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Changes within and outside of the credit card industry could mean both good and bad news for your credit in 2017.
NerdWallet reports that multiple credit card trends are already underway this year:
In 2016, high-end credit cards attracted a lot of attention with generous rewards and perks. But this year, issuers are going back to basics — and perhaps charging you more in the process.
Some of these trends apply to specific types of cardholders, such as those with bad credit. But two stand to affect just about everyone who has or hopes to take out a credit card this year.
More ‘bread-and-butter’ rewards
David Robertson, publisher of the industry newsletter Nilson Report, tells NerdWallet that issuers will focus on “bread-and-butter” rewards such as cash back instead of perks like free hotel stays or airline flights.
This will mean a lot more “offers aimed at people in the middle class,” he says.
The bottom line: At least if you pay off your credit card balance monthly, now is a great time to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rewards for you.
If you’re considering a new or better rewards card, first visit the “Finding the Perfect Plastic” page in the Money Talks News Solutions Center. There, you can search for cards and filter the results by card type and reward.
For more help navigating the many credit card rewards out there, check out “Ways to Play (and Win!) the Credit Card Rewards Game.”
Rising interest rates
The Federal Reserve System is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate again this year — by as much as three-quarters of a percentage point, NerdWallet reports, citing the Fed’s own projections.
As we recently explained in “3 Ways Rising Interest Rates Might Impact Your Wallet,” this is potentially bad news for folks carrying debt:
If you have a credit card or home equity line of credit, your borrowing costs could rise each time the Federal Reserve hikes the federal funds rate. That’s because the rates tied to these borrowing tools are variable and go up and down along with interest rate trends as a whole.
In recent years, you’ve probably gotten used to borrowing very inexpensively. But it appears those days are coming to an end.
The bottom line: Now is a great time to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best credit card rate.
It’s also a great time to get out of debt.
If you’re struggling to get out of credit card debt, visit our Solutions Center. We can point you toward a professional who will help you restore your credit or an expert who will get collectors off your back.
How do you feel about these trends? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.