How To Choose The Best Credit Card
It's a plastic ocean out there with many banks and financial institutions scrambling to sell you their credit cards. And there are so many kinds of credit cards available in the market that a credit card user gets intimidated and perplexed about which card to choose.
The result is that he often chooses the wrong card and then regrets his decision when he's already neck-deep in problems with his credit card account.
So, never pick up a credit card without considering some crucial factors. Here is a small guide that can help you decide which type of credit card you must pocket.
Guidelines to choosing a credit card
Ask yourself, "Why do I need a new credit card?" Is it because your current credit card carries a higher rate of interest? Or is it because you want to use it only for your business, etc. Zero in on the reason why you need a new credit card.
Once you have the reason, you must check out what kinds of credit cards are available in the market. Here is a brief dossier:
(i) Regular cards/Business cards are cards that give you a spending limit based on your income tax papers. The business card is like a regular card, except that it comes with some schemes that dangle carrots before you.
(ii) Charge cards are cards that are linked to your bank account and they charge your account the minute you swipe the card. You cannot carry forward a balance with a charge card.
(iii) Reward cards are credit cards that earn you points every time you swipe them and such points are redeemable for some goodies (air tickets, supermarket goodies, etc.) at selected establishments.
(iv) Then there are cards for people who have a bad credit history. These cards carry a low spending limit and a higher rate of interest.
(v) Prepaid cards are another type of credit card that is used by teens and some kids too. The parent makes a deposit and the card is valid until the deposit is used up.
(vi) Secured credit cards need that the cardholder deposits a certain percentage of the credit limit upfront into their bank accounts.
Once you have decided what kind of credit card is right for you, do a comparison between different brands of cards. Compare their rates of interest (APR = Annual Percentage Rate) and also check whether they carry an annual fee.
What grace period or no-payment period they offer you, how do they calculate the interest, whether the rate of interest is an introductory rate, whether rates of interest will vary on cash withdrawals, billing cycles, penalties on balance transfers, and so on.
Voila, there you are! If you follow these basic guidelines, you will be successful in pocketing the right credit card that suits your needs. And that is the easy part, the difficult part lies in maintaining a credit card and keeping your credit history clean.
But, that's another story!