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January 1, 2006 23:50 - What credit card deals are issuers giving away to attract new cardholders?

When new friends get to know that I actually have a website that reviews credit cards, I am inevitably asked to suggest the best credit card deals for them. This is a rather tedious thing as you actually have to find out how much you spend, do you carry a balance, are you looking to earn reward points or cash rebate etc etc.

I thought about writing one article about how to find the best credit card deals, but soon realized that it would involve writing a few chapters because each segment is different. (I could easily write a few articles just on cash rebate or perepaid credit cards alone - which I have). So rather than do that (at least for now), I have decided to look at what credit card issuers are doing to attract new cardholders. This is a very competitive industry and I expect to find some interesting marketing strategies being used.

And I was not disappointed as I found out that I could categorize these marketing strategies from first year annual fee waivers to gifts, memberships etc.....


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January 3, 2006 23:26 - Cash Back Debit Cards

While updating the prepaid credit card section on the website, it made me realize how much this segment has grown. There used to be just basic prepaid visas or mastercards. Now there are prepaid debit cards that lets you rebuild your credit, reward prepaid credit cards and even cash back debit cards.

I have decided to examine prepaid debit cards with cash back features. Unlike regular credit card issuers who design their own cash rebate program and formula and compete based on the uniqueness of the cash rebate program, most prepaid credit card issuers outsource this function to a third party.

At present, the main cash rebate program among prepaid debit cards is the AmeriDollars program. While looking at the program, I was surprised to see the type of merchants they have as their partners as well as the amount of rebates being paid (as high as 10%). I've outlined every merchant and the rebates you get when you shop at these merchants in a simple table. If you are looking for a prepaid credit card with cash back program, this is definitely worth a look.

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January 6, 2006 17:02 - New US Airways Dividend Miles Word Mastercard from Barclays

On 3rd January 2006, (three days ago), the new merged entity of US Airwards and America West (now called US Airways) have announced an agreement with Barclays to issue a new US Airways Dividend Miles World Mastercard. Barclays will have sole distribution rights from 2008 onwards.

At present, Bank of America is the issuer of the US Airways Dividend Miles Visa and they will continue to issue until 2007. Barclays plan to go on an agressive marketing campaign to win new cardholders. Here are a some of the things new cardholders can expect :

  • No annual fee for 2 years
  • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar rather than 1 mile for one year
  • 25,000 bonus miles if you transfer $10,000 and obviously for signing up (25,000 miles is enough to get a roundtrip ticket)
    Barclays also intends to sell 100 tickets a day in February at 50 cents to select destinations to new cardholders!


This is a very aggressive marketing campaign indeed. In the meatime Bank of America is suing US Airways over this!

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January 7, 2006 23:28 - Review of Walmart Credit Card

We have just written a review of the Walmart credit card.

This is a retails store credit card that can be used at Wal-Mart, SAM'S CLUB, Walmart.com, Thrifty Car Rental and AOL. In addition, you also get a 3 cent per gallon savings on gasoline purchases at Walmart or Sam's Club stations and also reduced rates for AT&T; prepaid long distance.

We also take a brief look at the Discover Walmart card, which has identical features, but allow cardholders to use their cards at all places where Discover is accepted and also gives cardholders cash rebates. Read our review of the Walmart credit card


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January 9, 2006 21:43 - Review of the VIP Visa Card

We have just updated our review of the VIP Visa Card.

This card is issued by Four Oaks Bank and Trust and has a credit builder service that allows cardholders to build or rebuild their credit.

You can read our review of the VIP Visa Card

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January 10, 2006 21:26 - Review of the BuyRight Prepaid Mastercard

We have just updated our review of the BuyRight Prepaid Mastercard.

This is a unique hybird prepaid and catalog credit card. As a prepaid Mastercard, you can use this card anywhere Mastercard is accepted (which is everywhere). Like any prepaid credit card, you can only spend what you have loaded into your card.

This card also functions as a catalog credit card as you can use this card to make purchases at MyBuyRight.com. You can carry a balance if you make any purchase here. Payments made towards purchases at MyBuyRight.com are reported to two credit bureaus. Hence, you can build a credit history with this card.

You can read our review of the BuyRight Prepaid Mastercard here.

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January 13, 2006 20:13 - Review of the Blue Sky Credit Card

We are offering the Blue Sky Credit Card from American Express.

This is quite a unique travel credit card. The way it works is that like other credit cards, you earn one point for every dollar you spend. But the way you redeem points for this card differs from others. The Blue Sky allows you to make reservations through airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, and online travel sites that are submitted under an appropriate industry code or identifier for the above-listed categories. After you have booked them, you can use reward points to get a credit into your next statement.

Hence, unlike other cards where you have to use the issuers in-house travel agents, you can choose any travel agent and get the best deal. You also avoid the blackout dates and other restrictions that reward programs tend to impose.

You can read our review of the Blue Sky Credit Card here.

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January 14, 2006 21:10 - Review of the American Express Business Platinum FreedomPass Credit Card

We are now offering the Business Platinum FreedomPassSM Credit Card on our website.

This is a business credit card version of the American Express Blue Sky. Unlike other reward credit cards which require you to redeem your points and book your rewards through their in-house agents, this card allows you to make your own arrangements to get the best deal. You then redeem your points for credits back to your statement for these travel items you purchase with your card. Making your own arrangements also means you avoid the usual restrictions like blackout dates, having to book 21 days prior to departure or having to stay over on a Saturday.

You can read our review of the Business Platinum FreedomPass Credit Card from American Express (Read Article)

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January 14, 2006 23:34 - New and better changes to Discove Platinum Gas Card

As of 13th January, the Discover Platinum Gas Card has changes their rebate formula for gas purchases. They used to have a reverse tier cash rebate formula on gas purchases whereby cardholders earn 5% rebates on gasoline and 1% on "other purchases" for the first $1,500 in purchases. For spending between $1,500 and $3,000, you earn 3% on gas rebates and 0.5% on "other purchases". For spending after $3,000, you only earn 1% and 0.25% .respectively.

From now onwards, the The Discover® Platinum Gas Card will offer a full 5% rebates on all gasoline purchases at any station for the first $1,200 in gasoline spending. For "other purchases", the rebate formula is still a tiered one. For the first $1,500 spending in non-gasoline purchases, you earn 0.25% in cash rebates. For the next $1,500 in spending, you earn 0.5% rebates. For spending in excess of $3,000, you earn 1% rebates.

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January 14, 2006 23:50 - Review of the American Express Rewards Green Card

We have just updated our review of the American Express Rewards Green Card.

Not much has changed about this card since we last looked at it. But what we did was to highlight in greater detail some of the benefits of this card.

You can read our review of the American Express Rewards Green Card here

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January 15, 2006 23:30 - Review of the One from American Express

We are now offering the One from American Express (SM) .

This is a "savings" credit card that automatically deposits 1% of what you spend on the card into a FDIC insured high yield account. You can earn unlimited "savings". This card will apeal to those who want to automatically deposit their "cash rebates/savings" from their credit card spending into a bank account.

You can read our review of the One from American Express.

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January 16, 2006 11:42 - Review of the American Express Rewards Gold Card

We have just updated our review of the American Express Rewards® Gold Card .

In this updated review, we have highlighted more of the unique features that the card offers. For example, this card offers a "best value guarantee" program whereby Amex will refund you the difference if you found that a purchase you have made and charged to your Amex card can be found cheaper elsewhere (there are obviously some restrictions).

You can read our review of the American Express Rewards Gold Card.

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January 18, 2006 21:06 - Review of the American Express Blue Card

We have just updated our review of the Blue from American Express®.

This is essentially the credit card version of the Amex Rewards Green and Gold Charge card. Whereas the Green and Gold charge cards have annual fee and you have to pay your bills in full every month, the Blue card has no annual fee and you can carry a balance. The reward program is also identical.

You can read our review of the Blue from American Express.

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January 19, 2006 21:53 - Review of the Business Green Rewards Card

We have just updated our review of the American Express® Business Green Rewards Card.

This is a business version of the Rewards Green Card. The reward program is based on the Membership Rewards program. You can read our review of the Business Green Rewards Card here.

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January 20, 2006 23:25 - Review of the Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card

We have just updated our review of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

One of the unique feature of this card is that aside from earning double miles on Delta and Song purchases, you can also earn double miles from "everyday purchases".

You can read our review of the Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card here.

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January 21, 2006 10:34 - Review of the American Express Delta Skymiles Business Credit Card

We have updated pur review of the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card.

This card is obviously targeted at the small business owner who is also a Delta or Song frequent flier. American Express is offering great incentives to get new cardholders. Firstly, you get 10,000 bonus miles after you first purchase. If you spend $6,000 within the first 6 months, you get an additional 10,000 miles. If you add 2 employees to your account, you will get 5,000 miles. 25,000 miles will get you a free roundtrip ticket with the continental US. The first year annual fee is also waived.

You can read our review of the Gold Delta Skymiles Business credit card here.

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January 21, 2006 17:49 - Review of the American Express Platinum Business Card

We have just updated our review of the Platinum Business Credit Card from American Express.

This card has no annual fee and you can earn unlimited reward points. You also get a 0% apr on purchases for the first 12 months. This will appeal to the small business owner who has to spend some money on start-up capital expenditure.

You can read our review of the Platinum Business Credit Card from American Express

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January 22, 2006 12:57 - Review of the Business Gold Card from American Express

We have just updated our review of the Business Gold Card from American Express®.

This is the business version of the personal gold charge card that will appeal to the small business owner who pays the bills fully every month. As an incentive, new cardholders can earn extra points during the first year. The annual fee is waived as well.

Check out our review of the American Express Business Gold Card here.

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January 22, 2006 14:53 - Review of the Blue Cash for Business Credit Card

We have just updated our review of the Blue Cash for Business.

I think this is perhaps the best cash back business credit card. You can earn unlimited rebates. And also up to 5% on "business purchases with OPENSavings merchants". For annual spending up to $15,000, you can also earn 2.5% on "other purchases" (this is unheard of in any other cards).

Read our review of the Blue Cash for Business credit card.

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January 26, 2006 20:42 - Review of the Chase Perfect Card

We have just updated our review of the Chase Perfect Card.

This is Chase "any station" gas credit card that allows the cardholder to earn 3% rebates on gasoline purchases from any gas station.

You can read our review of the Chase Perfect Card.

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January 31, 2006 21:39 - Cardholders Review of the Wired Plastic Visa

We have first received our first cardholders review of the Wired Plastic Prepaid Visa and have created a page to highlight it and future comments. Here is our page with our cardholders review.

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