If you’re looking for a credit card, you shouldn’t necessarily take the first offer that comes your way. There are a number of different types of credit cards available, and it’s essential to take into account your financial situation and spending habits so you can find the best credit card offers for your circumstances. To help you determine which credit cards to apply for, you should consider your credit rating, how you normally manage payments and your personal buying habits.
Your Credit Rating
The types of credit cards that will be available to you will depend on your credit history and rating. You’re able to get a free credit report each year that will go over what you owe and to which lender along with listing your current credit score. If you’ve got a great credit rating, you should have no trouble obtaining a card with a low-interest rate and no yearly fees.
However, even if your credit rating isn’t stellar, there are almost certainly cards available to you. Even individuals who have filed for bankruptcy can normally find a lender that will offer them a card. If you are looking for a card and you have less than optimal credit, it’s important to be aware that you may be looking at cards with high-interest rates, annual fees and the potential for large additional fees.
The Federal Trade Commission has a page that can help you figure out what to look for when applying for a card and how to determine the types of fees, interest rates and potential late payment penalties associated with a card. Even if you are only eligible for cards with high-interest rates and stiff penalties, knowing what you’re getting into can help you get the most out of your card with the least potential expense.
How You Manage Payments
The majority of credit cards require that you make a minimum monthly payment to keep your card active and avoid fees. This is fine for most people, but if you like to keep a low card balance or pay off debts quickly, you may want to consider flexible payment credit cards that give you more than 30 days to make payments or ones that don’t charge interest if charges are paid off in a certain time frame.
Some creditors now allow you to make a purchase and will not charge you interest if you pay the purchase amount off within a few months or a year. If you know that you’re able to pay off charges in a short amount of time but not within 30 days, you may want to look into these types of cards since they can allow you to avoid interest charges.
How much you charge to credit cards and what types of things that you put on cards may make a huge difference in what the best credit card offers are for you. A common example of this is if you fly a lot. If you spend a lot of money with airlines, a card that offers frequent flier miles is an obvious choice.
It’s not just purchases with airlines that can allow you to rack up benefits. Many cards will now offer rewards for making purchases with particular businesses, such as retailers or grocery stores. It’s important to note that many credit cards that offer substantial rewards also have yearly fees for having the card. Therefore, you should be sure that the benefits from your regular purchases will outweigh the money you’ll need to spend maintaining the card.
In addition to cards that offer rewards for shopping at particular locations, some cards now offer flat discounts for purchases made with certain companies. Instead of having to wait for points or cash back at the end of the year, you’ll obtain an immediate discount at the time of your purchase or within a few days of it. For instance, you may save two percent on all purchases made at a particular retailer when you use your credit card. Some cards offer discounts with multiple retailers.
Finding the best credit card offers depends on your financial state as well as how you manage your money and shop. Be sure that you consider your spending habits when looking at credit card offers to find the best one for you.