The credit card market is officially booming: here’s what it means for you

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It is a bad idea not to stay up to date with credit card news today. And by “bad idea” I mean it’s terrible for your wallet because of all the hiccups it will have to do.

The credit card market is hot right now. As the country slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the credit card world has quickly shifted from cautious watch to total overdrive.

What this means for you as a cardholder is that you can enjoy exceptional value from all of the new offers: think free plane tickets, quick pooling of discounts, and more. money in your account and exciting new benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on with credit cards and how you can take advantage of the current situation.

What happened in the credit card space

New credit cards

From July, new credit card offers started to sprout up like mushrooms after a rain. This is where the competition among issuers became most evident.

We have seen the bar rise in every category of cards.

I think Wells Fargo deserves a special mention. The issuer intends to revamp its line of credit cards to make it more competitive. So far he has done a fantastic job.

The issuer launched the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ card with 2% cash back on all purchases – the highest rate among flat rate cards – and announced the Wells Fargo Reflect card ℠, which offers a cutting-edge balance transfer offer. . The Reflect comes with up to 21 months of an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers (followed by a variable APR of 12.99% to 24.99%), an offer that is second to none. than by Citi.

Speaking of Citi, it turned out to be quite innovative with the Citi Custom Cash℠ card, which launched in early summer. Its flexible 5% cash back category — up to $ 500 on purchases made in the category you spend the most each billing cycle — can fit seamlessly into more than one type of credit card strategy. credit. Whether you’re a cardholder who doesn’t want the high maintenance of rotating categories or doesn’t mind doing extra work to maximize cashback, Citi Custom Cash is a solid choice.

For those new to credit or working on their credit scores, there are also exciting new products available. Bank of America launched attractive secure versions of its rewards credit cards, Capital One announced a highly rewarding student credit card suite, and Chase replaced the old Chase Slate card with the Chase Slate Edge℠ *, which encourages good credit behavior.

Finally, there has also been some business credit card activity, with Chase launching the World of Hyatt corporate credit card and Bank of America launching the Bank of America Business Advantage unlimited cash rewards.

Needless to say, that does a lot of things in the space of four months.

Take-out

If your ideal credit card isn’t on the market yet, stay tuned, it might show up soon.

Credit card issuers design new products based on what they find in demand among their customers, and they try to deliver it better than their competitors. With so many issuers launching new cards, as the consumer, you are a winner.

Keep an eye out for announcements of new cards as these new products may serve you better and be much more competitive than what is currently in your wallet.

Positive changes to existing credit card products

If we look back I would say the credit card boom became apparent around May when Capital One increased rewards and added new cash back categories to the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card. * and the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards credit card. Both of these cards were already popular and could offer a lot of value to the right cardholder. With the new changes, however, Savor cards have become even more lucrative.

In July, American Express followed suit and enhanced the American Express Platinum Card®, one of its most iconic products. The card got a ton of new perks, including countless annual statement credits, which the issuer has been adding ever since. In October, the American Express Business Platinum Card® received similar new benefits. The changes, however, have come with higher annual fees.

This was not the case for Chase. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve also received new rewards and benefits, but kept the same annual cost. Now, Sapphire Cardholders can earn even more on select travel and daily purchases, and the Preferred Card enjoys an annual credit of $ 50 on hotel statement and a 10% bonus points. anniversary, rare features for a card that only charges $ 95 per year.

Take-out

What does this mean to you? There is a lot of competition in today’s credit card market, and the major issuers are fighting for your business.

This is great news for you as a cardholder. If you stay on top of these changes, you may find that you can get more value from the cards in your wallet or decide to apply for a newly revamped card that can now offer more than before.

Exceptional sign-up bonus

A big sign up bonus is a great opportunity for a cardholder to easily earn a huge amount of rewards and for an issuer to attract more new customers.

Since credit card issuers have clearly been striving to achieve the latter goal, signup bonuses bear witness to this.

In June, Chase Sapphire Preferred announced its highest welcome offer yet: 100,000 points for spending $ 4,000 in the first three months with the card (no longer available). To put that in perspective, that’s $ 1,250 in travel when used through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Thanks to this bonus, I booked round trip tickets to Mexico for myself and my mom (she flies from Moscow, Russia) and I still had over 20,000 points left to save almost $ 300 in accommodation costs.

Of course, American Express couldn’t stay behind. Less than a month later, the issuer also increased the Amex Platinum welcome offer to 100,000 points.

Chase recently reduced the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred to 60,000 points for spending $ 4,000 in the first three months, but you can still earn 100,000 points with the Amex Platinum.

Take-out

Earning a signup bonus is an important part of a rewards credit card strategy. If you like to travel with points and miles, you don’t want to miss out on the most generous offers. They might not last long, and it’s unclear when and if they will return.

For this reason, keep an eye out for current welcome bonuses. I suggest you check CardMatch regularly, where you can get personalized offers from participating issuers almost instantly without impacting your credit score. You can even get a higher bid on some cards this way if you qualify.

What to expect next

In the near future, the credit card industry is expected to continue to grow, supported by continued growth lower unemployment rate, pent-up post-pandemic demand and fierce competition between issuers.

It can be assumed that we will see even more new products, especially in the area of ​​travel credit cards, as more and more people feel ready to travel again. If you are also prepared, I recommend that you keep up with the latest travel credit card news. As the rewards and benefits of credit cards improve for all types of consumers, we may soon be experiencing something exciting.

I’m also curious to see how credit card issuers that haven’t been so active will react to these trends. For example, Discover has traditionally offered very rewarding products in a few popular categories. Today, however, these products face much greater competition. Will the issuer work on their credit card suite to keep pace?

I can’t wait to see the sequel, both as a credit card writer and as someone who loves nothing more than paying for things with points and cash back.

The bottom line

Is there a credit card version of the fear of missing out? If not, it’s time to find one.

In a massive shift from cautious strategies during a pandemic, credit card issuers are going all out, upgrading their products, creating better new cards, and offering mind-blowing sign-up bonuses, to boot.

It’s a great time to be a card holder. If you aren’t up to date with credit card news, you might want to change that. Otherwise, you risk missing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars of potential value.

* All Capital One Savor Cash Rewards and Chase Slate Edge℠ credit card information has been independently collected by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

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