Choosing a Credit Card

Choosing a Credit Card

You want a little more buying power and less reliance on cash in your back pocket. It’s time to get a credit card. But now you have to figure out which one. Chances are you have been inundated with a number of offers from credit card companies offering cards with all sorts of special deals, interest rates, rebates and more. It can be a lot to take in.

Here’s what you need to look for in selecting the best credit card.

Fees

How much does the card coast per year? While you would think all credit card companies would be happy to just give you a card, many have catches. Fees are one of those catches. Often cards with reward and rebate programs are the ones that will have annual fees. When choosing a credit card find out what those fees are and see if the offer is worth that amount.

Interest

This is where your credit card debt can climb quickly. When choosing a credit card, the interest rate may or may not be important to you. If you are going to pay off the card monthly, it’s not as big of a deal. But, if you are going to make charges that can take a number of months to pay off, interest can add up quickly and make it difficult to every pay off the balance.

Rewards and Rebates

If there are certain things you use a lot (i.e. a particular airline, car rental company, gas station, etc…) rewards may be important to you when choosing a credit card. Many cards reward you with air miles, gas rebates and discounts when you use them for purchases. Remember, many of these cards have annual fees so you should find out what that fee is, and if you will make out better than you will pay out over a year.

Credit Limit

Not all credit cards are going to give you any credit limit you want. Many credit card companies are tight with credit limits until you are a seasoned customer. It’s always nice to have a high credit limit, especially if you are prone to periodic large purchases.

Late Fees

What if you happen to be late with a payment? While you should do everything you can to avoid this, if you travel a lot, or have other reasons that you are not always as timely as you should be, you may want to read over the late policies when choosing a credit card. Many companies will not only charge you a late fee of $25 or $35, but they can also hike your interest rate.

Choosing a credit card is a decision with a lot of variables, but if you do your research up front, you will end up with a card that does all you need it to do, and possibly gives you something a little extra in return.