Money Minutes | General Electric Credit Union Blog | Financial Resources

New Year, New Credit Card – New Opportunities!

Jan 7, 2022 | 5 minute read

credit card

Welcome to 2022! The best resolutions benefit you long after the ball drops. A simple one to consider is opening another credit card. If you’ve been playing around with the idea of doing so, below are a few indications it’s the right move for you. When used wisely, credit cards can play an important role in your financial success throughout the year.

Signs It’s Time for a New Credit Card

1. You Only Have One

Did you know opening another credit card could actually improve your credit score? By increasing your overall credit limit, you can improve your credit utilization rate – the amount of credit available to you vs. what you’re actually using. Lenders like to see a rate of under 30%. Anything higher will affect your creditworthiness, as it indicates you’re too dependent on credit.

Say you owe $500 on a credit card with a limit of $1,000. This would make your credit utilization rate 50% -- much higher than the rule of thumb. By opening a second card with a limit of $5,000, you’ll owe $500 across a total credit limit of $6,000. As a result, your utilization rate would drop to around 8%.

Consider opening a second credit card a few months before making a big purchase, such as a home or car. Applying for credit will trigger a hard inquiry, which temporarily lowers your credit score. In time, you’ll reap the credit-boosting benefits and look more attractive to lenders. They’ll see you’re not dependent on credit and that you can responsibly manage multiple cards at once.

Tip: Learn more about credit utilization rate in General Electric Credit Union’s (GECU) FREE downloadable eBook, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Credit.

2. You Want to Diversify

Every credit card comes with unique perks, such as:

  • Cash back
  • Travel perks
  • Rewards points
  • Bonus categories

In sports, each position serves a different role. A pitcher is meant to throw the ball to the catcher – not catch fly balls all the way back in left field. In the same way, each credit card in your wallet benefits you uniquely. You’ll rarely find an option that offers both cash back and rewards points.

Instead, consider putting together a team of cards that cover all the bases you care about. This way, you can make everyday purchases work in your favor. Use a cash back credit card to earn 2% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and wholesale clubs, then reach for a travel credit card for special event perks and access to a Luxury Hotel Collection.

3. You Need a Better Rate

Many lenders offer a promotional annual percentage rate (APR) for balance transfers. While temporary, you could enjoy as low as 0% APR for 12 months. This means that, during the promotional period, you won’t be charged interest if you make the minimum payment due and carry over a balance month to month.

Ensure you continue benefiting from a balance transfer after the promotional period ends by choosing a card with a low APR. Because of their not-for-profit status, financial institutions like General Electric Credit Union (GECU) are able to offer members low rates on rewards-rich cards.

Why Choose GECU

In addition to low rates, GECU has cards that fit your lifestyle. Get premium travel perks with Visa Signature®,1 cash back with our Gold Card,2 or no-frills access to funds with The Classic.3 The best part? Your rewards never expire and there are no caps. If you ever need assistance, our team is available 24/7 to help and provide cardholder information.

Included with all GECU credit cards:

  • Cell phone protection
  • Roadside Dispatch® and auto rental collision
  • Return protection and purchase security
  • Travel accident insurance and baggage delay reimbursement
  • FICO® Score access, available for free in Online Banking or our mobile app4

 

 

VIEW CARDS

 

 

 

1Visa Signature®: Your APR will be 10.74% - 16.74% APR, based on your creditworthiness. The APR may vary (increase or decrease) on a quarterly basis and is determined by adding our margin to the Prime Rate as published in The Wall Street Journal effective for the first day of January, April, July, and October of every year. For each dollar charged on a qualifying purchase in each billing period on your GECU Visa Signature card, you’ll earn reward points. Qualifying purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Qualifying purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, or purchases of other cash equivalents. As a new cardholder, you have the opportunity to earn 20,000 bonus points upon making $2,500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. Additional terms and restrictions apply. This rewards program is offered at the discretion of GECU and may be changed at any time. Full terms and details can be found on our Disclosures page.

2Gold: Your APR will be 8.74% - 14.74% APR, based on your creditworthiness. The APR may vary (increase or decrease) on a quarterly basis and is determined by adding our margin to the Prime Rate as published in The Wall Street Journal effective for the first day of January, April, July, and October of every year. For each dollar charged on a qualifying purchase, and incurred finance charges in each billing period, on your GECU Gold card, you’ll earn cash back. Qualifying purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Qualifying purchases do NOT include: fees, balance transfers, cash advances, or purchases of other cash equivalents. As a new cardholder, you have the opportunity to earn a $100 cash back bonus upon making $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days after account opening. When meeting the requirement, a $100 rebate will be applied as a statement credit the cycle after meeting the requirement. Additional terms and restrictions apply. This rewards program is offered at the discretion of GECU and may be changed from time to time with or without notification. Full terms and details can be found on our Disclosures page.

3The Classic Card: Your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will be 7.24% - 13.24% APR, based on your creditworthiness. The APR may vary (increase or decrease) on a quarterly basis and is determined by adding our margin to the Prime Rate as published in The Wall Street Journal effective for the first day of January, April, July, and October of every year. Full terms and details of this program will be included with your card and can also be found in The Classic Card Terms and Conditions.

4We provide Online Banking and our mobile app to you for free; however, message and data rates may apply. Contact your service provider for details.

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

 

 

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