Finding the best credit card can be a struggle, even if you have the most perfect credit record ever furnished by Equifax. There are a world of rewards programs, APR rates, cash back policies, and other inviting offers that can make finding the right credit card a difficult prospect. That struggle becomes ten times as difficult if you do not have perfect credit.
Then you are at the mercy of the credit card companies, and may find yourself having to take what they will give you. This can lead to accepting a credit card with a poor fee policy or bad interest rates that will land you in even more financial trouble. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for the right credit card, and how to compare credit cards against each other.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have a handle on your existing credit accounts. This will make shopping for a new credit card that much easier. If you’re not sure what your credit accounts or credit report look like, take the time to visit the three credit institutions online and get a free credit report.
This can help you decide what you need to do to clean up your report and get you on the way to a new card. You’ll want to make sure that you pay all of your credit card balances off at the end of the month, and on time. This can help you avoid interest building up, and late fees from accruing.
It’s also necessary to note that a missed payment, even by a few days, can cause the credit card company to increase your interest rates. Once you have your finances in order, you can better decide what credit cards are for you.
The Internet has made credit card shopping a much easier process than it used to be. Credit card companies advertise their rates, programs, and fees online in an effort to attract new customers. There are even websites that collect this information and offer it to consumers in one handy chart or article.
Take a look at some of these, and decide what programs and offers are important to you. If a credit card company offers frequent flier miles as an incentive to use their cards but you never go anywhere, this offer may not make the card any more attractive. On the other hand, if you are constantly traveling, it may be a very important incentive.
If you intend to carry a balance on your card, you’ll want to look for the best interest rates available. Be careful when shopping for interest rates that you pay careful attention to the long term regular rates, as opposed to the introductory offers.
These offers can be nice, and should be taken into consideration, but they are not the end all be all. If you have one card offering a 0% APR for twelve months but 20% after that, and another card offering 12% from the start, you will want to go with the 12% card.
Take all of the above information into account when searching for that credit card, compare carefully, and you will find yourself in a better financial position than you otherwise would be. Take care of your credit, and it will take care of you.