Capital One VentureOne Rewards Review Pros and Cons

Review of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card with Pros and Cons

Do you want a great rewards card that offers bonuses, miles, and no annual fees? The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card may be a viable option to check into. This card is lesser known thanks to the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card. However, it’s rapidly gaining popularity through word-of-mouth. Like all credit cards, there are downfalls you should know about before you apply. We’ll discuss pros and cons to this card. This review will help decide for yourself if the VentureOne® Rewards travel credit card is a good card for you.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards travel card has no annual fee.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Pros

No Annual Fees

Most rewards credit cards charge higher annual fees. However, the Capital One VentureOne credit card has no annual fee. This allows you to use your card as little or as much as you want without trying to break even. You also won’t have to worry about trying to afford this rewards card every year to earn travel discounts. No annual fees add up to additional savings for the cardholder every year the account is open.

Bonuses Don’t Expire

Once you’ve earned bonuses, you want to use them at your leisure. Again, many rewards cards have a window where you have to use your rewards, or they expire. This rewards card doesn’t have a specific date to use your rewards by. They are good as long as you have an account open and in good standing. This means you can stack your rewards and redeem them for bigger rewards.

Unlimited Miles and Rewards

Once you start earning rewards, there is no limit. You earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend with this card. As these rewards won’t expire, you have the potential for huge rewards. Say you spend $1,000 on your card. You’ll earn 1,250 miles. If you use your card for everyday purchases, every month, by the end of the year, you’ll have 15,000 miles. You can also stack these miles and rewards for years without a penalty.

No Restrictions

Your reward miles are good to use on any airline. Additionally, you can use them to stay at the hotel of your choice while you travel. You won’t have to worry about trying to find a compatible airline, and you can just book your trip. You’ll have less stress, and you can make all of your rewards work for you. There are also no blackout dates, and this makes traveling even easier.

Sign Up Bonus

You become eligible for a nice sign-up bonus with this card. Once you’ve successfully signed up, you’ll spend $1,000 within the first three months. When you do this, you’ll get 20,000 bonus miles. These 20,000 miles equal $200 in travel money. You can redeem these miles at a time that is convenient for you. Remember, they never expire as long as your account is open.

0% Introductory Financing

For the first 12 months, you have this card; you’ll pay a 0% introductory APR. If you purchase big-ticket items and pay them off in the first 12 months, you’ll save on interest fees. So this can quickly add up to huge savings. You can take several months to pay off your balance without adding on more interest charges.

No Foreign Transaction Fee

If you plan to travel with this rewards card, you’ll save on foreign transaction fees. A foreign transaction fee can attach to any purchase you make through a bank located outside of the United States. This can quickly add up to hundreds of extra dollars just for using your card. The Capital One VentureOne card has no foreign transaction fee. You can use this card as much as you want and you won’t have to worry about paying more.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Cons

Good to Excellent Credit Needed

Since this is a rewards card, your FICO credit score will matter when you qualify. You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for this card. So this can make it more difficult to qualify with a fair credit score. The higher your credit score is, the lower APR you may have. If you do manage to qualify with a lower credit score, you’ll pay more in APR.

Higher Normal APR

Even if you have a good to excellent credit score, the regular APR runs high with this card. It starts at 12.99% and goes up to 24.99%. This will be added to your balance every time you carry a balance from month to month. If you routinely carry a balance, the VentureOne® Rewards card may be the wrong credit card for you. The APR can quickly add hundreds of interest fees that waste your money. High-interest fees will make it harder to pay it off, and you’ll pay a lot more.

Rewards Rates are Lower Than Other Travel Cards

The rewards rate on the Capital One VentureOne Rewards is decent for lower to moderate spenders. So, if you’re someone who spends $15,000 or more per year, there are better rewards cards. You want to get the most out of your card, and it pays to shop around. Other cards allow you get 2% cash back on every dollar you spend or higher mileage rates. You may want to consider a cash back card you can apply towards free travel. A good cash back credit card to consider is the Citi® Double Cash Card.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Travel Card Final Thoughts

The Capital One VentureOne rewards card is a solid credit card. It offers the flexibility of no blackout dates and unlimited earning potential. The sign-up bonus and no foreign transaction fee are also nice. However, if you don’t have a higher credit score or you’re a high spender, there are better cards. It’s beneficial to look into this card when you’re considering a rewards card. Finally, just make sure it matches up to your lifestyle, and it’ll work for you.

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Credit Lines Available and Balancing How Much to Use

Balancing Your Credit Lines Available vs. How Much You Use

You may be wondering how much of your credit lines available you should be using? You don’t want to use too much and damage your credit. However, you want to use enough that it contributes to improving your credit score. This can be confusing, especially with all of the rumors going around. This post will help you navigate the world of credit utilization. We’ll talk about how much you should be using, and how much you should leave. We’ll also give you tips to stay on track with your credit utilization.

It is important to manage all your credit lines available.

What Happens if You Have a Lot of Unused Credit Lines Available?

Having many credit lines available with a zero balance or low credit card use might seem like a good idea. However, a lender may look at this and deny you if you apply for more. To a lender, a significant amount of unused credit seems like a risk. If you choose to spend it all at once, you may not be able to repay it. Your possible lack of credit history may lead to them rejecting your credit application. If you have a credit card you’ve never used your bank may close your credit card account. This will lower your amount of available credit. In turn, a lender may be less willing to work with you.

What Happens if You Use a Lot of Credit?

On the other end of the spectrum is using a lot of credit. If you have credit cards and you’re close to maxing out your credit, this looks bad. A lender will look at this and may think you’re stretched financially thin and have trouble with credit card debt. This can also make them hesitant to open any more lines of credit for you. If they think you’re using credit cards to get by, they’ll worry about getting on-time payments. You won’t have to worry so much if this only happens once in a while. However, if it’s often, you may want to look at your finances and scale back. Also, don’t go over your credit limit. This could get additional fees added onto your balance.

The Secret of Credit Utilization

Simply put, credit utilization is how much of your available credit you’re using. To get your credit utilization score, divide your current balances by your current available credit. For example, if you have a $12,000 credit limit and you’re using $3,600 your credit utilization is 30%. This is an extremely important factor in your FICO credit score.

How Much Available Credit Can You Safely Use?

Now that you know what credit utilization is, you have to know how much available credit you can safely use. It is important to note that credit utilization takes the balances across all of your credit cards into consideration. So, say you have a $3,500 balance across three credit cards, and your total available credit is $8,500. Your credit utilization would still be 41%. This is true even if you’re only using 20% of one card’s available credit and 15% on the other. With that in mind, you want your goal credit utilization score to be around 9%. Don’t go any higher than 30%, or it’ll start to impact your credit score negatively over time.

Additionally, you want to pay your balances in full each month. This will show any potential lenders that you’re responsible. It’ll also show them that you’re not struggling financially. Avoid carrying card credit balances each month; this will either raise or keep your credit score high. You’ll also avoid and reduce credit card interest fees, so you’ll pay less each month.

What Happens When You go Over 30% Credit Utilization?

Once you hit the 30% and higher utilization bracket, you’ll start to see negative impacts. Your credit score might take a hit and fall a few points. Lenders will see this as you’re struggling to pay your bills and deny you any new credit. Even if you’re paying off your balances each month, you’re considered high-risk. One of the biggest issues with high credit utilization and carrying a balance each month is the interest rates. You have to remember that most credit cards have interest rates that range from 4.9% to 24.99% or higher. If you carry a balance each month, this gets added onto your total balance. Over time, this has the potential to add thousands onto your balance. This means you’ll ultimately pay more over the life of your credit card. The goal is to avoid credit card fees that waste your money.

Tips to Balance Credit Lines Available and Maintain a Healthy Credit Utilization

The key to raising your credit score with credit utilization is to keep it as low as possible. Aside from that, we’ll go over a few more tips to keep your credit utilization healthy.

Tip One: Keep Your Credit Utilization Around 9%

Although it may be tempting to keep your credit utilization at zero, this is generally not a good idea. This means you’ll have a lot of credit lines available. As we talked about earlier, lenders frown on this and may deny you another line of credit. Lenders what to see you using your credit responsibly. You can do this by keeping your credit utilization at or around 9%. If your credit utilization is higher, don’t go higher than 30%.

Tip Two: Keep Multiple Credit Lines Available and Open

Having a single credit card with a credit utilization of 50% will hurt your score. You want to spread these purchases out over a few cards and raise your overall credit limits. This will show lenders that you are responsible with your credit. It may also help to increase your credit score over time. However, you should choose your multiple credit cards responsibly. You want credit cards that line up with your lifestyle and have a low-interest rate.

Tip Three: Pay Your Bills More Than Once Every Month

Many credit card bills are due at the end of their billing period. To combat this, pay your credit card bill before the due date and twice a month. This way you won’t have to worry about forgetting your payment every billing cycle. It’ll show up as paid each month, and this can help you combat late fees. It’ll also give your credit score a boost, and add to your credit history.

Staying within the ideal credit utilization bracket can be difficult. However, with careful planning and a little work, it is possible. If you manage your credit lines available, you should stay within the boundaries and see your credit score increase.

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Credit Card Sign Up Bonus – Is it Worth It?

Is A Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Worth It?

Recently, there is a new trend gaining popularity with people who like to travel. It is relatively well-known that many rewards cards offer a credit card sign up bonus. This bonus typically comes in the form of airline miles or points. So, people open multiple rewards cards either at the same time or in short order. This allows them to collect thousands of ‘free’ airline miles or rewards points. In theory, this can be a viable option to travel for a cheaper rate. However, there are several things you should look out for. When you’re balancing multiple credit cards, it’s easy to get in over your head. We’ll discuss several things to check before you open new credit cards to get the credit card sign up bonus.

Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Explained

Bonus Expiration Date

The last thing you want when getting a credit card sign up bonus is for them to expire. Almost all rewards-type cards have expiration dates on their points or miles. To avoid this, make sure you double check the timeframe. Many rewards miles or points expire within six months to a year, and some don’t expire at all. It varies from card issuer to card issuer. If you get a card to get a credit card sign up bonus and it expires, you’ve wasted your time. Be careful and avoid applying for the wrong credit card.

Minimum Spending Requirements

Before you get your credit card sign up bonus, you have to meet a minimum spending requirement. Traditionally, you have three months to spend the minimum requirement. This can range from $1,000 up to $5,000, and if that’s not your normal spending habits, you can run into trouble. If you don’t hit this minimum limit within the timeframe, you won’t get the credit card sign up bonus. So you’ll go into debt, and you could have trouble getting out. If you’re using multiple cards at the same time, it’s even easier to get in a position you can’t get out of. So check the minimum spending limits and make sure they match your spending habits. Know and understand the signs of credit card debt.

Annual Fee

Since your new card would be a rewards card, it usually has a higher annual fee. Some annual fees can be as high as $450 every year you have the card. You have to decide if paying this fee is offset by the credit card sign up bonus. Additionally, this fee may show up on your first month’s bill. If you can’t pay it off right away, you’ll get interest added on as well. If you choose to open multiple cards, you better be able to pay all of them off within the first billing cycle. This interest and annual fee can quickly add up, and you’ll find yourself in debt.

How do You Redeem Your Bonus?

People want to travel for free or drastically reduced rates. So you want to make sure you bonus points or miles can actually get you where you want to go. Every reward card is different, and some may offer a higher credit card sign up bonus. If your points or miles will only get you part way to your destination, it may not be worth it. This is especially true if there are additional fees tacked on. These fees and taxes can quickly make your ‘free’ flight cost several hundred dollars.

Be Wary of the Lender

Many lenders are cutting down credit card churning. This makes it harder for people to open multiple accounts in a short time frame. If the lender catches you, they can freeze your account. This means you’ll lose all of your bonus points or miles. Also, they can blacklist you from opening another account. Many people also buy gift cards to meet the bonus requirements. However, some lenders count this as a cash advance rather than a purchase. If this happens, they add high-interest rates and fees onto your balance.

Fees and Restrictions

Every credit card has fees and restrictions. A rewards card is typically more strict on their fees and restrictions. You should also consider if your rewards expire, or if there are blackout dates. If there are bonus miles, are you restricted to one airline carrier or a network? Can you only redeem them at certain hotel chains? All of these questions have the potential to put a damper on your vacation. This is why it’s essential to read everything that comes with your card. You want to get the most out of your credit card sign up bonus.

Credit Score

Finally, can your credit score handle you opening multiple credit cards at once? Every time you apply for a credit card, the lender will do a credit inquiry. This will typically drop your score by a few points. However, say you open or attempt to open 20 rewards cards. If each inquiry costs you three points, your credit score will drop 60 points by the end. This drop could have a huge impact, especially if your score is lower in the beginning.

If you do your research, and you’re smart about choosing rewards cards, they can work for you. However, think carefully if the credit card sign up bonus aligns with your spending and your lifestyle. Sometimes, it’s better not to open more cards, especially if they make you go into debt.

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Protect Credit Card Data – Identity Theft Equifax Data Breach

Steps to Protect Credit Card Data and Prevent Identity Theft After the Equifax Data Breach

In light of the recent Equifax data breach in September 2017, more people are concerned about identity theft. Identity theft can have enormous repercussions for anyone who has their identity stolen. However, before you learn how to protect credit card data, you have to understand how fraud can happen. We’ll talk about several ways thieves could steal your identity and how to dispute fraudulent charges. Finally, we’ll discuss steps you can take to protect credit card data. It’s the digital age, and you can never be too careful.

What is Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud has been around for years, but people are gaining awareness. It may also be known as identity theft, and it happens every day. A person claims to be you and opens credit cards in your name. They can also use your debit card or prepaid card without your knowledge, or access your bank account. Finally, they may create recurring charges in your name to get money or material things.

Ways Thieves Get Your Information

You use your credit card almost every day in a variety of transactions. Each of these transactions has the potential to result in credit card fraud. However, you can’t protect yourself if you don’t know how it happens, and we’ll help you understand it.

Protect Credit Card Data From Phishing

Phishing has been around for years, and chances are you’ve seen it. Phishing involves sending a random email, and once the recipient opens it, Malware loads onto their computer. The Malware captures the user’s relevant data like a social security number and credit card information. The thief uses this data to make fraudulent purchases.

Fraudulent Wait Staff

Unfortunately, some wait staff at restaurants may not have your best interests in mind. Once you’ve given them your card to pay for your meal, they can copy the data down. This only takes a few seconds, and they’ll have all the data they need to charge purchases to the card.

Prevent Identity Theft From Skimmers

Skimmers are a popular way to steal credit card information. A thief may attach the skimmer over the credit card slot on an ATM or a gas pump. Once you’ve run your card through to pay for your gas or take money out of the ATM, it’ll skim your information. If they attach a camera to the skimmer, they can get your card’s PIN number at the same time.

Breach in a Card Processor

Your card processing company is the entity that handles each transaction between your card’s bank and the merchant’s banks. A thief can infect the card processor’s system with software that skims for credit card data. If the card processor’s system suffers a breach, millions of cards could be negatively affected.

Equifax Data Breach What Happened and When

The Equifax data breach was due to an Apache Struts vulnerability. Criminals exploited a vulnerability to gain access to files. According to Equifax, those files included the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, of approximately 143 million consumers. The company said that the Equifax data breach had occurred from May 13, 2017, through July 30, 2017. The Equifax data breach was publicly announced September 7, 2017. Learn more about the Equifax cybersecurity incident directly from Equifax.

Protect Credit Card Data From Equifax Data Breach and Identity Theft

Guide to Protect Credit Card Data

Now you know a few popular ways identity theft and credit card fraud happens. We’ll talk about ways to protect credit card data. The more careful you are, the more reduced your chances are of suffering credit card fraud.

Inspect Each Email Your Recieve

To help you avoid a phishing scam, carefully inspect all of your emails. You’re looking for things like typos, odd phrases, and odd email addresses. If it claims it’s from a financial institution, don’t open it and call to confirm it. Typically they don’t send emails out asking for information.

Sign Up For Text Alerts

If you eat in restaurants a lot, and wait staff regularly handles your credit card, sign up for text alerts. These text alerts are a great tool to protect credit card data. They usually send a text out within minutes of any purchases. This can help you catch fraud right when it happens and reduce the damage.

Inspect any Unmanned Card Readers

To protect credit card data from skimming, inspect any unmanned card readers. Compare the one you’re going to use to the other ones around it. You can also jiggle the reader and pin pad to see if anything comes loose. If it looks suspicious, don’t use it and report it inside. Also, when using an ATM, shield the pin pad so no possible cameras can see it.

Since the Equifax Data Breach Double Check all of Your Purchases

Because of the Equifax data breach, double check your card activity. It may also be a good idea to check with your bank. They may advise you to close out your credit card and have a new one issued. Most credit card fraud starts small and evolves into bigger purchases.

Dispute Fraudulent Charges

If you notice fraudulent charges on your credit history, dispute them with the company. Many people don’t find out about credit card fraud until it negatively impacts their credit scores. This makes it harder to track and prove. By monitoring your credit history and your credit card statements, you can catch it earlier.

Upgrade to an EMV Chip Card

If your bank offers a debit card with EMV chip technology, upgrade to it. Many credit card retailers are also implementing this technology and issuing EMV chip cards. Also, it will help protect credit card data by making it almost impossible for skimmers to get your information. The chip stores your data under a layer of encryption, and this is more difficult to breach.

Since the Equifax data breach, it is more important than ever to protect credit card data. Not only will it reduce your risk of identity theft, but it’ll also reduce your risk of credit card fraud. This will ensure you won’t have to fight to have your identity restored. This process can take years to resolve, and prevention is better than attempting to clean up after a breach. Follow these steps, and be secure in the knowledge that you’re taking steps to protect credit card data.

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First Travel Credit Card How to Choose the Best Travel Card

Tips for Choosing Your Perfect First Travel Credit Card

For people that find themselves traveling a lot, there are credit cards designed for you. They can offer huge benefits if you find the right one for your lifestyle. However, people should have established credit before they get a travel credit card. People with fair to very good credit who travel are the target audience. If you have decent credit and you want your first travel credit card, this article is for you. We’ll go over things you should look for in this type of card. We’ll also discuss mistakes you should avoid when you’re getting your first travel credit card.

Types of Travel Cards

There are two categories for the different types of travel credit cards. The first thing you should do is decide which category of card you’ll use the most. Find the best credit card for travel. This is the main way you’ll get the most out of your first travel credit card.

  • Airline, Company, or Hotel Cards. If you fly a lot, or if you find yourself staying at specific hotels, look for a travel card. If you can find one that is specific to the hotels you frequent, you can accrue points quickly. Airline travel cards can give you access to priority booking, reduced fees, and free checked bags.
  • General Travel Cards. If you don’t stay at any one place, opt for a general travel card for your first travel credit card. Also, you’ll be able to take the points you earn and transfer them to any partner companies. This usually includes competing airline carriers as well, and this can save you money. Chase Sapphire offers two popular general travel credit cards.

Choosing a First Travel Credit Card

Things to Consider for Your First Travel Credit Card

When you’ve decided which type of travel credit card you want, you can start the next stage. There are several factors to consider and look for in your card. Travel cards typically have higher interest rates because they act as a rewards card. You have to keep this in mind when you begin looking for your first travel credit card.

Sign-Up Bonus

Many travel cards offer large sign-up bonuses. If you plan to travel a lot, it could be beneficial to find a card that offers one. This will jump start earning your airline miles. It could almost get you a free flight. These sign-up bonuses typically fall between 25,000 to 50,000 bonus points. However, it can go up to 100,000, and all you have to do is meet the minimum spending requirement. Avoid constant credit card churning.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Since the point of a travel card is to travel outside of the United States, watch the foreign transaction fee. You want your first travel credit card to have no or a very low one. They typically range from 1% to 3% each time you use your card overseas. Many travel cards will waive this fee, but it’s something important to look into.

Annual Fees

Most rewards-type cards come with high annual fees. You can balance this out by using your first travel credit card to get high rewards. Sometimes it pays to pay an annual fee with a travel credit card. You may find a travel card that will waive this fee if you spend a certain amount. Also, it pays to research and compare the card to your spending habits.

Spending Minimum

You want to research and find out which travel cards have lower minimum spending amount. You’ll have to spend this amount before you get access to the rewards your card offers. A good range is $1,000 to $3,000 in six months. It’s a good idea to start small, so you don’t get in over your head.

Reward Program Revisions

Unfortunately, many cards will revise their rewards programs. This could cause you to lose the value of your points. If you have a general travel card, you can redeem them at another company. This can help you save the value of your points that you’ve earned so far.

Perks

Your first travel credit card should have as many perks as possible. This will help you get the most out of your card. Several travel cards offer things like elite loyalty rewards or bonus points. Ideally, you want a card with a low or no foreign transaction fee. Furthermore, other perks could be free bag checks, free nights, and priority boarding.

Mistakes to Avoid with Your First Travel Credit Card

There are some simple mistakes you want to avoid with your new card. Technically, you should look for these things before you apply for a card. Once you get the card, you’re usually stuck with it. This will help you to avoid getting the wrong credit card.

Not Checking Your Minimum Limit for Rewards

Your first travel credit card should align with your normal spending. If you have to spend $6,000 in 3 months to get your rewards, do you usually spend that amount? So, if the answer is no, the card isn’t a good fit. Also, you don’t want to spend beyond your means and get into debt.

Not Checking if the Rewards and the Annual Fees Balance Out

If your annual fee is $100, your rewards better be over $100 to balance it out. So if your card’s annual fee is $400, you better get rewards over $400. If you don’t check the fee amounts, you could be paying way too much. This will negate any benefits you could get with your rewards and free travel.

Not Checking That the Rewards Match Your Lifestyle

The rewards on your card should line up with your lifestyle. If your card offers triple miles, but you don’t fly, it won’t benefit you. Additionally, if your card gives you double points each time you eat out, you want to eat out a lot. If you don’t do this, you’ll be wasting points. Researching how your rewards work will save you from wasting them.

Additional Considerations When Looking for Your First Travel Credit Card

The travel credit card is a rewards-style card. This isn’t for someone who is just starting to rebuild their credit history. Also, they require you to have good to excellent credit. Ideally, this type of card is for people who have other credit cards and know how to use them responsibly. You can find yourself paying out way too much in fees if you’re not careful. All of these reasons are why it isn’t a good idea to get this is your first credit card.

Finally, a travel credit card is an excellent tool if you use it correctly. You should research your first travel credit card carefully. If you do, you have a greater chance of getting a card that suits your lifestyle. Lastly, this will help you get the most out of your rewards points.

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Retail Card 8 Reasons to Get a Retail Store Credit Card

Eight Reasons to Open a Retail Card

Anyone who has shopped in a retail store has most likely gotten offered a retail card. These cards are designed to offer savings to loyal shoppers. You can usually count on getting offered the card when you check out. The retailers offer quick application and acceptance. However, these cards come with high APRs as well. This won’t be a problem if you pay off the balance each month. You can also use these cards for reasons that may surprise you. We’re going to talk about eight ways to make your card work for you. We’ll also touch on a few retail cards you can apply for.

Learn the benefits of a retail card.

8 Benefits to Opening a Store Retail Card Account

1. Boost Your Credit Score with a Retail Card

Retail cards are available for people with lower or fair credit scores. Once you apply and get your card, you can use it to work on your credit from fair to good. Start by purchasing small items and pay attention to your card’s balance. You want to pay the card off at the end of each billing period. This will stop you from getting the high APR added into your balance. It’ll also start building a history of on-time payments. This can help to bring your credit score back up slowly.

2. Discounts and Savings

One of the biggest draws is the discounts and savings you get with this card. So, if you use your card on a regular basis, this has the potential to save you money. Retailers like the Home Depot offer discounts, deferred interest, and free financing. The more you use your card, the better discounts you get. You’ll also get access to special days and anniversary sales. You get all of this just for having the retail card open.

3. Credit Utilization

A retail card can help you keep track of your credit utilization. Credit utilization is the amount of credit you’re using compared to how much credit you have available. You want to keep this below 20% of your credit limit. Doing so will help you raise your credit score. You don’t have to carry a balance from month to month to prove you’re keeping the balance below 20%.

4. 0% Long-Term Financing Options

Shopping around the holidays can get very expensive very quickly. Many retail cards offer you a way to purchase big-ticket items without paying interest. This will lower your overall cost, and it can stretch up to 48 months. If you’re sure you can pay the balance off before the 0% interest ends, this is a great perk. The Lowe’s retail card is a good example of this. It offers 0% APR for six months. It also offers low-interest payment plans up to seven years.

5. Use Your Retail Card Within Normal Limits

One of the biggest mistakes people make with a retail card is overspending. You should use the card as you would usually shop. So, keep careful track of your balance, and make your payments promptly. Purchase things that you would normally have bought and nothing extravagant. This way, you’ll save money on products you actually need. You also won’t get in the habit of buying things you don’t need and going into debt.

6. Rewards With a Retail Card

Aside from the discounts, many cards have additional rewards programs for their cardholders. Furthermore, these rewards can be special discounts, double or triple point deals, special access to exclusive sales, and more. High-end retail cards are an excellent example of a rewards program. Also, the more you spend and pay off, the higher rewards you become eligible for. There are cash back options, up to 1% and 2% on everyday purchases. Macy’s retail card also has a ‘Thanks For Sharing’ program that allows cardholders to donate to charity. This is automatic each time you use your card.

7. Free Offers

Many retail cards offer several freebies to its cardholders. You will usually get free shipping or store shipping if you shop online at the retailer and use your card. Target offers free shipping perks. If you have a Nordstrom retail card, you get access to free alterations. The amount per year depends on how much you spend. When you consider how quickly alterations add up, this can save you hundreds. Other retail cards offer special dining perks such as a free appetizer or a free drink. Finally, you may be able to find a store credit card that offers free gift wrapping for the holidays.

8. Low Credit Scores Can Get Approval With a Retail Card

People with lower FICO and Vantage credit scores can get retail cards. It isn’t unusual to find a card that will give you approval with a 550 or lower credit score. The high APR helps to offset the risk that the lenders take on people with lower or fair scores. This is good news, as it’ll give you access to all of the perks while you rebuild bad credit.

In conclusion, retail credit cards offer several perks for their cardholders. As long as you use them responsibly, the payoff is worth the higher APR. You get access to perks, bonuses, and free offers just for having the card. It can also teach you how to use a card responsibly. You’ll learn to pay it off quickly to avoid the APR. All in all, retail cards can be a great tool to build your credit.

Reviews: Most Popular Store Credit Cards in the United States

Walmart Credit CardTarget REDcard
Macy's Credit CardNordstrom Credit Card
Costco Anywhere VisaKohl's Credit Card
Home Depot Credit CardLowe's Credit Card
CreditFast Reviews Most Popular Store Credit Cards - Listed above are some of the most popular store credit cards issued in the United States.
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Lowe’s Credit Card Review of Benefits

Lowe’s Credit Card Review

The Lowe’s credit card offers a few great incentives if you shop at the store regularly. You can sign up for this card either in the store or online for an added convenience. Online is arguably faster, as you can fill everything out in one spot. Before you get approved for the Lowe’s credit card, you will undergo a credit check. However, once you get the card, you can start saving right away. This article will go over the finer points of this card, including a few drawbacks.

Lowe's credit card offers helps customers finance their DIY remodeling projects.

Lowe’s Credit Card Benefits

Low Interest Period

If you purchase something that is $2,000 or more with your Lowe’s credit card, you can ask for low interest. You can lock yourself into three, five, or seven-year repayment plans. These plans come with varying interest rates depending on which one you choose. The three-year repayment plan comes with a 3.99% APR, five years in 5.99%, and seven years is 7.99%. This isn’t automatic, so be sure to ask for it if you’re purchasing large items.

Discounts

Just for using your Lowe’s credit card, you’ll get a 5% discount on anything under $299. If it’s over $299, you can request the 5% discount when you check out. Once you ask, Lowe’s will immediately remove the percentage from your bill. This discount applies to both online and in-store purchases. There is also no limit on how many times you can get the 5% off.

Six Months of Deferred Interest

Once you spend $299 or higher with your Lowe’s credit card on a single purchase, you can choose to defer your interest. You’ll get a 0% APR for six months. This gives you enough time to pay your purchase off, without the additional interest. You should only take it if you know you can pay the entire balance off.

No Annual Fee

Unlike some retail store credit cards, the Lowe’s credit card has no annual fees. So you can use your card a few times a year or a few times a week without trying to offset the annual fee. This is a particularly good deal for anyone who only shops are Lowe’s sporadically.

Flexibility to Choose Benefits

When you’re going to check out, you can choose which benefit you want to use. Your choices are the 5% discount, six months of deferred interest, or the low-interest period. You won’t have this option at many of the bigger stores. This helps if you have some higher expense items you need to make payment on. But you also have smaller purchases where you just need the 5% off. You have the freedom and the flexibility to choose.

Immediate Benefits

For anyone who likes immediate benefits, the Lowe’s credit card offers them. You don’t have to wait a set amount of time to redeem your rewards. The 5% discount is applied right away, on every purchase below $299.

Itemized Statements

Each billing period, you’ll have access to itemized statements for your Lowe’s credit card. These statements make it easy to track what you’ve spent, and where you’ve spent it. You’ll be able to see exactly where you are with your payments and balances for each billing cycle. If you have linked accounts, you can see the individual or consolidated statements each month as well.

Lowe’s Credit Card Sign Up Offer

Once you’re approved, you’ll be eligible for the Lowe’s card sign-up offer. Again, you’ll get a choice of three different offers you can pick from. You can get 10% off your first purchase, and this has a cap of $2,000. There is the offer of six months of special financing with a minimum of a $299 purchase. Finally, there is 6, 60, or 84-month financing at a reduced APR. You pick which one you want when you sign up.

Dangers of Deferred Interest

Although six months of deferred interest sounds great, there are dangers with it. If you don’t pay the balance in full by the end of the six months, you’ll get hit with deferred interest. This means that Lowe’s will charge a 26.99% APR back to the day you made the first purchase. You’ll get six months of 26.99% APR added onto your balance.

Not Able to Combine Offers

While it’s true that the Lowe’s credit card gives you the freedom to choose your rewards, you can’t combine them. You can choose one of the other on each purchase. You should really look at what you’re buying to make sure you pick the best reward for your purchase.

Limited Discounts

The Lowe’s card offers several discounts, but they come with strings attached. Your discount won’t work on any extended protection or replacement plans, certain appliances, shipping, or gift cards. These items are in your terms and conditions that come with your card.

The Lowe’s credit card is a great option for someone who shops smart at Lowe’s. Several benefits can add up to decent savings if you choose them wisely. The reward flexibility is another great selling point. Many stores don’t allow this, and Lowe’s is one of the bigger box stores that does. Whether you shop at this store occasionally, or a few times a week, it’s worth checking into.

Reviews: Most Popular Store Credit Cards in the United States

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Home Depot Credit Card Offers Comparison Review

Comparing the Four Home Depot Credit Card Offers

The Home Depot is where the majority of Americas do their shopping when they do a project. This store is the home improvement store for supplies and tools to tackle any project. They offer four different Home Depot credit cards to choose from. Each of the Home Depot credit card offers has a slightly different function. We’ll go over each of the four Home Depot credit card offers in this article. We’ll talk about what is good and what is not so good about each of the Home Depot credit cards.

Compare Home Depot credit card offers.

4 Home Depot Credit Card Offers Review and Comparisons

1. Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

The first card on our list of Home Depot credit card offers is the Consumer credit card. You can use this card at Home Depot or Homedepot.com. Also, if you spend $299 or more online, you’ll get a six-month interest-free grace period. It has specials like a shed installation discount of 15%. Also, you’ll get 18 months free financing on blinds and shutters if your purchase amount is between $999 and $1,998. There are four different APRs, and they depend on creditworthiness. They go from 17.99%, 21.99%, 25.99%, and 26.99% respectively.

There is a significant drawback to the Home Depot Consumer credit card. While you do get a six-month grace period on interest, you want to pay everything off. If you don’t pay it off, your APR will kick in. It’ll also chargeback to the date you made your purchases. You may also only get a $500 credit line.

Final Thoughts on the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card

The Home Depot Consumer credit card is a good card if you pay off your purchases within six months. Also, if you have good credit, you’ll qualify for a lower interest rate as well. It’s a solid, no-frills card to help you get your projects done.

2. Home Depot Project Loan Credit Card

Next on our list of Home Depot credit card offers is Project Loan. This card is suited for larger projects and remodels. It has a credit line up to $55,000. You get a six-month period where you only have to pay the interest on your purchases. Once the six months are up, you begin repayment. You have 84 months to pay off any remaining balance you may have accrued during this time. The interest rate is 7.99%, and this can add up if you don’t pay your balance off quickly.

The Project Loan card can add up with interest if you’re not careful. If you take out a loan of $2,500 and pay it off in 84 months, you’ll pay $3,276 in total. So, this is $776 in interest alone. If you take out a $40,000 loan, you’ll pay back $52,416. You can also only use this card at Home Depot and homedepot.com.

Final Thoughts on the Home Depot Project Loan Credit Card

The Project Loan card is an option if you can’t afford to pay off your balances right away. It offers a higher line of credit, up to $55,000. The 84-month repayment period can be beneficial. However, you want to watch for the interest rate. You could be paying as much as 30% extra on your original loan.

3. Home Depot Commercial Revolving Credit Card

The third card on our list of Home Depot credit card offers is the Commercial Revolving card. This card offers fuel discounts at $0.10 on every $100 you spend. You also get 60 days to pay your balance in full with no interest charges, or you can pay low monthly payments. You can add authorized user cards to let employees make card purchases. Once you make a purchase, you get one year to return them. Finally, you get purchase tracking to keep track of everything.

The Commercial Revolving card comes with a higher APR attached. The APR rates are 17.99%, 21.99%, 25.99%, or 26.99%. Your APR will depend on your credit rating. If you miss a payment, or if you’re late, there is a late fee up to $35. Also, if you miss just one payment, your APR rate will automatically default to the 26.99%. This is a particularly unpleasant downside if you were assigned a lower APR to begin with. However, if you have lower credit to begin with, you may automatically get the 26.99% APR. If this is the case, missing a payment and defaulting back wouldn’t matter either way.

Final Thoughts on the Home Depot Commercial Revolving Credit Card

The Home Depot Commercial Revolving card is a solid card that offers flexibility with its payments. You have up to 60 days to pay, or you can opt for lower monthly payments. The variable interest rate is also a perk, but the default interest rate is a large drawback. This is an excellent card for any business that can make the monthly payments on time each month.

4. Home Depot Commercial Account Card

The final card on our list of Home Depot credit card offers is the Commercial Account card. This card has no APR, so payment is expected in full each month. You get buyer ID cards for your employees. These cards allow you to control and track each card’s spending. For an added convenience, you can pay by invoice. You’ll also get a fuel discount of $0.10 for every $100 you spend with your card. Finally, you’ll get automatic access to Home Depot’s Pro-Savings and Benefits program.

The penalties that come with this card vary depending on the balance amount. So that can be up to $35 per missed payment. Also, you have to pay your balance off each month, and this could hurt some businesses. You can only use this card at Home Depot or on their website, and this could be considered a drawback as well.

Final Thoughts on the Home Depot Commercial Account Card

The Commercial Account card is an excellent choice for any business that plans to pay off their account each month. There is no APR because there is no balance for an APR to add on to. The fuel discount and the Savings and Benefits program are nice perks as well. Overall, this is a steady card to track your spending and your employee’s spending.

Each of these four Home Depot credit card offers has benefits and drawbacks. If you have a business, the Commercial Account and the Commercial Revolving are the better choices. If you’re just going to do projects around your home, the Consumer Credit and Project Loan will work better. You can tailor each of these cards to suit your needs. Finally, each Home Depot card offer is a steady, reliable credit card option for your home or your business.

Reviews: Most Popular Store Credit Cards in the United States

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CreditFast Reviews Most Popular Store Credit Cards - Listed above are some of the most popular store credit cards issued in the United States.
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Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi Review

Review of the Costco Rewards Card with Pros and Cons

If you’re a frequent patron of Costco, you know they’ve recently switched lenders to the Costco Anywhere Visa Card. For years, Costco used the American Express network. However, as of mid-2016, the Citi Costco credit card changed to the Visa network. The Costco credit card offers a variety of rewards for loyal cardholders. We will be reviewing the Costco Visa card, including a pro and con list. By the end, you’ll have a good grasp on whether or not the Costco credit card is right for you.

Earn cash back rewards fast with the Costco Anywhere Visa Card.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card Pros

Rewards Rate

The Costco Visa card offers a variety of rewards rates for its cardholders. The Costco Anywhere Visa Card offers four percent cash back on any eligible gas purchases up to $7,000. You’ll also get three percent cash back on certain travel and restaurant purchases. Every time you shop at Costco or Costco.com, you’ll get two percent cash back. Finally, you’ll get one percent cash back on everything else. These rewards have the potential to add up quickly, depending on how much you use your card.

No Limits

The Costco Anywhere Visa card has no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. Once you’ve hit $7,000 annually, the reward percentages drop to 1 percent. However, there is still plenty of potential to earn a decent amount of cash back. If you spend an average of $1,325 a month, you’ll receive $300 in cash back. You can do this each year, without a limit.

No Minimum to Redeem

Unlike many rewards cards, the Costco Anywhere Visa card doesn’t have a minimum. If you have $1 in rewards, you can redeem them. However, you have to redeem them each year, or they expire on December 31st. You can redeem your rewards for Costco merchandise or cash back.

Introductory APR

The Costco rewards card has an introductory APR period of seven months. During this seven-month period, you’ll pay zero percent APR. This will allow you to pay off your balance in a few months instead of all at once. However, you want to pay it off before the introductory offer is over as the APR is a higher percentage.

No Annual Fee

The Costco Anywhere Visa card has no annual fee. This means that you can use your card year-round and not worry about a high annual fee. For a rewards card, this is a very good deal. Most high earning reward cards have an annual fee of over $100, so you’re saving money on that.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card Cons

Limited Redemption Period

If you’re looking for a cash back card you can redeem at any time, this isn’t the card for you. Your only option to get cash back is in February, and you get it as a certificate. In other words, if you get cash back in January, you won’t see it for thirteen months. This is a long time to wait, especially if you had plans for it.

Rewards Certificate Expires

The rewards certificate that you get in February expires on December 31st of the year it’s issued. This is bad news if you’re a person who tends to forget things or loses track of time. If you don’t redeem it before it expires, all of your cash back is gone.

High APR

The Costco Anywhere Visa card is a rewards card. That said, it has a high APR that can hurt if you plan to carry a balance. The APR is 16.24 percent, and it is variable. If you have an excellent credit score, it could be slightly less. This will still be a higher rate than a normal card though because it’s a rewards card.

Easy to Lose Rewards

If you close your account in the middle of the year, you’re wasting any rewards you’ve accrued since January. There is no way to redeem your current rewards; you’ll have to wait until February. This is a major downside, especially if you don’t want to wait to close your credit card account. You can always write off the rewards and close early, but you’ll be missing out.

Costco Membership

While there isn’t an annual fee with this card, you have to have a Costco membership. This membership fee is between $55 and $60 per year. It’s just like you’re paying an annual fee on the card, as it would be about the same amount. If you don’t have a Costco membership, you can’t have this card.

No Sign-Up Bonus

Many rewards cards offer a sign-up bonus to tempt new people into applying for a card. However, the Costco Anywhere Visa card has no sign-up bonus available. You open the card, and you get an introductory APR, and that’s it. So, this could be a drawback for anyone looking for immediate rewards.

Final Thoughts on the Costco Anywhere Visa Card

The Costco Anywhere Visa card is an excellent card if you’re a frequent Costco shopper. The four percent cash back option will add up quickly, and it lasts until you spend $7,000. This is a solid rewards card if you’re willing to wait to redeem your cash back. You have the potential to add $300 per year in profit if you spend correctly. Anyone who frequents Costco and has a membership should check into this no-frills rewards card.

Reviews: Most Popular Store Credit Cards in the United States

Walmart Credit CardTarget REDcard
Macy's Credit CardNordstrom Credit Card
Costco Anywhere VisaKohl's Credit Card
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CreditFast Reviews Most Popular Store Credit Cards - Listed above are some of the most popular store credit cards issued in the United States.
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Macy’s Credit Card Review Pros and Cons

The Macy’s Credit Card Review with Pros and Cons

Macy’s is a retailer with stores all over the United States. They offer a retail card and a Macy’s credit card. If you shop at this store frequently, you can earn multiple rewards. The Macy’s American Express card works on a tiered structure. This means the more that you shop with them, the more rewards you can earn. We’ll talk about the Macy’s Amex and give your benefits and drawbacks. We’ll also talk of the reward tier program and the specifications you’ll need. Finally, we’ll touch on the retail card and tell you the difference between it and the Macy’s credit card.

The Macy's credit card offers credit card rewards on Macy's purchases.

Macy’s Credit Card Pros

Widely Accepted

The Macy’s credit card is accepted anywhere American Express is accepted. So, you can use it for everyday purchases, and they don’t have to be from Macy’s. This makes it a convenient option for someone who wants a rewards card for Macy’s, but still shops elsewhere.

Thanks for Sharing Rewards

This reward program will allow Macy’s American Express cardholders to get a discount on certain purchases. The program does cost $25 per year, but you save 10 percent on certain purchases. You’ll have to check the Macy’s website to find out which purchases are eligible.

Star Passes

Macy’s offers people with the Macy’s credit card Star Passes each year. You’ll get three, six, or twelve depending on how much you spend at Macy’s each year. These passes are special discounts, and the amount is random. It’ll either be a dollar or percentage off your purchases.

Rewards Tiers

Macy’s places their cardholders in reward tiers depending on how much they spend. So, the more you spend at Macy’s or Macys.com each year, the bigger your rewards will be. There are currently three tiers, and each can save you money if you shop regularly at Macy’s.

  • Tier One: Preferred Cardholders. If you spend between $1.00 and $499 per year at the retailer, you’ll be a Preferred cardholder. You’ll get three Macy’s Star Passes each year and surprise savings when you check out. You may also earn one point per dollar spent on certain Macy’s purchases. Finally, you can choose to enroll in the Thanks for Sharing rewards program for a 10 percent discount.
  • Tier Two: Elite Cardholders. The second tier is Elite, and you have to spend between $500 and $1,199 annually. This tier will give you six Macy’s Star Passes a year. You’ll also get surprise savings at the register and a birthday offer. Finally, you earn one point for every dollar you spend, and you can enroll in the Thanks for Sharing program.
  • Tier Three: Platinum Elite Cardholders. The final tier is Platinum Elite, and you must spend a minimum of $2,000 annually. You’ll get 12 Macy’s Star Passes each year along with surprise savings at the register. You’ll also get a birthday offer, free shipping four times a year, and the priority 800 customer service number. Finally, you can enroll in the Thanks for Sharing program, and you earn one point for every dollar spent at Macy’s.

Lower Credit Requirements

The Macy’s credit card has slightly lower credit score requirements. It is a retail card, and most members have a credit score of 650 and up. However, several cardholders have reported being eligible for the card at a lower fair credit score. This will play a role in your interest rate. So, it’s a good idea to build your fair credit score to a good credit score.

Extra Benefits

The Macy’s credit card is an AMEX card, and they’ve partnered up to give their cardholders more benefits. If you use your card outside of Macy’s at a restaurant, you’ll get three points for every dollar you spend. Also, you’ll get two points for every dollar you spend at gas stations as well. For certain Macy’s purchases, you’ll get one point per dollar you spend. Finally, you’ll get discounts and deals when you shop at any of Macy’s partner locations.

Macy’s Credit Card Cons

High APR

The Macy’s card is a rewards card, and the APR reflects this. The APR on the Macy’s cards are right around 24 – 26 percent. So, if you carry a balance from month to month, this can add up quickly. You may get a slightly reduced rate for better credit. However, it’ll still be higher because of the rewards.

Limited Rewards

Once you remember to link your Macy’s credit card to your Plenti account, you can start accruing points. For every 1,000 plenti points you get, you’ll get $10 in rewards. However, you can only redeem these at Macy’s in store or online, or at their partner locations. A few of the partner locations are Exxon Mobile, Rite Aid, Chili’s, and Expedia.

Fees

If you miss a payment, you could get a late payment fee up to $38. This will be added to your balance each time you miss a payment. Depending on the card, may also be a foreign transaction fee, and a cash advance fee. Each of these smaller costs has the potential to add up, especially if you travel.

Comparing the Two Macy’s Card Options

There are two cards you can sign up for at Macy’s. Each one offers slightly different points. It all depends on how you want to use it. You should also consider how often you plan to shop at Macy’s.

  • Retail Card. The Macy’s retail card is very basic. You can only use it at Macy’s or Macys.com for purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee or cash advance fee. It has the three tiers and the same rewards.
  • Macy’s Credit Card. You can use the credit card anywhere American Express is accepted. You’ll get Plenti points for using it outside of Macy’s as well. There is a foreign transaction fee and a cash advance fee. You’ll also have access to the same rewards tiers.

Final Thoughts on the Macy’s Credit Card

If your credit score is at least 650 and you frequent Macy’s, this may be a good card choice. Technically, you only have to shop at Macy’s four times a year for it to be worth it. However, the more you shop, the higher tier you’ll end up in. The benefits and the various ways to save will be helpful. The Macy’s credit card is a solid retail card with decent rewards.

Reviews: Most Popular Store Credit Cards in the United States

Walmart Credit CardTarget REDcard
Macy's Credit CardNordstrom Credit Card
Costco Anywhere VisaKohl's Credit Card
Home Depot Credit CardLowe's Credit Card
CreditFast Reviews Most Popular Store Credit Cards - Listed above are some of the most popular store credit cards issued in the United States.
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