4 Credit-Card Trends to Look For Right Now

Perhaps your credit card has an extremely high interest rate. Or maybe your rewards program doesn’t really match up to your spending habits. If you’re in the market for a new card, you’re in luck. Credit is loosening and it’s likely that you’ll see an increase of new card offers from banks in 2013. What else can you expect from credit-card issuers this year? Read on.

More balance-transfer offers.

It wasn’t just a booming housing market and a skyrocketing stock market that disappeared with the recession of 2008. Credit-card companies basically got rid of their 0% APR balance transfer offers, too.  But they’ve recently made a comeback—and you’re likely to see more than ever in 2013. “Credit card issuers know that people make New Year’s resolutions, and one of those vows usually includes getting out of debt,” says credit-card expert and consumer advocate Beverly Harzog. If you’re carrying a balance, taking advantage of one of these offers can be a great way to get rid of your debt.

No swipe fees.

A recent court ruling gave credit-card issuers the ability to pass along transaction costs—a.k.a. swipe fees—to consumers. But there’s no reason to think that you’ll be paying more simply to pay with your plastic this year. Big-box retailers Walmart and Target have pledged to continue conducting their business as usual. And because of the negative publicity that would almost certainly result, it’s highly unlikely that other merchants will charge you a swipe fee, either.

More secure cards.

Credit cards with a smart chip—literally a little gold chip the size of a fingernail that’s embedded on the front of the card—are the norm in Europe. But they’re just starting to make an appearance in the United States. According to a Nilson report, in 2011, only 1 million Visa cards (out of 234.1 million) in the U.S. were equipped with chips. But you can expect to see more of these cards hit the marketplace this year because “credit cards with chips are much more secure than the cards with magnetic strips and Visa and MasterCard are transferring liability for fraud away from themselves and to merchants,” says Harzog.

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An explosion of credit-card apps.

These days, what would we do without our smartphones? Regardless of where we are on the planet, they literally put the world at our fingertips. In addition to using an app to make a smart purchasing decision and for banking, it’s likely that in the upcoming year, you’ll use one to find a credit card. Glyph is a free app that can help you figure out which piece of plastic you should use to get the most out of your rewards program.

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