Stoozing Options

Would appreciate input re managing my cards for continued stoozing through 2017/18.

Having started to utilise the 5% savings loophole last year I found myself running out of funds to be able to fully utilise my high interest regular savers and current account so decided to start stoozing to maintain the flow of funds into my accounts. Card held currently below:

TSB – Limit £4000 – Balance £666 – 0% purchases until Aug 17 (opened Oct 16)
Tesco – Limit £6800 – Balance £4200 – 0% Balance transfer until Sept 18 (opened Sept 16)
Nationwide – Limit £5300 - Balance £0 (opened June 05)
MBNA – Limit £5200 – Balance £0 (opened July 09)
Barclaycard – Limit £1000 – Balance £0 (opened June 08)

Still got plenty of space in accounts for 3%+ savings and with regular spending, some larger purchases and the intention to pay my council tax on my TSB card I'll be looking for new Balance Transfer and Purchases cards by around April, if not sooner.

Just trying to work out the best way to open new cards/close old ones and manage credit limits to allow the stooze to continue for as long as possible.

Will use the Nationwide card abroad as I have done previously and want to keep that open as it's my longest held credit facility.

Salary approx £27k, approx £2k available (unused) overdraft, £73k mortgage, no other debts.
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Replies

  • Nebulous2Nebulous2 Forumite
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    It's hard for us to know, as we would be second-guessing the banks, but one significant gap in your cards is Virgin Money. They are touting for business at the moment and are offering some very competitive deals.

    I've just had a large money transfer from them, without having any involvement with them previously.

    The other good one has been MBNA. Are they not offering you existing customer BTs / MTs? You could open another card from the MBNA group and if the limit was too low you could ask to amalgamate the limits. Or you could close MBNA and go back in 6 months looking for a new customer offer. They are being taken over though and the situation may change.
  • YorkshireBoyYorkshireBoy Forumite
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    Some thoughts...

    Barclaycard - Close it. To any lender who's criteria includes 'number of cards held' it's a hindrance.

    Nationwide - Do you really need a £5.3K limit for 2 weeks in the sun once a year? That limit alone is c.20% of your income!

    Tesco - that balance should be a lot higher. Next time you BT, overdo it...and ask for the +ve balance back.

    TSB - are you going to spend £3.4K between now and August?

    As to the way forward, I'd use MBNA as a mule and take 0% fee-free* BTs from wherever I could...one every couple of months or so.


    * In these uncertain times of savings account interest (and in that I include current accounts) I wouldn't be paying a fee for a BT...not even a small one!
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    Some thoughts...

    Barclaycard - Close it. To any lender who's criteria includes 'number of cards held' it's a hindrance.

    Nationwide - Do you really need a £5.3K limit for 2 weeks in the sun once a year? That limit alone is c.20% of your income!

    Tesco - that balance should be a lot higher. Next time you BT, overdo it...and ask for the +ve balance back.

    TSB - are you going to spend £3.4K between now and August?

    As to the way forward, I'd use MBNA as a mule and take 0% fee-free* BTs from wherever I could...one every couple of months or so.


    * In these uncertain times of savings account interest (and in that I include current accounts) I wouldn't be paying a fee for a BT...not even a small one!

    Thanks for the response. My thoughts and a few more questions:

    Barclaycard: Thought that should go so I'll close it.

    Nationwide: I raised the limit expecting a larger spend on a holiday but then split it with TSB (for the cashback) before BT to Tesco. If I reduce the limit, should I beware the amount of credit utilisation I have?

    Tesco: I should have started stoozing with a 0% purchase card to build up a balance rather than a BT but it free'd up some cash quickly. Any thoughts on reducing that credit limit as my balance falls?

    TSB: I'm certain I'll fill it before August. Any holidays will be booked with it (girlfriend gives me cash for her share). I've got a few purchases for home to make and I was thinking of paying my council tax with it for 17/18 (discount for one off payment is larger that the CC fee).

    MBNA: YB, I had thought to close it but I think I saw you mention on another thread, the option to put an MBNA card into credit. Is this what using the card as a 'mule' refers to? If I continually put the card into credit, will MBNA have a problem with this? Should I also reduce the credit limit?

    Intending only to use 0% fee options. Already seen TSB and Lloyds rates fall so I know I can't guarantee to 'beat the fee'. I'm also hoping to get some cashback along the way as I did with the Tesco card.
  • caveman38caveman38 Forumite
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    Which of the MBNA cards is best to use as a Mule card. I ask since it is of no use to ask for Platinum if you're not going to ask for a BT.
  • YorkshireBoyYorkshireBoy Forumite
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    TheShape wrote: »
    Nationwide: I raised the limit expecting a larger spend on a holiday but then split it with TSB (for the cashback) before BT to Tesco. If I reduce the limit, should I beware the amount of credit utilisation I have?
    You can look at it from 2 angles...on an individual card basis or an overall basis. Maybe run your overall 'ratios'...

    Available to used
    Available to income
    Used to available

    ...and see what it looks like overall.
    Tesco: I should have started stoozing with a 0% purchase card to build up a balance rather than a BT but it free'd up some cash quickly. Any thoughts on reducing that credit limit as my balance falls?
    I wouldn't, especially if you reduce Nationwide.
    MBNA: YB, I had thought to close it but I think I saw you mention on another thread, the option to put an MBNA card into credit. Is this what using the card as a 'mule' refers to? If I continually put the card into credit, will MBNA have a problem with this? Should I also reduce the credit limit?
    Yes that's 'muling'. MBNA have obliged me with no problems. Over the last 2 years I've routed many fee-free BTs through them, including...

    2 in the same month, 6 days apart
    4 in the space of 3 months
    And the most recent being a week or so ago

    I always keep them below £10K as back in the good old days that seemed to be the trigger for 'further checks'!

    As to whether you should reduce the limit, that's always a dilemma with MBNA. I still have a £25K limit on my card, and have retained it for 2 reasons...

    1. It dwarves any sub £10K refund I request (a £2K limit, for example, might prompt questioning when it suddenly goes £9K positive!), and

    2. One day(!) MBNA may do a short duration fee-free MT offer on a new card. I'd then apply and if successful switch some of the £25K limit over. This has been something I've done successfully before with them.
  • YorkshireBoyYorkshireBoy Forumite
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    caveman38 wrote: »
    Which of the MBNA cards is best to use as a Mule card.
    Any...but it would make sense to get one that offered a secondary benefit for when you're not muling.
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    Re MBNA and 'muling'. I can't currently find my MBNA credit agreement but my TSB agreement states that I should not make any payment of balance transfer that puts the account into credit and they reserve the right to return the payment to the account or card that it came from. Does this not apply to MBNA?

    Is it ok to just request a balance transfer from MBNA if the card isn't being used or is it best to also have some spending on the card?

    If I do make a successful balance transfer what would I say upon calling them, that I've made a mistake or that I've deliberately put the card into credit and can they repay the credit amount into my bank account?
  • YorkshireBoyYorkshireBoy Forumite
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    TheShape wrote: »
    Re MBNA and 'muling'. I can't currently find my MBNA credit agreement but my TSB agreement states that I should not make any payment of balance transfer that puts the account into credit and they reserve the right to return the payment to the account or card that it came from. Does this not apply to MBNA?
    I don't know. I can't find mine either. ;)
    Is it ok to just request a balance transfer from MBNA if the card isn't being used or is it best to also have some spending on the card?
    I can't remember the last time I made a purchase on mine, but if I ever did it was at least 4-5 years ago, and maybe a lot longer.
    If I do make a successful balance transfer what would I say upon calling them, that I've made a mistake or that I've deliberately put the card into credit and can they repay the credit amount into my bank account?
    No, you say as I said on the other thread you read "credit balance refund" on the automated telephone service. The person who answers then knows what you want (because your details and the reason for your call are on their screen) and will simply say "I can organise that sir. Could you give me the sort code and account number?"

    Should you encounter any issues (I haven't so far), then the obvious reason is you've been doing some debt shuffling and messed up. You need control of the situation and that's why you want the cash in your current account. Because after all, you're at the end of the 30/60 day free BT window on the other card and wouldn't be able to use the funds if they returned them from whence they came.
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    Thanks for your help YB, I'd forgotten you'd explained the process on the other thread.

    That should sort out all my stoozing requirements for the foreseeable future.

    Thanks again.
  • caveman38caveman38 Forumite
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    Sorry to be a pain YB or any other poster.
    I lost my notes a few years ago re. do's and dont's when BTing.
    Can you refresh my brain re. what you request on a BT. ie.
    Can I have a BT from say. BC to MBNA or is it the other way. Dumb question I know, but I don't want to get it the wrong way. Cheers.
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