How to Choose the Type of Card that’s Best for You
With so many credit card offers on the market today it can be difficult to decide which is right for you. Make the decision simple by defining what you would like to accomplish with your card and then finding the best offer for the type that suits your needs. The best types of credit cards are those that help you reach your personal goals.
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Are You Ready to Knock Out Some Debt?
Look for a balance transfer offer with a low or 0% introductory APR. You can save a bundle in finance charges by transferring your balance to a 0% APR card while you pay down the debt. Aim to pay the entire amount during the introductory period to save the most money. Be warned that the fine print on some balance transfer offers state the APR may go up substantially if you make a late payment or if you do not pay off the balance when the introductory APR expires.
Are You Looking to Make Your Money Do More for You?
There’s no better way to make your dollars go further than by signing up for a credit card that offers rewards. By using your rewards card for everyday spending (and especially large purchases) you can earn airline miles, hotel points, cash back or retailer credits.
Rewards cards are a good choice for people who pay off their balance each month. Look for a card that doesn’t have an annual fee. If the card that seems like the best fit does have an annual fee, be sure to do the math to see if the value of the rewards you receive over the course of a year is greater than the fee. Also research the redemption options to understand how easy (or difficult) it is to redeem your rewards.
Are You Trying to Repair Your Credit Score?
Consider a secured credit card that reports to the three credit bureaus. Making timely payments on a secured card is an effective way to rebuild your credit score if you have had trouble with credit in the past. A secured card requires the holder to put down a deposit with the application that becomes the line of credit. Secured credit cards typically have higher APRs and annual fees than unsecured cards. Once you have been issued the card and made on-time payments for a period of time you may be able to upgrade to an unsecured card.
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Whichever type of credit card you select, be sure to read all of the terms and conditions before signing up. Understanding all of the rates, restrictions and fees allows you to make the most informed decision. It also helps you get the most out of your card. Some cards offer valuable perks such as purchase protection, travel assistance and car rental insurance that you may not know about unless you read the details!