53 Million Americans Could Be Missing Out on This Great Opportunity

By Matthew Frankel Markets Fool.com

According to a report by CreditCards.com, 32 million U.S. credit card customers haven't changed their preferred credit card in over a decade, and another 21 million have never switched. The problem with this is that these people are missing out on a host of opportunities to accumulate rewards. Simply put, competition in the credit card industry has never been more fierce, and credit card issuers are offering some amazing sign-up bonuses and rewards programs if you're willing to use different cards from time to time.

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Why sign up for another credit card if my current card is enough?

The bonuses, rewards, and other perks offered by credit card issuers to induce you to use their plastic have never been better.

Image Source: Getty Images.

"If you never change credit cards, you miss out on a big opportunity to rack up rewards. It's as simple as that," said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com's senior industry analyst. "These offers have never been more generous, so now is the time to act."

It's completely understandable for most people to have a favorite, or primary, credit card for everyday use. As a personal example, I use my American Express Delta Sky Miles Platinum for most of my everyday purchases, as I like to travel often, and like to earn airline miles and elite status.

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However, that doesn't mean my main card is the only card I use. Depending on what I'm buying, I have several go-to credit cards I use in order to maximize rewards. Also, there are some impressive introductory offers to be had right now, if you spend a certain amount on the card over the first few months your account is active. Last year, for example, I applied for and received a Capital One Venture card and used it as my primary card for a few months to receive a 40,000-mile introductory bonus.

Examples of excellent offers available now

To illustrate what I'm talking about, here's just a small sampling of the offers available right now.

1. American Express Blue Cash cards are offering 10% back on spending at restaurants for the first six months (up to $200 back). The card comes in two varieties -- Preferred ($95 annual fee) or Everyday (no annual fee) -- and new cardholders can earn an additional bonus of $150 or $100, respectively, after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months. As far as ongoing rewards go, the Preferred version offers an industry-leading 6% back at supermarkets and 3% back at gas stations and department stores.

2. Don't let the Chase Sapphire Reserve's $450 annual fee fool you -- this is one of the best credit card values in the market. The introductory bonus of 50,000 points is worth $750 toward travel, and the card's annual $300 travel purchase reimbursement and $100 Global Entry (or TSA Pre-Check) credit almost pay for the annual fee all by themselves. And there are many more benefits on the list.

3. If you're not as interested in rewards as you are in saving money, there are some excellent no-interest offers available. The Citi Simplicity card offers an industry-best 21-month 0% introductory APR period on new purchases and balance transfers, and has no annual fee whatsoever. In addition, the card has no late fees or penalty APR, and you can call and talk to an actual representative whenever you'd like.

The bottom line

It's completely understandable to have a favorite credit card or two -- I certainly do. However, if you're willing to try something new for a little while, such as during an initial three-month period to qualify for an introductory bonus, you may be surprised at the value you get in return.

Of course, don't apply for more credit cards than you're comfortable with managing, and don't run up a credit card balance you can't pay off in a reasonable amount of time just for the sake of getting rewards. However, if you feel you could reasonably handle a new account, and are willing to put your preferred card aside for a little while, there's never been a better time to be in the market for a new credit card.

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Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express. The Motley Fool recommends American Express. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.