Should I Consider a Bank Credit Card Offered By My Local Bank?

Take a close look at your Visa or MasterCard and you’ll see the name of a bank on the card. Visa and Mastercard do not issue their own credit cards, and if you applied for either card, you probably submitted your application to a major bank, such as Capital One, Citibank or Chase.  But while these banks are popular and well-known credit card issuers, they aren’t the only option for credit cards. Local banks also issue credit cards; and if the major banks keep rejecting your credit card application, perhaps you need to start small. Here are a few reasons why you may want to shop locally for a bank credit card.

You Can Get a Credit Card to Build Credit

Some major banks do not offer starter credit cards. Getting approved for credit with these banks requires a history of successfully managing credit. For this reason, it is harder to obtain credit from Chase or Citibank with no credit history or past credit problems. Apply with your local bank and you can obtain a secured credit card account. Open a savings account with the bank, place a security deposit in this account and obtain your plastic. The security deposit acts as collateral and helps minimize the bank’s  loss if you default.

You Have a Relationship With the Bank

If you’re a long-time customer with a history of good account management, this opens the door to an unsecured credit card — even if you don’t have a long credit history. Major banks base approval solely on your credit report. However, your local bank representative will review your credit application, as well as your account history with the bank. A history of overdraft fees and bounced checks can prevent a credit approval, but if you know how to manage money and you have a stable financial history, local banks are more willing to approve your credit request.

Quick, Personable Service

Call the customer service number for a major bank and expect a long wait time. Because local banks are smaller and have fewer customers, you’ll spend less time on hold and you’ll speak with a representative quicker.

Convenient Payment Options

Major banks that issue credit cards aren’t located in every city. For this reason, you’ll have to either mail your credit card payment several days before the due date or pay your bill online. But if you apply for a credit card with your local bank, you can submit your payments via drive-thru or inside teller. Perfect if you don’t have Internet access or if it’s too late to mail your payment.

Competitive Offers

Don’t assume that major credit card issuers are the only banks that offer low fees on balance transfers and low interest rates. A local bank credit card can have offers similar incentives, and when shopping for a new credit card, it pays to check out your local bank and compare their offers with the major banks. As an existing customer, your might be eligible for certain perks with your local bank, such as no balance transfer fees, a 0% interest introductory rate or a low permanent rate.