Why you should think local for your credit card

November 01, 2021
Shop local written on a paper bag with a hat and flowers.

Credit card offers are plentiful from providers both large and small. With so many to choose from, it might be hard to know what’s right for you — so we suggest starting at home, with your local community bank. There are several reasons opening a credit card with your friendly community bank makes sense; let’s go through them together.

Trust. These are folks you know, many of them by first name. They are in — and committed to supporting — your community. You feel safe with them overseeing your deposits, loans, and other banking needs, and chances are very good they would take that same great care with this account, because their reputation hangs in the balance.

Transparency. You won’t have to go far to find the rates, fees, terms, and conditions. If you have questions regarding the disclosures, an explanation is nearby. Your local bank owes it to you to be forthcoming, with no surprises. They already have your relationship and want to keep it.

Security. The same institution that works to keep your money and information safe is going to work hard to do the same with your credit card information. And if a breach or compromise were to occur, your local bank has more of a vested interest in sweeping up the fallout. Additionally, fraud prevention features such as fraud alerts and texts are easily investigated by your bank’s customer support team — they’re pros at this stuff.

Great service. Whether it’s a serious issue like a lost or stolen card or a simple question regarding a payment or balance, you want your questions answered in a timely and polite manner, and to feel as important as you did when the offer was extended. Again, your local bank is in the business of great service.

Online convenience. The beauty of online banking is that it allows you to do all the things you do over the phone or in person on your device or computer. And having a credit card through your local bank means making an online payment is a snap — you can do it at the same time you check your balance, make a transfer, or pay another bill.

Points and perks. People often associate the best deal on a certain perk (cash back, airline miles) with a certain card simply because they have advertised that benefit, or they just assume that national banks’ cards will offer the best deal, but your community bank may certainly be worth a look. The rewards systems are often easy and self-service — a fun, relaxing way to shop with your free money.

Welcome offers. The same thing is true here: We often associate big offers with big banks. But think how your community bank lays out the welcome mat for their customers throughout the year; it makes sense that they would do the same when offering you a credit card.

Build your credit — or be rewarded for the credit you have established. Your local bank may be the best place to obtain a secured card if you are trying to build (or rebuild) credit. Your deposit secures the card and acts as the limit. After a designated time period, your bank may reward healthy credit behavior by returning the deposit and transitioning the card to conventional credit card. Conversely, your local bank can offer better card deals as a reward for higher credit scores or repayment history, with decisions being made by local folks who know you.

There are many reasons that a community bank credit card may be the right choice for you. If you’re in the market for a new credit card, check out what UBT has to offer. 

Want more expert advice and helpful info on credit cards? Click here.

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