Credit card for plebe

eaab08

USNA C/O 2025
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
105
Is it a good idea to get a credit card as a plebe? I just got my NFCU Debit card but I think it’d be a good idea to start building credit. For context, I’ve never had a credit or debit card before. What I think I’d try to do is transfer some money into the NFCU checking account, then only use the credit card for whatever purchases I might make and use an autopay system to pay off the credit card’s balance every month. I think that’s how it can work, but since I’ve never done this I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m being too premature with this though and if it’s better to wait until after plebe summer, 4/C year, etc. then I’d wait.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
7,034
i had a NFCU credit card as a Mid. Had a $500 limit and I only used it for air travel reservations. Mostly it was there for an emergency. You can set it up after Plebe Summer and figure out what works best.
 

jl123

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
1,610
Yes, build credit early. Cadets/Midshipmen qualify for USAA credit card under pre-commissioning program.

Also, a good idea is to add child as an additional card holder to parent's credit card (as long as you trust them not to run amok with it ;)). They get the benefit of parent length of credit and payment history.
 

justme

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
411
Do your homework of course. But some banks have different rules for waiving fees for military. Some only waive if you have the card prior to active duty.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
202
Discover has a student card that gives you $20 cash for good grades twice a year. You can't beat $40 just for opening an account and logging in twice a year and pressing good grade reward. :)

Here are some.other ideas:

Take out a secured installment loan for $500 or $1,000 at a credit union for 36 months. Put $550 or $1,100 in a savings account and set it up for automatic payments. It will cost you a bit of interest but it give you an installment tradeline.

Apply for a line of credit attached to your checking account. It is a revolving trade line like a credit card. Unlike a credit card you can use it for cash without crazy interest. I have this but I also have my account sent to reject over drafts. If I want the cash I transfer it.
 

nuensis

10-Year Member
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
790
Recommend NFCU. There's been an NFCU branch at every base I've been to, including Army and Air Force bases overseas. Very convenient to have access to a branch overseas, even for small things like a replacement card. Free checking line of credit and foreign transaction rebates as well.
 

Just Dad

5-Year Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
389
BINGO!! on the Platinum Card! I pay the $550 a year for it because the benefit package is exceptional. DD pays nothing for it!! ----- every mid should have this card (and use it judiciously).

link to benefits list. https://thepointsguy.com/guide/maximizing-amex-platinum/

No Brain-r

Note: I've used the travel concierge a couple of times waaaay; better than poking away with an airline or hotel reservations desk.
 

TheRightStuff

Escaped A Black Hole - Twice
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
554
Yes, build credit early. Cadets/Midshipmen qualify for USAA credit card under pre-commissioning program.

Also, a good idea is to add child as an additional card holder to parent's credit card (as long as you trust them not to run amok with it ;)). They get the benefit of parent length of credit and payment history.

^This

Another no brainer for anyone in the military is the American Express Platinum Card. The $550 annual fee is waived for military (including Cadets/ Midshipmen) and the rewards/benefits are exceptional.

^and this.
 

WaveThatFlag

Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
28
Another no brainer for anyone in the military is the American Express Platinum Card. The $550 annual fee is waived for military (including Cadets/ Midshipmen) and the rewards/benefits are exceptional.
My Mid just got turned down for the Amex Platinum Card (with an 800 credit rating) for "insufficient income." Mid called to appeal but Amex wouldn't change decision.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
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Messages
12,376
I have a
My Mid just got turned down for the Amex Platinum Card (with an 800 credit rating) for "insufficient income." Mid called to appeal but Amex wouldn't change decision.
Try again after commissioning with O-1 pay activated.

I assume he used the gross reported in his LES, not what he actually nets in his Direct Deposit?

I have a quirk about AMEX, though I think this card with the waived fee and all the perks is a good deal. Long ago (last century), when stationed at my first duty station in Spain, Visa and MC were not as yet widely used in Europe. I was advised to apply for AMEX, as that was widely accepted. I did, and was denied, no reason given. All the male JOs with same LES, were successful. All female JOs were declined. I applied three times, three rejections. NFCU cheerfully offered me my first Visa cc, did not require a father, brother or husband to co-sign, which was common up into the early 80’s, for women to get a loan, credit of any kind, regardless of employment status and income.

I have never forgiven them, despite the high-level “black” cc offers they deluge me with. Petty and inane after all these years, but I gleefully shred the offers. 🙄

USAA and NFCU are much more used to serving the pre-comm market.
 

THParent

Founder - Service Academy Bacon Forums (SABF)
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
4,993
When those offers come with a postage-paid return envelope, I gleefully tear up all my junk mail and stuff it in the envelope and send it back to them. I make sure that I don't tear up my name and address, so they know who sent it back to them in hopes that they will discover the error of their ways and take me off their list. They never do, so I just keep sending it back. MANY years ago, I affixed a postage-paid envelope to a box and filled the box with sand. It weighed 8 pounds and the receiver had to pay for it. Don't try this now because it no longer works, as the USPS treats the box as trash and that is apparently an "improper use of a postage-paid envelope".

With the envelopes I figure I'm doing my part to keep the post office in business though, and it's fun.
 
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Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
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Messages
12,376
When those offers come with a postage-paid return envelope, I gleefully tear up all my junk mail and stuff it in the envelope and send it back to them. I make sure that I don't tear up my name and address, so they know who sent it back to them in hopes that they will discover the error of their ways and take me off their list. They never do, so I just keep sending it back. MANY years ago, I affixed the postage-paid envelope to a box and filled the box with sand. It weighed 8 pounds and the receiver had to pay for it. Don't try this now because it no longer works, as the USPS treats the box as trash.

I figure I'm doing my part to keep the post office in business though, and it's fun.
Note to self: Never get on THParent/aka The Gunsmith Poop List.
 

Heatherg21

USNA mom Bacon Lover Dog Lover
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
2,603
After Plebe summer our DS applied for and received NFCU credit card. He had been a member of the credit union for years (via my membership) and had checking and savings with them. I don't know the details but he said the terms were very good, the limit far more than he needs or would want. He has it set up to text him or email him due dates and he can automatically set up payments and paying off the balance each month.

We never thought he would have international travel his first year, but he was fortunate to go on an LREC to Iceland. The academy advanced them the expected travel funds for hotel rooms, and he offered to pay for the rooms on his credit card (versus his assigned roommate) so he could establish payments and earn the points. He has had great luck with NFCU so far.

And @Capt MJ I don't blame you. Some grudges are worth holding. Jerks.
 

WaveThatFlag

Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
28
I have a

Try again after commissioning with O-1 pay activated.

I assume he used the gross reported in his LES, not what he actually nets in his Direct Deposit?

I have a quirk about AMEX, though I think this card with the waived fee and all the perks is a good deal. Long ago (last century), when stationed at my first duty station in Spain, Visa and MC were not as yet widely used in Europe. I was advised to apply for AMEX, as that was widely accepted. I did, and was denied, no reason given. All the male JOs with same LES, were successful. All female JOs were declined. I applied three times, three rejections. NFCU cheerfully offered me my first Visa cc, did not require a father, brother or husband to co-sign, which was common up into the early 80’s, for women to get a loan, credit of any kind, regardless of employment status and income.

I have never forgiven them, despite the high-level “black” cc offers they deluge me with. Petty and inane after all these years, but I gleefully shred the offers. 🙄

USAA and NFCU are much more used to serving the pre-comm market.
Yes, he used his gross pay.
@Heatherg21: He also got a NFCU CC after plebe summer.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
360
I have a

Try again after commissioning with O-1 pay activated.

I assume he used the gross reported in his LES, not what he actually nets in his Direct Deposit?

I have a quirk about AMEX, though I think this card with the waived fee and all the perks is a good deal. Long ago (last century), when stationed at my first duty station in Spain, Visa and MC were not as yet widely used in Europe. I was advised to apply for AMEX, as that was widely accepted. I did, and was denied, no reason given. All the male JOs with same LES, were successful. All female JOs were declined. I applied three times, three rejections. NFCU cheerfully offered me my first Visa cc, did not require a father, brother or husband to co-sign, which was common up into the early 80’s, for women to get a loan, credit of any kind, regardless of employment status and income.

I have never forgiven them, despite the high-level “black” cc offers they deluge me with. Petty and inane after all these years, but I gleefully shred the offers. 🙄

USAA and NFCU are much more used to serving the pre-comm market.
I got my plebe to be a credit card at navy federal!!! it was super easy - bc she has zero credit I did have to deposit cash into her savings account to secure it but the navy fed gal said after 6 months with paying off the bill they will re-evaluate and that secure deposit will be released - she then will be able to get the credit card that is not secured - I thought their interest rates were super low! Capt MJ cant believe your story above!!! that is awful and I would not forgive either being a woman!!!!
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
12,376
I have a

Try again after commissioning with O-1 pay activated.

I assume he used the gross reported in his LES, not what he actually nets in his Direct Deposit?

I have a quirk about AMEX, though I think this card with the waived fee and all the perks is a good deal. Long ago (last century), when stationed at my first duty station in Spain, Visa and MC were not as yet widely used in Europe. I was advised to apply for AMEX, as that was widely accepted. I did, and was denied, no reason given. All the male JOs with same LES, were successful. All female JOs were declined. I applied three times, three rejections. NFCU cheerfully offered me my first Visa cc, did not require a father, brother or husband to co-sign, which was common up into the early 80’s, for women to get a loan, credit of any kind, regardless of employment status and income.

I have never forgiven them, despite the high-level “black” cc offers they deluge me with. Petty and inane after all these years, but I gleefully shred the offers. 🙄

USAA and NFCU are much more used to serving the pre-comm market.
And it wasn’t just women… There were many citizens who were in the “don’t even try” category.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
10-Year Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
2,751
I have never forgiven them, despite the high-level “black” cc offers they deluge me with. Petty and inane after all these years, but I gleefully shred the offers. 🙄
You're not being petty because it happened to YOU - I carry grudges for stuff that happened to my father.

GEICO used to be "Government Employees Insurance" and before USAA accepted enlisted personnel, GEICO was their go-to company and my father was a long-time customer. Out of the blue one day GEICO decided to stop offering insurance in our state and their "parting gift" to their customers was to cast them off without any safe driver ratings or whatever. Former customers were put into what the state calls the "Assigned Risk" pool which brought with it very high rates as you were judged to have been dropped from your prior company for cause.

And then there is SPAM. During the battle of Guadalcanal, it is well documented that the supply ships headed there were sunk and supplies including food got very very low. The troops were lucky to have captured some stores of rice from the Japanese but otherwise there was little except for SPAM. After eating little beyond SPAM for a long time, my father and his buddies promised each other that if they made it off the island, they'd never eat it again. My father is gone for over 20 years now but I continue to honor his vow.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
12,376
You're not being petty because it happened to YOU - I carry grudges for stuff that happened to my father.

GEICO used to be "Government Employees Insurance" and before USAA accepted enlisted personnel, GEICO was their go-to company and my father was a long-time customer. Out of the blue one day GEICO decided to stop offering insurance in our state and their "parting gift" to their customers was to cast them off without any safe driver ratings or whatever. Former customers were put into what the state calls the "Assigned Risk" pool which brought with it very high rates as you were judged to have been dropped from your prior company for cause.

And then there is SPAM. During the battle of Guadalcanal, it is well documented that the supply ships headed there were sunk and supplies including food got very very low. The troops were lucky to have captured some stores of rice from the Japanese but otherwise there was little except for SPAM. After eating little beyond SPAM for a long time, my father and his buddies promised each other that if they made it off the island, they'd never eat it again. My father is gone for over 20 years now but I continue to honor his vow.
We would do an entire thread in this genre, as humans reveal their grudges and taboos. I never saw my mother eat French toast or pancakes, though she would make them for Dad and me. One of 13 kids growing up during the Depression, sometimes that was breakfast and dinner, with lunch skipped.

I think I will start a thread over in Off-Topic, so this one can run its course on-topic.

Edit: I did. Here it is.

Thread 'Gotta Petty Grudge? Secret Grievance? [Nothing Too Serious]. Foibles Welcome. No Judging!'
https://www.serviceacademyforums.co...too-serious-foibles-welcome-no-judging.81869/
 
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