Together, credit card issuers mail out more than 3 billion solicitations a year and spend millions marketing to you. Visa and its brethren are certainly everywhere you want them to be. And in some places they don't belong.
With more than 30,000 credit card programs among the five major brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Diners Club), there's no reason to stick with any bad cards that you've been dealt.
So, how do you sort through the 1,738 credit card come-ons you got this week alone, coming at you via the mail, TV, and e-mail? Read on.
If you are carrying a balance, a low introductory interest rate is a nice way to get ahead and pay down your debt faster. First call your current lender and ask for a lower interest rate. If that doesn't work, start shopping around. Use this free Get Out of Debt guide to find ways to pay it off even faster.
Do you never carry a balance, always pay on time, and make complete stops at every stop sign? Well, aren't you a goody-goody. We like that! The credit card world is your oyster (or kingdom, if you're allergic to seafood). Look for a card that offers perks -- like airline miles, or cold, hard cash -- for your pristine credit ways. (If you fancy a court jester in your wallet, see if our Fool card does the trick.)
If you occasionally carry a balance, spread your spending across a number of cards, or pay cash, look for a card that can help organize your spending. Some billing statements are better than others. If there's a standout -- one that helps categorize your purchases and analyze your spending patterns -- consider canceling your subpar cards and sticking to that one.