What are your credit card needs? How often do you stop and examine this question? On the surface, most credit cards look the same, but read the fine print and you will soon discover they are very diverse. Banks and other lending institutions now offer credit cards tailored for specific uses and groups. Follow the three credit card tips below to help find a credit card that matches your needs.
The interest rate on a credit card is one of the most important factors in finding a card that matches your credit card needs. If your needs demand that your entire bill be paid off every month, the interest rate should may not be a high priority. While it is good to get a competitive interest rate, clearing your bill each month allows no interest to accrue. This provides some flexibility in other areas discussed below. However, carrying a balance causes the interest rate to become very important. Interest rates vary from fixed to variable and even variable rates have many differences. Sometimes you can even negotiate your interest rate.
Another one of these credit card tips is your purchasing style. A credit card that is mostly used for business travel can be tied into a rewards program. There are several Travel and Entertainment (T&E) credit cards available on the market. These provide rewards such as points or even promotional dollars to be used at hotels, airlines and restaurants. These types of credit cards typically carry a higher interest rate and annual fee therefore, it is imperative that you weigh your credit card needs versus how they match up with your purchasing style.
The last item in our list of credit card tips is your personal credit history. If you have a good credit score and credit history, there are many options available. Focus on obtaining a credit card that continues to help a positive credit score. Look for a card that provides a higher credit threshold and flexible terms. For someone whose credit history and credit score is in the average range, your options could be limited. In this situation, focus on obtaining a merchant credit card. This helps limit your spending to one particular department store, for example. Establish an extended, positive payment history and your credit score improves as well as your options for obtaining a more flexible, revolving bank card.
The variety and complexity of credit cards can create confusion and uncertainty. Prioritize your credit card needs and try to match a card program with those needs. Use the credit cards tips, described above, as a starting point to help focus on what matches your lifestyle and needs.