Credit Card Recommendations

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by EDelahanty, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Lt. Delahanty was told he must either have a credit card in his name or he will be issued a govt. one.

    What is this for? Any recommendations? I'm inclined to advise him to get one through USAA since we're already doing insurance with them. Probably not their American Express card since so many merchants don't accept it.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    I'm guessing that he may be required to travel on govt. business and the card will be used for expense reimbursement processing.

    For convenience sake definitely check out USAA or his own credit union and shop their rates. Also try shopping www.bankrate.com which allows you to filter and rank a multitude of cards based on lowest interest rate, travel point programs, etc. Here is a good article on the topic:

    http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/how-do-i-shop-for-a-credit-card/

    He should check out what the government card offers, but chances are good that it will only be allowed to be used for work related expenses. It is good to keep card activities segregated anyways for book keeping ease. Also consider the possibility that your son might not build his personal credit using the government issued card.

    Some cards offer 18 months zero interest, but watch out for annual fees and "gotcha" charges.

    gokings814
    (CFP)
     
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  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I completely agree with gokings814 and recommend that the youthful Lt. Delahanty get two cards. I'd go with USAA for the personal card. I actually have no idea what their terms and conditions are but expect them to be favorable and it's convenient to do all your "banking" at one spot. Of course this comes from a Dad who is still working on 2nd Lt Kinne to get himself a credit card for use with things like EZPass, and also shopping where you need to protect your purchase, in addition to building up a credit rating. He uses a debit card currently. Personally I hate debit cards!!!
     
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  4. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Two cards: one biz and one personal.

    2nd Lt. cb does not have gov't. card but his personal is USAA Visa. His Roth, checking, car insurance, etc. all with USAA mostly for convenience sake when he is deployed next Feb. The card also has no fees.

    Maybe this is channeling my inner Scottish Presbyterian, but % rate should not even be an issue, since an unpaid balance should not be an option, unless the interest paid is less than interest earned someplace else. JMPO.

    In any event, best of luck to Lt. Delahanty. This is a magical time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I have all my cards through USAA. They work well and I have had no issue. Now are the best for points, etc. Not exactly, but not bad either. Rates are good. They will end up making him get a govt card. Might not happen now, but it will happen.
     
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  6. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I agree with the above. I have a credit card through USAA and it's worked good so far. They even lower your rates when you PCS/deploy.
     
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  7. Wild Blue Yonder

    Wild Blue Yonder Member

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    USAA! I have been with them for over 25 years, banking, insurance and some investments. Top notch customer service.
     
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  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    You mean govt travel card? That is totally different from a personnel card and is used for govt purposes only

    I use USAA. Rates are average (I pay the statement every month anyway...) but the customer service is pretty good.
     
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  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    The USAA Preferred Cash Rewards MasterCard is a solid card for someone who doesn't want to get CC deals. While other competitors have cards with great incentive programs and offers that will beat USAA, the MC is a solid option with 1.5% cashback on all purchases. It's an easy card to get and is easy to manage through USAA. I recently started using mine again after years of dormancy when USAA just a couple months ago boosted the rewards from 1% to 1.5%.

    And I certainly appreciate y'all giving more business to USAA. :biggrin:
     
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  10. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Hornet +1, best answer.

    The fact of the matter is ALL of the incentive, cash back, rewards, etc. are based on the same formula of rebating credit card fees paid by merchants. Redeeming for flights, gift cards etc. will only in very specific and limited situations return more than 1.5-2%. My capital one card has no annual fee, 2% rebate to be used on airline tickets with no restrictions and no expiration. DW's family lives in Europe so no problem using the rebate. By offering something other than a straight forward automatic rebate as hornet describes, the companies are banking on a certain % not being redeemed. The sneaky b******s.
     
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  11. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Tell him to get a card he will use as mentioned above, but also go get an AmEx platinum card. Normally carries a $450 annual fee, but they waive it for active duty.

    Free airline club use, free $150 (maybe 250 can't remember) annual credit to use on any airline you pick, reimbursement for Global Entry fee if he applies for that, and several other perks. He doesn't actually have to use the thing, just have it for the perks
     
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  12. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Thanks KP! Just sent word to DS.
     
  13. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation, kp2001. He ended up getting an American Express card associated with one of the airlines as well as a Master Card. AmEx notified us that in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, during the duration of his active duty, his credit card is exempt from annual membership fees, overlimit fees, late payment fees and has some other benefits.

    I haven't had to look into it further, but there is supposedly also a maximum 6% annual interest rate on loans received before starting active duty.
     
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  14. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act (SCRA) limits the amount of interest that may be collected on debts of persons in military service to 6% per year during the period of military service

    Source:
    http://m.military.com/benefits/military-legal-matters/scra/scra-interest-rate-limits.html
     
  15. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    KP,

    Thanks again for the recommendation. Or I should say DS thanks you.

    http://thepointsguy.com/2015/01/credit-card-benefits-and-strategies-for-active-duty-military/

    I am sure that when he is in the Airline Club lounge, waiting for the connection to Kuwait, he'll enjoy his last adult beverage for a looooooooong time.
     
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  16. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I notice on a few of the cards listed at thepointsguy.com it says "Chase requires accounts to be open before beginning active duty". Does anyone know if "Account" means credit card account or Chase bank account? I can't find anything on the Chase credit card websites that even mention waiving the fees.

    Also, I assume a cadet at the Academy would not be considered active duty until they commission? So they could open a Chase "account" their C1C year prior to commissioning and be eligible for the fee waiver.
     
  17. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    I've had the AmEx premier rewards gold card for about a year now. The platinum card was tempting, but I decided I'd benefit more from the bonus points (3x airfare, 2x groceries, gas, dining) than the perks on the platinum card. For example, I very rarely travel though the airports where AmEx has their lounges, so that benefit would go to waste... But regardless, it's very generous of American Express to waive annual fees on their cards.

    I'm also considering a Visa/Mastercard that doesn't charge foreign transition fees. Something like Chase Sapphire Preferred would be nice because of Southwest as a transfer partner. But I'm not convinced I need it enough to warrant the annual fee.
     
  18. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    Government credit card would be required for official business, but it requires full payment of all charges within 30 days (whether or not you've been reimbursed by DOD or any other government agency, i.e. no leeway).

    I've had a Navy Federal Credit Union VISA since 1986 & have never had any problems. Minimum monthly payment is $0, though I always recommend paying credit charges in full within the month, barring emergency expenses like home or auto repairs or the inevitable over-spending for Christmas gifts.
     
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    We never received govt cards as cadets.
     
  20. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    Well this forum is "Life After The Academy" and this thread began with reference to a lieutenant, so I assumed we were speaking about commissioned officers, not cadets.
     

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