How to Choose a Credit Card

by Kay Lynn

If you are thinking about getting a new credit card, it is essential that you shop around for the best card you can find.  There are a lot of different ways to compare credit card quotes, but here are some of the key points you should look at when thinking about getting a credit card.

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Rewards

The biggest thing you should look for is rewards.  Don’t compromise for a card that doesn’t offer you anything in return.  Think about your lifestyle, and what type of rewards would benefit you the most.  Credit cards offer everything from cash back rewards, to points, travel rewards (hotels, car rental, flights), to free stuff.  Really think about what you could use (or not use), and what type of rewards would be most beneficial to you.

Interest Rate

The interest rate is another important factor to consider when comparing credit cards.  Many cards offer “teaser” introductory rates, so be sure to find out what you will really be paying over the life of the card.

If you are going to transfer a balance over, don’t settle for any cards that don’t offer 0% APR for balance transfers.  There are a lot of cards out there that offer this, so shop around.

With the interest rate, keep in mind it is only assessed if you don’t pay off your balance in full before the grace period ends.  If you have a rewards card, pay off the balance, and make the card work for you!

Fees

Finally, make sure that you read and understand all the fees the credit card may charge you.  Don’t ever get a card that charges an annual fee.  Many “high end” rewards cards charge fees, which basically negate any rewards that you may have earned with the cards.

Also, look for fees such as usage fees, credit limit fees, late fees, and others.  Make sure that you read all the fine print so that you know you won’t be slapped with any fee unexpectedly.  Credit card companies are trying to make money off you any way they can, and fees are one of their biggest revenue sources.

photo by: The Consumerist

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Money Beagle January 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

We use a cash back rewards card that gives 1% cash back on everything and up to 5% on rotating purchases. I want to look for one that pays better on gas all the time since we’ll be paying a lot more for gas this summer due to the camper purchase we just made.

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