Trendy Credit Card Practices Many Not Be Worth It
As with most industries – change is going to come. Not all change is welcome however, especially when it comes to your finances, your personal protection, and your financial well-being. So when the credit card industry rolled out the following doozies, it should make you take pause and understand them before following the sheep into the pasture.
Bye Bye Rewards
If you made the unfortunate mistake of selecting your credit card based solely on the cool points you earn towards free hotels, free airline tickets, discounted merchandise, or even getting cash straight back into your wallet, you may be in for a big disappointment without much warning. Credit card rewards programs can be a great incentive for some people. But with the current situation in the credit card world, those rewards you spend so hard to earn may just go away one day. Just in the last few years, one of the popular incentives, the double rewards programs, have been disposed of by several different credit card companies. Also, percentage rewards such as the cash back offers have also decreased in an effort to save the credit card companies more money.
The Free Fake Out
Many companies offer the “free” balance transfer promotions as a way to entice you into signing up for their card. However, transferring those balances from a credit card with high interest may not always be free. Sure you may be saving some dough on the lower interest rates and if you have chosen to consolidate the credit cards you’ll be saving monthly payments – all a plus. But if you are not reading the fine print, those balance transfers could cost you. Some companies will hold a strict limit on the amount you can transfer. Other companies have been known to charge up to several hundred dollars in transfer fees. As the credit crunch continues on, truly free balance transfer offers may be very hard to come by.
The Show and Go
Speed and efficiency are popular in society so it stands to reason that any idea that makes things faster makes people happy. However, that happiness can be easily destroyed when you go way overboard in your spending. The technology was invented so you can essentially wave your credit card in front of the little machine for all purchases under $25 and get out of the store fast. There are no button pushing, no waiting. But with that convenience, comes the ease at which you spend money. Even the smallest purchases can add up quickly. Not to mention the security aspects and what happens if you accidentally drop your card and someone else figures out they can show and go at your expense.
Whether or not you are partial to new trends, credit cards are not about the bells and whistles. You need to select a card that works for you and your finances. You want to find the lowest interests rates and a credit card that doesn’t charge outrageous fees for memberships and the like.
This is a guest post by Tisha Tolar. Tish is a freelance writer providing content for http://www.creditcardassist.com, where she regularly writes about credit cards, rewards programs and general consumer finance issues.
From Glblguy: Normally I don’t post guest articles during the week, but I’m nursing a pretty sore broken finger which makes typing a bit difficult! If you would like to have a guest article featured here on Gather Little by Little, contact me.
Photo by: MR “(O)”