Question for the wise:What's prime?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by PsychDoc, Jun 8, 2001.

  1. PsychDoc

    PsychDoc Well-Known Member

    What makes one card "prime" while another is considered "subprime"? I realize that there isn't some officially mandated boundary, but what's the difference overall? So, for example, I realize that secured cards are always subprime, as are unsecured cards with high APRs (hello, Providian and 24.9%). And, of course, a Platinum VISA with a 9% fixed rate and a $50k limit would be prime. But what about a run of the mill card with an 18% rate? Is that subprime or prime? What about 16%, or 15%? What's the convention on this board for classifying borderline cards one way or another?

  2. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

  3. Nave

    Nave Well-Known Member

    Didn't do it 4 me. I have always had the impression that prime=x but I find prime=y so your definition of a prime card is....?????
  4. dave

    dave Well-Known Member

    The following 18 characteristics differentiate prime form subprime cards. No particular one is determinative and no card is likely possess all of the features listed as prime or subprime.

    1. Prime: You must have decent but not necessarily perfect credit to get the card.
    Subprime: The card is marketed to people building or rebuilding credit.

    2. Prime: The APR is moderate to low (15% or below) except for rewards cards.
    Subprime: The APR is high--18+.

    3. Prime: The card offers rewards.
    Subprime: ha-ha

    4. Prime: The card has no annual fee (except rewards cards).
    Subprime: Annual fee, participation fee, application fee, expedite processing fee, fee calculated on the average of the fees, after the fees fee, etc.

    5. Prime: The card offers teaser rates.
    Subprime: Not offered.

    6. Prime: The card offers platinum or gold benefits.
    Subprime: No benefits.

    7. Prime: The cc company has 24/7 customer service at an 800 number and if you're overseas, it's ok to call collect. The call is picked up quickly and the rep. knows what he/she is talking about. When you get off the phone, you are confident that whatever action the rep. promised to take will be taken.
    Subprime: You pay for the call at daytime rates and since you forgot they're not in your time zone, you hear the recording that they are closed or you wait 20 minutes and then have a very unsatisfactory conversation with the Neanderthal who answers that he/she can't help you and there is no supervisor willing or available to help either. Any promises made to you are not binding because later when you call to complain, you can't prove what was said. . . so there.

    8. Priime: If the card is lost or stolen, a replacement gets to you within 48 hours.
    Subprime: If the card is lost or stolen, you get a new one in 2-3 weeks. The replacement fee will be charged to your account, of course.

    9. Prime: The credit limit is high (5K or more)
    Subprime: The credit limit is low ($200-$1K) and will remain that way for a very long time.

    10. Prime: The account comes with access checks or balance transfer checks.
    Subprime: "We don't do that".

    11. Prime: The card comes with offers for low balance transfer rates months or years after the account has been established.
    Subprime: Nope.

    12. Prime: Credit line increases are substantial (20-30% or more of the credit line each time).
    Subprime: Credit line increases are rare and you have to ask for them. Expect 100-200 increases. You may be charged for them.

    13. Prime: The card has concierge service.
    Subprime: What's that?

    14. Prime: The card has no preset spending limit (e.g., Amex green and gold, Visa Signature, World Mastercard).
    Subprime: Spending limited to cigarettes, gas and beer or other items of equivalent value, charged in moderation.

    15. Prime: The card has a grace period for purchases.
    Subprime: You are charged interest from the date of each charge even if paid in full on the next statement.

    16. Prime: Cash advance fees range from 0-3%.
    Subprime: Cash advance fee range from 4-5%.

    17. Prime: The card is unsecured.
    Subprime: The card is partially or totally secured.

    18. Prime: When calling customer service, you are treated with courtesy and respect.
    Subprime: When calling customer service, you are treated like dog shit.
  5. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    I see where you are coming from. I guess I should have been paying more attention. I though you just wanted to know that prime is. I dont know what people consider to be subprime or prime here. I consider anything above 14% to be really high when it comes to credit cards. I have been able to stay at 11percent and below for two years.
  6. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    Great synopsis Dave!!!!
  7. brad

    brad Well-Known Member

  8. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    When I worked in finance, I used to specialize getting those who are credit challenged a loan. The salesman would look at their customers scores and call them derogatory things like a Roach! I used to think to myself how many of them were also roaches including myself. Anyway, when it came time to finance a car anything over 12 percent was considered subprime and was sent to my office for special financing. We would run advertisements all day telling those with credit blemishes that we could get them into a new vehichle today. Little did they know that they would be paying a hefty price for some subcompact car. I did it for about a year and got out once I saw customers come back and ask me if they could refinance their hight interest loans. Even though I was providing a service, I felt like a vulture. Never again......I have to agree with Dave on the benifits side of the cards. Since all of mine are issued from my financial institution I have little benifits and low interest rates.
  9. PsychDoc

    PsychDoc Well-Known Member

    Re: Question for the wise:What's pr

    Dave, thanks!! That was great -- I'm saving to the hard drive. (Maybe they should put a version of this in the Library here on the site!?)

    Randy :)

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