Apple Card, free cards and credit ratings

Apple Card, free cards and credit ratings

Well, that was easy. If you get an invite at https://www.apple.com/apple-card/ then you pretty quickly get an email allowing you to enter. It is really just a few clicks on your phone. You get it by hitting + in your Apple Wallet. It gives you 3% back on Apple purchases and 2% back on Apple Pay purchases.

But wait why another card? Improving your credit score

Why get one? Well, the biggest reasons are to help establish a good credit history. Turns out the amount of credit you have (and don’t use) is a factor. Plus how long if you’ve had your cards matter too. The credit agencies actually look at the average life of your cards. You don’t want a short life, so if you get a bunch of free cards say when you 21 and stick them in your drawer, they will give you an extraordinary average life.

Pay off your credit cards every month before they are due

So assuming that you are responsible and set it to pay off every month automatically. One hack is to set the payment so that is before the date due. That’s because the credit rating agencies look at your total credit used when your bill is due. If you play this trick and pay off every month, you will have essentially 0% utilization which is a good thing.

Who cares about credit ratings? Of houses and cars

Why care about your credit rating, because when the big day comes and you want to buy a house or a new car, it will be way easier and even potentially less expensive. Plus, it’s yet another game you can hack. Nearly all cards let you look at some version of your credit score these days, so it’s nice to track.

What other cards to get? If you are just starting out

Here’s a quick list (at some point, I need to figure out how to get affiliate marketing credit for this to pay hosting fees, but spending 10 minutes on this, shows it is way too complicated 🙂

First here are the cards to get to start building your credit. These all have student programs which is very nice because you don’t have to have income. The credit is low, but that’s not the point, these are longevity cards:

  1. Discover Student. They are really easy about this.
  2. Chase Freedom Student. Again, they are easy about this. Plus it has no foreign transaction fees and a 1% rebate, so good for plug and chug.

These are the cards you can get if you are farther up the food chain and have some actual income and have filed a tax return:

  1. Uber. You apply in the application itself and you get 4% rebate on all dining. The current bonus is $100 if you spend $500 in the first 90 days. That’s pretty incredible.
  2. Apple. This is a new one, but Apple is launching a simple card that basically runs on your phone. And you get 3% off of Apple purchases
  3. Chase Freedom Unlimited. Gives you 1.5% back and no foreign transaction fees.

Once you have this core, you might get some others that are also free:

  1. REI. They have a free card that gives you 5% off of REI purchases

Warning! Don’t carry balances and pay interest!

As always the point here is not to put actual debt on these cards. They want to trap you into paying 17% plus interest. The point here is to build credit. If you find that you can’t help yourself, the best course is to cut up all these cards and just pay with the money that you have 🙂

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