Looking For A Credit Card? Here’s How To Choose One

If you are in the process of looking for a Credit Card, fear not: this article will help you identify the best choice for your needs.

These days people pay for things in a multitude of different ways rather than simply using cash or check. It’s common for folk to use debit cards or online services such as Wise or PayPal. Credit cards are another option, and they often present additional benefits for their users. They may include protection from credit card fraud, additional rewards, and a lack of foreign transfer fees. 

It may be that you are looking to apply for a credit card at the moment, but are confused by all the options. What will suit one person may be inappropriate for another. There are a host of different factors to consider and many ways of getting one. If you are in a quandary right now, fear not: this article will help you identify the best choice for your needs. 

Looking For A Credit Card? Here's How To Choose One

By Post Or Using Specialist Websites

You may have received a credit card application form in your junk mail or have collected the documentation from your bank or a specialist loan company. Whilst it’s handy applying for the first card that you see, it’s wiser still to compare before you proceed. 

Many people save time and money by applying for credit cards online, using specialist websites. If you only look at a web page connected to a specific company, however, you’ll only be reviewing their products and prices. It’s, therefore, a good idea to visit other company sites so you can compare the benefits and fees. 

By Accessing Price Comparison Websites 

They may be the best option because they display several different company’s best deals side by side. This makes it easy to compare credit cards in relation to the annual fees, interest rates, and key features. You can discover the best-rated cards for business purposes, those that have members’ rewards, or cards that offer cashback spending. 

Looking For A Credit Card? Here's How To Choose One

Whatever you want from your credit card, price comparison websites can make the searching process more streamlined. Once you’ve made your choice, there’s usually an online link to help you begin the application process. 

By Knowing Your Credit Situation

People with good credit histories will have different options from those who don’t. Thanks to the free resources you can find online (e.g. CreditWise) it’s possible to find out where you stand right now. Always look for cards that match your current credit (or less) rather than those offering a higher amount. 

Looking For A Credit Card? Here's How To Choose One

Most companies look at the big picture, however, so people with good credit but a low income and high housing bills could be declined on this basis.

Decide If You Want Rewards

If you travel a lot or live for your holidays, things like air miles and help with airfares and hotels may be a priority for you. In contrast, someone who enjoys staycations may have little interest in cards offering free travel insurance. 

Whilst these benefits are enjoyed by many, they inevitably come at a cost. This would be reflected either in the interest rates or fees (monthly or annually). Always read the small print before going for a card with such rewards. There could be restrictions if you go over your limit or don’t pay back your balance in full each month. People with poor credit or existing debts may find some reward options closed to them. 

Consider 0% Introductory Offers

Looking For A Credit Card? Here's How To Choose One

Some companies allow you to transfer your balance without incurring any interest. As an additional benefit, there may be no interest levied on new purchases either. The interest-free period could be anything from a year to 18 months. In many cases, this option will only be offered to people with good or excellent credit. If you are in this fortunate position you’d be able to get rid of your old card – with any monthly interest requirements –  and enjoy the free benefits for a time. 

You must keep in mind the expiration date of the introductory offer, however. Unless you can transfer to another card offering the same benefits, you will need to pay interest on your borrowing after that date. 

Decide If You Need To Build Credit

Credit builder cards are designed to help people improve their credit history. The APR would be higher than for other cards, and you’d need to ideally repay your full balance each month.

Looking For A Credit Card? Here's How To Choose One

There are other benefits you may wish to consider, including cards for overseas use or purchase cards. Always look for the best deals and fully research the repayment requirements and terms. If used responsibly, your new card may prove to be a valuable and useful financial tool. 

Allen Brown

A dad of 3 kids and is a keen writer covering a range of topics such as Internet marketing, SEO and more! When not writing, he’s found behind a drum kit.