If you are looking for a new credit card, now is the time to shop. Qualifying for a card is getting easier as banks relax underwriting standards after bracing for a wave of pandemic-related defaults that never came.
“Credit card offers nearly froze when the COVID crisis first hit, but they’ve been steadily opening up again,” says Gerri Detweiler, education director for Nav, which helps business owners manage credit.
About 29% of banks eased their underwriting standards for credit cards in the first quarter, while just 2% tightened them, according to a Federal Reserve survey. In addition, direct mail credit card offers have increased, according to the market research firm Competiscan. Solicitations rose 6% year over year in April, and the company expects volumes to grow even more significantly during the summer.
Here’s how to spot the good deals from the duds as banks pull out all the stops to get your credit card business.