Credit Card Offers Are Back; Are You Ready To Deal?
It’s been a long time coming but most banks are finally ready to start offering credit cards again. I don’t know how it’s going for you but I’m back up to getting at least 2 offers a week in the mail, whereas over the last 3 years I wasn’t getting anything at all.
The majority of banks have weathered the storm pretty well and since the offers are coming in, it doesn’t hurt any of us to take a look to see what we’re being offered. Frankly, it looks like the offers coming in for the most part are what they were before, and that’s a good thing because in the past, you could get some pretty good offers for low entry level interest rates and pretty good rates going forward after six months. The rules for missing even one payment are tighter now, but that’s to be expected.
One of the most controversial things that comes up is the topic of balance transfers. There have been 3 posts on the subject on this blog over the years. The titles of those posts were:
In all 3 posts, the authors talked about the process of balance transfers and the need for people ready to do it to make sure they can be disciplined enough to follow a plan towards decreasing their debt load across time, especially in those first six months where often there’s no interest, although sometimes there’s a minimal fee for executing the transfer. I wrote the first piece back in early 2011 because I had a personal history with using this strategy in bringing my debt load down years earlier.
As a tool, credit cards can help us when we need things and don’t immediately have the money to take care of them by writing a check or paying cash. Just recently I was happy to have a credit card to help pay a car maintenance bill of over $1,000 that was unexpected and came two days before I had to pay my mortgage. The timing couldn’t have been worse but that’s the reason I carry a couple of credit cards, as well as their use in my business.
Also, with proper planning, you can purchase some things you want when you may not have all the money you need at the time, but planning is essential to keep yourself out of danger. The last thing you need to do is grab onto every single offer you get and spend yourself into debt and worry.
If you have a spending strategy, you can afford to buy what you need and what you want, as well as finding a way to get yourself out of debt by using credit cards. Be wise and safe in what you do, and if you’re the type who can stick to a plan, everything will work out just fine.