Do your credit cards fit your lifestyle and spending habits? Maybe you’ve had a card for a while that doesn’t suit you any longer, or isn’t as rewarding as you had hoped.
Or, maybe the terms have changed and are not in step with your needs. Take a look at these six signs that suggest you may need a new credit card. Do you fall into any of these categories?
1. The rewards offered don’t match purchasing habits.
So you get 5 percent back on all hotel stays, but you haven’t traveled in three years? You get bonuses at that hot new restaurant chain everyone on Facebook is chatting about, but the closest one is over 300 miles away?
If the card rewards don’t match your spending habits, you’re probably paying fees for perks you aren’t getting. Shop around for cards that offer rewards that are in tune with your lifestyle. Be sure to double check that the enticing offers are available near the town you reside and typically travel.
2. You’re moving on up, but the interest rates aren’t going down.
If you opened your credit card account when your life was very different, you may qualify for better interest rates or perks if your credit score or debt ratio have improved. If your card was opened when your credit wasn’t well-established or your income has been on the rise, you may be able to haggle for better rates with your current company by making a call, or finding another lower interest card elsewhere.
3. Confusing terms, or surprises on statements
Maybe you’ve been bombarded with too many changes to the terms of services in the form of updates the length of epic novels, so you’re not sure what the terms are anymore.
Or maybe you’ve had some surprise charges show up on your billing statement. If your credit card terms aren’t clear, comprehensible, and predictable, it’s time to seek out a new card.
4. New fees, reward structures, or habits which result in fees
If you’ve always used your card in certain ways without any extra fees and now you’re paying for conveniences you like, consider changing your habits or ditch the card for one with better terms.
Are the annual or other fees you pay offset by rewards, cash back or other incentives? If you are no longer being given reward points for regular purchases, take a look at the fee structure and ask yourself if it’s worth continuing to use the card.
5. Balance transfer fees are blowing up your balance
If balance transfers or other high-interest debts on the card are racking fees faster than you can pay them, it might be time to find another card. Look for a card with an incentive for balance transfers, but be sure you are paying down the card during the incentive period or you’ll end up in the same boat. You can also try calling your bank and attempt to renegotiate the terms.
6. Bad customer service
The credit card industry is a competitive marketplace, and you shouldn’t have to wait on hold for an hour to get answers to billing questions or to be connected with someone who doesn’t understand the company products well enough to be helpful.
If you can’t get helpful answers when you need them, you might as well take your business elsewhere, especially when the market is full of choices. Here are some cards that were given high marks by our reviewers.