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All things considered, which credit card to get for miles?

All things considered, which credit card to get for miles?

Old Jun 26th, 2002, 01:36 PM
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The drawback with a debit card is that if you lose it, and it can be used without a PIN, a thief could empty your account before you know it. If this happens when you are six time zones away from your bank, it is no fun. Even though the bank will eventually credit the lost funds back to you, you don't have access to that money while you are away. With a straight ATM card there's the safety of the PIN, and with a credit card you can contest a charge before you pay the bill -- the signature debit card has neither advantage.
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 01:46 PM
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oh, I see
We're coming at it from different angles. I was thinking of a debit card to use at home to earn points FOR the trip. And you're thinking of using while you're ON the trip.
It would be a pain to straighten things out 6 time zones away, but if your credit card is maxed out you'd really be in the same fix (if you didn't have an ATM card to use that is).
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 01:52 PM
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A PIN-less debit card presents more risk than I'm willing to accept -- at home or away. Others find it convenient.
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 02:34 PM
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I have a Capital One Miles One Mastercard which gives FF miles and it absolutely does not have any conversion fee over the usual 1 pct. That's the whole reason I got it, to supplement my VISA, which did have one, for use on major purchases abroad. The FF miles were a plus, but the card does have a yearly maintenance fee (although minimal, about $20, I think) and I don't think there is any std FF card that does not have a yearly fee, usually $60+. Capital One and MBNA are the usual cards mentioned without any add-on conversion fee to the 1 pct.

You can use the FF miles on any airline and it also has a very low percentage rate (but I never carry a balance anyway so don't really care). However, one thing I like is that you have a choice of simply getting the cash back or using them for airline tickets (and I don't know how you do that as I haven't had it that long, given they aren't an airline). I prefer the simplicity of cash back (which is 1 pct of charges, so when you have 25K mi which could qualify you for a domestic trip, I think you have the option of just getting a check for $250 instead). I'll take the cash and buy my own tickets somehow.

I got rid of my debit card also because I didn't like it that it could be used without a PIN. I don't know for sure the protections, my back claims you are protected like a credit card but there was some ominous language about only if you reported it in some time frame of it being lost/stolen, and since I might not notice I didn't like that. Anyway, it would be a giant hassle to try to get the money back, I'd think, anything having to do with banks and cards usually is.

Don't know the details on the stop loss, but I just don't get the point of debit cards since it seems better to me to put all the charges on a credit card, get a free float all month on that money (which didn't affect my decisions on the card, but it's true), and pay one big bill at the end of the month -- much easier to keep my checkbook straight, also. Perhaps there are some places that refuse credit cards but take debit, but I don't go to them (it's often the opposite).
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 03:48 PM
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I agree with the American express answer, but I will take it one step further and say to get a Optima/Starwood American Express. You get all the benefits of having and Amex, NO Annual fee, one for one, and these points can either be used for airlines, merchandise or at any of the Starwood properties, which include Westin, Sheraton, W, Luxury Collection, and others.
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 09:07 PM
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Great ideas, all. To Christina: I'm seriously considering the Capital One card. Did I understand you correctly-- that the yearly fee is only $20? If so, that's the one for me! Thanks, Sue.
Old Jun 26th, 2002, 09:28 PM
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To Cl9: HELLO...I don't mean to be rude but obviously you haven't read/heard on the TV/ listened on the radio about the 1,000's of cases where debit card users have been ripped off by debit cards either here in the USA or abroad. Like Kay explained....how would you like to be far away and find out that you have lost your debit card, and someone has used it to rack of numerous purchases (NOT ATM WITHDRAWLS which do require a PIN) and your checking account is depleted....perhaps before you even realize your card is missing. There have been so many publications (perhaps Congress will even take action) prohibiting these debit cards with the Visa or Mastercard logos. I work with small busineses and we are constantly getting reports of fraudulant usage. I wouldn't own one no matter how many miles I received, KAY IS RIGHT ON! Make sure your card does NOT have this logo. Stan
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 10:54 AM
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Sue -- yeah, I thought about this a bit before getting the Capital One and did a little research and am happy with my decision. You can see all the details on their web site (www.capitalone.com), as well as a choice of cards. The fee is $19 annually for the Miles One card (you can't lose since they rebate 1 pct of charges if you choose that option, it seems to me). However, if you don't need the FF miles or want to pay the $19 yearly fee, I think their regular VISA cards don't have the conversion fee and don't have any yearly fee. You'll have to check that out.

One thing I wasn't sure of but found out after applying was the the Miles One card is only a Mastercard, not a VISA. I had sort of wanted a VISA as I think they are accepted more than MC, but decided maybe it was good to have a MC as an alternate as I already have another VISA, and both are accepted everywhere I've been abroad. The Capital One APR is only about 10% also, which is really good.
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 11:34 AM
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We have a Capital One Visa - have had it for years and have been very happy with the service.
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 03:48 PM
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I carry a Capital One VISA and American Express. I was recently sent a new bank card that was both an ATM and a debit card and I sent it back and requested only an ATM card. Some banks will do it, others won't. My friend is a Banker and she won't carry one. What does that tell you??
Old Jun 27th, 2002, 09:36 PM
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To Christina: Thank you. Sue
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