Credit card offers

What’s a new credit card without awesome offers to entice you? Just a simple no frills credit card. Kinda boring and fruitless. But if you want something with a little more grunt, then opt for a credit card that offers a whole lot more. There’s so many credit cards with introductory offers to choose from, just take your pick!

What is an introductory offer?

When it comes to credit cards, an introductory offer is when a card provider dangles a carrot in front of you to look their way while ignoring their competitors. Why? Because so many more providers of credit cards are catching on that when it comes to new customers, the question the customer almost always asks now is: what can you do for me?

If a card provider wants to rope in new customers, they need to stand out from a sea of same same. What’s their unique selling proposition? This is what you need to consider when making a decision about which bank or card provider you sign up for a credit card with. Because after all, if they scratch your back, you’ll scratch theirs.

Why should an introductory credit card offer convert me?

One of the greatest attributes to introductory offers is being able to save money during the promotional period. But as the old saying goes, good things don’t last, since the sweet spot is the introductory offer it’s still within a limited time-frame. So when it’s over, you need to make conscious decisions on managing your money better so that you don’t fall into the trap that awaits you after the honeymoon period expires.

If you’ve already got a credit card that you’re relatively happy with, you’ve probably noticed that some of the introductory offers are well and truly over, and your card has gone back to being a regular credit card. The best thing you can do is keep an eye out for special promotions, especially for existing card holders. You never know - even a short term promo could save you hundreds for the length of the promotion. Call up your lender to find out more.

What offers should I expect from a new credit card?

There are so many lenders and products available, so if the offer doesn't seem worthy of your hard earned cash, just move on to the next! Yep, you can thank us later. Here’s a whole bunch of introductory offers you can expect to see when looking for a new credit card. They won’t all be available at the same time, but you may be lucky enough to be offered at least a couple of them simultaneously:

Credit card benefits Pros Cons

Discount or $0 annual fee

You could save anywhere between $5 - $7500 depending on the credit card you go for. And depending on the promo, this could be either for the first year or even for the life of the credit card.

This type of promo is usually limited to the first year and will return to their regular annual fee charges.

0% - low percent balance transfer

If you’re struggling to stay ahead on your repayments for one of your credit cards, a balance transfer is a great short term solution to help better manage. Especially if your other card is charging 20% interest!

0% or low % balance transfers are a great band-aid solution to a temporary money problem. But if overspending is the real issue then you need to adjust more than the interest rate you pay on your credit card.

Bonus frequent flyer points

Depending on the credit card product you secure, you could be in the running for a whopping amount of frequent flyer points, just for joining. This could be anything from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Bonus!

Before you’re completely wooed by a frequent flyer bonus, you may want to see how many reward points you need to exchange before benefitting. Is it worth your while spending $100,000 before being given a one way domestic flight?

Bonus reward points on purchases

Some lenders will offer you a handsome offering if you spend a certain amount within a certain timeframe, eg, ‘Spend $3000 within the first 3 months to receive 10,000 points.’ Great timing if you intended on updating your lounge room furniture!

Sounds tempting, right? But if spending $3000 is beyond your means and will spiral you into a deep unrepayable debt, then you can tell the lender that they can keep their bonus points while you manage sensible spending without the new sign up.

Cash back offers

Cash back offers can be one of the most rewarding benefits from a credit card offer around. Purchase an item and receive a percentage (up to 5% or more) of the value back onto your card! Sounds unbelievable, right?

Although you may receive a generous 5% cash back on a purchase, what you may develop is a pattern for using your credit card for essentials like groceries or even your daily coffee. This is all fine if you can transfer the funds back that very same day. But if you’re using your introductory credit card because you can’t actually afford to pay for daily essentials, then you have more to worry about than a hefty debt at the end of the month.

Choosing the right credit card

Credit card offers are fantastic for saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the duration of the promotion. But what you need to remember is that the money you save at the start will not be the money you save after the promotion has expired. Have a think about who will offer you exactly what you want and expect from your credit card before the promotion and post promo. Use Mozo’s easy to use credit card comparison tool to help you make a decision on what’s best for you or check out the latest deals in rewards cards or low interest cards.

Your Credit Card: dos and don’ts

The catch to owning a credit card? Providers are aware that most customers are just too busy to be chasing new promotions after the honeymoon period is over. So with that in mind, think of the reality to help ground you - your bank or credit card provider uses introductory promotions to ‘hook you in’ to secure you as a customer till you become comfortable and somewhat complacent about your account.

Let’s hope that sensibility around spending kicks in because post promotion, the rates you pay will go up. So if you don’t monitor what you spend and repay debts quickly, then you risk your budget truly blowing up. Let’s have a look at more things you need to be aware of:

Do’s Don’ts

Close unused accounts. Even though you never really use them and keep them for a ‘rainy day’, future lenders are deemed to see even unused credit cards as a risk.

Avoid applying for every great promo deal you see. Limit to one if you can. Each enquiry affects your credit history and may interfere with a successful outcome.

If you’ve signed up for a promo of 0% to a low percent for a short period of time, work out your weekly or monthly repayments for your balance transfer or large ticket item so that you can comfortably repay the debt in time before the promotion period ends.

Do you really need an extra credit card? This is a question you need to be honest with yourself about. Whether it’s your first or 5th credit card, you really need to equate whether you can juggle your budget and needs without one first.

Try to pay more than your minimum monthly requirement. This will help minimise your overall debt by beating the interest charged. Or better still, pay off your debt each month to save on paying any interest at all.

Don’t sign before you read the fine print. Although the consultant you speak with is likely to be transparent about the product you’re enquiring about, there is nearly always something else to be aware of. Especially the promotion end date. One to save in your diary!

If paying regular monthly installments or paying off your account each month, make sure you pay 3-5 business days before the due date. Especially useful for electronic payments to avoid delays when transferring funds.

Making cash advances on your credit card is a big no-no. The interest charged is usually double or triple the rate you originally signed up for. Promotional 0% interest benefits are usually void when it comes to cash advances.

Keep your pin secret! Your credit card is in your name and for your usage alone. Remember, you’re responsible for charges against your card. If you suspect fraudulent activity, you need to report it to your lender immediately.

Avoid using your credit card to pay for everyday essentials. Unless however your strategy is to accumulate points which means you need to get in the habit of transferring available funds to cover the credit card debt almost immediately.