Why people need to shop their credit cards and how to pick the best one for you

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Why people need to shop their credit cards and how to pick the best one for you
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25 million cardholders haven’t changed their card in 10 years

According to a new CreditCards.com report out today, 25 million credit cardholders haven’t changed their credit cards in almost 10 years, and another 20 million have never changed it. 

A national phone survey of U.S. cardholders revealed that 56% of people have at least one major credit card, and that they prefer rewards and cash back over other perks. 

But, a majority of cardholders haven’t shopped around for a different card — saying they’ve relied on the same card year after year. A whopping 31% of seniors have been using the same card most often for at least a decade and 20% have never changed it. Plus, over 25% of people between the ages of 30 and 49 haven’t changed their go-to credit card in at least six years.

Consumer advocates say this isn’t the best strategy when it comes to sign-up bonuses and other rewards. 

‘Not looking at new loyalty programs or periodically taking advantage of other card offers means you might be missing out on valuable credit benefits,’ explained Jeff Berry, editor-in-chief for Colloquy, a consumer loyalty research organization.

Read more: A plan to raise your credit score in 2016

Competition means more rewards and bonuses for you

Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst, says that the competition among credit card companies is fierce, which is good news for your wallet! 

‘The truth is that loyalty doesn’t pay when it comes to credit cards,” Schulz said. “It is especially true with rewards because the quickest way to rack up rewards is to sign up for a new card with a big signup bonus. That means that if you haven’t gotten a new card in the last five years or more, you’ve missed out on a tremendous amount of possible rewards.’

It may be no surprise that rewards are cardholders’ favorite feature, with 35% of all cardholders saying so. The second most popular feature (23%) was the card being widely accepted, and the next best feature (21%) was a card having a low interest rate.

How to find a great credit card

If you haven’t changed your credit card in some time, you’re probably leaving rewards on the table.

To find the best credit card for you, go to CreditCardTuneUp.com and enter the parameters for the features you want. 

And when you switch, don’t forget to leave old accounts open to help your credit score. 

Read more: Costco’s card move from American Express to Visa: What you need to know

Best cash back cards

Clark’s two favorite credit cards right now for cash back are the Citi Double Cash Card and the Fidelity Visa reward card.

Citi Double Cash Card benefits:

  • APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 13% to 23% after that, depending on creditworthiness
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limit

Fidelity Visa rewards card benefits:

  • APR: 14.24%, depending on creditworthiness
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limit

But keep in mind to always use caution with credit cards. The biggest trick in order to avoid getting into trouble with credit cards is this: Always be sure to pay the balance in full each month.

Read more: 3 things you should never pay for with a credit card!

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