Nearly everyone has received prescreened credit card offers from time to time. Credit card companies and banks will send out the offers to entice new customers to open an account with them. A prescreened offer means that the entity which is presenting the offer has already pulled your credit to make sure that you can qualify for an account. When you receive this type of offer, there will be an introductory letter and plenty of fine print that you will need to read carefully.
Choosing the Best Prescreened Credit Card Offers
Just because the credit card company or bank chose you to receive an offer, it does not mean that you should choose them. It is important to carefully read the fine print to understand the terms of the offer.
Many prescreened credit card offers have a zero percent introductory interest rate or a lower rate to entice you to use the card. You need to look at what the interest rate will be when the introductory rate expires. You should also check to see how long the rate will last. Try to find one that lasts for more than a year.
Another thing you should look for in an offer is whether or not the card comes with an annual fee. There are enough credit cards out there that you should be able to find one without this type of fee. Additionally, if you are interested in transferring a balance to your new card, then you should look for one that waives balance transfer fees for the first month you have the card. You may also want to consider any rewards that a particular bank or credit card company is offering, such as cash back or travel points.
Applying for the Credit Card
Once you have chosen the credit card offer that best suits your needs, you will need to fill out an application for the offered card. Usually the offer comes with this application as well as a return envelope that you can use. The other option is to apply online. If you read the offer letter carefully, you should be able to find out where you can apply for the offer online.
In your application, you will need to provide all of the information requested to receive the credit card. If you are transferring balances over, you can fill out the section of the application where you are able to list the cards you want to have the new card issuer send money to, in order to pay them off. You need to continue making payments on this card until the old credit cards show payment.
Managing Your Credit Card
After receiving your approval letter in the mail, you will receive a credit card. You can use the card to make purchases and cover your expenses. You should try to pay the card off completely each month. This will help you to establish a good credit history and prevent you from getting into a situation where you cannot cover your current bills. And remember, when you use your credit card, you are promising the card issuer you will pay back the money, and mismanaging your credit may affect your ability to qualify for a loan in the future.
To avoid getting in over your head, it is advisable for you to limit the number of credit cards you have. This means you should not take advantage of all the prescreened credit card offers you likely will receive.