As credit card debt rises in the US, you should reconsider your credit card strategy ahead of a possible recession.

That’s because credit card debt is up 13% since last year, and that debt is only going to get more expensive as more rate hikes are expected later this year. Here’s a look at what you can do, as recommended by CNBC Make It Certified Financial Planners:

1. Pay off your credit card debt now

“This should be a top priority regardless of where we are in an economic cycle, but is very important during times of high inflation and potential economic downturns,” says Kendall Clayborne, certified financial planner at SoFi.

That’s because outstanding balances tend to increase when interest rates rise. In recent months, credit card interest rates have risen from just over 16% to 17.42%, but that could be closer to 19% by the end of the year, according to Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at

2. Call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate

One of the easiest ways to reduce credit card costs is to simply call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. They could say no, but if you’ve been a loyal customer with an improving credit score, they could say yes.

To help your case, cite credit card offers from competing companies if they have lower interest rates than what you pay with your existing card. You can also ask them to waive your annual fee.

3. Consider transferring the credit card balance

A balance transfer is when you move debt from one credit card account to another at a lower interest rate.

Credit card companies typically offer 0% interest for an introductory period of up to 21 months. This means lower payments, at least for a while. But even after the introductory period of 0%, you still have to make regular payments.

Lately there are fewer offers of 0% for 21 months, but they can still be found. Just note that you usually need good or excellent credit to qualify and you may have to pay a transfer fee of around 3% – 5% of the total debt transferred.

4. Get a cash back card if you don’t travel much

Travel card rewards tend to have good redemption rates, but it might not be worth it if you don’t plan to travel much in the next year. Also, they usually come with annual fees.

If you’re focused on making ends meet, a cash back bonus card might be a better option. These cards don’t have many perks, but they typically offer 2% – 5% cashback on spend on key shopping categories like groceries or gas. These cards are a great way to offset some of the costs of inflation.

5. Conduct a subscription audit of your credit card spending

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.