Seasoned (and budding) shoppers, do you recommend getting a credit card?

Regardless of when the MSC pays me, I pay my Credit Card bill in full each month.


@HonnyBrown wrote:

It sounds like your mind is made up. I would recommend having a credit card if you can use it responsibly, ie don't pay interest. If your card bill is due on the 12th of the month for the charges you made last month, and the MSC doesn't pay until the end of the month, you are paying interest. It's better to use your debit card.

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I use my credit card to pay everything I can. I did that even before they had points.
Pay it off completely each month.
@shopper8 wrote:

begriffin I was told by the bank awhile ago that the protection was not the same. I would double check with your bank to verify. Maybe it depends on the bank. I will double check myself. I am talking about a debit card, not a credit card.

Your banker was likelu trying to sell you a credit card. Visa and MastetCard both give the same fraud protection to both debit and credit cards.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@bgriffin wrote:

@shopper8 wrote:

begriffin I was told by the bank awhile ago that the protection was not the same. I would double check with your bank to verify. Maybe it depends on the bank. I will double check myself. I am talking about a debit card, not a credit card.

Your banker was likelu trying to sell you a credit card. Visa and MastetCard both give the same fraud protection to both debit and credit cards.
Why doesn't anyone listen to me, been saying that over and over, debit cards all have the chips protecting your #.
smiling smiley

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
I have looked into this AARP card from Chase. I believe that you have to be a member of AARP to qualify. You have to be at least 50 to join AARP. I hope 50 isn't old, because I'm a ways past that, and I don't think I'm old.
I have the AARP card and 50 is the age to apply, which certainly isn't old....50 is the new 40!!!!

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping....
A couple of other thoughts from me. Having and using credit cards responsibly will definitely increase your credit score, which will help you get a lower interest rate when you need a loan to buy a car. The interest rate I have on the car loan I just got is 4.5%, which is lower than the rate on my mortgage. As far as what credit card you use, you might want to try a PayPal credit card. They offer cards with the MasterCard logo with a chip, and you earn points. Since a lot of companies pay to PayPal, it's easy to pay against you card right through your regular account. But, as with others, you want to make sure you pay off your charges every month. Due to payment delays, you might not have enough money coming into your PayPal account to pay off your balance every month. As far as being delayed at the checkout, I hardly ever experience problems with the new chip cards. I actually find it much easier. I don't have to carry cash, and deal with all the coins filling up my wallet. When you use cash all the time you have to be sure you have enough and dig around in your wallet to find the amount you need. I don't like to carry cash. If I have more than $20 in my wallet, I start to get nervous. I use credit or debit cards for everything, even when I spend $1 for a soda. Good Luck, God Bless.
I hadn't thought about Paypal either. I will have to research that one more! I sell on eBay and Etsy too so I frequently have a little extra balance besides which MSC are paying in. I'm going to have to check out some debit card options, Paypal and Amazon cards this week and see if there's a good card or two.

Added note -- anyone see where Equifax was breached recently?

MegglesKat
@Hoju wrote:

@mtsakach wrote:

I have the Marriott rewards Visa and mainly use it to earn free hotel stays.
Did you know that if you switch to the SPG Amex card, you're earning Marriott points at 3-times the rate you do with the Marriott card? Iiiiiit's true!
But SPG points are worth 3x Marriott points so it's a wash. IHG has a better deal (unless you regularly stay at Marriott properties.) Free hotel night at --any-- of their properties every year. Marriott limits it to Cat 5 and under. AmEx treats you far better than Chase or Capitol, but it isn't taken everywhere.
My local mall lets you register your card with them and then when you spend $250 there, you get a $10 credit. That includes four restaurants that I regularly mystery shop so it adds up quickly.

Cash still reigns. I don't like every purchase of mine being recorded and analyzed. For things like utilities, though, where it's already a matter of record, I'll take the points.

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ~ Frederick Douglass


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 10:15PM by iShop123.
@iShop123 wrote:

But SPG points are worth 3x Marriott points so it's a wash. IHG has a better deal (unless you regularly stay at Marriott properties.) Free hotel night at --any-- of their properties every year. Marriott limits it to Cat 5 and under. AmEx treats you far better than Chase or Capitol, but it isn't taken everywhere.
My local mall lets you register your card with them and then when you spend $250 there, you get a $10 credit. That includes four restaurants that I regularly mystery shop so it adds up quickly.

Cash still reigns. I don't like every purchase of mine being recorded and analyzed. For things like utilities, though, where it's already a matter of record, I'll take the points.

As I explained earlier, the Marriott card accrues points at 5 Marriott points for every $1 spent when spent at Marriott or SPG properties, at an $85 annual fee. The SPG card accrues points at 6 Marriott points (or 2 SPG points) for every $1 spent, at a $95 annual fee.

I agree with you though on the IHG card, as the annual fee is only $49 and if you were able to jump in on the 100,000 bonus. Personally, I think it's great to hold onto many of these hotel cards regardless, especially if you're a traveler. Still, you can find decent value with either the Marriott card or the SPG card, when taking full advantage of the free night, even with Marriott's and SPG's limitations.

AMEX also restricts you to 1 lifetime signup bonus per card, whereas Chase allows you to churn the bonuses but has that crappy 5/24 rule. But AMEX's coupons are usually great too, which is something Chase's MasterCards and Visa's can't match.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 27 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 10:24PM by Tarantado.
@mystery2me wrote:

I did not have a credit card until I began mystery shopping. Don't like them in general, but it has been useful for car rentals and hotel reservations. I always pay off my card each month. I think reward points programs are just a gimmick, unless you put in a lot of effort making sure you spend every single dollar using your card; then you become one of those annoying people who tie up the line buying a soda or snack using a credit card.

Sheesh, my credit card transaction is a lot faster than some cash transactions, especially those people who can't decide which scratch off lottery tickets they want to buy. Now THOSE people are annoying.
Ah, thank you for the explanation. I missed that it was 6 points; that makes more sense. I got the IHG at 60,000 and thought I was doing well. Wouldn't mind getting another if I could find 100k! The accelerate deals make the additional points add up quickly.

Did not know that about AmEx. Still my favorite ;-)

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ~ Frederick Douglass
My latest round of credit card sign ups (4 total cards) with maxing out the spend limit over a 3 month period netted me over $900 in the cash back for signing up. On my 1% rewards card depending on the month I have netted in the past $20 or more a month. Netflix and Hulu without ads costs me a couple of bucks on the $20 months. The new cards have different reward points for shopping and I have a spreadsheet that I know which one to use to max out the points. I tripled my cash back reward points in the first month.

Do you have to spend some cash over 3 months for some of the cash incentive cards, well yes, you do. My family finances are convoluted & interrelated so between 5 different households, we make extra cash while building credit. This month we purchased the Toys R Us college fund for one of the kids to take care of a card. We were going to spend the cash anyways and we made some extra money for other expenses.

YMMV. Not everyone has the finances that my family has. Be smart and figure out, which card will benefit you the most and you are able to pay it off every month. Do not take on more than you can handle.

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning; the devil shudders...And yells OH #%*+! SHE'S AWAKE!
I recommend all you pointsmongers jump on Award Travel 101 on Facebook. The Points Guy is a big sellout at this point. AT101 is where it's at for the hard details on how to make this work.

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I have a debit card that can be ran as debit or credit but it's the same toll on my bank account. They don't offer points, so I still dunno what it's doing for me to run it as a credit card other than delaying the transaction (which sometimes it's still the same day).

MegglesKat
@jdoj wrote:

[www.nerdwallet.com] is a good site that will explain the details of the cards. I have opened many credit cards for mystery shops.
You are missing out on some money by not having a card.

My millennial son who swears by Nerdwallet has lately discovered that I know about much better deals than nerd wallet does. I suggested a much better credit card for him and a money market acct that pays much more interest than he could find on Nerd wallet. He may finally be willing to spread his google wings when it comes to financial sites.
@Hoju wrote:

I recommend all you pointsmongers jump on Award Travel 101 on Facebook. The Points Guy is a big sellout at this point. AT101 is where it's at for the hard details on how to make this work.

Flyertalk and Slickdeals is all you need tongue sticking out smiley

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 27 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Hoju wrote:

I recommend all you pointsmongers jump on Award Travel 101 on Facebook. The Points Guy is a big sellout at this point. AT101 is where it's at for the hard details on how to make this work.
Is there an alternative for those of us who dumped Faceberg? [www.salimvirani.com]
I noticed TPG was not as useful as before.

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ~ Frederick Douglass
@Tarantado wrote:

Flyertalk and Slickdeals is all you need tongue sticking out smiley

I like Flyertalk and FatWallet but everything on one ends up on the other. Visually SD is hard to read to me.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
When I started working for MSC's who paid via Pay Pal, I signed up for a Pay Pal Mastercard. Very low credit line. I charge to the card, shop payment is credited and I moved it straight to credit card payment.
I'll try to be short - I like to make as much money (shopping) as I can so I use coupons when allowed, and buy discounted gift cards on eBay and Raise when I can. On top of that, I use my CC for ALL purchases and pay it off every month to get the rewards. I like Discover Card, and PNC Visa (large % cash back) BUT you can go to bankrate.com (recommended by money magazine) to find what is best for you. Remember, PAY OFF each month to avoid interest that will exceed your incentives, and AVOID annual fees. Good Luck!
I didn't know about the SPG card and the fact that I can earn more Marriott points than I can with my Marriott card. Thanks for the information.
@shopper8 wrote:

Did you know that a credit card is protected. A debit card is not protected. A bank could close your account and hold it until the debt is solved. I think you should have a credit card, as long as you can control it. Get the lowest interest rate possible. I was just compromised with my Amazon Chase account. Chase is great at notifying you. Someone in Florida tried to purchase items at Target for $500 and $900. Chase contacted me and closed the account until I get my new card. Those who have credit cards should add a code to get into your account instead of your mother's maiden name etc. Equifax has all the information the Scammers got.

Fantastic advice. Debit cards can be dangerous but you are SLIGHTLY wrong about credit cards being protected and debit cards not being protected.

What you should have said is that credit transactions are protected but debit transactions are not. What I mean by that is that you can do a credit transaction with your debit card too. Never input your PIN for a transaction. When the machine asks if the transaction is debit or credit, ALWAY choose credit. By doing this the transaction goes through the credit system and you have all the protections of a credit card.

One word of caution (and the reason that I DO NOT use a debit card); within the last month or so, Walmart has changed their cc machines so if you use a debit card, it does not ask if you want debit or credit. It just goes through as a debit - without asking for a PIN number. This is not ethical and possibly not legal. You now have no protection since it is a debit transaction.
I use a cash back rewards card that I applied and received as a result of a mystery shop. Got paid for applying and receiving one, a percent back for each dollar spent, and bonuses for spending so much in the first three months. Both checking accounts and Pay Pal prepaid cards I applied for as a result of mystery shops.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
If you have the self-control to buy only what you can pay for, a credit card can be very valuable. You must pay off the balance every month though. No one can tell you which is better for you because everyone has different goals. My mom loves her Discover card because of the money she gets back but she complains all the time because not everyone accepts it. Others like a card that gets them miles for free flights. I prefer my Marriott card because I can get points that get me closer to lifetime platinum status.

Only you know which will be best for you.
On debit card protection, what I have found is that it does not have the same term and conditional limit of either $0 or $50, depending when it was known and reported lost or stolen. If either card is reported lost or stolen before any authorized purchases are made, the limit is $0. If after, $50 max for CC, and maybe up to all of your money in your deposit accounts tied to the debit card was well as any line of credits tied to the accounts or card. The rules state that your liability is limited to $50 if reported within 2 days of knowing it was lost or stolen; over 2 days but less than 60 days after: $500. After 60 days is when you could lose it all. It does not specifically address unauthorized charges used with your PIN, so I don't know

If using a debit card, check with a banker or better yet, loss preventiion to see what the financial institution's policy is.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
@whosear wrote:

On debit card protection, what I have found is that it does not have the same term and conditional limit of either $0 or $50, depending when it was known and reported lost or stolen. If either card is reported lost or stolen before any authorized purchases are made, the limit is $0. If after, $50 max for CC, and maybe up to all of your money in your deposit accounts tied to the debit card was well as any line of credits tied to the accounts or card. The rules state that your liability is limited to $50 if reported within 2 days of knowing it was lost or stolen; over 2 days but less than 60 days after: $500. After 60 days is when you could lose it all. It does not specifically address unauthorized charges used with your PIN, so I don't know

If using a debit card, check with a banker or better yet, loss preventiion to see what the financial institution's policy is.

You are correct except that the federal protection refers to tje type of transaction rather than the type of card. If either card is lost, and only credit transactions are done you have the same federal protection. Unfortunately, your cash accounts could be emptied if you used a debit card until you can get the money back.

If you lose a debit card and PIN transactions are used, it will be assumed that you gave someone your PIN or you had the PIN written on the card. In that case, you could be held responsible due to neglience.

In s nutshell, credit TRANSACTIONS are protected by federal law and debit TRANSACTIONS depend on your bank's own policies.
I haven't found anything on the federal websites confirming what you are stating about using a debit card in a credit transaction. I have found the distinctions and loss limits that I posted.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
They will tell you their policy, which will be at least the minimum required by the feds. They may tell you what they do at that moment above and beyond the federal requirements, until they change it. Which might be tomorrow.

Do not read so much, look about you and think of what you see there.
Richard Feynman-- letter to Ashok Arora, 4 January 1967, published in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track (2005) p. 230
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