After scouring the BootsnAll Around the World and Vagabonding Travel message board for the ideal credit card, and finding recent affirmation of Capital One on Leave America, I decided to bite the bullet and apply for my first new, personal credit card in about 7 years.
The key motivating factor in picking Capital One was the zero percent fee on foreign currency transactions. Most cards have at least a 1% fee which covers the cost of Visa money exchange fees, however Capital One supposedly absorbs it (perhaps as a competitive advantage, which appears to be working!).
I believe the last personal credit card I tried to get was at a Best Buy, so I could put a car mp3 player on it (which I so desired at the time). I remember being turned down instantaneously at the counter in the store. You know your credit is weak when a retailer turns you down.
Since then, and my decision to position myself to take 1-2 years off to backpack, I've greatly improved my credit score. When I applied online for my Capital One Visa, my application was approved in seconds, I qualified for the one I wanted (No Hassle Miles Rewards), and received my highest credit limit to date ($20,000). I had a moment of joy, which was soon replaced with the fear of going back into debt. I am going to request they reduce my limit by 50%.
$0 Fraud Liability for any unauthorized use if your card is lost or stolen
No fees on purchases made outside of the United States
24-Hour Travel & Emergency Assistance
$100,000 Worldwide Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
Additional protection on your purchases with Visa®‘s extended warranty program
Emergency card replacement or cash advance if your card is lost or stolen
As I plan to open an E*Trade money market account (for my ATM access), the credit card will be strictly limited to the occasional airline ticket, and emergency back-up support. I will pay it off monthly to help mitigate the variable 13.95% APR.
What's in your wallet?