Choose the Right Credit Card for You

With disciplined spending, the right credit card can provide significant benefits.  Choose the right one for you to reap the benefits!

While there is a lot of bad press about the trouble people can get into with credit cards, they can be helpful in establish credit, defer expenses until due, adding convenience and providing benefits. It is those benefits I would like to discuss today.

There is no single credit card that is the best for every individual, family and/or business. However, taking some time to consider a card’s benefits, alongside it’s associated cost can definitely be worthwhile. While we’ll look at personal credit cards here, business credit cards should be similarly compared, if applicable.

There is a lot to consider. Credit card costs to consider include the annual fee, foreign transaction fee and the required spending to qualify for the welcome offer. Benefits include the welcome offer, rewards (cash or otherwise), bonus category offers, balance transfer offers, status benefits and other perks. Additionally, each category of credit card has its own criteria. For travel rewards cards know how much value you can expect to get out of your points and miles when you redeem them. For cards meant for those trying to build credit or improve their credit score, offers that provide the most opportunities to improve credit for the lowest net cost is an important consideration. For balance transfer cards, consider the length of 0% APR and the variable APR after the bonus period ends.

While you can find a lot of sites that compare credit cards by simply googling something like  “best credit card comparison”, always consider the source and what financial incentives they might gain. Below are a few sites you may want to consider that provide their favorites by category at this point in time and why:

Just a few things to keep in mind about your old card, before you change to a new card.

  • Keep your old card open to improve your credit score. The history of a long-standing card with a good pay-off history is helpful.
  • You may need to continue to maintain some spending on old cards to keep the benefits intact. You may be able to accomplish this in other ways than spending, but be sure to check into it before potentially losing built of benefits during a period of extended dormancy.
  • Continue to check your old card regularly to be sure you do not become a victim of identity theft.

Member/Contributor:

Paula McMillan – Connect with Paula!

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