Finding a credit card to match your lifestyle doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem. The most important first step you can take, however, is to do a little comparison shopping before selecting a card.
The first thing to consider is the interest rate, particularly if you will be carrying a balance on your card. Be honest with yourself when it comes to whether or not you will pay the balance in full each month. No matter how many promises you make to yourself that you will pay it each time, it is better to assume that you will not if your payment history has been one that involves carrying a balance.
In general, it is better to find a credit card with a low, fixed rate rather than one with a variable rate. A card with a variable rate can change at any time. A credit card company can change the rate of a fixed rate credit card as well, but they have to give you fifteen days notice first. This gives you a little time to prepare. For this reason, it is important for you to take a look at all of the paperwork that the credit card company sends to you along with your monthly statement – one of those pieces of seemingly junk mail may actually contain information about your changing interest rates.
The perks to the credit card are the second consideration. Most credit cards come with standard perks such as travel insurance and purchase protection, but these perks are not always the same with each card. If the interest rates are the same on several different cards, you should look at the perks that are included with the card to determine which one you will go with.
There are also special programs associated with some credit cards. These can include cash back programs and rewards cards. Rewards can range from getting discounts at your favorite stores, to receiving free gas, to receiving low priced airplane tickets. These cards usually come with a much higher interest rate, however, so it is best to avoid these credit cards unless you will be paying the balance off at the end of each billing cycle. Otherwise, the price you pay in the increased interest rate will cost more than the rewards you receive.
If you will be paying your credit card each month, the interest rate really isn’t a concern. Therefore, you need to determine what type of reward credit card or cash back credit card will give you the most return. If you don’t travel often, an airline reward credit card isn’t very practical. Similarly, if you do not eat out at restaurants on a frequent basis, a credit card that provides discounts to restaurants will not do you much good. Consider which type of credit card best suits your lifestyle and have fun getting paid by the credit card company to use its card!