how to use capital one venture miles

This video shows how Capital One allows you to use your miles as a purchase eraser for all types of travel expenses. In this example, I pay for a car rental with .

Are you ready to Venture?.

This video is about the Capital One venture credit card. I wanted to review the capital one venture card because its the card that I use and I think it has a lot of .


Gold Delta SkyMiles Card Vs. Capital One Venture Rewards

Here's the rundown on two of my favorite airline rewards credit cards. As your summer travel plans continue in August, you can't go wrong earning air miles with either of these!

1. Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card: This AmEx-branded Delta Airlines card offers a lucrative "30,000 bonus miles toward Award Travel & $0 introductory annual fee for the first year then $95" annually after that. If you apply online, a decision is offered within 60 seconds and other useful features include: Priority Boarding on Delta flights, ability to check your first bag free for you and up to 9 people in your reservation, 20% in-flight savings on entertainment and food purchases, plus all of the purchase protections offered by American Express. Read real user reviews and apply online here; "Airline Miles Cards" page.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards: This flagship travel rewards credit card from Capital One is a bit different from your typical airline card. Your miles don't expire, and can be used toward any travel expense, rather than being limited to redemption on one airline (including hotel stays or car rentals or airfare on any airline). This is a great airline credit card deal as you earn 2 miles per $1 spent, which is significantly higher than the industry average. Additionally, if you choose to use the miles toward airfare, you can use Capital One's web site to quickly book the flight of your choice. Read our full review.

Finally, if you fly United or Continental Airlines frequently (they recently merged!), definitely consider the new United MileagePlus Explorer credit card. You earn a lucrative air miles bonus, the card is a VISA Signature, and United has a massive international inventory of flights you can book using your MileagePlus miles. I recently watched a lecture that their charismatic CEO Jeff Smisek gave at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, and he certainly seemed to "get" how crucial maintaining a great loyalty program is to an airline's success. (It's actually a shame United and Chase don't work with Outlaw, or we'd certainly have the MileagePlus Explorer card in our deals portal, without hesitation.)

David blogs about personal finance and credit at Credit Card Outlaw.

Disclosures: Outlaw is a credit card promotions site, and as such we maintain financial relationships with numerous banks and financial institutions, including some of the offers and cards mentioned or featured herein.

Read the original article on David Seaman Online. Copyright 2012.


Capital One Venture Card Review: Earn 2X Miles on Every Purchase

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to use capital one venture miles

Taylor K. Gordon is a freelance blogger and personal finance junkie who lives in the nation's capital.

How to use capital one venture miles

If you frequently travel for business or leisure, a travel rewards credit card is one you want to keep close. Using a travel card to earn and redeem rewards can lower your out-of-pocket travel costs.

The Venture card from Capital One is a credit card that rewards cardholders in miles for everyday spending. The miles you accumulate can be used to cover the cost of flights, hotel accommodations, and more through the Capital One rewards center. In this post, we’ll dive into:

  • The credit card basics
  • How to redeem cashback
  • The fine print details
  • The pros and cons

  1. Earn unlimited 2X miles for every dollar you spend.

There’s no cap on how many miles you can earn. 100 miles earns you $1 in travel rewards, so 1 mile equals 1 cent when you redeem miles for travel purchases.

  1. Earn 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 within the first three months.

40,000 bonus miles is equal to $400 for you to use on travel.

After the first year, the annual fee bumps up to $59.

How to use capital one venture miles

You can redeem the miles you earn in two ways. You can book travel first with your Venture card and then use miles to credit the travel purchases on your statement. Or you can use miles like cash to pay for new travel bookings upfront. The redemption value on travel is 1 cent per mile either way you choose to redeem your miles.

Here’s how to do both:

Using miles to credit past travel purchases

After making a travel purchase on the card, log in to your online account or call the Capital One rewards center to use the Purchase Eraser tool. The Purchase Eraser feature will credit your account for qualifying travel purchases. You must use the Purchase Eraser tool within 90 days of making a travel purchase for it to be eligible for statement credit. It usually takes two to three days for the amount to be credited to your account. You may also be able to do partial redemptions to cover a portion of the cost of travel, but this is subject to minimum redemption amounts.

Previous travel you can get a credit for includes:

  • Airfare
  • Bus fares
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Limo services
  • Taxicab fares
  • Timeshares
  • Train fares
  • Travel agency costs

Using miles to pay for new travel bookings

For new travel bookings, you also log in to your online account or call the Capital One rewards center. You can book flights, car rentals, and hotel accommodations with your miles.

Besides travel, you can also cash in miles earned to receive a gift card, check, or account credit (for non-travel purchases). Gift cards have the same value as travel redemption. However, the value you get for a check or account credit on non-travel spending is only 50 cents per mile.

Venture cardholders will get the most bang for their buck on gift cards and travel. For example, if you use the 40,000 bonus miles to request a check, you’ll only get $200. Using the bonus miles for travel or a gift card instead will get you 50% more value.

The Venture card doesn’t hit cardholders heavy with fine print or fees. There’s no limit to how many miles you can earn, and miles never expire. Participating in the rewards program will be smooth sailing as long as you pay the monthly bill on time. You forfeit miles you earn during any billing cycle when you’re charged a late fee.

We briefly mentioned the card’s $59 annual fee that applies after the first year. You’ll need to spend at least $2,950 each year on the card to earn enough miles to cover the cost of the fee in travel rewards value.

The credit card interest rate is 13.99% to 23.99% APR. To get the most value from the Venture card (or any rewards card, for the matter), you need to pay off your entire balance in full each month to eliminate interest charges. Otherwise, interest charges from a revolving balance will decrease how much you’re really gaining from miles earned.

Let’s cover the protections the Venture card can offer you while globetrotting since it’s a rewards card for travelers. There’s $0 fraud liability, which means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized purchases if your card is lost or stolen.

The Venture card also comes with travel accident insurance and 24-hour travel assistance. The card comes with rental car insurance that can cover you for rental car collision and theft.

Pro: Waived annual fee the first year and miles bonus. New Venture cardholders have a major opportunity to benefit from bonus miles and no fee the first year. Say you already plan to take a trip or make a major purchase over $3,000 in the next few months. You can apply for the card and charge the purchase to your new account. This will automatically earn you 40,000 miles to put toward another trip.

Con: The annual fee. The annual fee waiver the first year is a pro, but the $59 fee for following years may be a deal-breaker if you don’t plan to spend enough on the card.

Pro: No cap. Earning unlimited miles is a positive for big spenders.

Con: The redemption value for cash and statement credit. If you want to use your miles for something other than travel, such as cash or a statement credit (for non-travel purchases), you will only get 0.50 cents per point. The Venture card is a travel rewards card, so it’ll likely attract cardholders who want to use miles for travel bookings, and the lower redemption value on other options may not be a huge deal. Just be mindful that you will get less for your miles if you use them for something else.

Pro: No foreign transaction fee. Many travel rewards cards besides the Venture card don’t have foreign transaction fees. We’ll cover a few of them below. Not having this fee is a pro, but it’s also something that’s fairly common among travel rewards cards.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers you 2X points on travel and dining. When you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to redeem points, 1 point equals 1 cent.

There are two standout aspects of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that can benefit travelers. Points are 25% more valuable when you use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also transfer the points you earn to other rewards programs, 1:1.

The new cardholder bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is currently 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first three months. This is equal to $625 in travel. The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is waived the first year and then $95 annually.

How to use capital one venture miles

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5X points per dollar on all purchases and has no annual or foreign transaction fees. The card gives 20,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 within the first three months of having the card. This equals $200 in a statement credit or travel purchases.

Cardholders also get a 10% point bonus for having an active checking or savings account. Preferred Bank of America cardholders who have a balance of over $20,000 in a Bank of America banking or Merrill Lynch investment account can earn an extra 25% to 75% bonus on their rewards points. Ultimately, current Bank of America customers will likely get the most value from this card.

How to use capital one venture miles

If you prefer to stick with Capital One, there is also VentureOne From CapitalOne. This card offers unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar on all purchases and has no annual or foreign transaction fees. The card gives 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 within the first three months. This is the equivalent of $200 in statement credit or travel purchases.

How to use capital one venture miles

Comparing Venture and VentureOne side by side, VentureOne may be the better choice if you’re unlikely to spend $3,000 within the first three months. However, Venture may be worth it if you are able to receive their 40,000 bonus miles, especially with the $59 annual fee waived in the first year.

Who Will Benefit the Most from the Capital One Venture Card?

The Venture card has no spending cap, so if you use plastic often, this could be a card that will reward you well. Even though the Venture card has an annual fee, compared to a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that charges $95 per year, the Venture card fee is fairly low.

You still need to make sure you’re prepared to spend enough on the Venture card for it to be worthwhile. Estimate what your spending activity on the card will be each year to see if you’ll spend enough to cover the fee.

How to use capital one venture miles

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at [email protected]

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Advertiser Disclosure: MagnifyMoney is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on the site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

College Students and Recent Grads, Pay Down My Debt, Reviews

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to use capital one venture miles

Erin Millard is a personal finance freelance blogger and founder of JourneyToSaving.com.

How to use capital one venture miles

CommonBond was founded by three Wharton MBAs who felt the sting of student loans after they graduated. The founders decided to provide a better solution for graduates, as they thought the student loan system was broken and in need of reform. As a result, they strive to make the refinance (and borrowing) process as simple and straightforward for graduates as possible.

CommonBond* began by servicing students from just one school, and has rapidly expanded. Today, CommonBond loans are available to graduates of over 2,000 schools nationwide. Although the company traditionally offered loan refinancing to undergraduate and graduate students, CommonBond recently started offering loans for current students as well (both undergraduates and graduates).

CommonBond is one of the top four lenders identified by MagnifyMoney to refinance student loans.

As you might be able to tell by the name, CommonBond thinks of its community as family. There is a network of alumni and professionals within the community that want to help borrowers. This alone sets it apart from other lenders, as members often meet for events.

While these are all great things, we know you’re more interested in how CommonBond might be able to help you make your student loans more affordable. Let’s take a look at what terms and rates they offer, eligibility requirements, and how they compare against other lenders.

CommonBond offers low variable and fixed rate loans. Variable rates range from 2.80% – 6.73% APR, and fixed rates range from 3.35% – 7.12% APR.

Note that these rates take a 0.25% auto pay discount into consideration.

There is no maximum loan amount. CommonBond will lend what you can afford to repay. CommonBond offers fixed and variable rates with terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years.

The hybrid loan is only offered on a 10 year term – the first 5 years will have a fixed rate, and the 5 years after that will have a variable rate.

CommonBond has a great chart listing repayment examples based off of borrowing $10,000, which can be found on its rates and terms page.

To pull an example from that, if you borrow $10,000 at a fixed 4.74% APR on a 10 year term, your monthly payment will be $104.80. The total amount you will pay over the 10 year period will be $12,575.90.

CommonBond is available to graduates of 2,000 universities. While that is a very long list, not all colleges and universities are included.

One pro to consider is the hybrid loan option available. It might seem a little confusing at first – why would someone want a variable rate down the road?

If you’re confident you’ll be able to make extra payments on your loan and pay it off before the 5 years are up, you might be better off going with the hybrid option (if you can get a better interest rate on it).

This is because you’ll end up paying less over the life of the loan with a lower interest rate. If you were offered a 10 year loan with a fixed rate of 6.49% APR, and a hybrid loan with a beginning rate of 5.64%, the hybrid option would be the better deal if you’re intent on paying it off quickly.

CommonBond doesn’t list many eligibility requirements on its website, aside from the following:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • You must have graduated

CommonBond doesn’t specify a minimum credit score needed, but based on the requirements of other lenders, we recommend having a score of 660+, though you should be aiming for 700+. The good news is CommonBond lets you apply with a cosigner in case your credit isn’t good enough.

CommonBond’s application process is very simple – it says it takes as little as 2 minutes to complete. Initially, you’ll be asked for basic information such as your name, address, and school.

Once you complete this part, CommonBond will perform a soft credit pull to estimate your rates and terms.

If you want to move forward with the rates and terms offered, you’ll be required to submit documentation and a hard credit inquiry will be conducted. CommonBond lists the following as required:

  • Pay stubs or tax returns (proof of employment)
  • Diploma or transcript (proof of graduation)
  • Student loan bank statement
  • ID, utility bills, lease agreement (proof of residency)

CommonBond also notes it can take up to 5 business days to verify documents submitted, so the loan doesn’t happen instantaneously.

Once your documents are approved, you electronically sign for the loan, and CommonBond will begin the process of paying off your previous lenders. It notes this can take up to two weeks from the time the loan is accepted.

Who Benefits the Most from Refinancing Student Loans with CommonBond?

Borrowers who are looking to refinance a large amount of student loan debt will benefit the most from refinancing with them.

How to use capital one venture miles

CommonBond does not have a prepayment penalty, and there are no origination fees nor application fees associated with refinancing.

As with other lenders, there is a late payment fee. This is 5% of the unpaid amount of the payment due, or $10, whichever is less.

If a payment fails to go through, you’ll be charged a $15 fee.

It’s also noted that failure to make payments may result in the loss of the 0.25% interest rate deduction from auto pay.

Getting in touch with a representative is simple and there is a chat and call option right on the homepage. Some lenders have this hidden at the bottom, or they don’t offer a chat option at all.

CommonBond also lets borrowers know they can shop around within a 30 day period to lessen the impact on their credit.

It does not list its late fees on its website, unlike other lenders. However, after making a chat inquiry, the question was answered promptly.

CommonBond does offer a cosigner release and is ranked with a A+ transparency score.

The student loan refinancing market continues to get more competitive, and it makes sense to shop around for the best deal.

One of the market leaders is SoFi. It’s always worth taking a look to see if SoFi* offers a better interest rate.

The two lenders are very similar – CommonBond offers “CommonBridge,” a service that helps you find a new job in the event you lose yours. SoFi offers a similar service called Unemployment Protection.

SoFi’s variable rates are currently 2.815% – 6.740% APR with autopay, and its fixed rates are currently 3.35% – 7.125% APR, which is in line with what CommonBond is offering.

SoFi also doesn’t have a limit on how much you can refinance with them.

How to use capital one venture miles

on SoFi’s secure website

Another lender to consider is Earnest. There is no maximum loan amount, and Earnest has a very slick application process. Interest rates start as low as 2.81% (variable) and 3.35% (fixed).

How to use capital one venture miles

Lastly, you could check out LendKey. It offers student loan refinancing through credit unions and community banks, but only offers variable rates in most states and fixed rates in a select few. The maximum amount to refinance with an undergraduate degree is $125,000, and the maximum amount to refinance with a graduate degree is $175,000.

All three of these options provide forbearance in case of economic hardship and offer similar loan options (5, 10, 15 year terms).

How to use capital one venture miles

As CommonBond initially conducts a soft pull on your credit, you’re free to continue to shop around for the best rates if you’re not happy with the rates it can provide. As the lender states on its website, if you apply for loans within a 30 day period, your credit won’t be affected as much.

Since CommonBond does have strict underwriting criteria, you should continue to shop around and don’t be discouraged if you are not approved. The market continues to get more competitive, and a number of good options are out there.

*We’ll receive a referral fee if you click on offers with this symbol. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations. You can learn more about how our site is financed here.

How to use capital one venture miles

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

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Advertiser Disclosure: MagnifyMoney is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on the site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

College Students and Recent Grads, Reviews, Student Loan ReFi

Monday, August 21, 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to use capital one venture miles

Erin Millard is a personal finance freelance blogger and founder of JourneyToSaving.com.

How to use capital one venture miles

Are you a parent who wanted to help your child finance his or her education, and ended up taking out more loans than anticipated? Many parents find themselves in a precarious situation as they try to plan for retirement and while balancing student loan debt.

If you’re looking to save on the amount of interest you’re paying, SoFi’s Parent PLUS loan refinance program may be right for you.

You can refinance a minimum of $5,000 under SoFi. Fixed rates range from 3.35% to 6.75% APR and variable rates range from 2.815% – 6.490% APR (these rates assume you enroll in autopayment).

Terms of 5, 7, 10, and 15 years are available. Variable rates on terms of 5, 7, and 10 years are capped at 8.95%, while the 15 year term is capped at 9.95%.

An example payment looks like this: if you refinance $10,000 on a 5 year term with a fixed APR of 5.49%, your monthly payment will be $190.97 and you’ll pay a total of $11,457.93 over the life of the loan. If you refinance $10,000 on a 5 year term with a variable APR of 4.2%, your monthly payment will be $185.07 and you’ll pay a total of $11,104.43.

How Does the Parent PLUS Loan From SoFi Compare to a Federal PLUS Loan?

The interest rate for Federal Direct PLUS Loans disbursed on or after July 1 st , 2015 and before July 1 st , 2016 is 6.84%. During much of the 2000s, interest rates were higher. Currently, interest rates are fixed – variable rates are unavailable.

Most people are looking to refinance to save money, and SoFi offers very competitive rates compared with the Direct PLUS Loan, especially on variable rates.

While there are no fees to refinance, you should calculate your estimated savings before going through the process. Be aware if you do refinance, you’ll lose out on certain benefits that come with having Federal student loans, such as deferment, forbearance, and various repayment options.

PLUS loans made to parents are eligible for the Graduated or Extended Repayment Plans, and Direct PLUS loans are also eligible for forgiveness. In some cases, PLUS loans can be discharged due to the death of the borrower (or student).

Private loans often don’t extend these same benefits. In fact, SoFi explicitly states on its legal page that this loan “is not discharged in the event of death or permanent disability of the borrower or student on whose behalf the loan is taken out.”

You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and employed to be approved. SoFi is unable to lend in Nevada, and variable rates aren’t offered in Illinois, Ohio, or Tennessee. The loans must have been used to obtain at least a Bachelor’s degree with an eligible school as well.

There are no specific credit score requirements as SoFi tries to take a broader view of borrowers. It focuses on income and credit history instead.

The application process to refinance a PLUS Loan with SoFi is easy and can be done completely online. The application takes around 15 minutes to complete, and you’ll know whether or not you qualify by going through the pre-approval process first. During this portion of the application, a soft credit inquiry is used. If you decide to move forward with the loan offered to you, a hard credit inquiry will be used.

You’ll be asked to upload a few documents, so it’s a good idea to have the following ready to go:

  • Proof of residence – ID with matching address, otherwise a utility bill dated within the last 60 days is okay
  • Proof of income – most recent pay stubs
  • Proof of citizenship – a passport or birth certificate can be provided
  • Verification of loans – most recent loan statements for the loans you’re refinancing

Once you submit this documentation, SoFi’s review team gets to work on evaluating your loan. If no other documentation is needed, reviews can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to complete.

There isn’t an origination fee or application fee, and there are no prepayment penalties. Rates are determined on a number of factors, including the term you choose, your income, and your credit history.

There are late fees associated with the loan. The Parent PLUS Refinance program is currently offered through SoFi’s lending partner, Mohela, and it assesses any fees owed. When you receive the paperwork for the loan, the fees can be found under the disclosures.

If you’re struggling to repay the loan after refinancing with SoFi, we recommend you contact a representative and make them aware of the situation. The worst thing you can do with any loan is not make a payment.

SoFi offers unemployment protection on a case-by-case basis, during which payments can be paused for a period of 3 to 12 months.

Pro: SoFi offers much better rates than the 6.84% fixed rate that comes with Direct PLUS loans. If you have a higher interest rate – around 8% – you’ll stand to benefit even more.

Con: As we mentioned, refinancing means losing out on benefits associated with Federal student loans. If you’re not as concerned about needing repayment assistance, the savings might be enough to make refinancing worthwhile.

Pro: SoFi also offers variable interest rates, whereas the most recent Direct PLUS loans don’t. Variable rates can be tricky, though – SoFi says rates may change on a monthly basis. If you value stability and peace of mind, variable rates may not be for you. If you’re trying to pay off your balance quicker, and a lower interest rate would help, then it might be worth considering this option.

Con: You may have to extend the repayment term to get a lower monthly payment, as SoFi offers terms up to 15 years. Unfortunately, this increases the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. It’s important to use a calculator to estimate how much your savings will be to make sure refinancing is worth it. For example, if you have less than 5 years remaining on your loan, refinancing may not save you a lot of money.

Pro: SoFi offers unemployment protection, and you can also take advantage of SoFi’s career assistance program. If you or your child is experiencing trouble finding employment, it will connect you with its network of alumni and give you tools and tips to succeed in your job search.

If you don’t qualify with SoFi, you can try these lenders that also offer refinancing options:

CommonBond: Fixed APRs range from 3.35% to 7.12%, and variable APRs range start at 2.80%, and terms offered are 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. CommonBond also has hybrid APRs. Only a 10 year term is offered with this choice; it starts off as fixed for 5 years, and changes over to variable for 5 years. There are no origination fees or application fees, no prepayment penalty, and CommonBond actually allows you to transfer your loan to your child (which isn’t allowed with Federal loans). You can borrow a maximum of $110,000.

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Citizens Bank: Citizens Bank refinances Parent PLUS and Direct PLUS loans through its Education Refinance program. The minimum amount you can refinance is $10,000 and up to $90,000 for Bachelor’s degrees and below, $130,000 for graduate and doctoral degrees, and $170,000 for professional degrees. For a Bachelor’s degree and above, you must have made 3 consecutive monthly payments to refinance. For anything less than a Bachelor’s degree, you must have made 12 consecutive monthly payments. The loan you’re refinancing must be in repayment status and can’t be enrolled in an Income-Based Repayment plan. Fixed APRs start at 6.24%. Terms of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years are offered. You need a minimum income of $24,000 to qualify.

How to use capital one venture miles

Be sure to shop around as there are other lenders out there that will refinance PLUS loans – you want to make sure you’re getting the best rates and terms available to you so you can save the most. Shopping around within 30 days will only count as one credit inquiry, so your credit won’t get penalized heavily. Take advantage of this and lessen the burden of student loan payments so you can focus on saving for your future.

* We’ll receive a referral fee if you click on the “Apply Now” buttons in this post. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations You can learn more about how our site is financed here.

How to use capital one venture miles

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

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How to use capital one venture miles

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Advertiser Disclosure: MagnifyMoney is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on the site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

FS Build Card Review: Build Credit With This Payday Loan Alternative

Friday, August 18, 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to use capital one venture miles

Brittney Laryea is a personal finance reporter for MagnifyMoney. She graduated from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Credit cards for people with poor credit scores are few and far between, but FS Card is looking to change that with its first product, the Build Card, an unsecured credit card designed specifically for borrowers with subprime credit scores.

If you’re in need of a couple of hundred dollars and your credit score falls below 600, you’re not likely to get approved for an unsecured credit card. You’re considered a subprime borrower — a lending risk to banks, who worry they won’t get their money back.

But when banks refuse to lend to risky borrowers, those consumers turn to more expensive short-term borrowing options like payday loans, auto title loans, and pawn products. Annual interest rates on those products often exceed 300%, according to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Paying a high interest rate and a number of additional fees attached to those short-term products can trap consumers in a cycle of debt.

FS Card was founded by former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Assistant Director of Card and Payment Markets Marla Blow in 2014 to fill what she says was a gap in the credit card industry. Blow says she began FS Card when she noticed — after the housing market crashed in 2008 — banks began “pulling back from subprime consumers in a very directed way,” because they were wary of tougher regulations on the financial industry. As a result, those consumers turned to more expensive products like payday loans, she says.

“I wanted to be able to put that consumer into a place where, rather than having to go out and get a payday loan, they could use a credit card,” Blow says. She designed the Build Card to offer subprime consumers access to something that “a lot of our economy assumes is already present” — a rotating line of credit.

The Build Card is an unsecured credit card for borrowers with subprime FICO credit scores in the 550 to 600 range (on a scale of 300 to 850). The invite-only card charges a variable 29.9% APR. The rate is high for a credit card but about 10 times less expensive than some payday loans. However, it’s not a card you’d want to open unless you are seriously in need of the funds and are looking to build your credit score.

Ideally, a payday loan is used to meet short-term borrowing needs — to hold you over until you receive your next paycheck. However, Pew research shows the average borrower uses them for five months at a time on average and has to pay an average $55 fee ($95 online) each time they extend the loan, which is what makes these loans so expensive. That’s $275 spent renewing a loan that’s on average $375. Furthermore, Pew research found seven in 10 borrowers use them for everyday expenses like groceries, rent, and utilities.

With access to a rotating line of credit, borrowers can extend the amount of time they have to repay borrowed money without having to pay renewal fees for a payday loan.

The Build Card is a rare unsecured credit card for those with poor credit scores. Most cards you can qualify for with a score lower than 600 are secured cards, which require a deposit to secure a credit line. For people who have a few hundred dollars on hand, a secured card is a great way to get access to credit, but many low-income Americans are not in a position to spend that kind of money.

FS Card reports your activity to national credit bureau TransUnion so you can use the Build Card to improve your credit score if you maintain good credit management habits. Negative activity — like late payments and high credit card balances — will also be reported, so be sure to pay your balance on time and in full each month for best results.

Because you must be invited to apply for the Build Card, you are prequalified for approval. There is an excellent chance you will be approved for the Build Card, unless something on your credit report has drastically changed between the time FS Card mailed your invitation and when you apply.

The Build Card doesn’t charge you for using it overseas, so you don’t need to worry about racking up fees for swiping your credit card on vacation.

As of this writing, the Build Card is invitation only and has more than 50,000 cardholders, Blow says. You’ll have to wait to receive a code in the mail before you can apply for the card online, which is unfortunate for anyone who is in need of short-term funds now.

FS Card selects borrowers using an algorithm to prequalify borrowers with subprime credit scores and sends invitations to potential customers monthly. The algorithm sifts through consumer credit reporting data to identify consumers who have recently done something that reflects better borrowing habits like paying off a payday loan or an account in collections.

Blow tells MagnifyMoney FS Card will offer an open application for Build Card in 2018.

This card carries a lot of fees. If you’re trying to build your credit and have the funds to get a secured credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee or has an interest-free period, you’re better off going that route, as it will be significantly less expensive.

  • Startup & membership fees: It costs Build Card customers $125 simply to open the account. FS Card charges the initial start-up fee ($53) and annual membership fee ($72) on your first statement. Although the card begins accruing interest immediately, Blow tells MagnifyMoney FS Card does not charge Build Card users interest on the start-up fees assessed to the credit card.After the first year, the annual membership is paid in $6 monthly installments, charged to the Build Card.
  • Authorized user fee: If you authorize another person to use your Build Card, you’ll be charged a $12 fee per authorized user.
  • Late/returned payment fee: Don’t miss a payment on this credit card, or you’ll be charged a whopping $35 fee.
  • Cash advance fee: Try your best not to take cash from this credit line — in addition to paying 29.9% interest, you’ll be charged the greater of $10 or 3% of the amount you take.

If you need to borrow more than $500, you’re out of luck with this card. Everyone who opens a Build Card account starts off with a $500 limit. But remember, that limit is immediately reduced to $375 once you open the card and are charged $125 in fees. That also doesn’t leave you a lot of room to spend, considering it’s bad for your credit score to carry a balance close to your credit limit. Blow says the company may soon offer starting lines above and below $500.

Right now, FS Card checks every month to see if you’re managing the card wisely (read: making payments on time). If you are, you could qualify for a credit line increase to $750 in as soon as seven months. Blow says 59% of Build Card customers have gotten increases so far.

This card doesn’t come with an interest-free grace period. It will begin charging a 29.9% APR to your purchases immediately.

The Build Card doesn’t come with a balance transfer offer, so you won’t be able to use the card as a debt consolidation tool. If you are in a large amount of credit card debt, you could try applying for a personal loan through online lenders like Lending Club or Prosper, which offer personal loans to people with credit scores below 600.

The Build Card is worth opening if you:

  • have a credit score between 550 and 600,
  • are ready to start rebuilding your credit score, and
  • want an alternative to payday loans in the event of an emergency but don’t have the cash on hand to open a secured credit card.

Beware: If your poor credit history resulted from poor spending habits like spending more than you could afford or making late payments, ask yourself if you’re ready to make a change. Opening this credit line won’t help your credit score any in the long run if you don’t.

You must be selected to apply for the Build Card. When you receive your invitation to apply, you’ll be given an offer code and application ID to enter into the application form on the Build Card website. Enter that information, your ZIP code, and the last four digits of your Social Security number to apply for approval. You should know if you’re approved or not within a few minutes.

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Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]

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Advertiser Disclosure: MagnifyMoney is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on the site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Review: Is the Annual Fee Worth It?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

How to use capital one venture miles

Brynne is the blogger behind FemmeFrugality.

Looking for a travel rewards card with a big bang for your buck? Chase Sapphire Reserve may be right for you.It comes with a litany of benefits for frequent travelers including:

  • 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on anything else.
  • Your points are worth 50% more when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Ability to transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to major airline and hotel rewards programs.
  • $100 statement credit after you pay for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application.
  • The first $300 you spend on travel during each 12-month period measured by your sign-up date will be automatically reimbursed through statement credits.
  • Currently, you can get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within three months of opening your card.

These benefits do come at a cost. The card has a $450 annual fee — and it is not waived in the first year. While the benefits are top-notch, they’re only accessible to those who can float the $450 in upfront costs.

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The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred has been collected independently by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

The best way to earn points with Chase Sapphire Reserve is by placing all of your travel and dining purchases on this card exclusively. These purchases will get you 3 points for every dollar spent on travel or restaurant dining, while all other purchases will get you a less competitive return of 1 point per every dollar spent.

What, exactly, qualifies as a travel purchase? The obvious things, like hotels and car rentals, are included. But don’t forget merchants like Airbnb, Expedia, or even your state DOT when you drive on toll roads.

Certain travel-related expenses do not count as travel purchases. Amusement park tickets, excursions purchased directly through tour companies, and that Starbucks latte you purchased at the airport will not be counted as a 3-point-per-dollar travel expense, for example.

If you’re making a big purchase, but you’re not sure if it will qualify as a travel expense, it’s worth it to call the company you will be purchasing from. You want to find out how they are coded to credit card companies. Do they come through as “travel” or is the business classified into another category? Finding the answer to this question can help you decide if you should make the purchase on your Chase Sapphire Reserve or if you should charge it somewhere else where you’ll get more than one measly point per dollar.

Whether you’re purchasing a plane ticket for a work trip or booking your next family vacation, you want to make sure you’re maximizing all those points you’ve earned.

One of the best ways to redeem your points at booking is by using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Here, you’ll be able to find flights, hotels, and more with no blackout dates. Because you’re a Chase Sapphire Reserve holder, your points will be worth 50% more here. That means that instead of your 50,000-point bonus being worth $500, it will actually be worth $750.

Another potentially great way to book is by transferring your points to one of Chase’s partner airline or hotel rewards programs. This can be done in real time on a 1:1 basis. Sometimes, it may even be a better deal than booking through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.

For example, a flight from New York City to Tokyo may run you $1,200. If you booked within the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, that would cost you 80,000 points.

However, if you transferred your points to United MileagePlus miles, you could score a flight for 70,000 points if you booked at the “Saver Award” level in economy class. There is limited seating at this award level, so you would want to book far ahead, but doing so would save you 10,000 points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards has several transfer partners aside from United. The full list includes:

  • British Airways Avios
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Korean Airlines Skypass
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards
  • Marriott Rewards/Ritz Carlton Rewards

Those with the best chance of qualifying for Chase Sapphire Reserve will have a credit score of 700 or above without a history of chronically late payments. Those with a credit score below 650 are unlikely to qualify.

This card is only for people with excellent credit. In general, that means your score should be above 700. In addition, Chase (and other credit card issuers) have been cracking down on people who go from one bonus offer to the next. If you apply for a lot of credit cards, don’t be surprised if you are declined.

There are a lot of reasons to love Chase Sapphire Reserve if you’re big on travel.

The bonus is nothing to laugh at.

Fifty thousand points is on the high end of standard spending bonuses for credit cards, but when you book through the Ultimate Rewards portal, Chase’s offer is even more stellar.

Your annual fee is effectively lowered to $150 every year.

Because you will receive up to $300 in statement credits for travel reimbursements per year, the $450 annual fee is effectively lowered to $150 — as long as you actually spend $300 on travel.

Rewards points are generous on dining and travel purchases.

Three points per dollar is a large multiplier in the world of travel rewards credit cards.

No foreign transaction fees.

When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to deal with is foreign transaction fees. They can quickly eat away at any value you’re getting with your rewards points, so we’re glad to see that this card doesn’t have any.

Additional $100 statement credit specifically for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Both of these programs can save you a ton of time and hassle, especially if you travel frequently. The $100 statement credit reduces or even eliminates the application fees, depending on which product you pursue.

Plentiful travel protection benefits. When you book your travel with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you automatically have a lot of coverage as long as 100% of the purchase goes on the card. Coverage includes:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver. You won’t have to purchase collision insurance from your rental company as physical damages to the vehicle will be covered by this waiver provided via Chase.
  • Roadside assistance.You’re covered up to $50, four times per year. Covered services include locksmiths, tows, tire changes, jump-starts, and gas.
  • Baggage delay insurance.If the airline has issues locating your luggage at your destination airport for six hours or more, this insurance policy will reimburse you for essential purchases, like shampoo or slacks. The policy maxes out at $100 per day over the course of five days.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement. What if the airport never finds your bag? Or damages your belongings? Chase will reimburse the value of your belongings up to $3,000.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance.Certain emergencies, such as severe weather or illness, will merit a reimbursement of up to $10,000 if they force you to cancel or cut your trip short.
  • Trip delay reimbursement.If your flight is delayed for over six hours and the airline is offering little to nothing in the way of reimbursement, Chase will pay you back $500 per ticket to cover things like food and hotel stays.
  • Emergency coverages.Chase provides coverage for emergency evacuations, emergency medical and dental services, and accidental death or dismemberment while you’re on a trip that you’ve paid for 100% with your Chase Sapphire Rewards card.

While Chase Sapphire Reserve’s rewards are out of this world, they do come at a steep price.

The annual fee is colossal.

A $450 annual fee is huge—especially since it is not waived in the first year. This limits the number of people who will even be able to afford to open a card, nonetheless justify the expense.

Rewards points are scant on everyday purchases.

While this card is generous with rewards points for dining and travel, purchases in every other category only earn 1 point per dollar. Even when you account for the 50% bonus when booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal, it would be wise to put these purchases on one of many other cards on the market that will earn you more points.

Travel hackers will have a hard time qualifying.

Banks (and not just Chase) are making it more difficult for people to jump from bonus offer to bonus offer. If that sounds like you, it will probably be difficult to get approved.

Those who travel frequently, spending a good portion of their budget on related purchases including dining, will benefit most from this card. These applicants have a solid credit history and score and are more likely to have a higher income as they have the funds available to front the $450 annual fee without hurting their budget. Their travels enable them to get the most out of not only the rewards points but also the statement credits that make this offer so attractive.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you have the $450 to spend up front, and know that you will be able to take advantage of the annual $300 travel reimbursement, Chase Sapphire Reserve is likely a better card for you than the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

While the Preferred’s annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year, in subsequent years its annual fee is only $55 less than the Reserve’s effective $150 fee after travel reimbursements.

For an additional $55, your Reserve points are worth 1.5 points each when you book through the Ultimate Rewards portal versus the Preferred’s 1.25 points. Let’s look back at our trip from New York City to Tokyo. With the Reserve, you would need 80,000 points to book your $1,200 flight. With the Preferred, you would need 96,000 points. That’s a 16,000-point difference. In order to make up the difference, you’d have to spend $6,400 on travel or dining on your Preferred card.

Fifty-five dollars starts to look like a deal.

You also earn 3 points instead of the Preferred rate of 2 points on each dollar you spend on travel and dining.

Given the increased point values, making up the $55 difference is easy. Having the income to support opening the Reserve in the first place is the challenge. Not only do you need to have $450 on hand up front, but you’ll also need to have an income that justifies a credit line of $10,000+. If you will have trouble achieving either of these things, the Preferred may be a better card for you.

While Chase Sapphire Reserve offers fantastic benefits, it’s not for everyone. If you want a credit card that offers travel rewards without such large impositions, you do have other options.