Though I have a number of credit cards in my name, there’s one card in particular that I consider my go-to card. It’s the card I use for most purchases, large and small, and the card I put my recurring bills on. You might have a similar card that you use frequently. But if the following things apply to you, it might be time for you to get yourself a new card.
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1. You’re not accruing much in the way of rewards
The thing I like about my favorite credit card is that it comes with a generous amount of cash back on the purchases I make often — things like groceries and gas. But if you’re not managing to snag a lot of reward points or cash back on your card, then it may be time to swap it for one that comes with either a better program, or one that aligns better with your lifestyle.
2. You’re paying an annual fee but not getting much in return
Sometimes, it makes sense to get a credit card that comes with an annual fee. Often, paying that fee will make it possible for you to snag an even greater amount of rewards points or other perks that save you money. A travel rewards card that charges a fee, for example, might also give you free checked bags on airlines. And if you fly frequently, that fee could more than pay for itself. However, if you’re currently paying an annual fee but aren’t getting much in return, then it may be time to look into a new credit card with no annual fee — or one that offers rewards that make its fee worthwhile.
3. Your credit card company is difficult to reach, or the customer service is poor
Years ago, I was a few days late making a credit card payment because something had glitched and the monthly email I’d normally get informing me that my bill was due never showed up in my inbox. Rather than work with me — an account holder in good standing who had never made a late payment in the course of many years — my credit card issuer decided to keep my late fee in place. So I immediately dumped that card and got a new one, because poor customer service wasn’t something I was willing to deal with. Similarly, if you have a credit card where the customer service department is tough to get a hold of, or isn’t helpful, it could pay for you to get a different credit card, too.
4. The interest rate on your card is very high
Credit card companies make money when you carry a balance over time and accrue interest charges on it. But if your credit card charges a higher interest rate than other cards out there, that alone could be a good reason to switch. After all, why pay more to borrow when there are less expensive cards available? In an ideal world, you’d pay off your credit card in full each month and not carry a balance to begin with. But the reality is that you may have situations where carrying a balance becomes necessary, and that’s when a lower interest rate could be crucial.
Holding onto the same credit card for a long time could help your credit score improve or remain in good shape. But at some point, it could pay to get rid of a card and replace it with a new one, especially if the above situations apply to you. That said, if you’re not paying a fee for your go-to credit card, you might as well hang onto it even once you replace it. Keeping that account open could help your credit score avoid taking a hit, and it never hurts to have a backup card in case you run up against your new card’s spending limit.
Read More: 4 Signs You Need a New Credit Card