26 June 2009

Finding a Better Credit Card

I have seen people unwilling to drop their credit card company.  Even with all the advantages with changing.  I myself don’t want to try and get a new credit card until all my credit card debt is gone.  Since 1 brought 3 credit cards and my wife brought 2 credit cards to our marriage we have cards from Chase, Discover, HSBC, and Wells Fargo.  This leaves a few options for us.  We want to cut this down to 3 cards.  The Wells Fargo card is a backup funding source for our Wells Fargo checking account so we will not have any overdraft charges.  It makes the checking account we have a no fee account.  We don’t even have to use the card, just have it.

Not wanting a new credit card company but wanting better rewards than the 1% we get on the Discover, Chase, and 1 of 2 HSBC cards.  So we did some shopping around for a new card.  We compared all the different cards that Chase, HSBC, and Discover have.  I exported my transaction record from Mint.com to Excel.  This let me compare the rewards formulas against my spending.  I also compared some other cards not by these companies.

Most credit cards companies will change your rewards program over the phone faster than you can fill out an application for a new card.  We found that sticking with the Discover Classic Card i have*, has better rewards than the next best option of the Discover More card.  I was surprised to see this.  I figured changing was a better option.  The best card to match with the Discover was the Amazon card from Chase.  Changing cards can get us a 15% increase in reward payout.

There are advantages and disadvantages to keeping your same credit card company.  If you are (one of the few) getting good service you continue to get that good service.  You can be getting better rewards than what you have.  The length of credit on your credit report stays the same.  You can even change your rewards package with a balance.  No balance transfer often saves 3% of any balance.  Moving to another card can improve the service you get.  You get promotions for moving.  You can get better rewards.  You might get other perks as well.  Look within your own credit card companies when changing.  You might even be able to get the promotions.  But be warned, you will almost always lose any rewards (not cashback) you already have earned.

*You can no longer get this rewards package.  It was replaced with the Discover More rewards.

1 comment:

  1. The cards really suck because at the time of use you really dont realize that this thing gona kill my finances. But finding a good credit card is really tuff work.