MySpace and Citi have teamed up to turn users of the ad strewn social networking site into a new generation of Citi controlled citizens. Generation Forward, as they are being called, are invited by Citi and MySpace to get a new kind of credit card, one that has its own manifesto, and also rewards you for doing good. The rewards program is even MysSpace-centric offering up...wait for it... MySpace music downloads keeping more money in house.
Noticeably absent from the manifesto is a call to pay off your balance every month, which you'd better do since the card has a starting APR of 14.24% which is high even for a student with limited credit history. As a comparison, the same Citi FORWARD card without a MySpace logo carries an APR of 12.24% which is still high but a full 2% less than that of the MySpace card.
Sure it is possible to reduce your APR on the MySpace card down by "using credit wisely." The Generation FORWARD card from MySpace will lower your APR .25% for every 3 months that you make a purchase, pay on time and stay under your credit limit. So it would take two years of "using credit wisely" to get the same APR you can get today without the strings.
Since when has paying the minimum amount every month qualified as using credit wisely? Perhaps the copy editor screwed up and the pitch should have read, "Make us rich buying crap you don't need and we'll lower your interest rate slower than a tortoise on sedatives."
Finally for a card being offered under the guise of promoting responsible living socially, economically and environmentally, the decision to give five times the rewards for dining, books, movies and music is appalling. These are the last areas that young people should be encouraged to finance, especially at 14% APR!
Signing up for a credit card just because it has a logo on it isn't the smartest thing to do, but signing up for a branded card with a high interest rate is foolish. Young people who are looking for a first time credit card should do some research before signing up, a quick search found three other credit cards on CardHub with lower interest rates even for those without excellent credit, and a few minutes at other banks and credit unions yielded plenty more attractive cards. Now this is something you should send to your friends on MySpace, Tom included.
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