Monday, January 02, 2006

Credit Card for My Mother

I've long been singing the praises of rewards credit cards to my mom. She has a number of credit cards, but none of which really have any rewards benefits. She uses her debit card or writes checks for most purchases. For some reason, she doesn't want to use a Dividend card for gas and groceries. I think heavy credit use makes her anxious.

However, I have talked her into putting tuition payments on a credit card. My school takes all 4 major cards. My father is also in school part-time year-round, working on a BS in Mathematics. Unfortunately, his school takes everything but AMEX. My parents help me out a lot with my tuition, but don't pay for all of it. My dad's tuition and my tuition total out to about $20,000/year.

So, I'm asking for advice from my readers. Which card should my mom get? To recap, AMEX is out of the question, and this card will see about $20,000 in yearly charges.

I've recommended the MBNA 1.5% Fidelity Visa. Unforuntately, it looks like this program now only pays in $25 increments (it used to credit any amount at the end of every quarter.)

The Fidelity 2% 529 card is another option, but I'm not sure if my mom fully understands how the money can be used.

(Oh yeah, my mom will be opening a Fidelity account within the next month.)

So if anyone else has any suggestions, my mom and I are all ears.


At 8:46 AM, Blogger Dave said...

I think the MBNA Fidelity is a good choice regardless of their $25 policy. In the end though, I would recommend the Citi Platinum Dividend on the off chance that she might get comfortable with the card and may use it for gas and groceries regularly in the future.

I think the cash back balance needs to be >$50 before you can redeem it but cash back might be the best way to start using CC's since it's such an obvious benefit.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I think the Citi Platinum Dividend cars is the way to go as well. There is a $300 max cash rebate per year. Since you said that this card will charge about $20,000 over the year, it will probably still be under the $300 max rebate.

The Chase Cash Plus Rewards Master Card is an option as well. It is pretty much identical to the Citibank card.

At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pentagon Federal credit union has a 1.25% cash back card couple that with the Citi Dividend for gas/grocery/drugstore.
Your a college student so you can apply for free membership to The Society of American Military Engineers ...
and that will make you eligible for membership to Penfed credit union if your not eligible by any other means. Also your parents can become members of Penfed though your membership. I got this advice on FW.

At 3:17 AM, Anonymous doc said...

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