• Basics,  Credit Cards

    Amex Blue Cash Everyday or Preferred. Which is Right For You?

    UPDATE: The Annual Fee for the Blue Cash Preferred Card is increasing to $95 on 8/3/16. See my updated post here. There are those who would never apply for a cash back credit card that charges an annual fee. Does it make sense to pay a fee to get your own cash back? The answer lies in your own spending habits and as you’ll see, those fees could be well worth paying. Lets compare the two popular cash back credit cards offered by American Express–one that charges an annual fee and one that doesn’t–Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred.  I’ll walk you through the extra benefits and do all the necessary math…

  • Basics,  Credit Cards

    My Latest Credit Card Retention Call

    It’s been a year since I was approved for my Chase United MileagePlus Explorer credit card. At the time, my account was targeted for 50,000 MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 in addition to the usual no annual fee for the first year. I was able to take advantage of that offer AND get a $50 statement credit for applying while booking a flight on United’s website. I never did complete the flight booking, I just wanted the $50 credit! This morning, I noticed that the $95 annual fee charge for the card appeared in my account, so it may be time to cancel. It’s not uncommon for credit card issuers…

  • Basics,  Credit Cards,  Credit Scores

    Before You Cancel That Credit Card, Read This!

    One question that I am asked frequently is: “Will it help or hurt my credit score if I cancel a credit card?” I can say with certainty that the singular act of cancelling a card will never help your score. And, depending on your credit profile, the negative impact could range from negligible to significant. In my article “Decoding Credit Score Mystery Math“, I explained the factors that make up your score. The three largest factors are: Payment History (35%), Credit Utilization (30%), and Average Age of Accounts (15%). Let’s have a look at how canceling a credit card impacts these factors. Payment History Some readers may feel that closing a credit card where they have…