Earlier on, my credit card account got closed when my card company decided to pull the plug on their credit card division. The irony here is that the card I owned (the Advanta card) was once considered one of the best credit cards for the buck, as per Forbes. So naturally, like one of the million customers who were abandoned up the creek at short notice, I thought about what kind of steps to take next.
Where did this leave me? Bottom line: I needed a new credit card fast! So I began the process of getting a replacement for my old card as quickly as possible. Given that I’m in the business of reviewing credit cards, it was fairly easy for me to move forward. On this note, I have a few pointers to share to help make the process easier. Here are some of my thoughts on shopping for a new card:
How To Get A New Credit Card: Shopping For A Card On Short Notice
Go for those credit cards with brand name recognition.
Credit cards that are associated with financial companies that are well recognized and deemed stable may be less of a risk than those offered by companies you’ve never heard of. I certainly don’t want to find myself experiencing trouble with yet another company, so I’d make sure to apply for credit cards from companies that are on solid footing. Here’s a sampling of popular credit cards that I’ve reviewed:
I’d select financial products that are backed by reputable institutions. Some such products that come to mind include Discover & American Express rewards credit cards, CitiCard balance transfer cards, Capital One cards, Bank of America cards.
Narrow down your choices before shopping for a card. Establish your goals before checking out cards. Do you want to emphasize rewards or are you looking for a card with the lowest fees? Do you want to consolidate your debt? You’ll also need to know what kind of credit history you have because your credit will often determine what card you’ll be able to qualify for. And finally, think about which card issuer you’d like to work with, since most big card companies have similar products that can adequately fulfill your requirements.
Get a new credit card through financial institutions you already have a relationship with.
Because we didn’t have the forethought to double up on business cards before (we didn’t have any spares), we were stuck having to apply for new credit cards after our credit accounts were closed. So we opted to turn to the banks we were already doing business with to get us approved for new cards right away. If your financial institution carries your business accounts, and you’ve got a personal banker working with you, it’s quite likely that you’ll be able to get a credit card approved through them quickly because of your record with them as a loyal customer with an established business. Applying this strategy, we received new cards in our hands within a week!
Consider alternatives to business credit cards.
When you’ve lost a business credit card like I have (in Advanta), your replacement business card can’t come a moment too soon. But if you’re having problems securing a quick replacement, you can always consider using your personal card to back you up. While you can always use a personal credit card for business purposes, I wouldn’t do this for the long term — it’s more of a stop gap measure until you get yourself that replacement business card.
Business credit cards are still the better choice to use for your venture because they’ve got higher credit limits; they also usually offer rewards and perks that are advantageous to business owners, and most importantly, they offer a way for you to separate any liability from your person. As far as I know, if you ever encounter issues or problems with your credit through your business, having a business credit card can shield those problems from creeping into your personal credit history. Anyone care to confirm or dispute this?
Here were a few other things I learned from this experience as a former Advanta credit card holder in this unique position:
Need A New Credit Card Fast? Thoughts On Replacing An Expired Card
Don’t forget to redeem your rewards!
If you’ve got a rewards credit card of some sort, try not to accumulate (hoard) your rewards and points for long periods in case your credit card program ends up on the chopping block. These days, the credit card industry is in so much flux that I’d prefer not to sit on my unclaimed rewards for too long. Who knows for how long your points will be honored? In Advanta’s case, they cut me a rewards check. For this reason, cash back credit cards may be less problematic than those that offer you points that could expire.
Take note of transactions that are affected by your defunct or expired card.
The biggest pain in the rear we’ve had to deal with in this situation was having to find a replacement card for all the automatic bill payments that were set up using our Advanta card. You can imagine how big an inconvenience this is, particularly for those businesses that are transaction heavy. To keep things running smoothly, stay on top of your card usage and automatic payment schedules to avoid disruptions of your operations.
Keep a spare credit card.
There are many people who’ve sworn off card debt, who’ve progressed to the point of banishing credit cards from their homes. But I find that the use of credit cards have made life so much easier for me (I’m never one to carry debt). And as someone who’s become partially dependent on cards to “make things work” both for my business and my household, I’ve realized that there’s a reason to own multiple credit cards: having a spare one allows me to keep functioning when one of my credit cards goes AWOL. As I’ve mentioned, I use cards to facilitate the financial transactions and operations I’m involved with everyday.
As my story shows, anything can happen to our finances that’s out of our control. I doubt we can really be proactive about everything that can happen; there’s no way to anticipate all the possible issues that can arise with our financial accounts. All we can really do is have a plan in case the worst happens (be ready for damage control) and realize that no company is immune to failure. Accept these facts and you’ll be less frustrated when the unexpected happens. Always expect the unexpected!
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