Rant n Rave: Credit Edition

Today's Rant n Rave theme is credit. There's all kinds of credit available in the world: credit cards, service credit….. even credit earned in the karma bank.  Things are a bit more ambiguous on the rant and raving side, because I have rants and raves about both credit cards and service credits, the topics de jour.

Credit CardsAMEX-centurion-black-card

I wondered if this should be it's own post or not, but I have a decidedly rant-y feel to it so I decided to put it here. Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of my free time in the morning agonizing over what new credit card to apply for. [Rave] I have excellent credit, so I knew I'd be able to get basically whatever card I wanted. Within reason, anyways. No way was I going to try to apply for the Amex Black or even the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard. It wanted me to spend $5k in the first three months (uhh no), $40k in one calendar year (Heck no) and charge me a $450 annual fee (HELL NO).

After playing around with the Mad Fientist's new Mad Travel Cards application, I narrowed it down to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card. If you're looking for a new travel rewards card, Brandon's app is priceless. One of the big draws of the Southwest card was the companion pass. Get 100k points, and get a companion pass for the rest of the year and the next year as well. However, since I am single and often travel alone, I felt this card would be wasted on me right now.

From my time spent looking around various forums (shout out to reddit's /r/churning subreddit!), I know Chase is pickier about who they accept with regards to recent credit card applications. I decided to go with the CSP first, as the 50k bonus could go to multiple different rewards programs instead of just Southwest. Now I can apply points to hotels AND flights! Woot!

[Rant] The only thing I have a problem with is the credit limit I received. It's not too low. Oh no, quite the opposite in fact. It's incredibly high! My credit limit is $13,800 on this card alone! I cannot afford to run up a balance that high. That's almost as much as I gross in two months! Which, I might note, is precisely what the credit card companies are hoping I do. With an APR of 16.24%, I'd have an incredibly difficult time getting back to zero if I overspent. Credit cards are great, but ONLY if you are aware of the dangers and actively avoid them!

On the other hand, the more credit I have available, the lower my credit utilization number goes which is helpful in the long run. I guess I shouldn't complain so much 🙂 Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to spend $4k in 3 months!

Service Credit

anniversaryToday marks my 3 year anniversary with MegaCorp! This picture on my badge is 3 years old today. Clearly, I've changed a whole bunch in the intervening years……… not. The eternal baby face strikes again! No wonder I get carded all the time haha.

Three good things result from my 3rd anniversary.

  1. My 401k is truly vested now. It mysteriously vested months ago, but now it's really mine and I can relax a bit about leaving the company (not that I really want to).

  2. My coworkers congratulated me and one even gave me a pat on the back. I'm not sure if it was a “good job” pat or a “poor thing has no idea what's coming” pat, but I'll take it all the same!

  3. [RAVE] MY VACATION RESET! I can take a day off now that doesn't involve me being sick! Woo! I also got bumped up from 10 to 13 days this year! [Rant] Still a piddly little amount, but better than 10 days so I'll take that as well. I'll still probably need to buy vacation days this year, but now I can take 18 days off instead of just 15. These extra 3 days are letting me stay an additional 5 days in Europe this fall, which means I get to celebrate my birthday on another continent for the first time.

Some things to look forward to now that I have 3 years of service under my belt:

-Knowing I'm not the absolute bottom of the totem pole anymore!

-Only two more years until I hit 5 years, at which point I will get a nice gift, my name on the display board for awhile, and at which point I'll be fully vested in the pension!

It's been an interesting 3 years with my company so far. I've had 3 different positions with them: one internship, and two full-time positions after I graduated as part of an early development program. I've learned a lot about the company, myself, and the different technologies in these 3 years. I can't say I've been thrilled with the way I've been treated recently, but overall MegaCorp has treated me incredibly well. I get a great salary for someone my age, for what I'm doing, and for where I'm located. Not to mention, this is a global corporation with name recognition out the wazoo. It feels good to work for a company that's doing so much good in the world. Hopefully things turn around soon in the happiness and personal satisfaction realm, but overall my life could be way worse, and I'm fortunate to be in such a good spot in life.

Do you have something to rant or rave about this week? How's your life been going?

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9 thoughts on “Rant n Rave: Credit Edition

  1. Congrats on 3 years! I’m mad I missed the 100k Amex sign-up bonus the other day. Seemed to last less than 24 hours. CSP is a great card, I’ve had it for a while now. That teamed up with the Freedom is a good pair.

  2. 3 years on the job, Congrats! Only 9 left to go! Woot Woot!!

    The credit card you have looks nice… I wish we could have that as well in Belgium.
    What are you plans for the Europe travel?

    • So far, all I know is I’m flying in and out of London. I would love to be able to visit Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam as well, but that kind of depends on where my sister, her friend and I agree to go. I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated when we finalize our plans!

  3. I will bet on “poor thing has no idea what’s coming” 🙂

    ‘at which point I’ll be fully vested in the pension’ – What does this exactly mean? You will get some pension from the company for ever? I did a quick google search and it seems I am right. Am I?

    What are your job responsibilities in MegaCorp?

    • I’m with a company that still offers a pension. If I were to reitre at a normal age, they’d give me somewhere between $1-2k per month in retirement. It’s something I don’t have to contribute to, they just give it to me for having worked there.

      As for my job responsibilities, I am on the ETL team for our financial databases.

  4. That’s cool you’re getting into travel hacking. That card is a good one to start with. Make sure you grab the extra 5,000 point by adding an authorized user and making 1 transaction with that card. If you haven’t gone through the course offered by Brad and Alexi at http://www.travelmiles101.com, it is well worth it.

  5. It’s so crazy how much credit they will give someone!! (And saying that just reminded me of the housing bubble – it’s so crazy how much mortgage they will give someone!!) Enjoy the CSP. I love that card! And it gets me many compliments from cashiers because it’s thick and looks fancy. I’m looking forward to reading about your travels with the 50k points! Oh and I’m sure you know this but you can always manufacture spend instead of meeting the spending limit for these cards. Amazon payments used to be the way to do it but that isn’t available anymore but there are other ways.

    • I’m thinking of prepaying my rent if they’ll let me. Normally the fee is enough to discourage me from doing it, but several months combined would make it worth it…

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