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February 9, 2007    

Making a Credit Card Change

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by Kathyrn Lang

Making a Credit Card Change

“We should get a credit card that gives us rewards of some kind.” My husband had been talking with his co-workers and it seems they had come to this conclusion.

I didn’t even bother to remind him that this was the same suggestion I had been making every month for the last six months. It’s just sometimes easier to smile and agree.

“Yes dear. You have a great idea there.”

Now it’s up to me to decide just which card is the one that will be a perfect fit for our family. The following are some of the most common programs around.

CASH BACK – There are a few companies that have cards available that will actually give you money back at the end of the year. For every dollar you charge, you get a percentage of that back. Cash is always good. The problem is that there are usually restrictions on which purchases actually count towards the cash back total. There is often a cap on how much can be earned as well.

MILES - If you or your family does a lot of traveling this could be the best credit card choice. For each dollar you spend, you earn a mile. When there are enough miles, you can cash them in for an airplane ticket. Many companies give large miles bonuses when you first sign with there company, so you can renew faster than if you were just using your own charges. Beware of cards that have a limit on when you can use the miles.
Another new thing with miles is that some credit card companies are now letting them be used for other vacation needs – like rental cars and accommodations.

REWARDS - This is like a combination of the other two credit card programs. You earn points for your purchases that can be renewed for purchases online, for trips, or for any number of things. There can be limits on how many points can be accumulated. Some companies also rotate which purchases can count towards the earning of rewards points.

With all the credit card options available to me, I’m not rushing into a new relationship this time. I intent to shop around, talk to friends and family, and read a lot of fine print. We’ve worked to get our credit rating where it is, and I intend to maintain it and use it for our greatest benefit.

There are other factors that consumers should consider when thinking about changing the credit card carried in a purse or wallet. Here is a site with a great article for helping you get into the right frame of mind for choosing a credit card.

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