Credit card deals

I think there have already been threads about this, but I couldn’t find them (feel free to point me to a link if you can).

Anyways, I’m looking for a new credit card - Visa or Mastercard. I don’t carry a balance, so interest rates and such don’t matter. I want no annual fee and a reasonable grace period (25 days or so).

There’s lots of credit cards that’ll do the above, so on top of that, I’d like a CC with a good bonus system - either cash back or points that quickly accrue value to something I’m likely to use. I’m also not interested in sign-up bonuses or things that are cool now but expire in 6 months - I tend to keep credit cards for 5-10 years, so I want something that’s good and likely to stay good.


Not exactly, but I’d pay more attention to the issuing bank than the VISA/MC classification. Avoid MBNA and First, they suck.

Phil, from the bank’s perspective, you’re not much of a customer. Not carrying a balance? What good are you??

I’ll echo Bill’s sentiment; MBNA blows. In fact, don’t trust ANY credit card issuers from Delaware; they calculate interest like Tony Soprano.

Eh? Why all the MBNA hate? I’ve had a MBNA mastercard for years and never had a problem with them.

my current loadout:

citi mastercard: 5% on gas/grocery/pharmacy, 1% on everything else; up to $300 rewards per year. some additional cashback with specific online vendors.

costco amex: 3% on food, 2% on travel, 1% on everything else; no limit. you need to be a costco member to get it and your refund is a costco certificate.

discover: 5% cash back from home improvement stores for first $1500 purchases, 3% cash back next $1500. reward can be doubled, if you take certificates to certain vendors. most of the vendors suck, though.

The last time my wife had one of their cards (over 10 years ago), they used to calculate interest twice monthly. So the initial interest charge was getting added back into the principal, and then they added additional interest on the new balance total.

I like my Amazon Visa card. You get $30 off the first purchase, 0% the first year, and essentially 1-3% cash back in the form of gift certs (3 pts per buck on Amazon purchases, 1pt on all others, 2500 pts for $25 gift cert).

It also qualified me for a free trial Amazon Prime membership so I managed to get my Video Ipod for $370 + free 2 day shipping. Not too shabby :)

It’s been a while since I read up on this, but Visa/MC doesn’t really matter because they’re both issued on a bank basis, as opposed to something like Am Ex and Discover which have a single central issuer…which is why you tend to get either a Visa or a MC offer from a bank but not both…since they’re the same :P

In the USA, Visa and MasterCard are pretty closely tied. But they are separate organizations, it just so happens that their membership is almost identical. In other countries, the difference is more distinct.

I would pay no attention at all to the issuing bank. They’re all big greedy corporations and have screwed over many people over the years. One with a particularly sinister interest calculation scheme may even be preferable - they can afford to offer you bigger prizes in the hope that you are as dumb as the rest of their customers. Plus, you won’t have a shred of guilt about exploiting their unilaterally defined rules. Works for me, at least.

We use 2 cards now, a Capital One visa that gives 1% cash back every year with a $500 cap, and an Amex that we use for Costco. It also does a rebate, but that only comes to $100 or so for us because we only use it at Costco. And Neiman Marcus.

How about specifically which card has the best frequent flier mile deals? I’m in the same boat, I’ve never actually had a real credit card (no non-car/mortgage debt) and wouldn’t carry a balance.


I’m using a citi diamond prefered … again gain points based on purchases. More points on the dollar on purchased @ super markets, gas stations , etc… I then turn those points in for gift cards. I too don’t keep a balance on it, typically use the card for 2-3k of purchased a month. I’m usually able to get a $100 Best Buy gift card every 3 months, or less. They have gift cards to a ton of different companies as well (or even simply $100 credit on your next statement.)

I haven’t seen any type of limits on this reimbursement either.

Might be slightly better then the straight cash back.

My favorite MBNA story was to discover one day that I was $34 overlimit. I was confused, you see, because there was a $39 overlimit charge. When I called to ask how it’s possible to be only $34 over the limit after a $39 overlimit charge, the woman ignored my questions and just took the charge off as a “one time courtesy”. Fucking MBNA.

I can’t say I have a tried a lot in order to compare, but I like having an Amex card instead of a credit card. I have previously (as a student) run up credit card debt, so I prefer having a charge card that forces me to pay it off every month. Obviously there is an annual fee, but the rewards scheme is pretty good. You can cash in points for some crappy electronics or golf bags from their catalogs, or you can get retail vouchers or travel. Currently I can get Bloomingdales vouchers with a 100 points-to-1 dollar ratio, which is pretty high. They have a ton of retail partners to choose from. Its not for everyone, but I find it suits me very well.