A new study finds that 32 million Americans haven't changed their preferred credit card company in at least 10 years. Here's why that's a mistake.
If you’re like many Americans — 32 million to be exact — you haven’t changed your preferred credit card company in at least 10 years. But there are some compelling reasons to consider switching up your favorite piece of plastic.
Many of today’s cards come with enhanced rewards and generous sign-up bonuses. Still, many Americans are reluctant to swap out their preferred card, according to a new poll from credit card comparison and information website CreditCards.com.
Here are three possible benefits of switching credit cards:
1. A better rate
Is your credit health is better than it was when you got your current credit card or last searched for a new piece of plastic? If so, you might be able to score a lower interest rate and better terms with a new card than you’re currently getting.
In addition, if you have good credit and you’re carrying a balance on your favorite card, you can save some serious dough with a credit card that offers zero percent introductory rates on balance transfers.
2. Improved rewards
Matt Schulz, CreditCard.com’s senior industry analyst, explains in a press release:
“If you never change credit cards, you miss out on a big opportunity to rack up rewards.”
Many card companies offer sign-up bonuses, cash back and air miles. Some cards even come with free perks like rental car insurance and extended warranties. Get tips on “Ways to Play (and Win!) the Credit Card Rewards Game.”
3. Reduced fees
If you’re forking over a hefty annual fee for your preferred credit card, this is a great time to shop around for a new credit card — preferably one with no fee whatsoever.
However, there are times when it might make sense to pay the fee. As Maryalene Laponsie wrote in “Answers to 10 Key Questions About Credit Cards“:
A few years back, I interviewed a frequent flier who told me he happily paid somewhere in the ballpark of $400 annually for his premier airline card. It was money well-spent because it included a sky club membership valued at somewhere around $700 per year.
If you’re thinking of switching cards, just make sure you don’t fall for these “5 Sneaky Credit Card Company Tricks.”
How long have you had your favorite credit card? Comment below or on Facebook.