What’s the best credit card for me?

cards225Everyone wants to know what the best credit card is, but nobody wants to hear the real answer: there is NO best credit card, only the best credit card for you. Consider:

  • If you have a balance on your credit card, the best card for you is the one with the lowest interest rate.
  • If you pay your full balance every month, the best credit card for you is a rewards credit card, BUT…
  • The best rewards card for you depends on… you. Do you want airline miles, cash back or gift cards, points toward merchandise rewards, or some other rewards scheme?

See? There is no best credit card. But we are happy to give you our ideas on the top credit card or cards in various categories, in order to help you choose which card is best for you:

Continue reading

What credit score do I need for a Walmart credit card? (What are my approval odds?)

By Laura Mack

Before we talk credit scores and approval odds, you should understand how the Walmart credit card application process works.

Walmart offers two different credit cards issued by Synchrony Bank (although these cards will soon be transitioning to Capital One). There is the Walmart Mastercard (accepted at Walmart and at any other stores that accept Mastercard) and the Walmart store credit card (accepted only at Walmart and Sam’s Club).

When you apply, you do not choose which card you want. Instead, you will first be considered for the Walmart Mastercard, which requires a better credit history. If your credit history is good enough, you’ll be approved for that card. If your credit history is not up to the standards set for that card, they will then consider you for the Walmart store card, which does not require as good of a credit history. You may then be approved for that card, or of course you could be rejected for that as well.

So what kind of credit scores do you need to qualify for these cards? What are your odds of approval?
Continue reading

Best Business Credit Cards

Below you’ll find our picks for the best business credit cards, specifically small business credit cards. There are two types of business credit card: corporate credit cards for large businesses and small business credit cards for businesses that can vary in size from 100 employees to a sole proprietor working from home.

Let’s get to our small business rankings…

SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT CARDS:

Chase Ink Business Preferred – Our favorite small business card comes with a $95 annual fee but plenty of perks, especially for businesses that will use this card often. First, you’re going to earn 80,000 points as a one-time bonus if you spend at least $5000 with this card in the first three months after opening the card account. That’s worth at least $800 if you exchange it for cash, but it also could be worth $1000 if you use it toward travel within the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. (Chase gives your points a 25% boost when you use your points earned with this card in their travel portal.)

The everyday rewards are good here, too: 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent yearly in combined purchases of travel, shipping, Internet service, cable service, phone service, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. (You’ll get 1 point per dollar on everything else you buy with this card.)

In our book, Chase also has the best travel transfer partners, which also enhances this card’s value. You can transfer the points you earn on this card on a 1-to-1 basis with airline and hotel programs including United, Southwest, Marriott, Hyatt and more.

The card also has no foreign transaction fees on purchases made with the card outside of the United States. (Many cards charge 3% on foreign transactions.)
Continue reading

Stein Mart Credit Card Payment, Login, and Customer Service Information

stein-mart-credit-cardStein Mart’s credit card is offered in partnership with Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bank), and it is Synchrony Bank you will interact with in order to pay your bill online or by mail, or to get customer service help. Information on completing any of these tasks is below:

Continue reading

Amazon Credit Card Approval Odds (Amazon Store Card & Chase Amazon Card)

By Rebecca Anders

Amazon offers two different consumer credit cards from two different credit card issuers. Your odds of being approved for an Amazon credit card are different depending on which card you are talking about as well as on whether you have excellent credit, average credit, or bad credit.

Let’s look at each card and discuss the card’s approval odds:

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa (or Amazon Rewards Visa) from Chase

This Amazon credit card is issued by Chase and offers you rewards with every purchase you make. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get 5% back in rewards on your Amazon & Whole Foods purchases, 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and then 1% back on everything else. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, the card is mostly the same, except you’ll only get a 3% rebate on those Amazon purchases.

This is the more desirable and generous of the two Amazon credit cards, so there is a higher standard for approval. Chase and Amazon are going to be looking for customers with good-to-excellent credit scores, though average scores may be OK if you have a longer credit history and you’ve handled credit well in the last 3 to 4 years.

So what does all that mean in terms of approval?

  • Credit scores above 750: Odds of approval are very high
  • Credit scores between 700-749: Odds of approval are 65%-75%
  • Credit scores between 650 and 699: Odds of approval are 35%-40%
  • Credit scores below 650: Odds of approval are very low

A question that always comes up when people look at the odds of approval on the Amazon Visa (or any other credit card) is: why do some people get rejected with a higher score while people with a lower score get approved?

The answer is that your overall credit score is not the only factor in the approval decision. Your income and/or monthly expenses can be a factor, the length of your credit history can be a factor, the number of credit cards you’ve applied for in the recent past can be a factor, the amount of debt on your current cards can be a factor, and more. While some of these factors are already part of your credit score, certain card issuers will weigh certain factors more heavily than others.

For example, in the case of the Amazon Visa, Chase is often thought of as a bank that is less likely to work with newer credit card customers, so if your credit history is less than a year old, your score might be OK but your odds of approval would be lower than someone else with the same score but a longer history of credit card use.
Continue reading

Review: Open Sky Credit Card

open-sky-cc225The Open Sky credit card is a secured credit card, targeted mainly at those who have no credit history or those who have a poor credit history and want to improve it. Our review of the Open Sky credit card is below:

First, what is a secured credit card?

Before discussing the Open Sky credit card, a brief discussion on what a secured credit card is. Most credit cards are “unsecured,” meaning you don’t have to put down any collateral for what amounts to a credit card loan each month. The bank is trusting you to pay back your debt, but they don’t have any of your money or property as security against you failing to pay.

A secured credit card, on the other hand, does require collateral. You must put down a security deposit in order to get the card. You use the card like any other credit card, and you pay your balance off each month — the security deposit only exists to protect the bank, it is not used to pay your balance unless you fail to pay. You get the security deposit back when you choose to close your account, provided your balance is zero.

As mentioned above, banks offer secured credit cards to people with no credit history or a bad credit history, and making payments on time with the secured card can boost your credit score, hopefully to a place where you qualify for an unsecured credit card.
Continue reading

Mills Fleet Farm Credit Card Payment, Login, and Customer Service Information

Mills Fleet Farm credit cards are issued in partnership with Synchrony Bank, and it is Synchrony Bank you will interact with in order to pay your bill online or by mail, or to get customer service assistance. Below you’ll find info you need to complete any of these tasks:

Continue reading

Mercury Credit Card Payment, Login, and Customer Service Information

If you are a Mercury Mastercard credit card holder, either through a direct approval from CreditShop/First Bank & Trust, or through the transition of former Barclays Bank cards to the Mercury credit card, below you will find all of the information you need to pay your card bill online, by mail, or by phone, or to get customer service assistance:

Continue reading

Walmart Credit Card Payment, Login, and Customer Service Information

Walmart credit cards are issued in partnership with Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bank), and it is Synchrony you will interact with when it comes to paying your bill online or by mail, or to get customer service assistance.

Below is all the information you need to complete any of these tasks:

  • To access your account and make a Walmart credit card payment online, you can log in here.

Continue reading

Best 0 Interest Credit Cards for New Purchases

zero-percentBelow is our ranking of the best no-annual-fee credit cards that offer a 0 percent interest rate on new purchases for at least 15 billing cycles. After the zero percent period the rate changes back to the higher, “normal” rate offered by that card. Many of these cards also have 0% balance transfer offers, meaning you can move balances from other higher-interest cards onto them and have no interest accrue while you pay them off.

  • US Bank Visa Platinum – Offers a 0% interest rate on purchases for 20 months. Also offers a 0% APR on balance transfers, but note the 3% fee on transferred balances. Interest rate after 18 months ranges from 14.74% to 25.74% depending on your credit history.
  • Citi Diamond Preferred Card – Offers a 0% interest rate on purchases for 18 months. Also offers a 0% rate on balance transfers, though there is a 5% balance transfer fee, which is quite high. Interest rate after 18 months: 15.24% – 25.24% (depending on your credit history).
  • Citi Simplicity Card – Offers a 0% interest rate for 18 months on new purchases, plus a 05 rate on balance transfers for that same 18 months (but 3% balance transfer fee). Interest rate after the first 18 months will be anywhere from 16.24% to 26.24% depending on your credit history.
  • Wells Fargo Platinum Visa – Get a 0% rate on purchases for 18 months. 0% APR on balance transfers, too (though a 3% balance transfer fee). Interest rate after 18 months could be anywhere from 17.74% to as high as 27.74%, depending on your credit history.
  • BankAmericard Mastercard – You get a 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months with this card, and you pay no balance transfer fee if you transfer that balance in the first 60 days. (Balances transferred after 60 days would have a 3% fee attached.) After the 0% period is over, your interest rate may be anywhere from 15.24% to 25.24% depending on your credit history.

Continue reading

Exxon Mobil Credit Card Payment, Login, and Customer Service Information

Exxon Mobil credit cards are issued in partnership with Citibank, and it is Citi you will interact with in order to pay your credit card bill online or by mail, or to get customer service assistance. Below you’ll find all the information you need to complete any of these tasks:

Continue reading