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Wish to apply for a credit card, but you do not know which one you should opt for? There are some tips which you can follow while selecting a credit card.
Check APRs: The annual percentage rates or APRs on purchases, cash advance and balance transfer varies from card to card. Even a single credit card may have different APRs for purchases, for cash advances and for balance transfers. So compare the APRs of cards and where there is low rate and you think you will be benefited by that you should go for that card. Some credit card companies increase the APR if you are late in making payments.
Compare Grace period or free period: Find out and check the number of days you get to pay your bill in full without a finance charge. Some cards do not give a grace period for cash advances and balance transfers. They charge from the very first transaction. Various cards have different grace periods. You should go for the card which provides more time to pay back the amount.
See the credit limit: Different cards offer different credit limit – the maximum total amount for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. This you can decide as per your need. If you want more credit then go for card which has more credit limit. Some credit cards facilitate users to go over the credit limit, but at the cost of a fee.
Look for benefits: Credit cards offer various benefits to the card users. Some cards offer cash back on purchases, discounts on products if bought from some of their partnered companies, additional warranty coverage for the products you purchase, rebates on travel, accident insurance, car rental insurance, insurance to cover the payments on your credit card balance if you become disabled or die. Choose the card that provides more benefits.
Know about various fees: Compare various fees charged to the user of the card. There are various fees – annual fee for having the card, opening the account fee, cash advance fee, balance-transfer fee and late-payment fee. Fees are also charged if you go over the credit limit, and if your check for paying the bill is bounced. Choose the card which has minimum fees.
Inquire about methods to calculate the balance: Card providers use various methods to calculate the outstanding balance. Some credit card companies calculate over one billing cycle or two, using the adjusted balance, the average daily balance or the previous balance, and including or excluding new purchases in the balance. The method can make a big difference in the finance charge you will pay. So go for the card which method of calculating balance is beneficial to you.
Check the acceptance of the card: Choose a card that will be accepted everywhere. There are hundreds of financial companies providing credit cards. The prominent among them are American Express Co., Chase Bank, HSBC Bank, Discover Financial Services, and Citibank Bank of America. Also, opt for a card with which you will get security from credit card theft and frauds.
Choose a card best suited to your needs: There are a variety of credit cards you can get from card companies. Besides the standard credit cards, there are student credit cards, business credit cards, gas cards, airlines mile card, entertainment cards, store cards. Decide for what purpose you want to have a credit card and then apply as per the need.
Do little research: Before applying for the credit card browse the Internet. See the features and other conditions at the cards providers' websites. You can also find the information on cards in personal finance magazines and in newspapers. The Federal Reserve System also provides information on credit cards. They have a database of the credit card providers.