NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - With interest rates on the rise, 2018 is going to be an important year for credit cards.
Creditcards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz says interest rates have been going up for the last year and a half or so and as they continue to climb in 2018, paying down that credit card debt is more important than ever.
If you're not able to pay off that debt, this is a great year to do a balance transfer. Matt says some cards give you 0 percent interest for 12 months, 15 months, and even 21 months.
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card gives you 0 percent for 21 months. The card comes with a 3 percent balance transfer fee, but Matt says that 21 months without interest is a really big deal.
If you have stellar credit, expect to see a lot of credit card offers this year. But if you're on the other side of the credit spectrum, Matt says it might be more difficult to get a card. You may see fewer offers or even reduced rewards.
And 2018 may be the year to end credit card signatures altogether. In April, American Express is doing away with signatures globally. Discover and MasterCard won't require them in the U.S. and Canada.
Matt says not to worry about security. The credit card companies are spending an awful lot of time and money behind the scenes to keep your money and their money safe. They just don't see that signature as an effective fraud prevention tool anymore.
One big question for 2018: Will credit card customers be able to keep up with all of their spending?
Matt says the big unknown is whether people can keep making their payments on time. With credit card debt around a trillion dollars and near record highs, he says that Americans can only take on so much more debt without causing serious trouble.