Credit cards are complicated creatures. Once seen as a last resort for payments for big purchases, or something only used by people planning on heading deeper into debt, they are now in very common use and can actually bring benefits and rewards if they are used carefully. So it is always a good idea to keep an eye on your credit card situation, avoid credit complacency and check out whether you could be getting a better deal on your credit card. For example, you may think you are paying too much interest, or a good introductory offer may have reached the end of its life. Some people choose to switch to a 0% balance transfer offer to reduce monthly repayment amounts.
All of these are good and valid reasons for wanting to switch, but there are ways and means of doing this that will help you to properly manage your finances. Don’t just cut your old card up; the account will still be open and will still need attention. If you open a new account without closing your old one, you’ll just be left with two credit cards to manage, which is not the purpose of the exercise.
Compare, compare, compare
First of all, you need to see if there is a better alternative out there. It could be that your existing card will serve you best, but you might be able to find one that offers rewards such as cash back or travel points or 0% on balance transfers and purchases for a certain length of time. So do your homework, check out some comparison sites and see what’s out there to suit you. Then you need to apply for your chosen card. These days, this can usually be done online, although you can also contact the credit card provider directly if you prefer. You will need to let them know if you are planning to transfer a balance from an existing credit card.
Once you’ve received your new card and PIN (which are usually sent separately) you need to sign and activate the card as soon as possible. Next, you should contact the new provider to let them know the details of where you are transferring your balance from. It’s usually a good idea to let them do this for you, as it avoids complication.
You’ll need to wait to hear that your balance has been successfully transferred before you take any further action. Once you get this confirmation, you can decide what to do with your old credit cards. You may have transferred a balance from just one card or consolidated several into your new balance. Either way, decide whether you will still use your old account or accounts and close down any that you think have served their purpose.
Don’t forget you’ll need to cancel any regular payments from your old credit card, so get in touch with any companies you pay using this method and let them know your new details as soon as possible.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.