Shattered Your New iPhone? Your Credit Card Might Have You Covered

Smashed your iPhone? These credit cards offer stellar purchase protection policies.

At some point in your life, you’ve probably dropped your smartphone. If it happened to be on the ground, you may have even shattered the glass. If you didn’t have insurance through your carrier, you probably thought you were out of luck. But if you purchased that phone with a credit card, you could have taken advantage of an underused benefit: purchase protection.

What Is Purchase Protection?

Purchase protection is a benefit that comes with select credit cards. It will protect your purchases against accidental damage or theft for a select amount of time. Some cards also include a benefit called extended warranty protection. This is different from purchase protection. Extended Warranty protection extends the life of the manufacturer’s warranty on your items.

Be aware that purchase protection isn’t an indefinite benefit. It typically only lasts for the first 90 to 120 days of owning an item. The exact length of time depends on the card itself. But if you purchase a new smartphone and break it before you can get a protective case, you can rest easy knowing that you’re protected.

So what makes a great purchase protection policy? One of the biggest things to look at is the amount of coverage you have. What if you purchased something much more expensive and it was damaged soon after? You’ll want to make sure you’re covered for that. Some policies actually cover up to $10,000 per claim.

Something else to be mindful of is the length of the benefit. As we mentioned before, most last for 90 to 120 days. You will also want to pay special attention to the items excluded from each card’s policy.

Let’s take a look at five cards that offer purchase protection policies for cardholders.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve (we’ve got a full review here) made a big splash last year when it was released. It quickly became one of the best available cards for travelers. However, it also has some great shopping benefits. With this card, you will receive purchase protection, up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year. It will cover theft or accidental damage for the first 120 days.

When you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you will receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You will then receive three points on restaurants and travel expenses. Any other purchase will receive one point. This card has a $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $300 travel credit each year. You will also receive up to $100 to cover Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check.

The card carries a variable purchase annual percentage rate between 16.49% and 23.49%, based on creditworthiness. (You can get an idea of yours by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.)

2. Platinum Card From American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express offers its cardholders purchase protection on items for the first 90 days. The benefit limits are $10,000 per claim, at a maximum of $50,000 per year.

When you sign up for this card, you will receive 40,000 Membership Reward points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You will also receive five points for flights booked directly through airlines or with American Express Travel. All other purchases will earn one point. This card comes with an annual fee of $450, but it offers a $200 airline fee credit. There are no interest charges since it is a charge card, meaning you’ll have to pay your balance in full each month or face a steep penalty APR.

3. Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

The Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard offers purchase protection benefits for the first 120 days (90 days for New York residents). You’re covered for up to $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year, a spokesperson from Citi said. To get the coverage, you must pay at least partially for the item with your Citi credit card.

You will receive 50,000 AAdvantage miles after signing up for this card and spending $5,000 within the first three months. You will then receive two miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases. Plus, you will receive one mile for every dollar spent on everything else. If you spend $40,000 in a calendar year, you will receive 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles. This card has a $450 annual fee, but you will receive a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check. You will also receive complimentary Admirals Club membership. The card carries a variable purchase APR of 15.74%. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card

If big annual fees aren’t something you can comfortably afford, you might want to consider the United MileagePlus Explorer card. Not only does it have a lower annual fee of $95, it offers a purchase protection benefit of $10,000 per claim and is valid for 120 days.

When you sign up for this card, you will receive 50,000 United miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. In addition, you will receive two miles on all United purchases and one mile for every dollar spent on everything else. Each calendar year you spend $25,000, you will be awarded a 10,000-mile bonus. As a cardholder, you will also receive two free United Club one-time passes each year, a free first checked bag and priority boarding. The card carries a variable purchase APR of 16.49% to 23.49%, depending on creditworthiness.

5. Citi Prestige

The Citi Prestige is another premium credit card that offers stellar purchase protection. With this card, you will have protection for 120 days and the limits are $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per calendar year.

With the Citi Prestige, you will earn 40,000 bonus ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You will receive three points on airfare and hotel purchases, two points on dining and entertainment, and one point on everything else. The card comes with a $450 annual fee, but it includes a $250 air travel credit and access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select. The card carries a variable purchase APR of 15.74%

Purchase protection isn’t the only extra premium plastic has to offer. Here are 8 other major credit card perks you probably aren’t taking advantage of.

At publishing time, the Platinum Card from American Express, Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard and Citi Prestige card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuers. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture: Which Should You Get?

chase-sapphire-or-capitol-one-venture

When people talk about travel credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture, are almost always in the conversation. Both cards offer some of the biggest and most popular reward cards currently available and can be great options if you have excellent credit. They are also quite similar to each other. Because of that, it can be difficult to decide between the two, when looking to add a new card to your wallet.

Within this article we are going to walk you through the different parts of each card. This will help you decide which card might be the best fit for you.

Comparing the Rewards

When you sign up online for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card you will receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Plus, you will receive an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase during the same three-month period. (Note: There is a differential if you account for the Chase Sapphire card’s original 100,000 bonus points, which are still available, but only if you apply at a branch by March 12.)

When you use your card at restaurants and on travel, you will receive two times the points. Every other purchase made with this card will earn one point.

The Capital One Venture card comes with a signup bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You will then earn two times the miles on every purchase you make.

Redeeming the Rewards

Chase Ultimate Reward points are a favorite for many because of how they can be redeemed. If you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, your points will be worth 1.25 cents each. By going this route, you will be able to pay for portions of a trip, even if you don’t have the points to book the entire thing.

Where you will find the most value from your points, is by transferring them 1:1 to the following loyalty programs:

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards

By transferring your points to loyalty programs, many people are able to get a much higher value than 1.25 cents.

Capital One Venture miles are extremely popular with cardholders because of the flexibility they have. Each miles is worth one cent each and you can use them in a couple of different ways. You can book travel directly through Capital One, or you can book travel on your own, and then redeem your miles for a statement credit.

Both of these cards also give you option to redeem rewards for things like gift cards and merchandise, but you won’t get near the value you do when booking travel.

The Fees

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Capital One Venture card waive the annual fee the first year. Then for each subsequent year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred charges $95 and the Capital One Venture card is $59.

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture cards do not have foreign transaction fees. That makes both of these cards perfect for travel outside the United States.

Which One Is Right for Me?

As you can see, both of these are excellent options for anyone looking to pick up a new travel credit card. Both cards offer a generous signup bonus and the ability to earn double points on purchases. When deciding which card would be the best fit for you, it will come down to redemption. If you are looking for something that is a little more flexible, then the Capital One Venture card might be best.

However if you don’t have a problem booking your travel through individual loyalty programs, and know how to search for optimal value, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred card would be a great fit.

No matter which card you decide to go with, you’re likely going to be very satisfied with your choice. Before applying, it’s a good idea to check your credit scores to make sure there aren’t any errors or surprises on your credit reports that will keep you from being approved. It’s easy to get your two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

At publishing time, the Capital One Venture credit card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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Getting The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Made My Credit Score Go Up By Almost 40 Points

To help make a family vacation more affordable, I got the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card and it surprisingly boosted my credit score. Here's how.

I’m planning a family vacation to Hawaii for myself, my husband and our daughter for later this year. Although I’m typically not much of a travel hacker, my goal is to get the airfare and lodging to be as inexpensive as possible, which is what lead me to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.

This credit card offers a very large welcome bonus to eligible new cardholders (100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases with the card within the first three months after account opening). I wanted this card in particular because points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel. In other words, if I spend the 100,000 points on travel, they will yield $1,500 in travel reward value.

Applying for the New Card

I was fairly certain my application would be approved. I knew my credit score at the time was somewhere around 740 or 750, depending on the source. I know it could be even higher, but at this level I don’t worry about it too much. I use credit cards for almost everything I buy and, although I’m not perfect — I do carry a balance now and then — most months I pay my credit card balances in full. I usually see high utilization reflected in my credit scores, though, because the balances are often reported before my payment due dates. But just like I expected, my card was approved. But what I didn’t expect was what would happen to my credit scores.

The Thing That Sent My Credit Score Skyrocketing

I knew applying for a new credit card would knock a few points off my scores. What I didn’t expect was the very high credit limit ($12,000) on my new Reserve card. The credit limits on my other cards range from $1,900 to $7,200.

When I checked my credit after receiving the card (which I did for free on Credit.com), I was pleasantly surprised. My credit score had gone up 37 points!

I was quite suddenly within reach of the elite 800+ club, and the only significant change was my overall amount of available credit, and the lower utilization ratio that resulted.

Let’s make sure that’s plain as day. Lowering my credit utilization ratio to 12% caused my credit score to rise by 37 points.

One of the keys to excellent credit is having low utilization — meaning keeping your debt levels low in relation to your overall credit limit. Experts recommend keeping that rate at 30%, ideally 10%, of your overall credit limit. So, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit and you charge $900, your utilization would be reported as 90%. Bumping my credit limit up helped me improve my scores. But remember: Just because you have a higher limit doesn’t mean you should be spending more, especially if you can’t afford to pay off the balance in full.

What else impacts your credit? Using the free credit scores tool on Credit.com, I found out what other factors I had working for and against me.

On-Time Payments: 100% (excellent). No work to do here. I automate many payments, and use a bill pay app to help me make sure I maintain a good payment history (this accounts for 35% of your credit scores).

Oldest Credit Line: 12 years (good). My student loans from the ‘80s and ’90s finally aged off, lowering my average file age. I’ll need to hold on to my oldest accounts to improve this factor. Also, the average age of all of my accounts is just five years, pulled down by my new Chase account.

Utilization: 12% (good). To lower this, especially after holiday spending, I plan to focus on making my credit card payments by the statement closing date on each card. That way, the balance reported will be zero.

Recent Inquiries: 1 (good). This was the Chase card I recently applied for, and I know the inquiry counts against my score for one year (and ages off my credit report after two years). I’ll avoid applying for new credit for the time being.

New Accounts: 2 (good to average). I recently refinanced my mortgage. The inquiry was more than six but less than 12 months ago.

Before You Get a New Credit Card

Are you considering getting a new card? Well, first up, you’ll want to see what your credit scores are so you have an idea of the types of cards you may qualify for.

Needless to say, so-called “elite” credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve would likely not be available to me if I had a low credit score, as you typically need good or excellent credit to qualify for rewards credit cards. Because my credit is already healthy, I can take advantage of deals that are only available to consumers with good or excellent credit. In this case, a great credit score translates to being able to have the chance to secure $1,500 in travel perks.

Beyond that, you’ll want to look at the details of any card you’re considering. Is there an annual fee and, if so, would it fit into your budget? (The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $450 annual fee, for example.) And think about your personal habits. Do you tend to carry a balance? If so, a rewards credit card may not be right for you, as you’ll likely lose out any benefits of the card due to paying those interest charges.

As for that trip to Hawaii, I transferred my Ultimate Rewards points from two lower-tier Chase cards over to the Reserve account where they have more value. Once I get the welcome bonus, I’ll have more than 200,000 points to shop with. Not enough for an all-expenses paid week vacation for three, but I’ve still got plenty more time to earn and save.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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The post Getting The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Made My Credit Score Go Up By Almost 40 Points appeared first on Credit.com.

Chase’s Hot New Credit Card Could Cost Them up to $300 Million

Chase's new credit card is so wildly popular, and offers such great perks, it's costing the bank money.

Back in September, Chase ran out of the metal versions of their new Sapphire Reserve credit card because of such high demand. And, while it seems the card is still drawing a lot of attention (and applicants), it’s costing Chase money — as much as $300 million, in fact.

At least that’s according to a recent Bloomberg report, which says the card is expected to hurt profits by $200 million to $300 million in the fourth quarter. (Don’t feel too bad, they’re still anticipating a $5 billion profit this quarter.) And, according to the report, the bank won’t break even on the investment they’ve made into this card for almost six years. Despite all this, the JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said “the card has been doing great” when he spoke at an investor conference in New York on Tuesday.

Wondering what all the fuss is about with this Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card? Well…

What Makes This Card So Popular

There’s a lot to be said about this credit card — to start, after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of having the card, you’ll get 100,000 bonus points. Yes, you read that right: 100,000 points, which is equal to $1,500 in travel redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform. And, if you have wanderlust, you’ll also like that this card gives you an annual statement credit of up to $300 to reimburse you for travel purchases. (Starting to understand why this card is so popular and costing Chase some money?)

All this from a credit card is pretty amazing, right? There’s more. While you’ve still got jet setting on the brain, it’s worth mentioning that this card will reimburse you up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application, as well as give you access to airport lounges and special benefits at certain hotels and when renting cars.

And let’s talk about spending rewards: You get three points per dollar on travel and dining and one point per dollar for all other purchases. When you redeem through the Chase rewards platform, your points will go further, as you’ll get 50% more in travel redemption.

As many rewards credit cards do, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual fee, and it isn’t a subtle one: $450. You also have to pay the annual fee upfront. And if you can’t pay your statement in full (a best practice with rewards credit cards so you don’t lose your perks to interest fees), you’re looking at a variable APR of 16.24% to 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Adding Plastic to Your Wallet

Yes, these rewards are amazing and can be exceptionally tempting. But, not so fast: You want to think about if adding this card, or any other card, to your collection is really right for you before you hit “Submit” on that application. Are you going to be able to make that $450 annual fee worthwhile or would a credit card with a lower yearly fee (or not one at all) be better? And if it’s that signup bonus that sounds most appealing to you, is it an amount you’d be able to afford to spend? After all, added spending just to get a bonus (and ultimately ending up in debt) certainly isn’t worth it.

Part of considering which credit card may be right for you is also knowing what cards you’re likely to qualify for. Cards that offer rewards tend to require a good credit score, so it’s good to know if you’re even eligible before applying. After all, you don’t want that hard inquiry on your credit just to be rejected for the new card. (You can find out where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) If you discover your scores aren’t at the level you’d like them to be, all is not lost: Consider paying down debts, repairing any report damage you may discover and limiting inquiries on your credit until your scores rebound.

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Chase’s Hot New Credit Card Could Cost Them up to $300 Million

Chase's new credit card is so wildly popular, and offers such great perks, it's costing the bank money.

Back in September, Chase ran out of the metal versions of their new Sapphire Reserve credit card because of such high demand. And, while it seems the card is still drawing a lot of attention (and applicants), it’s costing Chase money — as much as $300 million, in fact.

At least that’s according to a recent Bloomberg report, which says the card is expected to hurt profits by $200 million to $300 million in the fourth quarter. (Don’t feel too bad, they’re still anticipating a $5 billion profit this quarter.) And, according to the report, the bank won’t break even on the investment they’ve made into this card for almost six years. Despite all this, the JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said “the card has been doing great” when he spoke at an investor conference in New York on Tuesday.

Wondering what all the fuss is about with this Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card? Well…

What Makes This Card So Popular

There’s a lot to be said about this credit card — to start, after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of having the card, you’ll get 100,000 bonus points. Yes, you read that right: 100,000 points, which is equal to $1,500 in travel redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform. And, if you have wanderlust, you’ll also like that this card gives you an annual statement credit of up to $300 to reimburse you for travel purchases. (Starting to understand why this card is so popular and costing Chase some money?)

All this from a credit card is pretty amazing, right? There’s more. While you’ve still got jet setting on the brain, it’s worth mentioning that this card will reimburse you up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application, as well as give you access to airport lounges and special benefits at certain hotels and when renting cars.

And let’s talk about spending rewards: You get three points per dollar on travel and dining and one point per dollar for all other purchases. When you redeem through the Chase rewards platform, your points will go further, as you’ll get 50% more in travel redemption.

As many rewards credit cards do, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with an annual fee, and it isn’t a subtle one: $450. You also have to pay the annual fee upfront. And if you can’t pay your statement in full (a best practice with rewards credit cards so you don’t lose your perks to interest fees), you’re looking at a variable APR of 16.24% to 23.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.

Adding Plastic to Your Wallet

Yes, these rewards are amazing and can be exceptionally tempting. But, not so fast: You want to think about if adding this card, or any other card, to your collection is really right for you before you hit “Submit” on that application. Are you going to be able to make that $450 annual fee worthwhile or would a credit card with a lower yearly fee (or not one at all) be better? And if it’s that signup bonus that sounds most appealing to you, is it an amount you’d be able to afford to spend? After all, added spending just to get a bonus (and ultimately ending up in debt) certainly isn’t worth it.

Part of considering which credit card may be right for you is also knowing what cards you’re likely to qualify for. Cards that offer rewards tend to require a good credit score, so it’s good to know if you’re even eligible before applying. After all, you don’t want that hard inquiry on your credit just to be rejected for the new card. (You can find out where your credit currently stands by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) If you discover your scores aren’t at the level you’d like them to be, all is not lost: Consider paying down debts, repairing any report damage you may discover and limiting inquiries on your credit until your scores rebound.

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How Fast Can I Get a New Credit Card?

get-your-credit-card-faster

You’ve found the perfect credit card and have been approved, but now the wait begins for it to actually arrive in the mail. Perhaps you are in a hurry to earn a great sign-up bonus, or you just want to utilize its travel benefits on your next trip, so it’s important to have an idea of when you can expect your card.

Recently, Chase introduced its new Sapphire Reserve card to such tremendous demand that it quickly ran out of its signature metal cards and started shipping plain old plastic ones to new applicants. It even notified some account holders to expect a delay in receiving their cards. When can you expect to receive your new card?

The Steps It Takes to Get a New Credit Card

The first step to getting a credit card is applying for a new account. Once your application is submitted, it may be approved instantly, or it may be listed as “pending” for several days or more before a decision is made. Once approved, an account is opened and the bank orders a card to be personalized and mailed to you. The bank itself doesn’t create the card, it contracts this process out to companies that specialize in printing payment cards.

While many credit cards are already pre-printed, it may take a day or two for your card to be personalized with your name and account number before it is mailed to you. Most credit cards are delivered in nondescript envelopes that arrive in the regular mail, which can take seven to 10 days for delivery. However, some premium credit cards are sent out via overnight parcel services such as UPS and FedEx, so you might receive your new card in just a few days.

Ways You Can Speed Up the Process

If you are in a hurry to get ahold of your new credit card, there are some things you can do help the process move along. First, make sure your application is considered immediately. If your online application isn’t instantly approved, contact the card issuer and ask for decision over the phone. And even if your card is approved online, you can still call the card issuer and request expedited shipping. Not all card issuers will offer this service, but it can’t hurt to ask.

Benefits You Can Use Before Receiving the Card

A credit card is not just a physical object, it’s a financial instrument that is created when your application is approved and an account is opened. And while you will need to wait until you have your card in-hand to make most purchases, there are some benefits you can request soon after your account is approved.

For example, cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum (you can read our review here) offer elite status benefits with hotel and rental car programs that you can request online immediately after your application is approved. These cards also offer Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, and new account holders do not need to wait for their card to arrive before requesting their Priority Pass membership. (Check out our expert guide to the best rewards credit cards.)

In addition, Bank of America and Citi both offer temporary account numbers you can use to make purchases. These numbers can be ordered online once your account is opened and used to make purchases before you receive your card. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as Chase and American Express, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)

It’s never fun to wait for anything you order through the mail, including a credit card. By taking steps to speed up the process, and using some of the cardholder benefits that are immediately available, you can enjoy your new credit card sooner than you may have thought.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to see where your credit stands before applying for any new credit card. You don’t want to apply for a card you don’t qualify for only to be turned down and take a ding to your credit for the inquiry. You can check two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

At publishing time, the American Express Platinum card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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The post How Fast Can I Get a New Credit Card? appeared first on Credit.com.