Choosing a Credit Card- An Informative Guide
If you are choosing a credit card, you need to have a clear idea of what to look for. When looking for a new card, you need to decide if what the card has to offer is really best for you. Most people assume you always want to apply for the card that offers the lowest interest rate, but a low interest rate does not necessarily make certain credit cards better than others. In fact, there are a number of characteristics you should take under consideration when choosing from among all the different cards on the market.
What are your spending habits?
Your spending habits have a lot to do with choosing a credit card. If, for example, you don’t use your credit card very often or you pay your credit card balance in full every month, you may not really need low interest credit cards. This is because low interest rate credit cards are really best for those who carry a balance from month to month because it saves money in finance charges. If you do not carry a balance, then you might be better off applying for a credit card with a cash back or other rewards program. These cards tend to have higher interest rates, but it won’t affect you since you pay the card off each month.
What is your current debt status?
If you currently have a great deal of debt piled up on another credit card, or if you have small amounts of debt on several different credit cards, you might want to look into balance transfer credit cards rather than low interest rate credit cards. Generally, low interest credit cards provide a low APR on purchases made with the card. Balance transfer credit cards, on the other hand, offer low interest rates on balances transferred from one card to another. These cards usually waive the balance transfer fee, as well.
Applying for low interest credit cards when you want to transfer balances may not be very helpful at all if the low APR only applies to purchases made with the card. Therefore, make sure to learn more about the card’s balance transfer polices before applying.
What is your lifestyle?
Most credit cards offer a variety of benefits. These can include special cash back incentive programs, rewards programs and airline miles rewards programs. These cards tend to have a higher interest rate than cards that do not have special programs, but the trade off can be worth it if you will be able to take full advantage of the program and the finance charges you will need to pay are minimal. If you look hard enough, you can usually find a rewards credit card with a decent interest rate.
Aside from these special programs, however, credit cards offer additional benefits. These can include purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, auto rental insurance, travel insurance, and roadside assistance. When looking through the credit card terms, you need to take these benefits under consideration. If your lifestyle is such that you will be able to take advantage of these benefits, then it might be worth paying a slightly higher interest rate, particularly if you will not be carrying a balance on the card very often.
While low interest rate credit cards seem like a great option at first, they are not necessarily the best choice for everybody. The best candidate for these credit cards is someone who will carry a balance on the credit card from purchases each month and who is not concerned about receiving a number of special benefits or rewards programs from their credit card. Otherwise, you might want to consider exploring other types of credit cards.
Taking the time to evaluate all of the different benefits a card offers and comparing them to your personal needs is the key when choosing a credit card.