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

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Application Approval Numbers for November, 2006

Here are the November, 2006 application approval numbers for the credit card offers we have listed here at the www.FedPrimeRate.com website:

Discover® Platinum American Flag Card 20
Discover® Platinum Wildlife Card 16
Discover® Platinum Card 8
Citi® Driver's Edge® Platinum Select® Card 8
Chase Platinum Visa® 5
Citi® Home Rebate Platinum Select® MasterCard® 4
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Rewards Card 4
Chase Business Rebate Card 2
Chase Flexible Rewards Platinum Visa® 2
Blue from American Express® 2
Blue Cash from American Express® 2
Citi® Platinum Select® Card 1
Citi® Upromise® Card 1
Sony Card from Chase 1


Credit Cards
Credit Cards
For November, and for the first time ever, the 3 varieties of the Discover Platinum card have taken the number 1, 2 and 3 spots. The total number of Discover Platinum approvals last month was 44. Website visitors are obviously attracted to the Discover Platinum card. After all, who can resist a credit card deal with a 12 month, zero percent introductory annual percentage rate (APR) on both balance transfers and new credit card purchases, with no annual membership fee and no fee (as in free) for transferring balances. Another reason why we don't hesitate to recommend the Discover Platinum card: the ratio between applications and approvals is strong, and we very much want the visitors to this website to have a positive experience with the credit cards we recommend. We all know (well, most middle class consumers, anyway) how vexing a rejected credit card application can be; it's also important to remember that each and every rejected application is registered on your credit report, and a rejection can adversely affect your credit rating.

The Discover Platinum card will probably be the number one choice this month (December) as well, as long as the card's features and benefits remain as they are now (Discover Financial Services is owned by the investment bank Morgan Stanley, in case you want to invest!)

Citibank's Driver's Edge Platinum Select Card and Home Rebate Platinum Select MasterCard are gaining in popularity. You can transfer your balance(s) at 0% for 12 months with both, and you won't have to pay a balance transfer fee or an annual membership fee. But you'll have to stay disciplined about purchases, because the zero percent deal is only for transferred balances, not new credit card purchases.


Improve Your Credit Score with 0% Intro APR Business Credit Card Offers

We all love no fee balance transfer offers, right? Well, we've recently discovered that Citibank has a few business credit cards where you can transfer your balances at 0%, and pay no balance transfer fees. Check out these offers:

  • The CitiBusiness Card

    --0% Intro APR on balance transfers and new credit card purchases for 12 months
    --No balance transfer fee
    --No annual membership fee
    --HOT!
  • The CitiBusiness Card with ThankYou Network

    --0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months
    --No balance transfer fee
    --No annual membership fee
  • The Citi Professional Card

    --0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 9 months
    --No balance transfer fee
    --No annual membership fee
  • The CitiBusiness PremierPass Business Credit Card

    --0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months
    --No balance transfer fee
    --Annual fee: $0 for 12 months, then $75 per year
So how can you use the above-listed business credit cards -- or any business credit card for that matter -- to easily and legally improve your credit score? By transferring the balance from a consumer credit card to a business credit card.

You are probably very familiar with how 0% balance transfers work. If not, here's a simplified step-by-step:

  • You find a credit card offer with an attractive 0% balance transfer deal associated with it.
  • You apply for a new credit card and request to transfer one or more credit card balances from one or more credit card accounts you already have open.
  • If the new credit card application is accepted and the bank / credit card company has approved your balance transfer requests, they will send a check to your current credit card company to payoff your balance.
  • Your old credit card account remains open (of course, you have the option to cancel it once the transfer goes through, but keeping old accounts open is most often beneficial for your credit score.)
  • In the end, your new credit card -- the account to which you transferred your balance(s) -- will have a balance equal to the balance transfer amount your requested.

When you use a 0% balance transfer offer to transfer a balance from one consumer credit card to another consumer card, the credit reporting agencies register this as a transfer of debt. Under certain circumstances, your credit score may show a small increase as a result of the transfer, but more often than not, it doesn't.

On the other hand, if you were to transfer a balance from a consumer credit card to a business credit card, it would look like you paid your consumer credit card balance with cash, and would give your credit score a nice boost. That's because any balance on a business credit card account is considered business debt, not personal debt, and business debt isn't mixed with personal debt by the 3 credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian and Equifax -- see caveat below!) Business credit card debt is considered business debt even if you submit your personal Social Security number when you apply for a business card. As far as the credit reporting agencies are concerned, business credit card debt is oil, and consumer credit card debt is water.

Important caveat: for the above to work, your business needs to have an established credit history. If your business doesn't have an established credit history, then your personal and business finances are mixed together until a solid credit rating has been established for your business, a process that can take 2-3 years or more, depending on your spending profile.

If you have a business, or if you're planning on starting one, we highly recommend taking advantage of the above-listed feeless balance transfer offers, especially because there's no way of knowing if or when Citibank will change the features, benefits, terms and conditions associated with these offers.

Of course, if you already have a non-Citibank business credit card, and you're paying interest on your outstanding balance, you may want to consider using one of the hot Citibank offers listed above, to save on interest charges.

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