girl-holding-credit-cardsIf you haven’t looked at the credit card offers available for cardholders recently, you may be in for a shock. Credit card issuers are becoming more and more competitive and are offering generous perks to get you as a cardholder. Whether you got your last credit card simply because it was being offered by your primary bank or because you received a promotional letter in the mail, you may not have gotten a credit card with the best terms. If that’s the case, you may want to consider what’s currently on the market. There are multiple reasons to get a new credit card. Here are four great reasons to consider:

1. Your Credit Score Has Increased
If it’s been years since you’ve gotten a credit card, your credit score could have dramatically increased. If your credit score was low (less than 580) at that time, you probably got a credit card with unimpressive terms – such as high interest rates. Having a higher credit score now is a valid reason to get a new credit card. Especially if your credit score is excellent (800 and over) now, you’ll qualify for the best credit card offers, such as generous cash back rewards and low interest rates.

When you reach the point of having an excellent credit score, be sure to shop around for the best credit card offer. You’ll probably start receiving promotional materials in the mail from credit card issuers. The best way to compare credit card offers is to determine your spending habits and then match those spending habits with the card that offers the most benefits.

2. You Want More Rewards
If your current credit card just isn’t cutting it in terms of giving you a noticeable amount of rewards for your spending, it may be time to get a new credit card. If you’re interested in a straight cash back card, you should be getting 1.5% to 2% cash back on all your purchases. If you’re interested in a category-based cash back card, there are credit cards that offer up to 5% or 6% cash back on purchases within certain categories, like groceries.

Rewards aren’t limited to cash back. Credit card issuers also offer rewards in the form of miles and points. Miles can be redeemed towards airline flight purchases. Some branded credit cards offer miles towards flights with specific airlines, while others offer miles that can be redeemed on most flights regardless of the airline. Points are the most versatile form of rewards. Points can generally be redeemed in multiple ways. You can redeem points for statement credit, apply them towards a travel purchase, use them to buy a gift card, or even donate them to charity.

3. There’s an Attractive Sign-up Bonus
One of the best ways credit card issuers attract new cardholders is by offering attractive sign-up bonuses. Credit card issuers can be very generous when it comes to sign-up bonuses. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with a whopping 50,000 bonus points for new cardholders. That’s equal to $625 towards travel when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards online portal.

There’s a catch when it comes to sign-up bonuses, however. You’ll need to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to qualify. In order to get the 50,000 bonus points offered with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’d need to spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the card. It’s important to keep that requirement in mind when applying for a new credit card. It would be a shame to apply and get approved for a new credit card only to find out you didn’t spend enough within the first three months to qualify for the sign-up bonus. One tip is to plan your credit card application around a time when you have a big purchase coming up. For example, if you’re planning on buying a new laptop soon, plan to get your new credit card around that time and put the large purchase on that card. This will help you meet the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus.

4. You Need a Promotional Financing Offer
Another way credit card issuers attract new cardholders is by offering introductory interest rates as low as 0%. These introductory interest rate periods can be as long as one year. If you have several large purchases coming up within the next year and need financing for them, getting a new credit card could save you hundreds of dollars in interest.

You may also want to get a new credit card if you’re interested in a balance transfer. A balance transfer credit card is used to pay off the remaining amount on an existing debt in order to get a lower interest rate. Balance transfer credit cards are great for paying off high interest debt and consolidating multiple debts into one payment. Many balance transfer credit cards also offer introductory interest rates of 0% for a period of time. The one thing to watch out for is the balance transfer fee. This fee is usually charged as a small percentage of the transfer.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve decided to get a new credit card, you may be wondering how it’ll affect your credit score. Although new credit (including how many hard inquiries you have), accounts for 10% of your credit score, getting a single new credit card will usually only cause a small impact, if any, to your credit score. On the other hand, getting a new credit card could actually improve your credit score. This is because your credit utilization ratio will decrease when your new credit line increases your total amount of credit available. A lower credit utilization ratio is associated with a higher credit score.

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