Choosing the Right Credit Card in 2012

The abundance of credit cards in the market can Close up credit cardsmake choosing the right one a tricky task. After all, the advertisements are equally enticing and each credit card seems to promise the best rates, features and services for cardholders. So which one is best for you?

The perfect credit card for one person may not necessarily be the right choice for another. We all have individual lifestyles and our needs vary from one person to the next. Thus, it’s important to be aware of your own spending habits and lifestyle and look for credit card offers that complements those needs.

Evaluating credit cards may require time and effort. True, it’s not easy to check out each card and to do comparison. Nevertheless, researching and comparing are both crucial steps to make sure that you will get the right credit card, without having any regrets later on.

Listed below are the most important aspects you should consider when conducting research and comparison:

Interest Rate. Of course, everybody wants a credit card with a low rate. However, a variable interest rate is bound to change or is more likely to increase when the Prime Rate rises. Thus, instead of merely looking at the interest rate, dig deeper and understand how the rate is calculated.

Some of good credit cards carry more than just one interest rate, which varies depending on the type of transaction. For instance, the APR for balance transfers might be low, while the rate that applies to new purchases and cash advances is high.

You might also come across credit cards that offer zero interest rate or a low introductory rate. It might be tempting to sign up right away but keep in mind that the initial APR is only good for the next few months. Typically, the introductory period lasts for 6 months before the regular rate applies. Hence, you need to be aware of the true interest rate when the promotional period ends.

Fees. Aside from the interest rate, you should also check out all the costs associated with a credit card such as late fee, over-the-limit fee, balance transfer fee, annual fee, and more. The exact fees may vary depending on the type of credit card and the issuer.

You can check out credit card review websites to compare the costs but in order to see all the fees; it is recommended that you read the fine print as well. Some fees may not be explicitly included on the advertisements or even on the reviews.

Features. Of course, the features for each credit card will be different as well. You should make sure that the most important functions and services such as online account access, fraud liability protection, credit card replacement, reliable customer assistance are all part of the deal. Other features can make a credit card look attractive but consider carefully if you will benefit from them, especially if the card carries an expensive interest rate and high fees.


About the Author:

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans.  Copyright © 2012
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