Inspired by MilesAbound’s post about the Banana Republic credit card, the PFD household signed up for two GE Money cards a few months ago: a Banana Republic card for my wife and a Brooks Brothers card for myself. I wanted to experience the Banana Republic card marketing machine for myself as well as to see if other GE cards offered more of the same.
Regarding Banana Republic, I’m encouraged with what I’ve seen so far. I’ve already received one offer for $40 after two purchases, and just recently I received an offer for triple points on all spending. And this, mind you, is after only the first three months. So I have a pretty good feeling about that one right now.
The Brooks Brothers card, on the other hand, has been less interesting… until this past weekend. Look what arrived in both my mailbox and inbox:
That certainly made me feel better! Most encouraging is the fact that’s it’s one of those easy-to-fulfill “earn $xx for y purchases”, just like the Banana Republic card. Time will tell if promotions like this are regular enough to make the card worthwhile or sporadic enough to forget.
Based on what I’ve seen from these two cards, I plan to expand my GE card portfolio. We have a wife-o-rama coming up this week and I plan to apply for one GE card, possibly two, for Mrs. PFD. They don’t offer much in the way of sign-up bonuses or predictable spending bonuses (or affiliate commissions), but if they can offer an easy hundred dollars or two of freebies every year, they’ll be worth it. I’ll post future GE updates as events warrant.
WORST CREDIT CARD OF 2013: CardTrak has an article up on the worst credit card of 2013. This sort of thing tends to be off the radar of most of us since we tend to be pretty good at managing our credit. If we are subprime, it’s merely a temporary condition resulting from that 20-card app-o-rama last month. Here are the gory details of the First Premier MasterCard:
The First Premier MasterCard charges a 36% APR for purchases and cash advances. Most applicants receive a $300 credit limit. However, the credit limit is reduced to $225 as there is a $75 first year annual assessed before you can use the card. There is also a $95 one-time processing fee, paid up-front to consider your application. The annual fee after the first year is $45 but a monthly servicing fee of $6.25 per month or $75 per year kicks in. The up-front fee is now considered a security deposit as it was determined to be in violation of Credit CARD Act.
IT GETS WORSE – Each time your First Premier credit account is eligible (after 13 months) and approved for an unsecured credit limit increase, a credit limit increase fee in the amount of 25% of the amount of the credit limit increase will be assessed to your credit account. For example: If approved for a $100.00 credit limit increase, a $25.00 credit limit increase fee will be assessed to your credit account, which will result in an additional available credit of $75.00 on your credit account. This fee is automatically assessed upon approval of your credit limit increase, which could be as soon as your credit account has been open for 13 months.
I have to admit to being somewhat in awe of the evil genius behind the automatic CLI fee.
That definitely is the WORST I’ve ever heard of !
How desperate for credit would you have to be?
No usury laws about that?
How can one use the “points” earned on the Brooks Bros. MC?
They send you Brooks Brothers gift cards. No tricks there that I’m aware of.
First Premier Mastermoneysuckingmachine… wow. My head hurts.
I feel like this card was made just to show that we need stronger usury laws.
As risk of sounding cynical, I’m sure bank lobbyists would be happy to assist in the writing of such laws!
I normally buy clothing by weight. How much does Brooks charge for a pound of pants?
That’s a privilege afforded only to cardholders, and we’re sworn to secrecy as to the price.