It’s really amazing that this day and age we still receive mail, considering that mostly what we get on a daily basis is junk mail. Sure, we get the occasional greeting card or invitation in the mail, but besides that it really consists of coupons, ads, and probably what you receive the most, whether you have good credit or not, credit card offers. These can be in the form of blank envelopes to make it look like it’s important, much like we used to receive decades ago with Ed McMahon on the cover, thinking that we won just about every time we received something, which obviously turned out to not be the case, which turned out to be a long-running joke, which I totally forgot about until right this second.
Tricking You with Interest Rates
When it comes to having a credit card, the interest rate is pretty much the most important part of having that particular card. Unless you have poor credit and are having trouble getting approved for a lower interest rate, with so much competition these days it makes no sense to continue to charge on a card with a high interest rate. So many of the offers that come in the mail have low interest rates, but make sure you read the fine print and see that it depends on credit approval.
Making Your Feel Part of the Elite
I think of that George Clooney movie, “Up in the Air”, when I think of the cards with the elite status. He traveled, what, a million miles around just to get that prestigious card, when what did it bring him? Nothing. That’s exactly what happens when you receive the offers in the mail for the “gold” or “platinum” cards. It has nothing to do with the name of the card, so don’t let that be a deciding factor in applying for the card or not. The decision should be based on interest rate and credit card rewards offered.
Not Living Up to the Rewards
I’ve seen a lot of offers come through as of late that if you open an account you will get a statement credit of a couple hundred dollars. Sure, that free money is nice and maybe you could buy a few things that you have been wanting for that much, but if you read the fine print, you have to hit a certain spending amount each month for a few months in order to get the credit. Sure, it makes sense on their part to make sure you’re vested in their card, but these minimum spending limits may not fit your budget and can be hard to hit.
Pretending You’re Special
The way the credit card companies make the offers, it seems like by receiving you are one of the few who are able to take advantage of this great offer, but that is actually not the case. I guess by opening the offer to this point is already a win in their book, as otherwise it would have gotten thrown away in the trash along with the other offers. Just know that if you see “special offer” or “you have been chosen”, it is actually too good to be true, and by the time you apply, it’s likely you will not receive what they’re offering in the first place.
Try to Mold Young Minds
Now what started me off on using a credit card was a free t-shirt signup during the first week of college, which seemed like a good idea at the time; start to build up credit and get my school’s shirt at the same time. Good marketing on their part, because since then my credit limit continue to rise and they wanted me to continue charging. While they are sort of rewarding you by having a good credit history, but at the same time they are testing you with more money available to spend with.
Pulling on Your Heart Strings
There are so many types of cards out there that now you can even get cards where a portion goes towards your favorite charity. What started out as many putting your favorite sports team on the card itself, thinking it was cool to have the logo on your card, but as that wears off, you should also be careful to what portion goes to the charity. Sure, they may donate, but if your interest rate is high, you could actually get a different card with a lower interest rate and donate more yourself, and get a tax write off at the same time.