08:03 AM

JustMeUC - reminded me of the pudding guy story. snopes.com: Pudding Air Travel Redemption
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_P..._(entrepreneur)

JustMeUC 11-25-2012 11:56 AM

I met him at one of the Flyertalk seminars a while back. A million miles is small potatoes for lots of Flyertalk folks these days. As long as someone has good/excellent credit and a flexible schedule you can pretty much always travel for free and if you only take a few airline trips a year, in First Class if you care to do so.

mickeyd 11-25-2012 02:16 PM

We used to have many CCs but have lived with only 2 for about 20 years now. Our main card is Discover with USAA MasterCard as our backup.

My experience is simular to the OP in that I have received a call from DC on occasion when DW is out of town visiting relatives on the East coast and goes on a spending spree.

After I speak to DC security and explain that she will be out of town for a few more weeks, they note that fact and move on. It's comforting to know that they look out for us that way (also look after themselves).

Independent 11-25-2012 07:00 PM

We have one CC. My DW thinks that "credit" of any sort is suspect.

Everytime we travel a distance, I think I should get a second. I figure I'd keep it separate from the first card, so if the first is lost/stolen, I'll still be able to reserve and pay for hotel rooms.

Somehow, that never gets done.

MBAustin 11-26-2012 09:49 AM

We've had a primary and backup (both VISA) from two different banks for years. Just got an AMEX Blue Cash Preferred based on another thread here because of the great cashback at grocery stores and department stores. I will probably take the backup VISA out of my wallet now and just use it occasionally to keep it "alive" and keep the credit limit in our FICO score calculation.


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