| November 28, 2011

Rewards strong for borrowers with good credit

These days, millions of Americans who have worked hard to maintain strong credit ratings in recent years are likely also finding credit card offers with more generous rewards programs in their mailboxes.

In an effort to begin drawing more creditworthy consumers into opening new credit card accounts, many of the nation’s top lenders are now issuing more offers for extremely generous rewards programs that carry a wide array of benefits, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun. Every type of rewards program, from cash back to airline miles, has seen at least some boosts in value in the past several months, and lenders are also becoming more aggressive in marketing them.

Recent data by the marketing research group Synovate showed that two-thirds of all credit card offers mailed in September contained at least some sort of reward or rebate, and while that’s less than the rate observed in June, the value of those offers have increased substantially, the report said. These days, credit cards offer hundreds of dollars’ worth of rewards just for signing up or meeting minimum spending requirements within predetermined time periods.

However, the only type of borrowers who are seeing the most generous rewards offers are those who have the best credit ratings, the report said. The most generous offers are being granted to those with credit scores between 750 and 850, while those who have ratings of between 700 and 749 can likely qualify for the same accounts, but with higher interest rates.

Meanwhile, those whose credit ratings are a little shakier but are looking for any kind of credit to reestablish their healthy credit rating are more likely to find willing lenders as well, the report said. The extending of new credit card accounts to consumers with lower or even subprime credit ratings has expanded considerably in the last few months as competition for top-notch borrowers has grown more fierce among lenders.

Of course, experts recommend that consumers carefully review all aspects of a credit card agreement, as well as their personal finances, to determine whether an offered account will work for them and their situation. Reading the fine print will also help consumers to determine the exact qualifications needed to achieve the maximum rewards benefits on their new accounts.

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