There’s a lot to be said for using the same credit card, year in and year out. In addition to the comfort level, you’re confident that your issuer will take care of you should a problem arise.
However, there may come a point when you realize it’s time to upgrade your credit card. There are a few reasons why you may want to do this:
- Your credit score is higher now, thus putting you in position to secure a card with more features and benefits
- You’re looking to get something in return (or something more) for the money you spend
- It’s time for something new and fresh
If you’re ready to make your move – or at least consider doing so – here are the steps to take:
1. Note the Pros and Cons of Your Current Credit Card
Before you do anything, take the time to write down what you do and don’t like about your current credit card.
For example, you may enjoy the fact that your issuer provides industry leading customer service as well as a variety of safety and security features.
Conversely, you may struggle with the fact that the interest rate is higher than average and your credit limit is low.
When you know the pros and cons of your current card, it’s easier to find a replacement that “checks more boxes.”
2. Compare Offers
Now, it’s time to take all the knowledge you collected and put it to good use. With hundreds of credit card offers to consider, give yourself plenty of time to compare the finer details of each one.
To narrow your list, search for offers by category. For example:
- Cash back credit cards
- Rewards credit cards
- Travel credit cards
If there’s a particular category that piques your interest, spend most your time comparing offers within it.
3. Conduct a Side by Side Comparison
Once you have two or three credit card offers in mind, compare the features of each one with your current card. Pay close attention to details such as:
- Interest rate
- Annual fee (and other fees)
- Safety and security features
- Rewards program
- Cash back rate
- Customer service
This is also a good time to read online consumer reviews to better understand how other consumers feel about the cards you’re considering. If you read one positive review after the next, it’ll give you confidence to proceed.
It’s possible that you’ll go through the entire process and decide to stick with your current credit card for a bit longer. It’s also possible that you’ll find the perfect replacement, thus prompting you to take immediate action.
The key to upgrading your credit card is knowing what you want, taking your time, and only making a final decision when you’re sure that it’s the right one.
When was the last time you applied for a new credit card? What process did you follow to find the perfect offer?