Should You Get a New Credit Card in 2023? Ask Yourself These Questions to Decide
- It's important to have the right credit card to maximize your benefits.
- Asking yourself if your habits have changed and other key questions can help you decide if you should apply for a new card in 2023.
Would a new card make sense in the new year?
Carrying the right credit card can benefit your finances in a number of important ways, from helping you earn rewards to enabling you to save on interest charges.
Unfortunately, many people stick with the status quo and don't explore their options when it comes to credit cards. You don't want to be one of them.
With a new year approaching fast, asking yourself six key questions could help you decide if 2023 is the time to finally add a new card to your wallet.
1. Have your spending habits changed?
A good rewards card can enable you to earn lots of points, cash back, or miles for spending you would have to do anyway. But in order to maximize the rewards you earn, you want a card that has a bonus program that's matched to your spending habits.
For example, if you tend to spend most of your money on groceries, you may want to look for a card offering bonus cash back or points at the grocery store. But if you're a frequent traveler, it may be more important for your bonus rewards to come from flight or hotel purchases.
If your spending habits have changed since you signed up for your existing rewards card, it makes sense to see if a new card might be a better fit.
2. Are you using your card's benefits?
Many cards offer benefits beyond just rewards. For example, you might get airline lounge access, purchase protection, rental car insurance, an extended warranty, or a host of other cardholder perks.
If you aren't using the extra benefits your card offers, then it may be worth switching to a different card that has features you would actually appreciate. That's especially true if you are paying an annual fee for a card that's no longer worth it.
3. Will you need to borrow for any purchases?
If you expect to carry a balance on your credit card, then the most important thing you can do is make sure your APR is as low as possible. If your current card has a typical high rate (as most credit cards do), then you may want to look into signing up for a new card that offers an introductory 0% APR. That way, you could finance your purchases over the year and not pay any interest on them.
Just be sure you have a plan to pay back what you're borrowing before financing charges kick in -- and don't borrow so much that you end up in over your head.
4. Could a balance transfer help you repay debt?
If you currently have credit card debt at a high rate, applying for a new balance transfer card might help you reduce your payback cost. A balance transfer card typically comes with a 0% APR for a number of months. While you pay a small fee to transfer your balance, qualifying for this 0% rate could be well worth signing up for a new card.
5. Have you checked out credit card bonus offers lately?
Many cards offer bonus offers for new customers, such as $500 in extra cash back if you spend a certain amount within three months of account opening. If you haven't opened a new card to get a bonus offer in a while, it may be worth looking into deals that are out there. If you can get a free airline ticket or some extra cash just for opening a new card, you may decide that makes sense for you.
6. Will you be taking out any large loans?
Finally, consider whether you'll be taking out a large loan such as a mortgage or car loan. If you are planning that, you may want to hold off on opening a new card. Doing so could hurt your credit score temporarily by reducing your average age of credit and leaving you with an inquiry on your credit record. And it's not worth the chances of paying a higher rate on these larger loans.
By asking yourself these six questions, you can make a smart choice about whether to open a new card in 2023. If you decide to move forward with opening a new account, be sure you do your research to find the right one for you.
Our picks for 2024's best credit cards
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