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Author Topic: credit card holds for incidentals  (Read 7039 times)
mended_drum
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2012, 1:12:01 PM »

I don't have a credit card. I'm trying to get one, but it's less easy than I thought it would be.


Which is the point that Larryc was trying to make.
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wet_blanket
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2012, 1:48:33 PM »

I don't have a credit card. I'm trying to get one, but it's less easy than I thought it would be.


Capital One has a card especially for recent arrivals who lack a credit history (I'm assuming that's the problem).  The interest rate is outrageous, but that won't matter if you pay it off in full each month. 
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pigou
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2012, 9:02:11 PM »

A big hit to credit card eligibility is having a history of less than 6 months. So for at least 6 months, your best bet may be to get a secured credit card. They're a complete ripoff - requiring you to deposit the money for the limit ahead of time and charging you interest to borrow against that money. On top of that, a monthly fee is not all that unusual. All that said, it's a temporary card, so getting a good rate on it is far less important than making sure the issuer reports to all 3 credit bureaus (which is not a given).

I'd suggest checking with your bank if they offer a secured card that they're willing to convert to a regular card once you qualify for it. Otherwise, closing down the secured card means the average length of your credit history is back down to 0. Ideally, you want those months to continue counting as one line of credit. You can always not use it and instead get one with better rewards.
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proftowanda
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2012, 10:55:40 PM »

I don't have a credit card. I'm trying to get one, but it's less easy than I thought it would be.


Capital One has a card especially for recent arrivals who lack a credit history (I'm assuming that's the problem).  The interest rate is outrageous, but that won't matter if you pay it off in full each month. 

It's so ridiculous for people who move from country, considering that we're in an international economy.

A family member from overseas who moved here (upon marriage) was furious to discover this; she had worked hard to build a great credit record in her home country, but it was as if she had not existed there when she moved here.  And she actually was in better financial shape, years into her career, compared to her spouse here, who just had graduated and did not have a job as yet -- but he could get a credit card, and she could not.

The advice above to talk to your bank is good, and especially if it's a good local bank -- this is a reason why I avoid the big banks like Chase and Bank of America.  Local bankers know us, and so I sent said newcomer to my bank, and my "personal banker," and she took care of it in minutes, as usual. 

By the way, I had the same problem upon divorce, although it was against the law to deny me credit, and my name had been on all of our bank accounts and checks by which I always paid (and signed) all of the bills.  I was furious, too, as was the woman at my bank who became my "personal banker" and fixed that for me, getting me a credit card.  American Express, I remember, because it's pay-as-you-go so cannot grow into deep debt.  But once you get the first one, the rest follow.

Of course, I could have just enrolled somewhere as a student and then would have gotten dozens of offers to sink me deep into debt.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2012, 11:35:19 PM »

My US credit card was from Capital One.  I might actually down $10-20 on that.  Oops.  Maybe more, but my limit was only $500, so it can't be enough to feel guilty about.  There goes my credit rating in a country I will never voluntarily visit again.  I don't think they've emailed me in a while though, so maybe it's fine.  Or maybe the high volume of junk they send you means my spam filter has got rid of them.

The credit/debit card thing isn't quite the same all over, but I got it because it *is* important to have both Mastercard and Visa if you travel.  American Express and those other names aren't worth having.
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mended_drum
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2012, 11:46:09 PM »

American Express and those other names aren't worth having.

Actually, I have found that in an emergency (such as having been mugged), the American Express office took care of everything from getting me a new copy of my drivers license to helping with the consulate to get a new passport.  They contacted VISA for me and facilitated the canceling and issuing of that card as well.  This has happened twice, once in the late eighties and once in the 2000s, and both times, the AM-EX people saved me days of work and half a dozen individual calls.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2012, 11:57:03 PM »

American Express and those other names aren't worth having.

Actually, I have found that in an emergency (such as having been mugged), the American Express office took care of everything from getting me a new copy of my drivers license to helping with the consulate to get a new passport.  They contacted VISA for me and facilitated the canceling and issuing of that card as well.  This has happened twice, once in the late eighties and once in the 2000s, and both times, the AM-EX people saved me days of work and half a dozen individual calls.

Right.  But there are lots of parts of the world where the only bank in the only city within a day's travel only accepts either Mastercard or Visa.  I rather doubt there are many that only accept American Express.  Having both saved my arse both in a remoter part of Ecuador and in Madagascar during riots that shut down most of the city I was staying three hours ride from.  Not to mention smaller towns in India...  AmEx might be helpful (I always bought their traveller's cheques when traveller's cheques were a thing), but you *need* a Visa card and a Mastercard, uh, card if you go anywhere.  I haven't come across a place that accepts a different card but neither of those, but I'd be happy to learn of any.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 11:57:28 PM by frogfactory » Logged


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proftowanda
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« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 3:54:11 PM »

American Express and those other names aren't worth having.

Actually, I have found that in an emergency (such as having been mugged), the American Express office took care of everything from getting me a new copy of my drivers license to helping with the consulate to get a new passport.  They contacted VISA for me and facilitated the canceling and issuing of that card as well.  This has happened twice, once in the late eighties and once in the 2000s, and both times, the AM-EX people saved me days of work and half a dozen individual calls.

We've had similar, wonderful support from American Express -- in part because it has fast access to actual humans.  It's not fun to face interminable phone menus when at sites with shaky phone (or Internet) service.

And in our travels, there were places that accepted only American Express.  Apparently, that has changed, since -- or frogfactory has not traveled to the same places.  So, of course, we have all sorts of credit cards.
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scampster
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« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 4:29:20 PM »

American Express and those other names aren't worth having.

Actually, I have found that in an emergency (such as having been mugged), the American Express office took care of everything from getting me a new copy of my drivers license to helping with the consulate to get a new passport.  They contacted VISA for me and facilitated the canceling and issuing of that card as well.  This has happened twice, once in the late eighties and once in the 2000s, and both times, the AM-EX people saved me days of work and half a dozen individual calls.

We've had similar, wonderful support from American Express -- in part because it has fast access to actual humans.  It's not fun to face interminable phone menus when at sites with shaky phone (or Internet) service.

And in our travels, there were places that accepted only American Express.  Apparently, that has changed, since -- or frogfactory has not traveled to the same places.  So, of course, we have all sorts of credit cards.

I've never been anywhere that only accepted American Express. Only Visa, yes. But not American Express. Do you remember what countries those were? I'm just curious in case I ever travel there!

CBD, did you not have a credit card in the UK? I don't have a credit card here, but I just plop down my American credit card as a hold for such things. Usually you don't actually have to pay with the card you put down - when you check out of the hotel and the charges are finalized you can pay with cash or your debit card and not have any charges put on the credit card. But the foreign transaction fees aren't major on my card, and I have money in an American bank account that I can pay it from with a click if I indeed need to put the charge on the card at the end of it all.
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wet_blanket
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2012, 4:57:03 AM »

Uh.  I rented a car through a cheap place rather than one of the big chains.  Declining the extra insurance resulted in a $1500 hold on my credit card.
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southerntransplant
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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2012, 6:47:28 AM »

I've been paying for hotel stays with a debit card over the past couple of years. Most hotels do a hold that seems to be around $75-$100 per night.

Because our pace of travel reimbursement is glacial, I would love to do something pre-paid for business travel like Travelocity or Orbitz and use the department procurement card to do so, but we aren't allowed to use a third-party service.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2012, 2:42:50 PM »




And in our travels, there were places that accepted only American Express.  Apparently, that has changed, since -- or frogfactory has not traveled to the same places.  So, of course, we have all sorts of credit cards.

That seems hard to believe.  Do they even do regular bank accounts? Is that what the locals use?
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