You’ve decided it’s time for a new credit card. Should you apply for one with your current bank, or seek greener pastures with another provider? While it can be convenient to open a card with your current bank, you could find a more attractive card with another lender.
Getting a credit card with your bank vs. another bank
If you’re having trouble deciding between staying with your bank or switching, consider these factors.
Benefits of getting a credit card with your current bank
If you’ve banked with an institution for a while, there are some benefits to staying loyal. You may be very familiar with the services and policies of your current bank. You may also know what to expect from the customer service team and have visited a few of the bank’s branches.
Simple application process.
When you apply for a credit card, the provider assesses you based on a number of factors, such as your income and credit history.
Your current bank can access your account activity, such as a checking or savings account history. This helps it assess your risk profile based on your savings and spending. If you’ve used your account responsibly, this could increase your approval odds for a credit card.
Another perk: Since your bank already has your basic information, you might not need to spend time filling out a credit card application from scratch. Your bank may auto-fill most or all form fields.
Benefits of getting a credit card with a new bank
Get a better deal.
While sticking with the same bank might offer convenience, you could miss out on more competitive deals from other providers. By branching out to other banks, you can find products with attractive 0% intro APR periods, signup bonuses, rewards and travel benefits.
If you already have a credit card with your current bank, opening another card with the same institution most likely won’t give you access to balance transfers.
If you open a card with another provider, you can move your balances to that card.
When looking for a credit card, there are a few factors to consider before deciding if you’re going to stay with your current bank.
Even if you’re content with your current bank, compare top cards from other providers before settling on your final choice. Doing can possibly land you with a credit card that better matches your spending style.
Frequently asked questions
If a card has an intro APR, it’ll typically last for at least 12 months. An intro APR that lasts over 15 months is strong. Promotions usually top out at around 20 months.
For a no-annual-fee card, a typical signup bonus is worth $150. Anything over that is a good deal.
For an annual-fee card, look for a signup bonus worth at least $500. You’re more likely to find higher-value signup bonuses with travel cards.
Banks offer balance transfers — sometimes with special promotions — to attract consumers from different banks. For this reason, most don’t see the need to offer balance transfers to existing customers.
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
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