By: Revanche

Tightening credit at home

November 5, 2008

For weeks I’ve been reading about the tightening credit market in response to the crises that abounded, and I wondered how long it would be before we experienced it in our daily finances.

Lackluster loans, both auto and mortgages, isn’t a problem as the idea of taking on debt in this economy is right out. I do, however, have fairly extensive credit card lines and decided to start trimming them back just as Citi decided the same. One of my older cards was canceled outright by Citi for inactivity, and I moved another hefty credit line to an active account and canceled a second card.

Yesterday’s mail brought a notice that Citi Premier Pass cards are being discontinued and changed to CitiBusiness cards. The draw of the Premier Pass was the Thank You flight points which effectively doubled my point earning on regular purchases, so I have until January 19th to earn as many spending points as I have flight points, freeing them up, and canceling that card since the CitiBusiness doesn’t offer rewards I’m interested in.

I may voluntarily trim back a couple more cards, perhaps another Citi and another Chase card, just to clean up the credit card landscape further. I don’t depend on them, anyway, except for rewards and cash flow purposes: I spend much less using credit cards than cash and it’s a great tracking tool.

I’ll keep my Citi Driver’s Edge because I have about $130 in rewards and I’m earning Drive Miles as well, so that supplements my car maintenance account. The AmEx Hilton is used for cell phone bills and dining out for hotel points; someday I’ll have enough points to go on vacation! The Chase Cash Plus card is excellent for generating 5 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and drugstores, while the Citi Diamond Preferred is still giving me 2 points per dollar on all other purchases. In all, four cards cover any and all spending. Extra cards are just on rotation for negotiating leverage when I want better rewards – I used to let them know that I was looking to cancel for better rewards and bonus points. Nowaways, retention may not be as diligent or generous, though.

Have you begun to experience any sort of credit limitations? Does it bother you at all?

3 Responses to “Tightening credit at home”

  1. Not really, but I haven’t tried for any new credit.

    My bf has been trying to get his credit limit increased from $3000, but chase won’t budge and mastercard denied him, even though his payment record is perfect.

    I doubt that would have happened a year ago.

  2. NOt really. I haven’t asked for any credit increase. I almost want a decrease.

  3. Revanche says:

    stackingpennies: Yeah, Chase has always been a little tougher to crack. Citi, last year, was giving automatic credit line increases, or even increases on request via their online system.

    FB: It’s nice not to need it, hm?

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