What to Expect From Your Credit Card in 2009

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

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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.