Chester P. Dexter

Best strategy for getting the Target VISA upgrade?

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BWS, I hope you'll answer this, along with anyone else.

About October '08 I got a $300 limit Target card (store card, not VISA. Applied for both, of course, but that is what they gave me.)

If they're even giving the upgrade anymore (and please no lectures on whether the T. VISA is a good card or not, I just want the upgrade anyway) what is the best strategy for me to get that? They don't take requests for CLIs, and I think applying for the Target VISA is equally futile. I'm asking for strategy regarding this (and BWS, I thought you might have a guess as to what they like to see from "the other side" of the desk).

I used it for small amounts and paid it off over several statements for the first few months. Then about 6 months ago I bought something that took it near the limit and I've been making small (but larger than minimum) payments every month since then, using it occasionally, and finally just now paid the whole balance which was $250 and change.

So when it posts and my balance is zero, should I leave it at zero? I'm assuming they will do a review, probably on my anniversary date which would be about October. Or would it be better to charge something very small (like $5 or $10) so they see that I am interested in actually using the card?

Which do you think is better from their viewpoint, if it even matters at all? I have heard of many people having accounts closed because they were at zero when reviewed, particularly when they had not been used in 6 months which is not the case here. Disregarding all my peripheral credit, I'm just asking: Better to leave it at a nice, clean zero or have a piddly amount on the books?

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No worries, I won't castigate you for going with Target or for wanting the Target Visa. (In fact, it's one of the cards I recommended to my sister as she built up her credit file.)

I don't think it's a bad retail product, especially if you like to shop at Target. For each $1,000 you spend with the card, you get a coupon for a one day unlimited 10% off at any Target store. If you're a big Target shopper, this is a great program. I assume they have solid customer service and features and I assume the card comes with standard Visa benefits.

I have no real, direct or "inside" knowledge of Target National Bank. I know a good bit indirectly and vicariously. They have surprisingly become one of the top 10 issuers of credit cards in this country in terms of volume.(In order: Chase, BofA, Citi, Capital One, HSBC, Wells, USAA, US Bank, Target. However, the top 5 still control nearly 80% of the total market).

Their credit card portfolio has remained very strong despite the economic crisis. However, Target's retail sales were hit pretty hard... In need of cash, in 2Q 2008, they entered into a private securitization with Chase, selling 47% of their receivables for $3.6B, agreeing to share profits and losses. Further, they outsourced a good bit of their consumer underwriting to Chase. It would stand to reason, then, that Chase also revamped Target's internal behavior monitoring (it would certainly be in their interest, anyway!). And, I do know a good bit about Chase's guidelines.

These were the press releases in 2008:

“Chase is pleased to partner with Target, one of the world’s best brands,” said Gordon Smith, CEO of Chase Card Services. “We believe this relationship will be successful over time for both organizations.”

“We are excited to enter into this agreement with JPMorgan Chase, whose vast financial services experience and proven track record of innovation have produced superior credit card results over time,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Chief Executive Officer of Target Corporation. “We expect that the unique relationship we have forged with this agreement will benefit both companies and their shareholders over time.”

I had posted this in another thread last year, but my sister's card was upgraded from a $200 Red Card to a $5,000 Visa. This was in September, 2008.

Statement Closing Date: 9/5/2008

Total Credit Limit $5,000.00

Cash Limit: $2,500.00

Total Available Credit: $5,000.00

Cash Advance Available Credit: $2,500.00

Note: The Cash Limit is a portion of the Total Credit Limit.

Previous Balance: $1.38

Payments & Credits: -$1.38

Purchases & Advances: $0.00

Other Charges: $0.00

FINANCE CHARGES: $0.00

New Balance: $0.00

Past Due Amount: $0.00

Minimum Payment Due: $0.00

Payment Due Date: -

Manage My REDcardTarget.com/redcardTarget Credit Services:1-800-755-5856TDD/TDY:1-800-347-5842Outside the U.S.:11-612-307-8622 (Call Collect)

This summary does contain all information presented on your printed statement. To Print a copy of your statement, please click the 'Print' button above.

Your REDcard is issued by Target National Bank.

Important Messages

Your periodic rate(s) and corresponding Annual Percentage Rate(s) for purchases and cash advances may vary.

There is a minimum FINANCE CHARGE of $1.00 for any billing period in which a Finance Charge is imposed.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Due to the excellent manner in which you have handled your Account, we have upgraded your account to a Target Visa and increased your credit limit, effective immediately. A notice confirming this upgrade will be sent under separate cover. Your new card(s) will arrive in the mail within 7-10 days. You are a valued cardholder, and we look forward to continuing to serve you.

I had written this in April 2008, and it's apt for your question.

I don't know much specifically about Target, but I would generally disagree with that. Most department store charge cards consider internal behavior scores at least as much as they consider soft FICO scores, if not more so...

In my estimation (and I could be off base) the easiest way to get the CLI Upgrade would be to take one of those $200.00 cards and use it then pay it off then use it again, then pay it off, then use it again several times on the same statement cycle, and always PIF before the statement cycles, so that your new statement balance is always $0.00. So that you're actually charging more than $200.00 [the credit limit] per statement cycle, but at the same time you're PIF and your minimum payment is zero.

At the very least, that will boost your behavior score to the highest level possible, which [even if I'm wrong about Target] certainly couldn't hurt anything...

The Standard Operating Procedure is that any hard pulls for an account determine the portfolio strategy. Once in a certain strategy, a soft pull will have to go way above and beyond the normal threshold of the respective strategy in order for the card to be "upgraded". When one is asking a creditor for a lower APR or a higher limit, most of the time one is inadvertently asking for his/her portfolio strategy to be changed.

For example, say a FICO 720 and acceptable DTI, acceptable BNI, etc.. is strategy "wx5c" and that strategy has a max APR of Prime +3.99 and a max limit of $10,000. Similarly say 620 lands you in strategy "vx5c" and that strategy has a max APR of Prime +12.99 and a max limit of $500.00. In order for a soft pull and normal account review to put you onto the "wx5c" strategy your soft pull might have to be 760+ and meet income and other score qualifications satisfactorily. So, you could very well be sitting there at 730 and are actually qualified for the "wx5c" strategy, but you will never get it "automatically" until you hit that higher threshold.

Now, assume in the same situation, that you still have that 730 and you call in and request an account transfer and they take a hard pull. You will now be examined on the merit of that application and your lower account strategy will not be counted against you. However, if you have a bad internal behavior score that WILL BE counted against you.

Edited by Bigwoodystyl
typo

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What, BWS is not going to castigate me about something today? What did I do to deserve that good fortune? Is it my lucky day? :lol:

OK, but really, thanks for the information and the good tips. I never would have thought of this, but it's a brilliant idea:

"take one of those $200.00 cards and use it then pay it off then use it again, then pay it off, then use it again several times on the same statement cycle, and always PIF before the statement cycles, so that your new statement balance is always $0.00. So that you're actually charging more than $200.00 [the credit limit] per statement cycle, but at the same time you're PIF and your minimum payment is zero."

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I have had target red card for 2 years now, 1000.00 limit...I don't think I need more than that...I have never been late carry a small balance most of the time and I shop there online often....I have not been offered the upgrade and my score is 730...Good Luck to ya!!!~

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I've had my Target Red Card since 2007 and I'm still at the original $500 with no Visa upgrade, despite constant use of the card resulting in PIF'ing every single time there's a balance. I'm convinced that TNB doesn't enjoy the fact that I refuse to pay interest. LOL! :)

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I've had my Target Red Card since 2007 and I'm still at the original $500 with no Visa upgrade, despite constant use of the card resulting in PIF'ing every single time there's a balance. I'm convinced that TNB doesn't enjoy the fact that I refuse to pay interest. LOL! :)

I've had a $500 REDcard for almost two years now... got the bump from $200 to $500, but nothing more. I use it a couple times a month and usually carry a balance (well under $200), but no love.

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