No Monopoly on Credit Card Offers (FORBES)   Leave a comment

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Traditionally, when the competition for the consumer dollar is high, the consumer usually walks away the winner. Some can remember a time when the American Bell Telephone Company was the single provider of phone service; in this oft-times monopoly, consumers were pretty much at the mercy of Ma Bell’s whims. In 1984, when the company was broken apart by a U.S. Justice Department mandate, the consumer won, and the competition brought a plethora of options and great savings to the consumer.

Luckily, there is no monopoly when it comes to credit card offers.  With so many banks and lending institutions offering credit cards on the open market, our only decision is which credit card offers best suit our individual needs.  The first thing most consumers look for is a low APR. This makes sense for those who don’t habitually pay off their credit cards; however, for those who do pay the balance off monthly, this may not be as big a deal closer.

Another benefit, especially for those who are carrying a large balance, is a card which offers a no or low rate balance transfer. These cards allow the transfer of balances, which can then be paid down at either a low or no percent interest rate. While the no fee transfers seem the more preferable choice, keep in mind that the 0% rate usually does expire. Be sure to read the fine print and know for how long the promotional rate will last. The low rate balance transfers do carry an APR; however, this rate tends to last for a longer period of time than does the 0% rate.

Along with the interest rate on your prospective credit card, there are some other factors worth looking into. Some cards now offer a $0 liability if your card is lost or stolen. There are, in fact, many different credit card protection plans available, so consider which plan your card is offering. Roadside assistance has also become a popular offer for lending institutions to offer along with their cards.

Many banks are increasing the amount of personal control you will have over your money. The ability to access and transfer balances from your own computer or smartphone, is also a way that more and more lenders are empowering their customers. With the worlds of banking and technology growing closer every day, it would be a good idea to investigate what technologies your bank is offering.

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Posted July 26, 2011 by ilanamelissagreene in Uncategorized

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