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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  What is credit card devaluation and how does it impact consumers?
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What is credit card devaluation and how does it impact consumers?

It is crucial to stay informed about any changes to the terms, conditions, rewards program, or fees associated with the credit card. Switching to a different card that offers more value may be a viable solution.

Credit card devaluation is a phenomenon that occurs when the value and benefits offered by a credit card decrease over time.Premium
Credit card devaluation is a phenomenon that occurs when the value and benefits offered by a credit card decrease over time.

Credit card devaluation is a phenomenon that occurs when the value and benefits offered by a credit card decrease over time. It happens when credit card issuers implement changes to the card's terms, rewards program, or fees, ultimately resulting in reduced value for cardholders.

This can be disheartening for individuals who originally chose a credit card based on its appealing benefits and rewards.

As a result of credit card devaluation, cardholders may find it harder to maximise the value they receive from their cards, leading to a sense of frustration and the need to reevaluate their financial strategies.

How does credit card devaluation take place?

The devaluation of a credit card can take place through various means. Some of them are as follows-

Rewards program changes

Credit card issuers may modify their rewards program by reducing the value or changing the redemption options for accumulated rewards points or miles. This could involve increasing the number of points required for certain rewards, limiting redemption options, or imposing expiration dates on rewards.

READ MORE: Planning to upgrade your credit card? 5 key factors to keep in mind

Fee increases

Credit card issuers may raise annual fees, foreign transaction fees, or other charges associated with the card. This can reduce the card's overall value, particularly if the increased fees outweigh the benefits provided.

Reduction in perks and benefits

Credit card perks and benefits, such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, or concierge services, may be scaled back or eliminated altogether. This can significantly impact the card's value proposition for cardholders who rely on these benefits.

Changes in introductory offers

Many credit cards offer attractive introductory offers, such as 0% APR for a certain period or bonus rewards for initial spending. However, these offers may be modified or eliminated, reducing the initial value cardholders receive when signing up for the card.

Modifications to credit card terms

Credit card issuers can change the terms and conditions, including interest rates, minimum payment requirements, grace periods, or penalty fees. These changes may negatively affect cardholders' ability to manage their credit card effectively or increase the cost of borrowing.

What should consumers do?

When faced with credit card devaluation, consumers can take several proactive steps to navigate the situation effectively.

READ MORE: What is the right way to choose your first credit card? We explain

First and foremost, it is crucial to stay informed about any changes to the terms, conditions, rewards program, or fees associated with the credit card. Keep track of notifications and read through them carefully to understand how the devaluation may impact the benefits you currently receive. By staying informed, you can make informed decisions about your credit card usage.

Next, take the time to review your card usage and evaluate how the devaluation will affect your ability to earn rewards or derive value from the card. Consider your spending habits, redemption preferences, and the overall benefits you receive.

If the devaluation significantly impacts your ability to maximise the benefits, it may be worth considering alternative options. Research other cards to see if there are options that provide similar or better benefits without devaluation.

Compare rewards programs, fees, interest rates, and additional perks to find a card that aligns with your financial needs and goals. Switching to a different card that offers more value may be a viable solution.

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Published: 16 Jul 2023, 09:30 AM IST
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