There are hundreds of different credit cards available to Americans. And each has its own unique combination of features and benefits. Yet rather than shop around for the right product for one’s particular needs, many credit card users are content to use the same card year after year. To avoid falling into this trap, be on the lookout for these top five signs that it is time to find a new credit card:
1. Poor customer service. In a market as competitive as the credit card industry, customers are the ones in the driver’s seat. When a card issuer is not treating the cardholder as well as he or she deserves, that is a good sign it is time to move on. And while a single disappointing interaction should not be a deal breaker, repeated poor treatment should have cardholders looking for a new bank.
2. Inferior rewards. The credit card market continues to evolve, and new cards are constantly being offered with new and better features. The natural result is that cardholder’s existing products will become obsolete. In response, credit card users can ask their bank to be upgraded to a new card, or they can look for products from other credit card issuers.
3. Changing needs. Just as there are many different cards, each designed for different types of customers, people’s personal finances can change over time. Whereas a cardholder might have needed a low interest rate while he or she was in debt, that same person might now be seeking rewards or other types of benefits.
4. Attractive promotional financing offers. When cardholders get into debt, a 0% APR credit card offers can be their lifeline. By eliminating interest payments over a pre-defined period, cardholders can focus on paying their debt off as quickly as possible. In most circumstances, cardholders must open a new account at a different bank in order to qualify for a promotional financing offer.
5. Irresistible sign-up bonus. The credit card industry is so competitive, that card issuers are willing to pay customers to open a new account. These payments can be in the form of hotel points, frequent flier miles, or even cash back. Savvy cardholders have discovered a myriad of ways to receive hundreds of dollars in value from sign-up bonuses offered in the form of points or miles.
By understanding all of the signs that they are not getting the best deals, or that they stand to gain from a new card offer, credit card users can know exactly when the best time is to apply for a new card.