Now that you have your credit report straighten up and your 6% APY bank account open, it is time to make a list of cards you want to apply. These cards are good for everyday purchases. Without further ado, here’s my list of must have cards for regular usage with no annual fee.
Hustler’s Top Favorites:
- WaMu card – it’s the only card that will give you free credit report and FICO score monthly. This is a necessity because you want to monitor your credit score monthly. Plus you get 0% APR on purchases too. You might get a better deal if you are a customer already. Check your mail or visit your local branch.
- Citi mtvU Visa card – 5% back on restaurants, movie theaters, bookstores. No annual fee. 6 month 0% APR on balance transfer and purchases.
- Discover Open Road – 5% cash back on Gas and auto maintenance & 1% everything else. 0% APR on BT and purchases for 12 months. No annual fee.
- Citi Driver’s Edge – 6% cash back on Groceries, Drugstores, and Gas for 12 months. Then 3% thereafter. No annual fee. 0% APR on Balance Transfer for 12 months with No Balance Transfer Fee. Also a chance to double your points with 1 point/1 mile..making this card possibly 12% back.
- Chase Countrywide – 2% toward your mortgage with them. This 2% is on every purchases. Only worth it if you have a countrywide mortgage account.
Again, your must-have list might be slightly different. Cater it to your own needs. Up next is my second batch of must have cards for 0% APR Balance transfer for 12 months . They must have low or no Balance transfer fees & if possible, come with a bonus for first purchase:
- Discover Miles – 12000 miles bonus will even out w/ the max $75 BT fee. No annual fee. 12 months 0% APR on BT and purchases.
- Citi Professional – $100 bonus, no BT fee, and 12 months 0% APR on Balance Transfer.
- Citi AT&T Universal Rewards – 0% APR on Balance transfer for 12 months. No BT fee. 6000 bonus points = $50 bonus gift card after first purchase.
- Chase Platinum Visa – 0% APR on Balance transfer for 12 months. $75 max BT fee.
- Discover More Card Clear – 0% APR on BT for 12 months. $75 max BT fee.
- Discover Sealife Collection – 0% APR on BT for 12 months. $75 max BT fee.
Also, apply for about 4 Bank of America credit cards. It’s 12 months 0% APR, but it does say specifically about a cap BT fee. I have a few BOA cards, and they were willing to waive the BT fee for the first time when you talk to the CSR. I recommend the following BOA cards:
- BOA Worldpoints – 12 months 0% APR on Balance transfer.
- BOA Trip Rewards – 12 months 0% APR on Balance transfer.
- BOA Visa Signature – 12 months 0% APR on Balance transfer.
- BOA AmEx Rewards – 12 months 0% APR on Balance transfer.
Your next must have list is to apply for Business credit cards. What if I don’t own a business? Well, if you sold one thing on Ebay, you are consider a sole proprietorship. When filling out for application, simply fill out your real name as your business name. Put down sole proprietorship as your type of business and your social security as your tax id. The best thing about business credit cards is that the credit balance will not show on your credit report, hence it won’t hurt your credit score.
The cards below are my recommended list of business credit cards. Balance transfer is cap and no annual fee.
- Advanta Rewards – 15 months 0% APR on BT. $50 cap on BT fee.
- Advanta Platinum – 12 months 0% APR on BT. $50 cap on BT fee.
- Chase Rebate – 12 months 0% APR on BT. $75 cap on BT fee.
- Citi Business – 12 months 0% APR on BT. $50 cap on BT fee.
- Citi Thank You – 12 months 0% APR on BT. $50 cap on BT and $100 bonus.
Last but not least, you must make a list of credit card with bonus such as $100 after first purchase. This could be in the form of cash or gift cards in thank you points. If a card that has $100 bonus after first purchase and 0% APR on Balance Transfer, you want to spend a dollar on the card, pay it off right away via online, get your $100 bonus, then do Balance transfer to max out on all benefits.
Here’s my must have list for all bonus cards. If it has an annual fee, then it must be free the first year. Once you get your bonus, make sure you cancel it so you won’t get a fee next year.
Free hotel stay:
- Citi Hilton HHonors – 15000 Hilton honor bonus points. No annual fee.
- BOA Choice Privileges – 8000 points after first purchase. No annual fee.
$100 in gift cards:
It’s a good idea to get your Credit limit as high as possible. Why? Because the higher you CL is, the lower your debt/ratio balance is once you balance transfer later. Your credit score will take a hit, so one way to make your credit limit even higher is to apply for Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). HELOC is like a credit card’s credit limit. Of course you don’t want to use it because of the rate. You just want it for the credit limit on your credit score.
Check out these HELOC:
You might want to use an Excel Spreadsheet for all the offers above. Make a printout if you have to because Credit companies will sometime change the offer. You can haggle with them and show them a proof. Also bookmark this page for later reference.
How to fill out Credit card applications:
Any application tips you wonder? Well, tell the truth about employment and housing information, but reach for the sky when ask about financial household income. If you are a college student, your household income should be your mom, dad, brothers and sisters + any “relative” that lives with you combined. When ask if you want to balance transfer now on the application, I would delay this because you want to see what you can get first from the same issuer and later to combine credit limit on one card for Balance Transfer. Now go apply with your Roboform and come back a couple days later. I will write more extensively on what to do next once you get your credit cards on part 4 of Guide to HustlerMoneyBlog.