Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @ FedPrimeRate.com

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Application Approval Numbers for October, 2006

Here are the application approval numbers for October, 2006:

Discover® Platinum American Flag Card
12
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Rewards Card
5
Discover® Platinum Card
4
Discover® Platinum Wildlife Card
4
Chase Platinum Visa®
4
Blue from American Express®
2
Citi® Driver's Edge® Platinum Select® Card
1
American Express Hilton HHonors Platinum Credit Card
1
Sony CardSM from Chase
1
Blue CashSM from American Express®
1


Credit Cards
Credit Cards
Once again -- and as we predicted last month -- the Discover Platinum credit card was number one for successful credit card applications that originated here at www.FedPrimeRate.com for the month of October, with a combined total of 20. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the reason for the continued dominance of the Discover Platinum card: Discover Platinum is still offering a 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on both new credit card purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, with no balance transfer fee; quite easily one of the sweetest balance transfer deals on the Internet right now. Of course, the folks at Discover can modify the terms and features of their credit card offers at any time, but I'm willing to bet -- and I'm just guessing here, I don't work for Discover -- that they won't remove the "free-free with no fee" features any time soon. It's an aggressive tactic that's obviously working well for them, and it's also helping lots of people save on interest charges.

The Christmas shopping season is about to start: who wants to pay interest on all that stuff?


In other news, Citibank (Citi) has resurrected the Citi® Platinum Select® Card, and we are glad to see that this card has been reactivated. With the Citi Platinum Select Card, there's a nominal fee for transferring balances -- 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, $5 minimum, $250 maximum -- but on the positive side, this card is currently offering a 0% APR on both transferred balances and new purchases for 12 months.

I actually carry a Citi Platinum Select credit card in my wallet and I've been very happy with it over the years. The folks at Citibank just increased the credit limit on my card by a substantial amount, which in turn should improve my credit rating because my balance will end up being a smaller fraction of my overall credit limit. I just love it when I get a credit limit increase without asking for it. It's kinda' like getting a raise from your boss without asking for one. Sweet!

Before I signoff today, I just want to add a quick congrats to the folks at Bank of America for implementing the best automatic payments system I've experienced to date. When I setup automatic payments for my Bank of America business credit card, the system gave me the option to:

"schedule the payment to be made on the earliest available date after the e-Bill is received."
So I just picked a dollar amount that was about three times my minimum due, and now the system automatically deducts that amount from my checking account just as soon as a new payment comes due. So I don't have to worry about scheduling anything anymore. In fact, I could be in a coma (God forbid!) for a year, and the Bank of America system will keep my account in good standing for me. Good stuff!

Ok, I know what you're thinking, and: yes, other credit card companies and banks offer automatic payments. But, in my experience, they only offer the option to pay either the minimum amount due or the statement balance. Minimum amount due is no good for me because, if I choose that, it will take forever to pay the balance down to zero. And the statement balance option is no good for me either, because that amount is often beyond that which my budget will allow. And, yes: with other banks, I can schedule my preferred payment amount, but scheduling is not the same as automatic. With automatic, it's completely automated. With scheduling, I have to login to my account and spend much time setting up each payment; bad news for my encroaching carpal tunnel syndrome.

We're living in the era of Universal Default and late fees of $39 or more, and it's the specter of those harsh penalties that's prompted me to use both payment scheduling and automatic payments to stay out of trouble. Yup.


That's it for now. More news from the world of zero percent credit card balance transfers will be added here shortly. Stay tuned!

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