Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of credit offers in the mail. A LOT. Some days, we have four or five offers in the mailbox. We have good credit, so it’s not surprising that our mailbox is flooded with offers. However, even those with less than stellar credit are starting to see an uptick in the offers they are getting. With the economy showing some signs of life, and since many people paid down debt during the recession, credit card issuers are venturing out there with offers.
However, not everyone is getting the same offers. Credit card issuers vary the offers according to your credit profile. Some of the card features that can change according to your credit include:
Almost all new credit card accounts come with interest rates that are higher than they used to be. Even if you have good credit, your interest rate could be 13.99% or 15.99%. Almost gone are the days when someone with good credit could see an offer for a credit card with 9.99% APR.
Other items related to interest rate are also affected by your credit profile. Someone with better credit can expect a 0% balance transfer offer, as well as a 0% purchase APR. The introductory period is often longer as well. Someone with slightly worse credit might see an intro APR of 1.99% or 3.99%, instead of 0%, and the intro period might be shorter too.
Cash Bonus Offers
Cash bonus offers are making a comeback — in a big way. Many cards offer $100, or even $200, bonuses when you make purchases within a certain time period. However, these plum cash bonus offers are usually only provided to those with good credit. Someone with poor credit might not get the same offer.
The same is true of other bonus offers. From miles to points to other perks, if you have good credit you are more likely to receive better bonus offers. These offers can save you money over time — if you qualify. Those with fair or poor credit, though, may not even get the chance to apply for credit cards with such generous bonuses.
Those with poor credit probably can’t expect to see the best rewards programs when they receive credit card offers, as they might not even be able to qualify for credit cards that offer rewards, especially the more generous rewards. Those with good credit, though, have the chance to sign up for credit cards that provide a variety of rewards options.
Poor Credit = Fewer Credit Card Choices
Even though you may be seeing more credit card offers in your mailbox, the truth is that poor credit means fewer credit card choices. Someone with good credit has more chances to find the card he or she wants. With poor credit, you are more likely to receive offers for high interest, high fee cards designed to help you rebuild your credit score. As a result, you might end up paying an annual fee, and other fees, as well as a high rate of interest.
If you want the best options for credit cards that can be used as tools, you will need to work on improving your credit situation.