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Credit Card Tips and Strategies, Issue #001 -- An auto credit card doubling as an airline card?
June 18, 2005
Credit Card Tips and Strategies Newsletter 001
Date : 18th June 2005


1. Volkswagen Visa® - An auto credit card doubling as an airline credit card?
2. Citi® Platinum Select® Card reduces its apr spread.
3. Blue Cash from American Express® changes its rebate formula.
4. Wired Plastic is now a Visa® and reduces some fees.
5. Added "Credit Card Strategy" page to our website

============================================================ Volkswagen Visa® - An auto credit card doubling as an airline credit card?

While updating our review of the Volkswagen Platinum Visa®, we can across a reward option in their reward program that under some circumstances makes it a suitable card for American Airlines travellers. But before we explain that, here is a brief recap of this card.

The Volkswagen credit card is targeted at the Volkswagen fan as it allows you to earn points which can be redeemed for a purchase or a lease of a new Volkswagen, to pay a loan on a Volkswagen or purchase any VW products. You earn two points for every dollar you spend on Volkswagen "stuff" and one point on other purchases. There is no annual fee and you get a 0% apr for both purchases and balance transfers for six billing cycles.

What sets this auto credit card from others is that there is also a reward program - which has both basic travel and shopping rewards. What caught our eye was that you can redeem points for American Airlines certificates which is valid for any published airfare on American Airlines/American Eagle and AmericanConnection (with some restrictions).

For 10,000 points, you get a $100 certificate. You can also get $150, $250, $350 and $600 certificates with the same conversion ratio.

This is interesting because the American Airlines AAdvantage credit cards issued by Citibank does not allow cardholders to earn double miles. For example, the Citi® AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Card has an $85.00 annual fee, but you cannot earn double miles. Citibank has also introduced the Citi® Bronze® AAdvantage® Card, which has no annual fee, but only allows you to earn one mile for every two dollars you spend on the card. With the Volkswagen Platinum Visa®, you are essentially earning one mile for every dollar you spend, but you do not pay any annual fee.

The AAdvantage program requires 25,000 miles to redeem a restricted economy flight within continental USA. If you only occasionally fly American Airlines and/or your flights are short haul and cost less than $250, then you may be better off using the Volkswagen credit card because you can redeem either $100 or $150 certificates instead of using up 25,000 miles on a Citibank card.

As unusual as it may seem, the infrequent American Airlines traveller who travels only short haul flights may find the Volkswagen Platinum Visa® a better way to get free flights.

You can find out more about the Volkswagen credit card below :

Citi® Platinum Select® Card reduces its apr spread

Citi® Platinum Select® Card has just lowered its apr from prime rate plus 3.99% to 3.49%, making this already popular card more attractive.

To recap, there is no annual fee for this card. You also get a 0% apr on balance transfer for 12 months from date of balance transfer, as long as it is transferred within 12 months. You get a 0% apr on purchases for 12 months from account opening.

If you are looking for a basic, no frills low apr credit card (or a card to transfer your balance), this is a good time to check out this card

============================================================ Blue Cash from American Express® changes its rebate formula

As of 8th of May 2005, the Blue Cash from American Express® has done away with the requirement to carry a balance to earn "maximum rebates". The new formula allows you to earn 5% rebates on "everyday purchases" and 1.5% rebates on everyday purchases" once your annual spending exceeds $6,500. Before that, you only earn 1% and 0.5% respectively. We have subsequently added this card to our Editor's Choice List.

American Express is also having a promotion on this card until 31st July. If you apply for the Blue Cash now, you stand to win a :

- Blue iPod mini in a DAILY drawing!
- Free trip for two to Las Vegas: Trip package includes roundtrip coach-class airfare for two to Las Vegas, NV; 5 days and 4 nights accommodations at the Luxor Hotel and Casino; two (2) tickets to the Blue Man Group show; and $1,000 spending money.

You can find out more about the Blue Cash here :

Blue Cash from American Express®

Wired Plastic is now a Visa® and reduces some fees

As of 31st May 2005, the Wired Plastic Prepaid card has changed from a Mastercard® to a Visa®. In addition to this, they have improved the following terms.

- Reduced one-time application fee from $29.95 to $9.95
- Reduced monthly maintanence fee from $6.95 to $3.95 - making it one of the lowest monthly maintanence fee for a prepaid card
- Reduced transaction fee for a Western Union money transfer from $5.95 to $3.95

This has made it one of the best value prepaid cards (at least in terms of fees and transaction cost).

If you are looking for a basic low cost prepaid card, you should check out the Wired Plastic Prepaid Visa® Card.

Added a "Credit Card Strategies" page to our website

We have recently added a "Credit Card Strategies" page to our website. Most people have a few credit cards and on this page, we highlight a few credit card strategies that would allow cardholders to either earn faster reward points, cash rebates or frequent flyer miles through various credit card combinations. You can view our "credit card strategies" page below :

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