In this day and age, plastic rules, not just because of convenience and safety features but also because of the opportunities for rewards and rebates that many competitive credit card companies offer. You no longer have to look too hard for credit card offers because they will find you. The only question is how to pick one that will give you the best deal. If this is your current dilemma, here are some simple tips to help you narrow down your choice:
Never go random.
When there are so many credit card offers out there that seem to offer the same things, it can be tempting to just sign up for whatever card comes along. This is not a good way of taking advantage of credit card offers. Never pick a credit card based some random advertisement, a recommendation, pressure from the credit card company or a purchase emergency.
Consider what you’ll use it for.
While a credit card can give you a semblance of financial freedom, it is still a form of debt, that’s why it’s called a credit card. Before you decide on a credit card offer, think about what you’ll need to use it for and how often you think you’ll be using it.
Say for example you’re the type who likes to frequent a certain establishment and usually use credit for your purchases, you might want to consider a credit card from that store if they’re offering one. That credit card will often carry with it a lot of great discounts, rewards, cash rebates and special privileges when used with that establishment.
Look for range.
Generally, the more locations you can use your credit card with, the better, so you might want to choose a credit card that can be used both nationally or internationally. If you don’t see yourself leaving your locality for a long time, regional credit cards will work well for you.
Go for low interest rates.
When you’re finding the best card among your credit card offers, look for one that has the low interest rates. Rates vary depending on the credit card company and sometimes, on the card itself, so it will be advantageous for you if you compared rates.
Low interest rates will be a good choice for you if you’re the type of consumer who prefers to pay for your credit card purchases on an installment basis, with payments spread out for several months. That way, you won’t be saddled with high monthly payments and end up paying more.
Other fees and features
Annual fees and penalties are another thing to watch out for when you’re considering credit card offers. There are also corresponding fees for other transactions such as balance transfers and cash advances. You might also want to check what features come with a credit card, such as rebates, rewards programs, discounts, warranties and even insurance.
Mind the fine print.
The fine print can be deceiving, so make sure you read it before signing up. You might be attracted to one credit card because of the low interest rates only to find out later that the rates are part of an introductory offer and that you’ll be saddled with a much higher APR after only a few months. A credit card offer is only as good as the fine print, so choose well.
You don’t have to be passive about your credit card choice nor do you need o be stuck with what’s being offered to you. Write down what your needs are and what kind of features you’d want in a credit card. Next, pick up the phone and ask several credit card companies for their best offers. If you take a more proactive role in choosing your credit card, you’re more likely to find one that will fit you best.