What To Look For When Credit Card Shopping

Do You Know What To Look For When Credit Card Shopping?

Do you know what to look for when credit card shopping? Maybe you want a new credit card because you are just starting to build, or rebuild, your credit. Or perhaps you just want a better card, something that can earn you money and points on the things you buy in life every day. Whatever your reason for wanting a new card be sure to keep the following in mind as you wonder what to look for when comparing credit cards and shop around for the perfect plastic accessory for your wallet:

What to Look for when Credit Card Shopping: Credit Card Fees

Do you wonder what to look out for when applying for a credit card? The answer is: fees. Credit card fees come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few fees for you to be aware of as you consider what to look when applying for credit card and compare credit cards:

  • Annual fee. This is the fee that you pay every year for the privilege of owning a credit card. Many cards have no annual fee. Most cards that have an annual fee are either cards for people with poor credit or cards for people with exceptional credit that come with great bonuses and special offers. While an annual fee is ok if the benefits of the card outweigh the fee, some cards try to slip in a monthly fee – forget these!
  • Application fee. This fee is just what it says, a fee that you pay to apply for a card. You should never pay this fee. Usually these fees are charged on cards for people with bad credit but there are other cards you can apply for even with damaged credit that have no application fee.
  • Balance transfer fees. These are fees you pay for transferring a balance from one card to another card. You can avoid paying these fees by watching for special offers from new or current credit cards.
  • Cash advance fee. These fees are charged when you take cash out from your credit card. Nearly every credit card charges a cash advance fee. Really, you should avoid taking cash out on your card and paying this fee.
  • Interest rate. This is how much you pay to use the credit your bank extends to you on your credit card. Hint: Don’t run a balance and you don’t have to pay interest even on a high interest card.
  • What to Look for when Credit Card Shopping: Credit Card Rewards

    Many credit cards offer rewards for using them. Some cards pay you back a small percentage of how much you spend on the card. This can be anywhere from 1-5% typically. Rarely does this cash back cover your interest rate, so if you are looking to use credit cards to make money in this way you are best not to run a balance but rather to pay the card off in full each month.
    Some rewards credit cards don’t give you cash but rather give you frequent flyer points for airlines or points you can redeem for prizes. Most cards today offer some type of rewards, so check your cards and see what they offer, considering the value but also what you will use most. If you are afraid to fly, for example, earning frequent flyer points doesn’t make sense – you want cash back!

    What to Look for when Credit Card Shopping: Limited Time Offers

    If you are considering offers that you received in the mail or found online be sure to look for expiration dates. Many special offers – such as earning bonus miles or getting an extra $100 cash back – are good for a very limited time. If you don’t notice and apply for the card you may end up losing a few points on your credit score due to your inquiry and getting a card without the bonus you were expecting.

    What to Look for when Selecting a Credit Card: Make an Informed Choice

    Before you sign up for your next credit card compare them carefully. Look at the interest rate, fees, rewards and other things like whether they offer car rental insurance, price protection, warranty extension or other perks. No one can tell you what the best credit card to get is because everyone has different needs, different priorities and different spending habits.

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