Which Credit Card is Best for You?
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Key points about: choosing the best credit card for you
The best credit card for you depends on which credit card features you find important and which credit cards you qualify for.
A rewards card could be the best card for you if you want to earn rewards for eligible purchases.
A card with a low introductory interest rate could be best for you if you might carry a balance from month to month.
With so many available credit card offers, it can be hard to know which card is best for you. While there’s no one-size-fits-all best credit card, you can review the different card options to find the right credit card for you.
Here are a few ideas to help you compare credit cards and decide what kind of credit card best suits your needs.
Which credit card features are important to you?
There are several credit card features to consider. The best credit card for you usually matches your credit and purchase needs.
1. Low or 0% intro interest rate
Low or 0 % intro APR cards can be good for cardmembers that plan to carry a balance rather than paying off the statement balance in full each month. If you might carry a monthly balance, a 0% or low intro APR card can help you save on interest charges initially. But, once the intro period expires, a higher interest rate might apply.
2. Cash back rewards
Some cardmembers are interested in earning rewards for their spending through a rewards program. Different cards offer rewards at different rates and for different eligible purchases.
For example, if you want to earn cash back on your purchases, consider a cash back rewards card, like the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card and earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
3. No annual fee
An annual fee is a charge from the card issuer. It’s the amount you’ll pay yearly to keep your account open, regardless of how much you purchase on the card. When deciding on the best card for you, if a card has an annual fee, consider whether the value of the rewards you’ll earn is higher than the cost of the annual fee.
4. A low balance transfer rate
If you want to transfer the balance from a credit card with a high APR to a lower one, consider a balance transfer card with an introductory 0 % APR on balance transfers. If you’re transferring a large balance, you may prefer a balance transfer card with an extended introductory period. This can give you more time to pay off the balance. And remember, some balance transfer offers include a balance transfer fee.
5. Travel rewards
A travel rewards credit card could be a good option if you travel often. Some travel cards are associated with a particular travel provider, and others are credit card rewards that can be used with different travel providers. For example, you can turn Miles into cash. Or redeem as a statement credit for your travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more1 with the Discover it Miles Travel Credit Card, since every purchase earns 1.5x Miles.
6. Online banking
Online banking is an organized platform for managing credit cards and payments. Consider a card with a mobile app and online resources such as interactive financial calculators to help you manage your budget or tools to track spending and plan purchases. You could also use a banking app to make payments or set up automatic payments to help ensure you never miss a due date or incur a late charge.
7. Flexible rewards redemption options
Depending on the card issuer, you may be able to use your rewards as a statement credit or redeem them for cash as a deposit in your bank account or savings account. Some credit cards may let you redeem cash back rewards at checkout with an online merchant, toward a gift card purchase, or as a charitable donation.
Credit score and credit history
The cards you qualify for usually depend on your credit score and your credit history. Some credit cards require higher credit scores than others. A good credit score may help you qualify for lower interest rates.
If you have a bad credit score, a fair credit score, or you don’t yet have a credit score, a secured credit card may be the right credit card for you while you’re building credit for the first time or rebuilding your credit history. A secured credit card requires a security deposit used as collateral for the account’s credit limit amount. With secured credit cards, you can build up your credit score and improve your credit history until you qualify for a standard card, as long as the credit card company reports to one of the three major credit bureaus, as explained by Experian®. For example, the Discover it Secured Credit Card helps you build your credit history.2
Should I apply for more than one credit card?
When researching the best credit card to apply for, you may find it hard to choose just one.
Suppose you want to check whether you qualify for a particular card. In that case, it’s best to determine whether you pre-qualify, as credit card issuers typically pre-qualify applicants using a soft pull, which doesn’t impact your credit score.
Did you know?
While there’s nothing wrong with having more than one credit card, you should avoid applying for multiple credit cards at once. That’s because each credit card application generates a hard pull of your credit, and hard pulls can potentially lower your credit score.
Read the credit card agreement
No matter what type of credit card you’re interested in, reviewing the card agreement is important. Read the terms and conditions to learn about the grace period, if it applies, how long you have to pay off your balance before you’re charged interest, and what rates, restrictions, and fees are involved. You can also review the terms of low or 0% APR introductory offers, including when the intro period expires and what the rate will be afterward.
The more you know, the more value you can gain from your credit card.
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