When is the last time you gave a thought to your credit card? A surprising 25 million consumers have held their favorite credit card for at least 10 years. Another 20 million have never changed their preferred card, according to CreditCards.com.
That could be a mistake, especially with the variety of cards, rates, terms and fees available today. Ask yourself these questions to find out if your card is still meeting your needs:
1. Do I usually carry a balance? If you generally carry a balance from month to month, you may want to look for a card with the lowest interest rate for which you qualify. Here’s why: the average card balance is nearly $7,500 for those who carry a balance, according to CreditCards.com. Suppose you owe $7,500, the interest rate is 19.5%, you make no further purchases and you pay off the balance in about three years. You’d pay nearly $2,500 in interest. With a rate of 10.5% over about the same period, total interest drops to just over $1,100.
2. Do I pay off my balance each month? If you rarely or never carry a balance, the interest rate on your card may not be as important. You may prefer a card with rewards, no fees, a high credit limit or other features.
3. Do I pay an annual fee? If you have a card that provides generous rewards and you take advantage of them, it may be worthwhile to pay an annual fee. However, you may want to switch to a no-fee card if:
- rewards aren’t as important to you.
- you don’t charge enough to earn significant rewards.
- you’re paying a higher annual fee than you earn in rewards.
4. Am I earning the right kind of rewards? If your card restricts you to airline miles but you don’t travel much, or if they’re too difficult to redeem, you may want to look at a more flexible card that lets you choose the rewards you prefer.
5. Do I travel overseas often? Some credit cards charge foreign transaction fees of up to 3% of overseas credit card purchases. Consider a card with no foreign transaction fee if you often travel abroad.
6. Am I paying high rates on multiple cards? If so, you may want to look into transferring balances onto one low-rate card with no balance transfer fee. You may end up with a more affordable monthly payment as well as pay less in total interest.
Dare to Compare
Still looking for the right card? Navy Federal offers a range of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, no balance transfer fees and no annual fees. Whatever your needs, you can find a card to fit your lifestyle. Compare your options here.