While credit card offers change all the time, the system that our credit is based on is quite structured and definitely not something that changes from quarter to quarter. Personally, I’m fascinated with the ridiculousness and confusion around finance and credit.
Understanding credit and credit reports certainly isn’t as bad as understanding tax law, but let’s face it some plain English would be nice.
So here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Credit reports (and scores of course) differ in format and content with each bureau
- You can get a report for FREE each and every year.
- If your report has incorrect information, you are entitled to file a dispute and get it fixed (this is the main reason you should check your report as 10% of all reports have errors) — Sample Dispute Letter
- Green is usually good, yellow is a potential bad thing, and red on your report is typically bad
- Read up on some credit facts and myths
Keep in mind that while your reports don’t display your score, whether based on FICO or VantageScore numbering model, the reports are solely what make up your credit score. You’ll notice that your income is never shown on your credit report … that’s because income is not a factor in credit score. Creditor’s use it as a determination of how much credit to extend to you if they decide that your income and credit file meet their requirements.
When it comes to scores, we always want scores over 700 on FICO and over 800 on VantageScore before we think about applying for any premium travel rewards cards. If you’re looking for a loan / mortgage, you’ll want those scores about 740 on FICO and closer to 900 for VantageScore which will ensure not only being approved, but receiving the lowest possible interest rates!
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases