Recommending a credit card is usually a bad idea, in my opinion, because for some people it’s easy to go overboard. However, for responsible individuals who can manage their personal finances well enough, this valuable plastic companion is one of the most useful tools you can have at your disposal at any time. In order to make the most of your credit card offer, however, you need to consider several factors so you can find the best plastic tailored specifically to your needs. As you probably already know, there is no ‘one best card’ for everyone. Depending on your credit history and risk, whether or not you’re going to carry balance on the card and the type of goods you’re spending mostly on, you can get from great to absolutely atrocious offers and it’s up to you recognize which is which. Yet, I know that all of this can be quite confusing at times and that’s why I’m here to help.
Don’t rush the decision
Remember all those things I said you need to take into consideration before making a choice? Well, those are just the basics and there is a lot more where that came from. However, many people don’t really want to be bothered with all those troublesome details and rush the decision, taking the first or second card offered to them. This is a huge mistake because the ramifications of such a decision spread way beyond the rates you will be paying. Rushing such an important decision can have disastrous consequences so you should never, ever do it! You have been warned.
Consider your spending
Many credit card companies offer special deals and bonuses for certain expenditures. You get bonuses for spending a certain amount of money on groceries or gas. You need to carefully evaluate what you’re mostly paying for by looking at your expenses in the last, say, two months. This should be enough to give you a basic idea what you’re spending your money on and in what field you are most likely to get a bonus.
Are you going to carry a balance?
If you’re going to carry a balance, which basically means that you’re not going to pay the full balance of the card every month, then the rate takes a paramount importance. The first thing you should look for is the introductory rate and its length. Ideally you can get a 0% introductory rate and will be able to keep it as long as possible. Avoid rates higher than 1 or 2% in most cases. The length of the rate is also important. Keep in mind, though, that many companies will use low introductory rates to get you hooked, and then will exponentially raise them, so that should be next thing you look for. If the long-term rate is too high, then don’t take the offer. All of this depends on how long you’re planning on using the card and the length of the introductory rate. The best case scenario is getting a low introductory rate with for a lengthy period of time and a relatively low long-term rate.
Finding the best card for you and comparing offers has never been easier. There are numerous websites that provide card comparison, expenditure calculator and more. By using them, you can easily find the best card suited for your needs by taking into consideration the factors I’ve already mentioned. Do your research and do it well. In the end you will be much more pleased with the results than if you rush into a contract that’s not at all viable for your needs.
Author Bio: Morgan Johnes is passionate about business and finance topics. He loves his job because he works with different things every single day. In his spare time he loves to take long walks.