If you’ve had the same credit card for almost a year but are hesitant if you should get a new one, these three questions might help you decide.
The average Canadian will hold onto their credit card(s) for up to 10 years. If this sounds like you, it might be time to start doing some research about new credit cards that are on the market, or else you could miss out on some great money-saving opportunities.
If you’ve had the same credit card for almost a year but are hesitant if you should get a new one, these three questions might help you decide:
1. Are you planning to make a major purchase soon?
If you’re applying for a large loan like a mortgage or auto financing, we suggest waiting to get a new credit card until after. Every time you apply for a credit card or a loan, inquiries are made to your credit history. Multiple credit checks on your account will drive down your score, and considering large loans are often approved based on your credit score, the last thing you’ll want is to have a low score before applying to major loans.
However, if you’re planning on making a large purchase that doesn’t involve taking out a loan, putting your purchase on a new credit card might be a great way for you to save money. Look for credit cards that offer 0% APR for the first year so that you can focus on paying off your purchase instead of worrying about paying for accumulated interest rates.
2. How many credit cards do you have?
If you only have a couple credit cards that you’ve been holding onto for the last few years, it might be time for you to consider adding another to lower your credit utilization ratio. Credit utilization ratio is the available amount of credit that you have versus your debt load. Opening a new credit card will give you more available credit, which in turn could help boost your overall credit score as you’ve got more available funds compared to debt.
Increasing your amount of credit could also help you spread out your debts. Any credit card debt that you’re struggling to pay off can be transferred to your new credit card, which will help ensure that each one of your cards remains under the limit. By doing so, you won’t be getting charged with extra fees or high interest rates.
3. What are your payment habits?
Depending on your payment habits, upgrading your credit card to one that offers reward programs or lower interest rates could put a huge amount of saved money back in your pocket. Having a credit card that naturally aligns with your spending habits will help you earn points towards travelling, gas and other expenses. If you’ve been responsibly paying off your credit card for several months, you’re likely eligible for a credit card that offers lower interest rates and fees, which means more money in your savings account and less handed over to your bank.
With interest rates forever fluctuating and new credit programs hitting the market, it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes out for new offers. However, almost every bank requires that your credit score and history be in good standing before you can be approved to open a new line of credit. Luckily for us, there are credit cards available for Canadians who have low or no credit. Balance transfer cards or secure credit cards are just a couple options that could help you better manage your finances.