7 Ways to Find the Best Credit Card Promotions for You
BY: GARY J. WILKINSON ON FRIDAY, APRIL 06, 2018
When it comes to finding credit card promotions, there are a lot of choices out there. You get them in the mail, your email, and online pop up ads. How do you figure out which of these hundreds of credit card promotions are right for you? There are several steps you can take. Here are seven ways to find the best credit card promotions for you.
Look at Your Current Cards
The first thing you should do is look at your current cards. What rewards and promotions do they already have? What are the interest rates, terms, and credit limits? This step can help you decide if you really need a new card, or to transfer a balance to another card.
Most often, other cards will have introductory offers that are better than your current terms, like zero interest balance transfers and other perks. Those should be compared with what you have with your current cards.
Compare Interest Rates
Even if the balance transfer is interest free, you also need to investigate what the interest rate is on other purchases, or after the promotional period is over. Just because the introductory rate is low does not mean that the card is a good fit for you in the long run.
If the interest rate is too high once the promotional period is over or on other purchases, and you typically carry a balance on your card, you might want to consider other offers. This one may not be the right one for you.
The terms of a credit card can include a lot of things. This can be everything form the interest rates already discussed to credit limits, annual fees, late fees, and other charges that may affect how much the card will actually cost you to carry.
Remember, a high credit limit is not always a good thing. When figuring out your net worth, credit limits, not the amount you actually owe on the card, are subtracted from that number. This means high credit limits can actually have a negative effect on your net worth, which can change how your credit worthiness is figured.
Compare Rewards Programs
Many credit cards come with a variety of rewards programs. This means that the more you spend, the more points you earn toward rewards, or the more cash back you receive. These rewards can essentially be divided into three categories:
- Travel/Frequent Flyer Rewards: These are fairly self-explanatory. You get rewards that are either credits toward travel, or that count as frequent flyer miles. Usually you get a certain number of points or miles for every dollar you spend. These are usually branded cards, either by the airline, a website, or a hotel chain.
- Cash Back Rewards: These are similar to travel rewards, only you earn cash back, usually a small percentage of the amount you spend with the card.
- Points Rewards: These are often proprietary rewards, usually ones that you can either spend in an online store created by the card issuer, trade for discounts, and often even trade for cash.
No matter what type of rewards you choose, you need to compare the rewards you will receive to what the card will cost you to have. This should include annual fees and any other fees associated with the redemption of your points, including transaction fees. Be sure the rewards you get will surpass those fees don’t equal a greater amount than the potential rewards.
How do you find credit card promos? The simplest way is to look for them online. There are a ton of websites that offer comparisons of different card offers, and the companies themselves often offer a variety of cards with a variety of reward programs.
The internet is a great source for offers, but always remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure that you read all of the terms and conditions and understand them before you sign up for something.
Ask Your Friends
Despite all the hype about different kinds of advertising, word of mouth is still the best, and one of the ways you can find out about credit card promotions is to ask your friends. Because they may have similar lifestyles to yours, the cards they use may also work well for you.
Your friends also may get referral bonuses, which they may share with you when you sign up.
Check with Your Bank
One of the best places to find credit card promos is to check with your own bank. They may even offer rewards with your debit card, special credit cards rewards, and if you are a credit union member they may offer the rewards at no or low annual fee.
Your bank is often the best place to get rewards cards, since you already have an account and a relationship with them.
Finding the best credit card offer for you may be a challenge, but with time and the right tools, you can search for and find the best offer. Be sure to make comparisons, whether you search online, ask your friends, or get offers from your own bank.
What rewards or incentives do you look for when selecting a credit card? Leave us a comment in the section below.
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