Changing credit cards is not that complicated. It’s a simple as switching credit cards from one issuer to the next. Having said that there are certain terms you have to abide by in order to do this lawfully.
The following guide will help you look for the right features when you decide to change credit cards. The hardest part of your switch will be to sort through the fees and charges of each offer. The most important tip is not to rush your change of card because rushing means you make costly mistakes. Take your time in analysing the card you intend to switch to make sure it is right for you.
Consider your lifestyle needs before changing credit cards:
What are the offers of the new card issuer? Are there any particular features to help you save more money? How much will the card end up costing you on the bottom line?
All the above and more are questions to ask yourself before you make the move. By using a systematic approach you’ll eliminate each important step in the process. Below are some of the features and fees you need to evaluate to find the right credit card in the end.
Knowing you can make the right switch will be very satisfying in the end:
- What is the annual card fee - Each card comes with an annual fee. Some issuers offer a fee-free card but probably have higher interest rates on purchases.
- Is there an interest-free period - If so, how long will it last? Will the time frame be sufficient for you to pay off your existing credit card debt? What are the interest rates AFTER the initial fee-free period runs out?
- How high is the card’s interest rate - This is important because a difference of a couple of percentage points can make a huge difference in cost. The lower the rate, the less money you’ll owe if you don’t pay off your card in full each month. If you do, then this feature isn’t as important.
- Is there a balance transfer option - If so, how much will it cost and how long is the intro-deal going to last? You want to pay particular attention to the interest rate offered and the balance transfer fee.
- Are there late payment charges - Most card issuers charge a penalty fee on late payments. Make sure you know if you need to pay these in the event of failing to pay on time.
- Are there any reward schemes on offer - A wide range of reward schemes are offered in conjunction with credit cards. You can choose between gifts, money back options, Frequent Flyer cards, bonuses, vouchers and a lot more. Choose according to your preferences.
- Does the issuer offer insurance - Some cards offer you travel insurance while most offer a purchase protection insurance. It is always good to have insurance of some kind because most often you’ll need it when you don’t pay for it. It’s the nature of life.
By analysing offers before changing credit cards you avoid the traps and mistakes commonly overseen by consumers.