They're back. Credit card offers.
In the second quarter of 2010, industry tracker Mintel found American consumers received over one billion offers for new credit cards. That's compared to 419 million in the same period last year.
Even with the credit card reform act now in effect, consumers still should read the fine print before they sign up for a new card.
One thing to look for: annual fees.
The executive editor of Consumer Reports, Greg Daugherty stated, “Those are rising. So that's something you really want to look at these days, We've seen cards where they start out with no annual fee, but then down the line, an annual fee kicks in.”
Love collecting points for travel and other splurges? If you're thinking about a card with a rewards program attached to it, take a good look at the interest rate.
Daugherty went on to say, “If you don't carry a balance, and you pay your credit card off every month, and get into a good rewards program, they can actually be a good deal. Otherwise, you're probably paying more in interest -- sometimes much more in interest -- than you get back in rewards. “
Also, remember that teaser rates for purchases and balance transfers are for a limited time only.
Keep track of when the introductory period ends, to avoid getting stuck with hefty interest payments.