It May be Time to Get a New Credit Card

If you plan on using your credit card for holiday purchases, now is the time to evaluate your current credit card to find out if you can benefit more by using a different card. While this is particularly important if you have credit card debt or if you intend to take on new credit card debt, it can also prove valuable if your current credit card isn’t offering you adequate rewards. Here are three scenarios where a new credit card can help you save or earn money this holiday season:

1.) You are about to take on new credit card debt: If you know you will be taking on new credit card debt during the holidays, don’t do it on a credit card with a 14% or 20% interest rate. There are a number of credit cards available today that offer 0% interest rates on purchases for a full year. Using one of these credit cards instead of a high interest credit card can save you anywhere from a few dollars to $100 or more.

The longer you need to repay your debt the greater your savings, so if you think it will take you six months or a year to pay down your holiday purchases, there is little reason not to take advantage of 0% offers.

2.) You currently have credit card debt: If you currently have credit card debt, a new balance transfer credit card that also offers a 0% rate on purchases will likely net you substantial savings. At present, it is possible to find credit cards with 0% APR balance transfer deals that last 21 months. Transferring two thousand dollars to one of these credit cards from a credit card with a 14% interest rate could potentially save you $200 during the 0% period.

When you add in the savings you can get with the 0% rate on purchases, getting a new credit card with 0% rates on purchases and balance transfers makes a lot of sense.

3.) Your current credit card offers mediocre rewards or no rewards at all: If you are not earning rewards every time you use your credit card, you should be. With the right rewards credit card you can earn between one and five percent cash back on every purchase you make. This, coupled with current promotions that give new customers as much as $100 cash back just for switching credit cards, makes it possible to save close to $200 on holiday expenses you are going to make anyway.

In addition to cash back our top airline miles card, the Chase Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card, will allow you to check your bags for free and earn $250 worth of free miles. Deals like this can save a family of four taking a holiday trip $200 in checked bag fees.

Final Thoughts

Unless you’ve got your credit card situation optimized, there’s a good chance you’re leaving money on the table. Taking a few moments to compare your credit card to other offers can easily translate into a hundred dollars or more in savings. Why not take advantage of this?

About the Author: Jeffrey Weber is a six year veteran of the credit card industry and President of Credit Card Depot Inc. He is an active blogger and former contributor to the Forbes MoneyBuilder blog. For more information and to learn more about current balance transfer deals, visit Smart Balance Transfers.

Last Edited: November 19, 2012 @ 11:49 amThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.

Comments

  1. I just found your site and will just as quickly be leaving it behind.
    “1.) You are about to take on new credit card debt…”
    Gee, maybe you shouldn’t.
    “2.) You currently have credit card debt:…”
    Gee, maybe you should be working toward eliminating it.
    “3.) Your current credit card offers mediocre rewards or no rewards at all:…”
    Gee, maybe you should just get rid of it.
    Showcasing an article,in this day and time, for people to aquire yet more debt, by an author who has an obvious vested interest in that event happening is questionable at best and reprehensible at worst.

  2. Sorry to hear that, Rich. I disagree that these tips are inherently bad. Not everyone has trouble with credit card debt. We are all in different phases of our financial lives.

    If you check out my site you will see that I have personally used each of these three tips to my advantage. Also, I’m sure you will find that I have made arguments against each of these 3 points.

    Here are 2 examples of where I presented an opposing view:

    https://ptmoney.com/credit-card-rewards-are-they-really-worth-it/

    https://ptmoney.com/the-dangers-of-promotional-0-interest-rate-credit-card-balance-transfers/

    It’s possible this particular article would have been more useful with a caveat that these tactics aren’t for everyone. But I’m of the opinion that people can think for themselves and make decisions based on their own needs. I’m not a hand holder. Nor can I meet everyone’s needs with each and every article.

    Your last point about objectivity stings a bit because I don’t want this blog to be just an ad space for financial products. I don’t know what to say, other than:

    1. You are getting this advice for free.
    2. No one is claiming to be a financial advisor.
    3. You will never catch the credit card companies advertising ways to help you use their cards in this manner. Jeffrey’s tactics (paying no interest, getting more rewards, etc) are the opposite of what the credit card companies want you to do. In that regard, I think he’s on your side. You have to get a credit card from someone. Why not get it from a guy who’s willing to give you some tactical information?

    Thanks for your comment and I hope you will continue reading.

  3. Thanks for coming to my defense PT. I think the commenter completely missed the point of the article. Many people will have to take on new debt, already have debt, or are completely missing out on rewards.

    The three things I stress in the article are to prepare for new debt, reduce expenses on current debt, and use rewards to your advantage. In other words, the exact opposite of what the commenter thought the article was about.

  4. I do believe that you should use the credit card that rewards you the best. A few months ago parked my Discover card until they can come up with some nice rewards. Until then i will use credit cards the benafit me the most.
    I must say credit card debt is bad debt! If you can’t pay the thing off before the interest is due don’t use a credit card!