Credit cards are very useful to many Florida residents and others throughout the country. Credit card companies often initiate changes in their programs and offerings to attract new customers. Sometimes the changes are beneficial to customers, but others may result in higher fees and costs. While credit card debt remains a serious issue for many cardholders, many borrowers continue to apply for new cards. A personal finance website recently offered some insight on several trends in the industry that are important to consider if seeking additional accounts.
Credit card companies traditionally have offered rewards such as free airline miles or hotel stays. However, many are looking at more basic rewards, such as cash back. The industry recognizes that consumers can use extra cash for a variety of expenses rather than getting travel perks. While this is a positive trend, another one cited in the report is not welcome news.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates at the end of 2016. Rising rates could result in consumers paying more interest on their credit card debt. Experts recommend paying full balances each month or moving the balance to a zero percent annual percentage rate account.
Another trend in the industry includes growth in the subprime market. Though the number of consumers with subprime credit that have credit cards is at a high level, card issuers are more selective in granting accounts or determining credit limits. The report also indicates that access to accounts has become much smoother due to most consumers owning smartphones. While there are many apps that allow purchases and redemption of rewards, experts warn against allowing convenience to cause overspending a budget.
When credit card debt goes out of control, many consumers feel overwhelmed and don’t know what action to take. Often, Florida residents turn to an attorney familiar with bankruptcy law for assistance. An experienced lawyer can evaluate each situation and determine the best course of action for someone to regain control of his or her financial situation.
Source: marketwatch.com, “4 credit card trends to watch this year“, Claire Tsosie, March 3, 2017