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6 Reasons It’s Time for a Credit Card Upgrade

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It can be hard to get rid of things we don’t need anymore. Childhood toys, high school notebooks, outdated furniture, obsolete technology and, yes, even credit cards.

According to, 25 million consumers stay loyal to one credit card for at least 10 years. Another 20 million are still faithfully using their first credit card! Chances are if you’ve been using the same credit card for 5–10 years (or longer!), it’s probably no longer the best fit for you—and may even be costing you money.

Though there are some people who scour new card offers and consistently change their preferred credit card, most just don’t have the time or the inclination. If that’s you, perhaps it’s time to move upgrading to a new card higher on your priority list.

Mountain America Credit Union has compiled a list of 6 signs that your old credit card no longer fits your lifestyle:

It’s your first and only credit card
If you’re in your 20s, you can disregard this one. Your financial situation is probably not that much different than it was when you first graduated from college. But once you hit 30, you should start considering a change. There may be options available with a better annual percentage rate (APR), a higher credit limit and rewards that are more useful.

You have a new baby at home
It’s common for new parents to assume they will continue to go out to nice restaurants and travel regularly, even with the little one. More than likely though, the way you spend your money will change—at least for a little while. When you experience a major life change, it’s worth re-evaluating your finances to make sure your plan still makes sense. A great cash-back credit card that pays you for doing the things that you normally do (like buying diapers) could be the difference between staying on track and blowing your budget.

You have a retail card
Many people get a retail card when they’re first starting out. These cards are fairly easy to get and usually come with a promotional discount or savings that appeals to the buyer. The drawback, however, is the high APR. Plus, the benefits can’t compete with the rewards offered by other credit cards.

You now have a much better credit score
Bad credit translates into higher interest rates on mortgages and other loans—including credit cards. If you are someone who had not-so-good credit, or no credit, when you were approved for your current credit card, you’re probably paying a 24% or higher APR—yikes! You may even be paying additional fees. Now that you’ve built up your credit, it’s time to reap the rewards that really matter like low interest rates, card security protection and a wide variety of reward options. 

Your card’s costing you every time you travel internationally
A lot of cards charge a fee—maybe 2 or 3%—every time it’s used outside the country. So, if you’ve recently started traveling internationally, it’s definitely time to find a card with no foreign transaction fee.

You’re carrying a balance on your high-interest card
Let’s say you usually pay off your credit card balance each month (that’s how you’ve gotten your credit score up!) but an emergency comes up and you have to charge a significant amount of money. And, unfortunately, you’re going to have to carry the balance for a while. First thing to try—call your credit card company and request a reduction on your interest rate. This often works, especially if you’ve paid on time for a long while. You can also look into getting a new card with a lower rate. Look for a card offering no fees on a balance transfer. If you’re lucky, you may even find an offer that pays you to transfer your balance—usually 1–3%!

Hey, life changes. And when it does, be prepared to change with it. If you haven’t shopped for a new credit card in a while, consider spending some time online checking out various offers and worthwhile rewards. Don’t forget to take a look at the credit cards from Mountain America! We’ve got something for everyone: low rates, great rewards and cash back.

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