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Credit Card Deals: How to Get "Hooked Up"

If you haven't seen some of the killer no annual fee credit cards that have recently hit the market, you're missing out on all the fun. But why are there so many great deals this year, and who's getting the "hookup" if you're not? As the WSJ recently reported, "Many issuers feel emboldened to issue more credit cards because delinquencies and defaults have been down significantly in recent months." Interestingly enough, those who are receiving direct mail advertisements for the best credit card offers are not your run-of-the-mill consumers though.

In fact, most of them have combined annual incomes of $75,000 or more. The data also indicates that most of those who have been issued solicitation have managed to keep up with their credit card payments throughout the financial crisis.  This means that only the top tier of card users is actually seeing these credit card offers. So what about consumers whose average combined annual income is about $44,000 instead of $75,000?  If this is you, don't expect to get the best credit card offers in your mailbox.  It's probably not going to happen.  But who really cares what shows up in the mail anyway? You should see this as a blessing since your mailbox isn't getting filled with stacks of credit card applications!  The fact is we all enjoy the benefits of modern technology, and searching for the best credit card deals online is a much better option. There's even a good chance you can get access to the same offers others may be receiving via direct mail.  Fortunately for the credit card issuers, there's still a 1% to 2% return rate on direct mailers, but hopping online to compare credit card deals is definitely the best option for consumers these days. Here are a few of the reasons I would much rather compare credit card offers online before signing up for anything I received in the mail:

  1. There is more transparency online.  Even reading the "fine print" in a legible size is possible!
  2. You can easily read consumer reviews and compare other offers from competing credit issuers.
  3. Pre-qualification and approvals can occur immediately instead of waiting for the snail mail.

The next time you're considering the need for a better credit card in your wallet, don't sit around waiting for something to show up in the mail.  Take your search online and find the perfect credit card that fits your lifestyle and financial situation.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / digieye

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Logan Abbott's picture

Logan Abbott is a personal finance and credit card expert with over 5 years of experience writing about each topic. He is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, and also contributes to other online finance publications. He has been quoted in the New York Times, San Diego Union Tribune, TheStreet, and more.

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