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Thread summary:

Airlines credit card: internet banks, getting pre approved, blackout dates, frequent flier miles, low interest rate.

 
Old 07-17-2007, 09:09 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,358 times
Reputation: 10
Default Can I trust online credit card companies

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. Don't remember how I found it, but I like that addresses so many topics, this is why I joined.

I was quite happy when I saw this finance section because I have a question on my mind for quite a while now and noone I talked to could help me.

I want to get a new credit card pretty soon - probably a airline credit card because I like to travel and would be happy about some free trips.
Anyway I tried to inform myself on the internet and found all these credit card comparison pages - go to Credit Card Applications if you don't know what I mean.
They generally look really nice, you find lots of information on there and can directly compare different kinds of credit cards. You can even apply there.

I am, however, not quite sure if you can really trust these websites. Has anyone of you ordered his/her credit card at one of those pages??

I would be happy if you could share your experiences because I am not sure if I should trust those pages!!

Thanks,
Kristen

Last edited by kristy3737; 07-17-2007 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:57 AM
 
Location: California
510 posts, read 2,205,244 times
Reputation: 361
I'd say you can trust an online application if it's from a commercial bank, a bank that you've heard of. I will however say it's always safer to navigate to the root site, then go to an application, instead of linking in from another site. These fake sites are not up for long, but if you get your identity stolen and they run up bills it will have a long term effect on you.

Personally I say always look to the bank you use right now. You will want to mention the rates you've been "pre-approved" for through mail, and online, but you just don't really trust them. *white lie is ok* Another benefit is that they will be able to set up automatic minimum payment withdrawl. This helps you never be late, just in case you have a lapse of memory.

Any large bank should have plenty of rewards options for cards. Look at the cash back option in comparison to whichever reward suits you best. Many banks now how tiered cash back...meaning if you don't take the cash right away your % back could increase every 10,000 points or so.

This is just my two cents...
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:45 AM
 
1,773 posts, read 5,081,490 times
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Apply directly from known commercial banks - not online aggregate 3rd party websites.

Additionally - fyi the airline credit cards aren't as good as they were initially. I have both friends and family with different ones.
#1 - when you finally get around to redeeming earned points you will be in for a rude awakening as the points won't be freely usable - blackout dates which span massive periods of time or blackouts which cover particular "to/from legs of trips" which are more popular (and which the airlines want full-fare paying customers flying on). FYI - the card companies don't call these things blackout dates so that some of them can directly state "no blackout dates" - LOL - seriously.
#2 - the rules of points useage are dynamic - read the fine print - they literally change without notice (yes the fine print states that the fine print itself can change without notice - for real). This is not an idle threat either - they really do change the fine print frequently. What you apply for is thus not what you actually receive. And what you initially receive is not what you actually will experience when you try to redeem points.
#3 - the points you earn expire - and the expiration time period or value of the points change. It's a moving target which is hard to follow since the card companies change the rules as they see fit.

Overall, I hate to say this, but I feel like with personal and family and friend experiences all in this regard, these airline point earning credit cards are just smoke and mirrors. I have had much better experience with cards that actually give cash-back quarterly or annually on charges made throughout the year. Even these cash back cards have changed the rules as I've had them, but 1% versus 5% is still money back in my pocket. Airline points which I cannot or do not redeem are just a waste of my time.
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:49 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,358 times
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Thanks a lot for your help!
I will follow your advice and directly apply at a known bank. I will deffintely try to get more information before I decide on a reward card!
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Ohio, but moving to El Paso, TX August/September
431 posts, read 1,161,331 times
Reputation: 260
For a lot of the airline miles cards, you can use them to get money instead of miles. Just my opinion, but I wouldn't want to be locked in to just miles because let's say you have 25k in miles and you are eligible for a free round trip ticket in the continental US. If you do online and the tickets are say, $200, you are better off getting the tickets and getting $250 in cash. You've now just earned enough to pay for your ticket and have $50 additional.

The only way I would do straight miles would be if I flew all the time and raked them in fast. But if you are getting your miles by spending, then it's not always worth it to get the miles instead of the cash option.

I know I probably don't need to say this but I will anyway. These cards can be great if you pay your bill off in full every month. But if you don't, just go with a card with a low interest rate so you aren't "paying" for your perks.
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