Best Credit Card Offers
When deciding on which credit card to apply for, it’s important to consider the various offers available to you. Regardless of the type of card you’re looking to get, lenders have been hard at work providing the best possible offers on the market to entice you to apply. If you play your cards right, you can choose some really great offers and make the most of your credit card application process.
Getting the most out of your credit card often includes taking advantage of the best offers that are currently available on the market. You don’t want to miss out on potentially beneficial offers by being negligent. Staying aware of what types of benefits and perks are available to you is important when it comes to applying for credit cards.
This being said, you don’t want to get lured into a good offer to find out that it will cost you in the long term. High interest rates can often offset the benefits of these offers if you happen to carry a balance on your credit card. This is because lenders often compensate themselves using interest rates. It may not seem like interest rates charge a lot per month, but it really adds up over time.
In this article, we’re going to outline some of the various offers that credit card companies may offer you when you first apply for a credit card. The offers will be divided into categories so you can take a look at what best suites your particular needs.
When people speak of offer categories they normally first think of sign up bonuses and interest free periods. While these initial sign up perks are great, credit card companies also offer long term solutions that can be great if you pick the right one. For this article, we will look at five different types of offers: sign up bonuses, interest free periods, travel perks, low interest cards, and insurance perks.
- Sign Up Bonuses – Sign up bonuses are an incentive that credit card companies offer to prospective clients. This normally comes in the form of frequent flyer or rewards points which can be redeemed for travel or other items. The amount on offer will fluctuate as various deals emerge and expire – you’ll sometimes find that up to 100,000 points are offer from a particular lender. Typically, the top rewards bonuses are at around 50,000 points, so it may be worth waiting for larger sign up bonuses if you’re not in a rush to get a new card.
- Interest Free Periods – This is one of the best offers you can be given. Some lenders will offer you an interest free period of between three and eighteen months. This is a great way to reduce the cost of borrowing, and can help you make an initial large purchase without having to worry about interest. This is also great if you decide to make a balance transfer – in which you transfer your balance on a current card to a new one – as you won’t have to pay any interest on your current balance for the foreseeable future. It’s a great way to pay down your debt.
- Travel Perks – Outside of rewards and airline miles, many cards will offer you travel perks. This includes features such as lounge access, extra baggage allowance, and fast track immigration control. These are great added benefits for those who travel frequently. Take a look at the various travel cards to see what added perks they may be able to offer you.
- Low Interest Cards – In terms of true value, low interest cards are the way to go. This is especially true if you plan on carrying a balance on your account. Some lenders are now even offering people rates below 10% APR. This is incredible given that many borrowers pay up to 25% per annum on their credit cards.
- Insurance – Many issuers will offer you insurance if you sign-up for their credit cards. This may come in the form of purchase insurance, which will provide you with insurance on items of certain value that you purchase using the card. You won’t even need to sign up for the insurance as long you use the card to purchase the product. Other types of insurance include travel insurance on travel that you book using your credit card. If this is a perk that your card includes, you’ll want to make sure that you book all parts of your trip using the card.
What to Look For
You should decide which offer is more suitable depending on your particular needs. If you are someone who uses your credit card often, carries a balance, and needs to save money – a low interest or interest free period card is the best offer for you. If you’re someone who travels very regularly and enjoy the comforts of additional perks, a travel card is probably your best option.
For those who are considering a big trip overseas in the next year, taking advantage of a sign-up bonus is one way to greatly reduce the cost of your upcoming travels. Regardless of the offer you decide to opt for, make sure you go with a reputable lender that has a longstanding track record for customer satisfaction – you don’t want to end up being taken for a ride by a lesser known credit card provider!
Most types of bonus offers come in the form of points. Lenders will give you a large amount of points just for signing up for their card, and you will typically be able to continually earn these points for the rest of your time using the card. But you should make sure to be aware of the true value of your points. Each card provider will have a different redemption system in place that will decide how much value the points truly give the consumer.
You shouldn’t view the point system as a single policy across card issuers. One point at one lender is not equal to one at another. You should make sure to analyze the value of each point in cash terms by seeing what they are redeemable for. Check how much each point is redeemable for in the form of a gift card or flight, this will give you a better idea of how much value you’re getting for the points you receive in the offer, as well as your spending.
Finding the best offers requires you to find the best value for yourself. You should avoid falling for marketing techniques and make sure that the points you’re receiving are worth the cost you’re paying.
Annual Fees Matter
Bonus offers are one of the primary ways that lenders get borrowers to sign up for new credit cards or lending products. But the reality is that these lenders are hoping that eventually they will profit off those who are signing up for these products – otherwise, they would run out of business. But you don’t want to be someone that they profit off extensively, otherwise you’re the one losing out in the long run.
That’s why it’s important to make sure to consider the annual fee. You might sign up and receive a big bonus but find out that a large annual fee is tacked to the first bill of your credit card. This can mean that the sign-up offer is worth substantially less than you originally anticipated. Some credit cards will defer the first annual fee for a year, but this means you will still need to pay it the following year. You can cancel your card before the annual fee is due, but this will look bad on your credit report.
Be Wary of Requirements
You should also be wary of certain requirements that lenders might have for you to receive the bonus on offer. For example, for many sign-up bonuses, you are required to spend a certain amount of money in the first three months of card activation. This amount can often be up to $4,000. For some people, this won’t be a problem at all. But if you don’t typically spend this amount of money every three months on a card, you might want to reconsider.
You don’t want to end up forcing yourself to spend money just to receive the bonus. This will typically negate the amount of money that you are receiving, meaning the bonus will no longer be effective considering how much money you have wasted to get it.
If you pay for your rent or other bills on your credit card, you probably will be able to reach these thresholds. But don’t change your spending habits to get a bonus. There are plenty of great bonus offers on the market that have less intense requirements.
What Kind of Credit Do I Need for a Bonus Offer?
The level of credit that you will need for a bonus offer will depend entirely on the offer that you are receiving. But for the most part, above average credit scores are required to get good rewards cards with good offers. These are typically some of the hardest cards to get. Lenders don’t want to give risky borrowers good offers if they believe the borrower will end up defaulting on their debt at a later date.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to qualify for one of these cards, check online and look at different credit card forums. Many of them will have posts from past people who will have information on what scores they were accepted or declined with. You don’t want to apply for a card that you definitely won’t get, it will mean your chances of getting a good bonus card in the future are worse.
Always check your credit report before you apply. It’s important that you know what your credit score is prior to an application – it could have errors on it that you need to fix before applying. In addition, pay down as much debt as possible prior to any application. This will allow you to improve your score in as quickly as a month. Both precautions will improve your chances of being approved.
Apply Online for Bonus Offers
You might receive mail in your letterbox about applying for bonus offers – often these letters have paper applications that you can fill in and return. We highly suggest that you don’t use these paper applications to apply for bonus offer credit cards. Firstly, it could be a scam, you never know who is truly sending you mail – they may want your personal information. Secondly, it takes extremely long. Thirdly, put your social security number in a letter and mailing it can lead to your information being stolen by a third-party.
Online applications have removed this hassle and provide a much quicker experience. They also tend to be encrypted by lenders which reduces your exposure to having your information stolen.
Bonus offers continue to be one of the most evident ways to receive substantial benefits from your credit card. New offers are always emerging to help entice consumers into signing up for new cards. But it’s important that you are aware of the best offers available. You can take advantage of some really great deals if you know how to work the system right – there are plenty of Americans who reap great rewards from credit cards because they know how to benefit form a great offer.
We’ve compiled a well-researched list of the top cards available to you as a consumer. Check out the different offers that are currently available. We understand that these offers change, so we make sure to provide you with a list that is constantly updated. It’s a great starting point for researching the best offers available to you as a credit card applicant.
As always, remember to be a responsible borrower. Carrying a high balance on a rewards card is a sure-fire way to end up with mounting debt. Responsible borrowers can take true advantage of some of the best offers in the country!