Why I opened 2 new credit cards

September 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm (credit cards)

At the beginning of the summer I was trying to consolidate and simplify my online banking. I’ve become annoyed with having to pay other institutions and the big time delay to pay outside of my bank. Because of that, and knowing that I would be soon closing my oldest (and worst) credit card, Citibank, I wanted to get a new “main” card for internet purchases and for recurring automatic charges. Since I am now banking with BECU credit union, I thought it would be prudent to have a credit card with the same issuer, so that I could pay it off easily just by doing an internal online banking transfer (insta-pay!). So I opened a BECU credit card with 6.9% – a very good basic card!

Then I started hiking *a lot* this summer. I kept buying things at REI. My friend has an REI card, but I never thought anything of it until several store visits later, waiting in line, I picked up their “apply for an REI visa” pamphlet. What?!?! An extra 5% back on REI purchases? 1% back on *any* purchases? No annual fee, ever? Whoa. I signed up on the spot. Took 2 weeks to get it approved, but man, what a great card! I’m not doing mileage rewards (no travel plans for years in my future), and I don’t stay in hotels, so this is the best option for a reward card I could find. And unlike Discover, it’s a Visa, so anyone will take it. The only downside is that they have a fairly high rate (14.99 or something like that), but that won’t matter as I don’t plan on carrying a balance. Ever.

So my $430 REI purchases since I’ve had that card have added an additional 5% to my yearly REI dividents (they give you 10% on most purchases back the following year). That is so awesome. I did buy most of the stuff I expect I’d need for a while, so I doubt I’ll use it quite at the level I’ve done so far this year, but I still like the card.

So that’s how I ended up adding 2 new cards this summer to the mix.just


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