The time has come to search for a new credit card. Maybe you’re doing so because you simply want more spending power. Or maybe you’re ready to leave your old credit card in the past, as it no longer suits your financial circumstances and goals.
Regardless of why you’re searching for a new credit card, you don’t want to take this decision lightly. If you make a poor choice, it could result in you revisiting the process once again in the near future.
So, to protect yourself, it’s critical to answer the following questions:
1. Why are you making a change?
If you don’t have a good reason, it may not be time to make a move just yet. You should have a clear idea as to why you’re applying for a new credit card, as it’ll guide your search and allow you to focus on the offers that best suit you.
Common reasons include:
- Lowest interest rate
- Better customer service
- Better rewards program
- Higher cash back rate
2. What is your credit score?
Knowing your credit score from the start will help you immensely, as you won’t waste time on offers you don’t qualify for.
For example, if you have an excellent credit score, you know that almost every offer is in play.
But if you have a poor score, you aren’t likely to have nearly as many offers to choose from. You may even have to opt for a secured credit card for the time being.
Request your credit score and review your credit report. The information you gather will come in handy as you kick off and carry out your search.
3. Which features are most important to you?
Even if you’re not seeking something in particular, there are likely to be a few features that are more important to you than others.
Are you most interested in a rewards credit card with an industry leading program? Is a low interest rate the only thing on your mind? Is safety and security something that you hang your hat on?
Make a short list of features that you want in your new credit card. This will speed up the search process, while moving you toward the offers that make the most sense for someone in your shoes.
Final tip: don’t be shy about contacting the issuer associated with the credit cards on your final list. A quick phone conversation can go a long way in helping you better understand the offer and if it’s right for you.
There is no right or wrong way to search for a new credit card, as the steps you take are based largely on your wants, needs, financial circumstances, and goals.
However, if you answer these three key questions, you’ll have an easier time narrowing your choices so you can make an informed final decision.
When was the last time you switched credit cards? Do you remember the steps you took?