How to Compare and Choose a Credit Card

wallet-2125548_640With hundreds of credit card available to choose from, how you can you make sure that you find the one that best suits your needs?

Sure, it’s easiest when choosing a credit card to just get the one provided by your bank, but that may not be the best option.

Not sure where to start? Here are some simple steps to take when deciding on a credit card.

Check Your Credit Score

Before even looking at credit cards, you need to see where you stand in terms of your credit score. This number will be a big indicator as to what cards you might qualify for. Knowing this number will help you narrow down your choices.

That means if your credit score isn’t very high, there may only be a handful of cards you qualify for. If it’s high, the likelihood of choices opening up for you are much better.

There are many free services out there that will give you access to a free credit score. Don’t pay a fee if a website asks you for one (except for official credit bureaus). If you have an existing credit card, your credit card issuer may already give you free credit scores, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

This is also a good time to check all your credit reports to see if there are any discrepancies.

Decide What You Want to Use Your Credit Card For

The purpose of your credit card use will help you narrow down your choices even more. For example, if you’re an avid traveler, you might want to find a credit card that doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees.

Generally speaking, most people are looking for cards that help save money on interest, improve credit scores (if that person has a limited or bad credit history) or want to earn rewards (points or cash back)

There is no black and white answer to the type of credit card that’s best for you, but the more you can hone in on why you need a credit card, then you’ll feel less overwhelmed when using comparison tools.

Ask the Right Questions

Once you’ve determined the types of card you’re looking for, then you need to ask yourself more questions to pick the best card.

Below are some questions you need to be asking. Keep in mind that not all will apply to your specific situation:

-Will my credit limit increase automatically after a certain period of time?

-How will this card help me build my credit?

-Does this card have 0% foreign transactions?

-What is the APR percentage on this card?

-What kind of rewards does this card offer?

-Will I be able to get a better credit card down the line?

-How complicated are the terms for this credit card?

-Does this card have an annual fee?

-How much are the points worth on this credit card?

-What is the balance transfer policy?

Choosing The Right Card for You

Taking the above tips, you should be able to narrow down your choices to just a few cards. When you’ve done that, simply pick the card that gives you the best value. Even if you do decide to change cards later on, you’ll know that you’ve at least made an informed decision right now.

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