Run a web search for credit card deals and you'll find more than you can handle. Is it really a deal? What are you actually going to get out of it? How do you know the credit card deals you've found are real?
Is there a chance I'm looking at a scam?
There's always a chance. However, companies that offer legitimate credit cards deals far outnumber those that are out to fleece you. Pay attention and just remember, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
I tend to carry a balance on my cards, what kind of credit card deals should I be looking for?
In that case, your first concern should be interest rates. The credit card deals that will benefit you most are those that penalize you least for carrying a balance. Many web sites publish lists of the lowest available interest rates.
What if I've already stretched my credit more than a little?
Straightening out your credit by borrowing more money, is a neat trick if you can manage it. Balance transfers and other types of credit card deals could be of some help. Before engaging in anything that might put you deeper in debt, you should always seek the advice of an expert.
I pay my balance every month, what should I look for?
That depends on what you want to get. Companies offering credit card deals make more money when the cards are actually used. A percentage of every purchase goes directly to the credit company. To encourage more use, they offer incentives.
What about frequent flyer miles?
How much do you fly? Is it enough to make it worthwhile? Try to find credit card deals which allow you to choose your own airline. Watch out for blackout dates.
Is a gas card a good idea?
Gas cards are nearly always tied to a particular fuel provider. Be sure to choose one whose credit card deals are available at stations you already use. Gas cards can return as much as 10% on qualified purchases.
How about cards tied to a particular store?
Credit card deals tied to a particular store generally offer two rebate rates: one for purchases from the affiliated store, and a lower one for other purchases. Some offer discounted merchandise rather than a cash rebate.
Can I really get cash back?
A company offering credit card deals always takes their percentage. If they offer cash back, they are returning a portion of that percentage. The company still has use of the money until the rebate is cashed. With the volume being lent, they still make their profit.
What if I can't get credit?
Banks make more money by extending credit than they risk. If they didn't, they wouldn't offer credit card deals at all. Consider finding a co-signer, or look into a secured line of credit.
What else should I be on the watch for?
Anniversary dates are an important facet of credit card deals. Itâ€™s important to know if your returns are tied to the date of your signing with the lender, or to an arbitrary calendar date.
If you keep your eyes open, and don't overextend yourself, credit can be an important tool. Credit card deals are offered for a reason, to get you to use credit. When used wisely, both sides can benefit.