6. Options for consumers with bad credit. In recent years, the most generous credit card rewards, interest-free introductory periods and creative perks have been available to cardholders with excellent credit. But "as the economy improves or stays the same, issuers need to increase market share," Hardekopf says. "They will typically start to loosen credit standards ever so slightly to appeal to more and more consumers." However, the introductory offers available to these consumers may be less generous than those heavily marketed offers given to consumers with strong credit scores.
Of course, these predictions are based on the assumption that the economy will continue in the general direction it's headed. Should it take a sudden turn, Hardekopf predicts that credit card issuers might rein in approval ratings and cut back on rewards. As Hardekopf says, "what happens with credit cards usually follows the economy."