How much does it take to win customers away from a competing credit card? That's the game that banks and credit card issuers are playing today, with increasing rewards and signing bonuses accompanying nearly every credit offer.
According to the Wall Street Journal, these offers may include everything from free airfare or triple rewards points to a Kindle - and smart consumers are learning to compare credit cards and sniff out the best credit card deals before signing.
Credit card rewards get bigger and better
According to a recent report by the Synovate Mail Monitor, 58 percent of mailed credit card offers in the first quarter of 2011 included a sign-on bonus gift or free miles--compared to 38 percent just two years ago. The largest mileage bonus seen in mailed offers was 100,000 miles, and the biggest cash reward was $150.
Compare this to the top figures from last June--30,000 miles and $50--and it's clear just how much the best credit card deals have grown in order to win consumers away from competing offers.
What does this mean for the average credit card consumer? For starters, there's freedom to shop around for the best airline credit cards or rewards cards. It also means that smart consumers can use balance transfer credit cards to juggle their debt, saving serious money on interest and scoring exciting freebies in the process.
Best credit card: what consumers look for
Released on May 1, 2011, the Online Credit Card Report from comScore Inc. highlights trends in the U.S. credit card industry. In the past year, comScore reports that 20 percent of consumers shopped for a new card, considering the best rewards credit card deals.
The most important features sought by consumers, according to the comScore report, were low interest rates, absence of annual fees, and rewards programs. Of these three, 40 percent of consumers prioritized low interest rates in choosing from the best credit card deals, while rewards were seen as an incentive to use a credit card rather than cash or debit.