Friday, March 03, 2006

Stupid move? CC advices

I might have made a stupid move. I just could not resist this temptation - free $100 gift card when you sign up, and 3% back on any restaurant purchases, so I applied for Citi Professional.

I found this out by reading my favorite blog, mymoneyblog. He talked about $100 Gift Cards back in Nov. This guy got a $100 Target gift card for signing up and making a first purchase.

Target gift card, definitely will be in good use for me because I use Target practically all the time, especially grocery purchases (except for fruits, but that is whole other story...). The citi professional lets you to choose any gift card it lists. Such as Home Depot, Target ...

Why did I do it why did I do it. I already have Citi Dividend Platinum card which gives you 5% back on any drug, food and gas purchases and 1% on anything else. But it does not include restaurants. And I tend to go out alot, despite my trying to budget less of that occurrings. The Citi Professional will help with that, especially giving me 3% back on every eating out purchase.

My FICO score might be impacted but I do not think it should be affected too much because I dont think I will be getting any big loan or looking for a place anytime (low FICO score will impact such activities, i.e. higher interest or even worse, rejections). As for credit cards go, I think I have 5 credit cards, but only 2 I use regularly. I do not count the American Express Corporate card because it is on IBM's account, even if it is in my name.

-NY n Company card (I go to that store all the time)
-Think FCU card (only one with no rewards, low APR, for emergencies)
-Citi Dividend Platinum (for 5% back on gas/food/drug, 1% back on everything else)
-Neb Furniture Mart card (I applied for it to get zero financing on my new TV last year)
-Sears card (I applied for it to get zero financing plus discounts on my new washer/dryer/refrigerator last year) now I do not know where it is anymore..

I do not need the Sears and NFM cards anymore. That is what sux about credit card deals. They offer you awesome one-time reward(s) if you sign up. That time I was looking for items for my new place, especially washer/dryer/refrigerator. They came in handy. But that was only one time I ever use them. Well, NFM gives me 3 months 0% financing if I use the NFM card anytime. I used it for a new couch last fall.

As for the NY and Company card goes, every time I get a statement, I get a bunch of coupons in the mail which is nice.

The whole point of the high rewards cards - PAY YOUR BALANCE OFF MONTHLY. Plainly if you do not, you are basically getting ripped off. The APRs are like 20% or more. Which will hurt you severely if you miss a monthly payment or just pay the minimal. PAY IT FULL. Period. Do not let the credit card companies win. Take advantage of their offerings but do not make them reap yours. If you feel you cannot pay the balance in full monthly, go for lower APR cards (which usually have no rewards/bonuses).

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