What Credit Card is Best for Me?
You watch commercials about them, get offers in the mail, and see ads on the web all asking you to apply for a credit card. There are so many choices that it can be a bit overwhelming. So how do you know what card is best for you?
This depends on 2 factors: your lifestyle and your finances. Read this blog and check off the different types of cards that are right for you. Then take that list and research online the top 3 cards that fit your criteria. Be sure to read the fine print!!
Annual Fee Not all cards have an annual fee but some do. Make sure to inquire if the card you are considering has an annual fee so you will know what to expect. If you're planning on using the card simply to pay bills or buy groceries a card with this kind of fee is probably not for you.
Interest Rate Of course this is important because the higher the interest rate the higher the bill. However, be cautious with promotions that offer super low rates for the first year and then jump to a much higher rate after the introductory period is over. Also keep in mind that credit companies are allowed to adjust their rates at any given time.
Cash Advance Interest Rate Sometimes life happens, and you need to get a large lump of cash quickly. Most credit cards allow for a cash advance. Check out what the interest rate for this kind of transaction will be as it is often different than your balance rate.
How Widely is the Card Accepted? Make sure to verify where the card is accepted and where it isn’t before you apply. For example, there are a lot of retailers who don't accept Discover or American Express.
Are There Foreign Transaction Fees? Got the travel bug or do you travel a lot for work? If so, inquire about using the card in different currencies as some credit card companies will hit you with a fee.
Choose Based on Your Lifestyle for Points/Rewards You will want to make sure the card is best suited to your particular lifestyle and needs, not only to align with your finances, but also your spending habits. Get a card that gives cash back if you buy a lot of things with the card. If a card offers air miles or other discounts on travel, it will be perfect for the world traveler. Many credit cards come with their own reward systems. Think about what you tend to spend the most money on, and choose a card that offers points for every dollar spent.
Does it Offer Perks? Perks are different than rewards and points that must be earned to be used. Perks are special treatments for cardholders, such as discounts on products or services, or getting exclusive access to concert tickets or theme parks before the general public. Choose a card that offers perks that are attractive to you and ones you are sure to use.
Of course as with anything related to your money, be sure to read the fine print as well as research the card company online. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of things like introductory rates, late fees, etc. Then when you are ready to submit an application, you'll have peace of mind that you are making the right choice!