Consumers Experience Increase in Credit Card Offers(Forbes)   Leave a comment

Consumers with good credit ratings have found themselves on the receiving end of a slew of appealing credit card offers recently, and there are many great deals available if you are in the market for a new credit card.

As the tide of customer delinquencies and defaults begins to ebb and the overall economic environment starts to gradually improve, many card issuers are relaxing their lending requirements. “The principal methods of easing credit card underwriting standards were reducing score card cutoffs and increasing maximum line size,” according to a study performed by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This, in turn, should make it possible for more people to apply for and obtain lines of credit.
“There are a lot more mailings going out. The competition among credit card issuers has definitely stepped up,” said the CEO of one online credit card comparison site. Card issuers are specifically courting “the most sought-after customers: those with good to excellent credit scores.” What is exciting for consumers is that credit card companies are presenting some great deals, rewards and rebates ranging from bonus points to miles to cash back. Other incentives include low or no interest balance transfer offers.
Equifax, an Atlanta-based credit bureau, recently released information from a study it did which indicates that overall, consumer credit card growth is on the upswing. According to its data, new accounts increased by 35% during the 12-month period that ended on March 31, 2011.
Michael Koukounas, senior vice president of client services at Equifax, said in a press release: “Despite concerns of the economy relapsing, several current metrics indicate the credit cycle is stabilizing—even growing somewhat as consumer payment behavior improves.”
As consumers continue to demonstrate diligence and responsibility when it comes to paying off their credit card debt, card issuers are willing to make more credit card offers available.
There are a few rules of thumb potential plastic users should master before applying for a new credit card. Always read the fine print to gain a thorough understanding of interest rates, penalties and fees to avoid any future unpleasant surprises after the card’s promotion period ends.  Always consider whether or not you plan to carry a balance from month to month, and then seek out the cards offering the lowest interest rates for the longest period of time. Always give some thought to what type of rewards program you want to enlist in and figure out how to use it to your best advantage. Pay attention to things like cash-back caps and annual fees. And always, whenever possible, pay off the balance in full at the end of each billing cycle. Not only will it save you money, but it’s one of the best ways to bolster a credit rating.

And don’t apply for too many credit cards. It can negatively affect your credit score.

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Posted July 18, 2011 by ilanamelissagreene in Uncategorized

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