Beware of the Sign-Up Bonus and Consider These Other Things When Choosing a Card

There are a lot of credit card options out there, and each of them comes with its own laundry list of bonuses. Some offer big sign-up bonuses, and this could be very enticing to those looking to take advantage of these bonuses.

These bonuses have created opportunities for both good and bad. For instance, many people have begun churning. This is when someone opens up new cards solely to gain the bonuses. Many of these people intend to keep the credit card once they have achieved the benchmarks.

When looking at signing up for a credit card, you should be aware of the sign-up bonuses, and there are many other things to consider when making this decision. 

Beware of the Sign-Up Bonus and Consider These Other Things When Choosing a Card
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A Little More About Churning

Opening up several credit cards and using them until you achieve the bonuses is called churning, as we said earlier. 

There can be a lot of rewards to reap from this behavior, but there are also dangers in participating in this activity. 

The credit card companies rely on their big sign-up bonuses to entice you to sign up for them. This can include miles, cash back, and other big prizes. 

For you to earn these rewards, you will have to spend a certain amount, and if you are not careful, this could lead to some serious ramifications when it comes to your credit score

Sign-Up Bonus Advantages 

If you are considering signing up for big sign-up bonuses, then you should know the following.

  • Having multiple cards that have big sign-up bonuses will allow you to get more rewards. Depending on its bonus, each card will allow you to gain a great deal of cash back or miles, whatever the rewards are for using them.
  • Using this technique will also help you get to those rewards faster. This is a great thing when you realize most standard cards will require you to get to $10,000 before achieving your entry offering.
  • These cards that offer these big bonuses for signing up often assume that the individual will stop using them once the rewards have been gained. When done, you can easily cancel the card or simply stop using them.
  • You can utilize the card or cards to maximize the benefits according to your buying habits.

Sign-Up Bonus Disadvantages 

Like with everything, when it comes to signing up for one or multiple cards with high ticket bonuses for signing up, there are a few things to consider that could negatively affect you and your financial standing. Here are the disadvantages.

  • Whether you apply for one card or multiple, it will affect your credit score. This may very well be the biggest disadvantage there is. Each time you apply for a card, you lose between 5 and 10 credit points.
  • Having a card that you can just whip out may lead to more money being spent than you have budgeted for. This is especially true when you are churning, as you will have multiple cards active at one time.
  • There may be a change in terms when it comes to how much those rewards and points are worth. Every now and then, the rules change, and this could impact the benefits of these big sign-up bonuses.
  • When it comes to multiple cards, many banks or issuers have rules to keep people from opening or using multiple cards.
  • Sometimes, annual fees will dip into your reward stash. That means if you have a card that you don’t use much but have rewards on, the annual fees will eventually reduce your stash.

Credit Cards – Tips & Other Considerations

Beware of the Sign-Up Bonus and Consider These Other Things When Choosing a Card
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There are a couple of other things to keep in mind when choosing a credit card, as below.

First, ask yourself why are you looking for a card? Are you looking solely for that big bonus, or are you trying to build your credit?

Second, don’t try to get too many cards at one time. Make sure to understand the fees and interest rates before use. Understand the rewards and their requirements.

Finally, look at your payment history and how it will affect your credit score.

Final Thoughts

As you see, there are plenty of advantages to choosing a card or cards with a big sign-up bonus, but there are also disadvantages. 

Understanding both of these will help you in your decision-making process and allow you to be more fiscally smart in your decision.