What to Expect From Your Credit Card in 2009

The news isn't good for consumers hoping for cheap credit.

By SHARE

Credit card guru Justin McHenry, president of IndexCreditCards.com, is out with his predictions for the credit card industry in 2009, and it doesn't look good. McHenry predicts:

  • Tight credit throughout the year, which means charging that new Honda Pilot -- or even True Religion jeans -- on plastic will remain difficult.
    • Fewer credit offers for those with bad credit, while consumers with strong credit will be increasingly sought after. So if your credit score is north of 680, expect a deluge of offers -- but since your score is so high, you're probably good at declining them.
      • Higher interest rates for many consumers, despite Fed cuts.
        • Fewer rewards. With credit card companies getting stingier, you probably won't be able to take a "free" trip to Cancun, thanks to rewards points.
          • Higher fees. Credit card companies still have to turn a profit, so McHenry warns consumers to look out for higher penalties for going over credit limits or paying late.