Credit Cards: National vs. Local Banks

Choosing between a credit card can be a difficult process. The process must be researched, you need to choose the best card that will meet your needs and complete an application process. It seems that you can secure a credit card from almost anywhere, because both national companies and local banks provide this service to their customers.

Credit cards from national banks and local banks both offer promotional offers to get started, penalties for late charges, and reward programs. If, however, you are interested in linking your credit card to your checking account as a means to overdraft protection, getting your credit card directly through your bank may make it easier to hook up.

Additionally, during the downward spiral of the economic crisis and subsequent credit crunch, local banks in general have been faring better than national banks. Many local banks did not aggressively lend out mortgage loans to people who could be a risk for them (but many national banks did – which ultimately lead to the subprime problem) thus, keeping local banks more liquid when the economy went down so they have not been as deeply affected and have steadily been able to offer credit to their applicants.

Regardless, if you choose to secure a credit card through a national bank versus a local bank, there are some things to consider before completing the application. Make sure that you understand the terms of the arrangement, including: the introductory offer and its expiration date, the interest rate, and all penalties and fees associated with the cost of maintaining your line of credit. Make sure to pay your credit card bills on time and whether you go with a national bank or a local bank card, both can help build your credit score – which will be very important when you apply for any type of loan in the future (i.e. mortgage loan and auto loan).