So many different choices for credit cards: 0% APR credit cards, travel rewards credit cards, 0% balance transfer credit cards, and cash back credit cards. Selecting the right card for the way you use your credit card can mean a big difference in your pocketbook. Use this quick guide to help you spot the differences in your credit card offers:
*Will you carry a balance every month or almost every month? If so, a lower interest rate is better for you. If you transfer a high balance credit card to a lower or 0% APR credit card (often an introductory period), you will save even more.
*Will you be paying the credit card balance off every month? Then you will want to apply for a credit card without an annual fee. Finance charges may be higher, but since you pay the balance off every month, you won�t be charged. Look for credit cards that offer grace periods, usually between 25 to 30 days, before credit interest begins.
*Will you be shopping for credit card balance transfer? Be sure to check out the transaction fees and the introductory periods. Occasionally your credit card company will offer you a credit card debt consolidation with convenience checks so that you can transfer one or more credit card balances, but be sure to check out the transfer guidelines.
*Will you need cash advances? Apply for a credit card that offers a lower APR and lower transaction fees. Be sure to read the fine print on their requirements. Some credit card companies impose a transaction fee and a cash advance fee plus the interest rate. Some credit cards charge a higher rate for cash advances than regular purchases.
*Will you be traveling frequently, and charging your trip expenses? If this is your situation, then a cash back credit card reward program may suit you best. Be sure to consider your interest rate first, however. Rewards should come secondary to your spending habits and the cost of the credit card itself. Cash rebate cards offer you a cash back refund at the end of the year that you can use anyway you choose. Other credit card reward programs offer purchase points or redeemable rebates. Airline credit cards offer you miles as credit for every dollar you spend, sometimes offering you double or triple miles.
Whatever credit card offer you apply for, be sure to carefully consider the terms of your credit card, including the interest rate (APR), annual fees, transaction fees and balance transfer fees. Those hidden charges can add up quickly and cost you more than what you bargained for, so choose your credit card wisely.