Credit cards allow someone to pay for purchases over time. While this alone is a great thing, there are other things that people are looking for. Since there are many kinds of credit cards in the marketplace, a consumer can have their pick.
It's important to get what you want when you're applying for a credit card. Whether you have excellent credit or are trying to rebuild your credit, there are important things to look for when getting a card. Choosing the right one will be something that matches your lifestyle and won't put you into further debt.
Interest rates are important. It will determine how much of your balance you're actually paying off and what your minimum payment each month will be. A lower interest rate will mean that you will be able to pay off your balance quicker. The better a person's credit, the lower the interest rate usually is.
There are tradeoffs to a good interest rate, however. Some cards offer a high interest rate, low balance card to those who are trying to get their credit back in good graces. Accepting these offers can be beneficial to show open credit and strong payment history.
The ability to manage an account online is a great tool. Many credit card companies offer this, allowing you to see purchasing history, pay bills online and more. You'll never have to dial customer support and listen to an operator tell you your balance ever again. Simply logging in with a username and password will let you see everything about your account and even send an email to customer support.
Some credit card companies feature additional items to online management. These features include:
- The ability to break charges down by category
- See which cardholder bought what items
- Pay for larger items quicker than smaller items in order to pay down debt
- Get new card designs (some with personal photos, too)
There are cards that offer all sorts of great benefits. Some come with the cost of an annual fee where others waive the fee. The fee is fine to pay as long as it is a reasonable amount and the benefits outweigh the cost that you'll spend annually.
Travel reward cards can give you miles for every dollar you spend. Every purchase you make will get you that much closer to an airline ticket. It's important to read the fine print on some card offers as some have blackout dates and others require you to fly a certain airline.
Many offer travel insurance, the ability to get discounts at hotels and rental car companies, and other travel rewards, too. For someone who likes to travel and save money doing so should definitely consider a card with these types of rewards.
There's also cash back. You can accumulate points or dollars which can be turned into cash. The cash can take the form of a check, a credit to your account balance or a gift card to a wide variety of stores. So thereâ€™s the perk of knowing that no matter what you buy, youâ€™ll get a little of it back after awhile.
Many cards have their own theme. Some are for golf courses, giving you the ability to get better tee times. Others are shopping focused and give you discounts at certain department stores.
Those with Bad History
People who have had misfortunate events with their credit look for different things in a card than those with good credit. They want a card with a small balance that is willing to give them a chance. Benefits aren't that important, but a company that will report to the credit bureaus is. The longer a person keeps paying a card on time and it is reported to the credit bureaus, the better a person's score is, which will ultimately let them get an even better card.
Each card is a little different. Every bank offers something slightly unique to entice people to get their new card. The way to play the game is to look through multiple offers and find the one that offers everything you want. It is completely possible because of the amount of cards available to consumers.
When it comes to getting a credit card, it's important to try and get a little bit of everything. Having great benefits, a low interest rate and the ability to manage an account online are all very important when picking out a credit card to apply for.