If you search online, you will find that the world of credit card users is always abuzz with strategies and tricks. There are whole forums and publications dedicated to obtaining the best cards, improving your credit score, and finding the greatest perks. For some, it is an obsession.
This is in normal times! Imagine what is happening in a year like 2020 when society is going through so much turmoil and change.
How does this impact your credit card? Are there opportunities or risks on the horizon? Should you change your spending behaviour at all?
In some ways, we cannot know what the future holds. This year is that chaotic. But the following tips and advice will help you dig into a few of these questions and try to navigate the choppy waters ahead.
1. Keep Watch of Banks Changing Their Credit Strategy
As we continue to see more and more economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, some financial firms are starting to get cold feet. They are worried about their risk profile and how much credit risk is sitting on their books.
What does this mean for you? Well, certain companies may be dialling back the amount of new credit they issue and there are some reports that a few banks are either trying to claw back credit line increases while also pulling balance transfer offers. For now, the landscape hasn’t changed drastically. But there could be more changes ahead as the world continues to feel the pinch.
2. Look for Exclusive and Member Options for New Cards
Regardless of the health crisis, there are still great options for anyone looking for new cards. And certain banks, financial services institutions, and issuers only offer credit cards to specific people. Others give exclusive perks, rewards, and discounted rates to some groups. This can be reserved for specific countries and regions or determined through membership in certain unions, trade associations, or other cultural organizations.
USAA, for example, specializes in serving members of the military and veterans with credit cards and rewards tailored specifically to them. So before you just go out and accept an offer from any provider, think about how you might be able to get an even better deal based upon some affiliation you have.
3. Search Out Perks for Online Shopping and Specific Retailers
Now that most people are going out less often, you’re probably making fewer transactions overall. That may be great for your bank account — and waistline — in the sense that you’re not going out to as many restaurants. But conducting fewer transactions makes it even more important to get as much bang for your buck as possible in terms of rewards.
What type of perks or points do you get? If it’s straight cashback, it might not matter exactly where you do your online shopping. But some cards offer big benefits for buying from specific merchants online, such as Amazon or Walmart. Others may have partnerships with companies like Nike or Apple. Perhaps you would have gone into these stores in the past to buy your sneakers, but look at all the details of your card and you may find ways to pick up more points by getting what you need online.
The Changing Landscape of 2020
The whole world is going through an unprecedented crisis. Every day we wake up to more strange news and sad stories. And just like everything else, the financial services world is experiencing great upheaval.
So far, there hasn’t been a massive change for the industry. But you should be on the lookout for any big moves from banks, stay on watch for exclusive offers and discounts, and try to direct your spending toward the places that give you the most rewards.