my first credit card !!

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my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:28 am

So I'm a little late in getting started on building my credit. I'm 22, yet I've never had a credit card, because I've always been happy just using cash that I have via my debit card. But seeing the protection a credit card provides and the really vital need of a credit score I've applied and gotten my first card! American Express Blue Cash Everyday :)

I know the common sense is that Amex isn't accepted anywhere, and that I should have gotten a Visa or Mastercard, but is this really still the case in the US? Also, I was drawn to good stories about Amex's customer service, and also the attractiveness (it's pretty) of the card itself.

I would love to hear stories about you guys' first credit cards haha :D
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:01 am

You are doomed, throw it away before its too late.

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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:48 am

I have only ever had one CC my whole life. I pay it off every month. I only use it for emergencies, travel, and some monthly/yearly subscription stuff (e.g. Netfilx & Amazon Prime)

Be smart with its use and you'll be fine.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:03 am

Does not compute
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:19 am

Buy now, and have the rest of your life to pay!
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:33 am

Dude... I didn't get my first credit card until I was 30 and had a good job, and I still pay off the balance every month so I'm not socked with interest. For the love of the Jesus/Buddha/Ghandi/Flying Spaghetti Monster please do NOT go out and buy anything with that card that you couldn't afford to pay for in cash first! There are other ways to build your credit rating! (I got a house without any problems even though I didn't have a credit card).
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:34 am

I'm sorry for you.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:37 am

mph_Ragnarok wrote:So I'm a little late in getting started on building my credit. I'm 22, yet I've never had a credit card, because I've always been happy just using cash that I have via my debit card. But seeing the protection a credit card provides and the really vital need of a credit score I've applied and gotten my first card! American Express Blue Cash Everyday :)

I know the common sense is that Amex isn't accepted anywhere, and that I should have gotten a Visa or Mastercard, but is this really still the case in the US? Also, I was drawn to good stories about Amex's customer service, and also the attractiveness (it's pretty) of the card itself.

I would love to hear stories about you guys' first credit cards haha :D


I am 34 years old.
My first credit card was organised by my first girlfriend - we were both 18 and so she got us both one.
That was 16 years ago.

In 16 years, I've paid 9$ interest (accidentally) and I was angry about that 9$
Do not, ever, ever think of that as free money, think of it as a way to convieniently buy things online / in stores (as most sites will not take bank / direct deposit / eft) however remember it's YOUR money you're spending.
Always pay it on time.
Always pay it in full.
Always.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:42 am

Geez so much hate towards credit cards, but I will take the advice given. I never knew why some people my age spend so much and keep a balance on the card after they get the first card.

I was thinking of just using it like my debit card, which means I would never be spending money I don't have already. I make six figures but I still spend like I'm in college with my college-campus job. I had gotten rejected from some banks-apparently you can't fill out 2 or 3 applications for different cards at the same bank, they won't give you any of them if you do that :/
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:46 am

mph_Ragnarok wrote:Geez so much hate towards credit cards.
I was thinking of just using it like my debit card

Then why get a credit card? Why not just continue with you the simplicity you knew before?
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:50 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
mph_Ragnarok wrote:Geez so much hate towards credit cards.
I was thinking of just using it like my debit card

Then why get a credit card? Why not just continue with you the simplicity you knew before?


Well for one, I feel MUCH better giving out a credit card number online and at other places that might accidentally charge me twice or erroneously. I mean a debit card is a line straight to my bank account, where as bad things happening to my credit card number is the credit card company's problem. Also, if I buy a bus ticket for an overbooked bus service to Boston that won't let me take a later bus and won't give me a refund (LuckyStar bus), I can call up the credit company and have them cancel the charge and have them tell the bus company to f*** off.

Also, it builds a credit score, which seems to come in handy more often than not when buying a house or a car. For example I have a friend my age who just recently wasn't able to buy a $3,000 motorcycle because he has no credit and didn't want to pay cash, but makes decent money.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:53 am

Plus, you get an interest free loan for a month.

Edit: just noticed this part:
I had gotten rejected from some banks-apparently you can't fill out 2 or 3 applications for different cards at the same bank, they won't give you any of them if you do that :/

If you join a credit union and then apply there, your chances may be better, if you're interested in having a regular card instead of an Amex.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:59 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
mph_Ragnarok wrote:Geez so much hate towards credit cards.
I was thinking of just using it like my debit card

Then why get a credit card? Why not just continue with you the simplicity you knew before?


Because Credit Cards have better protection, guarantees, etc.

Ragnarok,

I'm 31, and only just now have gotten my second credit card, so no worries. :) My suggestion, be wary of it, don't be afraid of it. I second the motion that you should pay it off every month. I've been doing that, without exception, since my early twenties and my credit is pretty damn good. In that sense, you its not a bad idea to treat it like a debit card--dont put more on the card than you have in the bank.

And if you get to the point where you're really looking at putting more on the card than you can pay off in one month, make sure you can clear your card in like 3 payments, maybe 5. Don't ever settle for minimum payments--they take too long to clear your balance by design.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:12 am

gbcrush wrote:And if you get to the point where you're really looking at putting more on the card than you can pay off in one month, make sure you can clear your card in like 3 payments, maybe 5. Don't ever settle for minimum payments--they take too long to clear your balance by design.

At least nowadays the card companies have to disclose to you on your monthly statement how long it will take to pay off the balance and how much interest you'll pay if you only make the minimum payment.

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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:20 am

gbcrush wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
mph_Ragnarok wrote:Geez so much hate towards credit cards.
I was thinking of just using it like my debit card

Then why get a credit card? Why not just continue with you the simplicity you knew before?


Because Credit Cards have better protection, guarantees, etc.

Ragnarok,

I'm 31, and only just now have gotten my second credit card, so no worries. :) My suggestion, be wary of it, don't be afraid of it. I second the motion that you should pay it off every month. I've been doing that, without exception, since my early twenties and my credit is pretty damn good. In that sense, you its not a bad idea to treat it like a debit card--dont put more on the card than you have in the bank.

And if you get to the point where you're really looking at putting more on the card than you can pay off in one month, make sure you can clear your card in like 3 payments, maybe 5. Don't ever settle for minimum payments--they take too long to clear your balance by design.

Well you covered it all!

Ideally, you do want to pay everything off every month, but if you have a big purchase (like a fancy new computer), being able to pay it off in a few months rather than immediately draining your entire bank account can give you a lot of comfort. But like gb said, 3-5 payments is as high as you should go. If you need more time than that, you should either pass completely, or you're talking about something that might require a proper bank loan like a vehicle.

I got my second credit card this year because it's tied to my bank account. I didn't really need it, but when she said I could build in overdraft protection with it, I immediately decided to make it my primary card. Best part is that I can see my bank balance right next to my credit balance every time I log into my account. I'm honestly thinking about cancelling my first card in a few months since there's no real need for it.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:30 am

Yeah I pay my credit card off in full every month.
Only use it for buying stuff online really. (linked to paypal etc.)
And because the daily limit on my debit card is only $1500.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:44 am

The hatred towards credit is well placed as most people don't know how to properly manage a credit card.

Don't overspend. Keep track of what you do spend. And make sure you can pay it off at the end of the month. That being said, credit cards can be a useful tool. I don't know about down in the US, but up here in Canada every credit card has some form of rewards program.

My main card I get points towards free groceries. I currently have over $220 worth of free groceries and since I've had the card (8 years or so), I've probably received around $1500 worth of free groceries. Not bad.
My "gas card" I get 2 cents off per liter and get bonus points towards my CAA (AAA) membership. I use that for gas.
My "utilties" card has all my monthly bills. This accumulates points that at the end of the calender year gets sent back to me in cash.

So Credit cards can be useful. But you have to properly manage them.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:45 am

I didn't get my first credit card until I was 34. I was in a similar situation, I was happy just paying cash for my purchases, but wanted to establish credit so that I could pursue other goals such as being able to get a mortgage to buy a home. I started out with a $500 limit and made a point of using the card here and there and paying the entire balance off in full every month. Once in a blue moon I would carry a small balance (around $20 perhaps) because some people told me that carrying a balance can help with your credit score. I don't think that's actually true, so I don't usually do it anymore, and I've been fine. My limit has gone up and now and I have 2 credit cards. Both are rewards cards in different ways (one gives an annual cash rebate and the other can be used towards free movie admissions), but I continue to use them both responsibly. One of these cards I have set up to pay my monthly phone/cable TV/Internet bill, so I can collect the reward while paying a regular bill.

And let's face it too, having a credit card for a major purchase such as furniture or a new computer makes me feel safer than carrying around a great big wad of cash. I remember one time bringing $2000 cash into a store mostly in $20 bills! :lol:
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:05 am

PetMiceRnice wrote:And let's face it too, having a credit card for a major purchase such as furniture or a new computer makes me feel safer than carrying around a great big wad of cash. I remember one time bringing $2000 cash into a store mostly in $20 bills! :lol:

Just for the record...if I could pay for something big like a brand spankin' new car, I would pay cash (mostly in $20 bills) just to feel BA.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:13 am

I'm surprised how many of you got your first cards so late too. And yea you guys also mentioned the cash-back rewards, which is also what I wanted over just having a debit card.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:21 am

OK, now it's time to join the club and cut up your first credit card and throw it away!

If you decide to keep it to "use wisely", I'm going to go on record recommending that you at least get Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (or even better, take his Financial Peace University) to get a healthy perspective on use of credit.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:25 am

mph_Ragnarok wrote:I was thinking of just using it like my debit card, which means I would never be spending money I don't have already. I make six figures but I still spend like I'm in college with my college-campus job. I had gotten rejected from some banks-apparently you can't fill out 2 or 3 applications for different cards at the same bank, they won't give you any of them if you do that :/

The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

The problem is you have one of the best organized multi-billion dollar industries behind keeping you using that credit card, using every advertising and psychological trick available.

And then you have another group of multi-billion dollar industries organized behind keeping you spending and consuming. It makes it very hard.

And then there's the simple psychological fact that you spend less when you're spending cash, because the feedback cycle is much more immediate (psychologically, spending cash lights up the same regions of the brain as pain, whereas using credit does not, likely because you don't have to worry so much about how you're going to pay for it).
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:27 am

Yup, take the advice here. What is failed to be mentioned though is when you get into a tough spot when you don't have money to pay it off like having to get a car fixed on a trip. Then another month like that... next thing you know you are in the "trap" trying to catch up. But back when this happened I was making 7 figures... in pennies.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:30 am

Uh... congrats? :shrug:
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:36 am

mph_Ragnarok wrote:I'm surprised how many of you got your first cards so late too. And yea you guys also mentioned the cash-back rewards, which is also what I wanted over just having a debit card.

"Late" in my case was mid/late-20s. But since I graduated from high school in the late 1990s, e-commerce and the worst forms of identity theft were not yet in full swing, so using a debit card in high school and early college days was not so dangerous as it is now.

In any case, I use my credit card like a debit card: save every receipt, record every transaction in a ledger, balance the ledger against the end-of-month statement. I use an Excel spreadsheet, but budgeting software like Quicken will let you do some of this, too. That way you always know exactly how much money you have, and every transaction will "feel" more like spending cash because you can watch the funds disappear from your net worth.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:08 pm

credit cards, when used wisely, are great tools:

- build up rewards points (or cash back, whatever suits your fancy)
- an "emergency loan" right on tap (this is invaluable)
- build credit

If you are a responsible & disciplined sort (fiscally sound) you're a great match. But as everyone has said, don't start running balances. Pay it all when due.

In the 28 years or so I have had a credit card, there have been two periods when I ran a balance:

- last year of college (no money, having food was important, so the CC was used to keep me alive). About 6-8 months after college, I had it all paid off (I think my credit limit at the time was about $3200, and it was maxed for a while).
- when my mother passed away and needed to get 4 plane tickets ASAP - dear Northwest was the "cheapest" and that was $1800 per seat (CT to AZ). This was before the age of Expedia and all of that. So we ran a balance for a few months until that was paid off.

Other than that, we pay it off monthly and enjoy the rewards. I use it a lot for business expenses, so do have to pay before I get reimbursed often. But all those points are great for trips (5 seats to Europe = a lot of miles).

That said, at 22 and making 6 figures, just be smart and start socking some of it away (e.g. a bare minimum of 10%, better yet, 15% plus). Over time, that builds up nicely (yeah, interest rates suck right now), but that way when you do want something (house, condo, car) you can either pay cash or have a gigantic downpayment. But they will still generally want to see some credit history for a mortgage. They're not giving them out to anyone with a pulse (real or simulated) anymore, :-)
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:09 pm

Do not...I repeat...DO NOT...let your spouse have access to it, ever.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:18 pm

RickyTick wrote:Do not...I repeat...DO NOT...let your spouse have access to it, ever.


Depends on the wife... mine is at least as conservative as me financially. So not MUCH worry there.

But, I will also agree with those folks that warn you that when you do pay w/ a credit card you spend more. I have no doubt that is true - and it impacts both my wife and I. I am much cheaper when it comes to handing over nice crisp 20's than handing over the plastic and paying it end-of-month.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:28 pm

I've had a credit card for almost a decade now (got it sometime in college), and I carried a balance for the first time just a few months ago. I had to travel for work, as well as put down a huge security deposit on a new apartment, so I decided that paying a bit of interest in exchange for flexibility was worth it. I'll pay it off this summer.

I could never understand why people rack up huge amounts of credit card debt, but I kind of get it now: it's so darned easy. Sort of the same way with student loans, you fill out a FAFSA, poke at some things on the internet, and bam, you're $10k in debt. You've just gotta be mindful that spending money is spending money. But yeah, fight the power; use them, don't let them use you.
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Re: my first credit card !!

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:09 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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