Monday, February 8, 2010

Charles Schwab Visa - Some Great Features

I have been using the Charles Schwab Visa for a few months now, and really like it. See more information on this card, here and here.

Here are some of the main things I like about this card:
1) Unlimited 2% cashback on everything you buy
2) No foreign transaction fees (most cards charge around 3%)
3) Free ATM withdrawals using the ATM card (The 2% cashback gets deposited into a separate 'brokerage' account, and for that account you get an ATM card)
4) No annual fee

Some advanced reasons:

Pending Charges - Temporary Authorizations
With other cards that I have, I can't see the charge until it actually goes through, which often takes a couple of days. I do see the overall credit availability go down, so in theory I can calculate the amount of the charge based on the credit availability going down, but that can get very confusing, especially with multiple charges. Often, I want to know if the charge went through, and how much I was actually charged.

With Charles Schwab, you can see the pending charges online. The minute I leave a store, I can go online and see how much the store charged me. Not always can you see the charges right away, cause often stores will only charge the card when they ship the item. Amazon, for instance, puts a $1 hold on your card, and then when the order ships, they charge the full amount. Which, by the way, can be an issue if you are purchasing exactly up to your credit limit, or if you are using your full prepaid credit card balance.

Say you shop at a site, but you don't want them to have your credit card number.
You go online to and generate a one-time use credit card number, and that's the number you give to the company instead of your real credit card number.

You can also set the expiration date for the temporary number, say 03/2010, along with the total amount that can be charged to this number. Another thing you can do, is limit how much each charge can be. Say you want the merchant to be able to make recurring charges of $10 for the next 10 months, you set the limit of each payment to $10, and the number of monthly payments to 10.

American Express
All that being said, I still use an Amex for any purchase that there is a possibility that I will have issues with the purchase, and need to take advantage of Amex benefits.


Anonymous said...

any truth to the rumors that this card will soon not be available?

Shmuly - said...

There are rumors that they will stop offering the card, there are also rumors that they will lower the cashback from 2%. I don't know if there is any truth to any of the rumors.

Right now its a great card to have, so that's what I use. If something changes, I'll take it from there.

Anonymous said...


got not available offer:

We apologize for any inconvenience.
The application you are requesting is currently unavailable.
Thank you for your interest.

* United States 1-800-551-0839

Please call as your business is important to us and we will be happy to process your request immediately.

Y from Cher

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