How to Pick the Best Credit Card

Posted at by ifydcat on category Credit

With hundreds of cards on offer, few tasks, perhaps, are less daunting than shopping around for the best credit card. How to get started?

It will help a lot if you first figure out the reason for obtaining a card before you start doing credit card comparison. The best credit card for you is the one that most closely fits your spending and lifestyle so think carefully about this. You can now use these to check how well each card meets your needs.

In looking for the best credit card deals, these things should be considered:

Interest rate. Check the monthly interest rate and charges. Pay close attention to the default interest rate — the rate imposed when payments are late and credit limits are exceeded. This rate is above the standard purchase APR or interest rate.

Balance calculation method. If you intend to carry a balance, make sure you understand the card issuer’s manner of computing the balances on which interest will be charged. The methods that produce the lowest interest are the adjusted balance and average daily balance excluding new purchases.

Balance transfer opportunities. Offers of very low introductory rate for a specified period are intended to entice you to transfer balances from a competing credit card. This usually reverts to a higher interest rate after the period, so find out how high that rate will be. Using a credit card comparison website allows you to sort cards by interest rates.

Annual fee. Depending on the features or prestige of a card the annual fee can really vary. Be zealous in your credit card comparison to look for the least fee. Saving money on one feature such as no annual fee might be off-set somewhere else such as higher APR so check the offer with care.

Cashback. Some cards offer cashbacks, varying from 1% to 3%, on your purchases. This does give you a welcome discount but if your plan is to carry a balance, the 1% discount will mean nothing compared to the 14% interest on your outstanding balance.

Late payments and other fees. If you don’t have the minimum due amount paid in time you will be hit with high late payment fees. If you break a card rule then their are often other fees imposed. Credit card comparison is very important to look for the cards with the lowest penalty rates, over-limit fees, and other fees.

Rewards. The best credit card rewards programs require the least number of points to redeem the item you want. Aim for a card that gives bonus rewards at stores where you already shop the most.

Credit Limits. Check how much credit will be allotted to you. Think about how you will use the card and how much on average yoy expect to spend on the card each month. You don’t want to be exceeding the credit limit. To allow for a buffer and the fact that you have some time to pay your credit card bills you should aim for a credit limit at least twice your avaerage monthly usage.

Foreign transaction charges. If you travel a lot and expect to use the card a lot overseas, check out and compare the applicable fees for foreign transactions and foreign exchange differentials.

Charges for ATM cash advances. Interest rates and transaction fees for cash advances are usually much higher than normal purchase transactions. You don’t want to make cash advances, but in case you will need to it is best to know in advance how much it is going to cost you.

Editorial by Richard at who compare products including best credit card deals.

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