Equifax recently reported that the number of credit cards are growing once again in the United States. For the past several years, and certainly in the midst of the new credit card compliance laws, credit card companies were keeping their offers close and were really cautious about who they approved. Now, though, Equifax is saying there’s been a 35% increase of new credit card approvals in the past twelve months alone.
Here’s where it becomes a bit convoluted: the unemployment numbers are still up and forecasters say July will be yet another tumultuous month for job seekers. And, of course, there exists the major problems brewing on Capital Hill.
Despite the fact of so many new credit cards being issued, folks aren’t using them. The past three years have shown a steady decline in credit card charges.
What to Do
If you are considering a new credit card offer because of its better terms and conditions than what you currently have, you might want to ensure it’s a cash back credit card. The fact is, an unpredictable economy is enough to keep many of us from traveling on vacations or other non-work related trips.
If you have a slew of travel rewards points, you run the risk of not using them. On the other hand, if you do find yourself boarding planes on a regular basis, naturally, travel credit cards are still your best choice. Along with cash back credit cards, gas rewards cards are another wise move. Even if we do cut back on air travel, most of us are still using our cars on a daily basis and in that way, every little bit helps.
Credit Card Recommendations
Of course, we’re not going to leave you with a barrel of bad news. There are still many great credit card offers to be had. You just have to determine which ones are going to best suit your needs – both today and in the long run.
First, we take a look at the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express. This rewards card has no annual fee and a 12 month 0% APR intro rate for all your purchases. Plus, you get 3% back at supermarkets, 2% back at gas stations and your favorite department stores and for everything else, you’ll get 1% back. You’re saving money every time your drive to your local supermarket! Finally, there’s also a referral program that pays you a $25 bonus for friends and family who apply and are approved.
For a cash back rewards card, the Discover More Card is a good place to start. It too offers a 0% intro APR for fifteen months. Along with traditional cash back categories, Discover brings it up a notch. Every three months, three new categories are announced that allow you to earn 5% cash back and if you appreciate the convenience of shopping online, you can earn an additional 20% cash back when you do so through the Discover network website.
Even if we’re not sure what lies ahead from an economic perspective, there are still things we can do that will help us weather tough financial days while keeping our credit scores intact.