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    Thread: Should I get out of my CU's Mastercard with 10.9% interest?

    1. 06-28-2006 04:16 AM #1
      I hold a relatively small balance on my credit union-issued Mastercard with a 10.9% interest rate. Is it just me, or is that whopping? Should I do a balance transfer over to something that won't rape me, like an AMEX Blue? That wouldn't happen to help my credit at the same time, would it? It's my only card, and it might be nice to have two. I certainly don't abuse them, so I trust myself.
      Thoughts?

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    3. 06-28-2006 09:27 AM #2
      Great question. I am thinking of rolling over a balance as well once my relocation $ comes back this week.
      I have about 10k balance sitting on a Platinum Mastercard with a 9% rate - I got it lowered last year so I think that's it and about 8k is from the move. Minneapolis to Raleigh.
      Gas is OUT of control.
      Anyway, I was thinking rolling the rest of the balance onto a Amex, I was checking into it the other day and they have 0% for 15 months or something like that.
      Would like suggestion as well. I guess it couldn't hurt and I highly doubt it puts anything on your credit, but then again this is why we ask!

    4. 06-28-2006 10:42 AM #3
      Quote, originally posted by StattlichPassat »
      I hold a relatively small balance on my credit union-issued Mastercard with a 10.9% interest rate. Is it just me, or is that whopping? Should I do a balance transfer over to something that won't rape me, like an AMEX Blue? That wouldn't happen to help my credit at the same time, would it? It's my only card, and it might be nice to have two. I certainly don't abuse them, so I trust myself.
      Thoughts?


      If the balance isn't too large, just pay it off. Otherwise, opening a new card in order to get a preferable balance transfer rate is not a bad idea. Just be sure that if you go this route, don't charge any additional purchases to the card. My understanding is that low balance transfer rates usually are not applicable to new purchases, and your payments to that account will be applied to the balance transfer, not new purchases.
      As for having multiple cards, if you track your spending habits and only use credit cards for items you're going to be spending money on anyway, there is no issue. From your post, you don't sound like you plan on using a new credit card to buy upgraded turbos for Stattlich. No reason not to help your bottom line by taking out another account.

    5. 06-28-2006 12:46 PM #4
      Thanks for the great replies! Yeah, this card would not be used for any new purchases (haha, no turbos- I still have one that works for the time being). I mainly just charge my utility bills and gas to my card and then pay it off in full once a month. Food, entertainment, etc. goes through the debit card.
      Is AMEX's 0% for 15-or-whatever months on balance transfers true? That would be a real blessing. The balance is not small enough to just pay off in one lump very easily yet, but it's not enough to keep me awake at night either.

    6. 06-28-2006 01:22 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by StattlichPassat »
      Is AMEX's 0% for 15-or-whatever months on balance transfers true? That would be a real blessing. The balance is not small enough to just pay off in one lump very easily yet, but it's not enough to keep me awake at night either.

      I just went onto Amex's site and here is what they are offering right now. The 0% APR for the 15 months is on purchases made. Sorry for the confusion:
      Transfer balances from your higher-rate MasterCard®, Discover®, and Visa®: cards to your American Express®: Card account with no transaction fee! Then enjoy the low APR: Fixed rate of 3.99% for life of balance (until the balance is completely paid off), on Balance Transfer requests submitted with this application.

    7. Senior Member ChrisMD's Avatar
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      06-28-2006 01:28 PM #6
      Didn't you ask me about this several months ago? What's taking you so long?!?
      Yes, open a new card. Do not close the old one, just leave it open.
      10.9% actually isn't horrible for a non-promotional rate but since there are promotional rates available, you may as well take advantage of them.
      Amex Blue and Amex Clear are both good cards if you're interested in Amex. Slight differences between them so decide which works better for you.

    8. 06-28-2006 01:34 PM #7
      Ok, fair enough- the Blue sounds good enough and I think that would still work quite nicely.
      Yeah yeah yeah, I know, Chris- sorry. Just been lazy. Part of the reason I haven't jumped to do anything yet is because I don't have a card with rewards. I really want something that will get me sky miles because I'm saving up for a honeymoon to Italy, business class, in a little over a year for a week or two. I'm not sure which card can help me do that, but I don't think it's an AMEX.

    9. 06-28-2006 01:43 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by StattlichPassat »
      I really want something that will get me sky miles because I'm saving up for a honeymoon to Italy, business class, in a little over a year for a week or two. I'm not sure which card can help me do that, but I don't think it's an AMEX.

      Maybe this?
      http://www201.americanexpress....fined
      Amex has three different Skymiles cards. Check them out..

    10. Senior Member ChrisMD's Avatar
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      06-28-2006 01:53 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by StattlichPassat »
      I really want something that will get me sky miles because I'm saving up for a honeymoon to Italy, business class, in a little over a year for a week or two. I'm not sure which card can help me do that, but I don't think it's an AMEX.

      I wouldn't choose a rewards card based on a single trip you plan to take. If you don't travel a lot or have a specific recurring trip (like someone in this forum who goes to Chile every year), you'll probably end up disappointed. Go for cash back.

    11. 06-28-2006 01:53 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by slvrathlon »
      Maybe this?
      http://www201.americanexpress....fined
      Amex has three different Skymiles cards. Check them out..

      Ah ha! Nice... it's apparent I haven't done my homework now. I'll look into this, thank you.

    12. 06-28-2006 01:55 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by ChrisMD »
      I wouldn't choose a rewards card based on a single trip you plan to take. If you don't travel a lot or have a specific recurring trip (like someone in this forum who goes to Chile every year), you'll probably end up disappointed. Go for cash back.

      That makes sense. I go skiing in CO every winter and sometimes a random trip somewhere like Boston, CA or D.C. once a year as well, but something like this Italy trip would be a once-in-a-decade kinda trip. Should I still go cash-back in this case?
      The 15,000 mi. bonus with the linked AMEX card sounds very enticing for somebody trying to fly two to Italy...

    13. 06-28-2006 03:54 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by StattlichPassat »
      That makes sense. I go skiing in CO every winter and sometimes a random trip somewhere like Boston, CA or D.C. once a year as well, but something like this Italy trip would be a once-in-a-decade kinda trip. Should I still go cash-back in this case?
      The 15,000 mi. bonus with the linked AMEX card sounds very enticing for somebody trying to fly two to Italy...

      Have you checked to see how many miles it'd take to be useful for a biz or first class ticket to Europe? It's unlikely you'd spend that much money in one year. Even for coach class, my CC costs 60,000 USA-->Europe.

    14. Senior Member ChrisMD's Avatar
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      06-28-2006 07:46 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by bigelliot »
      Have you checked to see how many miles it'd take to be useful for a biz or first class ticket to Europe? It's unlikely you'd spend that much money in one year. Even for coach class, my CC costs 60,000 USA-->Europe.

      60,000 points/miles to get one (or two?) coach tickets from the US to Europe? Is a point earned for every dollar spent? If so, you'd have to spend $60,000 to fly coach for free. Or you could have spent that $60,000 on a 1% cash back card and have $600 in cash. I just looked up flights from Dulles to Rome and two coach tickets on any of Delta, KLM, or Air France are .... *drumroll* ... $599. Or $568 on Northwest; you could still have $32 in your pocket and not get screwed by blackout dates or whatever else the rewards program wants to throw at you.

    15. 06-28-2006 11:56 PM #14
      Good point, Chris. There's probably lots of 'gotchas' in the rewards program that I wasn't considering. Sounds like cash back then...

    16. 06-29-2006 12:17 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by ChrisMD »
      60,000 points/miles to get one (or two?) coach tickets from the US to Europe? Is a point earned for every dollar spent? If so, you'd have to spend $60,000 to fly coach for free. Or you could have spent that $60,000 on a 1% cash back card and have $600 in cash. I just looked up flights from Dulles to Rome and two coach tickets on any of Delta, KLM, or Air France are .... *drumroll* ... $599. Or $568 on Northwest; you could still have $32 in your pocket and not get screwed by blackout dates or whatever else the rewards program wants to throw at you.

      Exactly my point. I cash my points in for $. 1% cash back after you get above 20,000pts. Btw, this is the MBNA Worldpoints system. It's not the best in the world, but I've had these two cards since '95 so it'd take quite an incentive to get me to close the accounts.

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