The variety of card products and related rewards programshas been noted as a benefit to consumers as issuers attempt to grow theiraccounts on file.
“Right now is a really good time to be inthe market for a credit card because it’s so competitive,” said Matt Schulz,senior analyst with creditcards.com.
But Schulz said you need to choose wiselyso your credit card works for you.
“It’s about having a card and having a planthat fits the best with your lifestyle and maximizes the bang that you get fromeach of these cards,” he said. “So if you can get miles or points or cash backfor things you’ve been paying for years and years anyway and you are going toin the future, all the better.”
Credit card companies sent about4.2 billion direct mail offers to Americans last year, according to Mintel, aglobal market research firm. That’s up from 2012, when Americans received3.2 billion offers.
Issuers have clearly returned to the market in terms ofsolicitation volumes, and many account applications are generated online byconsumers going directly to issuer sites and to aggregator websites likecreditcards.com. However, credit card interest rates have remainedrelatively constant in the past two years(average close to 12% APR according tothe Federal Reserve) and issuers are still seeking the most creditworthyborrowers for their varied product offerings. As noted in the article,secured cards present a good first opportunity for those with no credithistory, or a damaged one. Recent Mercator research has found a widevariety of secured card product available on the market today.
Overview by Ken Paterson, VP of Research, Mercator Advisory Group
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