The current ‘Fios Free Internet’ promotion needs close examination. This is because offers of something for free may not beat the competition’s price without something for free. Such is the case with the current offer from Fios, the internet provider that is Optimum’s competition. Below is a flyer about this promotion.

The flyer describing the current promotion from ‘Fios for Free’ Home Internet service.
free internet
Contact information for the free Fios Home Internet with Verizon’s Fios Forward discount

Making a comparison might seem confusing and overwhelming. It is important to do the following:
a. learn what the program offers at verizon.com/fiosforward
find out whether or not you qualify for the Fios program
b. know what program you participate in and exactly what you have as well as what you are paying now at Optimum.net
c. find out if you qualify and if the offer saves you money by contacting the person whose name is on the flyer (bottom left side of flyer).
Find out if you qualify for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program. The flyer specifies how to do this in the bottom left hand corner.
Verizon fios internet service and TV provider
Continue only if you qualify. We qualified. So the next thing to do was to ascertain what program we had and how much we pay. We have the Optimum triple play program which is a discounted package. It normally costs $122/month. In addition, we have another discount program of $30 more off each month. So we pay $92/month.

As an alternative, if someone is not signed up for anything or already signed up with Fios for all their services, the free internet offer might very well be an advantage. But, as Optimum subscribers, it would not be for us. If we dropped the triple play program, the cost for TV and telephone service would equal about what we are already paying for everything, $92/month.

Optimum.net/triple play monthly bill

Personally, we would not benefit from the Verizon Fios Free Internet Program because we already have the Internet with the Optimum triple play package. But if we did not have triple play or the additional $30/month discount, the Fios program might benefit us.

There is a lot to consider here because a ‘something for nothing’ offer is not as simple as it appears to be. Instead, it is a something for nothing offer with several ‘ifs’ involved. So be sure to do your due diligence. That way you will know for certain that you are getting the best Internet deal, free offer or not.
Continue Reading

Credit Card Bonus Program Offers: Proceed with Caution

stop sign ‘Stop and Proceed Slowly’ Sign by ComplianceSigns.com


My Financial Profile
A recent promotional bonus credit card program has allowed me to be very resourceful with credit cards. Even though I live on a fixed monthly stipend that is typical of a retired low income senior, credit card programs have been a benefit for me. This is because of the tools I have learned and benefited from.

I have written at length about the potential benefits from the responsible use of credit cards. Below are the four Ebook I have written about various credit card benefit offers. These minimally priced Ebooks are available on Amazon.

credit card bonus offer
Financial Ebooks I have written that are available on Amazon
Ebooks and Other Blog Posts
Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019 was one of my first blog posts on this topic. This blog post is about my latest experience with credit cards benefit offers.



A New Credit Card Promotional Bonus Program to Explore
Several months ago, I was able to apply for a new Promotional Bonus Program Credit Card. I applied and was immediately accepted. Much to my surprise, I had the opportunity to apply for several more of them. I was accepted by those as well.

Without blinking, I went from qualifying for one, then four, and even as many as six of these credit cards. Even then, I kept finding more of these offers. Since I did not want to miss out on a single one of them, I kept applying and being accepted.

promotional bonus credit card offers
Capital One Promotional Bonus Credit Card Offer


How To Play
At first, I thought the rules were simple. The Promotional Bonus Credit Card program required only that I charge a given amount of purchases ($500 to $1,000) within a three month period of time. As the bonus, I could receive the equivalent of two hundred dollars per card. Since I always charged many of my purchases, I assumed this was going to be an easy win.

promotional bonus credit card offers Wells Fargo Promotional Bonus Credit Card Offer

A Grand Total of Ten Cards
By the time I finally got a denial, I was the recipient of ten promotional bonus credit cards. Wow, I was really feeling exuberant. What I didn’t realize was, like a gambler, feeling exuberant would not last. In other words, I was becoming addicted to applying for and acquiring more of these promotional bonus credit cards.

Because I couldn’t stop, things really got out of hand. With each new card, the game I was playing became increasingly complicated as well as much less manageable. It became harder to keep track of all the rules. I kept making charts of when and how charged were due. Even with this extra effort, I still went from feeling high to feeling totally overwhelmed.

promotional bonus credit card
Roulette Table of a Casino Stock photo courtesy of istockphoto.com


Not As Easy As It Appeared to Be
Given my history of a perfect payment record, I thought this program would work like a charm for me. I was confident that it would be an easy win. But so many complications plagued me along the way. At times, I have questioned my investment savvy even my sanity. I’ve sworn I would never get in over my head like this again.



A Bit of Each
Depending on how intensely one dives into this game determines which level of risk one plays this promotional bonus credit card offer. The more one is tempted to use this program as a gambling gambit, the more one is likely to risk.


I Had Definitely Overdosed on This Program
At times I felt very confused, even sleep deprived by the amount of time some of the transactions required. Numerous ‘unk unks’ (unknown unknowns) have taken place. In other words, I had nothing to do with certain things that happened to complicate the process.
Beware the dangers of this credit card program. Like the saying goes, ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’. Sign from CreativeMarket.com
credit card
Bank of America Promotional Bonus Credit Card Offer


How Do You Know Which Is which?
In total, I theoretically could net many cash rewards or statement credits. Forms of redemption were unclear. For example, the funds may be held over towards the payment of the next month’s bill. Another scenario was ‘the check is in the mail.’ We all know ‘the check is in the mail’ scenario. In that case, it can take up to several monthly cycles.
Gift Cards
Let’s not forget the gift card option. But is that a gift to me? I didn’t know who it would go to. In conclusion, none of these alternate options was optimal. Given my preference, I like my promotional bonus to be deposited right into my checking account as a cash reward. But that is not always possible. In fact, if the only option is a statement credit, the promotional bonus tool is a guarantee to the credit card company that I will continue to charge in the future to make use of their bonus.
credit cards benefits offers
‘Danger Go Slow’ sign from SafetySupplyWarehouse.com


A Credit Card Gets Hacked
For example, while I was accumulating bonuses, one of these new cards got hacked. I had to replace it in the middle of my promotional bonus project. In addition, I tried to cancel items that were not refunded but turned into ‘honey points’. Other charges were also counted twice. Even though I did not cause these issues, their occuring caused me to have a severe lack of focus. It became very difficult for me to concentrate on the credit card bonus offers.
citi card
The Citi Custom Cash Promotional Bonus Card Offer


New Tools Can Be Very Tempting To Use Simultaneously
In addition to signing up for these credit card bonus offers, I signed up for autopay. Making two major program changes at one time was a mistake. As a result, some bills got paid twice. It was becoming impossible to keep track of what I was doing.



Use a Reliable Map
Ultimately I realized what was wrong. It was that I had embarked on a new system that was going outside the box of familiar navigation. This new program was twice as hard to maneuver since I was exploring the unknown. Therefore I strongly advise readers to make one change at a time when adding a new element to an existing template.
credit card benefit offers
Bank of America Promotional Bonus Card


Is This Calculus or Physics? It Can’t Just Be Bookkeeping
Using credit cards responsibly and profitably is not a strictly arithmetic endeavor. As I discovered with each new profit making tool, their value is equaled by their complexity. Although the original templates are the foundation of this program, with each new component the program goes further outside the original box.



Something Smells Fishy
Along these lines, credit card companies continue to make themselves increasingly tempting to individuals who think they can stay on top of the latest innovations. This requires that individuals stay more than sharp and continue to search for new and existing credit cards. These can improve as investment tools, not just a means of delaying payments on purchases. But they become very challenging to use.



This Is Not Bookkeeping 101
As time has gone by, this project has become painfully complicated. What initially seemed like a straightforward giveaway has become a torturous maze of numbers and dates. I participated to see how far I could go outside the box. In other words, I wanted to see how much I could challenge myself. It has been several months with a total of ten new cards. But I am not yet finished with this program. I can hardly wait to be done with it.

This chart illustrates how my credit score was affected by the promotional bonus program. It was 820 before I started and went down to 800 at its lowest. It is rising again since I have almost completed the program.


Effect on My Credit Score
My credit score dropped during this project. The reason is that each credit card application was a ‘hard’ check to my score. But since I have met each charge challenge in a timely manner, my score is rising again and is recovering it’s 800+ scores. Credit score chart courtesy of American Express.

But there is one catch to building an emergency fund with this program. Money has to go out before it can come in. For a while it has seemed that I have lost rather than gained financially.

credit card benefit offers
Warning sign from readers-digest-ca



Read the Fine Print to Find Out
Besides the delay, the rewards are often available as statement credits rather than cash rewards. Since my tendency and necessity has been to buy more things, this project has not been a great source of emergency savings. Saving up for them was why I participated originally. Instead, it has also required constant vigilance with each card. Besides that, the amount that I have had to charge is requiring the use of partial payments to stay flush each month. Now I also have to keep track of the deadline on partial payments.

This is a very tricky game requiring numerous greater than rudimentary skills. It feels like the Olympic decathlon competition. In fact, I am now having to use the partial-pay 0% APR feature that comes with these cards. Therefore I am learning something else that is new. But I have been pulled deeper into this maze. I never paid attention to APR percentages in the past, nor did I need to. But now, how many months will I need to use this new tool keeping to the 0%APR?


Do What I Say, Not What I Did
I do not recommend going to the extremes I have. It has nearly driven me crazy. I may have even permanently burnt out some numerical brain cells besides spending a huge amount of time on this experiment. Has it been worth it?

Sometimes, the way I learn things is by going to extremes. It involves extending the limits of my existing skills to see what new ones I want to gain. Taking little steps would be more prudent. In fact, I suggest taking small, prudent steps for anyone who wants to sign on to this or any cash bonus program.

credit card benefit offers
A set of directional signs from Monexsafetyservices.com



On the Plus Side
One: Paying car insurance in four instead of six payments saving money on installments.
Two: Paying home contents insurance in full annually saving about $50 dollars.
Three: Paying car registration for the next two years, early, without a pinch, and in full.
Four: Being able to afford a healthy diet and avoid illness.
Five: Purchasing pleasant necessities rather than feeling very deprived.
Six: Occasionally buying something new, even secondhand, but not completely pantry hand-me-downs.



The Tip of the Iceberg
As you can see from this blog post, there are many credit card benefit offers. But they have complications that may outweigh their worth. These benefits are like an iceberg. What they appear to offer is actually only the tip of the iceberg of what they can cost.

Were you able to navigate this obstacle course? I’d love to hear your experience. Please share with the rest of us in the comments area. I will report in with my final results as soon as I am done. Right now, I’ve got two cards to go. One is to make a claim. The other is to charge $500 and then make my claim.

promotional bonus credit card offers
Bondi Beach Australia, Bondi Icebergs, Courtesy of Marley Clovelly


1. Using Cash Reward Credit Cards for Survival & Profit
2. A Credit Card Rating System Introduction
3. The Rating System Used for Cash Back Credit Cards (Series Part 2 – June 2019)
4. Excellent Cash Reward Cards (Part 3 – June 2019)
5. Mixed Cash Reward Credit Card Benefits (Part 4 – June 2019)
6. Risky Cash Reward Credit Cards (Part 5-June 2019
7. How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?
Continue Reading




The CVS money-saving system is my most often used and favorite 21st-century coupon cutting and digital coupon system with its variety of traditional as well as digital money-saving tools. As a matter of fact, there are times when I make substantial purchases without having to pay hardly anything. Believe it or not, one particular trip to CVS cost me around $1 for $80 worth of merchandise.
CVS coupon cutting system
I have been within the top 3-7% of savers in New York for several years


So far this is the most comprehensive 21st Century Coupon Cutting tool I have found. It works for both online and in-store purchases. Actually, I find it to be the best program around. Therefore, I buy as much as of can of household and personal needs in addition to over the counter nutritional supplements and non-prescription drugs. Here’s how the whole system works:
CVS coupon cutting system
21st Century CVS and other coupon cutting tags on a keychain
1. I receive an email indicating a saving of between 20% and 40% for one or all my purchases with an expiration date. From the email, I am able to send the offer to the well-worn discount card I keep on my key chain. (See photo below).

CVS coupon cutting system
CVS 40% off email is #1
2. A postcard with a 20-40% saving is mailed to me. I provide the mailer to the cashier when I check out.

cvs coupon mailer
A 25% coupon mailer which I present to the cashier at check out
3.Inside the mailer are additional, individual coupons that are also presentable to the cashier at checkout.
discount flyer
The inside of themailer contains additional, specific coupons
4. When I go to any CVS store, I go to the machine that prints out all the savings currently available to me, in addition, to the ones stored on my plastic coupon key chain tag. See the photo below.

CVS coupon cutting system
The CVS coupon cutting system store machine printed coupons is #3
5. At check out, I present these printed coupons to the cashier.

6.Next I swipe my tag to register with the cashier all the discounts on my card.

7. Then I swipe my OTC or over-the-counter card to see what savings I can also get up to $100/month for certain non-prescription items. The OTC card is a benefit of my health insurance plan. This plastic discount card is shown below.

CVS coupon cutting system
My OTC card which can cover up to $100 in non-prescription items is #6.
8. There is also the 10/30 program which refunds $10 for every $30 spent on this store visit.

9. In addition, there is the new CVS ‘CarePass’ program that costs $5/month then returns $10/month. It is charged at the beginning of the month and is paid out on the 18th of each month.


As you can see, the CVS money-saving system is a mix of both traditional coupon cutting and digital coupons. Even though it can become confusing, it is clearly worth the saving we get.


Is there something you’d like to say about this blog post? Your comments are always welcome. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to reach the box to ‘start the discussion’.
This is what it may look like. But it is only an image of it. So be sure to find the actual one. Then please add to the discussion by commenting or replying. Thank you.

CVS coupon cutting system
This is a prototype ot the comment box.



One Day From Homeless

Using Credit Cards for Survival and Profit

Four Amazon Kindle Ebooks on Financial Survival Using Cash Reward Credit Cards

The CVS CarePass Program

Emblem OTC card benefits

Electronic coupon transfers
Continue Reading




Twenty First Century coupon cutting might become the next money-saving system we need to utilize for financial survival. In other words, it could become Phase Two of the financial mountain climbing challenge we face. It would start in 2020. The reason for calling this Phase Two is that we may require another money-saving financial survival system in addition to cash reward credit cards.
This would be to offset the 2020 Medicare-Medicaid crisis that we are faced with right now. This additional financial survival system would be an addition to the cash rewards credit card financial survival system I originally devised and have been using for the last 10 years, from 2009-2019.
21st century coupon cutting tool
Climbing the mountain of financial survival again. Photo from goodfon.com



To return to 2009 for a moment, our first major financial mountain climbing challenge was when we went ‘From Middle Class to One Day From Homeless’. We had to make substantial compromises to our lifestyle just to survive indoors.
There are actually four Amazon Kindle Ebooks that I wrote about that journey. Fortunately, I had discovered the benefits of the responsible use of cash reward credit cards. They can be invaluable in accumulating welcome bonuses as well as cash rewards. These are the Ebooks I wrote over this ten year period.
Four Ebook by Alison D. Gilbert
Our Story from 2009-2019 as told in Four Kindle Ebooks with the evolution of the Cash Rewards Credit Card Financial Survival System



Now we may be facing an additional tightening of our belts. What this means is that another system besides Cash Rewards will need to come into play as part of our financial survival tools.
I am constantly being introduced to new money-saving apps. In fact, most of them do not require manual coupon cutting. Instead, the saving is sent electronically from one devise location to another devise location which can then register at purchase checkout to apply the savings.
To start, there are plastic tags with individual identity name and graphics on one side. Then there is a bar card on the back to identify each store. Savings are electronically registered on a store’s tag. Finally, that information is transferred to the cash register at purchase.
coupon cutting tags
21st Century coupon cutting tags with retailer image on one side and electronically activated barcode on the other



21st Century coupon cutting is a transformation of the previous century system. In fact, the new system is digital coupons. Therefore, going forward in this series, look more and more for keywords that refer to digital coupons rather than coupon cutting. But don’t throw your scissors or coupon organizer quite yet. Instead, prepare to use them less and less. Happy savings, 21st-century style!


Is there something you’d like to say about this blog post? Your comments are always welcome. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to reach the box to ‘start the discussion’.

This is a sample of what the comment area looks like. It is active at the bottom of this page.

comment block
This is a sample of what the comment area looks like. It is active at the bottom of this page.


One Day From Homeless

Using Credit Cards for Survival and Profit

Four Amazon Kindle Ebooks on Financial Survival Using Cash Reward Credit Cards

Save Money on Groceries

Electronic coupon transfers
TopCashBack Recommended by Wallet Hacks
Continue Reading



credit card critical mass
From Credit Karma, How Many Credit Cards Does the Average American Have?


Credit card critical mass refers to the appropriate number and kinds of credit cards to have. How does one know what kinds to have? How many to have? When enough is enough? Then, when is how many too much, therefore, when is it time to stop collecting more or even cut back? What is the best way to cut back? This blog post will attempt to answer these questions. But keep in mind that the numbers and types of cards will vary depending upon the person, their lifestyle and needs.


When I started collected credit cards, I went through some very active phases. The reason for these was manifold:
a. building up my credit
b. getting promotional welcome bonuses
c. collecting cash rewards
d. establishing the best cash rewards rates
e. traveling bonuses


Straight flush
A straight flush similarity to an ideal collection of cash reward cards. Image from Dreamline.


At one point in my credit card collecting, I realized that I had achieved a cash rewards credit card sweet spot. I compare this to a straight flush in the card game of poker. The blog post, A Two-Pronged Credit Card Rating System (Part 2 – June 2019) goes into detail about this. The straight cash rewards flush looks like this collection of credit cards:
6% for US supermarkets
5% for purchases at many cobranded store cards
4% for dining out
3% for gas
2% for health care services and items
1.5% for all purchases



In the collecting cards phase, I saw only the small picture. At the time I applied for a card, I found it a necessity. After a few years, I accomplished all of my above goals and then some. Not only did I reach my credit card critical mass but in retrospect, I surpassed it. How did I know that I had done this? That was easy to answer. I knew because the number of cards I had to deal with had become unmanageable.

Credit Card critical mass
Store Credit Cards image from rewardscreditcards.org



As the owner of many credit cards, I was forced to see the big picture and began to ask myself these questions:
a. how many cards did I really need?
b. what categories did I spend the most in?
c. with that in mind, which cards did I use most often?
d. which cards was I leaving dormant?
e. why was I having trouble keeping track of my card purchases when it came time to do my monthly accounting?
f. how could I make things more manageable?
g. when was enough, enough?
h. how could I safely cut back on the number of cards I had?



Fortunately I found a formula I could use to determine about how many cards to own, which ones to keep and those to phase out since I had surpassed critical mass. These are the factors I now consider in which cards to use:
a. the oldest aged accounts
b. those with the best credit line and lowest credit utilization ratio
c. the ones with optimal returns in my top spending categories
d. those that give me the maximum value for use with my favorite merchants, stores, airlines. or hotels

Credit Card Cash Reward Categories are similar to traffic signals, go, caution, turn at your own risk. This image is from Pixabay.



It is best not to close cards. Instead, let them phase out by letting them be dormant. Make sure that any card that has fees stays open only if it is useful by the above standards. Otherwise, close it to avoid any future fees if it is going to be dormant.


It is beneficial to have both network and co-branded cards when they have value. But it is wisest not to gather more cards than are really necessary. It can become a real nuisance to have too many cards to care for. On the other hand, it is great to have just enough to be helpful and profitable.



1. Is 20 Cards Too Many To Own: How to Streamline Your Wallet
2. How Many Cards Is Too Many?
3. How to Cancel A Credit Card
4. How Many Credit Cards Should I Have?
5. How Many Credit Cards Does the Average American Have?
6. Network and Co-Branded Cards

Continue Reading

The Free 7-Day Subscription Scam


The Free 7-Day Subscription Bait

The phone rings. An online company representative is calling to offer me a free 7-day subscription to a credit score and computer fraud prevention service. All that the representative needs to know is my credit card number to cover a $1 processing fee. The red blinking light goes off in front of my eyes as a siren screams in my head. This has to be a scam.

free 7-day subscription
Here is an email from my credit card issuer alerting me to possible credit card fraud

More clever and devious minds than mine have figured out how to rig this game. The only thing I thought I knew was how to stop it before it starts. I did not give my credit card number. In spite of this, a charge showed up on one of my credit cards for $1. So I called the credit card company to report this mistake. They reversed the charge. But the next thing I knew, I was receiving a bill for $29.94/month as my regular subscription fee. How did this happen? I did not authorize it. In fact, my credit card company contacted me because they suspected fraud. My credit card was canceled and a card with a new number was sent to me.

Deja Vu All Over Again

But it happened again with the newly issued card. How did they get my card number? I was baffled and wanted a more proactive solution. So this time, the representative from the credit card issuer said that I needed to call the company directly to cancel my subscription. That was just what I did. Then I called back the credit card folks to report my action. At this point, I was told that I had done everything I needed to. Therefore I had no liability for this entire fiasco.

The Free 7-Day Subscription Is A Scam

There is a term used in poker called a ‘tell’. It is something that gives away a bluffer’s hand. The tell in this, as well as most internet scams, is the request for a credit card number. ‘Oh,’ they say, ‘it is just to cover a processing fee’. The next thing you know a substantial charge shows up on your card and it is a regular monthly subscription. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Being Prepared

So my response to their ‘tell’ is to NOT provide a credit card number for a $1 processing fee for a 7-day trial subscription of their services. Remember, once a company has your card number, they can go to town. Then you have to find a way to stop them in their tracks in order to avoid any additional charges to this free trial. The story may not be over. The scammers may give their scheme another try. But if they do both my credit card company and I will be ready to stop them in their tracks.

free 7-day subscription
A copy of the cancellation letter that was emailed to me from the merchant


Even after I was assured by phone and email of the cancellation of my $29.94/month subscription fee, something still bothered me. So I called the merchant back. This is what I learned. I suggest you pay close attention. First of all, even if I report fraud to my credit card company resulting in my getting a new credit card, the merchant can charge that new credit card number for the subscription. So the only way to stop it is to call the merchant itself to cancel.

In addition, after a barrage of questions by me to the customer service person, I was still not satisfied by his responses that I was the person who signed up for their 7-day free trial subscription which resulted in their $29.94/mo fee. The bottom line is that I am zero dollars out of pocket. But I was sufficiently inconvenienced. In addition, I have less trust in online security and more concern about how easy it is to be taken by less than scrupulous companies and individuals.


“Free” Trial Offers
FTC: Consumer Information
Subscription Traps
BBB: “Free trial” shopping scams are on the rise
Buyer beware: Is that free trial really free?

Continue Reading

5 Different Types of Credit Cards



5 credit card types
There are 5 Credit Card Types, image from Mortgagefit.com
According to Mortgagefit.com administrator’s blog, there are 5 credit card types. The image to the left illustrates them. They include:

5. co-branded credit

4. store credit

3. charge credit

2. general credit

1. secured credit


In addition, the following describes what they are. This is also according to their blog administrator. Keep in mind that the blog post is from 2011.

five credit card types
There are five types of credit cards according to Mortgagefit.com



In my opinion, the administrator’s blog post uses generic definitions. By today’s standards, they are not technical or simple. In addition, the post is dated. As a result, it is not exactly accurate by today’s standards. Therefore, I have attempted to clarify the types of credit cards that exist. In my blog post series written about credit cards, these are the types of credit cards:
1. network
2. co-branded
3. secured and unsecured

In my blog post, Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019, network and co-branded are explained. Part Two in that series reviews network and co-branded cards as well as explores secure versus unsecured cards. To compare accurately, I want to explain each type individually, mine versus the Mortgagefit.com definitions.


There is some agreement of terms between mine and Mortgagefit.com. #5.co-branded: #Co-branded credit cards: These cards are the same as general credit cards. But these cards have a “special relationship” with a particular organization or retailer. So, if you purchase goods/items from those particular organization or retailers, then you will be able to extra rewards and benefits. However, these cards can be used in other stores as well. A good example of such a card is Amazon.com credit card.”

#1.Secured Cards

“People who have a bad credit history or no credit history at all can take help of these secured cards. These secured cards are similar to that of general credit cards. However, in case of these cards, you must make a fully refundable deposit, either by cash or by sending a check. This deposited amount is considered as your credit line. As a result of this deposit, all the secured cards offer guaranteed approval.” This standard seems to work about the same today. So this card’s name and description are still solid. Here’s one card in both blog post comparisons.

But I find #4.store credit, #3.charge credit, and #2.general credit somewhat confusing. Therefore, I wish to simplify them to be more accurate by today’s standards. Otherwise, they should be eliminated.

#4.store credit, #3.charge credit, and #2.general credit

“General Credit Cards: A very common type of credit card is the general credit cards. Such credit cards don’t require any kind of security deposit and can be used in most stores/shopping malls or to make any kind of purchases.” This seems to describe both network and co-branded cards.

#Charge Cards: These cards are very similar to general credit cards. However, the major difference lies in that fact that unlike general credit cards, you will have to pay your total balance in full every month.” What does this remind you of by today’s standards? The only one, in my opinion, is what is called a store credit card. I find them to be minor players in the credit card count either way. I still find them confusing.

#Store Cards: These cards are similar to that of credit cards. However, these cards can only be used to buy goods at the store that has given you the card. Macy’s Credit Card is a good example of a store card.” These sound like store cards that are not backed by any banks. Therefore, I would combine charge cards and store cards into one kind of credit card. That reduces the number to four kinds of kinds from 5. In addition, I am still confused by charge cards today. I have about five of them. The only reason I got them is for the 5% discount when I charge merchandise in their stores.


What then is really the number of types of credit cards? Let’s look at each category.
1. Secured cards are definitely relevant today especially with people starting out to establish credit. But since they are offered by large banks, and can be upgraded, I do not give them their own category. Total of 0.
2. Somewhere in-store card, charge card, and a general credit card are what we call, the network and co-branding cards. They are unsecured cards and do not need their own category. Total of 2.
3. Charge cards are fazing out overshadowed by the above cards. In my opinion, they rate a total of 0.

It seems to me that one can not argue that there really are no more than two major types of credit cards as I presented in my recent blog posts, Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019 and Credit Card Differences And The Best Uses of Each Type, Part Two – July 2019.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Please go to the comment box and share your thoughts with the world

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Readers are welcome to comment on this blog post by scrolling down to the VERY bottom of the page. That is where you will find the comment form where the words ‘start the discussion’ are. Questions are also welcome. But it is best to contact me for Q&A on The Credit Card Maven Facebook Page.


5 Different Types of Credit Cards

Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019

two types of credit cards-network and co-branded

secured and unsecured cards

Continue Reading

Credit Card Differences And The Best Uses of Each Type, Part Two – July 2019



In Part Two, I explore two areas of focus in Credit Card differences. They are network versus co-branded credit cards in addition to secured versus unsecured credit cards.


I will answer Credit Card differences in Part Two of Different Types of CreditCards and Their Best Uses. The first question I will answer is, ‘Why get network cards’? Then, ‘Why get store co-branded cards’? And finally, ‘What is the difference’?


Referring back to Part One, it was explained that there are four types of major network credit cards, AMERICAN EXPRESS, DISCOVER, VISA, and MASTERCARD. Purchases can be charged just about anywhere with these cards. But there are no interest-free payment plans available.

credit card differences
There are four major credit card types or networks: American Express, Discover Cards, VISA, and MasterCard. Image from Cardrates.com



In contrast, co-branded credit cards offer interest-free payment plans. This is what makes them an essential part of credit card differences. The banks that these cards cobrand with are rarely major banks. That is because their primary purpose is cobranding not checking, savings, etc.

credit card differences
Co-branded credit cards from The EXtravel.com
cobranded credit card
Here is an example of special interest free financing with Shop Your Way (Sears/Kmart) cobranded by Citibank



Thus a prudent mix of both types of cards is the optimal way to benefiting from credit card differences, the best percentages of cash rewards available combined with interest-free, overtime purchase payments. The blog post A Two-Pronged Credit Card Rating System (Part 2 – June 2019) reviews the reason to get a straight flush scenario with the major network cards.


A straight flush compared to a winning hand of cash reward cards. Image from Dreamline.



The above questions about network versus cobranded cards will be followed by an explanation of the difference between secured versus unsecured credit cards. On top of that, information about more cobranding banks that were mentioned in the last post will be discussed. Links will be provided in the SOURCES & RESOURCES area, as well.

Quoted from 5 Types of Credit Cards, “People who have a bad credit history or no credit history at all can take help of these secured cards. These secured cards are similar to that of general credit cards. However, in case of these cards, you must make a fully refundable deposit, either by cash or by sending a check. This deposited amount is considered as your credit line. As a result of this deposit, all the secured cards offer guaranteed approval.”

Quoted from the ‘General Credit Cards’ section from the same post, “General Credit Cards: A very common type of credit card is the general credit card. Such credit cards don’t require any kind of security deposit and can be used in most stores/shopping malls or to make any kind of purchases.” This definition would include what we call an unsecured, network credit card or co-branded card.



As stated earlier, there are really only two kinds of cashback credit cards, network and cobranded. In fact, the secured or unsecured featured is really just a qualification. But it is not its own category as the post 5 Different Types of Credit Cards states.


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Synchrony Business

What Are Co-branded Credit Cards from The EXTraveler

5 Different Types of Credit Cards

Co-branded credit cards from Wallet Hub

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Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019



credit cards from image Wikipedia
credit cards from Wikipedia

There are two overall credit card types, network, and cobranded retail store cards. Within these types, there are four network types of cards AMEX, Discover, VISA, and MASTERCARD as well as hundreds of cobranded retail store cards.

This can lead to a great deal of confusion in choosing what to apply for and obtain. Therefore, the goal of this post is to untangle the confusion by identifying the types, networks as well as cobranded ones that exist to distinguish and choose between them. This way, one will have the advantage of applying for and using the best cards while avoiding problematic or less valuable ones.



Besides this post’s specific information, one can find the recently published blog post series on ‘A Credit Card Rating System’. For additional reading, it is filled with information about my helpful Credit Card Rating System in a five-part series.


The traffic signal is the primary visual for this blog series. This image is from Pixabay.
A Credit Card Rating System Introduction

The Rating System Used for Cash Back Credit Cards (Series Part 2 – June 2019)

Excellent Cash Reward Cards (Part 3 – June 2019)

Mixed Cash Reward Credit Card Benefits (Part 4 – June 2019)

Risky Cash Reward Credit Cards (Part 5-June 2019)




To begin with, there are four networks or ‘major’ Credit Cards. In fact, they are the pillars of the credit card world. Specifically, the first two listed have no bank affiliations. Within them, Discover has the most international acceptance. Then the second two partner with large banks. These cards networks are:





credit card types
There are four major credit card types or networks: American Express, Discover Cards, VISA, and MasterCard. Image from Cardrates.com



Store Credit Cards
Store Credit Cards image from rewardscreditcards.org
Next are the store credit cards. There is a significant difference between them and the major network credit cards category. That is their tendency to be backed by smaller banks and their primary function which is to provide no-interest payment plans for making large purchases (hundreds to thousands of dollars) at major retail stores.


Here’s an explanation of why cobranded cards are so valuable to have as part of the ideal mix of the two major types of credit cards.

best store credit cards
The Benefits of Co-Branded Cards in Your Pocket from an unknown source



What banks do these cards cobrand with? Let’s take a look. This section actually has a list of of some of them as well as the bank affiliations they have.

best store credit cards
Best Store Credit Cards according to WalletHub.com

Best Retail Store CC
Best Retail Store Credit Cards and the banks that cobrand them. Enlargment of above image



According to WalletHub.com, this is a list of the banks that cobrand the best store credit cards.
Amazon.com Store Card-Synchrony Bank
Costco Anywhere-Citibank
Target-TD Bank
TJX Store Card-Synchrony Bank
Kohl’s Credit Card-Capital One
Fingerhut Credit Account-WebBank



Synchrony Bank Cards
Many stores are cobranded by Synchrony Bank to offer a huge variety of choices
Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank specializes in cobranded credit cards. Offering cards that are tailored to particular customers, they have credit cards for store brands, gas stations and more.

“Most are offered with no annual fee and some have excellent rewards available. Synchrony Bank credit cards can be a good choice if you’d like to earn and redeem rewards with a particular brand.” From Synchrony Cards report by US News


Although the following also cobranded with the top retail banks, they will not be gone into in detail at this point. With one exception, Comenity bank which cobrands with 91 retailers will be explored in detail after the list of the other four top cobranding banks.
TD Bank
Capital One

Comenity Bank
Comenity Bank
91 Comenity Bank partners with retail credit cards from UpgradedPoints.com
Comenity Bank cogrand
Comenity Bank cobrands with many store credit cards with fleible benefits, quote from upgradedpoints.com



The following issues will be explored in Part Two of this topic, Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses. Why get network cards? Why get store brand cards? Secured versus unsecured credit cards.


comment box sample only

This is only a SAMPLE of the comment box that can be found and filled in at the bottom of this page as well as each blog post page.

Readers are welcome to comment on this blog post by scrolling down to the VERY bottom of the page. That is where you will find the comment form where the words ‘start the discussion’ are. Questions are also welcome. But it is best to contact me for Q&A on The Credit Card Maven Facebook Page.



Types of Credit Cards from Card Rates

International Credit Card Acceptance from Nerd Wallet

2019’s Best Store Credit Cards

Top Store Credit Cards

Synchrony bank sponsored Credit Cards from USNews.com

Comenity Bank Store Credit Cards

The 10 Worst Store Credit Cards

From thebalance.com, store credit cards are different from credit cards

What Co-branded Cards Are

Credit Card Issuers versus Networks from Credit Card Insider

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